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The Covenant at Mt. Sinai

(Category 4 of 16)

God invites Israel to live in close proximity to his holy presence. Which seems awesome, but it’s actually dangerous. This book explores how the sacrificial rituals and purity practices cleared the way for morally corrupt Israelites to become God’s covenant partners.

The Book of Leviticus Overview

Explore Torah Series

Leviticus (TOR)


page 93

Aaron and His Sons Consecrated


1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying:
2 a“Take Aaron and his sons with him, and bthe garments, cthe anointing oil, a dbull as the sin offering, two erams, and a basket of unleavened bread;
3 “and gather all the congregation together at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.”
4 So Moses did as the LORD commanded him. And the congregation was gathered together at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.
5 And Moses said to the congregation, “This is what the LORD commanded to be done.”
6 Then Moses brought Aaron and his sons and awashed them with water.
7 And he aput the tunic on him, girded him with the sash, clothed him with the robe, and put the ephod on him; and he girded him with the intricately woven band of the ephod, and with it tied the ephod on him.
8 Then he put the breastplate on him, and he aput the 1Urim and the Thummim in the breastplate.
9 aAnd he put the turban on his head. Also on the turban, on its front, he put the golden plate, the holy crown, as the LORD had commanded Moses.
10 aAlso Moses took the anointing oil, and anointed the tabernacle and all that was in it, and consecrated them.
11 He sprinkled some of it on the altar seven times, anointed the altar and all its utensils, and the laver and its base, to 1consecrate them.
12 And he apoured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head and anointed him, to consecrate him.
13 aThen Moses brought Aaron’s sons and put tunics on them, girded them with sashes, and put 1hats on them, as the LORD had commanded Moses.
14 aAnd he brought the bull for the sin offering. Then Aaron and his

CHAPTER 8 References

2 aEx. 29:1–3
bEx. 28:2, 4
cEx. 30:24, 25
dEx. 29:10
eEx. 29:15, 19
6 aEx. 30:20;
Heb. 10:22
7 aEx. 39:1–31
8 aEx. 28:30;
Num. 27:21;
Deut. 33:8;
1 Sam. 28:6;
Ezra 2:63;
Neh. 7:65 1Lit.
Lights and
the Perfections,
9 aEx. 28:36,
37; 29:6
10 aEx.
40:10, 11; Lev.
11 1set them
apart for the
12 aEx. 29:7;
30:30; Lev.
21:10, 12; Ps.
13 aEx. 29:8, 9
14 aEx. 29:10;
Ps. 66:15;
Ezek. 43:19
bLev. 4:4
15 aEx. 29:12,
36; Lev. 4:7;
Ezek. 43:20,
26; [Heb. 9:22] 1Lit. covering
16 aEx. 29:13;
Lev. 4:8
17 aEx. 29:14;
Lev. 4:11, 12
18 aEx. 29:15
20 aLev. 1:8
21 aEx. 29:18
22 aEx. 29:19,
31; Lev. 8:2
23 aEx. 29:20,
21; Lev. 14:14
24 a[Heb. 9:13,
14, 18–23] 25 aEx. 29:22
26 aEx. 29:23
27 aEx. 29:24;
Lev. 7:30, 34
28 aEx. 29:25
29 aPs. 99:6
bEx. 29:27


