×

Exodus 29:19-21

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Exodus 29:19
  • Exodus 29:20
  • Exodus 29:21

The book of Exodus is the second book of the Torah (“law”). It continues the story of Genesis concerning the migration of the family of Jacob (the Israelites) to Egypt (Genesis 50). It describes the commissioning of Moses and Aaron as God’s representatives on earth to accomplish God’s deliverance of His people from slavery in Egypt and lead them to the Promised Land (the land of Canaan). It also relates the miraculous deliverance from Egypt beginning with the plagues on Egypt and the crossing of the Red Sea. It then describes the journey to Mount Sinai and the establishment of the Mosaic covenant with the Israelites. The last part of the book involves the specifications and building of the tabernacle – the place where the Lord Himself dwelt amongst His people.

In the book of Exodus, the focus shifts to the deliverance of God’s people.


Exodus 29 is a detailed account of what should occur in the ritual for ordaining the priests into their service to the LORD. It was to last seven days, and during that time the priests were washed, anointed, and sacrifices were made. The ceremony itself is recorded in Leviticus 8.

Exodus 29 can be outlined as follows:

  • The Ordination Ceremony of the Priests (29:1 – 35)
    • o Preparation for Ordination (29:1 – 3)
    • o Washing (29:4)
    • o Anointing (29:5 – 9)
    • o The Sin Offering (29:10 – 14)
    • o The Burnt Offering (29:15 – 18)
    • o The Peace Offering (29:19 – 26, 31 – 34)
    • o The Wave and Heave Offerings (29:27 – 30)
    • o The Ordination Ceremony’s Length (35)
  • The Consecration of the Altar (29:36 – 37)
  • The Dedication of the Daily Offerings (29:38 – 46)

The fact that the LORD described this ceremony in such detail shows how important it was to the nation. Israel was chosen by God to be in a special covenant relationship with Him, and Aaron and his sons were chosen to be the mediators of this covenant. Such a privileged position required a special ceremony to impress upon all of the people what the LORD required of them in terms of worship and service. It could also be a reminder to the people that they were called to serve as a priestly nation, serving as mediators to other nations (Exodus 19:5-6).


The LORD describes the sacrifice of the third animal, the second ram. The ram was to be slaughtered and its blood put on the lobe of the right ear of Aaron and his sons, on their right thumbs, and on their right big toes. Blood from the altar and anointing oil were to be sprinkled on their garments as well.

The third sacrifice began by taking the other ram. As with the bull in the first sacrifice and the first ram, Aaron and his sons were required to lay their hands on the head of the ram, allowing them again to identify with the animal, that it was dying instead of them.

After laying their hands on the head of the ram, the priests were to slaughter the ram. Then, they were to take some of its blood and put it on the lobe of Aaron’s right ear and on the lobes of his sons’ right ears. The ears needed to be cleansed to prepare them to hear the word of God.

They were also to put blood on the thumbs of their right hands. The thumbs were used in accomplishing the work of ministering before the LORD and thus needed cleansing. Also the big toes of their right feet. This was done to cleanse their walk before the LORD and also be a visible witness to the people on how to conduct themselves as His people.

Lastly, they needed to sprinkle the rest of the blood around on the altar. Using the same blood on the altar identified Aaron and his sons as the ones that could approach the altar.

Once this was done, then Moses was to take some of the blood that is on the altar and some of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it on Aaron and on his garments and on his sons and on his sons’ garments with him. This was done so he and his garments shall be consecrated, as well as his sons and his sons’ garments with him. The word translated consecrated is often translated “sanctified.” It means to be set apart for special service. The sprinkling of the altar’s blood on their garments showed their sanctification, and the anointing oil on their garments gave a visible confirmation that they were wholly dedicated and empowered to doing the work of the LORD.

Biblical Text

19 “Then you shall take the other ram, and Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands on the head of the ram. 20 You shall slaughter the ram, and take some of its blood and put it on the lobe of Aaron’s right ear and on the lobes of his sons’ right ears and on the thumbs of their right hands and on the big toes of their right feet, and sprinkle the rest of the blood around on the altar. 21 Then you shall take some of the blood that is on the altar and some of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it on Aaron and on his garments and on his sons and on his sons’ garments with him; so he and his garments shall be consecrated, as well as his sons and his sons’ garments with him.

The Bible Says in the App Store