Tetzaveh – “Command”

The Torah reading for this week’s parasha is entitled, T’tzaveh. It means “command.” It is taken from the book of Exodus chapter 27:20–30:10.

Adonai says to Moses, “Command the people of Israel to bring pure oil, of pressed olives, for the light, to keep the lamps of the lampstand burning continually.” The lampstand will stand in the Tabernacle, in front of the inner curtain that shields the Ark of the Covenant. This clear oil from crushed ripe olives produced a smoke free and brighter light. Aaron and his sons were commanded to keep the lamps burning, every day from evening until morning. This is a permanent command for the people of Israel. It must be observed from generation to generation. This command pertaining to the Tabernacle is necessary, even to this very day. Oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit, the very anointing of God. The Holy Spirit is pure, free of all blemishes in His essence, nature, and operations. He produces a bright smoke free light. He must burn with a holy brightness in us. This would make every believer a light to the world. We would do well to remember what Yeshua said to the 5 virgins who had no oil.

Chapter 28, Moses is ordered to appoint Aaron and his sons, Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar, to the priesthood, to minister before Adonai in the Tabernacle. This chapter focuses on the clothing of the high priests, the ephod, which was a tunic-like garment, the breastplate, or chest piece, the robe of the ephod, the turban, on which the holy crown was place. And also, the garments for Aaron’s sons. These garments for the high priest should interest us today because every believer in Yeshua is a priest. And every priest must wear these garments when ministering before the Lord. We are Adonai’s chosen people, the King’s priests. We are a holy nation, people who belong to God. He chose us to tell about the wonderful things he has done. He brought us out of the darkness of sin into his wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9).

In Matthew 22, Yeshua reminds us that we need to have proper wedding garments to attend the wedding feast of the Lamb. In the parable, when the king saw a man without a wedding garment who was at the wedding of his son, the king said to his servants, bind him hand and foot, take him away, and throw him into outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. This is a picture of Hell, death and pain! I believe that the physical garments of the priest here, are now spiritual garments for us.

Spiritually, a believer must be washed in the blood of Yeshua. A believer must be clothed in the righteousness of Messiah. A believer must have his spiritual armor on. A believer must be draped in the true and pure holiness of the living God. Only then can we function as priest –praying, interceding, witnessing, and teaching others the eternal way, bringing people closer to God by bringing Adonai closer to the people.

Chapter 29, commands were given concerning the consecration of the priests, the sanctification of the altar, and the daily sacrifices. If the Israeli people were obedient, Adonai would sanctify, the tabernacle and the altar. He would sanctify Aaron and his sons; and He would dwell among the children of Israel and be their God and they would know Him. The presence of the Shechinah Glory was the true sanctification of the tabernacle. Adonai not only “put His name there” but put His presence there as well.

An ordinary Israeli could not enter the tabernacle. He could only meet God at the entrance when he brought his sacrifice to the altar. However, Adonai promised to meet them on these occasions with favor and acceptance. For us today, Yeshua has torn the veil to the holy of holies from top to bottom, now any may come by faith, to the throne of grace.

Chapter 30, Moses was commanded to make an altar to burn incense upon: It was to be made of Acacia wood, overlaid with gold. The measurements were 18 inches by 18 inches, and 36 inches in height. It would be called the golden altar of incense. It was near the veil adjacent from the ark of the covenant. The purpose was to create a pleasing fragrance in the Tabernacle. The spiritual application was one of prayer, as incense is associated with prayer in the Scripture. King David said in Psalm 141, “Accept my prayer as incense offered to You, and my upraised hands as an evening offering.”

In closing, as priests, and the redeemed of God, Adonai has reconciled us unto Himself by Yeshua our Messiah and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation. To fulfill this ministry, we must have the anointing of the Holy Spirit, which gives us the illumination of His Word. We must live sanctified lives. Everything pertaining to our lives must be sanctified, washed and cleansed. We must be washed in blood. We must be clothed in the righteousness of Yeshua our Messiah. We must live in holiness and be devoted to prayer. We must teach others about our father’s love, His wrath, and why Yeshua sacrificed His life for us. We must proclaim these truths from the rooftops, and publish them in the atmosphere, which will bring God to them and by faith them to grace.