INSTRUCTIONS ABOUT CONSECRATION
“This is what you are to do for them to consecrate them to serve me as priests. Take a young bull and two unblemished rams,
2 with unleavened bread, unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers coated with oil. Make them out of fine wheat flour, 3 put them in a basket, and bring them in the basket, along with the bull and two rams. 4 Bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance to the tent of meeting and wash them with water. 5 Then take the garments and clothe Aaron with the tunic, the robe for the ephod, the ephod itself, and the breastpiece; fasten the ephod on him with its woven waistband. 6 Put the turban on his head and place the holy diadem on the turban. 7 Take the anointing oil, pour it on his head, and anoint him. 8 You must also bring his sons and clothe them with tunics. 9 Tie the sashes on Aaron and his sons and fasten headbands on them. The priesthood is to be theirs by a permanent statute. This is the way you will ordain Aaron and his sons.
10 “You are to bring the bull to the front of the tent of meeting, and Aaron and his sons must lay their hands on the bull’s head. 11 Slaughter the bull before the Lord at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 12 Take some of the bull’s blood and apply it to the horns of the altar with your finger; then pour out all the rest of the blood at the base of the altar. 13 Take all the fat that covers the entrails, the fatty lobe of the liver, and the two kidneys with the fat on them, and burn them on the altar. 14 But burn the bull’s flesh, its hide, and its waste outside the camp; it is a sin offering.
15 “Take one ram, and Aaron and his sons are to lay their hands on the ram’s head. 16 You are to slaughter the ram, take its blood, and splatter it on all sides of the altar. 17 Cut the ram into pieces. Wash its entrails and legs, and place them with its head and its pieces on the altar. 18 Then burn the whole ram on the altar; it is a burnt offering to the Lord. It is a pleasing aroma, a food offering to the Lord.
19 “You are to take the second ram, and Aaron and his sons must lay their hands on the ram’s head. 20 Slaughter the ram, take some of its blood, and put it on Aaron’s right earlobe, on his sons’ right earlobes, on the thumbs of their right hands, and on the big toes of their right feet. Splatter the remaining blood on all sides of the altar. 21 Take some of the blood that is on the altar and some of the anointing oil, and sprinkle them on Aaron and his garments, as well as on his sons and their garments. So he and his garments will be holy, as well as his sons and their garments.
22 “Take the fat from the ram, the fat tail, the fat covering the entrails, the fatty lobe of the liver, the two kidneys and the fat on them, and the right thigh (since this is a ram for ordination ); 23 take one loaf of bread, one cake of bread made with oil, and one wafer from the basket of unleavened bread that is before the Lord; 24 and put all of them in the hands of Aaron and his sons and present them as a presentation offering before the Lord. 25 Take them from their hands and burn them on the altar on top of the burnt offering, as a pleasing aroma before the Lord; it is a food offering to the Lord.
26 “Take the breast from the ram of Aaron’s ordination and present it as a presentation offering before the Lord; it is to be your portion. 27 Consecrate for Aaron and his sons the breast of the presentation offering that is presented and the thigh of the contribution that is lifted up from the ram of ordination. 28 This will belong to Aaron and his sons as a regular portion from the Israelites, for it is a contribution. It will be the Israelites’ contribution from their fellowship sacrifices, their contribution to the Lord.
29 “The holy garments that belong to Aaron are to belong to his sons after him, so that they can be anointed and ordained in them. 30 Any priest who is one of his sons and who succeeds him and enters the tent of meeting to minister in the sanctuary must wear them for seven days.
31 “You are to take the ram of ordination and boil its flesh in a holy place. 32 Aaron and his sons are to eat the meat of the ram and the bread that is in the basket at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 33 They must eat those things by which atonement was made at the time of their ordination and consecration. An unauthorized person must not eat them, for these things are holy. 34 If any of the meat of ordination or any of the bread is left until morning, burn what is left over. It must not be eaten because it is holy.
35 “This is what you are to do for Aaron and his sons based on all I have commanded you. Take seven days to ordain them. 36 Sacrifice a bull as a sin offering each day for atonement. Purify the altar when you make atonement for it, and anoint it in order to consecrate it. 37 For seven days you must make atonement for the altar and consecrate it. The altar will be especially holy. Whatever touches the altar will be consecrated.
38 “This is what you are to offer regularly on the altar every day: two year-old lambs. 39 In the morning offer one lamb, and at twilight offer the other lamb. 40 With the first lamb offer two quarts of fine flour mixed with one quart of oil from crushed olives, and a drink offering of one quart of wine. 41 You are to offer the second lamb at twilight. Offer a grain offering and a drink offering with it, like the one in the morning, as a pleasing aroma, a food offering to the Lord. 42 This will be a regular burnt offering throughout your generations at the entrance to the tent of meeting before the Lord, where I will meet you to speak with you. 43 I will also meet with the Israelites there, and that place will be consecrated by my glory. 44 I will consecrate the tent of meeting and the altar; I will also consecrate Aaron and his sons to serve me as priests. 45 I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God. 46 And they will know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, so that I might dwell among them. I am the Lord their God.
