Ordination of Aaron and His Sons.* 1a The LORD said to Moses: 2Take Aaron along with his sons, the vestments, the anointing oil, the bull for a purification offering, the two rams, and the basket of unleavened bread, 3then assemble the whole community* at the entrance of the tent of meeting. 4Moses did as the LORD had commanded. When the communityb had assembled at the entrance of the tent of meeting, 5Moses told them: “This is what the LORD has ordered to be done.” 6Bringing forward Aaron and his sons, Moses first washed them with water. 7* Then he put the tunic on Aaron,c girded him with the sash, clothed him with the robe, placed the ephod on him, and girded him with the ephod’s embroidered belt, fastening the ephod on him with it. 8He then set the breastpiece on him, putting the Urim and Thummim* in it. 9He put the turban on his head, attaching the gold medallion, the sacred headband,* on the front of the turban, as the LORD had commanded Moses to do.
10* Taking the anointing oil, Moses anointed and consecrated the tabernacle and all that was in it.d 11Then he sprinkled some of the oil seven times on the altar, and anointed the altar, with all its utensils, and the laver, with its base, to consecrate them. 12He also poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head and anointed him, to consecrate him.e 13Moses likewise brought forward Aaron’s sons, clothed them with tunics, girded them with sashes, and put skullcaps on them, as the LORD had commanded him to do.
Ordination Sacrifices. 14He brought forward the bull for a purification offering, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on its head. 15When it was slaughtered, Moses took the blood* and with his finger he put it on the horns around the altar, thus purifying the altar.f He poured out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar. Thus he consecrated it so that atonement could be made on it. 16Taking all the fat that was over the inner organs, as well as the lobe of the liver and the two kidneys with their fat,g Moses burned them on the altar. 17The bull, however, with its hide and flesh and dung he burned in the fire outside the camp, as the LORD had commanded Moses to do.h
18He next brought forward the ram of the burnt offering,i and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on its head. 19When it was slaughtered, Moses splashed the blood on all sides of the altar. 20After the ram was cut up into pieces, Moses burned the head, the cut-up pieces and the suet. 21After the inner organs and the shanks were washed with water, Moses burned these remaining parts of the ram on the altar. It was a burnt offering for a sweet aroma, an oblation to the LORD, as the LORD had commanded Moses.
22* Then he brought forward the second ram, the ordination ram,j and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on its head. 23When it was slaughtered, Moses took some of its blood and put it on the lobe of Aaron’s right ear, on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe* of his right foot.k 24Moses had the sons of Aaron also come forward, and he put some of the blood on the lobes of their right ears, on the thumbs of their right hands, and on the big toes of their right feet. The rest of the blood he splashed on all the sides of the altar. 25He then took the fat: the fatty tail and all the fat over the inner organs, the lobe of the liver and the two kidneys with their fat, and likewise the right thigh; 26from the basket of unleavened bread that was set before the LORD he took one unleavened cake, one loaf of bread made with oil, and one wafer; these he placed on top of the portions of fat and the right thigh. 27He then put all these things upon the palms of Aaron and his sons, whom he had raise them as an elevated offering before the LORD.l 28When Moses had removed them from their palms, he burned them on the altar with the burnt offering. They were an ordination offering for a sweet aroma, an oblation to the LORD. 29He then took the brisket and raised it as an elevated offering before the LORD; this was Moses’ own portion of the ordination ram, as the LORD had commanded Moses. 30Taking some of the anointing oil and some of the blood that was on the altar, Moses sprinkled it upon Aaron and his vestments, as well as his sons and their vestments, thus consecrating both Aaron and his vestments and his sons and their vestments.m
31Moses said to Aaron and his sons, “Boil the meat at the entrance of the tent of meeting, and there eat it with the bread that is in the basket of the ordination offering, in keeping with the command I have received: ‘Aaron and his sons shall eat of it.’ 32What is left over of the meat and the bread you shall burn in the fire. 33Moreover, you are not to depart* from the entrance of the tent of meeting for seven days, until the days of your ordination are completed; for your ordination is to last for seven days. 34What has been done today the LORD has commanded be done, to make atonement for you. 35You must remain at the entrance of the tent of meeting day and night for seven days, carrying out the prescriptions of the LORD, so that you do not die, for this is the command I have received.”n 36So Aaron and his sons did all that the LORD had commanded through Moses.
* [8:1–2] This chapter presents the fulfillment of the commands in Ex 28–29; 30:26–30; and 40:9–15.
* [8:3–4] Community: this word (Heb. ‘edah) may refer to tribal leaders, all adult males, or the entire nation. The last is probably intended here.
* [8:7–9, 13] On the priestly clothing, see Ex 28–29. Ephod: according to Ex 28:6–14, the term for one of Aaron’s special vestments made of gold thread, with multicolored woolen thread woven into it as well as fine linen. In appearance it resembled a kind of apron, hung on the priest by shoulder straps and secured by an embroidered belt. A somewhat simpler “apron” was presumably worn by other priests (1 Sm 22:18).
* [8:8] The Urim and Thummim: see Ex 28:30 and note there. Although these terms and the object(s) they refer to are still unexplained, they appear to be small objects that functioned like dice or lots to render a decision for those making an inquiry of God, perhaps originally in legal cases where the guilt of the accused could not otherwise be determined (cf. Ex 28:30; Nm 27:21; Dt 33:8; 1 Sm 28:6; Ezr 2:63; Neh 7:65).
* [8:9] Headband: see Ex 39:30–31. The gold medallion, together with its cords, comprises the sacred headband.
* [8:10–12] Anointing with the specially prepared oil (cf. Ex 30:22–33) is one of the means of making objects and persons holy by setting them apart for a special function or purpose.
* [8:15] Moses took the blood: Moses is acting as a priest in this chapter.
* [8:22–32] The priestly ordination offering is a unique type of sacrifice but similar in many respects to the communion sacrifice (chap. 3; 7:11–34).
* [8:23–24] Lobe…thumb…toe: these parts of the body are meant to represent the body as a whole. The application of the blood symbolizes the priests’ passing from a profane to a holy state. Cf. 14:14–17.
* [8:33–35] You are not to depart: the tenor and context of this requirement in vv. 33 and 35 seem to indicate that the priests are not to leave the sanctuary precincts for any reason. Your ordination is to last for seven days…what has been done today…be done: the consecration rites in Exodus are to be performed every day for seven days (cf. Ex 29:30, 35–37).
a. [8:1] Cf. Ex 28–29; 39; 40:12–15.
c. [8:7–9] Sir 45:8–13; Heb 5:1–4; 7:1–28.
g. [8:16–17] Lv 3:4–5; 4:8–11.