New Defender's Study Bible Notes
29:1 the priest’s office. Only Aaron and his four sons (Exodus 28:1) were to be consecrated to the office of the priesthood (also Exodus 29:9). Aaron was the high priest, with future priest also to be descendants of Aaron (Exodus 29:29, 30).
29:4 wash them with water. There are frequent references in the Mosaic writings to the importance of washing, especially for the priests who were continually handling and slaying the sacrificial animals. See also Exodus 19:10; Numbers 19:7,8,11; Leviticus 14:47,51; Exodus 40:31,32; etc. These various washings not only had ritualistic and spiritual significance, but also important hygienic benefits. The value of washing and bathing was not fully appreciated by most other nations until modern times. The practical value of “sprinkling the unclean...to the purifying of the flesh” is intimated in Hebrews 9:13.
29:5 put upon Aaron. Only Aaron was to be invested with all the garments designed for the high priest (Exodus 28:2), but his sons and their descendants who would later serve as priests would also wear similar coats, breeches, girdles and bonnets (Exodus 29:9). The other descendants of Levi are simply called Levites, and would eventually be assigned various duties associated with the care and transportation of the tabernacle. They are not mentioned as such until Exodus 38:21, but would play an important part in the life of Israel throughout its Biblical history.
29:33 the atonement. This is the first use of “atonement” (Hebrew kaphar) in the Bible, although a similar word, kopher, is used for the “pitch” used to seal Noah’s ark. The basic meaning is “covering” in both cases. That is, the sacrifices described here and elsewhere could not really atone for sin, in the modern use of the word, but merely provide a temporary “covering” until the perfect Sacrifice would come in Christ. The English word, meaning “the act of reconciling,” or making “at one,” is not really the meaning of the Hebrew word.
29:42 continual burnt-offering. In order for an all-holy God to “meet with” sinful people, there must be symbolically this twice-daily sacrifice continually burning at the entrance to the meeting place. Thus is pictured the necessity of daily confession of sin, purged by the payment of sin’s penalty in the substitutionary death of an innocent sacrifice for the guilty sinner, in order to maintain communion with God.