Don Isaac Abravanel, sometimes spelled Abarbanel (1437-1508) was a probing and penetrating Jewish thinker, as well as a prolific
Biblical commentator. In Leviticus 8, he takes pains to prove Moses’ integrity, an honest broker.
Specifically, Abravanel learns from our verses a basic tenet of Judaism: Moses simply acted as God’s
conduit, and had not acted on his own. Abravanel illustrates.

“And God spoke to Moses saying. Take Aaron and his sons with him,
and the garments, and the anointing oil…”

In the Book of Exodus, we read of the assembling of the Tabernacle, together with its accoutrements. At
this juncture, God commands His prophet to “take Aaron, his sons, and the priestly garments, and the
anointing oil” for purposes of consecrating them, as well as the Tabernacle.

The grand occasion was not to be a closed-door, hushed affair. Far from it, as it says: “And assemble you
all the congregation at the door of the Tent of Meeting.”

The entire nation was on hand to witness the grandeur, the pomp and circumstance. Why? It was
important for the people to watch the induction ceremony, let us call it, so that they would extend the
proper honor and acclaim to the high priest and his family.

Abravanel continues: “And Moses did as God commanded him. And the congregation was assembled at
the door of the Tent of Meeting.” The prophet addressed his brethren: “And Moses said unto the
congregation, This is the thing which God commanded to be done.”

Moses spoke unequivocally. No one present should harbor false notions about the great, unfolding
event of the inauguration of Aaron or the Tabernacle. Namely, no one should assume, let alone assert
that Moses personally convened the encampment for purposes of showering prestige upon Aaron and
his sons. Patently false.

The Hebrews heard that, in truth, the event had been Heaven’s directive. It was God’s, and not Moses’
initiative. “This is the thing which God commanded to be done.” Moses had not orchestrated the public
installment of Aaron and sons – one that brought the priestly family much honor.

Orders came exclusively from Above, Abravanel underscores.