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Leviticus Bible Study – Lesson #5

Lesson #5   –  Leviticus 8, Leviticus 9 and Leviticus 10        

Read Leviticus 8:1-17

In Exodus 28, and Exodus 29, God gave Moses elaborate instructions for consecrating Aaron and his sons as priests. Now, in Leviticus 8, Leviticus 9 and Leviticus 10, we read how Moses carried out these instructions. He called together the assembly—priests and people—at the door of the tabernacle. It was a very public service.

Moses washed both Aaron and his sons with water. Next Moses dressed Aaron in the complete vestments of the high priest: the tunic, the sash, the robe, the ephod, the band of the ephod, the breastplate, the Urim and the Thummim, the turban and the holy crown.

Then Moses anointed the tabernacle and all its contents, and sanctified them.  The fact that he poured (not sprinkled) on Aaron’s head is a lovely picture of the Holy Spirit being poured out without measure on the Lord Jesus, our Great High Priest.  Next Moses put tunics and sashes, as well as head-pieces, on Aaron’s sons.

As Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the bull for the sin offering, Moses killed it. Even the highest religious leaders (then as well as now) are merely sinners who need God’s atoning sacrifice as much as the least important member of the community.

Read Leviticus 8:18-36

Moses likewise brought a ram for a burnt offering for Aaron and his sons and carried out the prescribed rites.  The consecration offering for Aaron and his sons was also called the ram of consecration (or, more literally, the ram of the “fill offering”). It differed from the customary peace offerings as to the application of the blood (vv. 23, 24), and also as to the burning of the right thigh and bread cakes, which ordinarily would have been eaten. Since he officiated, Moses received the breast as his part.

The blood was placed on the ear, hand, and foot of Aaron and his sons, reminding us that Christ’s blood should affect our obedience, service, and walk.

Moses sprinkled Aaron and his sons with some of the blood and some of the anointing oil from the sacrifice. The priests were instructed to eat of the flesh of the peace offering along with the bread.

The above consecration ritual was repeated for seven days, during which they were not allowed to go outside the door of the tabernacle.

Read Leviticus 9:1-24

Aaron and his sons took up their official duties on the eighth day. First, they were to offer for themselves a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. Then they were to offer for the people: a he-goat for a sin offering; a yearling calf and a lamb for a burnt offering; a bull and a ram for peace offerings; a grain offering.

All the congregation drew near to the Lord’s presence in front of the tabernacle. When Aaron had fully complied with all the instructions of Moses regarding the sin offering, the burnt offering, the people’s offering, the grain offering, the peace offerings, and the wave offering (Lev. 9:5-21), he lifted his hand and blessed the people (Lev. 9:22-23).

Then a fire came out from the most holy place of the tabernacle and consumed the burnt offering which was upon the brazen altar. This indicated God’s acceptance of the offering.

Read Leviticus 10:1-20

Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each burned incense before the Lord with profane fire, perhaps fire that was not taken off the brazen altar. Since the altar speaks of Calvary, and the fire is indicative of God’s judgment, it was as if they tried to approach God in some way other than through the atoning work of Christ. Fire went out from the Most Holy Place and devoured them as they stood by the golden altar in the holy place. Moses warned Aaron, in effect, that any complaint would be rebellion against God’s righteous dealings.

After Mishael and Elzaphan had carried the corpses from in front of the tabernacle to a place outside the camp, Moses told Aaron and his two remaining sons that they must not mourn but remain within the tabernacle while the whole house of Israel mourned the flaring forth of God’s wrath.

Some have inferred from the injunction against drinking wine or intoxicating drink in the tabernacle that Nadab and Abihu may have been drunk when they offered the strange fire.

Moses commanded Aaron and Eleazar and Ithamar, his remaining sons, to eat  the grain offering (Lev. 10:12-13) and the breast of the wave offering (Lev. 10:14-15). When he looked for the goat that had been used as a sin offering for the people, he found that Eleazar and Ithamar had burned the sacrifice instead of eating it in a holy place. (Perhaps they feared God’s wrath which had just fallen on their brothers.) The rule was that if the blood of the sin offering was brought into the holy place, then the sacrifice was to be burned (Lev. 6:30). But if not, it was to be eaten (Lev. 6:26). Moses reminded them that, in this case, the blood had not been brought inside the holy place; therefore, they should have eaten the meat (Lev. 10:16-18).

In reply to Moses’ reprimand, Aaron explained that they had carried out the sin and burnt offerings, as required, but, in view of the Lord’s severe chastisement on Nadab and Abihu, he wondered if his eating the sin offering would have been accepted by the Lord. Moses accepted the excuse.