29:7 You are to take the anointing oil and pour it on his head and anoint him. 1 29:8 You are to present his sons and clothe them with tunics 29:9 and wrap the sashes around Aaron and his sons 2 and put headbands on them, and so the ministry of priesthood will belong to them by a perpetual ordinance. Thus you are to consecrate 3 Aaron and his sons.
29:10 “You are to present the bull at the front of the tent of meeting, and Aaron and his sons are to put 4 their hands on the head 5 of the bull. 29:11 You are to kill the bull before the Lord at the entrance to the tent of meeting 29:12 and take some of the blood of the bull and put it on the horns of the altar 6 with your finger; all the rest of 7 the blood you are to pour out at the base of the altar. 29:13 You are to take all the fat that covers the entrails, and the lobe 8 that is above the liver, and the two kidneys and the fat that is on them, and burn them 9 on the altar. 29:14 But the meat of the bull, its skin, and its dung you are to burn up 10 outside the camp. 11 It is the purification offering. 12
29:15 “You are to take one ram, and Aaron and his sons are to lay their hands on the ram’s head, 29:16 and you are to kill the ram and take its blood and splash it all around on the altar. 29:17 Then you are to cut the ram into pieces and wash the entrails and its legs and put them on its pieces and on its head 29:18 and burn 13 the whole ram on the altar. It is a burnt offering 14 to the Lord, a soothing aroma; it is an offering made by fire 15 to the Lord. 16
29:19 “You are to take the second ram, and Aaron and his sons are to lay their hands on the ram’s head, 29:20 and you are to kill the ram and take some of its blood and put it on the tip of the right ear of Aaron, on the tip of the right ear of his sons, on the thumb of their right hand, and on the big toe of their right foot, 17 and then splash the blood all around on the altar. 29:21 You are to take some of the blood that is on the altar and some of the anointing oil and sprinkle it 18 on Aaron, on his garments, on his sons, and on his sons’ garments with him, so that he may be holy, 19 he and his garments along with his sons and his sons’ garments.
29:22 “You are to take from the ram the fat, the fat tail, the fat that covers the entrails, the lobe 20 of the liver, the two kidneys and the fat that is on them, and the right thigh – for it is the ram for consecration 21 – 29:23 and one round flat cake of bread, one perforated cake of oiled bread, and one wafer from the basket of bread made without yeast that is before the Lord. 29:24 You are to put all these 22 in Aaron’s hands 23 and in his sons’ hands, and you are to wave them as a wave offering 24 before the Lord. 29:25 Then you are to take them from their hands and burn 25 them 26 on the altar for a burnt offering, for a soothing aroma before the Lord. It is an offering made by fire to the Lord. 29:26 You are to take the breast of the ram of Aaron’s consecration; you are to wave it as a wave offering before the Lord, and it is to be your share. 29:27 You are to sanctify the breast of the wave offering and the thigh of the contribution, 27 which were waved and lifted up as a contribution from the ram of consecration, from what belongs to Aaron and to his sons. 29:28 It is to belong to Aaron and to his sons from the Israelites, by a perpetual ordinance, for it is a contribution. It is to be a contribution from the Israelites from their peace offerings, their contribution to the Lord.
29:29 “The holy garments that belong to Aaron are to belong to his sons after him, so that they may be anointed 28 in them and consecrated 29 in them. 29:30 The priest who succeeds him 30 from his sons, when he first comes 31 to the tent of meeting to minister in the Holy Place, is to wear them for seven days. 32
29:31 “You are to take the ram of the consecration and cook 33 its meat in a holy place. 34 29:32 Aaron and his sons are to eat the meat of the ram and the bread that was in the basket at the entrance of the tent of meeting. 29:33 They are to eat those things by which atonement was made 35 to consecrate and to set them apart, but no one else 36 may eat them, for they are holy. 29:34 If any of the meat from the consecration offerings 37 or any of the bread is left over 38 until morning, then you are to burn up 39 what is left over. It must not be eaten, 40 because it is holy.
29:35 “Thus you are to do for Aaron and for his sons, according to all that I have commanded you; you are to consecrate them 41 for 42 seven days. 29:36 Every day you are to prepare a bull for a purification offering 43 for atonement. 44 You are to purge 45 the altar by making atonement 46 for it, and you are to anoint it to set it apart as holy. 29:37 For seven days 47 you are to make atonement for the altar and set it apart as holy. Then the altar will be most holy. 48 Anything that touches the altar will be holy. 49
1 sn The act of anointing was meant to set him apart for this holy service within the house of Yahweh. The psalms indicate that no oil was spared in this ritual, for it ran down his beard and to the hem of his garment. Oil of anointing was used for all major offices (giving the label with the passive adjective “mashiah” (or “messiah”) to anyone anointed. In the further revelation of Scripture, the oil came to signify the enablement as well as the setting apart, and often the Holy Spirit came on the person at the anointing with oil. The olive oil was a symbol of the Spirit in the OT as well (Zech 4:4-6). And in the NT “anointing” signifies empowerment by the Holy Spirit for service.
