Exodus Chapter 29

Moses had been commanded to build a tabernacle to the Lord. He was given strict instruction as to how it was to be built. He knew the size, shapes and materials to use. Then he was instructed to call Aaron and his sons to officiate there with the authority of the Aaronic priesthood. All of this instruction had been received while Moses was called up into Mount Sinai to talk with the Lord. The children of Israel were encamped at the base of the mount at this time. This part of Exodus continues as follows:

1 And this is the thing that thou shalt do unto them to hallow them, to minister unto me in the priest’s office: Take one young bullock, and two rams without blemish,
2 And unleavened bread, and cakes unleavened tempered with oil, and wafers unleavened anointed with oil: of wheaten flour shalt thou make them.
3 And thou shalt put them into one basket, and bring them in the basket, with the bullock and the two rams.
4 And Aaron and his sons thou shalt bring unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shalt wash them with water.
5 And thou shalt take the garments, and put upon Aaron the coat, and the robe of the ephod, and the ephod, and the breastplate, and gird him with the curious girdle of the ephod:
6 And thou shalt put the mitre upon his head, and put the holy crown upon the mitre.
7 Then shalt thou take the anointing oil, and pour it upon his head, and anoint him.
8 And thou shalt bring his sons, and put coats upon them.
9 And thou shalt gird them with girdles, Aaron and his sons, and put the bonnets on them: and the priest’s office shall be theirs for a perpetual statute: and thou shalt consecrate Aaron and his sons.
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.
11 And thou shalt kill the bullock before the Lord, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
12 And thou shalt take of the blood of the bullock, and put it upon the horns of the altar with thy finger, and pour all the blood beside the bottom of the altar.
13 And thou shalt take all the fat that covereth the inwards, and the caul that is above the liver, and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, and burn them upon the altar.
14 But the flesh of the bullock, and his skin, and his dung, shalt thou burn with fire without the camp: it is a sin offering.

The Lord instituted a ceremony of washings and annointings, to consecrate Aaron and his sons (set them apart) for this purpose. They were to bring with them, a bullock (young bull), two rams, and unleavened bread, cakes and wafers in a basket. Once washed, they were to be clothed in their holy garments (see previous chapter for more about the garments). Moses was instructed as to how to make the burnt offering to the Lord, including which portions of the bullock, which were considered worthy to offer to the Lord. This was a sin offering, meaning I think, that their sins would be cleansed by the Lord for their offering.

15 Thou shalt also take one ram; and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the ram.
16 And thou shalt slay the ram, and thou shalt take his blood, and sprinkle it round about upon the altar.
17 And thou shalt cut the ram in pieces, and wash the inwards of him, and his legs, and put them unto his pieces, and unto his head.
18 And thou shalt burn the whole ram upon the altar: it is a burnt offering unto the Lord: it is a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto the Lord.

Moses was instructed to sacrifice a ram next. The entire ram would be a worthy sacrifice to the Lord.

19 And thou shalt take the other ram; and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the ram.
20 Then shalt thou kill the ram, and take of his blood, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of Aaron, and upon the tip of the right ear of his sons, and upon the thumb of their right hand, and upon the great toe of their right foot, and sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about.
21 And thou shalt take of the blood that is upon the altar, and of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it upon Aaron, and upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon the garments of his sons with him: and he shall be hallowed, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons’ garments with him.
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:
23 And one loaf of bread, and one cake of oiled bread, and one wafer out of the basket of the unleavened bread that is before the Lord:
24 And thou shalt put all in the hands of Aaron, and in the hands of his sons; and shalt wave them for a wave offering before the Lord.
25 And thou shalt receive them of their hands, and burn them upon the altar for a burnt offering, for a sweet savour before the Lord: it is an offering made by fire unto the Lord.
26 And thou shalt take the breast of the ram of Aaron’s consecration, and wave it for a wave offering before the Lord: and it shall be thy part.
27 And thou shalt sanctify the breast of the wave offering, and the shoulder of the heave offering, which is waved, and which is heaved up, of the ram of the consecration, even of that which is for Aaron, and of that which is for his sons:
28 And it shall be Aaron’s and his sons’ by a statute for ever from the children of Israel: for it is an heave offering: and it shall be an heave offering from the children of Israel of the sacrifice of their peace offerings, even their heave offering unto the Lord.

