Leviticus Chapter 9
Verses 1-24: This chapter relates the inauguration of the tabernacle service. Aaron first offered a “young calf for a sin offering” and “a ram for a burnt offering” for himself. He had already been washed, clothed, and anointed for service. Thus, it might seem surprising that he is so soon to offer up a sin offering. Yet this is a reminder of our need of daily cleansing from sin due to its defilement. The “young calf” was unique; for no other person at any time was such a sacrifice needed. It is possible that the connection is with his preparing a golden calf (in Exodus chapter 32). The burnt offering symbolized his need for consecration wholly to God. For the people in addition to a sin offering and a burnt offering, there were to be presented a “meat” [grain] “offering” and “a sacrifice of peace offerings”. The “grain offering” symbolized the consecration to God of the fruit of one’s labor. It indicated that all of their toil or activities should be dedicated to God. And the “peace offerings” conveyed the concept of fellowship and communion with God.
Leviticus 9:1 ” And it came to pass on the eighth day, [that] Moses called Aaron and his sons, and the elders of Israel;”
When the seven days of consecration were ended, as Ben Gersom. The day following them, so soon was Aaron called to the execution of his office. And so, both the Targum of Jonathan and Jarchi make it to be the eighth day of the consecration. Or the day after the anointing of Aaron and his sons, and which they both say was the beginning. Or first day of Nisan, the day the tabernacle was erected by Moses. But that seems to have been set up before the consecration. Rather this was, as Aben Ezra says, the eighth day of the month Nisan or March, and was the eighth day of the consecration. Which began at the first day, on which day the tabernacle was set up (Exodus 40:2).
“That Moses, called Aaron and his sons, and the elders of Israel”: Aaron and his sons to enter upon their office, by offering sacrifices for themselves, and for the people, and the elders to be witnesses thereof.
The number 8, throughout the Bible, means new beginnings. Just as a son was circumcised on the eighth day of life, we find that Aaron was completely consecrated for the priesthood on the 8th day. Aaron was in his days of consecration 7 days and now on the eighth day, he will take on the office of high priest. From the eighth day on, Aaron will be carrying on the office of high priest in the tabernacle. At first, Moses will still be advising Aaron of God’s will, but Aaron will be handling the offerings as high priest. The elders of Israel were called, so they would realize it was God’s will for Aaron and his sons to take care of the people’s needs toward God in the tabernacle. Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week. Grace is a new beginning in Christ. An Old Testament account which strongly speaks of new beginnings, is the account of Noah, his wife, his 3 sons, and their wives. These 8 would start over again to populate the earth. I think all of this leaves no doubt that 8 means new beginnings.
Leviticus 9:2 “And he said unto Aaron, Take thee a young calf for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering, without blemish, and offer [them] before the LORD.”
In the presence of the people of Israel.
“Take thee a young calf for a sin offering”: One not exceeding a year old (as in Lev. 9:3). But this was not for the sin of making the golden calf only, to which the Jewish writers restrain it. But for all other sins of his, which it was necessary should be expiated before he offered sacrifices for the sins of others.
“And a ram for a burnt offering”: Being a strong and innocent creature, was a proper emblem of Christ, the Lamb of God that takes away, by his sacrifice, the sins of men.
“Without blemish”: This character belongs, as Aben Ezra observes, both to the calf and ram, which were both to be without spot. And so, proper types of Christ the Lamb without spot and blemish, free both from original and actual sin.
“And offer them before the Lord”: On the altar of burnt offering, which stood in the court of the tabernacle near where Jehovah was. To whom every sacrifice for sin was to be offered, being committed against him, and whose justice must be satisfied for it.
The biggest difference here, is that Aaron will be the one to offer the animal, not Moses. Because Aaron is not fully trained in all of this, Moses will direct the next several offerings. We notice in this the guiding hand of Moses, but the actual killing and offering is done by Aaron.
Leviticus 9:3 “And unto the children of Israel thou shalt speak, saying, Take ye a kid of the goats for a sin offering; and a calf and a lamb, [both] of the first year, without blemish, for a burnt offering;”
That is, Aaron should speak to them, for being now high priest, Moses had no more to do with the sacrifices of the people. But it was incumbent on Aaron to call upon them to bring them to him such as the Lord by this law required of them.
