Exodus 29The Voice (VOICE)
29 Eternal One: Here is how to conduct the ceremony that consecrates Aaron and his sons as priests: select one flawless young bull and two flawless rams. 2 Using a good quality wheat flour, make bread without yeast, cakes without yeast with oil, and wafers without yeast spread with oil. 3 Place all these baked goods in a basket, and offer them to God along with the young bull and two rams.
4 Then escort Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the congregation tent, and wash them carefully with water. 5 Take all the ceremonial garments and put them on Aaron: the tunic, the robe worn under the vest, the vest, and the breast piece. Fasten the vest’s waistband around him as well. 6 Place the turban on his head and attach the sacred medallion to the front of it. 7 When he is completely dressed, pour the anointing oil over his head.
8 Then escort Aaron’s sons to the congregation tent, and dress them in tunics as well. 9 Fasten sashes around the waists of Aaron and his sons and put special caps on their heads. This is how you are to ordain[a] them.
10 Then bring the young bull to the entrance of the congregation tent, and Aaron and his sons will lay their hands on its head. 11 Slaughter the bull in My presence at the entrance of the congregation tent. 12 Take some of the bull’s blood and smear it on the horns of the altar with your finger. Pour out any remaining blood at the foot of the altar. 13 Remove all the fat from around the internal organs, the long lobe of the liver, the two kidneys, and the fat surrounding them and burn them on the altar. 14 All the remaining parts of the bull—its hide, meat, and refuse—are to be burned as a sin offering away from the camp.
15 Select one of the rams and have Aaron and his sons lay their hands on its head. 16 Slaughter the ram and splatter its blood on all sides of the altar. 17 Then cut the ram up into pieces. Clean out the intestines and wash off the legs so nothing unclean is mixed with the sacrifice. Then place them alongside the other pieces, including the head, 18 and burn the entire animal as a burnt offering to Me. This offering by fire presented to Me will give off a pleasing aroma.
19 Then bring the other ram, and have Aaron and his sons lay their hands on its head. 20 Slaughter the ram, and smear some of its blood on the right earlobe of Aaron and his sons. Then smear it on the thumbs of their right hands and the big toes of their right feet. Splatter the remaining blood on all sides of the altar. 21 Collect some of the blood from the altar and some of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it on Aaron and his garments and on his sons and their garments. This is how you are to consecrate Aaron, his sons, and their garments. 22 Next remove the fat from the ram, the fat tail, the fat from around the internal organs, the long lobe of the liver, the two kidneys and the fat surrounding them, and the right thigh (because this is an offering for ordination). 23 Take one loaf of bread, one cake of bread with oil, and one wafer from the basket of yeastless bread that was placed before Me. 24 Place all of these in the hands of Aaron and his sons to lift up as a wave offering to Me. 25 Then take them from their hands and burn them on the altar along with the burnt offering. This offering by fire presented to Me will give off a pleasing aroma.
26 Then take the breast from Aaron’s ordination ram, and lift it up before Me as a wave offering. This will be your portion of the sacrifice. 27 Consecrate the breast and the thigh which were lifted up before Me as a wave offering from the ordination ram. They belong to Aaron and his sons. 28 From now on when the people of Israel offer a peace offering, Aaron and his descendants must receive a share of what the people offer Me in that sacrifice. It is their due for their priestly service.
This ceremony becomes the ritual by which generations of priests and high priests are consecrated for their sacred duties.
29 When Aaron dies, his sacred garments must be passed down to his descendants. They will wear them when they are anointed and ordained. 30 Aaron’s son who succeeds him as high priest to minister in the congregation tent and holy place will wear these clothes for seven days.
One difficult aspect of Old Testament life to appreciate (at least in the Western world) is the use of animal sacrifices. The Israelites are first a nomadic people; later when they are settled, they become a shepherding people. For them to offer their best and dearest to God means most naturally an animal, one without blemish and young. These animals are the basis of their economy and provide them with food, clothing, shelter, and security. To offer God an animal sacrifice is to offer a piece of their lives. So offerings are very personal and differ based on what families can afford. In some cases, the sacrifices are completely consumed, but in others the priests and the people take some of the meat home to their own tables. This way the whole community shares in the bounty of the sacrifice.
Eternal One: 31 Take the meat of the ordination ram and boil it in a sacred place. 32 Aaron and his sons are to eat it and the bread from the basket at the entrance to the congregation tent. 33 Only they are allowed to eat the bread and meat which was part of their purification rite in the ordination ceremony. An outsider may not eat them because they are holy. 34 If any meat or bread is left over from the ordination ceremony the next morning, burn it completely. No one is allowed to eat it, for it is holy.
35 The ordination period is to last for seven days. Here is what you must do to ordain Aaron and his sons to My priestly service. 36 Offer a bull as an offering every day for seven days to purify them from sin. Cleanse the altar and consecrate it by anointing it with oil. 37 For seven days you must purify the altar and consecrate it. As a result of these rituals it will be most holy and anything that touches the altar will become holy.
38 Here are the sacrifices you are to offer on the altar: every day offer two one-year-old lambs. 39 Offer one lamb in the morning, and the other at twilight. 40 With the lamb offered in the morning bring two quarts of fine flour mixed together with one quart of beaten olive oil, and one quart of wine for the drink offering. 41 With the second lamb offered at twilight, bring the same gifts of grain and drink that you offered with the morning lamb. These offerings by fire presented to Me will give off a pleasing aroma. 42 From generation to generation, the ritual of the burnt offering is to begin daily at the entrance of the congregation tent in My presence. I will meet with you and talk with you there. 43 I will meet with My people Israel there, for My glory will make that place sacred. 44 I will sanctify the congregation tent and the altar. I will also consecrate Aaron and his sons to serve as My priests. 45 I will live among the Israelites and be their God. 46 And they will know that I am the Eternal their God, who led them out of Egypt so that I could live among them. I am the Eternal One their God.
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