The Day of Yahweh is coming (Zeph 1:7-1:7)

“Be silent!

Before Yahweh God!

The day of Yahweh

Is at hand.

Yahweh has prepared

A sacrifice.

He has consecrated

His guests.”

Zephaniah asked the people to be silent before Yahweh, their God, because the day of Yahweh was nearly there.  Yahweh would prepare a sacrificial slaughter of these sinners.  However, he would consecrate his invited guests on the day of Yahweh.

The Ordination Ritual (Lev 8:1-8:36)

“Yahweh spoke to Moses.  ‘Take Aaron and his sons with him, the vestments, the anointing oil, the bull of sin offering, the two rams, and the basket of unleavened bread.  Assemble the whole congregation at the entrance of the tent of meeting.’  Moses did as Yahweh commanded him.  When the congregation was assembled at the entrance of the tent of meeting, Moses said to the congregation, ‘This is what Yahweh has commanded to be done.’”

Much of what is here in Leviticus was already in Exodus, chapters 28-29 and 39-40, since Yahweh had spoken with Moses on Mount Sinai.  As usual, Yahweh spoke to Moses. He told him to take Aaron and his sons, with all the items necessary for their ordination and assemble the whole congregation at the entrance of the tent of meeting.

“Moses brought Aaron and his sons forward, and washed them with water. He put the tunic on him, fastened the sash around him, clothed him with the robe, and put the ephod on him.  He then put the decorated band of the ephod around him, tying the ephod to him with it.  He placed the breastplate on him, and in the breastplate he put the Urim and the Thummim.  He set the turban on his head, and on the turban, in front, he set the golden ornament, the holy crown, as Yahweh had commanded Moses.”

Moses then washed them.  He put the tunic, the sash and the robe on Aaron.  The he put the ephod on him, an old cultural embroidered garment that was believed to be like an apron vestment with shoulder straps.  He then tied the decorated band and the breastplate to the ephod.  In the breastplate he put the Urim and the Thummim, which were gemstones carried by the high priest of Israel.  He then put the turban on his head, with the gold ornament holy crown.  He did all this because Yahweh had commanded him to do it.

 “Then Moses took the anointing oil, and anointed the tabernacle and all that was in it, and consecrated them.  He sprinkled some of it on the altar seven times.  He anointed the altar and all its utensils, and the basin and its base, to consecrate them.  He poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head.  He anointed him to consecrate him.   Moses brought forward Aaron’s sons.  He clothed them with tunics, fastened sashes around them, and tied headdresses on them, as Yahweh had commanded Moses.”

After the clothing, the anointing took place.  Moses anointed Aaron and his sons, as well as the following items, because Yahweh had commanded him to do so:

1)      Anoint the tabernacle and all that was in it;

2)      Sprinkle oil on the altar seven times;

3)      Anoint the altar and all its utensils;

4)      Anoint the basin and its base;

5)      Anoint Aaron’s head to consecrate him.

“He led forward the bull of the sin offering.  Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the bull of sin offering and it was slaughtered. Moses took the blood and with his fingers put some on each of the horns of the altar, purifying the altar.  Then he poured out the blood at the base of the altar.  Thus he consecrated it, to make atonement for it.  Moses took all the fat that was around the entrails, and the appendage of the liver, and the two kidneys with their fat, and turned them into smoke on the altar.  But the bull itself, and its skin and flesh, and its dung, he burned with fire outside the camp, as Yahweh commanded Moses.”

Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the bull of sin offering. Then it was slaughtered.  Moses took the blood and put some it on each of the horns of the altar, and poured out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar.  Thus he consecrated the altar.  Moses then took all the fat around the entrails, and turned them into smoke on the altar.  But the bull itself with its skin, flesh, and its dung, was burned outside the camp.  This was all done because Yahweh commanded it.

“Then he brought forward the ram of the burnt offering.  Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram and it was slaughtered. Moses dashed the blood against all sides of the altar.  The ram was cut into its parts.  Moses turned into smoke the head, the various parts and the suet or fat.  After the entrails and the legs were washed with water, Moses turned into smoke the whole ram on the altar.  It was a burnt offering for a pleasing odor, an offering by fire to Yahweh as Yahweh commanded Moses.”

Aaron and his sons killed one of the rams, after laying their hands on his head.  Moses then dashed the blood against all sides of the altar.  Then they cut the ram into parts.  First they burned the head and the fat.  Then he turned the whole ram into smoke on the altar.  Of course it was a pleasing odor to Yahweh.

