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Exodus 29

The sacrifice and ceremony for the consecration of the priests. (1-37) The continual burnt-offerings, God’s promise to dwell among Israel. (38-46)

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The sacrifice and ceremony for the consecration of the priests

1 And this is the thing that thou shalt do unto them to hallow them, to minister unto me in the priest’s office: Take one young bullock, and two rams without blemish,

2 And unleavened bread, and cakes unleavened tempered with oil, and wafers unleavened anointed with oil: of wheaten flour shalt thou make them.

3 And thou shalt put them into one basket, and bring them in the basket, with the bullock and the two rams.

4 And Aaron and his sons thou shalt bring unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shalt wash them with water.

5 And thou shalt take the garments, and put upon Aaron the coat, and the robe of the ephod, and the ephod, and the breastplate, and gird him with the curious girdle of the ephod:

6 And thou shalt put the mitre upon his head, and put the holy crown upon the mitre.

7 Then shalt thou take the anointing oil, and pour it upon his head, and anoint him.

8 And thou shalt bring his sons, and put coats upon them.

9 And thou shalt gird them with girdles, Aaron and his sons, and put the bonnets on them: and the priest’s office shall be theirs for a perpetual statute: and thou shalt consecrate Aaron and his sons.

10 And thou shalt cause a bullock to be brought before the tabernacle of the congregation: and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the bullock.

11 And thou shalt kill the bullock before the LORD, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

12 And thou shalt take of the blood of the bullock, and put it upon the horns of the altar with thy finger, and pour all the blood beside the bottom of the altar.

13 And thou shalt take all the fat that covereth the inwards, and the caul that is above the liver, and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, and burn them upon the altar.

14 But the flesh of the bullock, and his skin, and his dung, shalt thou burn with fire without the camp: it is a sin offering.

15 Thou shalt also take one ram; and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the ram.

16 And thou shalt slay the ram, and thou shalt take his blood, and sprinkle it round about upon the altar.

17 And thou shalt cut the ram in pieces, and wash the inwards of him, and his legs, and put them unto his pieces, and unto his head.

18 And thou shalt burn the whole ram upon the altar: it is a burnt offering unto the LORD: it is a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto the LORD.

19 And thou shalt take the other ram; and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the ram.

20 Then shalt thou kill the ram, and take of his blood, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of Aaron, and upon the tip of the right ear of his sons, and upon the thumb of their right hand, and upon the great toe of their right foot, and sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about.

21 And thou shalt take of the blood that is upon the altar, and of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it upon Aaron, and upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon the garments of his sons with him: and he shall be hallowed, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons’ garments with him.

22 Also thou shalt take of the ram the fat and the rump, and the fat that covereth the inwards, and the caul above the liver, and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, and the right shoulder; for it is a ram of consecration:

23 And one loaf of bread, and one cake of oiled bread, and one wafer out of the basket of the unleavened bread that is before the LORD:

24 And thou shalt put all in the hands of Aaron, and in the hands of his sons; and shalt wave them for a wave offering before the LORD.

25 And thou shalt receive them of their hands, and burn them upon the altar for a burnt offering, for a sweet savour before the LORD: it is an offering made by fire unto the LORD.

26 And thou shalt take the breast of the ram of Aaron’s consecration, and wave it for a wave offering before the LORD: and it shall be thy part.

27 And thou shalt sanctify the breast of the wave offering, and the shoulder of the heave offering, which is waved, and which is heaved up, of the ram of the consecration, even of that which is for Aaron, and of that which is for his sons:

28 And it shall be Aaron’s and his sons’ by a statute for ever from the children of Israel: for it is an heave offering: and it shall be an heave offering from the children of Israel of the sacrifice of their peace offerings, even their heave offering unto the LORD.

29 And the holy garments of Aaron shall be his sons’ after him, to be anointed therein, and to be consecrated in them.

30 And that son that is priest in his stead shall put them on seven days, when he cometh into the tabernacle of the congregation to minister in the holy place.

31 And thou shalt take the ram of the consecration, and seethe his flesh in the holy place.

32 And Aaron and his sons shall eat the flesh of the ram, and the bread that is in the basket by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

33 And they shall eat those things wherewith the atonement was made, to consecrate and to sanctify them: but a stranger shall not eat thereof, because they are holy.

34 And if ought of the flesh of the consecrations, or of the bread, remain unto the morning, then thou shalt burn the remainder with fire: it shall not be eaten, because it is holy.

35 And thus shalt thou do unto Aaron, and to his sons, according to all things which I have commanded thee: seven days shalt thou consecrate them.

36 And thou shalt offer every day a bullock for a sin offering for atonement: and thou shalt cleanse the altar, when thou hast made an atonement for it, and thou shalt anoint it, to sanctify it.

37 Seven days thou shalt make an atonement for the altar, and sanctify it; and it shall be an altar most holy: whatsoever toucheth the altar shall be holy.

The continual burnt-offerings, God’s promise to dwell among Israel

38 Now this is that which thou shalt offer upon the altar; two lambs of the first year day by day continually.

39 The one lamb thou shalt offer in the morning; and the other lamb thou shalt offer at even:

40 And with the one lamb a tenth deal of flour mingled with the fourth part of an hin of beaten oil; and the fourth part of an hin of wine for a drink offering.

41 And the other lamb thou shalt offer at even, and shalt do thereto according to the meat offering of the morning, and according to the drink offering thereof, for a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto the LORD.

42 This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD: where I will meet you, to speak there unto thee.

43 And there I will meet with the children of Israel, and the tabernacle shall be sanctified by my glory.

44 And I will sanctify the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar: I will sanctify also both Aaron and his sons, to minister to me in the priest’s office.

45 And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God.

46 And they shall know that I am the LORD their God, that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them: I am the LORD their God.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 2. Wafers, (lagana.) They knead them with water, and afterwards fry or bake them with oil. S. Isid. Such wafers are very common in Italy. C.

Ver. 4. Washed. The pagans never approached their mysteries, without divers purifications and washing. S. Clem. strom. 5. Exterior cleanliness was designed to signify the purity of the heart, with which we must appear before God. C. — It is for this reason we take holy-water, when we go into our chapels, and we wash our fingers before and during Mass. H.

Ver. 5. Vestments. No mention is made of breeches, because they had them on, while they were washing. V. Bede. — Belt. Sept. have read esson, instead of chesheb. “Thou shalt tie the rational to the ephod.” C.

Ver. 7. Pour, in the form of a cross or T, according to many of the Rabbin, &c. The inferior priests were anointed only on the hands. The Levites were sprinkled with oil, mixed with the blood of the victims. The custom of anointing prophets, priests, and kings, was peculiar to the Jews; as if to foreshow Christ, the great anointed of the Lord. S. Aug. Ps. xliv. Dan. ix. 24.

Ver. 10. Head. Confessing that they are sinners, and deserve to die. Thus they shall substitute the victim instead of themselves, and obtain pardon. In the holocaust, (v. 15,) and the peace-offering, (v. 19,) they impose their hands, having first washed them) and pronounce some prayer. C.

Ver. 11. Beside. Al, is now wanting in the printed Heb. and Sam. though expressed by the Protestant translators, (who often help their text) and by all the ancient versions. Kennicott mentions one MS. which retains it very properly. H. — The victim was offered on the altar of holocausts, before the tabernacle, the seat of God’s majesty. C. — Moses was the priest on this occasion. M. Ps. xcviii. 6.

Ver. 12. Horns. This was done in all the sacrifices of expiation. After Aaron was ordained, he carried the blood into the sanctuary, for the sins of all. C.

Ver. 13. Burnt-offering, (incensum.) To evaporate like incense. M. — God requires what is most fat and delicious. C. — The Persians never reserved any of the victims for their idols, except the caul. Strabo xv.

Ver. 14. Sin of the high priest and people. In the other sin-offerings, this was not done. M.

Ver. 16. About, upon the altar, and at the foot of it. So the pagans did. Euseb. præp. iv. 9.

Ver. 18. Victim. Heb. ishe, means a whole burnt-offering.

Ver. 20. Tip, or “softer par.t” Sept. This ceremony insinuated, that the priests ought to be all attentive, and perform their office with diligence. Philo. Vit. Mos. 3.

Ver. 22. Rump, or tail, for which the sheep of Arabia were famed; some having tails three yards long, others a yard thick. Herodot. iii. 113. They weighed from 12 to 30 pounds, and were almost all fat. C.

Ver. 23. Roll. (torta) Heb. kikkar, “a loaf.” Sept. “a loaf or cake of oil.” H.

Ver. 24. Elevating, and then letting them descend towards the earth. After which, Moses lifted the victims towards the east and west, and from north to south, to shew that God is the Sovereign of the world. R. Solomon. — Cato (Rustic. 34,) mentions a similar custom, of agitating or waving bread, in honour of Janus and of Jupiter. C.

Ver. 28. Israel. As these parts have been offered by Aaron to the Lord, so the Israelites shall present them to him and his sons, when they offer sacrifice. M. — All the different kinds of victims were immolated on this occasion, because the priests were consecrated to offer them all. D.

Ver. 29. Vesture. A new one was not made for every high priest. C. — One of the other priests had to perform the ceremony of consecration. M.

Ver. 30. Days. During which he could not leave the sanctuary. Levit. viii. 33. On each day, the aforesaid ceremonies were to be repeated, v. 35.

Ver. 31. Holy place. The court of the tabernacle, where a constant fire was kept, to prepare the food of the priests, and sometimes of others, who wished to eat their share of the victims in the presence of the Lord.

Ver. 33. Stranger. The Levites themselves could not partake of these things.

Ver. 37. Seven. This number is frequently prescribed in Scripture. Balaam required seven altars, (Num. xxiii.) and the Egyptians never spent less than seven days in their expiations. Porphyr. Abstin. 4. C. — Shall be holy, consecrated according to this rite, (M.) or defiled; for sacred things purify those who approach in a proper manner, while they defile or increase the guilt of the unworthy. C. — By the unleavened bread, (v. 23,) we are reminded of the blessed eucharist; and by oil, of the grace of the spirit. D.

Ver. 39. Morning. About sun-rise. — Evening, or between the two vespers. Ex. xii. 6. The lambs were provided by the people; flour, wine, and oil, by the priests. Philo. — The wine was poured at the foot of the altar, the flour and oil were burnt upon it, and not placed on the head of the victim, as was customary among the pagans, frontique invergit vina sacerdos. Virg. vi. Maimon. By these sacrifices, God was to be adored as the author both of day and night; (M.) and we are admonished of our duty of praying to him, particularly at those times. H. — All the sacrifices prefigured that of Christ, (S. Aug. c. advers. i. 18,) but none more than these of lambs. Orig. in Jo. W.

Ver. 40. Part of an epha, half of which was used in each sacrifice.

Ver. 43. Glory, or presence, or by the flame which shall come down from heaven to consume the victim. Lev. ix. 24. C.