Adonai said to Moshe, “Take Aharon and his sons with him, the garments, the anointing oil, the bull for the sin offering, the two rams and the basket of matzah; and assemble the entire community at the entrance to the tent of meeting.” Moshe did as Adonai ordered him, and the community was assembled at the entrance to the tent of meeting. Moshe said to the community, “This is what Adonai has ordered to be done.”-Leviticus 8:1-5
We see at the beginning of Chapter 8 that it was Moses who was chosen to the officiate over the ordination of Israel’s priesthood.
Let me clarify a couple of points in the first few verses of this chapter.
First, note where it says “assemble the entire community”.
Understand that the “entire community” does NOT mean the the whole population of Israel, not even close.
It was referring to a governing assembly of elders who were chosen to represent the entire community of Israel, which would have been about 2 to 3 million people depending on which scholar you reference.
Second, note where it says “the entrance to the tent of meeting”.
Other translations may say “at the door of the tent”.
This phrase should also not be taken literally.
It is referring to the area EAST of the entry into the Tabernacle Courtyard.
Next, note verse 5 where it says “This is what Adonai has ordered to be done.”
This reinforces the point I made earlier that the instructions we read in earlier chapters were actually fulfilled at an earlier date.
Moving on, we are told that Moses is to wash Aaron and his sons.
This was a purification offering.
Now when I say “purification”, I am not referring to a physical cleansing, though that was a small part of it.
This ritual wasn’t about removing the dirt off of one’s body.
It was a symbolic expression that one had to be made pure or cleansed of their defilement before being allowed to serve the Creator of the Universe.
After the washing, Moses then put the High Priest’s uniform on Aaron.
Recall back in Exodus chapter 28 we studied that all together there were eight separate pieces that comprised Aaron’s priestly garments with four of the garments being common to all priests.
Finally, Moses anointed the Tabernacle and all of the following furnishings:
the Incense Altar
the Table of Shewbread
Ark of the Covenant
the Brazen Altar
Laver of Water
The anointing oil was high quality olive oil mixed with different spices (for the exact recipe, go to Exodus 30:22-30).
After the Tabernacle and its ritual implements and furnishings were anointed, Aaron (the High Priest) and his sons (the common priests) were then anointed.
The biggest takeaway I glean from all of this is that while we may be able to approach the Lord as we are, we most certainly cannot serve Him as we are.
We must be purified or made clean first.