Leviticus 8:15
And he slew it; and Moses took the blood, and put it on the horns of the altar round about with his finger, and purified the altar, and poured the blood at the bottom of the altar, and sanctified it, to make reconciliation on it.
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(15) And he slew it.—Better, and he killed it, as it is rendered in the Authorised Version, in Leviticus 8:19. In ordinary cases the offerer himself slaughtered the victim (see Leviticus 1:5), but in the case before us Moses performed this act in accordance with the command in Exodus 29:11.

And Moses took the blood.—That is, having caught the blood in the bowl, he threw it upon the four corners of the altar, as described in Leviticus 1:5—not, however, on the horns of the altar of incense, or in the tabernacle, as in the case of the sin offering for the high priest and for the nation. (See Leviticus 4:7; Leviticus 4:16-18.)

And purified the altar . . . and sanctified it.—Like the priest, the altar was consecrated to the service of God by the anointing oil (see Leviticus 8:11), and hence, like the priest, the altar is also purified by the expiatory sacrifice from its defilements.

Leviticus 8:15. Moses took the blood, &c., and purified the altar — This ceremony of touching the altar with blood emphatically signified that all the services which they offered to God partook of their impurity, and that the very altar which consecrated their oblations was defiled by their unhallowed touch. But the sprinkling it with the blood of the victim, which, by divine appointment, was substituted and accepted instead of the forfeited life of the sinner, made room for repentance, the removal of guilt, and purification; on which account the altar is said to be purified and sanctified by this action.8:14-36 In these types we see our great High Priest, even Christ Jesus, solemnly appointed, anointed, and invested with his sacred office, by his own blood, and the influences of his Holy Spirit. He sanctifies the ordinances of religion, to the benefit of his people and the honour of God the Father; who for his sake accepts our worship, though it is polluted with sin. We may also rejoice, that he is a merciful and faithful High Priest, full of compassion to the feeble-minded and tempest-tossed soul. All true Christians are consecrated to be spiritual priests. We should seriously ask ourselves, whether in our daily walk we study to maintain this character? and abound in spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Christ? If so, still there is no cause for boasting. Let us not despise our fellow-sinners; but remembering what we have done, and how we are saved, let us seek and pray for their salvation.Purified the altar ... sanctified it, to make reconciliation upon it - The altar had been sanctified by the anointing oil Leviticus 8:11 like the priests who were to officiate at it; it was now, like them, sanctified by blood, in acknowledgment of the alienation of all nature, in itself, from God, and the need of a reconciliation to Him of all things by blood. Colossians 1:20; Hebrews 9:21-22. See Leviticus 17:11; Exodus 28:38.14-17. brought the bullock for the sin offering, &c.—a timely expression of their sense of unworthiness—a public and solemn confession of their personal sins and a transference of their guilt to the typical victim. No text from Poole on this verse. And he slew it,.... Not Aaron, nor any of his sons, who as yet were not fully consecrated and installed into their office, but Moses, as follows:

and Moses took the blood; which was received into a basin when the bullock was slain:

and put it upon the horns of the altar round about with his finger; upon the four horns of the altar, which were at the four corners of it, and dipping his finger into the blood, he besmeared the horns with it, and drew it about with his finger here and there; and so is said to be done round about the altar, as these horns were:

and purified the altar; or cleansed it; not from moral guilt and pollution, which it was incapable of, but from all ceremonial pollution it might be supposed to have:

and poured the blood at the bottom of the altar; the rest of the blood he did not use about the horns:

and sanctified it; separated it from common to sacred use:

to make reconciliation upon it; that it might be fit to have sacrifices offered on it to make atonement and reconciliation for sins; for which reason it was necessary it should itself be pure and holy, in such sense it was capable of being so.

And he slew it; and Moses took the blood, and put it upon the horns of the {c} altar round about with his finger, and purified the altar, and poured the blood at the bottom of the altar, and sanctified {d} it, to make reconciliation upon it.

(c) Of the burnt offering.

(d) To offer for the sins of the people.

14–30. (d) the sacrificial part of the rite, consisting of:

(i) The Sin-Offering (Leviticus 8:14-17, cp. Exodus 29:10-14)

A bullock, the most costly animal, appointed for ‘the anointed priest,’ or for ‘the whole congregation’ (Leviticus 4:3; Leviticus 4:14), on which Aaron and his sons laid their hands (see on Leviticus 1:4). It appears that the selection of the animal indicates the sacred office to which Aaron and his sons are to be admitted, but until they are consecrated, the ritual of the offering is the same as that prescribed in the case of private individuals (cp. Leviticus 4:30; Leviticus 4:34). Some of the blood is put on the horns of the altar, and the rest is poured out at the base of the altar.

15. And he slew it] Comparison with Exodus 29:11 shews that Moses slew it, but the text here might be interpreted, and he (Aaron) slew it, especially as it is followed by ‘and Moses took.…’ The same remark applies to Leviticus 8:19 and Leviticus 8:23; cp. Exodus 29:16; Exodus 29:20. In all the verses here cited, the Heb. verb is the same, but is rendered by both ‘kill’ and ‘slay.’

at the base of the altar] see on Leviticus 4:7.

and purified the altar … and sanctified it by making atonement for it] These clauses are not found in Exodus 29:12, but occur in Exodus 29:36-37 of that ch. The altar had already been anointed (Leviticus 8:11); it is now further sanctified by the blood of the Sin-Offering.

The words ‘purify’ here, and ‘cleanse’ (purge R.V. mg.) in Exodus 29:36 are translations of the same Heb. verb. As in English ‘to stone plums’ means to remove the stones, so in Heb. a verb corresponding to a noun is sometimes used in the same way. Here the Heb. verb corresponds to the noun ‘sin,’ and means to ‘remove sin’; it occurs also in Leviticus 14:49; Leviticus 14:52 (of a leprous house), and Ezekiel 43:20-23 with reference to the altar (see note on Exodus 29:36). The rendering ‘by making atonement’ is like R.V. mg. of the passage in Exodus 29:36.Verses 15-17. - And Moses took the blood. Moses continues still to act as priest, and the new sacrifice is once offered by him. He performs the priestly act of presenting the blood; but on this occasion, which is special, the blood is not dealt with in the manner prescribed for the high priest's offerings (Leviticus 4:6). The reason of this is that Aaron was not yet high priest, and also that the offering was made not only for Aaron, but also for his sons; and further, the blood as well as the anointing oil was required to purify the altar, and sanctify it (see Hebrews 9:21). Although the blood was not "brought into the tabernacle," yet the bullock was burnt with fire without the camp, not eaten according to the rule of Leviticus 7:26, 30. This was necessary, as there were as yet no priests to eat it. Then followed the clothing of Aaron. Moses put upon him the body-coat (Exodus 28:39) and girdle (Exodus 28:39 and Exodus 39:22), then clothes him with the mel (Exodus 28:31-35) and ephod (Exodus 28:6-14), and the choshen with the Urim and Thummim (Exodus 28:15-30), and put the cap (Exodus 28:39) upon his head, with the golden diadem over his forehead (Exodus 28:36-38). This investiture, regarded as the putting on of an important official dress, was a symbol of his endowment with the character required for the discharge of the duties of his office, the official costume being the outward sign of installation in the office which he was to fill.
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