Exodus Chapter 29
Verses 1-37: The consecration of the priests (“hallow them”), was so significant in Israel’s history that an entire chapter is devoted to this dedication ceremony, which included a series of sacrifices: first, a “bull” for a “sin offering;” then two rams, one of them for a “burnt offering;” a “wave offering;” and a “heave-offering.” By placing their “hands” on the animal’s “head”, the priests symbolically acknowledged their own sin and need of cleansing (Lev. 17:11; Heb. 9:22).
Exodus 29:1 “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,”
The ones chosen to begin the priesthood could not enter into office without Moses’ conducting a solemn, 7-day investiture (verses 4:35 and Lev. 8:1-36), involving washing, dressing, anointing, sacrificing, daubing and sprinkling with blood and eating.
We see that God not only set Aaron and his sons aside to minister in the temple, but they were to be consecrated to the Lord by ceremony. This calling by Almighty God was to be consecrated by the shedding of blood. Moses was to consecrate Aaron and his sons. The garments were part of this consecration. These linen garments that they were to take on, were symbolic of righteousness. The most important thing a priest had to be was to be in right standing with God.
Exodus 29:2 “And unleavened bread, and cakes unleavened tempered with oil, and wafers unleavened anointed with oil: [of] wheaten flour shalt thou make them.”
To signify both themselves and their services must be sincere, and free from all hypocrisy and wickedness.
“Cakes unleavened tempered with oil”: Denoting that all their oblations and services must be under the influence of divine grace.
“Wheaten flour”: The best part of the principal grain, to show that God must be served with the best.
“Unleavened bread” is symbolic of the body of the Lord Jesus Christ. “Unleavened” means free from sin. “Oil” is symbolic of the Holy Spirit of God. We might say that not only does a minister of God need Jesus in his life, but he needs the Holy Spirit as well. This is not a maybe, but a must. The “wheat” is symbolic of the believers in Jesus Christ. You know the Scripture says let the wheat (Christians), and the tares (unsaved), grow together until the end. This unleavened bread is Jesus’ sinless body. The adding of the oil to the bread shows the Holy Spirit strengthening. Jesus’ body is the bread.
Exodus 29:3 “And thou shalt put them into one basket, and bring them in the basket, with the bullock and the two rams.”
The unleavened bread, cakes and wafers; this basket may be an emblem of the Gospel and the administration of it, in which Christ the bread of life is carried, and ministered to his people.
“And bring them in the basket, with the bullock and the two rams”: Not that the bullock and the rams were to be brought in the basket along with the bread, cakes, and wafers; but at the same time that they were brought to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. These were to be brought, led, or drove to the altar, in order to be slain and sacrificed.
A sin offering which was not associated with a burnt offering had never before been done before this consecration. This was a specific offering (a blood offering). This bullock would bear the sins of Aaron and his sons. This is like Jesus bearing the sins of the Christians. When the sin was symbolically laid upon the head of the bullock, then Moses slew the bullock. This bullock actually was killed by Moses (a shadow of God, in this instance). Jesus actually bore our sins and died on the cross to do away with the sin He had taken on Himself. The Scriptures even say, “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him…” (Isaiah 53:10). We see here, Moses shedding this blood of the bullock for the sins of Aaron and his sons. For a minister of God to be acceptable to God, he must first get forgiveness for his own sins.
Exodus 29:4 “And Aaron and his sons thou shalt bring unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shalt wash them with water.”
The place of the laver, not yet mentioned, but designed in God’s counsels, was between the brazen altar and the Tabernacle (Exodus 30:18), and consequently near the door of the latter. Rabbinical tradition says that it was not placed exactly opposite the door, but a little towards the south side of the court.
“Wash them with water. The manner in which these parts of the ceremonial were performed is minutely described, and in discovering their symbolical import, which indeed, is sufficiently plain and obvious, we have inspired authority to guide us. It signified the necessity and importance of moral purity or holiness (Isa 52:11; John 13:10; 2 Cor. 7:1; 1 Pet. 3:21). In like manner, the investiture with the holy garments signified their being clothed with righteousness (Rev. 19:8), and equipped as men active and well-prepared for the service of God. The anointing the high priest with oil denoted that he was to be filled with the influences of the Spirit, for the edification and delight of the church (Lev. 10:7; Psalm 45:7; Isa. 61:1; 1John 2:27), and as he was officially a type of Christ (Heb. 7:26; John 3:34; also Matt. 3:16; 11:29).
