EXODUS CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE

“When you ordain a son of Aaron as

My priest, select a young bull and two rams,

Unblemished, and then from your finest flour

Make three dough batches with no yeast. Shape some

To larger loaves, some into smaller loaves

Mixed with some olive oil, and shape the rest

Into thin wafers brushed with oil. Put all

This bread inside a basket and bring it

With you when you come in to sacrifice

Three animals to me. Bring Aaron and

Sons to the entrance of the sacred tent

And let them wash themselves. Dress Aaron in

The priestly shirt, the robe that goes beneath

The sacred vest, the vest itself, the breastpiece,

The sash too. Put his turban on with its

Thin strip of gold engraved and then ordain

Him: Pour some olive oil upon his head.

And next, dress Aaron’s sons in special shirts

And caps and sashes, then ordain them, for

The sons and their descendants will be priests         

Always, and lead the bull up to the entrance

Into the sacred tent, where Aaron and

His sons will lay their hands upon its head.

Slaughter the bull beside my altar in

Front of the tent, and use a finger to

Smear some bull blood upon each corner of

The altar and pour out what’s left of blood

Upon the ground beside the altar. Take

The fat out of the animal’s insides,

And from the livers lower part and from

Both kidneys with their fat, and send them up

In smoke upon the altar. But the meat,

The skin, and the food still in the bull’s stomach

Has to be burned outside the camp to be

An offering to ask forgiveness for

The priests’ sins. Bring a ram to Aaron

And his sons and have them lay hands upon

Its head, then kill the ram and smear its blood

Against all four sides of the altar. Cut

The ram up, wash its insides and its legs,

And lay all of its parts, and that includes

The head, upon the altar. Then make sure

That the whole animal goes up in smoke

And has a smell that pleases me. Then bring

The other ram to Aaron and his sons

And have them lay their hands upon its head.

Slaughter the ram and place some blood from it

On Aaron=s right ear lobe, his right thumb, and

The big toe of his right foot. Do the same

For each one of his sons and splatter what

Remains of blood against the four sides of

The altar, then scoop up some altar blood,

Mix it with oil for ordination oil, and

Sprinkle it over Aaron and his clothes,

And also on his sons and their own clothes.

By this, you’ll show that they and their clothes have

Been dedicated to me. Now this ram

Belongs to the service of ordination,

So take off its right hind leg, its fat tail,

The fat within its insides, as well as

The liver’s lower part and the two kidneys

With their fat. Then take one loaf of each kind

Of bread out of the basket; put this bread,

Together with the meat, into the hands

Of Aaron and his sons, who’ll lift it up,

To show it’s dedicated to me. Then

The priests will place the meat and bread upon

The altar and the meat and bread will send

Up smoke which has a smell that pleases me.

Now from this second ram you may consume

Choice ribs, but first you have to lift them up

To show this meat is dedicated to me.

So in the future, when an Israelite

Offers the ribs and a ram’s hind leg to

Ordain a priest or ask my blessing, all

The meat is mine, but priests may eat it. Never

Will this law change, and after Aaron’s death,

His priestly clothes are to be handed down

To each descendant who succeeds him as

High priest, and the high priest will wear these clothes

During the week-long ceremony of

Ordination. Go to a sacred place

To boil the ordination ram meat, then

Have Aaron and his sons eat it together

With the three kinds of bread beside the entrance

Into the sacred tent, for when they were

Ordained, a ceremony of forgiveness

Was done for them with this same sacred food,

And only they do have the right to eat it.

If any sacred food remains ’til morning,

Burn it. Repeat this ceremony of

Ordination for Aaron and his sons

Seven days in a row, as I’ve told you.

Each day you are to offer up a bull

To be a sacrifice for sin and as

A way to cleanse the altar. Also, you

Must smear the altar with some olive oil

To make it fully holy. Do this for

Seven days, and the altar will become

So holy, anyone who touches it

Turns holy.” The LORD said: “Each day you have

To sacrifice two lambs a year old, one

Lamb in the morning; one lamb in the evening.

Offer two pounds of your finest flour

Mixed with a quart of purest olive oil,

With each lamb also pour a quart of wine

To be an offering, and the aroma

Of this same sacrifice on altar fires

Will please me. You and your descendants have

To always offer up this sacrifice

Upon the altar at the entrance to

The sacred tent, where I will meet and speak

With you, O Israelites. My shining glory

Will sanctify the place. Because of who

I am, the tent will be a sacred place,

And Aaron and his sons will be my choice

To serve me as my priests. I’ll live among

You as your God, and you will know that I’m

The LORD your God, the one who rescued you

From Egypt, so that I could pass your days

With you,” then unto Moses God did say: