The Consecration of the Aaronic Priesthood, Part I
From time to time, people ask me about my credentials, usually about what denomination I am. I have no set answer for that. I usually say something like, I’m a Bible preacher. However, that just tells what I do, it doesn’t tell what brought me to this point.
I met the Lord in 2001. For the first two or so years after that, I read the Bible cover to cover about once a week. I never counted, but I read it at my store, and I was there about 70 hours a week. So unless someone walked in, that’s what I was doing. When I got home, I’d keep reading it. After I closed the store and went back into Wastewater, I kept reading it.
I also started answering Bible questions on the beach. You learn a lot more doing that, than you do just reading. When you’re put on the spot and look dumb, you determine not to do it again. Eventually, the county took over our wastewater plant, and I had no time for government employment.
And so I asked the preacher of the church I was at about what I needed to do in order to get ordained. He told me to get a Bible-college degree and he would ordain me. I did, and he didn’t. It wasn’t really his fault, but the story goes back to my beard. We’ll leave it at that.
After that, I called the pastor of Grace Baptist Church and he told me to come on over to Grace, let the congregation get to know me for a year, and then he and the deacons would determine if I was ordainable. I went, I was, and they did. After my year of probation, they held a pastor/deacon interrogation, going over the major points of theology, asking anything they wished on Bibliology, Theology Proper (including trinitarianism), Christology, Pneumatology, Angelology, Anthropology, Harmartiology, Soteriology, Ecclesiology, and Eschatology. After that, I had to preach a sermon or two in front of the church. And then… the congregation voted on the matter. Apparently, the beard wasn’t an issue there. They approved it, and I was ordained on 24 January 2010. That’s it in a nutshell. Well, I did wear a suit, a tie, shoes, and a beard on the day I was ordained.
Text Verse: “Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness,
And let Your saints shout for joy.” Psalm 132:9
We have already gone through all of the advanced details for the ordination of Aaron and his sons. Those sermons though had to be taken along with everything else concerning the sanctuary and all of its implements. Everything is tied together, and they form a united whole.
Even in today’s sermon, we cannot escape going back and picking out some of the details from the past. It’s simply not possible without missing a ton of the symbolism of what lies ahead for us. The verses in this chapter lack much of the detail that was given. Even though we will go back to form a broad brushstroke of Christ and His work, we will leave far more out than we will include.
There is just enough added so that you can be reminded that everything about this ordination process is, in type and picture, looking forward to Christ. The details are logical, orderly, and they add in some new information as well. More than anything, the order of what is stated, and the dignity of how everything is accomplished, is what we are to focus on today.
The Lord had called, and now the calling was being acted upon. Time and again in this chapter, the words “as the Lord commanded” are stated. There is a set procedure which He laid out, and that set procedure will be followed carefully. The importance of this is because of the typology. In order for the type to reflect the Anti-type, everything had to be exact.
Now, as we look back on these things, we can clearly see Christ revealed in them. In turn, we are given the surety that our hopes are placed in the right basket. The word we have been given is sure, the hope that we possess is well-grounded, and therefore the things which are promised to us, but are yet future, are certain to come to pass.
It’s all to be found in His… wait a minute! Just so you know, Aaron did have a beard as was the custom for all men in Israel. That too is to be found in His superior word, and so let’s turn to that precious word once again and… May God speak to us through His word today and may His glorious name ever be praised.
I. A Gathering at the Door of the Tent of Meeting (verses 1-5)
And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:
This is the customary set of words which indicate that a new train of thought is being introduced. In this case, it introduces a section which will last all the way through until verse 10:8. Until then, the ordination of Aaron and his sons will be highlighted in detail.
This ordination process follows directly from the instructions given to Moses concerning the making of the priestly garments in Exodus 28, and the instructions given for the ordination process in Exodus 29. And then, some instructions for what should be done in the official duties of the priest were given in Exodus 30. What was instructed then will be complied with now. At least this is so up to a point. In chapter 10, there will be a deviation from the instructions, and that deviation will result in death.
What is interesting, is that the ordination process that we will now see was directed to be accomplished in Exodus 40 as that book closed out. However, before actually accomplishing it, the Lord first explained the different types of sacrifices that would be handled by the priests. This is what we have seen for the past seven chapters. Only now, after giving those minute instructions, are the priests ready to be installed in their special priestly office.
It would make no sense to ordain priests for the office, and only then explain to them the procedures for the various sacrifices that they needed to perform. Everything is precise, logical, and perfectly laid out. Each step leads to the next, just as one would expect from an instruction manual for putting together a complicated piece of machinery.
2 “Take Aaron and his sons with him,
These words once again confirm what has already been seen earlier in Exodus. Aaron was not chosen by Moses because they were brothers, but rather Aaron was chosen by the Lord, and the Lord is now directing the ordination of the one he previously chose. It is intended to negate any feelings of favoritism by the other Israelites. Unfortunately, it is something that won’t actually occur until the Lord has to defend His choice at the expense of the lives of those who rebel against His decision.
2 (con’t) and the garments, the anointing oil, a bull as the sin offering, two rams, and a basket of unleavened bread;
The description for the garments was given in Exodus 28; those for the anointing oil in Exodus 30, and the requirement for the bull, the rams, and the bread was given in Exodus 29. In the Hebrew, several definite articles are used to indicate that these things are to comply with what was stated in those chapters. These things were minutely described, and so what was described is now expected to be brought forth. The words are very precise because the typology of Christ is not to be deviated from.
3 and gather all the congregation together at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.”
The words here indicate at least the elders of the assembly who represented their tribes. This is explicitly noted in 9:1. The elders of Israel represented the children of Israel. The size of the courtyard would not allow even a small portion of the people to meet in this location, and so their designated representatives would be witnesses. Any others who could fit in probably did, and it is only speculation, but possible, that others went up on the surrounding hillsides to witness the marvelous spectacle.
The “door” being specified is intended to prefigure Christ. There is the altar where the sacrifices will be made, there is the laver where the water for the washing will come from, but the door alone is specified. Jesus said, “I am the Door.” He is the door to the tent of meeting, or the spot where communion with God takes place. The wording is carefully given to show us what is on God’s mind. Even 1500 years before the coming of Christ, the ordination is shouting out what God would do through Him.
4 So Moses did as the Lord commanded him.
The Bible is replete with words like this. For Moses, it is a phrase commonly spoken of him. He was commanded by the Lord to follow certain procedures, and the Bible then notes his obedience to those commands. The same Bible exists today, and the question is, “Would the words recorded about you say the same thing, or would they say that you failed to do as the word of God spoke?”
When Moses did fail to do as instructed, it cost him dearly. That is coming up in the book of Numbers, and to this day his error is recorded for us to, hopefully, learn from. Your life is being recorded as well, and at some point, you will have to stand before the Lord and give an account for your actions. It is hoped that you won’t be ashamed at the time of your trial.
4 (con’t) And the congregation was gathered together at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.
It is a public consecration, and this for a couple of reasons. The first has already been explained, which is to show that Aaron was not simply selected by Moses because he was Moses’ brother, but rather it was because the Lord had selected him.
Secondly, because it was public, the people would then be, through their witnessing of the consecration, agreeing to the mediation of Aaron and his sons on their behalf. However many could fit into the courtyard would do so, and as the consecration went on for an entire week, people could come and go, allowing many to witness this national rite of ordination.
5 And Moses said to the congregation, “This is what the Lord commanded to be done.”
His words here sum up all of what he was presented while on Mount Sinai concerning the ordination process. He presented this to the people as the command of the Lord. As a congregation, they are now summoned together to perform that same word of the Lord which He had commanded.
Beautiful garments, so rich and glorious
To adorn the high priest of Israel
But they only point to our Lord victorious
In every detail there is a story to tell
In them we see His beauty, His splendor and glory
In them we see His work accomplished on behalf of us
Yes, in every detail there is a marvelous story
About the coming Christ; our Lord Jesus
And they tell yet more; that of which He does even now
They tell of His work interceding to the Father for us
For to Him God did all high priestly duties endow
Yes, He stands before His Father, our great Lord Jesus
II. The Consecration – Clothing and Anointing (verses 6-13)
6 Then Moses brought Aaron and his sons and washed them with water.
As part of the ordination process, Moses is to wash Aaron and his sons with water. This implies an entire washing of their bodies. At this strategic place, just between where the people were allowed to come, and the entrance to the place where the Lord dwelt, they were to be prepared for being acceptable to enter His presence.
The people being witnesses of this part of the process was intended to show them that they remained unclean and unacceptable to enter where their King was. Only those chosen and properly prepared could do so. After this full washing of their bodies, the laver will be used differently. This was seen in Exodus 30 –
“Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 18 “You shall also make a laver of bronze, with its base also of bronze, for washing. You shall put it between the tabernacle of meeting and the altar. And you shall put water in it, 19 for Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet in water from it. 20 When they go into the tabernacle of meeting, or when they come near the altar to minister, to burn an offering made by fire to the Lord, they shall wash with water, lest they die. 21 So they shall wash their hands and their feet, lest they die. And it shall be a statute forever to them—to him and his descendants throughout their generations.” Exodus 30:17-21
Each step, in both ordination and in daily duties, they are being progressively instructed in the holiness of God and the need to be pure and undefiled as they approach Him on behalf of the people. This washing pictures the total cleansing of the priests. In Aaron’s case, as the high priest, it symbolizes Christ’s perfect purity as our High Priest. It points to His baptism before He entered into His public service in order to fulfill all righteousness. For the sons of Aaron, it pictures those who follow Christ and are purified by His work. This is seen in John 13 where Christ said this –
“He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” John 13:10
John uses two different words there. One signifies a full bathing, the second indicates a lesser washing. Through Christ’s work, we are completely cleaned. We stand justified and free of guilt. However, we also continue to go through a process of sanctification where we need to be purified from time to time.
This is pictured in the priest’s need to wash their hands and their feet as they ministered to the Lord. These external washings signify the universal corruption of man and our need for external purification. The water pictures the spiritual regeneration which occurs when we are set apart by Christ.
Only after the washing was accomplished were the garments then put on them. In the case of Aaron, his garments are emblematic of the divine work of Christ. He will next have seven articles placed upon Him – a tunic, a sash, a robe, an ephod, a breastplate, and a turban. Each represents an aspect of Christ’s work. Together, they form a picture of Christ, the Prophet, Priest, and King who is completely distinct and set apart from all others.
In the case of Aaron and his sons though, the cleansing now gives clear symbolic significance. It is to demonstrate, in type and shadow, that cleansing from sin must precede being clothed in righteousness and the anointing of the Spirit. Without being first cleansed, no person can draw near to God or be shown His favor through the sealing of the Spirit.
7 And he put the tunic on him,
The kethoneth, or tunic was first mentioned in Exodus 28:4, where it was called a “skillfully woven tunic.” It was mentioned again in Exodus 28:39 where it was said to be made of fine linen thread. An unusual Hebrew word, shabats, was used to describe it. That word means that it was made of a checkered weaving pattern, thus indicating something set or fixed. Flavius Josephus said that it was, “a tunic circumscribing or closely encompassing the body, and having tight sleeves for the arms.”
This garment pictures Christ’s righteousness which is checkered into His being. It is set and unchanging. As it is the garment closest to the body of Aaron, it is typical of Christ’s righteousness that literally adorns Him; it being an essential part of His very nature. As it will protrude out on both of his arms and from under his robe, it is a symbol of the always-evident righteousness of Christ. Even during His last moments before the crucifixion, Pilate proclaimed this aspect of Him –
“I have found no fault in this Man.” Luke 23:14
7 (con’t) girded him with the sash,
This avnet, or girdle, was also mentioned in the same two verses of Exodus 24. It is a belt or a sash that is worn at the waist and was said to be made of “woven work.” Later, in Exodus 39, it was said to be “of fine woven linen with blue, purple, and scarlet thread, made by a weaver.” What is unusual is that it was probably not visible at all as it would be under the other garments. And yet, the instructions were specific concerning its weaving. This hidden sash is reflective of Christ’s divine majesty as is seen in Psalm 93 –
“The Lord reigns, He is clothed with majesty;
The Lord is clothed,
He has girded Himself with strength.
