Reflections on Scripture

by Wayne Bandy

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Scripture Passage



      Leviticus - Chapter 09 (Contemporary English Version)
    1. Eight days later Moses called together Aaron, his sons, and Israel's leaders.
    2. Then he said to Aaron: Find a young bull and a ram that have nothing wrong with them. Offer the bull to the LORD as a sacrifice for sin and the ram as a sacrifice to please him.
    3. Tell the people of Israel that they must offer sacrifices as well. They must offer a goat as a sacrifice for sin, and a bull and a ram as a sacrifice to please the LORD. The bull and the ram must be a year old and have nothing wrong with them.
    4. Then the people must offer a bull and a ram as a sacrifice to ask the LORD's blessing and also a grain sacrifice mixed with oil. Do this, because the LORD will appear to you today.
    5. After the animals and the grain had been brought to the front of the sacred tent, and the people were standing there in the presence of the LORD,
    6. Moses said: The LORD has ordered you to do this, so that he may appear to you in all of his glory.
    7. Aaron, step up to the altar and offer the sacrifice to please the LORD, then offer the sacrifices for the forgiveness of your sins and for the sins of the people, just as the LORD has commanded.
    8. Aaron stepped up to the altar and killed the bull that was to be the sacrifice for his sins.
    9. His sons brought him the blood. He dipped a finger in it, smeared some on the four corners of the bronze altar, and poured out the rest at its foot.
    10. But he sent up in smoke the fat, the kidneys, and the lower part of the liver, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.
    11. Then Aaron burned the skin and the flesh outside the camp.
    12. After Aaron had killed the ram that was sacrificed to please the LORD, Aaron's sons brought him the blood, and he splattered it against all four sides of the altar.
    13. They brought him each piece of the animal, including the head, and he burned them all on the altar.
    14. He washed the insides and the hind legs and also sent them up in smoke.
    15. Next, Aaron sacrificed the goat for the sins of the people, as he had done with the sacrifice for his own sins.
    16. And so, he burned this sacrifice on the altar in the proper way.
    17. He also presented the grain sacrifice and burned a handful of the flour on the altar as part of the morning sacrifice.
    18. At last, he killed the bull and the ram as a sacrifice to ask the LORD's blessing on the people. Aaron's sons brought him the blood, and he splattered it against the four sides of the altar.
    19. His sons placed all the fat, as well as the kidneys and the lower part of the liver
    20. on top of the choice ribs.
    21. Then Aaron burned the fat on the altar and lifted up the ribs and the right hind leg to show that these were dedicated to the LORD. This was done just as the LORD had instructed Moses.
    22. Aaron held out his hand and gave the people his blessing, before coming down from the bronze altar where he had offered the sacrifices.
    23. He and Moses went into the sacred tent, and when they came out, they gave the people their blessing. Then the LORD appeared to the people in all of his glory.
    24. The LORD sent fiery flames that burned up everything on the altar, and when everyone saw this, they shouted and fell to their knees to worship the LORD.
Reflections

Leviticus - Chapter 09

Entered: October 30, 2006
At the conclusion of the seven day period of ordination for the priests when it is permissible for Aaron and his sons to leave the tent of meeting, the whole community was gathered for the first official duties of the priests - the sacrifice of a sin and burnt offerings for themselves and for the people. At the conclusion of the sacrifices, Aaron blessed the people and then he and Moses 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 LORD and consumed the burnt offering and the fat portions on the altar. And when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell facedown on the ground."

Entered: May 04, 2012

The last phase of the consecration ceremonies for Aaron and his sons to become priests was a 7-day vigil at the entrance to the tent of meeting. On the eigth day, when the vigil was completed, Moses summoned Aaron and his sons, along with the elders of Israel. What followed was the inauguration of the Israelite sacrificial system. Once Moses had summoned the priests and the elders of the people he relayed God's instructions to Aaron for the ceremonies that followed and it was Aaron who instructed the people for the sacrifices. Thus, the role of priest was fully transferred to Aaron. The purpose given by Moses for offering the sacrifices was that "the Lord is going to appear to you." (9:4) This purpose set the context for the whole sacrificial system. It enabled man to have access with God and for Him to dwell with them.

The ceremony began with an offering by the priests of a sin offering and a burnt offering for themselves. Then they sacrificed the people's offerings which included a sin, a burnt, and a grain offering. When all the offerings had been made, Aaron "lifted up his hands toward the people and blessed them." (9:22) This blessing is linked in Jewish tradition with the priestly blessing given in Numbers 6:24-26 which Aaron was instructed to say for the people: "The LORD bless you and protect you; the LORD make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you; the LORD look with favor on you and give you peace. 

At the conclusion of all the ceremonies, "the glory of the LORD appeared to all the people. Fire came out from the LORD and consumed the burnt offering and the fat portions on the altar." (9:23-24) At this sight, the people gave a shout and fell facedown on the ground.