×

Exodus 29:36-37

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Exodus 29:36
  • Exodus 29:37

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).


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.

The Bible Says in the App Store