Leviticus Chapter 9


The first offerings of Aaron for himself and the people. (Verse 1-21.)

Moses and Aaron bless the people, Fire cometh upon the altar from the Lord. (Verse 22-24.)

1 And it came to pass on the eighth day, that Moses called Aaron and his sons, and the elders of 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.

Aaron’s first act as priest was to bring a sin-offering and a burnt-offering for himself. It was impossible for him to act as a priest (ie. a mediator) on the behalf of others until he himself had been brought into a right relationship with God.

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;

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.

Eight is the number of new beginnings. It is the day when a new born Jewish child gets circumcised and here the eighth day signified the beginning of a new way for Israel to approach unto the LORD through sacrifice in a Tabernacle which would later become a precursor for the Temple.

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.

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.

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 for the people: and offer the offering of the people, and make an atonement for them; as the LORD commanded.

Aaron’s first act as priest was to bring a sin-offering and a burnt-offering for himself. It was impossible for him to act as a priest (ie. a mediator) on the behalf of others until he himself had been brought into a right relationship with God.

As the people drew near unto the Tabernacle Moses prophesied to them of what the LORD was going to do and that probably got them to move in a lot closer.

Would they see a miracle on this day? Many other Pagan gods of the surrounding nations had their Pagan Temples where false claims were made by their priest as to the miracles their gods of stone had performed but they were just empty claims.

They knew that the LORD had delivered them and today he was going to show himself unto them and their anticipation was growing with each offering that was conducted down to the most minute detail as we see in the next couple of verses:

8 Aaron therefore went unto the altar, and slew the calf of the sin offering, which was for himself.

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:

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.

11 And the flesh and the hide he burnt with fire without the camp.

12 And he slew the burnt offering; and Aaron’s sons presented unto him the blood, which he sprinkled round about upon the altar.

13 And they presented the burnt offering unto him, with the pieces thereof, and the head: and he burnt them upon the altar.

14 And he did wash the inwards and the legs, and burnt them upon the burnt offering on the altar.

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.

16 And he brought the burnt offering, and offered it according to the manner.

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.

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,

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:

20 And they put the fat upon the breasts, and he burnt the fat upon the altar:

21 And the breasts and the right shoulder Aaron waved for a wave offering before the LORD; as Moses commanded.

So far so good, Aaron and his sons are doing everything exactly as they were told to do which is how we ought to live our lives in accordance with what God has prescribed for us today through the Apostle Paul (the Apostle of the Gentiles) and serve God as he tells us how to serve him.

Aaron and his sons could not serve the LORD anyway they wanted and up to this point they had done just that and then something happened that got them off track.

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.

If you will remember from earlier the altar was elevated above the ground made out of unhewn stones so Aaron would have to descend down to ground level after the offerings were made.

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.

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.

God often showed his approval of an offering by sending down fire to consume an offering properly made to him just as he often showed his disapproval for sin by sending down fire and consuming the disobedient.

In this moment of excitement when the children of Israel saw the fire come down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the fact that they shouted and fell on their faces that two people for some reason unknown to us decided to add something to God’s plan and it ended up costing them their lives.

We approach God his way not our way! Jesus Christ is the way the truth and the life and no man comes unto the Father but by him. Period. For by grace are ye saved through faith today, not of works lest any man should boast.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Verse 1-21 – These many sacrifices, which were all done away by the death of Christ, teach us that our best services need washing in his blood, and that the guilt of our best sacrifices needs to be done away by one more pure and more noble than they. Let us be thankful that we have such a High Priest. The priests had not a day’s respite from service allowed. God’s spiritual priests have constant work, which the duty of every day requires; they that would give up their account with joy, must redeem time. The glory of God appeared in the sight of the people, and owned what they had done. We are not now to expect such appearances, but God draws nigh to those who draw nigh to him, and the offerings of faith are acceptable to him; though the sacrifices being spiritual, the tokens of the acceptance are spiritual likewise. When Aaron had done all that was to be done about the sacrifices, he lifted up his hands towards the people, and blessed them. Aaron could but crave a blessing, God alone can command it.

Verse 22-24 – When the solemnity was finished, and the blessing pronounced, God testified his acceptance. There came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed the sacrifice. This fire might justly have fastened upon the people, and have consumed them for their sins; but its consuming the sacrifice signified God’s acceptance of it, as an atonement for the sinner. This also was a figure of good things to come. The Spirit descended upon the apostles in fire. And the descent of this holy fire into our souls, to kindle in them pious and devout affections toward God, and such a holy zeal as burns up the flesh and the lusts of it, is a certain token of God’s gracious acceptance of our persons and performances. Nothing goes to God, but what comes from him. We must have grace, that holy fire, from the God of grace, else we cannot serve him acceptably, Hebrews 12:28. The people were affected with this discovery of God’s glory and grace. They received it with the highest joy; triumphing in the assurance given them that they had God nigh unto them. And with the lowest reverence; humbly adoring the majesty of that God, who vouchsafed thus to manifest himself to them. That is a sinful fear of God, which drives us from him; a gracious fear makes us bow before him.