Surely the world is established, so that it cannot be moved.” Psalm 93:1
7 (con’t) clothed him with the robe,
The meil, or robe, is a type of tunic which would reach from neck all the way down to somewhere around the knees; some believe even as far as to the feet. It was thought to be a completely seamless garment as can be inferred from Exodus 39:22 –
“He made the robe of the ephod of woven work, all of blue.”
The term “woven work” implies a seamless garment. However, Flavius Josephus explicitly documents this fact in his commentary on the priestly garments. He says that “the coat did not consist of two parts, nor was it sewed upon the shoulder, nor on the side, but was one long piece of woven work.” This robe is further described in Exodus 28 with these words –
“There shall be an opening for his head in the middle of it; it shall have a woven binding all around its opening, like the opening in a coat of mail, so that it does not tear.” Exodus 28:31
It would have a hole for the head to go through and it had no sleeves. Therefore, the top portion of it would be mostly covered by the ephod and the breastplate which go over it. However, the lower part was fully visible. The plain blue would be a beautiful contrast to the variegated ephod and the gleaming breastplate.
This blue signifies the law, especially in adherence to it. In a type of Christ, this blue robe signifies that Christ Jesus is the embodiment of the law. In Exodus 28, it was described with a word, kalil, translated as “all,” as in “all of blue.” That comes from the verb kalal, which means to complete or make perfect. Thus the robe was entirely made of only this blue. It is indicative of Christ who perfectly fulfilled the law, completing it on our behalf. He is literally “robed” in the completion of the law. Also, as the robe was seamless, it points to John’s words about Jesus on the cross –
“Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments and made four parts, to each soldier a part, and also the tunic. Now the tunic was without seam, woven from the top in one piece.” John 19:23
Shortly after this occurred, John records Jesus’ dying words, “It is finished.” The robe which Aaron is being clothed in now in Leviticus was merely a picture of Christ embodying the law, fulfilling it, and finishing it for us. However, before He died, something else was recorded about Christ’s tunic. Despite dividing His other garments, the value of His tunic led them to say –
“Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be,” John 19:24
In contrast to this, in Matthew 26:65, the high priest of Israel tore his clothes during Jesus’ trial. This was in direct violation of the Law of Moses. In Leviticus 21 it says –
“He who is the high priest among his brethren, on whose head the anointing oil was poured and who is consecrated to wear the garments, shall not uncover his head nor tear his clothes;” Leviticus 21:10
In the treatment of these two garments, there is seen an ending of the old order of things. The Law of Moses was ended in Christ’s work and the New Covenant was established in His blood. The note of keeping the high priest’s robe from tearing was given as a contrasting picture of the true High Priest’s garment not being torn.
But, the recording of the high priest tearing his garment signifies the ending of that priesthood. That Christ’s garment wasn’t torn, and yet His body was, signifies the introduction of the New. In describing this robe in Exodus, a very rare word, takharah, was used to describe the hem around the neck. The word comes from the verb kharah, which means “to burn with anger.” In this, the symbolism is obvious; the anger of the Lord at the sin of man is what was on display there at the cross. The penalty for that sin was the tearing of Christ’s body, the true robe of humanity.
7 (con’t) and put the ephod on him;
The materials for the ephod were described in Exodus 28:5-8 –
“They shall take the gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and the fine linen, 6 and they shall make the ephod of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen, artistically worked. 7 It shall have two shoulder straps joined at its two edges, and so it shall be joined together. 8 And the intricately woven band of the ephod, which is on it, shall be of the same workmanship, made of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen.”
The ephod is a sleeveless garment, like a waistcoat. It was made of the same colors as the veil of the tabernacle, but with the addition of gold thread added into it. The colors used in it indicate divinity/royalty for the gold, the law for the blue; royalty for the purple – which is a combination of blue and red; war, blood, and judgment for the red; and righteousness for the woven linen.
This ephod will bear the breastplate which will next be placed over it, just as the Ark bore the Mercy Seat. Though the Ark was described first, it is the Mercy Seat which crowns the Ark. The Ark embodies the law, thus the Old Covenant, while the Mercy Seat pictures the satisfaction of the law through the shedding of blood.
