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Exodus Chapter Twenty-nine


Exodus 29

Chapter Contents

The sacrifice and ceremony for the consecration of the priests. (1-37) The continual burnt-offerings, God's promise to dwell among Israel. (38-46)

Commentary on Exodus 29:1-37

(Read Exodus 29:1-37)

Aaron and his sons were to be set apart for the priest's office, with ceremony and solemnity. Our Lord Jesus is the great High Priest of our profession, called of God to be so; anointed with the Spirit, whence he is called Messiah, the Christ; clothed with glory and beauty; sanctified by his own blood; made perfect, or consecrated through sufferings, Hebrews 2:10. All believers are spiritual priests, to offer spiritual sacrifices, 1 Peter 2:5, washed in the blood of Christ, and so made to our God priests, Revelation 1:5,6. They also are clothed with the beauty of holiness, and have received the anointing, 1 John 2:27. The Spirit of God is called the finger of God, (Luke 11:20, compared with Matthew 12:28,) and by him the merit of Christ is applied to our souls. This consecration signifies the admission of a sinner into the spiritual priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Commentary on Exodus 29:38-46

(Read Exodus 29:38-46)

A lamb was to be offered upon the altar every morning, and a lamb every evening. This typified the continual intercession which Christ ever lives to make for his church. Though he offered himself but once for all, that one offering thus becomes a continual offering. This also teaches us to offer to God the spiritual sacrifices of prayer and praise every day, morning and evening. Our daily devotions are the most needful of our daily works, and the most pleasant of our daily comforts. Prayer-time must be kept up as duly as meal-time. Those starve their own souls, who keep not up constant attendance on the throne of grace; constancy in religion brings in the comfort of it.

── Matthew HenryConcise Commentary on Exodus


Exodus 29

Verse 4

[4] And Aaron and his sons thou shalt bring unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shalt wash them with water.

They were to be consecrated at the door of the tabernacle — God was pleased to dwell in the tabernacle, the people attending in the courts, so that the door between the court and the tabernacle was the fittest place for them to be consecrated in, who were to mediate between God and man, and to stand between both, and lay their hands (as it were) upon both. Here they were to be washed, signifying that they must be clean who bear the vessels of the Lord, Isaiah 52:11. And they were to be clothed with the holy garments, to signify that it was not sufficient for them to put away the pollutions of sin, but they must put on the graces of the Spirit, be clothed with righteousness, Psalms 132:9. They must be girded, as men prepared and strengthened for their work; and they must be robed and crowned, as men that counted their work and office their true honour.

Verse 7

[7] Then shalt thou take the anointing oil, and pour it upon his head, and anoint him.

The high priest was to be anointed with the holy anointing oil - That the church might be filled with the sweet favour of his administrations, and in token of the pouring out of the Spirit upon him, to qualify him for his work.

Verse 10

[10] And thou shalt cause a bullock to be brought before the tabernacle of the congregation: and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the bullock.

There must be a sin-offering, to make atonement for them. The law made them priests that had infirmity; and therefore they must first offer for their own sin, before they could make atonement for the people, Hebrews 7:27,28. They were to put their hand on the head of their sacrifice; confessing that they deserved to die for their own sin, and desiring that the killing of the beast might be accepted as a vicarious satisfaction. It was used as other sin-offerings were; only, whereas the flesh of other sin-offerings was eaten by the priests, in token of the priests taking away the sin of the people, this was appointed to be all burnt without the camp, to signify the imperfection of the legal dispensation, for the sins of the priests themselves could not be taken away by those sacrifices, but they must expect a better high priest, and a better sacrifice.

Verse 15

[15] Thou shalt also take one ram; and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the ram.

There must be a burnt-offering, a ram wholly burnt, in token of the dedication of themselves wholly to God, as living sacrifices, kindled with the fire, and ascending in the flame of holy love. This sin-offering must be offered, and then the burnt-offering, for till guilt be removed no acceptable service can be performed.

Verse 19

[19] And thou shalt take the other ram; and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the ram.

