Calvin's Commentaries, Vol. 5: Harmony of the Law, Part III, tr. by John King, [1847-50], at sacred-texts.com
1. And it came to pass on the eighth day, that Moses called Aaron and his sons, and the elders of Israel;
1. Factum est die octavo, ut vocaret Moses Aharon, et filius ejus, et seniores Israel.
2. And he said unto Aaron, Take thee a young calf for a sin-offering, and a ram for a burnt-offering, without blemish, and offer them before the Lord.
2. Dixitque ad Aharon, Tolle tibi vitulum filium bovis in sacrificium pro peccato, et arietem in holocaustum, integros, et offer coram Jehova.
3. And unto the children of Israel thou shalt speak, saying, Take ye a kid of the goats for a sin-offering; and a calf and a lamb, both of the first year, without blemish, for a burnt-offering;
3. Ad filius vero Israel loqueris, dicendo, Tollite hircum caprarum in sacrificium pro peccato, et vitulum, et agnum, anniculos immaculatos in holocaustum.
4. Also a bullock and a ram for peace-offerings, to sacrifice before the Lord; and a meat-offering mingled with oil: for to-day the Lord will appear unto you.
4. Bovem quoque et arietem pro sacrificio prosperitatum, ut sacrificetis coram Jehova, ct minham conspersam oleo: quia hodie Jehova apparebit vobis.
5. And they brought that which Moses commanded before the tabernacle of the congregation; and all the congregation drew near, and stood before the Lord.
5. Tulerunt ergo qum praeceperat Moses coram tabernaculo conventionis, et accessit totus coetus, et steterunt coram Jehova.
6. And Moses said, This is the thing which the Lord commanded that ye should do: and the glory of the Lord shall appear unto you.
6. Tunc dixit Moses, Hoc est verbum quod praecepit Jehova, facite, et apparebit vobis gloria Jehovae.
7. And Moses said unto Aaron, Go unto the altar, and offer thy sin-offering, and thy burnt-offering, and make an atonement for thyself, and the people: and offer the offering of the people, and make an atonement for them; as the Lord commanded.
7. Ad Aharon vero dixit Moses, Accede ad altare, et fac oblationem pro peccato tuo, et holocaustum tuum, et expiationem fac pro te et pro populo: fac etiam oblationem populi, ire expiationem pro eis, quemadmodum praecepit Jehova.
8. Aaron therefore went unto the altar, and slew the calf of the sin-offering which was for himself.
8. Accessit itaque Aharon ad altare, et mactavit vitulum suum, oblationem pro peccato.
9. And the sons of Aaron brought the blood unto him; and he dipped his finger in the blood, and put it upon the horns of the altar, and poured out the blood at the bottom of the altar:
9. Et obtulerunt filii Aharon ei sanguinere, qui tinxit digitum suum in sanguine, et posuit super cornua altaris, residuum veto sanguinem fudit ad basira altaris.
10. But the fat, and the kidneys, and the caul above the liver of the sin-offering, he burnt upon the altar; as the Lord commanded Moses.
10. Adipem autem et renes, et fibram jecoris hostiae pro peccato, adolevit super altare, quemadmodum praeceperat Jehova Mosi.
11. And the flesh and the hide he burnt with fire without the camp.
11. Camera vero et pellem igni combussit extra castra.
12. And he slew the burnt-offering; and Aaron’s sons presented unto him the blood, which he sprinkled round about upon the altar.
12. Mactavit et hostiam pro holocausto, et obtulernnt filii Aharon ei sanguinem, quem sparsit super altare per circuitum:
13. And they presented the burnt-offering unto him, with the pieces thereof, and the head; and he burnt them upon the altar.
13. Holocaustum quoque ei obtulerunt in frustis suis, et caput: et adolevit super altare.
14. And he did wash the inwards and the legs, and burnt them upon the burnt-offering on the altar.
14. Deinde layit intestina et erura, ei adolevit cum holocausto super altare.
15. And he brought the people’s offering, and took the goat, which was the sin-offering for the people, and slew it, and offered it for sin, as the first.
15. Obtulit et oblationem populi, tulitque hircum oblationis pro peccato qui erat populi: mactavitque eum, et pro peccato obtulit ipsum sicut primum.
16. And he brought the burnt-offering, and offered it according to the manner.
16. Obtulit quoque holocaustum, et apparavit illud secundum praescripture.
17. And he brought the meat-offering, and took an handful thereof, and burnt it upon the altar, beside the burnt-sacrifice of the morning.
17. Obtulit et minham, implevitque manum suam ex ipsa, et adolevit super altare, praeter holocaustum matutinum.
18. He slew also the bullock and the ram for a sacrifice of peace-offerings which was for the people: and Aaron’s sons presented unto him the blood, which he sprinkled upon the altar round about,
18. Mactavit insuper bovera et arietem in sacrificium pacificorum quod erat populi: et obtulerunt filii Aharon sanguinem, quem sparsit super altare per circuitum.
19. And the fat of the bullock and of the ram, the rump, and that which covereth the inwards, and the kidneys, and the caul above the liver:
19. Et adipes bovis et arietis, caudam et adipem qui operit intestina et renes, et fibram jecoris.
20. And they put the fat upon the breasts, and he burnt the fat upon the altar:
20. Posueruntque adipes super pectuscula, et adolevit adipes super altare.
21. And the breasts and the right shoulder Aaron waved for a wave-offering before the Lord; as Moses commanded.
21. Pectuscula vero et armum dextrum agitavit Aharon agitatione coram Jehova, quemadmodum praeceperat Jehova Mosi.
22. And Aaron lifted up his hand toward the people, and blessed them; and came down from offering of the sin-offering, and the burnt-offering, and peace-offerings.