sons blaid their hands on the head of the bull for the sin offering,
15 and Moses killed it. aThen he took the blood, and put some on the horns of the altar all around with his finger, and purified the altar. And he poured the blood at the base of the altar, and consecrated it, to make 1atonement for it.
16 aThen he took all the fat that was on the entrails, the fatty lobe attached to the liver, and the two kidneys with their fat, and Moses burned them on the altar.
17 But the bull, its hide, its flesh, and its offal, he burned with fire outside the camp, as the LORD ahad commanded Moses.
18 aThen he brought the ram as the burnt offering. And Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram,
19 and Moses killed it. Then he sprinkled the blood all around on the altar.
20 And he cut the ram into pieces; and Moses aburned the head, the pieces, and the fat.
21 Then he washed the entrails and the legs in water. And Moses burned the whole ram on the altar. It was a burnt sacrifice for a 1sweet aroma, an offering made by fire to the LORD, aas the LORD had commanded Moses.
22 And ahe brought the second ram, the ram of consecration. Then Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram,
23 and Moses killed it. Also he took some of aits blood and put it on the tip of Aaron’s right ear, on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot.
24 Then he brought Aaron’s sons. And Moses put some of the ablood on the tips of their right ears, on the thumbs of their right hands, and on the big toes of their right feet. And Moses sprinkled the blood all around on the altar.
25 aThen he took the fat and the fat tail, all the fat that was on the entrails, the fatty lobe attached to the liver, the two kidneys and their fat, and the right thigh;
26 aand from the basket of unleavened bread that was before the LORD he took one unleavened cake, a cake of bread anointed with oil, and one wafer, and put them on the fat and on the right thigh;
27 and he put all these ain Aaron’s hands and in his sons’ hands, and waved them as a wave offering before the LORD.
28 aThen Moses took them from their hands and burned them on the altar, on the burnt offering. They were consecration offerings for a sweet aroma. That was an offering made by fire to the LORD.
29 And aMoses took the bbreast and

page 94


waved it as a wave offering before the LORD. It was Moses’ cpart of the ram of consecration, as the LORD had commanded Moses.
30 Then aMoses took some of the anointing oil and some of the blood which was on the altar, and sprinkled it on Aaron, on his garments, on his sons, and on the garments of his sons with him; and he consecrated Aaron, his garments, his sons, and the garments of his sons with him.
31 And Moses said to Aaron and his sons, a“Boil the flesh at the door of the tabernacle of meeting, and eat it there with the bread that is in the basket of consecration offerings, as I commanded, saying, ‘Aaron and his sons shall eat it.’
32 a“What remains of the flesh and of the bread you shall burn with fire.
33 “And you shall not go outside the door of the tabernacle of meeting for seven days, until the days of your consecration are ended. For aseven days he shall consecrate you.
34 a“As he has done this day, so the LORD has commanded to do, to make atonement for you.
35 “Therefore you shall stay at the door of the tabernacle of meeting day and night for seven days, and akeep the 1charge of the LORD, so that you may not die; for so I have been commanded.”
36 So Aaron and his sons did all the things that the LORD had commanded by the hand of Moses.

The Priestly Ministry Begins


1 It came to pass on the aeighth day that Moses called Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel.
2 And he said to Aaron, “Take for yourself a young abull as a sin offering and a ram as a burnt offering, without blemish, and offer them before the LORD.
3 “And to the children of Israel you shall speak, saying, a‘Take a kid of the goats as a sin offering, and a calf and a lamb, both of the first year, without blemish, as a burnt offering,
4 ‘also a bull and a ram as peace offerings, to sacrifice before the LORD, and aa grain offering mixed with oil; for btoday the LORD will appear to you.’ ”
5 So they brought what Moses commanded before the tabernacle of meeting. And all the congregation drew near and stood 1before the LORD.
6 Then Moses said, “This is the thing which the LORD commanded you to do, and the glory of the LORD will appear to you.”
7 And Moses said to Aaron, “Go to the altar, aoffer your sin offering and your burnt offering, and make

29 cEx. 29:26
30 aEx. 29:21;
30:30; Num.
31 aEx. 29:31,
32 aEx. 29:34
33 aEx. 29:30,
35; Lev. 10:7;
Ezek. 43:25,
34 a[Heb. 7:16] 35 aNum. 1:53;
3:7; 9:19;
Deut. 11:1;
1 Kin. 2:3;
Ezek. 48:11

