*Scripture verses covered in this section's commentary are noted in italics

Exodus 29:29-30 meaning

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Exodus 29:29
  • Exodus 29:30

The LORD describes how the garments of the high priest were to be handed down to the designated replacement. This was to take place during an ordination ceremony that was to last seven days.

These two verses specify that the holy garments of Aaron were to be passed on to his sons after him, because the LORD required the future high priests to wear them when they were anointed and ordained. The Hebrew word for anointed (“mashkhah”) is the verb form of the Hebrew noun “meshiakh” or “messiah.” The high priest was to be the anointed one who came before the LORD and interceded on behalf of His people. The Hebrew for “ordained” is literally “fill their hands,” referring to the tasks required of them in serving in the LORD’s presence in the tabernacle. Jesus was the Messiah who was the “anointed one” to fulfill all that was spoken of Him, including being a High Priest who is of a higher order than Aaron and his sons after him, who are later called Levitical priests (Hebrews 7:11; 8:1-6).

The ordination ceremony was to last for seven days for the one of his sons who is priest in his stead. This new high priest was required to put them (the holy garments) on when he enters the tent of meeting to minister in the holy place. Presumably, the priests would take turns being “on duty.” But when the new high priest is anointed, he is to serve in the holy place for seven straight days. As the new high priest went into the holy place, he needed to wear the holy garments set aside for the high priest. The holy place was the place with the lamps that needed to be tended daily.

This ceremony could have had a number of applications. It could deter dispute over succession. It could also be symbolic of the high priest as a servant leader, doing the work himself trimming the lamps to begin his office, using the oil provided by all the people (Exodus 27:20). It could also be symbolic of the ministry of the high priest to serve as a light to the people.

Biblical Text

29 “The holy garments of Aaron shall be for his sons after him, that in them they may be anointed and ordained. 30 For seven days the one of his sons who is priest in his stead shall put them on when he enters the tent of meeting to minister in the holy place.

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