The Leviticus Priesthood Relevant Scriptures: Exodus 28:31-35 Exodus 29:5 Exodus 39:22-26 Leviticus 8 – 9 Hierarchical Society • In the days of the Tabernacle, Israel divided into three classes: – The High Priest – The Priesthood – The Congregation The Priesthood • Necessity for appointment of priests based on the fact the people were sinners could not come before God 1. Object of the priestly office was to minister to God on behalf of the people (Heb 5: 1-2) 2. All believers are priests (1 Pet 2:5,9; Heb 10) The Levites • Priesthood formed from men of Aaron’s family • Sons: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, Ithamar succeeded Aaron as High Priest • Other families of tribe of Levi were called to the priesthood: – Merari: Num 3:36 responsible for Nadab & Abihu the of heavy boards, sockets – Gershom: Num 3:25 responsible for the curtains – Kohathites: Num 3:31 responsible for carrying the holy furnishings – Women were not given service in the Tabernacle Aaron and his Sons • Pure Grace! • Aaron not chosen on merit; God gave it to Aaron – Ex 28:1 “Take…Him,” – Not a question but a command – God did not “Ask Aaron if he would like to be the High Priest” – God paid for us; we are His Servants • We are “Bond slaves of Jesus” • Would we have chosen Levi’s Family as priesthood? – Gen 34:30 Jacob said Levi “troubled me…stink…” – If perfection required, tribe of Levi far from it – If God demanded some standard or measure to be eligible for salvation, none of us would or could be saved The Priests • Ex 29:4 Ceremonial bath never had to be repeated; Jn 13:10 • Ex 29: 5 – 9 Distinguished from the rest; 1 Pet 2:9 • Ex 29: 10 – 25 Set apart to God’s service; Ex 29: 20 • Ex 29: 26 – 27 Physical needs to be provided The Priestly Garments • Vestments Common to all Priests: – – – – The Turban or Mitre: Ex 28: 36 – 38 The Girdle: Ex 28: 8 The Sash: Ex 28: 39 The Linen Breeches: Ex 28: 42 • Vestments Unique to the High Priest – – – – The Ephod: Ex 28: 5 – 14 The Robe of the Ephod: Ex 28: 31 - 35 The Breastplate: Ex 28: 15 – 30 The Crown Vestments Common to All Priests • The Turban or Mitre (Mitznefet): High Priest’s was much larger; wound to form a broad, flat-topped turban; priests were cone-shaped called a migbahat • The Girdle or Tunic (Ketonet): made of pure linen, covering entire body from neck to feet, sleeves reaching the wrists; high priest tunic embroidered • The Sash (Avnet): High Priest was fine linen “embroidered work” in purple, blue and scarlet; priests’ were white, twined linen • The Linen Breeches (Michasayim): linen pants reaching from the waist to the knees “to cover their nakedness” Vestments of the High Priest • The Ephod: a richly embroidered vest or apron with two onyx engraved gemstones on the shoulders, on which were engraved the names of the tribes of Israel • The Robe of the Ephod (Me’il): a sleeveless, blue robe, lower hem fringed with small golden bells alternating with pomegranate shaped tassels in blue, purple and scarlet • The Breastplate (Hoshen): with twelve gems, each engraved with the names of the tribes of Israel; a pouch in which he probably carried the Urim and Thummin; was fastened to the Ephod • The Crown (Tzitz): a gold plate inscribed with “Holy unto YHWG;” was attached to front of the Turban so that it rested on forehead Levitical Priest Garment • • • • The Ephod The Girdle The Breastplate The Robe of the Ephod • The Turban or Mitre • The Sash • The Linen Breeches The Great or High Priest The Breastplate of Judgment Jewel Tribe Characteristics Sardus: predominantly Red Judah (Praise) Jesus’ lineage; Lion of Judah representing blood sacrifice of Christ Topaz: brilliant yellow; means to seek Issachar (Reward) A Cheerful People: represents cheerfulness, having received a reward for diligent seeking Carbuncle: glittering jewel of unknown color Zebulun (Dwelling) Served as a haven for ships Gen 