There must be a peace-offering; it is called the ram of consecration, because there was more in this, peculiar to the occasion, than in the other two. In the burnt-offering God had the glory of their priesthood, in this they had the comfort of it. And in token of a mutual covenant between God and them, the blood of this sacrifice was divided between God and them, part of the blood was sprinkled upon the altar round about, and part upon them, upon their bodies, and upon their garments. Thus the benefit of the expiation made by the sacrifice was applied and assured to them, and their whole selves from head to foot sanctified to the service of God. The blood was put upon the extreme parts of the body, to signify, that it was all as it were enclosed and taken in for God, the tip of the ear, and the great toe not excepted. And the blood and oil signified the blood of Christ, and the graces of the Spirit, which constitute and compleat the beauty of holiness, and recommend us to God. The flesh of the sacrifice, with the meat-offering annexed to it, was likewise divided between God and them, that (to speak with reverence) God and they might feast together, in token of friendship and fellowship.

Verse 22

[22] Also thou shalt take of the ram the fat and the rump, and the fat that covereth the inwards, and the caul above the liver, and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, and the right shoulder; for it is a ram of consecration:

Part of it was to be first waved before the Lord, and then burnt upon the altar, these were first put into the hands of Aaron to be waved to and fro in token of their being offered to God, and then they were to be burnt upon the altar, for the altar was to devour God's part of the sacrifice. Thus God admitted Aaron and his sons to wait at his table, taking the meat of his altar from their hands. Here, in a parenthesis as it were, comes in the law concerning the priests part of the peace-offerings afterwards, the breast and shoulder, which were now divided; Moses had the breast, and the shoulder was burnt on the altar with God's part.

Verse 31

[31] And thou shalt take the ram of the consecration, and seethe his flesh in the holy place.

The other part of the flesh of the ram, and of the bread, Aaron and his sons were to eat at the door of the tabernacle, to signify that he not only called them servants but friends. He supped with them, and they with him. Their eating of the things wherewith the atonement was made, signified their receiving the atonement, their thankful acceptance of the benefit of it, and their joyful communion with God thereupon.

Verse 35

[35] And thus shalt thou do unto Aaron, and to his sons, according to all things which I have commanded thee: seven days shalt thou consecrate them.

Seven days shalt thou consecrate them — Though all the ceremonies were performed on the first day, yet, they were not to look upon their consecration as compleated till the seven days end, which put a solemnity upon their admission, and a distance between this and their former state, and obliged them to enter upon their work with a pause, giving them time to consider the weight of it. This was to be observed in after ages: he that was to succeed Aaron in the high priesthood, must put on the holy garments seven days together, in token of a deliberate advance into his office, and that one sabbath might pass over him, in his consecration. Every day of the seven, in this first consecration, a bullock was to be offered for a sin-offering, which was to intimate, (1.) That though atonement was made, yet they must still keep up a penitent sense of sin, and often repeat the confession of it. (2.) That those sacrifices which were thus offered day by day, could not make the comers there unto perfect, for then they would have ceased to be offered; Hebrews 10:1,2. They must therefore expect the bringing in of a better hope. Now this consecration of the priests was a shadow of good things to come. 1. Our Lord Jesus is the great high priest of our profession, called of God to be so consecrated for evermore, anointed with the Spirit above his fellows, whence he is called Messiah, the Christ; clothed with the holy garments, even with glory and beauty; sanctified by his own blood, not that of bullocks and rams. 2. All believers are spiritual priests, to offer spiritual sacrifices, 1 Peter 2:5, washed in the blood of Christ, and so made to our God priests, Revelation 1:5,6. They also are clothed with the beauty of holiness, and have received the anointing, 1 John 2:27. His blood sprinkled upon the conscience, purgeth it from dead works, that they may, as priests, serve the living God. The Spirit of God is called the finger of God ( Luke 11:20, compared with Matthew 12:28,) and by him the merit of Christ is effectually applied to our souls, as here Moses with his finger was to put the blood upon Aaron. It is likewise intimated that gospel ministers are to be solemnly set apart to the work of the ministry with great deliberation and seriousness, both in the ordainers, and in the ordained, as those that are employed in a great work, and intrusted with a great charge.