The second ram was to be sacrificed as well, but it was to be a sacrifice of consecration. Each part of the ram would have a part in a ritual of consecration performed with those of the Aaronic priesthood. It is worthwhile to note that with each step of this process, the priests were to lay their hands upon the animals. The laying on of hands is an important part of the use of the priesthood in ordinances and blessings. It reminds me of the Savior’s hands. His hands cause me to think of the sacrifice He made for us. His atonement is what makes all ordinances and blessings possible. I’m not entirely sure why it is that the Lord established this as a pattern for the use of the priesthood, or if it is how things are done in the eternities, but it is how the priesthood was used from the beginning of our records. The priests were therefore consecrating each animal for its purpose in the offerings to the Lord. I think that the “wave” offering or “heave” offering, was possibly a way for them to show to the Lord, that this was given to Him as an offering by raising that portion with their hands. It is also a reminder that they were humble before the Lord, to raise a sacrifice above themselves in the presence of the Lord.

29 And the holy garments of Aaron shall be his sons’ after him, to be anointed therein, and to be consecrated in them.
30 And that son that is priest in his stead shall put them on seven days, when he cometh into the tabernacle of the congregation to minister in the holy place.

The sacred temple clothing, that had been made for Aaron to wear as he served in his office of the priesthood, was to eventually be passed down to his sons. Perhaps this also refers to the length of their work in the temple. I don’t imagine that Aaron was expected to serve in the temple every day, but that his sons would in fact, take their turn serving for seven days. The garments would be consecrated for the work in the temple.

31 And thou shalt take the ram of the consecration, and seethe his flesh in the holy place.
32 And Aaron and his sons shall eat the flesh of the ram, and the bread that is in the basket, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
33 And they shall eat those things wherewith the atonement was made, to consecrate and to sanctify them: but a stranger shall not eat thereof, because they are holy.
34 And if ought of the flesh of the consecrations, or of the bread, remain unto the morning, then thou shalt burn the remainder with fire: it shall not be eaten, because it is holy.
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.
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.
37 Seven days thou shalt make an atonement for the altar, and sanctify it; and it shall be an altar most holy: whatsoever toucheth the altar shall be holy.

The ram of consecration and the shewbread were to be eaten by Aaron and his sons, where the covenants had been made in the tabernacle of the congregation. No one else was to eat it because it had been consecrated for that purpose, unto those who had sanctified themselves to serve there. Whatever was left over, was to be burned the next day, and not eaten. They were to be consecrated and perform these rituals for seven days to covenant with Lord. After each time, they were to clean the altar, and anoint it again, and sanctify it again. The altar in the tabernacle was to be holy and only those things that were holy were to touch it. A portion of the header for this chapter reads, “Atonement is to be made for the sins of the people…”. This ritual was to be performed for the people, not just for those serving in the temple.

38 Now this is that which thou shalt offer upon the altar; two lambs of the first year day by day continually.
39 The one lamb thou shalt offer in the morning; and the other lamb thou shalt offer at even:
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.
41 And the other lamb thou shalt offer at even, and shalt do thereto according to the meat offering of the morning, and according to the drink offering thereof, for a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto the Lord.
42 This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the Lord: where I will meet you, to speak there unto thee.
43 And there I will meet with the children of Israel, and the tabernacle shall be sanctified by my glory.
44 And I will sanctify the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar: I will sanctify also both Aaron and his sons, to minister to me in the priest’s office.

In addition, they were to offer a lamb in the morning and in the evening each day. The Lord instructed Moses how each was to be offered along with other things, such as flour and oil. As they did these things in all holiness, the Lord and his spirit would be with them and speak to them. If they did these things according to the instructions given to Moses, the tabernacle and those of the Aaronic priesthood who served there, would be sanctified by the glory of the Lord.

45 And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God.
46 And they shall know that I am the Lord their God, that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them: I am the Lord their God.

The Lord’s portion of the covenant made at the altar of the temple, was that He would dwell with the children of Israel. This would be a reminder of all the tender mercies of the Lord towards these people, and that He was their Lord.

The temple is a holy and sacred place. All those who enter there, should be worthy to make covenants and serve the Lord. In order to make those covenants and do the work, one must be sanctified for that purpose. There exists washing and anointing today, just as in the days of Moses and Aaron. As I have been studying these things this week, I had the opportunity to serve in the temple and to perform proxy washing and anointing ordinances for the dead. What an experience that was for me, to reflect on the establishment of these ordinances in the days of the children of Israel. I was overcome with gratitude and joy because of the simple understanding I have been gaining over the past few weeks. I suggest to anyone who is planning on serving in the temple, to study these things to see how the ordinances of God have not changed just because we are living in these modern days. I am once again, filled with an incredible gratitude for the temples on the earth today. If any of my readers are seeking to draw closer to God, I encourage you to become and stay worthy to serve in the holy temple of the Lord. It is there, that we can show our true devotion to Him.

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I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.

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