“Saying, take ye a kid of the goats for a sin offering”: This creature fitly represented Christ as made sin, and an offering for sin, instead of his people.
“And a calf, and a lamb”: Both of them, as before observed, were proper emblems of Christ in his strength and innocence. Sometimes called the fatted calf, and frequently the Lamb of God (Luke 15:23; John 1:29).
“Both of the first year, without blemish, for a burnt offering”: Denoting the tenderness of Christ, his spotless purity, and painful sufferings.
Leviticus 9:4 “Also a bullock and a ram for peace offerings, to sacrifice before the LORD; and a meat offering mingled with oil: for today the LORD will appear unto you.”
An offering being made for the atonement of sin, and the gift of a whole burnt offering accepted by the Lord upon that. Peace offerings were to be sacrificed thereupon. One part of which belonged to the Lord, as the fat and the blood; another part to the priest, as the shoulder and the breast. And the rest to the owners to make a feast with, expressive of the peace and joy which arise from the expiation and atonement of sin. By the great sacrifice of Christ, in commemoration of which a feast is kept by the Lord’s people.
“And a meat offering mingled with oil”: With oil olive; each of these offerings are treated of in the preceding chapters, where an account is given of them, and the mystery of them explained.
“For today the Lord will appear unto you”: Or “And today”, as in (Lev. 9:6) so Noldius. For this is not observed as a reason why the sacrifices were to be offered, but as a promise of the divine appearance, as an encouragement thereunto. And may have special respect to some visible splendor and luster of the divine glory more than ordinary. And particularly to the fire that should come out from before the Lord, and consume the sacrifice (Lev. 9:24). And so, Ben Gersom interprets it. And this being on the eighth day of the consecration of the priests, may lead our thoughts to the day when our great High Priest rose from the dead, the day after the seventh. Or the Jewish Sabbath, even on the eighth day, or first day of the week, on which he made frequent appearances to his disciples (see Mark 16:9).
This coming and bringing these offerings to the door of the tabernacle by the people, is saying they have accepted Aaron as the high priest. Up until this time, you remember, they would only listen to Moses. You remember from previous lessons, that the high priest was to offer for himself first, so that God would allow him to offer for the people. The high priest’s sins must be offered for, before he would be worthy to offer for the people. Ministers must be clean in the sight of God, before they can minister the things of God to the people. In some churches in recent days, we have seen ministers with sins in their lives trying to minister to the people. God calls this the blind leading the blind. Let us read the reference Scripture and see what happens when the blind lead the blind.
Matthew 15:14 “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.”
We will not get back into the meaning of each of these offerings here, as we have thoroughly covered them in a previous lesson. I believe in the statement (I will appear before you), has to do with God wanting us to seek contact with Him. The Scripture says where 2 or 3 gather in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
Leviticus 9:5 “And they brought [that] which Moses commanded before the tabernacle of the congregation: and all the congregation drew near and stood before the LORD.”
That is, Aaron and his sons, and all the children of Israel, as the Targum of Jonathan paraphrases it. All the above sacrifices they brought into the court of the tabernacle to be offered up.
“And all the congregation drew near, and stood before the Lord”: That is, the elders of Israel, who were called together (Lev. 9:1). The heads of the tribes who represented the people. As many as well could be admitted into the court no doubt was to be spectators of Aaron and his sons officiating first in their new office. And to see their own sacrifices offered. And they stood over against where was the symbol of the divine Presence. And the Targum of Jonathan says, they stood with a perfect heart. And no doubt but they were heartily sincere and upright in their sacrifices, as they had been in their donations toward the building the tabernacle, and providing things belonging to it. And they stood with all humility, reverence, and devotion.
In our society today, we hear people (who claim to be Christians), saying that they do not need to go to church. This is a trick of the devil. The Scriptures tell us to gather in the LORD’s name.
Hebrews 10:25 “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
We must all stand before the LORD on judgement day. It would be much better, if we stand before Him now, so that He will claim us as His own then. We see in the Scripture above that not just a few came, but the entire congregation.
Habakkuk 2:20 “But the LORD [is] in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.”
