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Scripture reading – Leviticus 9

The Consecration of the Priesthood on the Eighth Day (9:1-7)

When seven days of consecration were completed (Leviticus 8:33-36), on the eighth day, Moses summoned “Aaron and his sons, and the elders of Israel” (9:2). Aaron, whom the LORD chose to be Israel’s high priest, was commanded by Moses to prepare to offer sacrifices for himself and his sons.

The first sacrifice Aaron offered was “a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering, without blemish” (9:2). Before Aaron offered the sacrifices for himself and his sons, Moses commanded “the children of Israel” to take “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; 4Also a bullock and a ram for peace offerings, to sacrifice before the Lord; and a meat offering mingled with oil” (9:3-4).

The sacrifices were required for Aaron, his sons, and the people to be in the LORD’s presence (9:4b, 6b). The people, having brought what the LORD required, gathered “before the tabernacle of the congregation: and all the congregation drew near and stood before the Lord” (9:5).

Moses then commanded 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” (9:7).

A Sin and Burnt Offering for the Priest (9:8-14)

Why was Aaron commanded to offer a sacrifice for himself and his sons?

With the congregation looking on, Aaron “slew the calf of the sin offering” for himself and his sons who served as priests (9:7). The requirement of a “sin offering” before the congregation left no doubt that Aaron and his sons were like all men, sinners who needed a substitutionary sacrifice for their sin.

Aaron’s sons then brought the blood of the calf to him, “and he dipped his finger in the blood, and put it upon the horns [corners] of the altar, and poured out the blood at the bottom of the altar” (9:9). The choice parts of the calf, “the fat, and the kidneys, and the caul above the liver of the sin offering,” were “burnt upon the altar; as the Lordcommanded Moses” (9:9-10).” Then, the flesh and hide of the “sin offering,” was burned outside Israel’s encampment as required by the Law (Leviticus 4:11-12). Aaron also slew, and offered “a ram for a burnt offering, without blemish” (9:2b, 12-14).

Aaron, Serving as High Priest, Offered Sacrifices for the People (9:15-21)

After he fulfilled the command to offer sacrifices for himself and his sons (9:1-14), Aaron offered four sacrifices for the children of Israel.

Aaron took and slew “the goat, which was the sin offering…and offered it for [the sins]” of the people (9:15). He then offered “the burnt offering” that was “a calf and a lamb, both of the first year, without blemish” (9:3b, 16). The third offering was “the meat [lit. meal or grain] offering,” and it was burned on the altar as a sacrifice of praise and gratitude (9:17) on behalf of the nation.

Finally, as a symbol of communion with the LORD, Aaron “slew also the bullock and the ram for a sacrifice of peace offerings, which was for the people” (9:18a). As with the other sacrifices, “Aaron’s sons presented unto him the blood [of the peace offerings], which he sprinkled upon the altar round about” (9:18b).

Then, as Israel’s high priest, Aaron invoked God’s blessings on the nation and “lifted up his hand toward the people, and blessed them, and came down from offering of the sin offering, and the burnt offering, and peace offerings” (9:22).

Closing thoughts (9:23-24):

After Aaron invoked God’s blessings on the people, he and Moses entered the Tabernacle. When they “came out, and blessed the people…the glory of the Lord appeared unto all the people” (9:23). Then, in a powerful affirmation of all that was done, “there came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat” (9:24). The people were so moved by what they saw that they “shouted, and fell on their faces” (9:24b).

Questions to Consider:

  • Moses summoned Aaron, his sons, and “the elders of Israel” on the eighth day (Leviticus 9:1). Where had Aaron and his sons been before that day? (Leviticus 8:35-36)
  • If the people obeyed Moses as the LORD commanded, what did he promise they would see? (Leviticus 9:6)
  • Why did Aaron slay the goat? (Leviticus 9:15)
  • How did the LORD demonstrate that He accepted the sin offerings of the people? (Leviticus 9:24)

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith

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