Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 2. Wafers, (lagana.). They knead them with water, and afterwards fry or bake them with oil. (St. Isidore) Such wafers are very common in Italy. (Calmet)
Ver. 4. Washed. The pagans never approached their mysteries, without divers purifications and washing. (St. Clement of Alexandria, strom. 5.) Exterior cleanliness was designed to signify the purity of the heart, with which we must appear before God. (Calmet) — It is for this reason we take holy-water, when we go into our chapels, and we wash our fingers before and during Mass. (Haydock)
Ver. 5. Vestments. No mention is made of breeches, because they had them on, while they were washing. (Ven. Bede) — Belt. Septuagint have read esson, instead of chesheb. “Thou shalt tie the rational to the ephod.” (Calmet)
Ver. 7. Pour, in the form of a cross or T, according to many of the Rabbin, &c. The inferior priests were anointed only on the hands. The Levites were sprinkled with oil, mixed with the blood of the victims. The custom of anointing prophets, priests, and kings, was peculiar to the Jews; as if to foreshow Christ, the great anointed of the Lord. (St. Augustine; Psalm xliv.; Daniel ix. 24.)
Ver. 10. Head. Confessing that they are sinners, and deserve to die. Thus they shall substitute the victim instead of themselves, and obtain pardon. In the holocaust, (ver. 15,) and the peace-offering, (ver. 19,) they impose their hands, having first washed them) and pronounce some prayer. (Calmet)
Ver. 11. Beside. Al, is now wanting in the printed Hebrew and Samaritan, though expressed by the Protestant translators, (who often help their text) and by all the ancient versions. Kennicott mentions one manuscript, which retains it very properly. (Haydock) — The victim was offered on the altar of holocausts, before the tabernacle, the seat of God’s majesty. (Calmet) — Moses was the priest on this occasion. (Menochius) (Psalm xcviii. 6.)
Ver. 12. Horns. This was done in all the sacrifices of expiation. After Aaron was ordained, he carried the blood into the sanctuary, for the sins of all. (Calmet)
Ver. 13. Burnt-offering, (incensum.) To evaporate like incense. (Menochius) — God requires what is most fat and delicious. (Calmet) — The Persians never reserved any of the victims for their idols, except the caul. (Strabo xv.)
Ver. 14. Sin of the high priest and people. In the other sin-offerings, this was not done. (Menochius)
Ver. 16. About, upon the altar, and at the foot of it. So the pagans did. (Eusebius, pręp. iv. 9.)
Ver. 18. Victim. Hebrew ishe, means a whole burnt-offering.
Ver. 20. Tip, or “softer part,” Septuagint. This ceremony insinuated, that the priests ought to be all attentive, and perform their office with diligence. (Philo, Vit. Mos. 3)
Ver. 22. Rump, or tail, for which the sheep of Arabia were famed; some having tails three yards long, others a yard thick. (Herodotus, iii. 113.) They weighed from 12 to 30 pounds, and were almost all fat. (Calmet)
Ver. 23. Roll. (torta) Hebrew kikkar, “a loaf.” Septuagint, “a loaf or cake of oil.” (Haydock)
Ver. 24. Elevating, and then letting them descend towards the earth. After which, Moses lifted the victims towards the east and west, and from north to south, to shew that God is the Sovereign of the world. (R. Solomon) — Cato (Rustic. 34,) mentions a similar custom, of agitating or waving bread, in honour of Janus and of Jupiter. (Calmet)
Ver. 28. Israel. As these parts have been offered by Aaron to the Lord, so the Israelites shall present them to him and his sons, when they offer sacrifice. (Menochius) — All the different kinds of victims were immolated on this occasion, because the priests were consecrated to offer them all. (Du Hamel)
Ver. 29. Vesture. A new one was not made for every high priest. (Calmet) — One of the other priests had to perform the ceremony of consecration. (Menochius)
Ver. 30. Days. During which he could not leave the sanctuary, Leviticus viii. 33. On each day, the aforesaid ceremonies were to be repeated, ver. 35.