2 tc Hebrew has both the objective pronoun “them” and the names “Aaron and his sons.” Neither the LXX nor Leviticus 8:13 has “Aaron and his sons,” suggesting that this may have been a later gloss in the text.
3 tn Heb “and you will fill the hand” and so “consecrate” or “ordain.” The verb draws together the individual acts of the process.
4 tn The verb is singular, agreeing with the first of the compound subject – Aaron.
5 sn The details of these offerings have to be determined from a careful study of Leviticus. There is a good deal of debate over the meaning of laying hands on the animals. At the very least it identifies the animal formally as their sacrifice. But it may very well indicate that the animal is a substitute for them as well, given the nature and the effect of the sacrifices.
6 sn This act seems to have signified the efficacious nature of the blood, since the horns represented power. This is part of the ritual of the sin offering for laity, because before the priests become priests they are treated as laity. The offering is better described as a purification offering rather than a sin offering, because it was offered, according to Leviticus, for both sins and impurities. Moreover, it was offered primarily to purify the sanctuary so that the once-defiled or sinful person could enter (see J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB]).
7 tn The phrase “rest of” has been supplied in the translation for clarification.
8 tn S. R. Driver suggests that this is the appendix or an appendix, both here and in v. 22 (Exodus, 320). “The surplus, the appendage of liver, found with cow, sheep, or goat, but not with humans: Lobus caudatus” (HALOT 453 s.v. יֹתֶרֶת).
9 tn Heb “turn [them] into sweet smoke” since the word is used for burning incense.
sn The giving of the visceral organs and the fat has received various explanations. The fat represented the best, and the best was to go to God. If the animal is a substitute, then the visceral organs represent the will of the worshiper in an act of surrender to God.
10 tn Heb “burn with fire.”
11 sn This is to be done because there is no priesthood yet. Once they are installed, then the sin/purification offering is to be eaten by the officiating priests as a sign that the offering was received. But priests could not consume their own sin offering.
12 sn There were two kinds of “purification offering,” those made with confession for sin and those made without. The title needs to cover both of them, and if it is called in the traditional way “the sin offering,” that will convey that when people offered it for skin diseases, menstruation, or having babies, they had sinned. That was not the case. Moreover, it is usual to translate the names of the sacrifices by what they do more than what they cover – so peace offering, reparation offering, and purification offering.
13 tn Heb “turn to sweet smoke.”
14 sn According to Lev 1 the burnt offering (often called whole burnt offering, except that the skins were usually given to the priests for income) was an atoning sacrifice. By consuming the entire animal, God was indicating that he had completely accepted the worshiper, and as it was a sweet smelling fire sacrifice, he was indicating that he was pleased to accept it. By offering the entire animal, the worshiper was indicating on his part a complete surrender to God.
15 tn The word אִשֶּׁה (’isheh) has traditionally been translated “an offering made with fire” or the like, because it appears so obviously connected with fire. But further evidence from Ugaritic suggests that it might only mean “a gift” (see Milgrom, Leviticus 1-16, 161).
16 sn These sections show that the priest had to be purified or cleansed from defilement of sin and also be atoned for and accepted by the
17 sn By this ritual the priests were set apart completely to the service of God. The ear represented the organ of hearing (as in “ears you have dug” in Ps 40 or “awakens my ear” in Isa 50), and this had to be set apart to God so that they could hear the Word of God. The thumb and the hand represented the instrument to be used for all ministry, and so everything that they “put their hand to” had to be dedicated to God and appropriate for his service. The toe set the foot apart to God, meaning that the walk of the priest had to be consecrated – where he went, how he conducted himself, what life he lived, all belonged to God now.
18 tn Here “it” has been supplied.
19 tn The verb in this instance is Qal and not Piel, “to be holy” rather than “sanctify.” The result of all this ritual is that Aaron and his sons will be set aside and distinct in their life and their service.
20 tn S. R. Driver suggests that this is the appendix or an appendix, both here and in v. 13 (Exodus, 320). “The surplus, the appendage of liver, found with cow, sheep, or goat, but not with humans: Lobus caudatus” (HALOT 453 s.v. יֹתֶרֶת).
21 tn Heb “filling.”
22 tn Heb “the whole” or “the all.”
23 tn Heb “palms.”
24 tn The “wave offering” is תְּנוּפָה (tÿnufah); it is, of course, cognate with the verb, but an adverbial accusative rather than the direct object. In Lev 23 this seems to be a sacrificial gesture of things that are for the priests – but they present them first to Yahweh and then receive them back from him. So the waving is not side to side, but forward to Yahweh and then back to the priest. Here it is just an induction into that routine, since this is the ordination of the priests and the gifts are not yet theirs. So this will all be burned on the altar.
