Through the Bible – Day 38

Bible text(s)

The ceremony for ordaining priests

1The LORD said to Moses:

2Send for Aaron and his sons, as well as their priestly clothes, the oil for ordination, the bull for the sin offering, the two rams, and a basket of bread made without yeast. 3Then bring the whole community of Israel together at the entrance to the sacred tent.

4Moses obeyed the LORD, and when everyone had come together, 5he said, “We are here to follow the LORD's instructions.”

6After Moses told Aaron and his sons to step forward, he made them wash themselves. 7He put the priestly shirt and robe on Aaron and wrapped the sash around his waist. Then he put the sacred apron on Aaron and fastened it with the finely woven belt. 8Next, he put on Aaron the sacred breastpiece that was used in learning what the LORD wanted his people to do. 9He placed the turban on Aaron's head, and on the front of the turban was the narrow strip of thin gold as a sign of his dedication to the LORD.

10Moses then dedicated the sacred tent and everything in it to the LORD by sprinkling them with some of the oil for ordination. 11He sprinkled the bronze altar seven times, and he sprinkled its equipment, as well as the large bronze bowl and its base. 12He also poured some of the oil on Aaron's head to dedicate him to the LORD. 13At last, Moses dressed Aaron's sons in their shirts, then tied sashes around them and put special caps on them, just as the LORD had commanded.

14Moses led out the bull that was to be sacrificed for sin, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on its head. 15After it was killed, Moses dipped a finger in the blood and smeared some of it on each of the four corners of the bronze altar, before pouring out the rest at the foot of the altar. This purified the altar and made it a fit place for offering the sacrifice for sin. 16Moses then took the fat on the bull's insides, as well as the lower part of the liver and the two kidneys with their fat, and sent them up in smoke on the altar fire. 17Finally, he took the skin and the flesh of the bull, together with the food still in its stomach, and burnt them outside the camp, just as the LORD had commanded.

18Moses led out the ram for the sacrifice to please the LORD. After Aaron and his sons had laid their hands on its head, 19Moses killed the ram and splattered its blood against the four sides of the altar. 20-21Moses had the animal cut up, and he washed its insides and hind legs. Then he laid the head, the fat, and the rest of the ram on the altar and sent them up in smoke with a smell that pleased the LORD. All this was done just as the LORD had commanded.

22Moses led out the ram for the ceremony of ordination. Aaron and his sons laid their hands on its head, 23and it was killed. Moses smeared some of its blood on Aaron's right ear lobe, some on his right thumb, and some on the big toe of his right foot. 24Moses did the same thing for Aaron's sons, before splattering the rest of the blood against the four sides of the altar. 25He took the animal's fat tail, the fat on its insides, and the lower part of the liver and the two kidneys with their fat, and the right hind leg. 26Then he took from a basket some of each of the three kinds of bread that had been made without yeast and had been dedicated to the LORD.

27Moses placed the bread on top of the meat and gave it all to Aaron and his sons, who lifted it up to show that it was dedicated to the LORD. 28After this, Moses placed it on the fires of the altar and sent it up in smoke with a smell that pleased the LORD. This was part of the ordination ceremony. 29Moses lifted up the choice ribs of the ram to show that they were dedicated to the LORD. This was the part that the LORD had said Moses could have.

30Finally, Moses sprinkled the priestly clothes of Aaron and his sons with some of the oil for ordination and with some of the blood from the altar. So Aaron and his sons, together with their priestly clothes, were dedicated to the LORD.

31Moses said to Aaron and his sons:

The LORD told me that you must boil this meat at the entrance to the sacred tent and eat it there with the bread. 32Burn what is left over 33and stay near the entrance to the sacred tent until the ordination ceremony ends seven days from now. 34We have obeyed the LORD in everything that has been done today, so that your sins may be forgiven. 35The LORD has told me that you must stay near the entrance to the tent for seven days and nights, or else you will die.

36Aaron and his sons obeyed everything that the LORD had told Moses they must do.

Aaron's first sacrifices

1Eight days later Moses called together Aaron, his sons, and Israel's leaders. 2Then he said to Aaron:

Find a young bull and a ram that have nothing wrong with them. Offer the bull to the LORD as a sacrifice for sin and the ram as a sacrifice to please him.

3Tell the people of Israel that they must offer sacrifices as well. They must offer a goat as a sacrifice for sin, and a bull and a ram as a sacrifice to please the LORD. The bull and the ram must be a year old and have nothing wrong with them. 4Then the people must offer a bull and a ram as a sacrifice to ask the LORD's blessing and also a grain sacrifice mixed with oil. Do this, because the LORD will appear to you today.

