“Then the young bull for the purification offering was brought, and Aharon and his sons laid their hands on the head of the bull for the sin offering. After it had been slaughtered, Moshe took the blood and put it on the horns of the altar all the way around with his finger, thus purifying the altar. The remaining blood he poured out at the base of the altar and consecrated it, to make atonement for it.” -Leviticus 8:14-15
We are in the midst of studying the ordination of Israel’s first priesthood.
In verse 14, following the anointing of the priests with oil, we’re told that a HATTA-AT or “Purification Offering” is to be performed.
Although practically all Bible translations will use the term “Sin Offering”, I have decided to render HATTA-AT as a “Purification Offering“.
The content in chapter 8 actually demonstrates why the term “Purification Offering” is a superior translation to the more commonly used “Sin Offering”.
For it is the blood of the offering that purifies or cleanses the temple ritual instruments and its furnishings.
Now notice that a bull, the most expensive and highest of all the possible animal offerings, is brought forward.
The usual procedures are then performed.
Aaron and his sons lay their hands on the head of the soon-to-be-killed bull to signify a transference of guilt from them to the animal.
Do you recall what the action of laying one’s hands on in Hebrew is?
It is SEMICHAH.
After SEMICHAH is performed, the animal is then killed.
Next Moses, who acting as the mediator, takes the blood of the sacrificial bull and dabs it onto the horns of the Brazen Altar.
Finally, Moses pours the remaining blood onto the base of the Brazen Altar.
You may be thinking, why is it Moses and not Aaron doing the mediating here?
Isn’t Aaron the High Priest?
The answer is simple.
The consecration ceremony is still in process.
Aaron, who will be the High Priest, and his sons, who will become the common priests, are not yet authorized to perform their duties.
The key point and takeaway you need to grasp here is that until the items of the Tabernacle are cleansed and purified by the anointing oil and blood of the sacrifice, they are unfit for service to God.
All of the Tabernacle instruments and its furnishings were constructed out of common materials and built by human hands.
Hence, they are unclean.
And what important God principle did we learn about uncleanness?
We learned that whatever (or whoever) touches uncleanness itself becomes unclean.
Uncleanness is contagious.
Let me say that again.
Because the Tabernacle ritual instruments and vessels had been touched by human hands, which are inherently impure and unclean, the ritual instruments and vessels themselves had become unclean.
Hence, they had to be purified by the blood of the sacrificial animal.
There’s a major God-principle being communicated to you here, so I hope you’re catching this.
Moving on, after the Brazen Altar has been properly consecrated, then and only then is the first sacrifice placed upon the Brazen Altar’s fire grill.
Again, notice that it is Moses and NOT Aaron who places the fat and certain parts of the Bull’s entrails onto the grill to be burned up and turned into smoke.
Finally, the remainder of the Bull, is taken to a place designated as OUTSIDE THE CAMP to be burned up on a common (non-holy) wood fire.
The bull’s remains were to be made into ashes, destroyed the way one would burn useless trash.
This was because only a portion of the bull, the entrails and its surrounding fat (HELEV), were useful for sacrifice.
The rest was useless and thus was to be destroyed OUTSIDE THE CAMP.
“OUTSIDE THE CAMP” was a location far beyond the Tabernacle, an area well away from where the Israelites were encamped.
In closing, let’s not forget the connection between the High Priest ordination procedures here and Yeshua because Yeshua was crucified OUTSIDE THE CAMP.
We’ll continue on with the procedures the next time we meet.