Matthew Poole's Commentary
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,Moses by God’s command calls together Aaron and his sons, and the whole congregation, Leviticus 8:1-5. Washes Aaron and his sons, Leviticus 8:6. Puts on the priestly garments, Leviticus 8:7-9. Anoints the tabernacle, with the altar and laver, to sanctify them, Leviticus 8:10,11. Anoints Aaron, Leviticus 8:12. Puts the holy garments on his sons, Leviticus 8:13. Offers sacrifices for them; a bullock for a sin-offering, Leviticus 8:14-17; and a ram for a burnt-offering, Leviticus 8:18-21; and a second ram for consecration; uses the blood about some parts of their bodies; gives the parts into their hands to wave before the Lord, and sprinkles of the anointing oil and blood from upon the altar on them and their garments, Leviticus 8:22-30. Declares to them God’s charge, which they perform, Leviticus 8:31-36.
This is here premised, to show that Moses did not confer the priesthood upon Aaron by virtue of his relation or affection to him, but by God’s appointment, which also appears from the following story.
Take Aaron and his sons with him, and the garments, and the anointing oil, and a bullock for the sin offering, and two rams, and a basket of unleavened bread;No text from Poole on this verse.
And gather thou all the congregation together unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.The elders which represented all, and as many of the people as would and could get thither, that all might be witnesses both of Aaron’s commission from God, and of his work and business.
And Moses did as the LORD commanded him; and the assembly was gathered together unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.No text from Poole on this verse.
And Moses said unto the congregation, This is the thing which the LORD commanded to be done.No text from Poole on this verse.
And Moses brought Aaron and his sons, and washed them with water.No text from Poole on this verse.
And he put upon him the coat, and girded him with the girdle, and clothed him with the robe, and put the ephod upon him, and he girded him with the curious girdle of the ephod, and bound it unto him therewith.The linen breeches prescribed Exodus 28:42 are not here mentioned, because they were not to be put on at his consecration, but afterwards in the execution of his office.
And he put the breastplate upon him: also he put in the breastplate the Urim and the Thummim.No text from Poole on this verse.
And he put the mitre upon his head; also upon the mitre, even upon his forefront, did he put the golden plate, the holy crown; as the LORD commanded Moses.This here added, either because Nadab and Abihu had been led to their error by drinking too much, which might easily fall out when they were feasting and full of joy for their entrance into so honourable and profitable an employment; or at least because others might thereby be drawn to commit the same miscarriages, which they might now commit from other causes. Drunkenness is so odious a sin in itself, especially a minister, and most of all in the time of his administration of sacred things, that God saw fit to prevent all occasions of it. And hence the devil, who is God’s ape in his prescriptions for his worship, required this abstinence from his priests in their idolatrous service.
And Moses took the anointing oil, and anointed the tabernacle and all that was therein, and sanctified them.No text from Poole on this verse.
And he sprinkled thereof upon the altar seven times, and anointed the altar and all his vessels, both the laver and his foot, to sanctify them.Seven times, to signify the singular use and holiness of it, which it was not only to have in itself, but also to communicate to all the sacrifices laid upon it. The laver, where the priests washed themselves, and the sacrifices, and vessels or instruments of the holy ministration. See Leviticus 6:28.
And he poured of the anointing oil upon Aaron's head, and anointed him, to sanctify him.He poured of the anointing oil in a plentiful manner, as appears from Psalm 133:2, whereas other persons and things were only anointed or sprinkled with it.
And Moses brought Aaron's sons, and put coats upon them, and girded them with girdles, and put bonnets upon them; as the LORD commanded Moses.No text from Poole on this verse.
And he brought the bullock for the sin offering: and Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the bullock for the sin offering.There were indeed seven bullocks to be offered at his consecration, one every day, Exodus 29:35,36; but here he mentions only one, either by a common enallage of number, or because he here describes only the work of the first day, and leaves the rest to be gathered from it; of which see Leviticus 8:33.
And he slew it; and Moses took the blood, and put it upon 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 upon it.No text from Poole on this verse.
And he took all the fat that was upon the inwards, and the caul above the liver, and the two kidneys, and their fat, and Moses burned it upon the altar.No text from Poole on this verse.
But the bullock, and his hide, his flesh, and his dung, he burnt with fire without the camp; as the LORD commanded Moses.In the offerings for the people the hide was not burnt, but given to the priest.