“Then he brought forward the second ram, the ram of ordination.  Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram.  Then it was slaughtered.  Moses took some of its blood and put it on the lobe of Aaron’s right ear and on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot.  After Aaron’s sons were brought forward, Moses put some of its blood on the lobes of their right ears and on the thumbs of their right hands, and on the big toes of their right feet. Moses dashed the rest of the blood against all sides of the altar.  Then he took the fat, the broad tail, all the fat that was around the entrails, the appendage of the liver, and the two kidneys with their fat, and the right thigh.  From the basket of unleavened bread that was before Yahweh, he took one cake of unleavened bread, one cake of bread with oil, and one wafer.  He placed them on the fat and on the right thigh.  Then Moses placed all these on the palms of Aaron and the palms of his sons, and raised them as an elevation offering before Yahweh.  Then Moses took them from their hands, and turned them into smoke on the altar with the brunt offering.  This was an ordination offering for a pleasing odor, an offering by fire to Yahweh.  Moses took the breast and raised it as an elevation offering before Yahweh.  It was Moses’ portion of the ram of ordination, as Yahweh commanded Moses.”

The second ram is called the ram of ordination.  As usual it was slaughtered after hands were laid on its head.  This time, Moses took some of its blood and put it on the lobe of Aaron’s right ear and on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot.  He did the same to the sons of Aaron.  Then Moses dashed the rest of the blood against all sides of the altar. Moses then took a mixture of the fat and the unleavened bread and put it on the palms of Aaron and his sons.  Finally Moses took it from their hands, and turned it into smoke on the altar as a brunt offering.  This was an ordination offering that had a pleasing odor to Yahweh. Moses took the breast and raised it as an elevation offering before Yahweh as this was Moses’ portion of the ram of ordination.

“Then Moses took some of the anointing oil and some of the blood which was on the altar, and sprinkled them on Aaron and his vestments.   He did the same for his sons and his sons’ vestments.  Thus he consecrated Aaron and his vestments, and also his sons and his sons’ vestments.” 

Then Moses took some of the anointing oil and some of the blood and sprinkled them on Aaron and his vestments as well as his sons and their vestments.  This is a second anointing with oil on Aaron and his sons.  The first anointing was only on the head.  This time, it is also on his sons and their clothing.  This is how Moses consecrated Aaron, his sons, and their vestments.

“Moses said to Aaron and his sons, ‘Boil the flesh at the entrance of the tent of meeting.  Eat it there with the bread that is in the basket of ordination offerings. As I commanded, Aaron and his sons shall eat it.’  What remains of the flesh and the bread, you shall burn with fire.  You shall not go outside the entrance of the tent of meeting for seven days, until the day when your period of ordination is completed.  For it will take seven days to ordain you.  As has been done today, Yahweh has commanded to be done to make atonement for you.   You shall remain at the entrance of the tent of meeting, day and night for seven days, keeping Yahweh’s charge so that you do not die.  So I am commanded.’   Aaron and his sons did all the things that Yahweh commanded through Moses.”

Moses told Aaron and his sons to eat the ram of ordination after it was boiled with the bread of the ordination offerings at the entrance of the tent.  However, only Aaron and his sons were to eat this.  Whatever was left over should be burned.  They were not allowed to leave this entrance place for 7 days because it takes 7 days to ordain them.  The punishment for not following this commandment would be death.  Once again the lucky 7 makes its appearance.  There is less emphasis on holiness in this ordination with less explicit information about the vestments then in Exodus.  The spotlight is on Aaron and his sons, and rightly so.

The priestly clothing for Aaron and his sons (Ex 28:40-28:43)

“For Aaron’s sons you shall make tunics, sashes, and headdresses.  You shall make them for their glorious adornment.  You shall put them on your brother Aaron, and on his sons with him.  You shall anoint them and ordain them and consecrate them, so that they may serve me as priests.  You shall make for them undergarments to cover their naked flesh. They shall reach from the hips to the thighs.  Aaron and his sons shall wear them, when they go into the tent of meeting, or when they come near the altar to minister in the holy place.  Otherwise they will bring guilt upon themselves and die.  This shall be a perpetual ordinance for him and for his descendants after him.”

You have the same clothing for Aaron and his sons.  They are going to be anointed, ordained, and consecrated as priests.  However, they should have undergarments to cover their naked flesh from their hips to the thighs.  This is one of the first indications of undergarments since it was not clear what people wore.  Perhaps the famous loin cloth was what we might call underwear today.  Aaron and his sons were to wear these whenever they went into the meeting tent and the holy place. This is a perpetual ordinance for Aaron and all his descendents.  Obviously the descendents of Moses are not that important.