(3) the devoting or setting apart of anything to the worship or service of God. The race of Abraham and the tribe of Levi were thus consecrated (Ex 13:2,12,15; Nu 3:12). The Hebrews devoted their fields and cattle, and sometimes the spoils of war, to the Lord (Le 27:28-29). According to the Mosaic law the first-born both of man and beast were consecrated to God.
(4) In the New Testament, Christians are regarded as consecrated to the Lord (1Pe 2:9).
This principally refers to the consecration of Aaron and his sons to the priestly office, which is given in detail in Ex. 29, and Lev. 8. They were washed, clothed, and anointed with oil. One bullock was offered for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering; another ram was offered, and this ram is called 'the ram of consecration:' its blood was put upon the right ear, the thumb of the right hand, and the great toe of the right foot. Aaron and his sons were sprinkled with blood and anointed with oil. Parts of the ram were placed in the hands of Aaron and his sons, these were waved before the Lord, and then burnt on the altar upon the burnt offering. The breast of the ram was also waved before the Lord and was for Moses. Aaron and his sons ate of the flesh and other consecrations at the door of the Tabernacle.
The words mostly used for 'to consecrate' are mala yad, which signify 'to fill the hand' (as often rendered in the margin), doubtless alluding to their taking portions of the ram into their hands and waving them before Jehovah. Their hands being filled with offerings was suited to their character as priests to God. All was typical of believers being cleansed by water, sprinkled with blood, and anointed with oil: entirely consecrated to God, and constituted a priestly company for worship in the holiest.
CONSECRATION, a devoting or setting apart any thing to the worship or service of God. The Mosaical law ordained that all the first-born, both of man and beast, should be sanctified or consecrated to God. The whole race of Abraham was in a peculiar manner consecrated to his worship; and the tribe of Levi and family of Aaron were more immediately consecrated to the service of God, Ex 13:2,12,15; Nu 3:12; 1Pe 2:9. Beside the consecrations ordained by the sovereign authority of God, there were others which depended on the will of men, and were either to continue for ever or for a time only. David and Solomon devoted the Nethinims to the service of the temple for ever, Ezr 8:20; 2:58. Hannah, the mother of Samuel, offered her son to the Lord, to serve all his life-time in the tabernacle, 1Sa 1:11; Lu 1:15. The Hebrews sometimes devoted their fields and cattle to the Lord, and the spoils taken in war, Le 27:28-29; 1Ch 18:11. The New Testament furnishes us with instances of consecration. Christians in general are consecrated to the Lord, and are a holy race, a chosen people, 1Pe 2:9. Ministers of the Gospel are in a peculiar manner set apart for his service; and so are places of worship; the forms of dedication varying according to the views of different bodies of Christians; and by some a series of ceremonies has been introduced, savouring of superstition, or at best of Judaism.