Reading 3.3: Leviticus 8:31-36

Mar 03, 2010

READ:  Leviticus 8:31-36

Seven Days of Ordination


There is an interesting concept in this particular reading.  The first day of the dedication ceremony has been completed, but that is just the beginning.  The priests are instructed to continue a ritual of sacrifices and cleansing for themselves for the next seven days.  ‘…for it will take seven days to ordain you.’ – ESV

Seven is an interesting number throughout Leviticus; it is used some 28 times.  Sometimes it is just used to define a particular day of the month; most often though it is referring to a seven day period – generally this is a cleansing period, eg. woman have given birth and around menstruation (12:2; ch 15), people/clothes/houses with diseases (ch. 13-14), a lamb/calf was to remain with its mother for at least 7 days before it could be separated (22:27).

For me, the use of seven in these contexts denotes the idea of completeness (the world was completely created in seven days).  In such a serious deal as dedicating the priests to their holy roles it wasn’t just enough to have a simple ceremony – this had to be complete in every possible way.  It took seven days for the priests to be totally dedicated to God.

I think, in modern church culture, our dedication to God is kind of a one day affair – Sunday.  Our dedication to God should be complete it should be seven day affair.