New European Commentary


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Deeper Commentary


Exo 29:1 This is the thing that you shall do to them to make them holy, to minister to Me in the priest’s office: take one young bull and two rams without blemish-
This looked ahead to the unblemished character of the Lord Jesus, on account of which we are sanctified or made holy in God's service (Jn. 17:19). His death makes us all as priests; our lives should be of work and concern for the salvation of others. The Lord's sacrifice sanctifies us to do this. The offering of sacrifices "without blemish" uses a word which is used about Abraham and Noah being "without blemish" (AV "perfect") before God (Gen. 6:9; 17:1). Although the word is used about the sacrifices, it is really more appropriate to persons- "you shall be perfect with Yahweh your God" (Dt. 18:13), "serve Him in sincerity (s.w. "without blemish")" (Josh. 24:14). The idea, therefore, was that the offerer was invited to see the animal as representative of himself. Our lives too are to be as "living sacrifices" (Rom. 12:1). And yet in practical terms, no animal is without blemish. They were to give the best they could, and God would count it as without blemish; as He does with us. David frequently uses the term in the Psalms about himself and the "upright", even though he was far from unblemished in moral terms.

Exo 29:2 unleavened bread, unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil: you shall make them of fine wheat flour-
This suggests that the bull and rams of :1 were associated with peace offerings. But the usual sequence is of sin offering, burnt offering [representing dedication to Yahweh's service after the experience of forgiveness] and then peace offering, celebrating peace with God. The three animals may have represented those sacrifices, indeed :14 is clear that the bull was a sin offering; and the three types of unleavened bread products were used as part of the peace offering. The experience of forgiveness, and the promise of dedication elicited from us by this, is utterly critical in order for us to do any priestly work for others.

Exo 29:3 You shall put them into one basket, and bring them in the basket, with the bull and the two rams-
LXX "offer them in the basket". The bringing in the basket looked ahead to the sons of Aaron being brought to God (:8). 

Exo 29:4 You shall bring Aaron and his sons to the door of the Tent of Meeting, and shall wash them with water-
This clearly looks ahead to baptism. It is one outcome of baptism that we are sanctified in order to do priestly work. Our life afterwards is therefore to be lived in the spirit of priesthood.  Again we note that the Mosaic rituals allude to those of Egypt, although are different: "In Egypt, the priests were compelled to wash themselves from head to foot in cold water twice every day, and twice every night" (Herodotus). This amount of washing wasn't required. For the water of itself was insignificant; it was made powerful by the blood of the sacrifice, just as baptism is.

Exo 29:5 You shall take the garments, and put on Aaron the coat, the robe of the ephod, the ephod, and the breastplate, and clothe him with the skilfully woven band of the ephod-
Aaron was not to clothe himself, but to be clothed by Moses. This may have been to remind Aaron that this was not of his doing, he was merely being used by God, manifest through Moses. But it would also have been to humble Moses, who might have been tempted to assume that he ought to be this new high priest figure. For Aaron had consistently been spiritually inferior to Moses. But it was part of Moses' humbling process to make him array his brother as the High Priest, and to realize that not his own sons, but those of his brother, were to be the priests. And so he ended up the humblest man (Num. 12:3).

Exo 29:6 and you shall set the turban on his head, and put the holy crown on the turban-
The commands relating to the rebuilt temple of Ez. 40-48 are expanded upon in Zechariah 3. There we read that Joshua the high priest was to be dressed first with the headpiece and then with the rest of the priestly garments (Zech. 3:5). This is the reverse order to the Mosaic commands in Ex. 29:5-7 and Lev. 8:7-9- implying that this was to be a new kind of high priest. Likewise the two onyx stones and the twelve gemstones of the Mosaic breastplate are replaced by a singular stone for the restored high priest (Zech. 3:9). Clearly this "law of Moses" was not of itself intended to be eternal.

