Calvin's Commentaries, Vol. 4: Harmony of the Law, Part II, tr. by John King, [1847-50], at sacred-texts.com
1. And this is the thing that thou shalt do unto them to hallow them, to minister unto me in the priest’s office: Take one young bullock, and two rams without blemish,
1. Hoc quoque facies eis ad sanctificandum eos, ut sacerdotio fungantur mihi: Tolle juvencum unum filium bovis, et arietes duos immaculatos.
2. And unleavened bread, and cakes unleavened tempered with oil, and wafers unleavened anointed with oil: of wheaten flour shalt thou make them.
2. Panes praeterea infermentatas, et placentas infermentatas mixtas oleo, et lagan infermentata uncta oleo: ex simila triticea facies ea.
3. And thou shalt put them into one basket, and bring them in the basket, with the bullock and the two rams.
3. Ponesque ea in canistrum unum, et offeres ea in canistro, una cum juveneo, et duobus arietibus.
4. And Aaron and his sons thou shalt bring unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shalt wash them with water.
4. Tum Aharonem et filios ejus accedere fades ad ostium tabernaculi conventionis, et lavabis cos aqua.
5. And thou shalt take the garments, and put upon Aaron the coat, and the robe of the ephod, and the ephod, and the breastplate, and gird him with the curious girdle of the ephod:
5. Et accipies vestes, induesque Aharon tunicam, et pallium ephod, et ephod pectorale, cingesque cum baltheo ephod.
6. And thou shalt put the mitre upon his head, and put the holy crown upon the mitre.
6. Pones praeterea cidarim super caput ejus: coronam autem sanctitatis pones super cidarim.
7. Then shalt thou take the anointing oil, and pour it upon his head, and anoint him.
7. Postremo accipies oleum unctionis, et fundes super caput ejus, et unges eum.
8. And thou shalt bring his sons, and put coats upon them.
8. Post haec filios ejus accedere facies, et indues cos tunicas.
9. And thou shalt gird them with girdles, Aaron and his sons, and put the bonnets on them: and the priest’s office shall be theirs for a perpetual statute: and thou shalt consecrate Aaron and his sons.
9. Cingesque illos baltheo: Aharon et flios ejus, et aptabis eis pileos, et erit eis sacerdotium in statutum perpetuum, implebisque manum Aharon, et manum filiorum ejus.
10. And thou shalt cause a bullock to be brought before the tabernacle of the congregation: and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the bullock.
10. Et offeres juveneum coram tabernaculo conventionis, imponentque Aharon et filii ejus manus suas super caput juvenei.
11. And thou shalt kill the bullock before the LORD, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
11. Tunc mactabis juveneum coram Jehova ad ostium tabernaculi conventionis.
12. And thou shalt take of the blood of the bullock, and put it upon the horns of the altar with thy finger, and pour all the blood beside the bottom of the altar.
12. Accipiesque e sanguine juvenci, et pones super cornua altaris digito tuo: reliquum autem sanguinem fundes ad fundamentum altaris.
13. And thou shalt take all the fat that covereth the inwards, and the caul that is above the liver, and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, and burn them upon the altar.
13. Tollesque omnem adipem operientem intestina, et reticulum quod est super jecur, et duos renes, et adipem qui est super illos, et incendes ea super altare.
14. But the flesh of the bullock, and his skin, and his dung, shalt thou burn with fire without the camp: it is a sin offering.
14. At carnem juvenei, et pellem ejus, fimumque ejus combures igni extra castra: sacrificium pro peccato est.
15. Thou shalt also take one ram; and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the ram.
15. Arietem quoque alterum accipies, et imponent Aharon et filii ejus manus suas super caput arietis.
16. And thou shalt slay the ram, and thou shalt take his blood, and sprinkle it round about upon the altar.
16. Tunc mactabis arietem, accipiesque sanguinem ejus, et asperges super altare per circuitum.
17. And thou shalt cut the ram in pieces, and wash the inwards of him, and his legs, and put them unto his pieces, and unto his head.
17. Arietem autem concides ix, frusta sua, et lavabis intestina ejus, cruraque ejus, et pones super frusta ejus, et super caput ejus.
18. And thou shalt burn the whole ram upon the altar: it is a burnt offering unto the LORD: it is a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
18. Incendes praeterea totum arietem super altare: nam holocaustum est Jehovae in odorem quietis: oblatio ignita Jehovae est.
19. And thou shalt take the other ram; and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the ram.
19. Accipies insuper arietem secundum, imponentque Aharon et filii ejus manus suas super caput arietis.
20. Then shalt thou kill the ram, and take of his blood, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of Aaron, and upon the tip of the right ear of his sons, and upon the thumb of their right hand, and upon the great toe of their right foot, and sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about.