Verse 36

[36] And thou shalt offer every day a bullock for a sin offering for atonement: and thou shalt cleanse the altar, when thou hast made an atonement for it, and thou shalt anoint it, to sanctify it.

The consecration of the altar, seems to have been coincident with that of the priests; and the sin-offerings, which were offered every day for seven days together, had reference to the altar, as well as the priests. And atonement was made for the altar. The altar was also sanctified, not only set apart itself to a sacred use, but made so holy as to sanctify the gifts that were offered upon it, Matthew 23:19. Christ is our altar, for our sakes he sanctified himself, that we and our performances might be sanctified and recommended to God, John 17:19.

Verse 38

[38] Now this is that which thou shalt offer upon the altar; two lambs of the first year day by day continually.

This daily service, a lamb offered upon the altar every morning, and every evening, typified the continual intercession which Christ ever lives to make in the virtue of his satisfaction for the continual sanctification of his church: though he offered himself once for all, yet that one offering thus becomes a continual offering. And this teaches us to offer up to God the spiritual sacrifices of prayer and praise every day, morning and evening, in humble acknowledgment of our dependence upon him, and our obligations to him.

Verse 40

[40] And with the one lamb a tenth deal of flour mingled with the fourth part of an hin of beaten oil; and the fourth part of an hin of wine for a drink offering.

A tenth deal, or tenth part of an Ephah, is about three quarts. A hin is five quarts.

── John WesleyExplanatory Notes on Exodus



29 Chapter 29


Verses 1-37

Exodus 29:1-37

To minister unto Me in the priest’s office.

The consecration of priests

I. The priests were washed first.

1. Regeneration.

2. Remission of sin.

II. After being washed, the priests were clothed. We must have the fine linen of an inward sanctification, and the outer garment for glory and for beauty, of the imputed righteousness of Christ.

1. These garments were provided for them.

2. These garments formed a complete apparel.

3. These garments were very comely to look upon.

4. The dress provided was absolutely necessary to be worn.

III. These priests were anointed. Be filled with the Spirit. A man in Christ is fragrant with a holy perfume before the Lord, but out of Christ he is an unclean thing, and cannot approach the altar.

IV. They had next to share in the sin-offering. Lift your eyes to Jesus, your ransom and substitute.

V. After the sin-offering the consecrated ones went on to take their share in the burnt-offering. The sin-offering indicated Christ as bearing our sin, but the burnt-offering sets Him forth as presenting an acceptable offering unto the Lord.

VI. After the priests had seen for themselves the sin-offering and the burnt-offering, it was needful that they should partake of a third sacrifice, which was a peace-offering. This was shared between the Lord and the priest or offerer. Thus it was an open declaration of the communion which had been established between God and man, so that they ate together, rejoicing in the same offering.


1. Do you and I offer sacrifice continually? Do we every day feel that our whole being is “Holiness unto the Lord”?

2. What have you to offer now? Bring continually of your--

Verse 10

Exodus 29:10

The Tabernacle of the congregation.

The tent of meeting

The Tabernacle of the congregation--or, rather, tent of meeting--was the place where God’s presence was manifested. This was granted to the people of Israel, first in the pillar of fire and cloud, then in the Tabernacle and Temple. And now for us in Jesus Christ there is “God manifested in the flesh.”

I. In and through Christ God is revealed.

II. Through Him and by Him the Lord God is approached.

1. We have the right of approach through Jesus Christ. His life embodied a perfect righteousness. His death is the accepted sacrifice.

2. We have not only the right of approach, but also the power to approach, sharing the Spirit of the Divine Redeemer; for the final result and crowning proof of our Lord’s exaltation was this--He sent the Comforter. (J. Aldis.)

Verses 26-28

Exodus 29:26-28

Which is waved, and which is heaved up.

The wave-offerings and heave-offerings

1. As illustrating the state of the heart in those who truly offer themselves up to God, there is something impressive and beautiful in the ancient wave-offerings and heave-offerings. Waving is one of nature’s universal laws. The whole creation, with its myriads of planets, suns and heavens, lives because it waves to and fro the central life. The life of God waves to and fro between our spirits and Him.

