This week’s Torah portion is called “Tetzaveh” – תְּצַוֶּה which means, “You shall command” and comes from the root word צָוָה tsavah – Strong’s H6680 which means, ‘to lay charge, give charge, command, appoint, give direction or a decree, i.e. state with force/authority what others must do’.
Chapter 28 is about the appointment of Aharon and the priesthood, while the two verses prior to this chapter, carry a great call and instruction to all the people, before the appointment can go ahead – and that was the command to bring ‘clear oil of pressed olives’ for the light, so that the Lamp can burn continually!
This was the responsibility for all the children of Yisra’ĕl – to bring this oil; and this was not part of the tithe or the contributions (Terumah which we looked at last week), but was a separate offering – and one that would involve everybody and one that would need to be continually brought – in order to keep the lamp burning day and night, which Aharon and his sons would tend to, as a law forever to all their generations for the children of Yisra’ĕl!
As we consider these instructions, we can clearly see how this command speaks very loud and clear for us still today, as we – a royal priesthood – are to continually keep our lamps burning, making sure that we have a continual supply of ‘olive oil’, so to speak, which can only be obtained through a crushing or pressing of the hard olive berries, which was done by means of crushing. This picture of crushing reminds us of the garden of Gethsemane where יהושע sweat blood and was crushed for our sins.
Let us look briefly at the gethsemane and the olive press:
Gethsemane and the Olive Press
The word Gethsemane is derived from two Hebrew words: גַּת gath – Strong’s H1660, which means ‘a place for pressing oil (or wine)’ and שֶׁמֶן shemen – Strong’s H8081, which means ‘oils.’
During the time of יהושע, heavy stone slabs were lowered onto olives that had already been crushed in an olive crusher. Gradually, the slabs weight squeezed the olive oil out of the pulp, and the oil ran into a pit.
The oil was then collected in clay jars.
The image of the Gethsemane on the slope of the Mount of Olives, where יהושע went the night before He was impaled, provides a vivid picture of the suffering of יהושע. The weight of the sins of the world pressed down upon Him like a heavy slab of rock pressed down on olives in their baskets. His sweat, ‘like drops of blood falling from to the ground’, flowed from Him like olive oil as it was squeezed out and flowed into the pit of an olive press.
Luqas/Luke 22:44 “And being in agony, He was praying more earnestly. And His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”
The olive crusher was the stone basin that was used to crush olives into pulp. A donkey pushed on a horizontal beam, which in turn rolled a millstone that crushed ripe olives (placed in a large, round basin) into a pulp.
An olive crusher was often placed in a cave, where the moderate temperature improved the efficiency of the oil production. As you look at the picture above, one cannot but notice just how heavy a millstone is and are reminded that we are to be humble and become as little children and not cause others to stumble or else it would be better to have a millstone hung around one’s neck and thrown into the sea than face the wrath of Elohim – a very sobering reminder indeed!
An Olive Crusher
This olive installation in the above picture is located at the modern-day city of Maresha in southern Judea.
Its appearance and location in a cave are typical of ancient presses. Oil installations were commonly placed in caves because the more moderate temperatures improved the efficiency of olive production.
It is likely that the gethsemane that יהושע visited the night before His arrest was in a cave near an olive grove.
The ripe (black) olives were placed in a large, round basin (called yam or ‘sea’). A donkey, blindfolded to prevent dizziness, walked around the basin, pushing the horizontal beam and rolling the wheel (called memel or millstone) on the ripe fruit, crushing it into pulp. Smaller caves beyond the crusher may have been used to store the olive oil in clay jars, keeping it cool so it did not spoil.
A Basalt Crusher
This crusher was found at Kephar Naḥum, the home-base of יהושע (Mattithyahu/Matthew. 4:13), near the synagogue. The local basalt, which is a hard, volcanic black rock, made excellent crushers and other types of grinders.
יהושע frequently saw crushers and millstones like this one. The basalt grinders are found in archaeological remains around the country. They were probably exported from the area of the Sea of Galilee.
This olive press is in Kephar Naḥum, near the synagogue. The crushed olive pulp was placed in baskets (about four inches thick and two feet in diameter), which were then stacked several high. These baskets are barely visible in the distance under the wooden beam, through the slot in the press. A heavy stone slab was placed on the top basket (not visible in this picture). The beam, with one end in a hole in the wall above the press, was positioned on the stone over the olive baskets.
