The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Leviticus 8

Lev 8:1

Lev 8: "The importance of the divine instructions concerning the appointment of priests: Israel was called to be 'a kingdom of priests' (Exo 19:5,6). Therefore the consecration of the priests set forth parabolically was what was expected of them, and the whole congregation was called together to witness it (Lev 8:3). The priests represented the nation in miniature, but their failings (eg, Lev 10), brought home the grim reality that they fell short of the ideal. Further, in that a section of the priestly people were permitted to minister at the altar and tabernacle. Israel was reminded that as yet it was unfit to assume the priestly privileges to which it had been called. In the symbolism of the consecration service the people would thus discover a spur to effort and a check to pride. The consecration of priests was on the same day as that of the tabernacle, etc (Exo 29:44). Antitypically, the priest, tabernacle, and altar were similarly arranged as shown in Heb 13:10; 9:11,23, etc. So Moses recorded: (1) Instructions for the consecration of the priests chosen for service: vv 1-5. (2) The priests to be cleansed: v 6. (3) They are clothed: vv 7-9. (4) The tabernacle anointed: v 11. (5) Aaron anointed as high priest: v 12. (6) Aaron's sons anointed as priests and the altar atoned: vv 13-17. (7) A ram is burnt: vv 18-21. (8) The ram of consecration: vv 22-30. (9) Eating of the holy things: vv 31-36.

"The consecration of the priests denoted activity devoted to the service of Yahweh (v 27). The priest was not to own property, nor support himself. He was to live from the tabernacle service (vv 31,32) and his life was to be devoted exclusively to this on behalf of Israel. Like Christ, he must be about his Father's business (Luk 2:49). Thus Christ was the antitype of all the elements of divine worship in Israel" (GEM).

"There is a particular order of events we should notice in the narrative of the ordination of Aaron and his sons to be priests. The lessons we learn from them are something that we should try and put into practice in our own lives.

"Aaron and his sons were first washed and then dressed in their priestly garments. The first thing we should do as we come to serve God is to prepare ourselves by washing in baptism and then clothing ourselves with spiritual clothes: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness and love (Col 3:12-14).

"Next the sin offering was offered for Aaron and his sons. Once we are dressed we should confess and repent of our sins and pray for forgiveness.

"The third step was to present the burnt offering - an offering totally dedicated to the LORD. Our third step is the same: To completely dedicate ourselves to the work of our God, having no distractions and with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength.

"The ram for the ordination offering was offered next. The unique thing about this was the blood placed on the right ear, thumb and big toe of Aaron and his sons. This speaks to me of the dedication of our ears to God's word, our hands to his work and our feet to his path.

"Finally, Aaron and his sons were to stay in the tent of meeting and to eat the offerings. It was a time of fellowship with the LORD. Once we are dedicated and have been prepared we too will be able to share fellowship with him" (RP).

Lev 8:12

Three anointings in the Old Testament are typical of the Lord Jesus Christ in his three capacities, or offices, in the New Testament: (1) Moses anointed Aaron as a priest in Lev 8:12, typical of Christ in his role as the great High Priest. (2) Elijah anointed Elisha as prophet in 1Ki 19:16, typical of Christ as the greatest of the prophets. (3) Samuel anointed David as king in 1Sa 16:1, typical of Christ as the son of David, and future king upon David's throne.

Lev 8:14

We must have a sin offering (Christ) before the burnt offering (self-consecration) (v 21) and the peace/fellowship offering (fellowship with God) (Lev 9:4).

Lev 8:35

Duty, responsibility, commitment, obligation -- as a servant, watchman.

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