2. In prayer our souls are heaved up towards the eternal Soul of our souls. Nothing heaves up the soul like a perfect love. Our daily heave-offering is a labour that has a great reward. Our aspirations, our inner hearings and upliftings, are the works which will follow us into the eternal world. They will follow us by being actually constituent elements of our future body.

3. Some persons think it strange that we should be exhorted to hasten the coming of the kingdom of God. But all who have a thrilling expectation of it may be sure that the vital element of the new coming is waving in upon them, and that as they heave up their souls and expand with desire to draw down the heavenly fire they are unconsciously hastening the coming of the day of God. (J. Pulsford, D. D.)

The peace-offering

This was the most important sacrifice of all. It consisted of a ram, called “The Ram of Consecration,” or more literally, the “Ram of the Fillings,” because the hands of the consecrated persons were filled by portions of it being placed upon them. Of this ram of consecration, after Aaron and his sons had imposed hands upon it, and it had been slain, some of the blood was placed upon the tip of Aaron’s right ear, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot, and similarly upon the same three members of his sons, the remainder of the blood being sprinkled upon the altar round about (Exodus 29:19-20; Leviticus 8:22-24). This represented the consecration to God of such members of the body as would be more especially called into exercise by the duties of the priestly vocation. The ear was consecrated to listen to the voice of God, the hand to do His will, the foot to walk in His ways. Secondly, those parts of the peace-offering, which hereafter, in the exercise of their priestly office, it would be their duty to receive of the offerer and burn upon the altar, were laid upon the hands of Aaron and his sons, together with a meat-offering, and waved as a wave-offering before the Lord (Exodus 29:22-24; Leviticus 8:25-27), and then burnt upon the altar (Exodus 29:25; Leviticus 8:28). This ceremony was called the filling of the hands, and so essential a part of the consecration ceremony was it, that the expression to “fill the hand” became equivalent to “consecrate to the priesthood.” The sacrifice itself was called the ram of consecration, or the ram of fillings. The intention of this action was to deliver to the ordained persons the sacrifices which they were in future to offer to God; it was a formal initiation into the sacrificial duties of their office. It indicated that from that time forward, the right and duty of officiating at the altar, and of superintending the burning of the sacrifices, would be theirs. Similarly, in the early ordinals of the Greek Church, a portion of the “sacrifice,” i.e., of the consecrated elements, was placed in the hands of the person who was ordained priest: a tradition still observed in the Eastern Church, and which, in a remarkable manner, links together the priesthoods of the Jewish and Christian Churches. The next part of the ceremony connected with the ram of consecration, was the sprinkling of Aaron and his sons and their vestments with its blood, mingled with anointing oil (Leviticus 8:30). Hence it could be said that the sons of Aaron were anointed as their father was anointed (Exodus 40:15); they, like him, were sprinkled with oil, but he alone, as high priest, had the oil poured upon his head, and could thus be called, in contradistinction to the other priests, preeminently “the anointed priest.” In this secondary anointing, it is to be observed, that the clothes were sprinkled and consecrated upon and with the persons. The clothes represented the office filled by the person. The person and the clothes together represented the priest; therefore the consecration was performed on both together. Lastly came the sacrificial meal: the solemn eating of the body of the consecrating peace-offering by Aaron and his sons within the precincts of the Tabernacle (Leviticus 8:3). It is interesting to observe that the apostles were consecrated to their priestly office by a like “filling of the hands,” and by a like sacrificial meal, when our Lord placed in their hands the broken bread with the words, “Take, eat, this is My body.” (E. F. Willis, M. A.)

Verses 38-46

Exodus 29:38-46

I will dwell among the children of Israel.

The Divine presence in the Church

I. The condition of the Divine presence, moral and spiritual condition: everything must be holy. Entirely, daily, permanently, must we yield ourselves to God.

II. The blessedness of the Divine presence.

1. Enlightening (Exodus 29:42).

2. Glorifying (Exodus 29:43-44).

3. Redeeming (Exodus 29:46).

4. Abiding. “Dwell.” “Pleasures for evermore.” (J. S. Exell, M. A.)

──The Biblical Illustrator