Thursday, January 25, 2007

Leviticus 9

Leviticus 9: Aaron and his sons begin their ministry, and the Glory of the LORD appears

Synopsis

In the last chapter, Aaron and his sons were consecrated for service, and commanded to stay at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting for seven days. In this chapter, the seven days are up, and Moses is coming to get Aaron and his sons, to have them start their ministry.

Moses tells them to bring a bull calf, for their sin offering, and a ram for their burnt offering, and tells them to tell the Israelites to bring:

  • a male goat, for a sin offering
  • a year old calf, without defect, for a burnt offering
  • a year old lamb, without defect, for a burnt offering
  • an ox for a fellowship offering
  • a ram for a fellowship offering
  • a grain offering, mixed with oil

They bring the offerings to the Tent of Meeting, and the entire community comes to stand before the LORD. Moses then leads them through the ritual.

He has Aaron sacrifice his [Aaron’s] sin offering and burnt offering, to make atonement for Aaron and for the people. Aaron slaughters it, and his sons bring him the blood, which he puts on the horns of the altar, before pouring the rest out at the base. He then burns the fat, as had previously been commanded, and burns up the flesh and the hide outside the camp.

Next, he slaughters the burnt offering; again, his sons bring him the blood, which he sprinkles against all sides of the altar. He then washes the inner parts and burns them on top of the burnt offering.

So far, this has just been the offerings Aaron and his sons were commanded to bring. Aaron now slaughters the goat for the people’s sin offering, as commanded, and then the burnt offering. And then the grain offering, and burns a handful of that on the altar, as commanded.

Next comes the ox and the ram, as fellowship offerings, which Aaron slaughters. Again, his sons bring him the blood, which he sprinkles against all sides of the altar. He then burns the fat on the altar, and wave the breasts and right thigh before the LORD as a wave offering.

Once all of this is done, the Glory of the LORD appears:

Then Aaron lifted his hands toward the people and blessed them. And having sacrificed the sin offering, the burnt offering and the fellowship offering, he stepped down.

Moses and Aaron then went into the Tent of Meeting. When they came out, they blessed the people; and the glory of the LORD appeared to all the people. Fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed the burnt offering and the fat portions on the altar. And when all the people saw it, they shouted for joy and fell facedown.

(verses 22–24)

Thoughts

Much like the last chapter, I’m more concerned with the overall picture than with the details. Just as Aaron and his sons had to have their sins atoned for, before they could approach the LORD, the people have to have their sins atoned for, to become God’s people.
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