The Laver


‘Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Make a bronze basin, with its bronze stand, for washing. Place it between the tent of meeting and the altar, and put water in it. Aaron and his sons are to wash their hands and feet with water from it. Whenever they enter the tent of meeting, they shall wash with water so that they will not die. Also, when they approach the altar to minister by presenting a food offering to the LORD, they shall wash their hands and feet so that they will not die. This is to be a lasting ordinance for Aaron and his descendants for the generations to come.’ Exodus 30:17-21

The Laver was a large bronze basin containing water. The Bible does not record its size or dimensions. Having entered through the Door into the Tabernacle’s Outer Court, the priests had to wash their hands and feet at the Laver before they could either enter into the Sanctuary Building or make any offering to the Lord at the Burnt Offering Altar.

God warned Moses that if the priests did not wash they would die, Exodus 30:20-21. It is therefore a serious requirement that we ‘wash’ as we come to handle any of the things of the Lord because those who believe in the Lord Jesus are considered priests in the New Testament sense. 1 Peter 2:9 / Revelation 1:5-6.

The New Testament speaks of washing in two ways:

1. Baptism. Acts 22:16 / Acts 16:31-33.

2. The washing of the water in the Word. Ephesians 5:26 / John 13:8-10 / John 15:8.

All of which is according to the pattern in Exodus 29:39, ‘Offer one in the morning and the other at twilight’, at least twice daily, in the morning and evening.

After having believed in the Lord Jesus and experienced that He is the Door through which we enter into God’s kingdom, we should come to Him every day in a simple and sincere way. We need to read the Word of God in the Bible so that we can live by Him, Matthew 4:4 and we need to confess our sins to God because He is faithful and righteous to forgive and cleanse us. 1 John 1:7-9.

When God forgives, He forgets, Hebrews 8:12. This is the combined experience of the Laver and the Burnt Offering Altar.

It is important to read the Bible, because the Word of God washes us, our ‘hands’ and ‘feet’, especially from the dirtiness of the world around us. It gives us God’s perspective on our human conduct in the world and on the thoughts of our minds and hearts. Genesis 6:5.

When Ephesians 5:26 speaks of the washing of the water in the Word, the word for washing is ‘laver’ in Greek. As we read His Word, the Lord shines into our hearts and speaks to us, mostly in our conscience. According to God’s shining and enlightening, we will need to confess and ask for His forgiveness and cleansing. Only then are we qualified to approach the Sanctuary Building.

The effect of the washing, ‘laver’ in the Word is to cleanse, ‘How shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word’. Psalm 119:9

This results in us taking God’s side more and more in our lives. We become set apart to God. ‘Holy’ or ‘sanctified’, ‘holified’ means just that: set apart to God.

Such sanctified people are called ‘saints’ in the New Testament. Paul writes, ‘to the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called (to be) saints, together with all those in every place who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ’. 1 Corinthians 1:2

Saints are believers in Christ who have experienced the washing of God’s Word in their lives. We may have been greedy persons, swindlers, drunkards, abusers of drugs, thieves, liars, fornicators, homosexuals, involved with pornography, etc. before we came to the Door in the curtains of the Outer Court.

But, do not be deceived: no one can inherit the kingdom of God like this, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 / 1 Corinthians 6:11. We are washed at the Laver and set apart to God, sanctified, as a result, we are justified at the Burnt Offering Altar by faith in Jesus’ death on the cross as ‘the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world’. John 1:29

The message Jesus preached was ‘Time’s up. Change your mind and believe the good news’. Mark 1:15. ‘The time is fulfilled. Repent and believe the gospel’. Peter, Andrew, James, John and the other disciples of Jesus did just that, they changed their minds and began to follow Jesus.

They left their old environment because they had found something so real and true, the reality of the Tabernacle, Jesus. They admired the Door, His character, His power, His teaching, He had washed their feet at the Last Supper, and they saw the offering as He died. John 13:4-11.

The disciples became set apart to God amidst a totally hostile environment. But this was not the end, Jesus rose from the dead. He came back to them, not just to tabernacle among them, but dwell in them, as God’s dwelling place, the Sanctuary.



"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship."