Exodus 29:5-9

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Exodus 29:5
  • Exodus 29:6
  • Exodus 29:7
  • Exodus 29:8
  • Exodus 29:9

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 priestly garments are to be placed on Aaron and his sons in preparation for the ceremony itself. Aaron would be clothed with the High Priest’s garments.

Moses was now instructed by the LORD to take the garments, and put on Aaron the garments described in Chapter 28. First, the high priest’s clothes were to be put on Aaron:

  • The tunic, which served as an undershirt
  • The robe of the ephod, which was worn underneath the ephod
  • The ephod itself
  • The breastpiece
  • Finally, gird him with the skillfully woven band of the ephod

Then, the headdress was to be placed on him.

  • The turban
  • The holy crown on the turban. Leviticus 8:9 tells us that the holy crown that was placed on the turban was the same as the golden plate engraved with the words “holy to the Lord” (Exodus 28:36).

Finally, Moses was to take the anointing oil and pour it on Aaron’s head and anoint him. This had the effect of setting Aaron apart and commissioning him to serve the LORD in the tabernacle as God’s priest.

After the anointing of Aaron into the role of high priest, his sons needed to be consecrated into the priesthood. To do this, Moses was instructed to bring his sons forward to be clothed. He first put tunics on them, then he was to gird them with sashes and bind caps on them.

The result of the ceremony was that they shall have the priesthood by a perpetual statute. This means that Aaron and his descendants were chosen by the LORD to be priests to serve Him and the people in their worship. During the Messianic kingdom, this lineage will be restricted to the “Sons of Zadok” who “kept charge of My sanctuary when the sons of Israel went astray from Me” (Ezekiel 44:15).

The last phrase summarizes this section. All of the actions were done to ordain Aaron and his sons. The word ordain translates the Hebrew phrase “fill the hands.” It refers to all of the activities that would “fill the hands” of the priests to perform in the service of the LORD.

Biblical Text

5 You shall take the garments, and put on Aaron the tunic and the robe of the ephod and the ephod and the breastpiece, and gird him with the skillfully woven band of the ephod; 6 and you shall set the turban on his head and put the holy crown on the turban. 7 Then you shall take the anointing oil and pour it on his head and anoint him. 8 You shall bring his sons and put tunics on them. 9 You shall gird them with sashes, Aaron and his sons, and bind caps on them, and they shall have the priesthood by a perpetual statute. So you shall ordain Aaron and his sons.

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