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The Consecration of Aaron and his sons

1 And Yahweh spake unto Moses, saying,

2 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;

Only Aaron and his descendents were permitted to minister see Num 18:7

'Therefore thou and thy sons with thee shall keep your priest's office for every thing of the altar, and within the vail; and ye shall serve: I have given your priest's office unto you as a service of gift: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death'.

3 And gather thou all the congregation together unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

IN about twelve months from the night that Israel broke up their settlement at Rameses in Egypt, and marched at the command of Moses to their first encampment at Succoth, the various parts and appurtenances of the Tabernacle had been made and finished, and were brought to Moses by those of the children of Israel who had made them.

"According to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so the children of Israel made all the work. And Moses did look upon all the work, and, behold, they had done it as the Lord commanded, even so had they done it; and Moses blessed them" (Exod. 39:42-43).

Moses then received orders to set up the Tabernacle "on the first day of the first month of the second year", Moses did so, fixing the sockets, rearing up the pillars, fastening the cords, and placing the various coverings and hangings in their several specified positions' putting the ark and the mercy-seat and the cherubim inside the veil, and the candlestick and the table, etc., in the holy place, in the various places appointed for them. Having set the bread in order, and lighted the lamps, and offered incense on the golden altar, there remained the consecration of Aaron and his sons for the exercise of the priest's office--as to which, elaborate directions had been given and were now carried out. *

4 And Moses did as Yahweh commanded him; and the assembly was gathered together unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

5 And Moses said unto the congregation, This is the thing which Yahweh commanded to be done.

6 And Moses brought Aaron and his sons, and washed them with water.

Moses performed the part of John the baptizer to Aaron and his sons, who were to be rulers and priests in Israel.

Aaron and his family were their nation's priestly household; and it was the office of the High, or Chief, Priest to make atonement, or reconciliation, first for himself, then for his household, and lastly, for all the congregation of Israel; but admission into the Holy and Most Holy places, was only permitted to the baptized; they must bathe their flesh in water and so put on the holy garments.

Hence, all Israel's priests were immersed persons; and so also all that shall be their priests and kings in the Age to Come, and have power over the Gentiles, must be immersed likewise.

Herald of tHe Kingdom and Age to Come, March 1855

"This", said Moses to the assembled congregation, as he proceeded with the ceremony of consecration, "is the thing which the Lord commanded to be done", and the narrative describes in great detail what was done, including the investiture of Aaron with the holy garments--in the order of which, it may be possible to discover the shadowed history of the development of the antitype' for in his official relations, Aaron was undoubtedly a type of Christ.

First, Moses washed Aaron with water. This is the type of moral cleansing as we saw in connection with the laver, as also shown in,, David's expression, "Wash me throughly from mine iniquity (Psa. 51:2).

"Water", as a figure, is used by Jesus to represent the Holy Spirit (John 7:38-39). Aaron stood to represent the seed of Abraham. The washing of Aaron with water was, therefore, a prefiguration of the moral cleansing to be effected in a son of Abraham by the Spirit in preparation for the priestly office.

The application of this in the antitype may be discerned in the operation of the Spirit, which, though resulting in a son of David according to the laws of maternity, produced such a Son of David as the world had never seen before, viz., a sinless man: human nature morally cleansed. "He did always those things that pleased the Father." He could ask, without fear of successful answer, "Which of you convicteth me of sin? .... He did no sin." He was in this sense "without spot", which could not be affirmed of any other son of Abraham.

Some experience a difficulty here. They say that if the begettal of Jesus by the Spirit had such an effect as this, he was not of the same nature as ourselves. The simple answer may suggest itself in the question: Are there not different sorts of the same nature in everything? Contrast a crab-apple with a delicious Blenheim: a worn-out cart-horse with a high-blooded charger: a mumbling savage with a British peer--different sorts, but the same nature.

Jesus was a man, but not as other men in his powerful affinity for God, and his abhorrence for everything in opposition to His will. He was human nature mentally washed in this sense by the Spirit. If it were not so, to what can we attribute his spotless divinity of character?

It is there: was it an effect without a cause? Education cannot account for it--for other Jewish children had as good an education as he. Education had something to do with it, doubtless, but it was only as the culture of good seed in good soft. The parable of the sower touches the subject: the same seed produced different results, according to the nature of the soil. The "soil" differs in different men, and yet they are all men.