49:13; Emerald: sea green Ruben (See a Son) Like troubled seas – unstable, very sinful Sapphire: 2nd hardest stone Simeon (Hearing) Hard; ruthless Diamond: hardest of stones Gad (A Troop) Great Warriors (1 Chron 5:18) The Breastplate of Judgment Jewel Tribe Characteristics Ligure: characteristics are obscure Ephraim (Very Fruitful) Youngest son of Joseph Agate: Reflects beauty only when split; semitranslucent Manasseh (Forgetting) Tribe of Manasseh was divided; oldest son of Joseph Amethyst: Purple Benjamin (Son of my Right Hand) Smallest tribe; a warring tribe. Christ is Son of the Father’s right hand Beryl: to break of subdue Dan (Judge) Led Israel to Idolatry (Judges 17: 30-31) Onyx: Fire-like, very brilliant and precious Asher (Blessed) (Gen 49: 20) Jasper: Clear; sometimes bright yellow Naphtali (My Wrestling) Freedom Loving (Gen 49: 21) Leviticus 8: Consecration of Priestly Service • • • • • • • • • • Moses now to carry out instructions of Exodus 28 & 29 1-4: Ritual Performed before the People (ekklesia) 5-6: Washing with Water; Mt 3: 13 - 16 7-9: Adorning with Priestly Garments 10-13: Anoint with Oil; 1 Samuel 16: 13 14-17: Sin Offering for Purification 18-21: Burnt Offering 22-29: Fellowship or Ordination Offering 30: More Anointing with Oil 31-36: Seven Days of Preparation; BBQ at Tent of Meeting! Leviticus 9: Ordination of the Priests • • • • Eighth day follows the seven of Lev 8 Bull calf Sin Offering for Purification Ram Burnt offering for Propitiation V 22 – 24: How cool is the conclusion to Lev 9? – Glorious demonstration of the presence and power of the Angel of the Lord among His people – Offerings & priests accepted – Glory of the Lord seen by all – Everything seems perfect; nothing could go wrong Leviticus 10: Nadab & Abihu • Legacy of Great Spiritual Experiences, saw first hand: – All miracles God performed associated with the Exodus – Voice of God and saw fire, lightning, smoke and felt thunder and earthquake at Mt Sinai – Exodus 24: 1 – 2 Went with Moses, Aaron and seventy elders for a special meeting with God on Mt Sinai – Exodus 24: 9 – 11 Where they saw the God of Israel…and they ate and drank Leviticus 10: Nadab & Abihu • So What? • Same fire that consumed the sacrifices, consumed Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu • Disobedience is Sin; Sin ultimately results in Death • God is loving and merciful, patient, slow to anger… • He is a consuming fire, fatal to the sinner • Does the detail and precision of God’s instruction really matter? Ask Nadab and Abihu; they added to God’s word • Do not add to God’s Word ; obey it. Leviticus 10: Nadab & Abihu • Why were Nadab and Abihu consumed? – Based on Verse 9; Some allege drunkenness but seems unlikely – Verse 3: Moses’ explanation • What was Aaron’s response? • Verse 6: What did Moses order Aaron not to do? – Why? Verse 7 – Luke 14: 25 - 26 Leviticus 10: Nadab & Abihu • Verses 8 – 11: Crucial for understanding the work of the priests • Difference between holy, common, clean and unclean is of fundamental importance throughout Leviticus • Priests were “Bible teachers;” explained the Law • Verses 12 – 18: Moses emphasizes need for absolute holiness and reverence in all the priests do • Verse 19: How is Aaron? What is on his mind? – What does this suggest of God’s graciousness? – Suggests God is gracious to mistakes because we fear Him; less so when we carelessly, impudently enter His Presence Later… • • • Numbers 16: Korah, Dathan and Abiram; their wives, children and 250 in opposition of Moses; earth opens up and consumes them Even Later… The Book of Revelation: – Revelation 19: 20: And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. – Revelation 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. – Revelation 20:14-15 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. – Revelation 21:8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.