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Exodus 29

Priests must be separate from other Israelites

1 When you make the priests separate, do it in this way: Take a young male cow and two male sheep. They must not have anything wrong with them. 2 Make some bread from good flour, with no yeast in it. Use oil to make cakes and biscuits also. 3 Put these things in a basket and bring them, with the three animals. 4 Then bring Aaron and his sons to the door of the Tent of Meeting and wash them there. 5 Then take the special clothes. Dress Aaron in the tunic, the robe, the ephod and the breastpiece. Fasten the ephod on him with the special belt. 6 Put the turban on Aaron's head and fix the holy gold plate to the turban. 7 Take the special oil and pour it on his head. 8 Bring his sons and dress them in their tunics. 9 Put the hats on their heads, then tie the long belts on Aaron and on his sons. These men and their sons and grandsons will be priests for all time. This is a special gift to them for always. This is how you must make Aaron and his sons separate:

10 Bring the male cow to the front of the Tent of Meeting. Aaron and his sons must put their hands on the male cow's head. 11 Then kill the animal in front of the LORD, at the door of the Tent of Meeting. 12 Take some of the male cow's blood. Use your finger to put some blood on the horns of the altar. Pour the blood that remains on the ground round the altar. 13 Take all the fat that is round the inside parts of the animal. Take the skin that covers the liver. Take both the kidneys with the fat that is round them. Burn all these things on the altar. 14 But burn the male cow's body outside the camp. You have offered it because of sin.

15 Take one of the male sheep. Aaron and his sons must put their hands on its head. 16 Kill it and take the blood to the altar. Throw some of the blood on to every side of the altar. 17 Cut the male sheep in pieces and wash the inside parts and the legs. Then put them with the head and with the other pieces. 18 Burn the whole male sheep on the altar. It is a gift to the LORD and a good smell. You will offer this gift to the LORD by fire.

19 Take the second male sheep. Aaron and his sons must put their hands on its head. 20 Kill it and put some of the blood on the right ears of Aaron and his sons. Put some blood also on their right hands and on the big toes of their right feet. Then throw some blood on to every side of the altar. 21 Mix together some of the blood on the altar and some of the special oil. Put this on to Aaron and on to his clothes. Put it also on to his sons and on to their clothes. Then Aaron and his sons and their clothes will be holy.

22 Take all the fat from this male sheep. Take the fat tail, the fat round the inside parts and the skin round the liver. Take also the two kidneys with the fat round them. And take the top part of the right leg. (You will use this male sheep when you give authority to Aaron and to his sons.) 23 Take out of the basket a loaf of bread that has no yeast in it. Take also a cake with oil in it and a biscuit. These are all in the basket that is in front of the LORD. 24 Put all these things in the hands of Aaron and his sons. Then lift these things up to the LORD as a gift. 25 Now take them and burn them on the altar, with the animal as a gift. They will make a good smell, a gift to the LORD that you offer by fire.

26 Take the breast of this special male sheep. First lift it up to the LORD as a gift that you offer to him. Then you can eat it.

27 You must make holy the pieces of the sheep that are for Aaron and his sons. These are the breast and the top part of the leg. You have lifted them up first. 28 This must always be the regular gift from the Israelites to Aaron and his sons. The Israelites must supply this food for the priests from their gifts to the LORD.

29 Aaron's holy clothes will belong to the males in his family for all time. Those men will become separate and take authority. Then they can wear the clothes. 30 The son who becomes priest after Aaron's death must wear his clothes. When that son comes to the Tent of Meeting, he must wear the clothes for 7 days. He must wear them while he does work in the Holy Place.

31 Take the male sheep that is for Aaron and his sons. Cook the meat in a holy place. 32 Aaron and his sons must eat the meat, and the bread from the basket. They must do this at the door of the Tent of Meeting. 33 They must eat these gifts, by which they have paid for their authority and special importance. No other person can eat this meat because it is holy.

34 But if any of this meat remains until the morning, you must burn it. Burn also any bread that remains. You must not eat it because it is holy.

35 Do everything that I have commanded you, for Aaron and his sons. Make them holy and give them authority during 7 days. 36 Kill a male cow each day, as a gift. This animal that you offer dies instead of you, for your sin.’

29:36We read in Hebrews 9:22 that blood is necessary to make almost everything clean and holy. Without blood, God cannot forgive the bad things that we do. God saw the blood of the animals that the Israelites killed. He knew that one day Jesus would die for the sins of many people. When bad men killed Jesus, he bled. His holy blood washes us clean from sin, when we believe in him. He died for our sins instead of us. God punished him, instead of us. We read in 2 Corinthians 5:21 that God put all our sins on Jesus. Jesus had no sins of his own.

‘Make the altar completely clean. Pay for it with a gift and pour oil on it. This will make it special and holy. 37 Do this to the altar for 7 days, and then it will become very holy. Anything that touches the altar will become holy too.

38 You must offer a regular gift on the altar each day. This gift must be two young sheep that are one year old. 39 Offer one in the morning and the other in the evening.

40 With the first young sheep, offer two litres of good flour. Mix this with one litre of olive oil. Offer also one litre of wine as a gift of drink. 41 Kill the other young sheep in the evening. Offer it with the same gifts of food and drink as in the morning. There will be a good smell from this gift to the LORD, by fire.

42 I give this commandment for all the Israelites who will be born in future years. You must offer this regular gift by fire, to the LORD. Offer it at the door of the Tent of Meeting. I will meet you there and I will speak to you. 43 I will meet the Israelites there also and the place will become holy because of my glory.

44 So I will make the Tent of Meeting holy and separate. I will do the same thing to the altar and to Aaron and to his sons. They will work for me as priests. 45 Then I will live among the Israelites and I will be their God. 46 They will know that I am the LORD their God. I brought them out of Egypt so that I could live among them. I am the LORD their God.’