The same is true with the ephod and the breastplate. On the ephod will be two stones with the names of the children of Israel engraved on them. Thus it signifies the high priest’s role to bear the sufferings and labors of his people. On the breastplate will be twelve stones which will be engraved with the names of the children of Israel. This then signifies that the high priest sympathizes with his people as an intercessor before God. In both, the work of Christ is seen. First He bore our burdens, and then He became our intercessor. This is the reason for the order of each description. Marvelous wisdom is seen even in the order of how each thing is described to Moses.
7 (con’t) and he girded him with the intricately woven band of the ephod, and with it tied the ephod on him.
This is the last time that the kheshev, or “band,” is to be seen in Scripture. It has only been used in connection with the ephod. It is the band or belt which would keep the two lower parts of the ephod held close to the body. This particular band was made with the same materials as the ephod itself.
It is believed to have been sewn onto the ephod at one point, and then it could be wrapped around the body and secured by strings, or a button or some other way. Its use is seen at the time of the ordination of Aaron here in Leviticus 8.
The idea of this band pictures “readiness for service.” Despite being the high priest, Aaron was to be a servant of the people, mediating for them. Being girded and ready for service is a theme seen numerous times in the Bible, and it was something which Christ Himself did not draw away from, but rather embraced. We read about His being girded to serve in John 13 –
“Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, 4 rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. 5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.” John 13:3-5
The gold which was woven into this belt anticipated the divine intervention of Christ for us. This is seen in Revelation 1:13 –
“…and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.”
Aaron, wearing this ephod and band, was a type of Christ. The particular materials in them symbolize the services which Christ now renders to us as our human/divine Mediator. Though ascended to heaven, the book of Hebrews says that He is there in the presence of God making intercession for us.
8 Then he put the breastplate on him,
The instructions for the, khoshen, or breastplate are found in Exodus 28:15-30. Its full name is the breastplate of judgment. It took an entire sermon to describe the marvelous things which are seen in that particular item, and so if you want to know the symbolism, or if you have forgotten it, you will need to take the afternoon off from sports and watch it. There you will see such marvelous pictures of Christ that you simply won’t believe it.
8 (con’t) and he put the Urim and the Thummim in the breastplate.
The Urim and Thummim are described in Exodus 28:30. They are two of the most enigmatic items to be seen in all of the things associated with the sanctuary and the rites which accompany it. Urim is the plural of the word uwr, or “fire.” It means “lights.” Thummim is the plural of the word tom, or “integrity.” It means “perfections” or “that which is blameless or innocent.” Together, they are literally translated “Lights and Perfections.”
Interestingly, it was Moses who deposited the tablets of the Testimony into the Ark of the Covenant, and it is also Moses who places the Urim and Thummim into the breastplate for Aaron. Moses, or “He who draws out,” is the one who puts the items in. A direct tie is being made between the Ark and its two stone tablets and the breastplate and these two stones. What the Urim and Thummim actually did, what they were, or how they were used is unknown. But we do know that they were used for inquiring of God. This is seen, for example, in Ezra 2:62, 63 –
“These sought their listing among those who were registered by genealogy, but they were not found; therefore they were excluded from the priesthood as defiled. 63 And the governor said to them that they should not eat of the most holy things till a priest could consult with the Urim and Thummim.”
Both the stone tablets and the Urim and Thummin gave forth the word of the Lord. And both the Ark and the Breastplate were containers for that word. In both cases, Moses was the one who placed the stones into their containers.
As I said, Urim means “Lights.” Numerous times in the Bible, the law of the Lord, the word of the Lord, or the judgments of the Lord are said to be light. I’ll cite three examples of this –
“For the commandment is a lamp,
And the law a light;
Reproofs of instruction are the way of life.” Proverbs 6:23
“Listen to Me, My people;
And give ear to Me, O My nation:
For law will proceed from Me,
And I will make My justice rest
As a light of the peoples.” Isaiah 51:4
“Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105
Next, Thummim comes from the word tom. This corresponds to the adjective tamim or “perfections,” and thus being blameless. This is seen in the following two verses –
“As for God, His way is perfect;
The word of the Lord is proven;
He is a shield to all who trust in Him.” Psalm 18:30
“The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.” Psalm 19:7
In these, and other examples, we can find that the law of the Lord is what is pictured in the Urim and Thummim. And so it has the same meaning as the tablets within the Ark. Christ fulfilled the law and it was secreted away under the mercy seat. He thus embodies the law and His blood covers the sins of the law for His people.