Great weights were suspended by ropes from the end of the beam, placing enormous pressure on the olive pulp. These weights may have been lifted by a shorter beam placed in the hole in the wall above, on the left. Over time, the pressure squeezed the juice out of the pulp. The juice ran out of the baskets and into a pit below, where it separated into water and oil. The water was drained off, and the oil was collected and placed in clay jars. These jars were often stored in a cool area in the cave near the press.
Olive oil carries great significance for Yisra’ĕl, both because it was connected with the fertility of the land (Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 8:6-9) and because it was used for ‘anointing’ (Berěshith/Genesis 28:18).
The small niche (opening) next to the press may have held an idol to whom the press and the oil were dedicated. יהוה’s people brought olives to the Temple on Shaḇuoth (Pentecost) to indicate their recognition that יהוה, not the false pagan mighty ones, provided the gift of fertility.
Back to Shemoth/Exodus 27: 20-21
CLEAR OIL OF PRESSED OLIVES:
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘clear’ is זַךְ zaḵ – Strong’s H2134 which means, ‘pure, clean, clear’ and comes from the root verb זָכַךְ zaḵaḵ – Strong’s H2141 meaning, ‘to be pure, clean, to be bright’.
The Hebrew word זַךְ zaḵ is used in:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 21:8 “The way of a guilty man is perverse; but as for the innocent, his work is right.”
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘pressed’ is כָּתִית kathith – Strong’s H3795 which means, ‘beaten’ and comes from a word that means ‘to beat or crush by beating’, and this word for ‘pressed’ is only used 5 times and is always used in conjunction with the ‘pure’ oil that was to be brought with the offerings or for the lampstand.
The Word of Elohim – is both a lamp to our feet and a light for our path:
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘light’ in this verse is מָאוֹר ma’or – Strong’s H3974 which means, ‘a luminary, light, shining’, and comes from the root word אוֹר or (oor) – Strong’s H215 meaning, ‘to be or become light, give light, shine’.
The Hebrew word that is used here for ‘lamp’ is נֵר ner – Strong’s H5216 meaning, ‘lamp, candle, light’.
Now, a lamp in ancient times would primarily be a vessel with a wick for burning a liquid, such as oil, in order to produce light; and as one would walk the lamp would typically be carried in one’s hand!
The picture that we can learn here is that as we take each step, our hand (which speaks of our works) needs to hold up (that is to do) the lamp (which is the Word) to let our eyes, see the path before us!
We need not fear the path that lies ahead as we know that Elohim goes before us:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 31:8 “And it is יהוה who is going before you, He Himself is with you. He does not fail you nor forsake you. Do not fear nor be discouraged.”
And again, we are told that יהושע our High Priest has gone as a forerunner before us, having brought His clear Light for the expectation that is set before us; and by His life, death and resurrection, He made known His Light and showed us the Way, so that we may walk in it, having our lamps filled with His clear oil lighting our path in this dark and confused world:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 6:17-20 “In this way Elohim, resolving to show even more clearly to the heirs of promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, confirmed it by an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable matters in which it is impossible for Elohim to lie, we might have strong encouragement, we who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the expectation set before us, 19 which we have as an anchor of the life, both safe and firm, and entering into that within the veil, 20 where יהושע has entered as a forerunner for us, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Malkitseḏeq.”
In the ancient pictographic script, the word for נֵר ner – Strong’s H5216 meaning, ‘lamp, candle, light’, would look as follows:
– This is the letter ‘nun’ (נֵ), which in the ancient text is pictured as a ‘spouting seed’, and gives the idea of ‘continuation or an offspring or an heir’, speaking of that which sprouts forth will be the heir of the promise of continuation, and represents one’s life expectancy.
– This is the letter ‘resh’ (ר), which in the ancient text is pictured as ‘the head of a man’, and has the meaning of the head of a man as well as ‘chief, top, begging or first’. Top as in the top or head of a body and chief an is head of a tribe or people as well as the one who rules the people.
In terms of us seeing these letters, being expressed as ‘lamp’, we are able to clearly identify who gives us our light and who is our lamp – יהושע Messiah, who is our Head and is The Seed!
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:8 “Remember that יהושע Messiah, of the seed of Dawiḏ, was raised from the dead according to my Good News”
Galatiyim/Galatians 3:16 “But the promises were spoken to Aḇraham, and to his Seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Messiah.”