CHAPTER 9 References

1 aEzek. 43:27
2 aEx. 29:21;
Lev. 4:1–12
3 aLev. 4:23,
28; Ezra 6:17;
4 aLev. 2:4
bEx. 29:43;
Lev. 9:6, 23
5 1in the presence
7 aLev. 4:3;
1 Sam. 3:14;
[Heb. 5:3–5;
7:27] bLev.
4:16, 20; Heb.
10 aEx. 23:18;
Lev. 8:16
11 aLev. 4:11,
12; 8:17
12 aLev. 1:5;
13 aLev. 8:20
14 aLev. 8:21
15 a[Is. 53:10;
Heb. 2:17; 5:3] 16 aLev. 1:1–13
17 aEx. 29:38,
18 aLev. 3:1–11
20 aLev. 3:5, 16
21 aEx. 29:24,
26, 27; Lev.
22 aNum.
6:22–26; Deut.
21:5; Luke
24 aGen. 4:4;
Judg. 6:21;
2 Chr. 7:1; Ps.
20:3 bEzra
3:11 c1 Kin.
18:38, 39

atonement for yourself and for the people. bOffer the offering of the people, and make atonement for them, as the LORD commanded.”
8 Aaron therefore went to the altar and killed the calf of the sin offering, which was for himself.
9 Then the sons of Aaron brought the blood to him. And he dipped his finger in the blood, put it on the horns of the altar, and poured the blood at the base of the altar.
10 aBut the fat, the kidneys, and the fatty lobe from the liver of the sin offering he burned on the altar, as the LORD had commanded Moses.
11 aThe flesh and the hide he burned with fire outside the camp.
12 And he killed the burnt offering; and Aaron’s sons presented to him the blood, awhich he sprinkled all around on the altar.
13 aThen they presented the burnt offering to him, with its pieces and head, and he burned them on the altar.
14 aAnd he washed the entrails and the legs, and burned them with the burnt offering on the altar.
15 aThen he brought the people’s offering, and took the goat, which was the sin offering for the people, and killed it and offered it for sin, like the first one.
16 And he brought the burnt offering and offered it aaccording to the 1prescribed manner.
17 Then he brought the grain offering, took a handful of it, and burned it on the altar, abesides the burnt sacrifice of the morning.
18 He also killed the bull and the ram as asacrifices of peace offerings, which were for the people. And Aaron’s sons presented to him the blood, which he sprinkled all around on the altar,
19 and the fat from the bull and the ram—the fatty tail, what covers the entrails and the kidneys, and the fatty lobe attached to the liver;
20 and they put the fat on the breasts. aThen he burned the fat on the altar;
21 but the breasts and the right thigh Aaron waved aas a wave offering before the LORD, as Moses had commanded.
22 Then Aaron lifted his hand toward the people, ablessed them, and came down from offering the sin offering, the burnt offering, and peace offerings.
23 And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of meeting, and came out and blessed the people. Then the glory of the LORD appeared to all the people,
24 and afire came out from before the LORD and consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the altar. When all the people saw it, they bshouted and fell on their cfaces.

page 95

The Profane Fire of Nadab and Abihu


1 aNadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, beach took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered cprofane fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them.
2 So afire went out from the LORD and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.
3 And Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the LORD spoke, saying:

‘By those awho come near Me I must be regarded as holy; And before all the people I must be glorified.’ ”

So Aaron held his peace.
4 Then Moses called Mishael and Elzaphan, the sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aaron, and said to them, “Come near, acarry your brethren from 1before the sanctuary out of the camp.”
5 So they went near and carried them by their tunics out of the camp, as Moses had said.
6 And Moses said to Aaron, and to Eleazar and Ithamar, his sons, “Do not 1uncover your heads nor tear your clothes, lest you die, and awrath come upon all the people. But let your brethren, the whole house of Israel, 2bewail the burning which the LORD has kindled.
7 a“You shall not go out from the door of the tabernacle of meeting, lest you die, bfor the anointing oil of the LORD is upon you.” And they did according to the word of Moses.