20. Tunc mactabis arietem, accipiesque de sanguine ejus, et pones super tenerum antis Aharon, et super tenerum auris filiorum ejus dextrae, et super pollisem manus eorum dextrae, et super pollicem pedis corum dextri, aspergesque sanguinem super altare per circuitum.
21. And thou shalt take of the blood that is upon the altar, and of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it upon Aaron, and upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon the garments of his sons with him: and he shall be hallowed, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons’ garments with him.
21. Tollesque de sanguine qui erit super altare, et de oleo unctionis: atque asperges super Aharon, et super vestes ejus, et super illlos ejus, et super vestes filiorum ejus cum eo.
22. Also thou shalt take of the ram the fat and the rump, and the fat that covereth the inwards, and the caul above the liver, and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, and the right shoulder; for it is a ram of consecration:
22. Deinde tolles de ariete adipem, et caudam, et adipem operientem intestina, et reticulum jecoris, duosque renes, atque adipem qui est super eos, et armum dextrum: quia aries consecrationum est:
23. And one loaf of bread, and one cake of oiled bread, and one wafer out of the basket of the unleavened bread that is before the LORD:
23. Et tortam panis unam, et placentam panis ex oleo unam, et laganum unum e canistro infermentatorum qui est coram Jehova.
24. And thou shalt put all in the hands of Aaron, and in the hands of his sons; and shalt wave them for a wave offering before the LORD.
24. Ponesque omnia ilia in manibus Aharon, et in manibus filiorum ejus, exaltabisque ilia exaltationem coram Jehova.
25. And thou shalt receive them of their hands, and burn them upon the altar for a burnt offering, for a sweet savour before the LORD: it is an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
25. Accipies autem illa e manu eorum, et incendes super altare, ultra holocaustum in odorem quietis coram Jehova: oblatio ignita est Jehovae.
26. And thou shalt take the breast of the ram of Aaron’s consecration, and wave it for a wave offering before the LORD: and it shall be thy part.
26. Accipies item pectus arietis consecrationum quod est ipsi Aharon, et exaltabis illud exaltationem coram Jehova, eritque tibi in partem.
27. And thou shalt sanctify the breast of the wave offering, and the shoulder of the heave offering, which is waved, and which is heaved up, of the ram of the consecration, even of that which is for Aaron, and of that which is for his sons:
27. Sanctificabis itaque pectus exaltationis, et armum elevationis quod exaltatum est, et qui elevatus est de ariete consecrationum ipsius Aharon et filiorum ejus.
28. And it shall be Aaron’s and his sons’ by a statute for ever from the children of Israel: for it is an heave offering: and it shall be an heave offering from the children of Israel of the sacrifice of their peace offerings, even their heave offering unto the LORD.
28. Et erit ipsi Aharon et filiis ejus in statutum perpetuum a filiis Israel: quia exaltatio est: et exaltatio erit a filiis Israel de sacrificiis prosperitatum suarum, exaltatio inquam eorum erit Jehovae.
29. And the holy garments of Aaron shall be his sons’ after him, to be anointed therein, and to be consecrated in them.
29. Porro vestes sanctae quae sunt ipsius Aharon, erunt filiis ejus post eum ad ungendum cos cure eis, et ad consecrandum cum els manum eorum.
30. And that son that is priest in his stead shall put them on seven days, when he cometh into the tabernacle of the congregation to minister in the holy place.
30. Septem diebus induct eas sacerdos qui fuerit loco ipsius de filiis ejus, qui ingredietur tabernaculum conventionis ad ministrandum in sanctuario.
31. And thou shalt take the ram of the consecration, and seethe his flesh in the holy place.
31. Arietem autem consecrationum tolles, et coques carnem ejus in loco sanctitatis.
32. And Aaron and his sons shall eat the flesh of the ram, and the bread that is in the basket, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
32. Comedetque Aharon et filii ejus carnem arietis, et panem qui est in canistro, ad ostium tabernaculi conventionis.
33. And they shall eat those things wherewith the atonement was made, to consecrate and to sanctify them: but a stranger shall not eat thereof, because they are holy.
33. Comedent inquam illa quibus expiatus fuit ad consecrandum manum earum, ad sanctificandum cos: et alienigena non comedet, quia sanctificatio sunt.
34. And if ought of the flesh of the consecrations, or of the bread, remain unto the morning, then thou shalt burn the remainder with fire: it shall not be eaten, because it is holy.
34. Quod si superfuerit de carne consecrationum, et de pane, usque mane, combures quod supcrest igni: non comedettur, quia sanctitas est.
35. And thus shalt thou do unto Aaron, and to his sons, according to all things which I have commanded thee: seven days shalt thou consecrate them.
