×

Exodus 29:31-35

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Exodus 29:31
  • Exodus 29:32
  • Exodus 29:33
  • Exodus 29:34
  • Exodus 29:35

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 what to do with the rest of the second ram sacrifice. The flesh of the ram (minus the breast and thigh) were to be boiled and eaten by Aaron and his sons (the priests) and no one else. Any flesh leftover was to be burned because it was considered holy and was not to be used for everyday purposes.

The LORD provides the instructions for the meal that was to be eaten at the ordination of Aaron and his sons. They were to take the ram of ordination and boil its flesh in a holy place. This was the second ram used in the ceremony. The holy place was the doorway of the tent of meeting. Here, Aaron and his sons were told to eat the flesh of the ram and the bread that is in the basket, at the doorway of the tent of meeting. Only Aaron and his sons were to eat those things by which atonement was made at their ordination and consecration. The word translated ordination is literally “fill the hands,” referring to the tasks that were to fill their hands when serving in the tabernacle before the LORD. The word consecration (Heb. “qadesh”) means “to dedicate wholly to the service of God” or “to declare holy.” It is often translated “sanctify.” Aaron and his sons were set apart to serve the LORD and Him only.

This was to be an ordination meal eaten only by the priests—a layman shall not eat them, because they are holy, or set apart only for the priests. The word translated layman (Heb. “zar”) is usually translated “stranger.” Here, it refers to those Israelites who were outsiders to the priesthood, meaning that they were not priests.

There were to be no “leftovers.” God commanded that if any of the flesh of ordination or any of the bread remains until morning, then you shall burn the remainder with fire; it shall not be eaten, because it is holy. None of the meal was to be given to others or saved for later. Any that was left uneaten was to be totally burned up, just like the flesh that was not saved for the sustenance and consecration of the priests.

The LORD then told Moses that he must do to Aaron and to his sons, according to all that I have commanded you. All of the commands in the preceding verses were to be strictly obeyed. The LORD wanted His people to worship Him in a certain way, and this way must be followed in all the details.

The section ends with the LORD restating that Moses was to ordain them through seven days.

Biblical Text

31 “You shall take the ram of ordination and boil its flesh in a holy place. 32 Aaron and his sons shall eat the flesh of the ram and the bread that is in the basket, at the doorway of the tent of meeting. 33 Thus they shall eat those things by which atonement was made at their ordination and consecration; but a layman shall not eat them, because they are holy. 34 If any of the flesh of ordination or any of the bread remains until morning, then you shall burn the remainder with fire; it shall not be eaten, because it is holy. 35 “Thus you shall do to Aaron and to his sons, according to all that I have commanded you; you shall ordain them through seven days.

The Bible Says in the App Store