We who are grafted in to Messiah by His blood become the seed of Aḇraham:
Galatiyim/Galatians 3:29 “And if you are of Messiah, then you are seed of Aḇraham, and heirs according to promise.”
יהושע Messiah, The Light of the world, has caused us to be equipped to shine His truth and be a light to the nations, as we walk according to His commands.
As we, the remnant seed who are guarding the commands of Elohim and possess the witness of יהושע Messiah, shine the Truth we will be under severe attack from the enemy who will try to put out the Light of Elohim in our lives:
Ḥazon/Revelation 12:17 “And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to fight with the remnant of her seed, those guarding the commands of Elohim and possessing the witness of יהושע Messiah.”
This word for lamp – נֵר ner – Strong’s H5216 is also used in:
Shemuʼěl Bět/2 Samuel 22:29 “For You are my lamp, O יהוה, and יהוה makes my darkness light.”
Shemoth/Exodus 25:37 “And you shall make seven lamps for it, and they shall mount its lamps so that they give light in front of it.”
This was part of the instructions given for the construction of the Tabernacle and the lampstand with its seven lamps that were to be in the Set-Part Place giving light over the table of showbread, and this is also a clear pointing to the seven lampstands as seen in Ḥazon/Revelation 2 & 3, and how יהושע walks in the midst of these!
The lamp was to burn ‘continually’ which is translated from the word תָּמִיד tamiyḏ – Strong’s H8548 which means, ‘continuity, all times, always, constantly, regularly, continually’.
This is a clear picture for us in the command to keep our lamps burning continually:
Tehillah/Psalm 119:44 “That I might guard Your Torah continually, forever and ever”
How we keep our lamps burning continually is to be a people who are guarding His pure and clear Torah, day and night!
The Hebrew root word translated as ‘burn’ is עָלָה alah – Strong’s H5927 meaning, ‘to go up, ascend, climb, approach, go’. A derivative of this root is the term used for ‘whole burnt offering’ – עֹלָה olah – Strong’s H5930 meaning, ‘whole burnt offering, ascent, staircase, stairway’.
The olah offering represents a giving totally of oneself to יהוה, just as Messiah offered up His Body as an ‘olah’ offering, so too are we to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice and our lives are to be given totally up unto service and worship to יהוה.
This instruction was to be given to the congregation – in other words the congregation was to totally be moved away from the tents of the wicked and be given totally up to יהוה.
The lamp is for our feet! The root word for ‘feet’, that is used here in Hebrew, is רֶגֶל ‘regel’ Strong’s H7272 which means ‘a foot/feet or to walk’, and, in Scripture, this often speaks of one’s obedience to walking according to the commands of יהוה and obeying His call to keep His feasts as commanded; as this same word is used in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23 and translated as ‘times’ in reference to the 3 times a year all males were to appear before Elohim at Yerushalayim which would collectively cover all 7 Feasts/Appointed Times of Elohim, marking out the clear need to walk according to His word and guard the Appointed Times or Feasts of יהוה!
The Feasts were not limited to just 3 but rather, all His Feasts were grouped in three – Pěsaḥ and Matzot were the one time you would celebrate in the 1st month; Shaḇuoth the second time in the 3rd month and in the 7th month – Yom Teruah (Trumpets), Yom Kippur (Atonement) and Sukkot (Tabernacles) being the 3rd time.
The term ‘celebrate’, in the Hebrew, carries the implication of dancing and literally to dance in a circle or cycle – speaking that we keep this cycle every year with great rejoicing. Three is also symbolic of stability as a 3 legged stool is the most stable.
In the ancient pictographic script, the Hebrew word רֶגֶל regel is written as follows:
Resh – רֶ
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as ‘the head of a man’ and has the meaning of the head of a man as well as chief, top, begging or first. Top as in the top or head of a body and chief an is head of a tribe or people as well as the one who rules the people.
Gimel – גֶ:
This is the letter ‘gimel’, which in the ancient script in pictured as – –which is ‘a foot’ and carries the meaning to ‘walk, gather, carry’, as clearly referring to the functions of a foot; and it can also give the meaning of a gathering of people, and we know that ‘feet’ in Hebrew speaks of one’s walk and ability to keep the feasts of יהוה, and represents one’s ‘walk!
