My Study Bible’s helpful grouping of chapters includes Leviticus 10 in the “ordination of the priests” narrative, but stuff actually happens in that chapter so I decided to save it for later. Unfortunately, that means that this week’s entry is going to be a real yawner.

Leviticus 8: The ordination of the priests

Leviticus 8We’ve gotten the instructions for the ordination of the priests, now we get to actually see it happen. Because there’s nothing more fun than reading the same text twice with the only variation being that all the “you shalls” turn into “they dids.”

Moses gathers all the Israelites together, which – with over 600,000 just for the men over 20 – must have been quite a crowd.

Once everyone is together, Moses consecrates the tabernacle by splashing some oil around and they make a bunch of sacrifices. Aaron and the priests lay hands on each of the sacrifices (one sin, one burnt, one special order ordination ram), I assume for the purposes of cleansing them and making them “new-ish” before they step into their holy roles.

Leviticus 9: Aaron’s first day on the job

Once ordained, Aaron gets straight to business sacrificing stuff for the people. Then he “lifted up his hands toward the people and blessed them” (Lev. 9:22), which I assume was a Vulcan salute.

It’s reasonable to assume that the priestly source wasn’t going around dropping passages into the Old Testament haphazardly. So when I see it dwell with such length and detail on a subject, it makes me rather curious to know what’s going on. Thankfully, I have Collins to come to the rescue: “Leviticus takes pains to emphasize that the consecration of the priests is stamped with divine approval” (Hebrew Bible, p.77). In other words, I’m bored to tears because some group a couple millennia ago felt a really compelling need to legitimize their social status.