Leviticus 9 Bible Commentary

John Darby’s Synopsis

(Read all of Leviticus 9)
The following commentary covers Chapters 8 and 9.

The priesthood established: Aaron, type of Christ

The sacrifices and the rules for partaking of them being thus appointed, priesthood is established (chap. 8) according to the ordinance. Aaron and his sons are washed; Aaron is then clothed, and the tabernacle, and all that was therein, was anointed, and Aaron also, and this without blood.

In this we have, I apprehend, a bright inlet into the way in which the universe is filled with glory. When Aaron alone is anointed without blood, the tabernacle is also. The fulness of the divine power and spiritual grace and glory which is in Christ, fills the whole scene of created witness of the glory of God; that is, the energy of the Holy Ghost fills it with the claim and witnesses of the excellency of Christ. When the creature has had to do with it, then, indeed, as on the great day of atonement, it has all to be purified and reconciled with blood. But this does not undo the direct title in grace and divine excellency in Jesus. It is His on this ground too. It is His as Creator of it all. It may have contracted impurity. Redemption is the ground of the restitution of all things, and the creature is delivered from the bondage of corruption. But as His creation it all belonged to God. As the normal order it was, as created—consecrated to God (see also Col. 1: 16 and 21).

Aaron's sons; the ground of their place with God

When Aaron's sons are brought in, the altar is purified with blood, because we have got out of the mere personal excellency and title of Christ. When the sons of Aaron are clothed with the priestly garments, sacrifices are offered, beginning with the bullock for a sin-offering, and Aaron and his sons have its blood put upon ear and thumb and toe; and then Aaron and his garments, his sons and their garments with him, are sprinkled with oil and blood according to the directions given in Exodus. The blood of Christ and the Spirit are the ground on which we, associated with Him, have our place with God.

Jehovah's presence in blessing manifests His acceptance of the sacrifices

On the eighth day Jehovah was to appear and manifest the acceptance of the sacrifices offered on that day, and His presence in the glory in the midst of the people. This manifestation took place accordingly: first Aaron, standing by the sacrifice, blesses the people; and then Moses and Aaron go into the tabernacle, and come out and bless the people. That is, there is first Christ, as Priest, blessing them, in virtue of the offered sacrifice; and then Christ, as King and Priest, going in and hiding Himself for a little in the tabernacle, and then coming out and blessing the people in this twofold character. When this takes place, as it will at the coming of Jesus, the acceptance of the sacrifice will be publicly manifested, and the glory of Jehovah will appear to the people, then become true worshippers through that means.

The time of Israel's knowledge of the acceptance of the sacrifice

This is a scene of the deepest interest; but there is a remark to be made here. The church is not found in this place (though there are general principles which apply to any case of connection with God), unless it be in the persons of Moses and Aaron. The blessing comes and is made manifest; that is, the acceptance of the victim is made manifest when Moses and Aaron appear at their coming out of the tabernacle. It will be thus with Israel. When the Lord Jesus appears, and they recognise Him whom they pierced, the efficacy of this sacrifice will be manifested in favour of that nation. It will be public by the manifestation of Christ. Our knowledge of that efficacy is during the stay of Christ within the veil, or rather in heaven itself, for the veil is now rent. Israel will not know the acceptance of the sacrifice until Christ comes forth as King; for us the Holy Ghost is come forth while He is yet within, so that we have the anticipatory certitude of that reception, and are connected with Him there. And it is this which gives to the Christian his proper character.

The place of Jehovah's manifestation

Here the manifestation takes place in the court where the sacrifice was offered, and when Moses and Aaron have come to the place where God talked with the people (not where He Communed with the mediator only, that is, the ark of the testimony, where the veil was no longer on the face of him who also communed with the Lord), and answering to this figure the manifestation will be here. There is a very peculiar circumstance connected with that. There had been no sacrifice whose blood was carried into the holy place, though the body of the bullock was burnt without the camp [1]. A sin-offering was indeed offered, but it was such as ought to have been eaten by the priest (see chap. 10: 17, 18). The relationships which had been established were comparatively external. The sin and defilement were carried clean out of the camp and done away; but there was no entering in within the veil, or meeting God there.

[1] It does not exactly appear whether the goat for the people (chap. 9: 3) was burnt without the camp. It is said in chapter 10: 16 that it was burnt, and that its blood was not brought into the holy place for sin, so that they ought to have eaten it. So that if it was burnt outside the camp it was an error; the bullock for Aaron was, though the blood was not carried within the veil. Of the goat it is merely said, "offered it for sin, as the first," (chap. 9: 15). Aaron's sacrifice seems to shew that the character of Christ's priesthood does not bring Israel into fellowship with what is within the veil, though Christ may have suffered on the cross for them. The blood was put on the altar in the court. The sons should have eaten that for the people, as for a particular fault of a people already in relationship with God. They are the offerings after the consecration of Aaron, not those of his consecration. Then there was naturally no offering for the people there. Now his hands were filled. The reader may remark, as regards the remnant of Israel (the one hundred and forty-four thousand who are on Mount Sion with the Lamb, the Sufferer in Israel, now King there), that they are on earth, but they learn the song sung in heaven, though they are not there to sing it.