35. Facies igitur ipsi Aharon et filiis ejus sic, juxta omnia quae praecepi tibi: septem diebus consecrabis manum eorum.
1. And this is the thing that thou shalt do unto them. Since I shall again repeat and more fully explain these things as they are written in Le 9, in the history of the consecration of the tabernacle, it will be sufficient to give nothing more than a brief summary of them here; nor is it my custom to invent mysteries out of vague speculations, 174 such as may rather gratify than instruct my readers. First, since the whole human race is corrupt and infected with many impurities, so that his uncleanness prevents every single individual from having access to God, Moses, before he consecrates the priests, washes them by the sprinkling of water, in order that they may be no longer deemed to be of ordinary rank. Hence we gather that true purity and innocence, which was but typical in the Law, is found in Christ alone. “For such an high priest became us,” says the Apostle, “who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners,” to present Himself before God for us. (Heb 7:26.) After they had been washed, God commands that they should be invested with the sacerdotal dress, according to their respective ranks: that the high priest should wear the ephod with the Urim and Thummim, and the mitre with the golden plate, on which shone forth “holiness to Jehovah;” and in the third place, He adds the anointing. This preparation was for the purpose of initiating them, before they performed the office of sacrificing; but it must be observed that, as to this first sacrifice, the duties which were afterwards transferred to Aaron were imposed upon Moses, as if he were the only priest; and, in point of fact, the temporal dignity which he afterwards resigned to his brother, was still in his own hands. What Moses introduces about the division of the victim, we shall more conveniently explain elsewhere, in treating of the offerings, which we have stated to be the third part of the legal worship.
16. And thou shalt slay the ram. Moses had previously been commanded to take the parts of the victim from the hands of Aaron, to propitiate God with them, in order that he and his posterity might be able hereafter to perform the same office; but here a peculiar ceremony is described, that he should smear the right ear, the thumb of the right hand, and the toe of the right foot, both of Aaron and his sons, with the blood of a ram; and then that he should sprinkle them and their garments with the blood which was deposited upon the altar. What we must first observe here is, that the priest must be sprinkled with blood, in order that he may conciliate the favor of God towards himself for the purpose of intercession. Thus the priesthood of Christ was dedicated with blood, so that it might be efficacious to reconcile God with us. The question now arises, why only the right ear and the right thumb and toe were sprinkled with blood, as if the priests were consecrated and devoted to God only in half of their persons? I reply, that in this one part the other was comprehended; since both the ears, and both the hands and feet have the same object, and their offices are so connected, that what is said of one ear applies to the other. Again, it is asked, why the ear, and foot, and hand, were smeared rather than the breast and the tongue? and I do not doubt but that by the ear obedience was designated, and by the hands and feet all the actions and the whole course of life; for there is scarcely anything more common in Scripture than these metonymies, by which the cleanness of the hands is taken for the integrity of the whole life, and the way, or course, or walk for the direction, or manner of living. It is therefore very appropriate that man’s life should be consecrated by blood; and, inasmuch as the foundation of welldoing is obedience, which is preferred to all sacrifices, Moses is commanded to begin with the ear. And we know that the “odor of a sweet smell” in the sacrifice of Christ was obedience, (Php 4:18;) on which account, David, in the spirit of prophecy, introduces himself, saying, “Mine ears hast thou bored.” 175 (Ps 40:6.) If any should object that the tongue is of no less importance, because the priest is the messenger of the Lord of hosts, I answer that the office of teaching is not here referred to, but only that of intercession; wherefore in these three members Moses embraced whatever related to atonement. But we must remember that what is said of the consecration of Christ does not apply to His own person, but refers to the profit of the whole Church; for neither was He anointed for His own sake, nor had He need to borrow 176 grace from the blood; but He had regard to His members, and devoted Himself altogether to their salvation, as He himself testifies, “For their sake I sanctify myself.” (Joh 17:19.)
28. And it shall be Aaron’s. Lest the dignity of the sacred offerings, which are called the holiness of the Lord, should be impaired, strangers are prohibited from partaking of them; for, if it had been permitted that every one should touch them and eat of them, there would have been no distinction between them and ordinary food. Of the priests’ portion some parts were common to all their families; but the holy parts were excepted, to the intent that by this particular instance the reverence due to all might be inculcated. The reference to place has the same object, for it was not lawful to eat what was holy within the walls of their houses, in order that it might be distinguished from their common and ordinary food. For the same reason, whatever remained of it was to be burnt, lest, if the flesh became rank, or the bread moldy, their ill savor and filthy appearance might somewhat detract from the dignity of the holy things; for the infirmity of the ancient people had need of childish rudiments, which might still have a tendency to elevate the minds of the pious to things above. This was the object of all these things, that no corruption should creep in which might pollute or render contemptible the service of God.
Probably the Fr., “de speculations volantes,” suggests the right reading of the Lat. here, viz., alatis for aliis
A. V., “mine ears hast thou opened.” Margin, “Heb., digged.” See C.’s own Commentary, in loco, with Mr. Anderson’s note. Calvin Translation Society’s edition, vol. 2, p. 99.
“La grace de reconcilier.” — Fr.