Ver. 31. Holy place. The court of the tabernacle, where a constant fire was kept, to prepare the food of the priests, and sometimes of others, who wished to eat their share of the victims in the presence of the Lord.
Ver. 33. Stranger. The Levites themselves could not partake of these things.
Ver. 37. Seven. This number is frequently prescribed in Scripture. Balaam required seven altars, (Numbers xxiii.) and the Egyptians never spent less than seven days in their expiations. (Porphyrius, Abstin. 4.) (Calmet) — Shall be holy, consecrated according to this rite, (Menochius) or defiled; for sacred things purify those who approach in a proper manner, while they defile, or increase the guilt of the unworthy. (Calmet) — By the unleavened bread, (ver. 23,) we are reminded of the blessed eucharist; and by oil, of the grace of the spirit. (Du Hamel)
Ver. 39. Morning. About sun-rise. — Evening, or between the two vespers, Exodus xii. 6. The lambs were provided by the people; flour, wine, and oil, by the priests. (Philo) — The wine was poured at the foot of the altar, the flour and oil were burnt upon it, and not placed on the head of the victim, as was customary among the pagans, frontique invergit vina sacerdos. (Virgil, vi.; Maimonides) By these sacrifices, God was to be adored as the author both of day and night; (Menochius) and we are admonished of our duty of praying to him, particularly at those times. (Haydock) — All the sacrifices prefigured that of Christ, (St. Augustine, contra advers. i. 18,) but none more than these of lambs. (Origen in Jo.) (Worthington)
Ver. 40. Part of an epha, half of which was used in each sacrifice.
Ver. 43. Glory, or presence, or by the flame which shall come down from heaven to consume the victim, Leviticus ix. 24. (Calmet)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
The manner of consecrating Aaron and other priests: the institution of the daily sacrifice of two lambs, one in the morning, the other at evening.
1 And thou shalt also do this, that they may be consecrated to me in priesthood. *Take a calf from the herd, and two rams without blemish,
2 And unleavened bread, and a cake without leaven, tempered with oil, wafers also unleavened, anointed with oil: thou shalt make them all of wheaten flour.
3 And thou shalt put them in a basket and offer them: and the calf and the two rams.
4 And thou shalt bring Aaron and his sons to the door of the tabernacle of the testimony. And when thou hast washed the father and his sons with water,
5 Thou shalt clothe Aaron with his vestments, that is, with the linen garment and the tunic, and the ephod and the rational, which thou shalt gird with the girdle.
6 And thou shalt put the mitre upon his head, and the holy plate upon the mitre,
7 And thou shalt pour the oil of unction upon his head: and by this rite shall he be consecrated.
8 Thou shalt bring his sons also, and shalt put on them the linen tunics, and gird them with a girdle:
9 To wit, Aaron and his children, and thou shalt put mitres upon them; and they shall be priests to me by a perpetual ordinance. After thou shalt have consecrated their hands,
10 *Thou shalt present also the calf before the tabernacle of the testimony. And Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands upon his head,
11 And thou shalt kill him in the sight of the Lord, beside the door of the tabernacle of the testimony.
12 And taking some of the blood of the calf, thou shalt put it upon the horns of the altar with thy finger, and the rest of the blood thou shalt pour at the bottom thereof.
13 *Thou shalt take also all the fat that covereth the entrails, and the caul of the liver, and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, and shalt offer a burnt-offering upon the altar:
14 But the flesh of the calf and the hide and the dung, thou shalt burn abroad, without the camp, because it is for sin.
15 Thou shalt take also one ram, upon the head whereof Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands.
16 And when thou hast killed him, thou shalt take of the blood thereof, and pour round about the altar.
17 And thou shalt cut the ram in pieces, and having washed his entrails and feet, thou shalt put them upon the flesh that is cut in pieces, and upon his head.