25 tn “turn to sweet smoke.”
26 tn “them” has been supplied.
27 sn These are the two special priestly offerings: the wave offering (from the verb “to wave”) and the “presentation offering” (older English: heave offering; from a verb “to be high,” in Hiphil meaning “to lift up,” an item separated from the offering, a contribution). The two are then clarified with two corresponding relative clauses containing two Hophals: “which was waved and which was presented.” In making sacrifices, the breast and the thigh belong to the priests.
28 tn The construction is an infinitive construct with a lamed (ל) preposition. The form simply means “for anointing,” but it serves to express the purpose or result of their inheriting the sacred garments.
29 tn This form is a Piel infinitive construct with a lamed (ל) preposition. It literally reads “for filling the hands,” the idiom used throughout this chapter for ordination or installation. Here too it has a parallel use of purpose or result.
30 tn Heb “after him”; NCV, NLT “after Aaron.”
31 tn The text just has the relative pronoun and the imperfect tense. It could be translated “who comes/enters.” But the context seems to indicate that this would be when he first comes to the tent to begin his tenure as High Priest, and so a temporal clause makes this clear. “First” has been supplied.
32 tn “Seven days” is an adverbial accusative of time. The ritual of ordination is to be repeated for seven days, and so they are to remain there in the court in full dress.
34 sn The “holy place” must be in the courtyard of the sanctuary. Lev 8:31 says it is to be cooked at the entrance of the tent of meeting. Here it says it will be eaten there as well. This, then, becomes a communion sacrifice, a peace offering which was a shared meal. Eating a communal meal in a holy place was meant to signify that the worshipers and the priests were at peace with God.
35 tn The clause is a relative clause modifying “those things,” the direct object of the verb “eat.” The relative clause has a resumptive pronoun: “which atonement was made by them” becomes “by which atonement was made.” The verb is a Pual perfect of כִּפֵּר (kipper, “to expiate, atone, pacify”).
36 tn The Hebrew word is “stranger, alien” (זָר, zar). But in this context it means anyone who is not a priest (see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 324).
37 tn Or “ordination offerings” (Heb “fillings”).
38 tn The verb in the conditional clause is a Niphal imperfect of יָתַר (yatar); this verb is repeated in the next clause (as a Niphal participle) as the direct object of the verb “you will burn” (a Qal perfect with a vav [ו] consecutive to form the instruction).
39 tn Heb “burn with fire.”
40 tn The verb is a Niphal imperfect negated. It expresses the prohibition against eating this, but in the passive voice: “it will not be eaten,” or stronger, “it must not be eaten.”
41 tn Heb “you will fill their hand.”
42 tn The “seven days” is the adverbial accusative explaining that the ritual of the filling should continue daily for a week. Leviticus makes it clear that they are not to leave the sanctuary.
43 tn The construction uses a genitive: “a bull of the sin offering,” which means, a bull that is designated for a sin (or better, purification) offering.
44 sn It is difficult to understand how this verse is to be harmonized with the other passages. The ceremony in the earlier passages deals with atonement made for the priests, for people. But here it is the altar that is being sanctified. The “sin [purification] offering” seems to be for purification of the sanctuary and altar to receive people in their worship.
45 tn The verb is וְחִטֵּאתָ (vÿhitte’ta), a Piel perfect of the word usually translated “to sin.” Here it may be interpreted as a privative Piel (as in Ps 51:7 ), with the sense of “un-sin” or “remove sin.” It could also be interpreted as related to the word for “sin offering,” and so be a denominative verb. It means “to purify, cleanse.” The Hebrews understood that sin and contamination could corrupt and pollute even things, and so they had to be purged.
46 tn The construction is a Piel infinitive construct in an adverbial clause. The preposition bet (ב) that begins the clause could be taken as a temporal preposition, but in this context it seems to express the means by which the altar was purged of contamination – “in your making atonement” is “by [your] making atonement.”
47 tn Once again this is an adverbial accusative of time. Each day for seven days the ritual at the altar is to be followed.
48 tn The construction is the superlative genitive: “holy of holies,” or “most holy.”
49 sn This line states an unusual principle, meant to preserve the sanctity of the altar. S. R. Driver explains it this way (Exodus, 325): If anything comes in contact with the altar, it becomes holy and must remain in the sanctuary for Yahweh’s use. If a person touches the altar, he likewise becomes holy and cannot return to the profane regions. He will be given over to God to be dealt with as God pleases. Anyone who was not qualified to touch the altar did not dare approach it, for contact would have meant that he was no longer free to leave but was God’s holy possession – and might pay for it with his life (see Exod 30:29; Lev 6:18b, 27; and Ezek 46:20).