Take Aaron and his sons with him, and the garments, and the anointing oil, and a bullock for the sin offering, and two rams…
We are already familiar with the use that has been made of separation in the third age to inculcate the absolute necessity of holiness in order to intercourse with God. Abraham was separated from an idolatrous and wicked world, to be the head of a family and a nation that should be holy to the Lord; and accordingly, in comparison with the heathen world Israel as a whole was a priesthood, as is set forth in Exodus 19:6: "Ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation." Observe now how the same principle is further carried out. From the entire nation one tribe, the tribe of Levi, is set apart to be, above all the others, holy unto the Lord. From the tribe of Levi, one family, that of Aaron, is set apart to be, above all the other families of the tribe, holy unto the Lord. And finally, from the family of Aaron a single individual, the high priest, is set apart to be, above all the other members of the family, holy unto the Lord. The washing with water (ver. 6) led the mind still farther in the same direction. The effect of this on the minds of the people may perhaps be illustrated in this way: Suppose you wish to give the idea of perfectly pure water to some person who has never seen it, and you have no means of showing him the genuine article; by taking water in different degrees of impurity, and leading him to look at the different specimens, beginning with that which is most impure and going on to that which is least, you will at all events set his mind in the direction of the conception which you wish him to attain. And in the same way, though there was no way open of showing Israel at this time a genuine specimen of that holiness without which no man can see the Lord, yet by these successive separations of officially (or, if you choose, artificially) holy persons, the mind of Israel was set in the direction of that holiness up to which the Lord was educating them. It must be remembered that they had the moral law to help them to translate the symbolical holiness into the reality, of which it was the mere expression in language addressed to the eye. While Aaron and his sons represented Israel, they typified Christ and His Church.
(J. M. Gibson, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Take Aaron and his sons with him, and the garments, and the anointing oil, and a bullock for the sin offering, and two rams, and a basket of unleavened bread;