In placing the Urim and Thummin within the Breastplate of Judgment, it signifies that our faith in His work is what justifies us. If we need to consult God, we do it through Christ. Matthew Henry gives a splendid analogy of these things –
“Now, Christ is our Oracle. By him God, in these last days, makes known himself and his mind to us, … He is the true Light, the faithful Witness, the Truth itself, and from him we receive the Spirit of Truth, who leads into all truth.” Matthew Henry
The truly amazing thing about this is that such minute detail was given for things that were to remain completely unseen, and yet they perfectly describe what Christ has done for us. In Christ, we are safe, we are secure, and we are so forever.
9 And he put the turban on his head.
The mitsnepheth, or turban, was also made of the fine woven linen like the tunic which was first put on Aaron. It again reflects Christ’s absolute righteousness. It is what crowns Him and it defines His very character. Together, this tunic and turban symbolize Christ’s pure and unsullied life and authority.
9 (con’t) Also on the turban, on its front, he put the golden plate, the holy crown,
This golden plate, here called “the holy crown,” was described in Exodus 28 with these words –
“You shall also make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it, like the engraving of a signet:
HOLINESS TO THE LORD.
37 And you shall put it on a blue cord, that it may be on the turban; it shall be on the front of the turban. 38 So it shall be on Aaron’s forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things which the children of Israel hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall always be on his forehead, that they may be accepted before the Lord.” Exodus 28:36-38
The word translated as “plate” is tsiyts. It signifies a flower or a blossom. Along with that, a new descriptor is given here in Leviticus with the words nezer ha’kodesh, or “crown the holy.” The word nezer, being introduced here, signifies something set apart. It is this golden plate, placed on his forehead, which is the identifying mark of his separation from all others. It pictures the royal kingship of Christ. Unlike Israel which had offices of king and priest which were not to be intermingled, Christ is the fulfillment of them both. This is explicitly stated by the prophet Zechariah concerning the coming Messiah –
“Take the silver and gold, make an elaborate crown, and set it on the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest. 12 Then speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, saying:
“Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH!
From His place He shall branch out,
And He shall build the temple of the Lord;
13 Yes, He shall build the temple of the Lord.
He shall bear the glory,
And shall sit and rule on His throne;
So He shall be a priest on His throne,
And the counsel of peace shall be between them both.'” Zechariah 6:11-13
The special word used to describe this plate, tsiyts, speaks of Christ’s Human and Divine natures. The pure gold represents His pure divinity, but that it is a flower speaks of His humanity. This is seen where the same word speaks of the fading glory of man –
“The voice said, ‘Cry out!’
And he said, ‘What shall I cry?’
‘All flesh is grass,
And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.'” Isaiah 40:6
Unlike fallen man though, Christ is the unfading flower who stepped out of heaven to restore us to that same beautiful state.
The engraving of HOLINESS TO THE LORD on this plate signifies the perfection of Christ. It is He who is the true Mediator for God’s people. It is He who makes our offerings acceptable to God once again, and it is He who restores us – fully and completely – to our heavenly Father.
That there were two words on the engraving also signifies His Divine/Human nature – qodesh Yehovah. The 8 letters signify the new beginnings which are found in Christ Jesus. In fact, the name JESUS in Greek, IESOUS, is numerically equal to 888. Thus He is the ultimate example of the New Beginning for fallen man.
The blue cord which tied the plate to the turban signifies the law as fulfilled which ties the divine Lord to His intercessory role as our high priest. It is He who is the bridge between the infinite Father and finite us.
The specific naming of the placement of the plate on the forehead of the high priest is to show both the place of conscience and of identification. The duality is seen in that He is first conscious of those He ministers for, meaning us. And He is also conscious of His rightful place before His Father.
Secondly, it reveals His priestly identity presented before us and which comes from His Father. It is He who bore our iniquities at the cross, and it is He who still makes our sin-filled lives acceptable as HOLINESS TO THE LORD. Only through Him can we be considered acceptable to God. This is actually realized on the very last page of the Bible with these marvelous words –
“And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. 4 They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.” Revelation 22:3, 4
It is this nezer ha’kodesh, or Holy Crown, which in typology is seen to be Christ who is the King/Priest who is set apart by God from among the sons of men.
