The High Priest typed the status and person of the Lord Jesus as High Priest after the order of Melchizedek; the ordinary priests represented his brethren. Of the former it is written that he "offered himself without spot unto God'1 (Heb. 9:14), for he "did no sin1' (1 Pet. 2:22). Of the latter it is taught that they are called to be "holy and without blame before God in love" (Eph. 1:4), "perfect and complete in all the will of God" (Col. 4:12): "perfect and entire wanting nothing" (James 1:4).
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1 And Yahweh said unto Moses, Speak unto the priests the sons of Aaron, and say unto them, There shall none be defiled for the dead among his people:
Defiled - contact with death (consequences of sin) was defiling under the law (Num 19:11). Ceremonial uncleaness not literal to teach the spiritual lesson that death came as a consequence of sin. Sin is defiling and is the original cause of our unclean nature which is condemned to death. The priesthood of Yahweh has a lively hope - Let the Dead bury their dead.
Priests were to look beyond death, and therefore were taught to "mourn not as others who have no hope."...This law will continue in the Kingdom (Ezek. 44:25), and is based upon ceremonial defilement as ordained by the Law. Contact with a dead corpse was defiling under the Sinaitic Covenant, for death is a reminder of sin its author (Rom. 5:12).
Because of that, whoever touched a dead body was accounted unclean for seven days (Num
19:11), and was obliged, on the third and seventh days, to purify himself according to instructions laid down (Num. 19:12) : The priest, however, because his life was
devoted entirely to the things of God, was required to carefully abstain from
things that defiled, for he must be always available for mediatorialship.
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10 And he that is the high priest among his brethren, upon whose head the anointing oil was poured, and that is consecrated to put on the garments, shall not uncover his head, nor rend his clothes;
11 Neither shall he go in to any dead body, nor defile himself for his father, or for his mother;
No special regulations...restricted the extent to which a bereaved Levite could contract defilement by death; in the case of the priests limited grounds of defilement were allowed; but, to demonstrate that the priestly status of the people was incompatible with corruption of any kind, in the case of the High Priest no grounds whatever were allowed (Lev. 21 : 10-12).
The laws regulating priestly marriages had the same didactic intention. Nowhere is the rational basis of the idiom of the Law more obvious than in this complex legislation, for, despite its complexity, the symbolism throughout plays variations on one simple theme - that holiness is the prerequisite of approach to God.
The higher a man's theocratic rank the higher were his privileges and the correspondingly more stringent were his responsibilities. The Levite could minister only in the Court, and the priest could proceed no further than the Vail which divided the Tabernacle into two - the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place beyond (Exod. 26 : 33); the supreme privilege of access into the Most Holy Place (that is, symbolically, into the very presence of God) was reserved for the High Priest their father.
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Aaron not to come into contact with death. Symbolically perfect he foreshadowed the Lord Yahoshua - now "perfected forevermore" Heb 2:28.
...he is now free of all the disabilities and frailty of the human nature in which he developed his perfection.
...in the days of his flesh he manifested that freedom from moral blemish and defect which the Law demanded. That is, his present perfection is but the outcome of his past perfection - not something different from it but rather the expression of it in another realm of experience; a new manifestation of it.
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12 Neither shall he go out of the sanctuary, nor profane the sanctuary of his Elohim; for the crown of the anointing oil of his elohim is upon him: I am Yahweh.
In the Mosaic system the Effluence of the Eternal Power was represented by "an oil of holy ointment," or "a holy anointing oil" an unction that was not to be commonly used upon pain of death (Exod. 30:25; 1 John 2:20, 27). It was compounded of myrrh, sweet cinnamon, sweet calamus, cassia, and olive oil, after the art of the perfumer.
The tabernacle with all it contained, with the altar of burnt offering and all its vessels, the laver and its foot, were all anointed with it, and thereby became most holy, so that whatsoever touched them became holy. Aaron and his sons were also consecrated with it when "the diadem of the anointing oil of his Elohim" was said to be "upon him" (Lev. 21:12). The holy anointing oil was not to be used apart from these, for "upon man's flesh," saith the Law, "it shall not be poured."
The Cherubim were anointed with the most holy unction, by which also they became most holy. It was one holy anointing oil for many things, which in and of themselves differed nothing from that which was common. This principle of "One in Many" is thus foreshadowed in the law and the prophets -- One Eternal Spirit-Power which "shall be" in the "mighty ones of Israel" as it was and is in Jesus of Nazareth -- "Thou," Eternal and Anointing Spirit, art "He" in "the Mighty Ones of Israel," the "Theos and the Logos creator of the heavens and the earth."
The "Holy Anointing Spirit-Oil," is styled by Peter in 1 Peter 1:11, "the Spirit of Christ which was in the prophets": because "Christ" signifies "Anointed," and the Spirit that was poured out upon Jesus and constituted him anointed also, anointed them; hence it was said of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, "touch not Mine anointed, and do My prophets no harm" (1 Chron. 16:22). Speaking of the same Spirit, Nehemiah says:
"Thou gavest Israel thy good Spirit to instruct them; and many years didst thou forbear them, and testifiedst against them by thy Spirit in thy prophets; yet would they not give ear: therefore gavest thou them into the power of the peoples of the lands" -- as at this day (Neh. 9:20, 30).
Phanerosis 'Yahweh Manifested In Cherubim'.
In keeping with this more privileged position the sons of Aaron wore special garments-coats, girdles, bonnets and breeches, all of linen (Exod. 28: 40-43; 39: 27-29) - and underwent a far more complicated and significant ceremony of initiation than the mass of the Levites (Lev. 8)
This was even truer of Aaron their father. He wore special High Priestly robes besides the coat, girdle and breeches worn by his sons; where they wore only a bonnet he wore a mitre (or turban); oil was used to anoint his sons' heads but not with the same profusion as in his case (Lev. I0: 7 and Lev. 2I : 12; cf Psa. I 33)·
Moreover the demand for holiness assumed its most intense form in his case, for laced to his turban was a plate, a holy crown (Exod. 29: 6), and deeply engraved upon it the words, "HOLINESS TO [YAHWEH]" (Exod. 28: 36-37).
Thus the symbolism culminated in one man.
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