Exodus 29:36-37 meaning

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Exodus 29:36
  • Exodus 29:37

Now that the priests had been purified and set apart for the ministry, the altar was next. Purifying the altar was also to be a seven-day process. The end result was that the altar was most holy.

Verse 35 stated that the ordination of the priests was a ceremony lasting seven days. Verses 36 – 37 describe how the altar was to be set apart during that time. The LORD commanded that each day (for seven days) you shall offer a bull as a sin offering for atonement, which resulted in the purification of the altar.

The sin offering was the atonement, the price paid for purifying the altar. God commanded that Moses shall anoint it (the altar) to consecrate it, setting it aside for a special purpose. Here, it would be set aside to be the place where offerings were given to the LORD. The idea seems to be that the new high priest does not change the basic function of the ceremonies and what they represent. They are to continue as commanded notwithstanding a new leader.

Verse 37 is a restatement of the length of the ordination ceremony. It was to last for seven days, during which they would make atonement for the altar and consecrate it. The altar needed purification so it would be most holy and whatever touches the altar (such as the sacrificial animals offered on it) shall be holy.

Biblical Text:

36 Each day you shall offer a bull as a sin offering for atonement, and you shall purify the altar when you make atonement for it, and you shall anoint it to consecrate it. 37 For seven days you shall make atonement for the altar and consecrate it; then the altar shall be most holy, and whatever touches the altar shall be holy.

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