It is the eighth day since the ceremony of consecrating the Tabernacle, Aaron and his sons began. Now it is open for the people too.
The seven days of sacrifice for the ordination of Aaron and his sons has passed. They are no longer required to stay inside the sanctuary court. For those seven days Moses offered the sacrifices to the Lord on their behalf. It is now Aaron and his sons’ time to take on this role.
Aaron was to offer one more sin offering and burnt offering for himself. Moses told him to select the animals for this offering. I have a question about this. I know from reading that the high priest had to have his own affairs in order before going into the Holy of Holies or he would be struck dead. As Aaron had already had a sin offering performed for him seven times, why was he required to offer one more sin offering? Is it possible that the seven before, because they were a combined offering for him and his sons, that his own sin wasn’t addressed? Was it that it was part of the ceremony and he didn’t really internalize it for himself until this last time? HE was the one who drew the knife this time. Did this one strike deeper in his heart?
Something different about this sin offering for Aaron was that he filled several roles. He filled the role of the one bringing the offering as well as the priest offering it. His sons assisted him by “presenting the blood to him.” We are not told they collected it but they may have. But they did not apply it to the altar for Aaron or place the required pieces on the fire. Aaron filled all the roles of the priest for his own offering.
I have another question of procedure that I wasn’t able to answer the last time we were together. I made an educated (or uneducated as the case may be) guess as to the timing for burning the sin offering remains outside the camp. I didn’t figure that the process would stop and wait while the remains were carried outside the camp and lit on fire. I surmised that they would wait until the conclusion of the day’s work and then take it for the final portion of the sacrifice. I tried looking this up but didn’t find any answer to satisfy me. I’m open to hearing from others with more insight into this area.
This day was to be the first of the offerings for the people. Moses had Aaron tell the elders what to bring. They were right there listening while Moses spoke to Aaron but Aaron was instructed to tell them directly. Did Moses take Aaron aside when giving him these directions or was he simply establishing the “chain of command” in this situation? I’m assuming that it is the elders who brought the required sacrifices as a group instead of one apiece for each of them. There is NO WAY each of the people could have brought these sacrifices individually during this one day.
The elders brought a sin offering, a burnt offering, a piece offering and a grain offering. The only offering not included, from the ones God outlined earlier, in this first day was a guilt offering. The burnt offering and the peace offering both included two animals instead of one.
I was looking at Numbers 7 and the offerings that are recorded there. I am not certain but I believe this record refers to a different offering than the 12 day long procession recorded in Numbers. I feel this way because this offering was specific to the Lord’s presence coming down before the people to inhabit the Tabernacle. If the Lord’s presence fell only after the last of the 12 daily offerings it would appear that He favored one tribe over the other. He also didn’t withdraw His presence daily and then renew it after each offering. He inhabited the Tabernacle from this point on, at least while Israel was in the wilderness. God’s presence dwelling with the people was the point of this sacrifice this day. The people would KNOW that their God was with them. When God rained down fire and consumed all that was left on the altar there was NO DOUBT in the people’s minds. THIS was God’s house!
Father God, there was so much happening during this time in history. I TRUST Your word COMPLETELY but I don’t know how to put together the timeline. I don’t even know if it is important. I just feel so inadequate to this task. I don’t want to put myself in the place of an expert or even a “learned” person. Every time I come to You I learn something new, which is a GREAT thing, but I also learn how much I don’t know. I feel stupid when I make some kind of “proclamation” about what we are reading and then find out just a few sessions later that I was WAY off base. That’s how I feel right now with this book. I honestly wish I could just skip these hard parts but I won’t. The only reason I won’t is because EVERY WORD in Your word is important. So I will keep going one uncertain step at a time. Please keep me from making a fool of myself or becoming the author of confusion for someone else. Please let YOUR word shine through, no matter what. I place this all back in Your hands again, where it truly belongs.