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Leviticus 8:14-36

Context
Consecration Offerings

8:14 Then he brought near the sin offering bull 1  and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the sin offering bull, 8:15 and he slaughtered it. 2  Moses then took the blood and put it all around on the horns of the altar with his finger and decontaminated the altar, 3  and he poured out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar and so consecrated it to make atonement on it. 4  8:16 Then he 5  took all the fat on the entrails, the protruding lobe of the liver, and the two kidneys and their fat, 6  and Moses offered it all up in smoke on the altar, 7  8:17 but the rest of the bull – its hide, its flesh, and its dung – he completely burned up 8  outside the camp just as the Lord had commanded Moses. 9 

8:18 Then he presented the burnt offering ram and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram, 8:19 and he slaughtered it. 10  Moses then splashed the blood against the altar’s sides. 8:20 Then he 11  cut the ram into parts, 12  and Moses offered the head, the parts, and the suet up in smoke, 8:21 but the entrails and the legs he washed with water, 13  and Moses offered the whole ram up in smoke on the altar – it was a burnt offering for a soothing aroma, a gift to the Lord, just as the Lord had commanded Moses. 14 

8:22 Then he presented the second ram, the ram of ordination, 15  and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram 8:23 and he slaughtered it. 16  Moses then took some of its blood and put it on Aaron’s right earlobe, 17  on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe 18  of his right foot. 8:24 Next he brought Aaron’s sons forward, and Moses put some of the blood on their right earlobes, on their right thumbs, and on the big toes of their right feet, and Moses splashed the rest of the blood against the altar’s sides.

8:25 Then he took the fat (the fatty tail, 19  all the fat on the entrails, the protruding lobe of the liver, and the two kidneys and their fat 20 ) and the right thigh, 21  8:26 and from the basket of unleavened bread that was before the Lord he took one unleavened loaf, one loaf of bread mixed with olive oil, and one wafer, 22  and placed them on the fat parts and on the right thigh. 8:27 He then put all of them on the palms 23  of Aaron and his sons, who waved 24  them as a wave offering before the Lord. 25  8:28 Moses then took them from their palms and offered them up in smoke on the altar 26  on top of the burnt offering – they were an ordination offering for a soothing aroma; it was a gift to the Lord. 8:29 Finally, Moses took the breast and waved it as a wave offering before the Lord from the ram of ordination. It was Moses’ share just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

Anointing Aaron, his Sons, and their Garments

8:30 Then Moses took some of the anointing oil and some of the blood which was on the altar and sprinkled it on Aaron and his garments, and on his sons and his sons’ garments with him. So he consecrated Aaron, his garments, and his sons and his sons’ garments with him. 8:31 Then Moses said to Aaron and his sons, “Boil the meat at the entrance of the Meeting Tent, and there you are to eat it and the bread which is in the ordination offering basket, just as I have commanded, 27  saying, ‘Aaron and his sons are to eat it,’ 8:32 but the remainder of the meat and the bread 28  you must burn with fire. 8:33 And you must not go out from the entrance of the Meeting Tent for seven days, until the day when your days of ordination are completed, because you must be ordained over a seven-day period. 29  8:34 What has been done 30  on this day the Lord has commanded to be done 31  to make atonement for you. 8:35 You must reside at the entrance of the Meeting Tent day and night for seven days and keep the charge of the Lord so that you will not die, for this is what I have been commanded.” 8:36 So Aaron and his sons did all the things the Lord had commanded through 32  Moses.

1 sn See Lev 4:3-12 above for the sin offering of the priests. In this case, however, the blood manipulation is different because Moses, not Aaron (and his sons), is functioning as the priest. On the one hand, Aaron and his sons are, in a sense, treated as if they were commoners so that the blood manipulation took place at the burnt offering altar in the court of the tabernacle (see v. 15 below), not at the incense altar inside the tabernacle tent itself (contrast Lev 4:5-7 and compare 4:30). On the other hand, since it was a sin offering for the priests, therefore, the priests themselves could not eat its flesh (Lev 4:11-12; 6:30 [23 HT]), which was the normal priestly practice for sin offerings of commoners (Lev 6:26[19], 29[22]).

