The Ordination of Priests
8 1-4 God spoke to Moses: He said, “Take Aaron and with him his sons, the garments, the anointing oil, the bull for the Absolution-Offering, the two rams, and the basket of unraised bread. Gather the entire congregation at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting.” Moses did just as God commanded him and the congregation gathered at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting.
5 Moses addressed the congregation: “This is what God has commanded to be done.”
6-9 Moses brought Aaron and his sons forward and washed them with water. He put the tunic on Aaron and tied it around him with a sash. Then he put the robe on him and placed the Ephod on him. He fastened the Ephod with a woven belt, making it snug. He put the Breastpiece on him and put the Urim and Thummim in the pouch of the Breastpiece. He placed the turban on his head with the gold plate fixed to the front of it, the holy crown, just as God had commanded Moses.
10-12 Then Moses took the anointing oil and anointed The Dwelling and everything that was in it, consecrating them. He sprinkled some of the oil on the Altar seven times, anointing the Altar and all its utensils, the Washbasin and its stand, consecrating them. He poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head, anointing him and thus consecrating him.
13 Moses brought Aaron’s sons forward and put tunics on them, belted them with sashes, and put caps on them, just as God had commanded Moses.
14-17 Moses brought out the bull for the Absolution-Offering. Aaron and his sons placed their hands on its head. Moses slaughtered the bull and purified the Altar by smearing the blood on each of the horns of the Altar with his finger. He poured out the rest of the blood at the base of the Altar. He consecrated it so atonement could be made on it. Moses took all the fat on the entrails and the lobe of liver and the two kidneys with their fat and burned it all on the Altar. The bull with its hide and meat and guts he burned outside the camp, just as God had commanded Moses.
18-21 Moses presented the ram for the Whole-Burnt-Offering. Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram. Moses slaughtered it and splashed the blood against all sides of the Altar. He cut the ram up into pieces and then burned the head, the pieces, and the fat. He washed the entrails and the legs with water and then burned the whole ram on the Altar. It was a Whole-Burnt-Offering, a pleasing fragrance—a gift to God, just as God had commanded Moses.
22-29 Moses then presented the second ram, the ram for the Ordination-Offering. Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the ram’s head. Moses slaughtered it and smeared some of its blood on the lobe of Aaron’s right ear, on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot. Then Aaron’s sons were brought forward and Moses smeared some of the blood on the lobes of their right ears, on the thumbs of their right hands, and on the big toes of their right feet. Moses threw the remaining blood against each side of the Altar. He took the fat, the fat tail, all the fat that was on the entrails, the lobe of the liver, the two kidneys with their fat, and the right thigh. From the basket of unraised bread that was in the presence of God he took one loaf of the unraised bread made with oil and one wafer. He placed these on the fat portions and the right thigh. He put all this in the hands of Aaron and his sons who waved them before God as a Wave-Offering. Then Moses took it all back from their hands and burned them on the Altar on top of the Whole-Burnt-Offering. These were the Ordination-Offerings, a pleasing fragrance to God, a gift to God. Then Moses took the breast and raised it up as a Wave-Offering before God; it was Moses’ portion from the Ordination-Offering ram, just as God had commanded Moses.
30 Moses took some of the anointing oil and some of the blood from the Altar and sprinkled Aaron and his garments, and his sons and their garments, consecrating Aaron and his garments and his sons and their garments.
31-35 Moses spoke to Aaron and his sons: “Boil the meat at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting and eat it there with the bread from the basket of ordination, just as I commanded, saying, ‘Aaron and his sons are to eat it.’ Burn up the leftovers from the meat and bread. Don’t leave through the entrance of the Tent of Meeting for the seven days that will complete your ordination. Your ordination will last seven days. God commanded what has been done this day in order to make atonement for you. Stay at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting day and night for seven days. Be sure to do what God requires, lest you die. This is what I have been commanded.”
36 Aaron and his sons did everything that God had commanded by Moses.
The Priests Go to Work
9 1-2 On the eighth day, Moses called in Aaron and his sons and the leaders of Israel. He spoke to Aaron: “Take a bull-calf for your Absolution-Offering and a ram for your Whole-Burnt-Offering, both without defect, and offer them to God.
3-4 “Then tell the People of Israel, Take a male goat for an Absolution-Offering and a calf and a lamb, both yearlings without defect, for a Whole-Burnt-Offering and a bull and a ram for a Peace-Offering, to be sacrificed before God with a Grain-Offering mixed with oil, because God will appear to you today.”
5-6 They brought the things that Moses had ordered to the Tent of Meeting. The whole congregation came near and stood before God. Moses said, “This is what God commanded you to do so that the Shining Glory of God will appear to you.”
7 Moses instructed Aaron, “Approach the Altar and sacrifice your Absolution-Offering and your Whole-Burnt-Offering. Make atonement for yourself and for the people. Sacrifice the offering that is for the people and make atonement for them, just as God commanded.”