Exo 29:7 Then you shall take the anointing oil, and pour it on his head, and anoint him-
The Septuagint word used for ‘anointing’ here occurs in the New Testament only in 1 Jn. 2:20,27, where we read that we have each been anointed. The idea of anointing was to signal the initiation of someone. I'd therefore be inclined to see 1 Jn. 2:20,27 as alluding to baptism; when we become in Christ, in the anointed, then as 2 Cor. 1:21 says, we too are anointed in a sense. We're given a specific mission and purpose. "The anointing that you received" would therefore refer to our commissioning at baptism. It seems to imply a one time act of being anointed / commissioned / inaugurated for service. Baptism isn't therefore merely an initiation into a community; it's a specific commissioning for active service, in ways which are unique to us. We do well to bring this point out to those we prepare for baptism. The words for 'anointing' are unique to 1 John but they occur in the LXX to describe the anointing / initiation of the priests, and of the tabernacle / dwelling place of God (e.g. Ex. 29:7; 35:14,28). John sees us as the dwelling place / tabernacle of the Father, and specifically as the priests.

Exo 29:8 You shall bring his sons, and put coats on them-
See on :5. The bringing of the dedicatory offerings in the basket looked ahead to the sons of Aaron being brought to God (:3).

Exo 29:9 You shall clothe them with belts, Aaron and his sons, and bind headbands on them; and they shall have the priesthood by a perpetual statute; and you shall consecrate Aaron and his sons-
It was promised to the family of Aaron that the priesthood would be theirs for a perpetual statute. And yet the family of Eli, a descendant of Aaron (1 Kings 2:27; 1 Chron. 24:3), were told that they were to be cut off as they had abused the priesthood. The promise of Exodus was therefore conditional, although the conditions weren’t laid down. Indeed, just because of this fact, the Levites often assumed that they were acceptable just by reason of who they were.

Exo 29:10 You shall bring the bull before the Tent of Meeting; and Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands on the head of the bull-
This was a sin offering (:14). The priests identified with the slain animal by placing their hands upon its head; they saw it as their representative [not their substitute]. The foundation for all service of God is a recognition of sin and a belief in sin's forgiveness; and our service will then be performed in a humble spirit of gratitude.

Exo 29:11 You shall kill the bull before Yahweh, at the door of the Tent of Meeting-
"The tent of meeting" is the tent where God met with His people over the blood of atonement upon the ark of the covenant. But that "meeting" was effectively not with the people, as only the priests entered into the holy place, and the high priest alone, only once / year, into the ultimate place where God met with His people- the Most Holy place. But the candlestick was to be kept burning in order to point the way into the Most Holy. All this suggested that there was something lacking in the entire system. God was prepared and even willing to meet with His people over the blood of atonement on the day of atonement. That meeting was therefore predicated upon their repentance and forgiveness. But it would have left the people aware that a fuller meeting with God was somehow promised. And this would come to full term when the Lord's death tore down the veil, and the way into the holiest was opened for all, not just the priests nor the High Priest.

Exo 29:12 You shall take of the blood of the bull, and put it on the horns of the altar with your finger; and you shall pour out all the blood at the base of the altar-
Because the altar represented the Lord Jesus (Heb. 13:10), it has been wrongly argued that these rituals speak of the cleansing of the nature of the Lord Jesus by His own death. This runs far too close to making the Lord Jesus a sinner who needed reconciliation with God; whereas His perfect character made Him for ever "one" with His Father, both before and after His death. Rather I suggest the blood of the sin offering was placed on the altar (and other items) in order to demonstrate how they achieved any forgiveness of sin. They only functioned in practice through their identification with the blood of Christ, represented by that of the bull slain as a sin offering. It as impossible that the blood of a bull could take away sin; it only functioned in this way insofar as God foresaw the blood of His Son (Heb. 10:4). The horns of the altar were perceived as the place of salvation for sinners (1 Kings 1:51; 2:28). But this was only finally to be true through the power of the blood of Christ. This idea was taught by the daubing of sin offering blood on the horns of the altar- as an act of identification of the altar with the blood, rather than to somehow make the metal of an unclean altar now clean. The whole system was dedicated to God, and accepted by Him, only through its association with the future blood of the Lord Jesus.   