The next step, after repenting and being forgiven, is to be baptized. We see here, Moses washed them and made them ready for the new garments. Aaron and his sons had to put on the righteousness of Christ (linen garments).
Exodus 29:5 “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:”
Those described in the preceding chapter.
“The coat”: I.e., the linen tunic (Exodus 28:39). As the inner garment, this had to be put on first. Compare (Leviticus 8:7-9), where the investiture is more fully described, and is seen to have comprised nine acts:
(1) The putting on of the tunic;
(2) The girding of the tunic with the under-girdle;
(3) The putting on of the robe of the ephod;
(4) The putting on of the ephod;
(5) Girding with the curious girdle of the ephod;
(6) The putting on of the breastplate;
(7) The putting of the Urim and Thummim into the bag of the breastplate;
(8) The putting on of the mitre; and
(9) The attachment of the golden plate to the front of the mitre.
These minute directions may well be regarded as justifying those given in our own forms of service with respect to the vesting of bishops at the time of their consecration.
The process is repentance, baptism, separation, put on the righteousness of Christ and then put upon the minister the responsibilities of the congregation (with the garment and ephod, breastplate and girdle).
Exodus 29:6 “And thou shalt put the mitre upon his head, and put the holy crown upon the mitre.”
Which was made of linen, and was a wrap of linen about his head in the form of a turban.
“And put the holy crown upon the mitre”: The holy crown was a plate of gold which had these words, “holiness to the Lord”, engraved on it; and so says the Targum of Jonathan, “on which the holy name was engraved;”. The mitre was upon the top of his head, this in the forefront of that; it was upon Aaron’s forehead, and reached from ear to ear, and was fastened behind with a blue lace. This was like a crown or a diadem, and denotes the honor and dignity of the priestly office. Christ is a priest on his throne, and his saints are a royal priesthood, even kings as well as priests unto God.
We see that the Holiness of the Lord must be put into the mind of the minister of God and then the authority (crown) is put on.
Exodus 29:7 “Then shalt thou take the anointing oil, and pour [it] upon his head, and anoint him.”
The oil mentioned (in Exodus 25:6), and recently glanced at (in Exodus 28:41). On its composition (see Exodus 30:23-25).
“Pour it upon his head”: As this typified cleansing from sin, so the anointing was emblematic of the outpouring of Divine grace upon the person anointed. The pouring of the oil on Aaron’s head was perhaps to indicate the freeness and abundance with which God gives His grace to His servants (compare Psalm 133:2).
This was covering him with the Holy Spirit (oil), of God.
Exodus 29:8 “And thou shalt bring his sons, and put coats upon them.”
Order the sons of Aaron to come to the same place where he was.
“And put coats upon them”: Such as were ordered to be made for them (Exodus 28:40).
Exodus 29:9 “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.”
Aaron with the girdle of the ephod, and with the girdle of needlework, and his sons with common girdles made for them. All which showed what strength, diligence, and expedition were necessary for the discharge of their office.
“And put the bonnets on them”: Upon their heads, which differed only from the high priest’s mitre in the manner of rolling or wrapping, as has been observed (on Exodus 28:39).
“And the priest’s office shall be theirs for a perpetual statute”: That is, shall descend from father to son in Aaron’s family throughout all generations, until the Messiah should come. Who would be a priest of another order, and put an end to the Aaronic priesthood, by fulfilling what that was a type of, and so abolishing it.
“And thou shall consecrate Aaron and his sons”; or “fill the hand of them”. That is, with sacrifices to offer for themselves and others (see note on Exodus 28:41). The Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan are, “shall offer the offering of Aaron, and the offering of his sons,” of which there is an after account, and was one part of their consecration.
The “consecration” was the same for the priest as for the high priest. The difference was in the garments they wore and in their authority.
Exodus 29:10 “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.”
Rather, the bullock: i.e., the bullock mentioned (in Exodus 29:1), which was to be kept in readiness for the consecration sacrifice.
“Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the bullock”: By this symbolical action, which was commanded in the case of every sin offering (Lev. 4:4; 4:15; 4:24; 4:29; 4:33; 16:21), the offeror identified himself with the animal, and transferred to it the guilt of his own sins and imperfections. The animal thereby became accursed, and its death paid the penalty due to the sins laid upon it, and set free those who had committed them. Similarly, Christ, our sin offering, was “made a curse for us” (Gal. 3:13).