2 sn Contrary to some English versions (e.g., NAB, NASB, NIV, NLT), Aaron (not Moses) most likely slaughtered the bull, possibly with the help of his sons, although the verb is singular, not plural. Moses then performed the ritual procedures that involved direct contact with the altar. Compare the pattern in Lev 1:5-9, where the offerer does the slaughtering and the priests perform the procedures that involve direct contact with the altar. In Lev 8 Moses is functioning as the priest in order to consecrate the priesthood. The explicit reintroduction of the name of Moses as the subject of the next verb seems to reinforce this understanding of the passage (cf. also vv. 19 and 23 below).

3 tn The verb is the Piel of חָטָא (khata’, “to sin”) and means “to de-sin” the altar. This verse is important for confirming the main purpose of the sin offering, which was to decontaminate the tabernacle and its furniture from any impurities. See the note on Lev 4:3.

4 tn Similar to v. 10 above, “and consecrated it” refers to the effect of the blood manipulation earlier in the verse. The goal here was to consecrate the altar in order that it might become a place on which it would be appropriate “to make atonement” before the Lord.

5 tn Again, Aaron probably performed the slaughter and collected the fat parts (v. 16a), but Moses presented it all on the altar (v. 16b; cf. the note on v. 15 above).

6 sn See Lev 3:3-4 for the terminology of fat and kidneys here.

7 tn Heb “toward the altar” (see the note on Lev 1:9).

8 tn Heb “he burned with fire,” an expression which is sometimes redundant in English, but here means “burned up,” “burned up entirely.”

9 sn See Lev 4:11-12, 21; 6:30 [23 HT].

10 tn Aaron probably did the slaughtering (cf. the notes on Lev 8:15-16 above).

11 tn Again, Aaron probably cut the ram up into parts (v. 20a), but Moses presented them on the altar (v. 20b; cf. the note on v. 15 above).

12 tn Heb “cut it into its parts.” One could translate here, “quartered it” (J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:133; cf. Lev 1:6, 12 above).

13 tn Again, Aaron probably did the washing (v. 21a), but Moses presented the portions on the altar (v. 21b; cf. the note on v. 15 above).

14 tn See Lev 1:9, 13.

15 tn For “ordination offering” see Lev 7:37

16 tn Again, Aaron probably did the slaughtering (cf. the notes on Lev 8:15-16 above).

17 tn Heb “on the lobe of the ear of Aaron, the right one.”

18 tn The term for “big toe” (בֹּהֶן, bohen) is the same as that for “thumb.” It refers to the larger appendage on either the hand or the foot.

19 tn See Lev 3:9.

20 tn See Lev 8:16.

21 tn See Lev 7:32-34.

22 tn See Lev 2:4.

23 sn The “palms” refer to the up-turned hands, positioned in such a way that the articles of the offering could be placed on them.

24 tn Heb “and he waved.” The subject of the verb “he waved” is Aaron, but Aaron’s sons also performed the action (see “Aaron and his sons” just previously). See the similar shifts from Moses to Aaron as the subject of the action above (vv. 15, 16, 19, 20, 23), and esp. the note on Lev 8:15. In the present translation this is rendered as an adjectival clause (“who waved”) to indicate that the referent is not Moses but Aaron and his sons. Cf. CEV “who lifted it up”; NAB “whom he had wave” (with “he” referring to Moses here).

25 sn See Lev 7:30-31, 34.

26 tn Heb “toward the altar” (see the note on Lev 1:9).

27 tn Several major ancient versions have the passive form of the verb (see BHS v. 31 note c; cf. Lev 8:35; 10:13). In that case we would translate, “just as I was commanded.”

28 tn Heb “but the remainder in the flesh and in the bread”; NAB, CEV “what is left over”; NRSV “what remains.”

29 tn Heb “because seven days he shall fill your hands”; KJV “for seven days shall he consecrate you”; CEV “ends seven days from now.”

sn It is apparent that the term for “ordination offering” (מִלֻּאִים, milluim; cf. Lev 7:37 and the note there) is closely related to the expression “he shall fill (Piel מִלֵּא, mille’) your hands” in this verse. Some derive the terminology from the procedure in Lev 8:27-28, but the term for “hands” there is actually “palms.” It seems more likely that it derives from the notion of putting the priestly responsibilities (or possibly its associated prebends) under their control (i.e., “filling their hands” with authority; see J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:538-39). The command “to keep the charge of the Lord” in v. 35 and the expression “by the hand of Moses” (i.e., under the authoritative hand of Moses, v. 36) may also support this interpretation.

30 tn Heb “just as he has done” (cf. the note on v. 33).

31 tn Heb “the Lord has commanded to do” (cf. the note on v. 33).

32 tn Heb “by the hand of” (so KJV).



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