Exo 29:13 You shall take all the fat that covers the innards, the cover of the liver, the two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, and burn them on the altar-
Pagan sacrifices included the fat, but not all the other "innards". There is huge emphasis upon the “inward parts” in the regulations about sacrifices. Our inward parts and thoughts of the heart are laid open before God and should be offered to Him, not just the externalities which men see (Heb. 4:12). The same word is used of Sarah's laughing "within herself" (Gen. 18:12). The sacrifice of Christ was so perfect because His innermost thoughts were offered to God. And it is our thoughts when nobody else is watching which are of the essence to God; "to be spiritually minded", as the New Testament expresses it. This is why Yahweh could not go up in "the midst" of Israel (Ex. 33:3; Num. 14:42; Dt. 1:42), because they didn't have Him in their midst. Thus to marry unbelievers would be a snare "in the midst of you" (Ex. 34:12), right in the inner mind which is what God seeks above all. David in the Psalms speaks of the "inward parts" of the human mind, which are critical in God's judgment of a person as wicked or righteous (e.g. Ps. 5:9; 36:1; 49:11 and Ps. 64:6, where "inward thought" is s.w. "inward parts"). It is those inward parts which were to be washed (Lev. 1:13), just as our innermost heart can be washed by the Spirit which is given at baptism. For this is the gift of the Spirit in the new covenant, whereby God's law is placed within our inward parts (s.w. Jer. 31:33; Ez. 36:26,27) by the God who can form the spirit of man in man's inward parts, the God who can work directly upon the human heart (Zech. 12:1).  

The fat was understood as the best part of the animal, although today for health reasons we tend to consider the meat to be of more interest than the fat. They were to give to God that which they perceived to be the most valuable, within the frames of understanding and perception within which they then lived.

Exo 29:14 But the flesh of the bull, and its skin, and its dung, you shall burn with fire outside of the camp: it is a sin offering-
Heb. 13:11-13 alludes to this, making the point that not only the blood represented the blood of the Lord Jesus, but even the flesh of the bull, burnt outside the camp, looked ahead to the Lord suffering death outside the walls of Jerusalem. We are invited to see the cross therefore as the final destruction of flesh in the life of the Lord Jesus. The mention of its skin and dung shows too the total level of identification with human sin and dirt, achieved so wonderfully by the Lord in His death on the cross.

Exo 29:15 You shall also take the one ram; and Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands on the head of the ram-
Laying the hands on the head was an act of identity, taking the animal as their representative rather than their substitute.

Exo 29:16 You shall kill the ram, and you shall take its blood, and sprinkle it around on the altar-
To sprinkle blood upon something didn't necessarily mean the object was forgiven. For an inanimate altar didn't need forgiving. The blood of the covenant was sprinkled (s.w.) upon the people as a sign of their involvement with the covenant process of salvation, rather than as a statement of their forgiveness (Ex. 24:8). Likewise with the sprinkling of the blood of the Passover lamb (2 Chron. 35:11). This was an act of identification rather than forgiveness of sin. The function of the altar was valid before God, or efficacious, because of its association with the blood of Christ; for the blood of the animals slain upon it couldn't bring salvation of itself, but only through God's way of looking at that blood is looking ahead to that of His Son (Heb. 10:4). And so the altar was associated with the blood which represented His blood.     

Exo 29:17 You shall cut the ram into its pieces, and wash its innards, and its legs, and put them with its pieces, and with its head-
See on :13. Sacrifice of an entire animal (:18) was not practiced in Egypt. They thought their gods were only interested in the externally attractive parts, or the fat which burned with a bright flame. But Yahweh wants every part of the animal, as He wishes every part of our lives.

Exo 29:18 You shall burn the whole ram on the altar: it is a burnt offering to Yahweh; it is a pleasant aroma, an offering made by fire to Yahweh-
To offer the "whole ram" would have been unusual in the religious culture of the day. Only the best parts of animals were offered, especially those which appeared the most attractive to human eyes. But "whole burnt offerings" were very much on Yahweh's agenda- to symbolize how He wants the whole person, every innermost part of human life, even if it appears irrelevant and unclean in human eyes. For "pleasant aroma", see on :41.

Exo 29:19 You shall take the other ram; and Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands on the head of the ram-
This dedication ceremony was really a peace offering, as the sacrifice was also eaten by the priests; although there is the addition here of the ritual of sprinkling the blood. All who enter upon priestly service [which is all of us, under the new covenant] are to go through the process of sin offering (:14), dedication to God in response to the forgiveness received, and then the experience of peace with God, symbolized by the peace offering. It is from this basis that we can go on to serve others; and those who have not passed through this will not be effective ministers to others.

