“On the eighth day, Moshe called Aharon, his sons and the leaders of Israel, and said to Aharon, “Take a male calf for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering, both without defect, and offer them before Adonai.”-Leviticus 9:1-2
After much painstaking preparation, the priesthood of Israel is about to begin!
And it is to occur on the eighth day.
The day of NEW BEGINNINGS!!!
Moses’ days of officiating will now come to a close and Aaron will now step up to assume his God-ordained role as Israel’s first High Priest.
What an awesome responsibility!!!
We see that every type of sacrifice is offered up EXCEPT for one.
The ASHAM sacrifice or what I have decided to term the “Reparation Offering” is NOT offered up.
Honestly, given the tremendous significance of this event, we should insert a special bookmark here in chapter 9 of Leviticus.
This set of sacrificial offerings are the very first rituals being performed by the newly established priesthood of Israel.
I want to point out something interesting.
During the 7-day consecration ceremony, the Brazen Altar was put to full use as a heckuva a lot of sacrifices were placed on it to be burned up.
However, notice that it is not until the very end of Chapter 9 that YVHVH Himself lights up the fire.
We’e told over and over again in the Torah that once the Lord lights up this fire, it must NEVER be extinguished.
So the question that confronts us is although the priesthood had already been established, why did HASHEM wait until 8th day before He Himself lit up the fire of the Brazen Altar?
Rabbinic commentary on this matter is quite unanimous.
The general consensus is that the first 7 days were a “practice run” of sorts.
Although the fire used during the first 7 days was not divine since it was kindled by men, God deemed it okay for the purpose of consecrating the priests and the Tabernacle.
But once the consecration was completed and the Lord Himself re-ignited the flames of the altar, an awesome new dynamic was introduced into the equation.
From that point in time, it was prohibited to use manmade fire to burn up the sacrificial animals.
There are a couple of interesting contrasts with that great Biblical holiday YOM KIPPUR or the Day of Atonement.
First, YOM KIPPUR is to be a day of utmost seriousness, while this priestly commemoration was considered to be a joyous consideration.
Second, for the consecration of the priests, there was no scapegoat offering.
Instead a ZEVAH or Peace Offering was offered up.