Leviticus 9:6 “And Moses said, This [is] the thing which the LORD commanded that ye should do: and the glory of the LORD shall appear unto you.”
Namely, what they had done, bring the creatures and things for sacrifice they had.
“And the glory of the Lord shall appear unto you”: Either Christ, the brightness of his Father’s glory, in a human form, as a presage of his future incarnation, as he frequently did. Or some more than ordinary refulgence of glory breaking out of the Holy of Holies. Where God had now taken up his dwelling between the cherubim. Or, as Aben Ezra explains it, the fire that should go out from him, and consume the sacrifice. Which would be a demonstration of his presence with them, and of his acceptance of the sacrifice.
We sing a chorus at our church which says (I want to see Jesus). How can we see God?
Matthew 5:8 “Blessed [are] the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”
Glory in the verse above, means splendor. This will perhaps, be the Shekinah glory of God. When we appear before the LORD, we must be pure in our heart. Even though we Christians are forgiven, we should still have a repentant heart.
Leviticus 9:7 “And Moses said unto Aaron, Go unto the altar, and offer thy sin offering, and thy burnt offering, and make an atonement for thyself, and for the people: and offer the offering of the people, and make an atonement for them; as the LORD commanded.”
This is only observed to show, that as Aaron did not take upon him this office of himself. But was called unto it, and invested with it, by the appointment of God. So, neither did he enter upon it but through the call of God by Moses, in the sight of the congregation.
“Go unto the altar, and offer thy sin offering, and thy burnt offering”: The young calf and ram.
“And make an atonement for thyself and for the people”: First for himself, and then for the people. For, as Aben Ezra says, a man cannot atone for another until he is pure from all sin. Which is a character only to be found in Christ, our great High Priest. And so, a proper person to atone for and take away the sins of others. Hence the priests under the law, with their sacrifices, could never take away sin really, only typically. And this shows the imperfection of the Levitical priesthood, that the priests of that order were obliged to offer first for their own sins. This our high priest, of another order, needed not to do (see Heb. 7:27).
“And offer the offering of the people, and make atonement for them”: Typical of the true and full atonement made by Christ, when he offered himself without spot to God.
“As the Lord commanded”: Aaron to do, and as he commanded Christ, his Son and our surety. The antitype of Aaron (John 10:18).
We went into great detail in the first few lessons in Leviticus about how these offerings opened the way to the Father. If you will, these sacrifices and offerings reconciled them to God. Jesus, who is our sacrifice and offering, opened the way to the Father for us. The curtain to the holy of holies tore from the top to the bottom when Jesus’ body died on the cross. This tearing of the curtain was not of man’s doing. It was opened by Jesus for all who will believe.
Matthew 27:51 “And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;”
Atonement, above, means to cover or cancel. In the case of the offerings Aaron made, it covered; in the case where Jesus offered Himself, it cancelled the sin.
Leviticus 9:8 “Aaron therefore went unto the altar, and slew the calf of the sin offering, which [was] for himself.”
Of burnt offering, freely and cheerfully, at the direction and introduction of Moses. Who acted in this affair in the name of the Lord.
“And slew the calf of the sin offering, which was for himself”: Which was to be offered first, as it was proper it should, that, atonement being made for his sins, his after burnt offering might be accepted with God. And he be fit to offer the sacrifices of the people. The calf he slew on the north side of the altar, where all the sin offerings and burnt offerings were slain (see Lev. 1:11).
We see from this that Aaron gave his offering first, so that he would be worthy of making the other offerings for the people.
Leviticus 9:9 “And the sons of Aaron brought the blood unto him: and he dipped his finger in the blood, and put [it] upon the horns of the altar, and poured out the blood at the bottom of the altar:”
The blood of the calf of the sin offering, which they had received in a basin when it was slain.
“And he dipped his finger in the blood, and put it upon the horns of the altar. The four horns of it, as Moses had done at his consecration, which was an example to him (Lev. 8:15). This was typical of the blood of Christ, to which persons may have recourse from the four quarters of the world for atonement and pardon.
“And poured out the blood at the bottom of the altar”: What remained after he had put what was proper on the horns of it.
The only thing we need to remember here, is that the horns show power or strength. The strength lies in the blood of Jesus.
