Tetzaveh (You Command) Exodus 27:20 – 30:10

Tetzaveh (You Command) Exodus 27:20 – 30:10


This Tetzaveh Parasha is a description of the preparation of the priest to enter into the presence of Yahweh in the holy of holies. In this narration of the Tetzaveh, commands given, a unique theme of separation (consecration or holiness) emerges in the elements presented: 

The oil for light


Exodus 27:20  And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always.


  1. Symbolic of Yahweh’s Name
  2. Song of Solomon 1:3  Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee.
  3. Hebrew Word: Ointment  shemen – Same word as oil. 


And for Anointing


Exodus 28:41  And thou shalt put them upon Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him; and shalt anoint them, and consecrate them, and sanctify them, that they may minister unto me in the priest’s office.


  1. Hebrew Word: Anointing xvm mashach – to smear (the word Mashiach  comes from.
  2. Hebrew Word: Consecrate  male’ – to fill ones hand
  3. Hebrew Word: Sanctify qadash – to set apart 


The garments for glory and beauty, 


Exodus 28:2  And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty.


  1. Hebrew Word: Glory  kabowd – to make heavy, to honour
  2. Hebrew Word: Beauty Ti tiph’arah – splendour


the altar to make things holy


Exodus 29:36-37  and thou shalt cleanse the altar, when thou hast made an atonement for it, and thou shalt anoint it, to sanctify it.  37 Seven days thou shalt make an atonement for the altar, and sanctify it; and it shall be an altar most holy: whatsoever toucheth the altar shall be holy.


1.         Romans 12:1   I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.


and the altar incense to burn the holy incense upon.



Exodus 30:7  And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he dresseth the lamps, he shall burn incense upon it.


  1. Our prayers are the incense ascending to heaven which is a sweet savor to Yahweh
  2. Psalm 141:2  Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.




A large part of the Tetzaveh is dedicated to the fashioning of the garments of the High Priest are to set him apart unto Yahweh as is communicated in the plate placed in the mitre which is part of the head covering. Engraved into the plate is “HOLINESS TO YAHWEH.”


Aaron and his sons Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar are chosen to be sanctified and set apart to minister unto Yahweh.


Aaron is the focal point of all Israel as is represented in what certain parts of the garment represents.


The Two Onyx stones on his shoulders with the names of the 12 tribes


Exodus 28:12  And thou shalt put the two stones upon the shoulders of the ephod for stones of memorial unto the children of Israel: and Aaron shall bear their names before the LORD upon his two shoulders for a memorial (!ArK’zI zikrown – reminder).


Aaron bore the names of the children of Israel on his heart


Exodus 28:29  And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the LORD continually.



Aaron also bare the Urim and Thummin on His Heart for the JUDGMENT of Israel


Exodus 28:30  And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron’s heart, when he goeth in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually.


It was upon Aaron to Minister.



Exodus 28:35  And it shall be upon Aaron to minister: and his sound shall be heard when he goeth in unto the holy place before the LORD, and when he cometh out, that he die not.




The Tetzaveh  goes into great detail on how Aaron prepared to enter into the holy place to minister unto Yahweh because it is His sincere desire to dwell among his people.


Exodus 29:44-46  And I will sanctify the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar: I will sanctify also both Aaron and his sons, to minister to me in the priest’s office.  45 And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God.  46 And they shall know that I am the LORD their God, that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them: I am the LORD their God.


That’s where this little dissertation should end but this Parasha is an illustration of the entire plan of Yahweh for his people Israel. When I first began my journey to the center of the Torah I happened upon a teaching about the word “Beginning.” In this very special Hebrew word we find the Father’s plan for all of humanity. Encoded within this Hebrew word are a series of meanings in the letters and other words it forms. Every teaching I do somehow always come back to this special little word.


Hebrew Word: B’reshit. – In The Beginning


Did you know this the only mention of baseball in the bible? No seriously, look at the word. Don’t you see it? In the “Big Inning.” Just kidding.


I love this word and as we break it down a picture will emerge that will amaze you and will show you how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together.

B'reshit - Breakdown of Hebrew Letters

Not only in the Tetzaveh, but in the entirety of the Bible from Genesis 1:1 to the closing passages of the book of Revelation is about the Bride of Messiah. It has been and always will be His desire to have fellowship and intimacy with His people.


Even Yeshua’s dying words were a message to the bride.


  1. In John 19:30  When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
  2. The Hebrew Word for FINISH is Ll’K’ kalal is the root word for Bride kalah.


Only The Priests can come NEAR


Ezekiel 44:15-16   But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to me to minister unto me, and they shall stand before me to offer unto me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord GOD:  16 They shall enter into my sanctuary, and they shall come near to my table, to minister unto me, and they shall keep my charge.


Coming Near, to Yahweh was being intimate with Him and this was the place that Yahweh desired for all of Israel, but because of sin chose only the priest. Now by the atoning blood of Yeshua we are brought near by a loving Elohim and one day soon will take our place by His side as the Bride.


The Tetzaveh shines light into the darkness of Israel by lighting the way with the oil of Torah for God’s chosen people.  The Tetzaveh Torah portion is vivid in its description of the garments of the High priest. The Tetzaveh portion of scripture  lets us into the heart of Aaron to see how he bore the burden for Israel as the intermediary before God and man. The Tetzaveh Parasha also gives a wonderful picture of the Bride of Messiah.


As I’ve become more intimate with the Torah revelations jump out like popcorn. As I’ve done with Tetzaveh I will continue to mine for nuggets in other Torah portions. Feel free to leave a comment but remember to be civil and consider the author is fallible and does not completely understand every nuance, mystery or interpretation of scripture.


Nest Week: Ki Tisa (When You Take)


About the Author: Mark Totilo is a writer, video and audio producer, bible teacher and owner of Professional Communications. He is a US Navy veteran, trained as an Electronics Technician and in NBC warfare. Mark has recently released his first novel, Double Salute and has published articles in christian national sports magazine, such as Sports Spectrum and Sharing the Victory. He also writes a blog about the United States Navy and can be found at Blog.MarkTotilo.com.


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