Christ was a man, yet his mental soil differed from all men's. He had the impulses common to all men, but conjoined with these, a power of control possessed by no man. And this was the result of the antitypical washing to which, in him, the seed of David was subjected in harmony with the Mosaic figure.

* Law of Moses Ch 18


compare Lev 15:31 - 'Thus shall ye separate the children of Israel from their uncleanness; that they die not in their uncleanness, when they defile my tabernacle that is among them'.

Ceremonial washing. Yahweh's point of view - Man is physically defiled as inheriting Sin's flesh.
And in every case - except the Lord Yahoshua Anointed - morally unclean as a consequence of the carnal mind which is rebellious against divine law - the carnal mind operating upon the natural impulses unrestrained brings forth sin.

The 'uncleaness' as Brother Roberts states is a term expressive both of their physical and moral defilement -- the character of the entire human race -- the one growing out of the other. Man is an unclean and corruptible organization, physically considered, living or dead: and his thoughts and actions are of the same complexion. 

We see him in his true nature when we compare him as he is, with what he is promised to be --the pure, incorruptible, spiritual, ever-living, and glorious nature of Yahweh, Jesus, and the angels.

The Priestly Attire

7 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.

cp Ex 28:2 'And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty'.

It cannot be that "glory and beauty" of dress were aimed at in the sense that would commend itself to a child, or a savage, or a fop. Yet, as a matter of fact, the attire of the high priest would be highly picturesque: it would be pleasing to the eye as regards symmetry of form and combination of colour: indeed, with the addition of the frontal-plate of pure gold, the shoulder-buckle of gold-set onyx stone, and the glitter of the twelve rich-set precious stones in the breast-plate, it would be nothing less than splendid. "Glory and beauty" describes it all.

What do we see in this but the fact that glory and beauty are the attributes of Divine wisdom, whether we regard it intrinsically or in its living expression in all experience.

The antitypical "glory and beauty" of the Aaronic garment is less the physical glory of the spirit-nature than the moral and intellectual glory of the spirit-mind.

Law of Moses

8 And he put the breastplate upon him: also he put in the breastplate the Urim and the 

Ref Jms 1:17 'Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning'.

The spiritual is "glory and beauty" --take it how we may: whether in character, as the man who brings forth the fruit of the spirit, in love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, and goodness (Gal. 5:22); or in nature, as the angels, pure, incorruptible, and glorious, who are the sample to us of the state to which men are by the gospel invited when offered "glory and honour and immortality".

Law of Moses

9 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 Yahweh commanded Moses.

The golden plate was inscribed 'Holiness to Yahweh' (Ex 28:36). Always worn on the forehead. Belief and obedience at the forefront of the mind.

'...as Yahweh commanded...'

'...complete subordination...which typically proclaimed the supremacy of God...as the conjoint and indispensable conditions of acceptable fellowship.

The holy anointing oil

12 And he poured of the anointing oil upon Aaron's head, and anointed him, to sanctify him.

Aaron was not fully qualified to enter on the priest's office until he was also anointed with the holy oil, and sanctified by the blood of the sin-offering commanded to be offered.

...The testimony is that Jesus was anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows (Heb. 1:9). This was the Spirit, as Peter declares: "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit, and with power" (Acts 10:38). It was not enough that he should be the sinless seed of David according to the flesh: it was needful that "the Spirit of the Lord God should be upon him" (Isa. 61:1), by which he should be "anointed to preach good tidings to the meek", as Jesus declared was fulfilled in him (Luke 4:18-21).

This was a further extension of the Spirit's work beyond the work symbolized by the washing of Aaron with water. The Spirit not only begat Jesus, but when he was 30 years of age, it decended upon him in a visible shape, and abode upon him (John 1:32-33), and remained with him in measureless fulness (John 3:34), enabling him to say, "The Father dwelleth in me", Without this, he would not have been able to do the works which bore witness of him that the Father had sent him (John 5:36): for as he said "of mine own self, I can do nothing" (John 5:30).

The anointing of the Spirit was essential to the completion of his priesthood in other respects: how otherwise could he "through the eternal Spirit have offered himself without spot unto God"? (Heb. 9:14). How otherwise could he have known for whom to intercede? (Rom. 8:26). How otherwise could he have "searched the reins and hearts, to give every man according to his works"? (Rev. 2:23). *

The Sacrificial Blood.