Exo 29:20 Then you shall kill the ram, and take some of its blood, and put it on the tip of the right ear of Aaron, and on the tip of the right ear of his sons, and on the thumb of their right hand, and on the big toe of their right foot, and sprinkle the blood around on the altar-
Their hearing, walking and acting with the hand was to be influenced by their experience of association with the blood of the sin offering. And this is to be the effect of the blood of the Lord Jesus upon us. Our whole worldview, perceptions, actions and direction in life can never be the same again. He died for us, and we have been forgiven, and thereby sanctified for priestly service. His death can never be a mere doctrine, a theological teaching, resulting in a hobby level commitment to occasional religious meetings; but if really experienced, then every part of life and outlook is radically affected. 

Exo 29:21 You shall take of the blood that is on the altar, and of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it on Aaron, and on his garments, and on his sons, and on the garments of his sons with him-
We note the mixture of the anointing oil and blood of the sacrifice. Perhaps this was to make a connection with the blood of the future anointed one, the 'Christ', the Lord Jesus.

And he shall be made holy, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons’ garments with him-
‘To make holy’ or to ‘sanctify’ is something the Lord Jesus often spoke in discussing the meaning of His death. He makes many allusions to the language of the High Priest in His prayer of John 17, e.g. “for their sakes I sanctify Myself so that they also may be sanctified” (Jn. 17:19). We are all called to be part of a new priesthood (1 Pet. 2:5,9); Christ’s death sanctified us, prepared us for service in God’s house. Spiritually serving others is therefore not something just for a specialist minority, but for all who are in Christ, ‘the anointed one’, anointed just as the priests were anointed to serve (:21). The unblemished animals which were sacrificed in order to sanctify the priests therefore represent the sacrifice of Jesus.

Exo 29:22 Also you shall take some of the ram’s fat, the fat tail, the fat that covers the innards, the cover of the liver, the two kidneys, the fat that is on them, and the right thigh (for it is a ram of consecration)-
The idea is as in LXX "the fact [even] the fat tail" (as Lev. 3:9; 7:3). There were species of sheep with a large fatty tail, which was considered in their culture to be a great delicacy. We see here how the law of Moses was limited in application to an immediate context, and was simply not intended to be a global law for all time. But the take away lesson is that we are to give to God whatever is for us, in our culture and worldview, the best and most desirous. 

Exo 29:23 and one loaf of bread, one cake of oiled bread, and one wafer out of the basket of unleavened bread that is before Yahweh-
This confirms that this part of the dedication was a peace offering, which the offerer ate in fellowship with God. We see something of this reflected in the way the breaking of bread service is a celebration of our peace with God through the work of His Son. All who enter upon priestly service [which is all of us, under the new covenant] are to first go through the process of sin offering (:14), dedication to God in response to the forgiveness received, and then the experience of peace with God, symbolized by the peace offering.

Exo 29:24 You shall put all of this in Aaron’s hands, and in his sons’ hands, and shall wave them for a wave offering before Yahweh-
Preaching work isn’t glamorous. It is a living out of the cross. Paul felt he had been “separated unto the [preaching of the] gospel of God” (Gal. 1:15); and he uses a word which the LXX uses for the separation of part of a sacrifice to be consumed (Ex. 29:24,26). The Greek word for "witness" is martus, from whence 'martyr'. To witness to Christ is to live the life of the martyr; to preach Him is to live out His cross in daily life.

Exo 29:25 You shall take them from their hands, and burn them on the altar on the burnt offering, for a pleasant aroma before Yahweh: it is an offering made by fire to Yahweh-
The bread of the peace offering was usually eaten, but this dedication ceremony was a peace offering with some modifications. There was perhaps here a reflection of how they were unworthy of fellowship with God, and wanted to devote even that to Him. This is indeed how we are to feel as we embark upon any priestly service.