9 (con’t) as the Lord had commanded Moses.
The clothing of Aaron as the high priest is now complete. In order to show that it was done in accord with the word of the Lord, this clause is now stated. What was commanded has been performed.
10 Also Moses took the anointing oil, and anointed the tabernacle and all that was in it, and consecrated them.
After the clothing of the high priest, but before his personal anointing, the tabernacle is next anointed. The word for “anoint” is mashakh, which means to anoint by smearing. This is the first time that the mishkan, or tabernacle, is mentioned in the book of Leviticus. Until this point, the structure has been called ohel moed, or “tent of meeting.” Now the specific tabernacle, which is under the external tent, is mentioned by name.
The anointing oil is described in Exodus 30:22-38, every minute detail of which points to Christ. Those verses also took an entire sermon to explain. Again, if you didn’t see that sermon, or if you don’t remember its details, you can catch up on it this afternoon. In short, it signifies the presence of the Spirit, in and through the work of Christ. But such a brief explanation does disservice to the majesty of what is seen in the details. You really should check them out. It is this marvelous presence of the Spirit, symbolized by the anointing oil, that is used to anoint the tabernacle and all of the furniture contained within it.
11 He sprinkled some of it on the altar seven times,
This is speaking of the brazen altar where the sacrifices were to be burned. The golden altar of incense, being within the tabernacle, was already anointed. Now, a seven-fold nazah, or sprinkling of the oil is made on the brazen altar. This seven-fold sprinkling has never been noted before in any of the instructions. It is a special procedure that thus signifies the presence of the seven-fold Spirit of the Lord as is seen in Isaiah 11 –
“There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse,
And a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
2 The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him,
The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The Spirit of counsel and might,
The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.” Isaiah 11:1, 2
This altar is being distinguished by this special seven-fold sprinkling. It is the number of spiritual perfection, and so the sprinkling forms a connection between the offeror and the One to whom the offerings are made. They form a covenantal bond between both which is only a shadow of the bond that now exists between God and His people because of the sacrifice of Christ.
11 (con’t) anointed the altar and all its utensils, and the laver and its base, to consecrate them.
A different word is now used, returning again to mashakh, or smear, of verse 10. The utensils of the altar, as well as the laver and its base, are all anointed in the same manner as the tabernacle and everything in it. As before, the anointing of these items signifies the presence of the Spirit in what each item pictures.
In this verse, we can see the extremely high importance placed upon the altar. It is the only item which received the seven-fold sprinkling of the oil. And when the blood of a sacrifice is carried into the holy or most holy place and sprinkled seven times, it is because the animal first died at the north side of this altar.
This particular and special sprinkling points directly to the work of Christ who is the only true, final, and complete Sacrifice for the sins of man. It is what brings about full atonement and peace with God, and thus it is what provides access to the Spirit of God. The details of this Brazen Altar, which will help you to understand the significance of this seven-fold sprinkling, are found in Exodus 27:1-8, be sure to watch that sermon this afternoon as well.
12 And he poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head and anointed him, to consecrate him.
Only after the anointing of the items meant for ministry to the Lord is the high priest who ministers to the Lord then anointed. The anointing oil is poured out onto his head in order to mashakh, or anoint, him. It is the basis for the word mashiakh, or “messiah.” This was to, as it says, “consecrate him.” The word means to set apart. He is the one who is set apart from his brethren by the anointing. Thus, in type, he prefigures Christ the Messiah who was spoken of by Isaiah –
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;” Isaiah 61:1
*13 Then Moses brought Aaron’s sons and put tunics on them, girded them with sashes, and put hats on them, as the Lord had commanded Moses.
Our verses today end with these words. The instructions for these tunics, sashes, and hats was given in Exodus 28:40 –
“For Aaron’s sons you shall make tunics, and you shall make sashes for them. And you shall make hats for them, for glory and beauty.”