18 And thou shalt offer the whole ram for a burnt-offering upon the altar: it is an oblation to the Lord, a most sweet savour of the victim of the Lord.
19 Thou shalt take also the other ram, upon whose head Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands.
20 And when thou hast sacrificed him, thou shalt take of his blood, and put upon the tip of the right ear of Aaron and of his sons, and upon the thumbs and great toes of their right-hand and foot, and thou shalt pour the blood upon the altar round about.
21 And when thou hast taken of the blood, that is upon the altar, and of the oil of unction, thou shalt sprinkle Aaron and his vesture, his sons and their vestments. And after they and their vestments are consecrated,
22 Thou shalt take the fat of the ram, and the rump, and the fat that covereth the lungs, and the caul of the liver, and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, and the right shoulder, because it is the ram of consecration:
23 And one roll of bread, a cake tempered with oil, a wafer out of the basket of unleavened bread, which is set in the sight of the Lord.
24 And thou shalt put all upon the hands of Aaron and of his sons, and shalt sanctify them elevating before the Lord.
25 And thou shalt take all from their hands; and shalt burn them upon the altar for a holocaust, a most sweet savour in the sight of the Lord, because it is his oblation.
26 Thou shalt take also the breast of the ram, wherewith Aaron was consecrated, and elevating it thou shalt sanctify it before the Lord, and it shall fall to thy share.
27 And thou shalt sanctify both the consecrated breast, and the shoulder that thou didst separate of the ram,
28 Wherewith Aaron was consecrated and his sons, and they shall fall to Aaron’s share and his sons’, by a perpetual right from the children of Israel: because they are the choicest and the beginnings of their peace-victims which they offer to the Lord.
29 And the holy vesture, which Aaron shall use, his sons shall have after him, that they may be anointed, and their hands consecrated to it.
30 He of his sons that shall be appointed high priest in his stead, and that shall enter into the tabernacle of the testimony to minister in the sanctuary, shall wear it seven days.
31 And thou shalt take the ram of the consecration, and shalt boil the flesh thereof in the holy place:
32 And Aaron and his sons shall eat it. *The loaves also, that are in the basket, they shall eat in the entry of the tabernacle of the testimony,
33 That it may be an atoning sacrifice, and the hands of the offerers may be sanctified. A stranger shall not eat of them, because they are holy.
34 And if there remain of the consecrated flesh, or of the bread, till the morning, thou shalt burn the remainder with fire: they shall not be eaten, because they are sanctified.
35 All that I have commanded thee, thou shalt do unto Aaron and his sons. Seven days shalt thou consecrate their hands:
36 And thou shalt offer a calf for sin every day for expiation. And thou shalt cleanse the altar when thou hast offered the victim of expiation, and shalt anoint it to sanctify it.
37 Seven days shalt thou expiate the altar and sanctify it, and it shall be most holy. Every one, that shall touch it, shall be holy.
38 This is what thou shalt sacrifice upon the altar: Two lambs of a year old every day continually,
39 One lamb in the morning, and another in the evening.
40 With one lamb a tenth part of flour tempered with beaten oil, of the fourth part of a hin, and wine for libation of the same measure.
41 And the other lamb thou shalt offer in the evening, according to the rite of the morning oblation, and according to what we have said, for a savour of sweetness:
42 It is a sacrifice to the Lord, by perpetual oblation unto your generations, at the door of the tabernacle of the testimony before the Lord, where I will appoint to speak unto thee.
43 And there will I command the children of Israel, and the altar shall be sanctified by my glory.
44 I will sanctify also the tabernacle of the testimony with the altar, and Aaron with his sons, to do the office of priesthood unto me.
45 And I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel, and will be their God:
46 And they shall know that I am the Lord their God, who have brought them out of the land of Egypt, that I might abide among them, I the Lord their God.
1: Lev. ix. 2.
10: Lev. i. 3.
13: Lev. iii. 3.
32: Lev. viii. 31. and xxiv. 9.; Matt. xii. 4.