THE INCENSE ALTAR
“You are to make an altar for the burning of incense; make it of acacia wood.
2 It must be square, eighteen inches long and eighteen inches wide; it must be thirty-six inches high. Its horns must be of one piece with it. 3 Overlay its top, all around its sides, and its horns with pure gold; make a gold molding all around it. 4 Make two gold rings for it under the molding on two of its sides; put these on opposite sides of it to be holders for the poles to carry it with. 5 Make the poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold.
6 “You are to place the altar in front of the curtain by the ark of the testimony — in front of the mercy seat that is over the testimony — where I will meet with you. 7 Aaron must burn fragrant incense on it; he must burn it every morning when he tends the lamps. 8 When Aaron sets up the lamps at twilight, he must burn incense. There is to be an incense offering before the Lord throughout your generations. 9 You must not offer unauthorized incense on it, or a burnt or grain offering; you are not to pour a drink offering on it.
10 “Once a year Aaron is to perform the atonement ceremony for the altar. Throughout your generations he is to perform the atonement ceremony for it once a year, with the blood of the sin offering for atonement on the horns. The altar is especially holy to the Lord.”
THE ATONEMENT MONEY
11 The Lord spoke to Moses: 12 “When you take a census of the Israelites to register them, each of the men must pay a ransom for his life to the Lord as they are registered. Then no plague will come on them as they are registered. 13 Everyone who is registered must pay half a shekel according to the sanctuary shekel (twenty gerahs to the shekel). This half shekel is a contribution to the Lord. 14 Each man who is registered, twenty years old or more, must give this contribution to the Lord. 15 The wealthy may not give more and the poor may not give less than half a shekel when giving the contribution to the Lord to atone for your lives. 16 Take the atonement price from the Israelites and use it for the service of the tent of meeting. It will serve as a reminder for the Israelites before the Lord to atone for your lives.”
THE BRONZE BASIN
17 The Lord spoke to Moses: 18 “Make a bronze basin for washing and a bronze stand for it. Set it between the tent of meeting and the altar, and put water in it. 19 Aaron and his sons must wash their hands and feet from the basin. 20 Whenever they enter the tent of meeting or approach the altar to minister by burning a food offering to the Lord, they must wash with water so that they will not die. 21 They must wash their hands and feet so that they will not die; this is to be a permanent statute for them, for Aaron and his descendants throughout their generations.”
THE ANOINTING OIL
22 The Lord spoke to Moses: 23 “Take for yourself the finest spices: 12 1/2 pounds of liquid myrrh, half as much (6 1/4 pounds ) of fragrant cinnamon, 6 1/4 pounds of fragrant cane, 24 12 1/2 pounds of cassia (by the sanctuary shekel), and a gallon of olive oil. 25 Prepare from these a holy anointing oil, a scented blend, the work of a perfumer; it will be holy anointing oil.
26 “With it you are to anoint the tent of meeting, the ark of the testimony, 27 the table with all its utensils, the lampstand with its utensils, the altar of incense, 28 the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the basin with its stand. 29 Consecrate them and they will be especially holy. Whatever touches them will be consecrated. 30 Anoint Aaron and his sons and consecrate them to serve me as priests.
31 “Tell the Israelites: This will be my holy anointing oil throughout your generations. 32 It must not be used for ordinary anointing on a person’s body, and you must not make anything like it using its formula. It is holy, and it must be holy to you. 33 Anyone who blends something like it or puts some of it on an unauthorized person must be cut off from his people.”
THE SACRED INCENSE
34 The Lord said to Moses, “Take fragrant spices: stacte, onycha, and galbanum; the spices and pure frankincense are to be in equal measures. 35 Prepare expertly blended incense from these; it is to be seasoned with salt, pure and holy. 36 Grind some of it into a fine powder and put some in front of the testimony in the tent of meeting, where I will meet with you. It must be especially holy to you. 37 As for the incense you are making, you must not make any for yourselves using its formula. It is to be regarded by you as holy — belonging to the Lord. 38 Anyone who makes something like it to smell its fragrance must be cut off from his people.”
GOD’S PROVISION OF THE SKILLED WORKERS
The Lord also spoke to Moses:
2 “Look, I have appointed by name Bezalel son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. 3 I have filled him with God’s Spirit, with wisdom, understanding, and ability in every craft 4 to design artistic works in gold, silver, and bronze, 5 to cut gemstones for mounting, and to carve wood for work in every craft. 6 I have also selected Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to be with him. I have put wisdom in the heart of every skilled artisan in order to make all that I have commanded you: 7 the tent of meeting, the ark of the testimony, the mercy seat that is on top of it, and all the other furnishings of the tent — 8 the table with its utensils, the pure gold lampstand with all its utensils, the altar of incense, 9 the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, the basin with its stand — 10 the specially woven garments, both the holy garments for the priest Aaron and the garments for his sons to serve as priests, 11 the anointing oil, and the fragrant incense for the sanctuary. They must make them according to all that I have commanded you.”