The tunics and the sashes for Aaron’s sons were to be white. There was nothing else noticeable about them. The instructions are simple and without any special detail. The verb for making the tunics was asah instead of shabats which identified Aaron’s tunic. The garments of the sons were simple, plain pristine white, and yet they were distinct from all people around them.
The word for “hat” is migbaoth. This is the last of just four times it is seen in Scripture, and it is used only in reference to these caps for the sons of Aaron. It is from the same root as gibah or “hills” and gabia or “cups.” Hence, they are caps which fit the head.
It might seem remarkable that plain white garments would be described as “for glory and for beauty,” but white symbolizes righteousness. At times in the Bible, Christ’s garments, or those of angels, are said to be white. The glory and the beauty then is reflective of that which is of God – His righteousness.
These white tunics, sashes, and hats picture those who are in Christ, adorned with His righteousness because of His work. It is He who has brought many sons to glory through His work.
The hats, as I said, are the special word migbaoth. which is from the same root as gibah or “hills,” and gabia or “cups.” Both words are tied directly to the Aramaic word Gabbatha, the place where Christ was judged before Pilate. The symbolism is beautiful. The sons of Aaron are types of the sons of God and priests of the Lord Jesus who are granted that status as the helmet of salvation upon their head because of the judgment rendered on Him at Gabbatha.
The statement that the garments of the sons of Aaron were “for glory and for beauty” was the same statement made for the making of the garments of Aaron. In other words, because of the work of Christ, His priests now bear the same glory and beauty as He before the Father. Think of it! Imagine what we have been granted!
As we are at the end of our verses today, I’d like to take just a final moment to explain again, as I do each week, why all of this detail is important to you. If you have never called on Jesus, these things may not make sense, but they are all looking forward for a reason.
Closing Verse: When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” John 19:13, 14
Next Week: Leviticus 8:14-36 In these, there is great stuff for you… (The Consecration of the Aaronic Priesthood, Part II) (12th Leviticus Sermon)
The Lord has you exactly where He wants you. He has a good plan and purpose for you. Even if you have a lifetime of sin heaped up behind you, He can wash it away and purify you completely and wholly. So follow Him and trust Him and He will do marvelous things for you and through you.
The Consecration of the Aaronic Priesthood
And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying
These are the words He was relaying
Take Aaron and his sons with him
And the garments, the anointing oil too
A bull as the sin offering
Two rams, and a basket of unleavened bread; so you shall do
And gather all the congregation together for sure
At the tabernacle of meeting’s door
So Moses did as the Lord commanded him
And the congregation was gathered together as one
At the door of the tabernacle of meeting
And Moses said to the congregation
——–“This is what the Lord commanded to be done”
Then Moses brought Aaron and his sons
And washed them with water; yes, he washed these ones
And he put the tunic on him, girded him with the sash
Clothed him with the robe, and put on him the ephod
And he girded him with the intricately woven band of the ephod
And with it tied the ephod on him, as he was previously showed
Then he put the breastplate on him, as the Lord did state
And he put the Urim and the Thummim in the breastplate
And he put the turban on his head
Also on the front of the turban too
He put the golden plate, the holy crown
As the Lord had commanded Moses to do
Also Moses took the anointing oil
And anointed the tabernacle and all that was in it
And consecrated them
As the Lord to him did submit
He sprinkled some of it on the altar seven times
Anointed the altar and all its utensils as well
And the laver and its base, to consecrate them
As the Lord to him did tell
And he poured some of the anointing oil, as the Lord did state
On Aaron’s head and anointed him; him to consecrate
Then Moses brought Aaron’s sons
And put tunics on them, girded them with sashes
And put hats on them, as the Lord had commanded Moses
He crossed all T’s, dotted all I’s, and didn’t miss any dashes
How amazing! Every detail gives us precious insights to delight
Things that provide our souls with surety
That through Christ’s work, all things have been made right
And that our future is secure, a Divine guarantee
Thank You, O God for these marvelous hints of Jesus
Written so long ago, and yet as new as the day before our eyes
They are an anchor for the expectant souls of each of us
As we wait upon His return; He our splendid prize
And because of Him we shall for all eternity give You our praise
Yes, we shall hail You O God because of Jesus for eternal days
Hallelujah and Amen…