Tetzaveh תְּצַוֶּה - You Shall Command
Haltarah: Ezekiel 43:10-27
Apostolic Reading: Matthew 5:13-20
Reading #7 - Exodus 30:1–10
If you do some research on the altar of incense you will find some varying opinions. We know that it was required by Hashem, that it filled the Holy Place with smoke, that it ascended, and it was to be enforced day and night. Most likely it was a display of obedience from the Priests to Hashem of following the Laws. Whatever reason Hashem chose for the burning of incense -- it must have made it very special to the senses of smell and sight. Maybe there was even an “association” that when you were in the Tabernacle and smelled the special spices burning that you were reminded of Hashem’s presence. Again, everything in the Tabernacle was special and for a specific purpose.
Some people believe that the incense in the Tabernacle is representative of our prayers. As incense smoke ascends upward, so should our prayers to Hashem. Some of the prophets in Scripture refer to the incense being like prayers ascending to the altar in heaven. This is a good reminder to us that Hashem does acknowledge our prayers -- maybe sees them like incense. So we must be presenting them to Him on a daily basis. This does not necessarily mean prayers of requests, but prayers of praise and honor to Hashem for all He does in our lives. Praising and thanking Him should be natural and often, for our very existence on the planet is because of Him! Thank you Hashem for all you do in our lives and those whom we love. We love You and praise You with all of our hearts! Amen!
Reading #7 - Exodus 30:1–10
30 “You shall make an altar to burn incense on. You shall make it of acacia wood. 2 Its length shall be a cubit, and its width a cubit. It shall be square, and its height shall be two cubits. Its horns shall be of one piece with it. 3 You shall overlay it with pure gold, its top, its sides around it, and its horns; and you shall make a gold molding around it. 4 You shall make two golden rings for it under its molding; on its two ribs, on its two sides you shall make them; and they shall be for places for poles with which to bear it. 5 You shall make the poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold. 6 You shall put it before the veil that is by the ark of the covenant, before the mercy seat that is over the covenant, where I will meet with you. 7 Aaron shall burn incense of sweet spices on it every morning. When he tends the lamps, he shall burn it. 8 When Aaron lights the lamps at evening, he shall burn it, a perpetual incense before Hashem throughout your generations. 9 You shall offer no strange incense on it, nor burnt offering, nor meal offering; and you shall pour no drink offering on it. 10 Aaron shall make atonement on its horns once in the year; with the blood of the sin offering of atonement once in the year he shall make atonement for it throughout your generations. It is most holy to Hashem.”
In Ezekiel's reading today we learn more about the building of a sacrificial altar for burnt offerings. Many people believe that these instructions are for a future Temple. Isaiah and others have similar references to a future Temple. Some people believe that when the last Temple was destroyed that that was the end of the Temple era. But Scripture like in Ezekiel, defines the opposite. That there will be another Temple and we need to prepare and get ready. The future Mashiach will reside there and the glory of Hashem will dominate it. I look forward to this day when the world will be made right again. Don’t you?
I have challenged you in the past to do some Temple studies. There is not a whole lot of teachings out there that support the prophecies of the third Temple. But, I believe with my whole heart that there will be a Temple prepared for the return of the Mashiach, where He will rule and reign for eternity. It only makes sense. But, I recommend you study it on your own.
Haltarah: Ezekiel 43:10-27
43:10 “You, son of man, show the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities; and let them measure the pattern. 11 If they are ashamed of all that they have done, make known to them the form of the house, and its fashion, and its exits, and its entrances, and all its forms, and all its ordinances, and all its forms, and all its laws; and write it in their sight; that they may keep the whole form of it, and all its ordinances, and do them.
12 “This is the law of the house. On the top of the mountain the whole limit around it shall be most holy. Behold, this is the law of the house.
13 “These are the measurements of the altar by cubits (the cubit is a cubit and a hand width): the bottom shall be a cubit, and the width a cubit, and its border around its edge a span; and this shall be the base of the altar. 14 From the bottom on the ground to the lower ledge shall be two cubits, and the width one cubit; and from the lesser ledge to the greater ledge shall be four cubits, and the width a cubit. 15 The upper altar shall be four cubits; and from the altar hearth and upward there shall be four horns. 16 The altar hearth shall be twelve cubits long by twelve wide, square in its four sides. 17 The ledge shall be fourteen cubits long by fourteen wide in its four sides; and the border about it shall be half a cubit; and its bottom shall be a cubit around; and its steps shall look toward the east.”
18 He said to me, “Son of man, Hashem says: ‘These are the ordinances of the altar in the day when they make it, to offer burnt offerings on it, and to sprinkle blood on it. 19 You shall give to the Levitical priests who are of the offspring of Zadok, who are near to me, to minister to me,’ says Hashem, ‘a young bull for a sin offering. 20 You shall take of its blood, and put it on its four horns, and on the four corners of the ledge, and on the border all around. You shall cleanse it and make atonement for it that way. 21 You shall also take the bull of the sin offering, and it shall be burned in the appointed place of the house, outside of the sanctuary.
22 “On the second day you shall offer a male goat without defect for a sin offering; and they shall cleanse the altar, as they cleansed it with the bull. 23 When you have finished cleansing it, you shall offer a young bull without defect, and a ram out of the flock without defect. 24 You shall bring them near to Hashem, and the priests shall cast salt on them, and they shall offer them up for a burnt offering to Hashem.
25 “Seven days you shall prepare every day a goat for a sin offering. They shall also prepare a young bull, and a ram out of the flock, without defect. 26 Seven days shall they make atonement for the altar and purify it. So shall they consecrate it. 27 When they have accomplished the days, it shall be that on the eighth day, and forward, the priests shall make your burnt offerings on the altar, and your peace offerings. Then I will accept you,’ says Hashem.”
As far as I know, heaven and earth have not passed away, so the Law is still in effect (v. 18). It seems to be obvious. In the Torah we read that you cannot add or take away from the Law, you certainly can not abolish it. There is a rising number of non-Jewish believers in the world that have discovered the Torah and it’s eternal requirements. I am one of them. My hope is that people who believe in Hashem and Yeshua will discover the truth of following the Laws. The Torah is eternal. It was never abolished -- proof is in the section of Apostolic Reading. I challenge you to study this.
If you are following Yeshua, then you are following what He taught. He taught Torah and He is Torah. I have a website called “Jesus Was a Rabbi”. Go to: Jesus Was a Rabbi and check it out!
Apostolic Reading: Matthew 5:13-20
5:13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has lost its flavor, with what will it be salted? It is then good for nothing, but to be cast out and trodden under the feet of men.
14 You are the light of the world. A city located on a hill can’t be hidden. 15 Neither do you light a lamp and put it under a measuring basket, but on a stand; and it shines to all who are in the house. 16 Even so, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
17 “Don’t think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I didn’t come to destroy, but to fulfill. 18 For most certainly, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not even one smallest letter or one tiny pen stroke shall in any way pass away from the law, until all things are accomplished. 19 Therefore, whoever shall break one of these least commandments and teach others to do so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever shall do and teach them shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, there is no way you will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.