Exo 29:26 You shall take the breast of Aaron’s ram of consecration, and wave it for a wave offering before Yahweh; and it shall be your portion-
The portion to be waved was placed on the priests hands (:25), and then 'waved' or 'swung' towards the altar and then back- not from right to left. The idea was that the offerings were first given to God, recognizing they should be consumed on the altar to God; but then given back to the priest by God. So they ate them having first recognized that their food was really God's, all was of Him, and He had given it back to them to eat. This should be our spirit in partaking of any food, as we are the new priesthood. Our prayers of thanks for daily food should include this feature. All things are God's and anything we 'offer' to Him is only giving Him what He has given to us (1 Chron. 29:14,16).

Exo 29:27 You shall sanctify the breast of the wave offering, and the thigh of the wave offering, which is waved, and which is heaved up, of the ram of consecration, even of that which is for Aaron, and of that which is for his sons-
"Heaved up" may suggest that the meat was literally lifted up in the hands (:25) to God, as well as "waved" (see on :26). This would have been another way of saying that the food of the priests was really God's, and they recognized that by literally lifting it up toward Him.

Exo 29:28 and it shall be for Aaron and his sons as their portion forever from the children of Israel; for it is a wave offering; and it shall be a wave offering from the children of Israel of the sacrifices of their peace offerings, even their wave offering to Yahweh-
The priests had no land inheritance, and so they were to depend upon the food from the peace offerings made by the other Israelites. But this meant that their material survival  depended upon the spiritual state of the Israelites; whether they were at peace with God. If the Levites taught them well, and they responded, then they would make these offerings. But the whole system became dysfunctional. The people weren't taught properly, they became idolaters, the priests weren't supported and gave themselves to farming and other business interests in order to support themselves. They didn't therefore study God's word and teach it as intended. And so the whole spiritual fabric of Israel broke down.

Exo 29:29 The holy garments of Aaron shall be for his sons after him, to be anointed in them, and to be consecrated in them-
Although there was a special priesthood, it was clearly God's intention that all Israel should be like priests; they were to be a "Kingdom of priests" (Ex. 19:6). Israel were all “saints”, and yet saints and priests are paralleled in passages like Ps. 132:16. Israel in the wilderness had clothes which didn’t wear out- just as the Priestly clothes didn’t, and were handed down from generation to generation (so Ex. 29:29 implies). This was to encourage them to see themselves as all being priests.

Exo 29:30 Seven days shall the son who is priest in his place put them on, when he comes into the Tent of Meeting to minister in the holy place-
This seems to be saying that a new High Priest must go through this dedication ritual, which was to last seven days (:35). The implication is that the priestly clothing was to last for every generation of priesthood; see on :29.

Exo 29:31 You shall take the ram of consecration, and boil its flesh in a holy place-
The holy place in view was the court (Lev. 6:16), in front of the tent of meeting (Lev. 8:31).

Exo 29:32 Aaron and his sons shall eat the flesh of the ram, and the bread that is in the basket, at the door of the Tent of Meeting-
This was the element of the peace offering which was the final part of the dedication ritual. An individual must be at peace with God through forgiveness if he or she is going to be able to minister to others. Remember that we are all called to priestly service. Yahweh "met" with man over the ark of the covenant in the most holy place, but the entrance to the holy place was also effectively the place of meeting with God. They were to eat with Him there, although He was visibly absent. But He was there, eating with them in fellowship; just as we experience at the breaking of bread meeting.  

Exo 29:33 They shall eat those things with which atonement was made, to consecrate and sanctify them, but a stranger shall not eat of it, because they are holy-
Eating the things with which the atonement was made points forward to the breaking of bread service. We can see in this echoes of the consecration of the priests; and we should realize each time we do it that we have been sanctified in order to proactively serve in God’s house.

Exo 29:34 If anything of the flesh of the consecration, or of the bread, remains to the morning, then you shall burn the remainder with fire: it shall not be eaten, because it is holy-
Peace offerings could be eaten on the next day (Lev. 7:16; 19:5,6). But although the dedication of the priests was a peace offering, there were differences. The similarity is with the legislation about the Passover lamb (Ex. 12:10), perhaps to direct them to understand that they were eating the symbols of their redemption, as we do at the breaking of bread. The Passover lamb represented the Lord Jesus, and His flesh didn't see corruption (Ps. 16:10; Acts 2:27), hence the lamb was not to be allowed any possibility of corruption.  

Exo 29:35 You shall do so to Aaron, and to his sons, according to all that I have commanded you. You shall consecrate them seven days-
This period was perhaps to recall creation. They were to realize they were part of a new creation, and were now to go forth as Adam to tend what God had created.

