Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
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The Priest
The Consecration of the Priests
The Priestly Garments


The Consecration of the Priests (Ch. 29)

images/I9.gifsrael's priesthood was vested in the family of Aaron of the tribe of Levi, and the office was hereditary so that only by birth could one gain entrance. The first priests were: Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. Today, all believers are priests, for the spiritual new birth includes appointment to the privilege. The New Testament further gives authority for the believer to consider Christ his High Priest.

Heb 3:1 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus,

The Lord ordained specific ceremonies and sacrifices which required seven days to complete in order to consecrate a priest. The ceremony involved the offering of a bullock and two rams together with unleavened bread, and a drink offering of wine. There is specific mention of the anointing of Aaron with oil, and the fact that each of the priests participated in laying hands upon the sacrifice in order to show his identity with it. Also, each priest-elect partook of a portion of the sacrifice in a ceremonial feast. The priests-elect were carefully washed with water (which spoke of personal cleansing or sanctification), and they were also sprinkled with blood (which spoke of legal cleansing or justification).


Before any priest could take up his calling he had to go through a solemn ritual which lasted for seven days. The instructions given by God began with the statement:

Exod 29:1 "And this is what you shall do to them to hallow them for ministering to Me as priests...

What follows is an act of consecration for service and to 'hallow', means to 'set something or someone apart' for the particular service of God. The ceremony was conducted by Moses and took place at the entrance to the tabernacle within the courtyard.

The Cleansing

First of all there had to be a symbolical cleansing, so washing the whole body was the first act.

Later, when carrying out his task, the priest would frequently have to wash his hands and feet at the bronze laver symbolizing his need for constant cleansing in what his hands did and where his feet went.

The Anointing

After this the priests were dressed in their distinctive garments and their heads anointed with olive oil blended with spices:

Exod 30:22-30 Moreover the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: "Also take for yourself quality spices-- five hundred shekels of liquid myrrh, half as much sweet-smelling cinnamon (two hundred and fifty shekels), two hundred and fifty shekels of sweet-smelling cane, five hundred shekels of cassia, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, and a hin of olive oil. And you shall make from these a holy anointing oil, an ointment compounded according to the art of the perfumer. It shall be a holy anointing oil. With it you shall anoint the tabernacle of meeting and the ark of the Testimony; the table and all its utensils, the lampstand and its utensils, and the altar of incense; the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the laver and its base. You shall consecrate them, that they may be most holy; whatever touches them must be holy. And you shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister to Me as priests."

Speaking of the Ark of the Covenant being taken to the temple in Jerusalem many years later in Psalm 132:9 it says:

Ps 132:9 "Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let Your saints shout for joy."

The message is that after being cleansed spiritually, the righteous clothing is put on, and the anointing which comes from the Holy Spirit Himself is poured upon the priest to prepare him for the special service of God.

The Offerings

At the very heart of the initiation ceremony was the sin offering. The men who would represent the people before God must first of all have their own sins atoned for. Every day for seven days they offered a young bull. As with the sin offering it had to be killed and its blood applied to the four horns of the altar before being poured out below and parts of its body burned.

A ram was then offered in an act of dedication. This was a burnt offering in which the sacrifice in its entirety was consumed in the altar flames.

Finally, every day for seven days, a ram was offered for the priests and a special ceremony given to this last sacrifice. After their hands had been laid on it and the ram killed, Moses took some of its blood and applied it first to the lobes of the right ears of Aaron and his sons, then to the thumbs of their right hands, and lastly to the big toes of their right feet.

Exod 29:20 "Then you shall kill the ram, and take some of its blood and put it on the tip of the right ear of Aaron and on the tip of the right ear of his sons, on the thumb of their right hand and on the big toe of their right foot, and sprinkle the blood all around on the altar."

This was the installation ceremony of these men who were set apart for the service of God.