And he brought the ram for the burnt offering: and Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the ram.No text from Poole on this verse.
And he killed it; and Moses sprinkled the blood upon the altar round about.He killed it; either Moses, as in the following clause, the pronoun being put for the noun; or some other person by Moses’s appointment; which may be the reason why he is not named here, as he is to the sprinkling of the blood, which was an action more proper to the priest, and more essential to the sacrifice, as the learned have observed.
And he cut the ram into pieces; and Moses burnt the head, and the pieces, and the fat.No text from Poole on this verse.
And he washed the inwards and the legs in water; and Moses burnt the whole ram upon the altar: it was a burnt sacrifice for a sweet savour, and an offering made by fire unto the LORD; as the LORD commanded Moses.No text from Poole on this verse.
And he brought the other ram, the ram of consecration: and Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the ram.No text from Poole on this verse.
And he slew it; and Moses took of the blood of it, and put it 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.The lowest and softest part of the ear is called the tip or lap of the ear. See Exodus 29:20.
And he brought Aaron's sons, and Moses put of the blood upon the tip of their right ear, and upon the thumbs of their right hands, and upon the great toes of their right feet: and Moses sprinkled the blood upon the altar round about.No text from Poole on this verse.
And he took the fat, and the rump, and all the fat that was upon the inwards, and the caul above the liver, and the two kidneys, and their fat, and the right shoulder:No text from Poole on this verse.
And out of the basket of unleavened bread, that was before the LORD, he took one unleavened cake, and a cake of oiled bread, and one wafer, and put them on the fat, and upon the right shoulder:No text from Poole on this verse.
And he put all upon Aaron's hands, and upon his sons' hands, and waved them for a wave offering before the LORD.No text from Poole on this verse.
And Moses took them from off their hands, and burnt them on the altar upon the burnt offering: they were consecrations for a sweet savour: it is an offering made by fire unto the LORD.No text from Poole on this verse.
And Moses took the breast, and waved it for a wave offering before the LORD: for of the ram of consecration it was Moses' part; as the LORD commanded Moses.Moses at this time administering the priest’s office was to receive the priest’s wages; it being most just and reasonable that the work and wages should go together.
And Moses took of the anointing oil, and of the blood which was upon the altar, and sprinkled it upon Aaron, and upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon his sons' garments with him; and sanctified Aaron, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons' garments with him.No text from Poole on this verse.
And Moses said unto Aaron and to his sons, Boil the flesh at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and there eat it with the bread that is in the basket of consecrations, as I commanded, saying, Aaron and his sons shall eat it.Boil the flesh, that which was left of the ram, and particularly the breast, which was said to be Moses’s part, Leviticus 8:29, and by him was given to Aaron, that he and his sons might eat of it, in token that they, and only they, should have the right to do so for the future.
And that which remaineth of the flesh and of the bread shall ye burn with fire.No text from Poole on this verse.
And ye shall not go out of the door of the tabernacle of the congregation in seven days, until the days of your consecration be at an end: for seven days shall he consecrate you.For seven days the same ceremonies were to be repeated, as the next verse implies, and other rites to be performed.
He consecrate you; either God or Moses; for the words may be spoken by Moses, either in God’s name, or in his own; Moses speaking of himself in the third person, which is very common in Scripture.
As he hath done this day, so the LORD hath commanded to do, to make an atonement for you.No text from Poole on this verse.
Therefore shall ye abide at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation day and night seven days, and keep the charge of the LORD, that ye die not: for so I am commanded.The charge of the Lord; what God hath commanded you concerning your consecration.
If the threatening seem too severe for the fault, it must be considered both that it is the usual practice of lawgivers most severely to punish the first offences for the terror and caution of others, and for the maintenance of their own authority; and that this transgression was aggravated by many circumstances, being committed by sacred and eminent persons, and that in the presence of the people, which made it a public scandal, and in God’s worship, where he is very tender and jealous, and against a plain and easy command of God, and at a time when they were receiving high favours and privileges from God. Nor is sin to be esteemed or measured by the idle fancies of men of corrupt minds and lives, whose interests and lusts easily blind their minds; but by the authority, majesty, and will of the great, and wise, and just Lawgiver.
So Aaron and his sons did all things which the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses.No text from Poole on this verse.