Exo 29:36 Every day you shall offer the bull of sin offering for atonement; and you shall cleanse the altar, when you make atonement for it-
"Atonement for it" can as well be "atonement upon it". The preposition al is of very wide meaning, but generally means "upon", "over" or "above". Al an altar is usually rendered "upon the altar", multiple times (e.g. :20). The idea of 'cleansing' surely requires the use of water and not blood. The same word is used of "purified / cleansed with water" (Num. 31:23). They were to offer a sin offering for Aaron and his sons, every day of the seven days. After each sacrifice, they were to clean the altar, upon which atonement had been made. There is no idea here that inanimate objects are somehow sinful. The altar itself, like the Lord Jesus, was not sinful. It was a means to the end of atonement.

And you shall anoint it, to sanctify it-
The anointing was by sprinkling oil upon it seven times (Lev. 8:11). This pointed forward to the Lord Jesus, the Christ, the anointed one, through whom all the sacrifices were made ultimately meaningful. Without Him in the future, the whole system wouldn't have worked.

Exo 29:37 Seven days you shall make atonement for the altar, and sanctify it; and the altar shall be most holy: whatever touches the altar shall be holy-
As noted on :36, "atonement for it" can as well be "atonement upon it". The preposition al is of very wide meaning, but generally means "upon", "over" or "above". Al an altar is usually rendered "upon the altar", multiple times (e.g. :20). The atonement required was for real and actual sinfulness, that of the priests and the people; not for the altar of itself.

Exo 29:38 Now this is that which you shall offer on the altar: two lambs a year old day by day continually-
The continual sacrifice of lambs was to remind them that the Passover deliverance through the lamb was effectively ongoing. The Passover lamb was likewise to be a year old (Ex. 12:5). We too are to live constantly under the impression of the Lord's sacrifice and redemption of us. Israel were asked to use a lamb of the first year to record various times when they should be thankful for God's redemption of them in the events which comprise life (Lev. 9:3; 12:6; 23:12,18,19; Num. 6:12,14; 7:15,17,21; 28:3,9,11,19; 29:2,8,13). This was to continually recall to them the events of their great redemption through the Red Sea. And the essence of our redemption, our baptism and salvation through the blood of the lamb, must likewise be brought ever before us.

Exo 29:39 The one lamb you shall offer in the morning, and the other lamb you shall offer at evening-
Literally "between the two evenings", as at Passover night (Ex. 12:6); see on :38.

Exo 29:40 and with the one lamb a tenth part of an ephah of fine flour mixed with the fourth part of a hin of beaten oil, and the fourth part of a hin of wine for a drink offering-
Bread and wine were effectively offered with the lamb. The Lord's choice of symbols for the breaking of bread surely had this in mind. They are but the side offerings, as it were, compared to the lamb. To take bread and wine would beg the question: 'And where is the slain lamb?'. And the answer to that at the breaking of bread is 'Here in our midst'.

The law of Moses was not an iron law which had to be obeyed in every context. Clearly this law about oil and wine being offered with the daily sacrifices would have been practically impossible to keep during the forty years wandering. Every day, half a hin (1.8 liters, 3.8 pints, around half a gallon) of olive oil and the same of wine would have been required. And this was just for the daily offerings; there were many days when more sacrifices were offered. It was by grace that God would have overlooked this. I suggest that it is to this which Am. 5:25 refers, challenging Israel to remember that God had accepted them in the wilderness by grace alone, as they were unable to keep His ideal requirements: "Did you bring Me sacrifices and offerings during the forty years in the wilderness?”.