Exodus 29:11 “And thou shalt kill the bullock before the LORD, [by] the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.”
That is, Moses is ordered to do it, who now officiated as a priest, “pro tempore”. Aaron and his sons not being yet completely invested with that office, or thoroughly consecrated to it; of which consecration this sacrifice was a part, and therefore could not with propriety be concerned in killing their own sacrifice. For that purpose, Moses therefore did it, and he did it “before the Lord”. Jehovah the Son gave him those orders to do it before Jehovah the Father, in his presence, as an offering to him, and for his acceptance. And the ark, as Aben Ezra observes, was in the middle westward, and right against it was the altar of incense, and opposite that the altar of burnt offering.
“By the door of the tabernacle of the congregation”: That is, as Jarchi interprets it, in the court of the tabernacle before the door. Not by the door by which they entered in to the court of the tabernacle; but in the court before the door that leads in to the holy at some distance from which stood the altar of burnt offering, where this bullock was slain and sacrificed. All this may denote the public manner in which Christ, the antitype, suffered in the presence of the Lord, with his knowledge and will, and before the people of Israel.
Exodus 29:12 “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.”
It has been already noticed that the virtue of the altar was considered to reside especially in its horns; hence fugitives clung to them (1 Kings 1:50). In all sin offerings it was required:
(1) That some of the victim’s blood should be smeared upon the altar’s horns; and
(2) That the remainder should be poured at its base (Lev. 4:7; 4:18; 4:30; 4:34).
We see again, the way is the same for every one. The way is through the shed blood of Jesus.
Exodus 29:13 “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.”
Whole burnt offerings were, comparatively speaking, of rare occurrence in the ancient world. Usually, parts only of the victims were consumed by fire upon the altar. The greater portion was either eaten by the priests and the worshippers, or burnt elsewhere than on the altar. Among the parts regarded as most fitting to be consumed on the altar, the fat always held a high place. This is to be accounted for either by its being considered a delicacy, or by the readiness with which it caught fire and kindled into a clear bright blaze.
This was actually the insides of this ram. We see that the inward parts would be burned on the altar of bronze, and the other part would be taken out of the camp. This fat, kidneys and other inward parts were burned as a sweet savor unto the Lord. The spiritual meaning to this perhaps had to do with the inward parts of the Lord being holy, as well as the outward. We can see in all this that inside where battles are really won, that Jesus’ will became the will of the Father.
Exodus 29:14 “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.”
(Compare Lev. 4:11-12; 4:21; Heb. 13:11-13). This was the general rule with sin offerings. The whole animal was reckoned too impure for any portion of it to be suitable for human food.
“His dung”: That which the intestines contained at the time of death.
We see in this, Jesus being crucified without the city wall. This flesh was symbolic of the body of Jesus Christ.
Exodus 29:15 “Thou shalt also take one ram; and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the ram.”
One of the two he was bid to take (Exodus 29:1).
“And Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the ram”: Confessing their sins, acknowledging their guilt, and by this act transferring the same to the ram, which was to be a burnt offering, and was typical of the imputation of sin to Christ, as before observed.
We see in this; the altar being cleansed by the blood. Aaron and his sons had transferred their sins to this ram, when they laid their hands upon his head.
Exodus 29:16 “And thou shalt slay the ram, and thou shalt take his blood, and sprinkle [it] round about upon the altar.”
As he was ordered to slay the bullock, acting in this as a priest.
“And thou shall take his blood, and sprinkle it round about upon the altar”. The blood being received into a basin, it was not to be put upon the altar with the finger, as the blood of the bullock. But was to be sprinkled probably with a bunch of hyssop, round about upon the altar, on the top and sides. As the deity of Christ is the altar which sanctifies every gift, this may signify that his blood has its virtue and efficacy from that, to make atonement for the sins of men, and to cleanse them from them.
Exodus 29:17 “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.”
For the better convenience of laying it upon the wood on the altar, that it might be burnt; for it was to be a whole burnt offering.
“And wash the inwards of him, and his legs”. Denoting the purity of the sacrifice of Christ, and that when his people give up themselves to God as a whole burnt offering. In the flames of love and zeal, their affections should be pure and sincere.
