Consecration Ceremony – Command and Implementation

Introduction

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A Change in Plan?

The directive regarding the ceremony to consecrate the Tabernacle is presented at length in Shemot 29, with certain details added in Shemot 40:9-16.1  However, the execution of the command is first described in Vayikra 8-9. Despite significant overlap between the description of the command and its implementation, there are nonetheless quite a few discrepancies between the two. These relate to the order of several of the actions to be performed, inclusion or omission of certain aspects of the ceremony and related laws, the grouping of the priests, and minor differences in terminology.  How should the various discrepancies be understood?  Were certain changes made to the ceremony when it was implemented?  If so, what caused these changes? If not, why does the description of the ceremony veer from the command?

The Discrepancies

Many of the differences between the accounts are categorized below.  For a table comparing the verses of Shemot 29 and Vayikra 8, press the following button.

 

Additions or Omissions – There are several commands or rites which are found in only one chapter or the other:

Changes in Order – The order of several parts of the ceremony are switched in the two accounts.

Grouping of Aharon and sons – In two instances, regarding donning the belt (אבנט), and the sprinkling of blood on the priests' ears, hands, and feet, Shemot 29 (see verses 9 and 20) groups Aharon together with his sons, while in the implementation the rites done for each are separated (see Vayikra 8:7,13, and 23-24).

Terminology – In several instances there are slight changes in terminology between the two units, and it is unclear how significant these are:

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