5After the animals and the grain had been brought to the front of the sacred tent, and the people were standing there in the presence of the LORD, 6Moses said:

The LORD has ordered you to do this, so that he may appear to you in all his glory. 7Aaron, step up to the altar and offer the sacrifice to please the LORD, then offer the sacrifices for the forgiveness of your sins and for the sins of the people, just as the LORD has commanded.

8Aaron stepped up to the altar and killed the bull that was to be the sacrifice for his sins. 9His sons brought him the blood. He dipped a finger in it, smeared some on the four corners of the bronze altar, and poured out the rest at its foot. 10But he sent up in smoke the fat, the kidneys, and the lower part of the liver, just as the LORD had commanded Moses. 11Then Aaron burnt the skin and the flesh outside the camp.

12After Aaron had killed the ram that was sacrificed to please the LORD, Aaron's sons brought him the blood, and he splattered it against all four sides of the altar. 13They brought him each piece of the animal, including the head, and he burnt them all on the altar. 14He washed the insides and the hind legs and also sent them up in smoke.

15Next, Aaron sacrificed the goat for the sins of the people, as he had done with the sacrifice for his own sins. 16And so, he burnt this sacrifice on the altar in the proper way. 17He also presented the grain sacrifice and burnt a handful of the flour on the altar as part of the morning sacrifice.

18At last, he killed the bull and the ram as a sacrifice to ask the LORD's blessing on the people. Aaron's sons brought him the blood, and he splattered it against the four sides of the altar. 19His sons placed all the fat, as well as the kidneys and the lower part of the liver 20on top of the choice ribs. 21Then Aaron burnt the fat on the altar and lifted up the ribs and the right hind leg to show that these were dedicated to the LORD. This was done just as the LORD had instructed Moses.

22Aaron held out his hand and gave the people his blessing, before coming down from the bronze altar where he had offered the sacrifices. 23He and Moses went into the sacred tent, and when they came out, they gave the people their blessing. Then the LORD appeared to the people in all his glory. 24The LORD sent fiery flames that burnt up everything on the altar, and when everyone saw this, they shouted and fell to their knees to worship the LORD.

Two priests are killed

Nadab and Abihu

1Nadab and Abihu were two of Aaron's sons, but they disobeyed the LORD by burning incense to him on a fire pan, when they were not supposed to. 2Suddenly the LORD sent fiery flames and burnt them to death. 3Then Moses told Aaron that this was exactly what the LORD had meant when he said:

“I demand respect

from my priests,

and I will be praised

by everyone!”

Aaron was speechless.

4Moses sent for Mishael and Elzaphan, the two sons of Aaron's uncle Uzziel. Then he told them, “Take these two dead relatives of yours outside the camp far from the entrance to the sacred tent.” 5So they dragged the dead men away by their clothes.

6Then Moses told Aaron and his other two sons, Eleazar and Ithamar:

Don't show your sorrow by leaving your hair uncombed and tearing your priestly clothes, or the LORD will get angry. He will kill the three of you and punish everyone else. It's all right for your relatives, the people of Israel, to mourn for those he destroyed by fire. 7But you are the LORD's chosen priests, and you must not leave the sacred tent, or you will die.

Aaron and his two sons obeyed Moses.

8The LORD said to Aaron:

9When you or your sons enter the sacred tent, you must never drink beer or wine. If you do, you will die there! This law will never change. 10You must learn the difference between what is holy and what isn't holy and between the clean and the unclean. 11You must also teach the people of Israel everything that I commanded Moses to say to them.

12Moses told Aaron and his two sons, Eleazar and Ithamar:

The grain sacrifice that was offered to give thanks to the LORD is very holy. So make bread without yeast from the part that wasn't sent up in smoke and eat it beside the altar. 13The LORD has said that this belongs to you and your sons, and that it must be eaten in a holy place. 14-15But the choice ribs and the hind leg that were lifted up may be eaten by your entire family, as long as you do so in an acceptable place. These parts are yours from the sacrifices that the people offer to ask the LORD's blessing. This is what the LORD has commanded, and it will never change.

16When Moses asked around and learnt that the ram for the sin sacrifice had already been burnt on the altar, he became angry with Eleazar and Ithamar and said, 17“Why didn't you eat the meat from this sacrifice in an acceptable place? It is very holy, and the LORD has given you this sacrifice to remove Israel's sin and guilt. 18Whenever an animal's blood isn't brought into the sacred tent, I commanded you to eat its meat in an acceptable place, but you burnt it instead.”

19Their father Aaron replied, “Today two of my sons offered the sacrifice for sin and the sacrifice to please the LORD, and look what has happened to me! Would the LORD have approved if I had eaten the sacrifice for sin?”

20Moses was satisfied with Aaron's reply.

Leviticus 8:1-10:20CEVOpen in Bible reader
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