22. Posthaec elevavit Aharon ma-num suam ad populum, benedixitque eis, et descendit a faciendo oblationem pro peccato, et holocaustum, et sacrificium prosperitatum.
23. And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the Lord appeared unto all the people.
23. Et venit Moses et Aharon ad tabernaculum conventionis, et egressi sunt, et benedixerunt populo: et apparuit gloria Jehovae toti populo.
24. And there came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the burnt-offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.
24. Egressusque est ignis a facie Jehovae, et consumpsit super altare holocaustum et adipes: quod videns universus populus, laudaverunt, et ceciderunt super facies suas.
1. And it came to pass on the eighth day We have here related how Aaron and his sons, after the time of their consecration was fulfilled, began to execute their office. It was necessary that He should be his brother’s disciple, in order to follow the pattern laid down by God. And we must bear in mind that Moses, who was not appointed priest by a solemn rite, sanctified the others, in order that the authority and the efficacy of the outward sign should rest in God alone. This, therefore, is contained in the earlier portion of the chapter, how, after Aaron had been initiated in the priest’s office for seven days, He commenced the work entrusted to him by God’s command: the second part shews how the sacrifices were approved by a divine miracle, in ratification of the priesthood which God had instituted. But, first of all, He enumerates the ordinary kinds of sacrifice, viz., for sin, the burnt-offering; and for thanksgiving, the sacrifice with the meat-offering (minha) and the sprinkling: that in every respect Aaron might be accounted the lawful priest of God.
6. And Moses said, This is the thing which the Lord commanded He seems, indeed, to address himself to the whole people, to whom also the promise belonged; but in the word “do ye,” 413 He specially speaks to the sons of Aaron; and he promises what, at the end of the chapter, he will state to have been fulfilled, that the glory of God should be manifested in approbation of the priesthood, in order that they may set about their duties more cheerfully. For this was no common aid to their faith and assurance, that their office should be thus, as it were, sealed by God.
7. And Moses said unto Aaron, Go unto the altar Here is repeated what was stated elsewhere, that the priest, as being himself a sinner, must first make entreaty for himself, before he propitiates God towards others. Hence the Apostle justly infers that the legal priesthood was weak and merely typical. (Heb 5:1.) For none can be a true peace-maker, except he, who, in reliance on his perfect innocence, presents himself before God to obtain pardon for others, and, being pure from every blemish, requires no expiation for himself. All else to the end of the chapter I pass over, because Moses only records how Aaron sacrificed according to God’s command and the legal ritual.
22. And Aaron lifted up his hand toward the people This was a kind of application of the sacrifice, in order that the people might know that God was reconciled to them through the priest as their mediator and surety. The form of benediction 414 has been already expoundled; at present let this one point suffice, that, when by the lifting up of their hands the priests testified of God’s paternal favor to the people, their commission was ratified and efficacious. Of this the sacred history presents to us a memorable instance, where it records, that
“the priests and Levites blessed the people, and their voice was heard, and their prayer came up to his holy dwelling-place, even unto heaven.” (2Ch 30:27.)
The fulfilment of this type was at length manifested in Christ, who is not only the source and cause of blessing, but publishes it by the Gospel with effectual results; for He came to “preach peace to them which were afar off, and to them that were nigh,” (Eph 2:17;) and although He does not appear or speak in a visible form, yet we know what He says, viz., that
“whatsoever His disciples shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever they shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Mt 18:18.)
23. And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle This is a repetition of the same statement, except that what had been said of Aaron only is now also ascribed to Moses, i.e., that he blessed the people, but for a different reason, for although he was God’s prophet, yet Aaron, in right of his office, was the only mediator. What follows, “the glory of the Lord appeared,” may be read separately, viz., that the majesty of God was manifested in some conspicuous sign; or else it is connected with the concluding verse, where it is said, that “there came a fire out from before the Lord, etc.” If we prefer the latter, the account of the consuming of the sacrifice was added expositively, as if it were said that God appeared when He sent forth the fire to consume the sacrifice. By this auspice, or rather miracle, God manifested that He was the Author of the legal priesthood, so that it should be held in reverence for ever. The same thing sometimes occurred afterwards, when in troubled circumstances, it had need of extraordinary confirmation: thus fire consumed the sacrifice of Manoah, (Jud 13:20;) or, when God’s service and pure religion required to be vindicated in opposition to superstitious counterfeits; thus the sacrifice of Elijah was utterly consumed and reduced to ashes without the application of fire. (1Ki 18:38.) Or, lastly, when God would shew that He delighted in Mount Sion, which He had chosen for His resting-place and home: for which reason, the first sacrifice of Solomon was consumed by fire from heaven. (2Ch 7:1.)
Lest posterity should doubt of this matter, as if it were not thoroughly certain, Moses says that the whole people was stirred up by the sight to praise God, “and fell on their faces.”
“That ye should do.” — A. V.
See ante on Numbers 6:22-27, vol. 2, p. 245 et seq.