Conduct Prescribed for Priests

8 Then the LORD spoke to Aaron, saying:
9 a“Do not drink wine or intoxicating drink, you, nor your sons with you, when you go into the tabernacle of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations,
10 “that you may adistinguish between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean,
11 a“and that you may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD has spoken to them by the hand of Moses.”
12 And Moses spoke to Aaron, and to Eleazar and Ithamar, his sons who were left: a“Take the grain offering that remains of the offerings made by fire to the LORD, and eat it without leaven beside the altar; bfor it is most holy.
13 “You shall eat it in a aholy place, because it is your 1due and your sons’ due, of the sacrifices made by fire to the LORD; for bso I have been commanded.
14 a“The breast of the wave offering

CHAPTER 10 References

1 aNum. 3:2–4
bLev. 16:12
cEx. 30:9
2 aNum. 11:1;
3 aEx. 19:22
4 aActs 5:6, 10
1in front of
6 a2 Sam. 24:1
1An act of
2weep bitterly
7 aLev. 8:33;
21:12 bLev.
9 aEzek. 44:21
10 aEzek.
22:26; 44:23
11 aDeut. 24:8
12 aNum. 18:9
bLev. 21:22
13 aNum.
18:10 bLev.
2:3; 6:16
14 aNum.
18:11 bLev.
22:13 cNum.
15 aLev. 7:29,
30, 34
16 aLev. 9:3, 15
17 aLev.
6:24–30 bEx.
18 aLev. 6:30
bLev. 6:26, 30
1The Most
Holy Place
when capitalized
19 aLev. 9:8, 12
b[Is. 1:11–15]

and the thigh of the heave offering you shall eat in a clean place, you, your sons, and your bdaughters with you; for they are your due and your sons’ cdue, which are given from the sacrifices of peace offerings of the children of Israel.
15 a“The thigh of the heave offering and the breast of the wave offering they shall bring with the offerings of fat made by fire, to offer as a wave offering before the LORD. And it shall be yours and your sons’ with you, by a statute forever, as the LORD has commanded.”
16 Then Moses made careful inquiry about athe goat of the sin offering, and there it was—burned up. And he was angry with Eleazar and Ithamar, the sons of Aaron who were left, saying,
17 a“Why have you not eaten the sin offering in a holy place, since it is most holy, and God has given it to you to bear bthe guilt of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the LORD?
18 “See! aIts blood was not brought inside 1the holy place; indeed you should have eaten it in a holy place, bas I commanded.”
19 And Aaron said to Moses, “Look, athis day they have offered their sin offering and their burnt offering before the LORD, and such things have befallen me! If I had eaten the sin offering today, bwould it have been accepted in the sight of the LORD?”
20 So when Moses heard that, he was content.

page 488


The Joy of Forgiveness

A Psalm of David. A 1Contemplation.

1 BLESSED is he whose atransgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed is the man to whom the LORD adoes not 1impute iniquity, And bin whose spirit there is no deceit.

3 When I kept silent, my bones grew old Through my groaning all the day long.
4 For day and night Your ahand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah
5 I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden. aI said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah

PSALM 32 References

title 1Heb.
1 a[Ps. 85:2;
103:3]; Rom.
4:7, 8
2 a[2 Cor. 5:19] bJohn 1:47
1charge his
account with
4 a1 Sam. 5:6;
Ps. 38:2; 39:10
5 a2 Sam.
12:13; Ps.
38:18; [Prov.
28:13; 1 John
1:9] 6 a[1 Tim.
1:16] bPs.
69:13; Is. 55:6
7 aPs. 9:9 bEx.
15:1; Judg.
5:1; [Ps. 40:3] 9 aProv. 26:3
10 aPs. 16:4;
[Prov. 13:21;
Rom. 2:9] b[Ps. 5:11, 12];
Prov. 16:20
11 aPs. 64:10;
68:3; 97:12

6 aFor this cause everyone who is godly shall bpray to You In a time when You may be found; Surely in a flood of great waters They shall not come near him.
7 aYou are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with bsongs of deliverance. Selah

8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.
9 Do not be like the ahorse or like the mule, Which have no understanding, Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, Else they will not come near you.

10 aMany sorrows shall be to the wicked; But bhe who trusts in the LORD, mercy shall surround him.
11 aBe glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!




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