Lamed – ל:
In the ancient script this is pictured as , which is pictured as a ‘shepherd’s staff’, representing ‘authority’ and can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority, as well as be submitted under the Authority of the Good Shepherd!
When looking at these pictographic letters, in terms of understanding our needed obedience to keeping the Feasts of יהוה, we are able to clearly understand the message in these, as:
‘IN OUR WALK OF OBEDIENCE, WE GATHER AS COMMANDED, AS WE ARE LED UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF OUR HEAD’.
The beginning of our walk of obedience is to submit under the authority of our Good Shepherd and guard His Appointed Times of gathering!
In the parable of the ten virgins we also see the clear need to have our lamps filled with oil and not dare be found empty on the day of His visitation. And the command here in verse 21 for the priests to tend the lamps from evening until morning – a law forever – once again tells us how we too are to keep our lamps burning in these ‘dark times’ until the morning comes!
Romiyim/Romans 13:12 “The night is far advanced, the day has come near. So let us put off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 4:18 “But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.”
Now, if our lamps are to be tended continually, then we see the need for us to constantly be on guard, as to what we set our eyes upon – for our eyes are to be looking to יהושע Messiah (Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:2)!!!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 6:22 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, all your body shall be enlightened.”
The Greek word used in Mattithyahu/Matthew 6:22 for ‘lamp’ is λύχνος luchnos – Strong’s G3088 and this is the Greek word that is used in the LXX (Septuagint) for the Hebrew word נֵר ner – Strong’s H5216.
And this call to keep our lamps burning reminds us of the clear instruction for the priesthood that were to make sure that the lamp would burn continually!
The Greek word is λύχνος luchnos – Strong’s G3088 is also used in:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. It is impossible for a city to be hidden on a mountain. 15 “Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it shines to all those in the house. 16 “Let your light so shine before men, so that they see your good works and praise your Father who is in the heavens.”
These words of our Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah, are words we need to carefully consider as we earnestly seek to serve Him in Spirit and Truth, making sure that we are shining the light of His Truth continually and consistently, as we do our utmost to properly reflect His Truth in our daily lives before all!
We, as taught ones (disciples) of Messiah, are the light of the world!
This is certainly a wonderful thing indeed yet comes with a very clear responsibility – and that is to shine continually!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘light’ in Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:14 is φῶς phōs – Strong’s G5457 which means, ‘light, fire’ which comes from the word φάος phaos which means, ‘to shine or make manifest, especially by rays’.
Our eyes are to be upon the Torah and we are to not be found sleeping and without oil!
If one is not bringing oil, then how can you shine?
In the parable of the 10 maidens (Mattithyahu/Matthew 25) we see that while they all slumbered and slept, there was a great cry that was heard at midnight with the news that the Bridegroom was coming and they all rose up and trimmed their lamps!
From this parable, we can recognise the picture of Yom Teruah echoing in the Awakening Blast of the news that the Bridegroom is on His Way! We know from Scripture that Messiah will come out of the Most Set-Apart Place on the day of Yom Kippur and trample the winepress in His wrath and then gather His Bride, but it is on Yom Teruah that the awakening blast and the shout of a shofar is heard, and for those who do not have oil at the sound of this blast it will be too late to scramble, no matter how much trimming they try to do!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 25:1-12 “Then the reign of the heavens shall be compared to ten maidens who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 “And five of them were wise, and five foolish. 3 “Those who were foolish, having taken their lamps, took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took oil in their containers with their lamps. 5 “Now while the bridegroom took time, they all slumbered and slept. 6 “And at midnight a cry was heard, ‘See, the bridegroom is coming, go out to meet him!’ 7 “Then all those maidens rose up and trimmed their lamps. 8 “And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’ 9 “But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, indeed, there would not be enough for us and you. Instead, go to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 “And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast, and the door was shut. 11 “And later the other maidens also came, saying, ‘Master, Master, open up for us!’ 12 “But he answering, said, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’”
The Greek word that is translated as ‘trimmed’ comes from the root word κοσμέω kosmeō – Strong’s G2885 which means, ‘to order, arrange, adorned, trimmed, put in order, to embellish’.