Leviticus 9:10 “But the fat, and the kidneys, and the caul above the liver of the sin offering, he burnt upon the altar; as the LORD commanded Moses.”
The Septuagint version is, “he offered them”.
“As the Lord commanded Moses (see Lev. 4:8).
We remember from previous lessons that the fat, blood, and inward parts all belong to God. They are burned as a sweet savor to God.
Leviticus 9:11 “And the flesh and the hide he burnt with fire without the camp.”
With common fire, for the fire from the Lord came only upon the altar. Which perhaps may be the reason of this expression being used when anything was burnt without the camp, and not on the altar (see Exodus 29:14). Jarchi observes, that we do not find a sin offering burnt without the camp but this. Which is a great mistake (see Lev. 4:11).
The one important thing to remember here is that this flesh is symbolic of Jesus’ body which was offered outside the city wall.
Leviticus 9:12 “And he slew the burnt offering; and Aaron’s sons presented unto him the blood, which he sprinkled round about upon the altar.”
The ram, which was for himself also. This he slew at the north side of the altar (Lev. 1:11).
“And Aaron’s sons presented unto him the blood”: Which they had received into a basin, when it was slain.
“Which he sprinkled round about upon the altar”: As he had seen Moses do before him (Lev. 8:19).
We dealt with these offerings in great detail in the first few lessons of this study. If you cannot remember the significance, go back and review those lessons. Aaron, even though he was to be high priest, had sinned and needed forgiveness, just as his sons did, and just as the congregation did. Aaron is a shadow of the great High Priest, Jesus Christ our Savior. The difference in Aaron and the person of Jesus which he shadowed, was that Jesus had no sin to be forgiven for.
Leviticus 9:13 “And they presented the burnt offering unto him, with the pieces thereof, and the head: and he burnt [them] upon the altar.”
After it was cut in pieces, as the ram of the burnt offering was by Moses (Lev. 8:20). And so it was done to this, as appears by what follows.
“With the pieces thereof, and the head, and he burnt them upon the altar”: The Septuagint version is, “he put them on the altar”.
Leviticus 9:14 “And he did wash the inwards and the legs, and burnt [them] upon the burnt offering on the altar.”
As Moses also had done (Lev. 8:21).
“And burnt them upon the burnt offering on the altar”: Upon the pieces, and the head, before mentioned. Said to be burnt, or “after” the burnt offering, after they were burnt. The Septuagint version is as before.
I would just like to bring one thing to your remembrance here. The washing was because God would not accept an unclean offering. Aaron did as he had been instructed.
Leviticus Chapter 9 Questions
1. On what day did Moses go back and call Aaron?
2. What is the Biblical meaning of the number 8?
3. What day was Aaron’s consecration into the priesthood complete?
4. What position in the priesthood would Aaron hold?
5. Why were the elders called to the tabernacle?
6. What day of the week did Jesus rise from the grave?
7. Grace is ___ _____ _______________ in Christ.
8. What Old Testament account speaks of new beginnings?
9. In Leviticus 9:2, what were the offerings Aaron was to make?
10. When does Aaron actually begin to do the offerings?
11. What wonderful thing had God promised the people after they made these offerings to Him?
12. What are the people saying they have accepted in bringing the offerings to the tabernacle?
13. Who had the people been used to speaking to God for them up until Aaron was named as high priest?
14. What do the Scriptures call ministers with sins trying to minister to their congregation?
15. What happens when the blind lead the blind?
16. What is intended by God saying “I will appear before you”?
17. Where do we find the Scripture that says where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them?
18. Where are we told in the Scriptures to gather in His name?
19. How can we see God?
20. Even though we Christians are forgiven, we should have a ______________ heart.
21. Who is directing Aaron in what he should do?
22. What reconciled the people of the Old Testament to God?
23. Who tore the curtain in the temple from the top down?
24. What 2 things does atonement mean?
25. Whose offering did Aaron make first?
26. What do the horns of the altar symbolize?
27. What 3 things of the animals always belonged to God?
28. Why was the flesh of this animal burned outside the camp?
29. What was the major difference in Aaron the high priest and Jesus the High Priest?
30. Why were the inwards washed before they were offered?
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