14 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.

15 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.

But the sacrificial blood was applied to everything as well--Aaron and his sons included (see Lev. 8:14-15; 23-24). An atonement had to be made by the shedding and the sprinkling of blood for and upon them all (Lev. 16:33). As Paul remarks, "almost all things by the law are purged with blood" (Heb. 9:22). Now all these things were declared to be "patterns of things in the heavens", which it is admitted on all hands converge upon and have their substance in Christ. There must, therefore, be a sense in which Christ (the antitypical Aaron, the antitypical altar, the antitypical mercy-seat, the antitypical everything), must not only have been sanctified by the action of the antitypical oil of the Holy Spirit, but purged by the antitypical blood of his own sacrifice.

This conclusion is supposed to be weakened by the statement of Lev. 16:16, that the atonement for the holy place, altar, etc., was to be made "because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel and because of their transgressions in all their sins", That is, it is argued from this, that the holy things would have had no uncleanness in themselves apart from the uncleanness of the children of Israel.

This must be granted, but it must also be recognized that because the children of Israel were sinful and polluted, the holy things were reckoned as having contracted defilement in having been fabricated by them and through remaining in their midst. This cannot be denied on a full survey of the testimony. They were ceremonially unclean, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and had to be cleansed by the holy oil and the sacrificial blood before they were acceptable in the Mosaic service.

Now, this is part of the Mosaic figure. There must be an antitype to it. What was it? The holy things, we know, in brief, are Christ. He must, therefore, have been the subject of a personal cleansing in the process by which he opened the way of sanctification for his people. If the typical holy things contracted defilement from connection with a sinful congregation, were not the antitypical (Christ) holy things in a similar state, through derivation on his mother's side from a sinful race? If not, how came they to need purging with his own "better sacrifice "? (Heb. 9:23).

Great difficulty is experienced by various classes of thinkers in receiving this view. Needlessly so, it should seem. There is first the express declaration that the matter stands so; "it was therefore necessary that the patterns of things 'in the heavens should be purified with these (Mosaic sacrifices); but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these" (Heb. 9:23). "It was of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer" (8:3). "By reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins" (5:3). "By his own blood, he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption" (for us, is an addition inconsistent with the middle voice of the verb employed, which imports a thing done by one to one's own self) (9:12).

There was next the necessity that it should be so. The word "necessity", it will be perceived, occurs frequently in the course of Paul's argument. The necessity arises from the position in which men stood as regards the law of sin and death, and the position in which the Lord stood as their redeemer from this position. The position of men was that they were under condemnation to die because of sin, and that not their own sin, in the first instance, but ancestral sin at the beginning.

The forgiveness of personal offences is the prominent feature of the apostolic proclamation, because personal offences are the greater barrier. Nevertheless, men are mortal because of sin, quite independently of their own transgressions. Their redemption from this position is a work of mercy and forgiveness, yet a work to be effected in harmony with the righteousness of God, that He might be just while justifying those believing in the Redeemer.

It is so declared (Rom. 3:26). It was not to be done by setting aside the law of sin and death, but by righteously nullifying it in one who should obtain this redemption in his own right, and who should be authorized to offer to other men a partnership in his right, subject to required conditions (of their conformity to which, he should be appointed sole judge).

How to effect this blending and poising of apparently opposing principles and differing requirements--mercy and justice; forgiveness and righteousness; goodness and severity--would have been impossible for human wisdom. It has not been impossible with God, to whom all things are possible. We see the perfect adjustment of all the apparently incompatible elements of the problem in His work in Christ, "who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption" (1 Cor. 1:30).

We have only to receive the simple facts testified in the case to reach the end of all difficulty.

With immortal soulism and eternal torments, the solution is impossible. With the doctrine of human mortality, it is otherwise.

We see Jesus born of a woman, and therefore a partaker of the identical nature condemned to death in Eden. We see him a member of imperfect human society, subject to toil and weakness, dishonour and sorrow, poverty and hatred, and all the other evils that have resulted from the advent of sin upon the earth.

We see him down in the evil which he was sent to cure: not outside of it, not untouched by it, but in it, to put it away. "He was made perfect through suffering" (Heb. 2:10), but he was not perfect till he was through it. He was saved from death (5:7), but not until he died. He obtained redemption (Heb. 9:12), but not until his own blood was shed.

* Law of Moses Ch 18