8-11 Aaron approached the Altar and slaughtered the calf as an Absolution-Offering for himself. Aaron’s sons brought the blood to him. He dipped his finger in the blood and smeared some of it on the horns of the Altar. He poured out the rest of the blood at the base of the Altar. He burned the fat, the kidneys, and the lobe of the liver from the Absolution-Offering on the Altar, just as God had commanded Moses. He burned the meat and the skin outside the camp.
12-14 Then he slaughtered the Whole-Burnt-Offering. Aaron’s sons handed him the blood and he threw it against each side of the Altar. They handed him the pieces and the head and he burned these on the Altar. He washed the entrails and the legs and burned them on top of the Whole-Burnt-Offering on the Altar.
15-21 Next Aaron presented the offerings of the people. He took the male goat, the Absolution-Offering for the people, slaughtered it, and offered it as an Absolution-Offering just as he did with the first offering. He presented the Whole-Burnt-Offering following the same procedures. He presented the Grain-Offering by taking a handful of it and burning it on the Altar along with the morning Whole-Burnt-Offering. He slaughtered the bull and the ram, the people’s Peace-Offerings. Aaron’s sons handed him the blood and he threw it against each side of the Altar. The fat pieces from the bull and the ram—the fat tail and the fat that covers the kidney and the lobe of the liver—they laid on the breasts and Aaron burned it on the Altar. Aaron waved the breasts and the right thigh before God as a Wave-Offering, just as God commanded.
22-24 Aaron lifted his hands over the people and blessed them. Having completed the rituals of the Absolution-Offering, the Whole-Burnt-Offering, and the Peace-Offering, he came down from the Altar. Moses and Aaron entered the Tent of Meeting. When they came out they blessed the people and the Glory of God appeared to all the people. Fire blazed out from God and consumed the Whole-Burnt-Offering and the fat pieces on the Altar. When all the people saw it happen they cheered loudly and then fell down, bowing in reverence.
Nadab and Abihu
10 1-2 That same day Nadab and Abihu, Aaron’s sons, took their censers, put hot coals and incense in them, and offered “strange” fire to God—something God had not commanded. Fire blazed out from God and consumed them—they died in God’s presence.
3 Moses said to Aaron, “This is what God meant when he said,
To the one who comes near me,
I will show myself holy;
Before all the people,
I will show my glory.”
Aaron was silent.
4-5 Moses called for Mishael and Elzaphan, sons of Uzziel, Aaron’s uncle. He said, “Come. Carry your dead cousins outside the camp, away from the Sanctuary.” They came and carried them off, outside the camp, just as Moses had directed.
6-7 Moses then said to Aaron and his remaining sons, Eleazar and Ithamar, “No mourning rituals for you—unkempt hair, torn clothes—or you’ll also die and God will be angry with the whole congregation. Your relatives—all the People of Israel, in fact—will do the mourning over those God has destroyed by fire. And don’t leave the entrance to the Tent of Meeting lest you die, because God’s anointing oil is on you.”
They did just as Moses said.
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8-11 God instructed Aaron: “When you enter the Tent of Meeting, don’t drink wine or strong drink, neither you nor your sons, lest you die. This is a fixed rule down through the generations. Distinguish between the holy and the common, between the ritually clean and unclean. Teach the People of Israel all the decrees that God has spoken to them through Moses.”
12-15 Moses spoke to Aaron and his surviving sons, Eleazar and Ithamar, “Take the leftovers of the Grain-Offering from the Fire-Gifts for God and eat beside the Altar that which has been prepared without yeast, for it is most holy. Eat it in the Holy Place because it is your portion and the portion of your sons from the Fire-Gifts for God. This is what God commanded me. Also, you and your sons and daughters are to eat the breast of the Wave-Offering and the thigh of the Contribution-Offering in a clean place. They are provided as your portion and the portion of your children from the Peace-Offerings presented by the People of Israel. Bring the thigh of the Contribution-Offering and the breast of the Wave-Offering and the fat pieces of the Fire-Gifts and lift them up as a Wave-Offering. This will be the regular share for you and your children as ordered by God.”
16-18 When Moses looked into the matter of the goat of the Absolution-Offering, he found that it had been burned up. He became angry with Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s remaining sons, and asked, “Why didn’t you eat the Absolution-Offering in the Holy Place since it is most holy? The offering was given to you for taking away the guilt of the community by making atonement for them before God. Since its blood was not taken into the Holy Place, you should have eaten the goat in the Sanctuary as I commanded.”
19 Aaron replied to Moses, “Look. They sacrificed their Absolution-Offering and Whole-Burnt-Offering before God today, and you see what has happened to me—I’ve lost two sons. Do you think God would have been pleased if I had gone ahead and eaten the Absolution-Offering today?”
20 When Moses heard this response, he accepted it.