OBSERVING THE SABBATH
12 The Lord said to Moses, 13 “Tell the Israelites: You must observe my Sabbaths, for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, so that you will know that I am the Lord who consecrates you. 14 Observe the Sabbath, for it is holy to you. Whoever profanes it must be put to death. If anyone does work on it, that person must be cut off from his people. 15 Work may be done for six days, but on the seventh day there must be a Sabbath of complete rest, holy to the Lord. Anyone who does work on the Sabbath day must be put to death. 16 The Israelites must observe the Sabbath, celebrating it throughout their generations as a permanent covenant. 17 It is a sign forever between me and the Israelites, for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, but on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.”
THE TWO STONE TABLETS
18 When he finished speaking with Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two tablets of the testimony, stone tablets inscribed by the finger of God.
THE GOLD CALF
When the people saw that Moses delayed in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said to him, “Come, make gods for us who will go before us because this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt — we don’t know what has happened to him! ”
2 Aaron replied to them, “Take off the gold rings that are on the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters and bring them to me.” 3 So all the people took off the gold rings that were on their ears and brought them to Aaron. 4 He took the gold from them, fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made it into an image of a calf.
Then they said, “Israel, these are your gods, who brought you up from the land of Egypt! ”
5 When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of it and made an announcement: “There will be a festival to the Lord tomorrow.” 6 Early the next morning they arose, offered burnt offerings, and presented fellowship offerings. The people sat down to eat and drink, and got up to party.
7 The Lord spoke to Moses: “Go down at once! For your people you brought up from the land of Egypt have acted corruptly. 8 They have quickly turned from the way I commanded them; they have made for themselves an image of a calf. They have bowed down to it, sacrificed to it, and said, ‘Israel, these are your gods, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.’ ” 9 The Lord also said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and they are indeed a stiff-necked people. 10 Now leave me alone, so that my anger can burn against them and I can destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.”
11 But Moses sought the favor of the Lord his God: “Lord, why does your anger burn against your people you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and a strong hand? 12 Why should the Egyptians say, ‘He brought them out with an evil intent to kill them in the mountains and eliminate them from the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce anger and relent concerning this disaster planned for your people. 13 Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Israel — you swore to them by yourself and declared, ‘I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of the sky and will give your offspring all this land that I have promised, and they will inherit it forever.’ ” 14 So the Lord relented concerning the disaster he had said he would bring on his people.
15 Then Moses turned and went down the mountain with the two tablets of the testimony in his hands. They were inscribed on both sides — inscribed front and back. 16 The tablets were the work of God, and the writing was God’s writing, engraved on the tablets.
17 When Joshua heard the sound of the people as they shouted, he said to Moses, “There is a sound of war in the camp.”
18 But Moses replied,
It’s not the sound of a victory cry
and not the sound of a cry of defeat;
I hear the sound of singing!
19 As he approached the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, Moses became enraged and threw the tablets out of his hands, smashing them at the base of the mountain. 20 He took the calf they had made, burned it up, and ground it to powder. He scattered the powder over the surface of the water and forced the Israelites to drink the water.
21 Then Moses asked Aaron, “What did these people do to you that you have led them into such a grave sin? ”
22 “Don’t be enraged, my lord,” Aaron replied. “You yourself know that the people are intent on evil. 23 They said to me, ‘Make gods for us who will go before us because this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt — we don’t know what has happened to him! ’ 24 So I said to them, ‘Whoever has gold, take it off,’ and they gave it to me. When I threw it into the fire, out came this calf! ”
25 Moses saw that the people were out of control, for Aaron had let them get out of control, making them a laughingstock to their enemies. 26 And Moses stood at the camp’s entrance and said, “Whoever is for the Lord, come to me.” And all the Levites gathered around him. 27 He told them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says, ‘Every man fasten his sword to his side; go back and forth through the camp from entrance to entrance, and each of you kill his brother, his friend, and his neighbor.’ ” 28 The Levites did as Moses commanded, and about three thousand men fell dead that day among the people. 29 Afterward Moses said, “Today you have been dedicated to the Lord, since each man went against his son and his brother. Therefore you have brought a blessing on yourselves today.”
30 The following day Moses said to the people, “You have committed a grave sin. Now I will go up to the Lord; perhaps I will be able to atone for your sin.”
31 So Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Oh, these people have committed a grave sin; they have made a god of gold for themselves. 32 Now if you would only forgive their sin. But if not, please erase me from the book you have written.”
33 The Lord replied to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me I will erase from my book. 34 Now go, lead the people to the place I told you about; see, my angel will go before you. But on the day I settle accounts, I will hold them accountable for their sin.” 35 And the Lord inflicted a plague on the people for what they did with the calf Aaron had made.
— Exodus 29:1-32:35 (CSB)