This weeks reading from Parashat Tetzave (Shemot / Exodus 27:20-30:10), details the construction of the priestly garments (28:2 You shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty. (NASB)) Aaron’s garments are said to consecrate him for the purpose of ministering before the Lord (28:3). The priestly garments consist of the breast-piece, the ephod, a robe, a turban, and a sash (28:4). They are constructed of gold, blue, purple, scarlet materials and fine linen. The ephod contains the names of the tribes of Israel (28:9). Twelve precious stones are set in the breast-piece one for each of the tribes of Israel (28:17-22). The hem of the garment is constructed with woven pomegranates (28:34) and golden bells spaced in bell-pomegranate-bell-pomegranate fashion. The sound of the bells will be heard when Aaron enters into the Holy of Holies so that he will not die (28:35). The tunic is woven in a checkered fashion and Moshe instructs to make sashes and caps for Aaron and his sons. The text then describes how Moshe consecrates Aaron and his sons as priests with a bull and two rams without blemish (29:1), unleavened bread and unleavened cakes mixed with oil and unleavened wafers spread with oil. Moshe brings Aaron and his sons to the entrance to the tent of meeting (29:4), dresses them with the garments (29:5-6), and anoints them with oil (29:7). The bull and two rams are slaughtered, the one ram is offered as a whole burnt offering, the second ram the blood is used to anoint Aaron and his sons, and the blood of the bull is placed upon the altar. It is in this way the tent of meeting, the altar, and the priests are consecrated (separate, holy) before God.
כתבי הקודש / The Holy Scriptures
ספר שמות פרק כה
א וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָֹה אֶל-מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר: ב דַּבֵּר אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל וְיִקְחוּ-לִי תְּרוּמָה מֵאֵת כָּל-אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר יִדְּבֶנּוּ לִבּוֹ תִּקְחוּ אֶת-תְּרוּמָתִי: ג וְזֹאת הַתְּרוּמָה אֲשֶׁר תִּקְחוּ מֵאִתָּם זָהָב וָכֶסֶף וּנְחֹשֶׁת: ד וּתְכֵלֶת וְאַרְגָּמָן וְתוֹלַעַת שָׁנִי וְשֵׁשׁ וְעִזִּים: ה וְעֹרֹת אֵילִם מְאָדָּמִים וְעֹרֹת תְּחָשִׁים וַעֲצֵי שִׁטִּים: ו שֶׁמֶן לַמָּאֹר בְּשָֹמִים לְשֶׁמֶן הַמִּשְׁחָה וְלִקְטֹרֶת הַסַּמִּים: ז אַבְנֵי-שֹׁהַם וְאַבְנֵי מִלֻּאִים לָאֵפֹד וְלַחֹשֶׁן: ח וְעָשֹוּ לִי מִקְדָּשׁ וְשָׁכַנְתִּי בְּתוֹכָם:
Shemot / Exodus 25:1-8
25:1 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 25:2 ‘Tell the sons of Israel to raise a contribution for Me; from every man whose heart moves him you shall raise My contribution. 25:3 ‘This is the contribution which you are to raise from them: gold, silver and bronze, 25:4 blue, purple and scarlet material, fine linen, goat hair, 25:5 rams’ skins dyed red, porpoise skins, acacia wood, 25:6 oil for lighting, spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense, 25:7 onyx stones and setting stones for the ephod and for the breastpiece. 25:8 ‘Let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them. (NASB)
In this week’s reading we read that Aaron’s garments are said to consecrate him for the purpose of ministering before the Lord in Shemot / Exodus 28:3 ג וְאַתָּה תְּדַבֵּר אֶל-כָּל-חַכְמֵי-לֵב אֲשֶׁר מִלֵּאתִיו רוּחַ חָכְמָה וְעָשֹוּ אֶת-בִּגְדֵי אַהֲרֹן לְקַדְּשׁוֹ לְכַהֲנוֹ-לִי: 28:3 ‘You shall speak to all the skillful persons whom I have endowed with the spirit of wisdom, that they make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him, that he may minister as priest to Me. (NASB) The word “consecration” means “dedication, devotion (to a cause or purpose)” and is derived from the Hebrew word לְקַדְּשׁוֹ meaning “he is to be holy” because “for he is a priest to Me” (לְכַהֲנוֹ-לִי) says the Lord. We read in Vayikra / Leviticus 20:7 the Lord instructing Moshe to tell the people ז וְהִתְקַדִּשְׁתֶּם וִהְיִיתֶם קְדֹשִׁים כִּי אֲנִי יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם: 20:7 ‘You shall consecrate yourselves therefore and be holy, for I am the Lord your God. (NASB) In the Apostolic writings, we read 1 Peter 1:14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 1:15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 1:16 because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.” (NASB) To be “holy in all your behavior,” is Peter teaching on Vayikra / Leviticus 20:7 in his epistle? In both the Tanach (OT) and the Apostolic Writings (NT), the Scriptures tell us we are a holy people, and we are to separate ourselves from the world. The Apostle Paul’s exhortation to the believers at Corinth says 2 Corinthians 6:17 ‘Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,’ says the Lord. ‘And do not touch what is unclean; And I will welcome you. (NASB) Today, how do we understand the differences between what is clean verses what is unclean? Being consecrated is a critical component in our relationship with God and to those in the world, as Paul tells us we are to offer our bodies as “living sacrifices” (Romans 12:1-2). In your life, do you conform to the pattern of this world or to God and His Word? How do you test and approve the good and perfect will of God in your life? How do you sanctify your life in a holy way for the Lord? Christ indeed sanctifies us but we are also called to sanctify (separate)ourselves because he has sanctified (separated) us. In the Messiah there is a specific way we are supposed to live as people who are “called by His Name.” Have you been living your life according to the way of God and His Messiah? BTT_Parashat Tetzave-2013