“And put them unto his pieces, and unto his head”: Lay them together, so that they might be entirely consumed at once. Signifying that Christ was both in soul and body an offering and a sacrifice of a sweet smelling savor to God. Zeal for the honor of whose house, and the glory of his name, ate him up, as well as the fire of divine wrath. And so our whole souls, bodies and spirits, should be presented to the Lord as a holy, living, and acceptable sacrifice to him.
Exodus 29:18 “And thou shalt burn the whole ram upon the altar: it [is] a burnt offering unto the LORD: it [is] a sweet savor, an offering made by fire unto the LORD.”
A burnt offering, as representing self-sacrifice, was entirely acceptable to God; the whole might be consumed upon the altar. It was otherwise with sin offerings, of which only certain parts could be thus offered. (Compare Exodus 29:14; and see Lev. 4:12; 4:21).
“It is a sweet savor”: Or “a smell of rest”, in which God acquiesces, and rests, and takes delight and pleasure. It is, as the Septuagint version, “For a smell of sweet savor”: Or a sweet smelling savor; which phrase the apostle makes use of, and applies to the sacrifice of Christ (Eph. 5:2).
“An offering made by fire unto the Lord”: Which being consumed by fire ascended upwards to the Lord, and became acceptable to him, as the sacrifice of his own Son, in his fiery sufferings and death, was unto him.
We see above, the examination and cleansing of the offering. Jesus was without blemish. The offering was acceptable unto God. This was a sweet savor to God.
Exodus 29:19″And thou shalt take the other ram; and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the ram.”
The other of the two that was left (Exodus 29:1).
“And Aaron and his sons shall put their hands on the head of the ram”: As they were to do, and did, upon the head of the “other (see note on Exodus 29:15).
Exodus 29:20 “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.”
Daubing blood on the right ear, hand, and big toe symbolically sanctified the ear to hear the Word of God, the hand to do the work of God, and the foot to walk in the way of God.
The putting of the blood on the right ear was to consecrate the hearing. These ears would be very careful what came into this being. Believers’ ears have been purchased by the shed blood of Jesus. We should not listen to anything that would not be pleasing unto God. This includes not listening to temptation of any kind. By the shed blood of Jesus, we have ears that have been set aside to hear only the things of God. The right hand throughout Scripture, indicates power. The priestly hand had been consecrated to handle gifts of the temple. They were told of God to touch no unclean thing.
Putting the blood on the great toe of the right foot can only mean that our every step should be guided by God. We should not ever go anywhere that we could not take the Lord. I believe this is telling us that the path of righteousness is to be the day-by-day walk of the Christian: a separated walk, a consecrated walk, a walk Jesus can go with you.
Exodus 29:21 “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.”
The twofold sprinkling, with blood and with oil, denoted the necessity of a twofold holiness; that of justification by the atoning blood of Christ, and that of sanctification by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The anointing which is here spoken of seems to have been the only anointing received by the sons of Aaron (See Lev. 8:30).
Here, we see not only the body consecrated, but everything that belonged to him. Christians must realize that even our garments must be dedicated to God. God does not want just a portion of us, He wants all of us. To be a minister, or even a witness for God, we must be dedicated to Him with all that we have. Even the way we dress should show who we belong to. We can witness without ever opening our mouth in the way we dress, act, and conduct our daily lives. They were made holy by the blood, just as we are made holy unto the Lord by His shed blood.
Exodus Chapter 29 Questions
1. Why was Moses to hallow Aaron and his sons?
2. How were they to be consecrated?
3. The linen garments were symbolic of what?
4. What type of bread was used?
5. What type of flour was used?
6. What is unleavened bread symbolic of?
7. Oil is symbolic of what?
8. Wheat is symbolic of what?
9. Jesus’ __________ is the bread.
10. What was the bread brought with? (two things)
11. What was Moses to do first, after they were brought to the brazen altar?
12. What did this symbolize?
13. What would this bullock bear?
14. What is the first thing a minister of God must do before he is acceptable to God?
15. What is the next step?
16. What did putting on the new garments mean?
17. What do the horns of the altar mean?
18. What was the blood of the bullock symbolic of?
19. Why was this blood put all around the altar?
20. What three places on Aaron’s body would the blood be put and why?
21. What did putting on of the mitre and crown show us?
22. Why did Moses pour oil on them?
23. What was to be done with the inward parts of the bullock?
24. This burnt offering was a ________ _________ unto the Lord.
25. The right hand, in Scripture indicated what?
26. What portion of our life, if we are a Christian, should be dedicated to God?