Monday, March 17, 2014

Guidelines For Priests

The instructions about the various sacrifices and offerings up to this point have been for all the people.  The priests were responsible for presenting the sacrifices to God, and this section deals with their special responsibilities in handling and presenting them to God.

Revelation 1:6 tells us that Christ “…hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father…”  In a very real sense these guidelines portray the attitudes believer priests should have toward God.

Burnt Offerings
Leviticus 6:8-13

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Command Aaron and his sons, saying, This is the law of the burnt offering: It is the burnt offering, because of the burning upon the altar all night unto the morning, and the fire of the altar shall be burning in it. 

And the priest shall put on his linen garment, and his linen breeches shall he put upon his flesh, and take up the ashes which the fire hath consumed with the burnt offering on the altar, and he shall put them beside the altar.  And he shall put off his garments, and put on other garments, and carry forth the ashes without the camp unto a clean place. 

And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; it shall not be put out: and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it; and he shall burn thereon the fat of the peace offerings.  The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.” (Leviticus 6:8-13) 

The flame on the altar was never to be allowed to go out.  It takes many hours and a lot of wood to completely burn up an animal’s body, and the fire was to maintained round the clock to completely consume the sacrifices.  The altar was like a box with not top or bottom, and a fire grate that supported the wood and sacrifices while allowing the ashes to drop through.  The altar could be lifted and the ashes raked out beside the altar each morning before fresh wood and a new offering was added.

While raking out the old ashes and offering the new sacrifices, the priest was to wear his priestly garments.  When doing the housekeeping job of disposing of the ashes, however, he was to wear ordinary clothes.  He was to physically carry the ashes to clean place outside the camp.

As believers, we are priests to God, but we still have responsibilities and duties to interact with this world as humans.

The Meat offering
Leviticus 6:14-18

“And this is the law of the meat offering: the sons of Aaron shall offer it before the LORD, before the altar.  And he shall take of it his handful, of the flour of the meat offering, and of the oil thereof, and all the frankincense which is upon the meat offering, and shall burn it upon the altar for a sweet savour, even the memorial of it, unto the LORD.  And the remainder thereof shall Aaron and his sons eat: with unleavened bread shall it be eaten in the holy place; in the court of the tabernacle of the congregation they shall eat it. 

It shall not be baken with leaven. I have given it unto them for their portion of my offerings made by fire; it is most holy, as is the sin offering, and as the trespass offering.  All the males among the children of Aaron shall eat of it. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations concerning the offerings of the LORD made by fire: every one that toucheth them shall be holy.” (Leviticus 6:14-18) 

Every food offering was to be of pure flour mixed with oil as we saw earlier.  They could be of raw flour or like bread, cake or cookies, but they could not have any leaven, and were to be accompanied with frankincense.  The priest was to take a handful of the offering and all the incense to burn on the altar for a sweet smell as a memorial to the Lord, but the rest of the meat offering was to be given to the priests.  It was to be eaten in the court of the Tabernacle by the priests.  It was holy, and they could not add leaven tot eh raw flour later.  Anyone or anything that touched it had be holy as well.  The same applied to the sin and trespass offerings.

As believers we have the right to share in the blessings God gives the church, recognizing that it is his and not ours and partaking as part of the church,  At the same time we are responsible for maintaining an acceptable lifestyle in order to partake.  Those who refuse may not participate and need to be put out of the church according to I Corinthians 5..

Offering of Dedication For a Priest
Leviticus 6:19-23

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, This is the offering of Aaron and of his sons, which they shall offer unto the LORD in the day when he is anointed; the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a meat offering perpetual, half of it in the morning, and half thereof at night.  In a pan it shall be made with oil; and when it is baken, thou shalt bring it in: and the baken pieces of the meat offering shalt thou offer for a sweet savour unto the LORD.  And the priest of his sons that is anointed in his stead shall offer it: it is a statute for ever unto the LORD; it shall be wholly burnt.  For every meat offering for the priest shall be wholly burnt: it shall not be eaten.” (Leviticus 6:19-23)

Every morning and every evening a meat offering was to be made by the priest who was to be on duty, dedicating himself for the next shift.  Each day about a quart of fine flour was to be baked with pure olive oil,  Half was to burned on the altar in the morning by the priest who would serve during the day, and the rest burned in the evening by the priest who would serve through the night.  None of this meat offering for the priests was to be eaten.  

As believer priests, we have the responsibility for daily maintaining our relationship with Christ, through prayer and bible study.

The Sin Offering
Leviticus 6:24-30

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto Aaron and to his sons, saying, This is the law of the sin offering: In the place where the burnt offering is killed shall the sin offering be killed before the LORD: it is most holy.  The priest that offereth it for sin shall eat it: in the holy place shall it be eaten, in the court of the tabernacle of the congregation.” (Leviticus 6:24-26) 

The sin offering was to be killed in the same place where the burnt offering was killed.  The priest who made the sin offering was to eat of the flesh of it, and only in the court of the Tabernacle.  Because it was holy, it was not to shared with people who were not holy.

“Whatsoever shall touch the flesh thereof shall be holy: and when there is sprinkled of the blood thereof upon any garment, thou shalt wash that whereon it was sprinkled in the holy place.” (Leviticus 6:27)

Only holy things were to be allowed to touch the sacrifice, and any blood that might get on the priests garments was to be carefully washed out in the holy place.

“But the earthen vessel wherein it is sodden shall be broken: and if it be sodden in a brazen pot, it shall be both scoured, and rinsed in water. “ (Leviticus 6:28)

The pot in which the meat was cooked was to be thoroughly scrubbed and rinsed in clean water.  Unglazed earthenware pots absorb some of the meat and cannot be completely cleaned by scrubbing alone, so they were to be broken to prevent being used again.

“All the males among the priests shall eat thereof: it is most holy. 

 And no sin offering, whereof any of the blood is brought into the tabernacle of the congregation to reconcile withal in the holy place, shall be eaten: it shall be burnt in the fire.” (Leviticus 6:29-30)

The blood from sin offerings for individual leaders and common people was only sprinkled on the brazen altar.  Any of the priests could partake of the part of those sacrifices that was designated for the priests.    Blood from the sin offerings for priests, or for the entire congregation, on the other hand, was sprinkled before the veil in the temple.   The bodies of those sacrifices was burned without the camp. And no part of them was to be eaten.  The priests should not benefit from their own sin.


  1. Praise God that through the perfect Sacrifice of His Son, no more animal sacrifices are needed. May we be set apart and sanctified for His use, vessels carrying His light and living water into the world. Thanks for the great post & God bless,

    1. Amen. I would hate to have to continually bring all these sacrifices.

      Thanks for your comments.