Exo 29:41 The other lamb you shall offer at evening, and shall do to it according to the meal offering of the morning, and according to its drink offering, for a pleasant aroma, an offering made by fire to Yahweh-
“A pleasant aroma” is a very common phrase. This concept is important to God. It first occurs in Gen. 8:21 where it means that God accepted Noah's sacrifice and vowed that the pole of saving mercy in His character was going to triumph over that of necessary judgment. Under the new covenant, it is persons and not sacrifices or incense which are accepted as a "pleasant aroma" (Ez. 20:41). The word for "pleasant" means strong delight; this is how God's heart can be touched by genuine sacrifice. Those pleasing offerings represented us, the living sacrifices (Rom. 12:1). And so it is applied to us in 2 Cor. 2:15- if we are in Christ, we are counted as a pleasant aroma to God. The offering of ourselves to Him is nothing of itself, but because we are in Christ and counted as Him, we are a delight to God. Hence the colossal importance of being “in Christ”. "Aroma" or "smell" is a form of the Hebrew word ruach, the word for spirit or breath. God discerns the spirit of sacrifices, that was what pleased Him rather than the burning flesh of animals. Our attitude of mind in sacrifice can touch Him. Sacrifice is therefore accepted, Paul says, according to what a person has to give, but the essence is the attitude of mind behind it. We think of the two coins sacrificed by the widow.

Exo 29:42 It shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the Tent of Meeting before Yahweh, where I will meet with you, to speak there to you-
Although we are a great multitude of redeemed, yet the communication of the Father and Son to us are still amazingly unique, even though we all hear and read the same actual words, and reflect upon the same facts. Right back at the beginning of God’s relationship with Israel He had made the point that “I will meet you [plural] to speak there unto thee [you singular]” (Ex. 29:42 AV). Yahweh "met" with His people over the ark in the most holy place, but He as it were stepped out from there to the door of the holy place, and met with His people there too. He spoke with them, as it were, over the sacrificed lamb; just as the cross of the Lord Jesus is likened in Heb. 12 to a voice speaking to us, insistently and constantly, louder than the voice which shook Sinai.   


Exo 29:43 There I will meet with the children of Israel; and the place shall be sanctified by My glory-
God met with Israel over the ark in the most holy place (Ex. 25:22; 30:6; Num. 17:4). But they were never allowed there. And so He also "met" (s.w.) with Israel at the door of the tabernacle, and spoke with them there (Ex. 29:42,43; 30:36). But the word for "meet" is used in Am. 3:3, where God laments that Israel had not "met" with Him and therefore they could not walk further together. The idea of the "meeting" was that God's word might be revealed, so that the people could walk with Him in His ways. It was an awesome invitation, to be able to meet with the God who only otherwise met with His people in the glory of the most holy place, over the ark. He as it were came out of that most holy place and met with them at the door of the tabernacle. But they weren't interested. Just as so many today. 

We could however argue that this verse had a specific one time fulfilment in Lev. 9:4, when the fire came down and consumed the sacrifices when the tabernacle was established: “the glory of the Lord became manifest before the whole people" (Heb.).

Exo 29:44 I will sanctify the Tent of Meeting and the altar: Aaron also and his sons I will sanctify, to minister to Me in the priest’s office-
Although they were to do the rituals required to sanctify themselves, it was God who ultimately sanctified them. For man cannot cleanse himself, all he can do is allow God to do this, and recognize the principles by which God will do so- through the shedding of blood (Lev. 17:11).

Exo 29:45 I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God-
"The tabernacle of God" being God's people; He being our God; God living and walking with us (Rev. 21:3) is evidently alluding to Lev. 26:11,12 and Ex. 29:45,46 concerning the ultimate blessings of the covenant after Israel's final repentance. The shadowy fulfilment they have had in the past through God's manifestation in an Angel doesn't mean that these promises can and must only be fulfilled by some form of God manifestation. Surely Rev. 21:3 is saying that at the second coming, the principle of God manifestation will change- in that God will personally be with His people. Because we have so far lived under the paradigm of God manifestation, let's not think that it's not possible for God to personally be with us.  

Rev. 21:3 understands this as coming true when Christ returns to earth, seeing that God’s intention for this to happen with Israel didn’t materialize. And yet, having prophesied that He will be their God, He says that He is right now their God (:46). This could mean that even if God’s people choose not to have Him as their God, yet He keeps His side of the covenant; He is their God. In this we see God’s hopefulness for us, His earnest desire to have a relationship with His people. 

Exo 29:46 They shall know that I am Yahweh their God, who brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I might dwell among them: I am Yahweh their God-
Often we read this two fold intention of God- to bring His people out from the world [Egypt], and then to do something positive with them. Our separation from the world isn’t therefore negative; for ‘holiness’ means both separation from and separation unto.