The Priest
The Consecration of the Priests
The Priestly Garments


Copyright 1998 The Bible Knowledge Accelerator

The Tabernacle of Moses in Ancient Israel


The Bronze Altar The Bronze Laver The Golden Lampstand

The Cherubim The Tabernacle of Moses in the Wilderness The Cherubim

The Golden Table of Shewbread The Golden Altar of Incense The Ark of the Covenant

"And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among (in) them" - Exodus 25:8

The Purpose and Heart of the Law - A Devotional Message

Blood Atonement - A Bible Study

The Tabernacle of Ancient Israel was a sanctuary which was given in a vision to Moses as a pattern and constructed by the children of Israel. God's promise was that He would dwell within the Holy of Holies above the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant.

Why Study the Tabernacle?

A) 50 Chapters Mention The Tabernacle

Because at least 50 chapters (13-Ex, 18-Lev, 13-Num, 2-Deut, 4-Heb) in the Bible tell of the construction, the ritual, the priesthood, the carrying of the tabernacle, and the meaning of it all. Also many other places in Scripture speak in figurative language concerning the tabernacle. In many Bible studies this subject is overlooked and considered insignificant.


B) The Tearing of the Veil

God Himself thought so much of the importance of the type, as shown by the tearing of the veil:

Matt 27:50-51 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split,

If we don't understand the meaning in Scripture of the holy of holies and the veil we miss out on extremely significant information concerning exactly what Christ's death meant to sinful mankind.


C) The Tabernacle is a Type of Christ:

Remember what the Word says, "all Scripture is given by inspiration (God-breathed) of God..." When we look at the Bible we must remember that it is completely God-breathed. When we look at each Word we must remember that every Word is specifically God-breathed. That was the view of Christ when it came to the Scriptures, that was the view of the apostles, and that must be our view. This is the very Word of God. It doesn't just contain the Word of God, or just point to religious experience, this is the Word of God.

Is it any wonder then that each and every detail and Word about the tabernacle has spiritual significance? As we look to the tabernacle structure itself and its unique pieces of redemptive furniture there is great symbolism and typology found in them. Remember, everything was a finger pointing to the Messiah. The tabernacle, as a type, designed specifically and in detail by God, would point to the character and aspects of the ministry of Christ. The more we become familiar with the tabernacle the more we become familiar with Christ and all that He means to us. What a great reason to become familiar with the Scriptures concerning the tabernacle.

Heb 10:20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh,

Col 2:17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.

Jn 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

D) It is a Representation of the True Tabernacle in Heaven:

The Lord wants us to be aware of His nature and character. Even the angels don't fully understand the nature and character of God but they learn from watching His dealings with His church (Eph 3). Things are really happening in the heavenly dimension and the Lord wants to reveal to us what took place in heaven after the resurrection of Christ. There is a real tabernacle in the heavenlies and Christ really appeared before the throne of heaven as the Lamb of God (Rev 5). There is no doubt that some of these things are a mystery but the more we draw close to God and His Word the more He draws close to us.

Heb 9:11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation.


E) The Presence Within the Holy of Holies Dwells Within the Believer in Jesus:

Jesus said I am the temple (Mishkan) of God. When the glory (Heb. Sh'chinah) would come down like a tornado or funnel right through the roof of the holy of holies and the Presence would manifest on the mercy seat between the cherubim after the blood was sprinkled, that was the mishkan. That Presence was what Jesus said dwelt within Him. And in fact Paul said about the church, "Know ye not that you are the temple (Mishkan) of God?" We, as the body of Christ, have the same Presence dwelling within us. God doesn't dwell in buildings now but within His people.

1 Cor 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?


F) Its teaching covers in type almost all of New Testament truth.

The study of the tabernacle is so rich in meaning to the Christian and so pregnant with Messianic significance that we can spend a lifetime in the study of it and only begin to understand the riches and the depth of truth that lies within the study of the tabernacle.

Rom 15:4 "Whatever things that were written before were written for our learning."

G) Studying the Tabernacle will absolutely strengthen our faith in the Bible.

Be assured that anyone who has delved into the wonderful details of the tabernacle will confess that the Bible is more than just a book. No man could have thought of this. The Bible is the Word of God.

"all Scripture is given by inspiration of God..."



The Tabernacle

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