This root word is used 10 times in 10 verses in the Renewed Writings and is also used to describe the adorning of a woman and the preparations of a bride:
Ḥazon/Revelation 21:2 “And I, Yoḥanan, saw the set-apart city, renewed Yerushalayim, coming down out of the heaven from Elohim, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”
The reason for me highlighting this is that we certainly see the need to be prepared for our Master and Husband’s soon return, yet what we are also to take very careful heed of here, is that we are to make sure that we are not like the foolish maidens that prepared themselves without oil!
The foolish tried to light their lamps yet they kept on going out, despite having trimmed them and then they asked the wise for oil and were told to go and get their own!
This teaches us a vital lesson on how every person is responsible for their own oil, so to speak, as each one must walk out their own deliverance with fear and trembling and they cannot rely on another’s oil to save them!
Being trimmed was not enough when there was no oil to keep the light burning!
In our preparation of trimming our lamps, we are to allow the Word to lead, guide, reprove and discipline us, so that we can have walk boldly according to His Word and Have His Spirit dwell in us as we guard our set-apartness, for then our preparations will be complete at His return; and those who have oil and have prepared themselves according to the Truth will be found by the Master to have a true belief with proper works of righteousness!
The 5 maidens who did not have oil were told by the 5 that did that they have to go and buy their own and once again we recognise how the foolish maidens represent those who have not counted the cost of following Messiah and as a result find themselves being rejected as those who are not known by Messiah!
‘Sleep’, is a reference to a believer having the principles of Torah but not appropriating them into their lifestyle or walk, thus Scripture references them as one who is sleeping.
We are reminded that the bride is to be “watchful” and to keep her lamp burning continually.
The decorations on the lampstand/menorah, in the tabernacle, were fashioned after the almond blossom.
The word for ‘almond’, in Hebrew, is שָׁקֵד shaqeḏ – Strong’s H8247, which comes from the root of the same spelling שָׁקַד shaqaḏ – Strong’s H8245, which means ‘to watch, keep watch, and lie awake’.
Thus, to keep our menorah burning oil continuously, we are to remain active in His word and not be found sleeping or our lamp may go out.
The Lěwites were chosen in place of the firstborn:
Bemiḏbar/Numbers 3:12 “Now look, I Myself have taken the Lěwites from among the children of Yisra’ĕl instead of every first-born who opens the womb among the children of Yisra’ĕl. And the Lěwites shall be Mine”
What we also recognise is that יהוה calls Ephrayim His firstborn:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 31:9 “With weeping they shall come, and with their prayers I bring them. I shall make them walk by rivers of waters, in a straight way in which they do not stumble. For I shall be a Father to Yisra’ĕl, and Ephrayim – he is My first-born.”
Therefore, Ephrayim (the Northern Kingdom) has a special responsibility, at least in relation to the spiritual aspect of being sure the oil is released so that His House can be illuminated.
Now that the issue of oil is dealt with, in respect to a strict command, we can therefore move on to the next chapter regarding the priestly garments and their ordination. If there is ‘no oil’ on the inside then the outside is but just a façade. 5 of the virgins had jars with no oil inside – on the outside they looked the same but when it came down to the wire – their lack of oil found them wanting and as a result they were unable to come in and wold be kept in the dark, so to speak!
Oil, as we know, represents anointing and the Spirit of יהוה and it had to be clear pressed oil – transparent and speaks of purity – no mixing His presence with vain and fleshly lusts and cravings – they must be ‘crushed out’ so we are presented as pure and clear – able to keep His light shining!
Tehillah/Psalm 51:10-11 “Create in me a clean heart, O Elohim, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Set-apart Spirit from me.”
Aharon and his sons were to be brought near and set-apart:
Aharon – אַהֲרוֹן –Strong’s H175 means, “Light bringer/Light bearer”
Naḏaḇ – נָדָב – Strong’s H5070 means, “generous/willing – cheerful giver”
Aḇihu – אֲבִיהוּא –Strong’s H30 means, “he is my father”
Elʽazar – אֶלְעָזָר – Strong’s H499 means, “El has helped”
Ithamar – אִיתָמָר – Strong’s H385 means, “land of palms”
As we discussed in a previous torah portion, with the names of Aharon and his first two sons, we again, in relation to the oil and light, see a clear picture of יהושע, in that He is the Light of the World – the generous one who willingly laid down His life for us and is called ‘Father of continuity’ – He is our Elohim who has helped us and will bring us to the ‘land of palms’ as His Torah lights our path – and our journey in Torah requires that we dress in Him in His set-apart garments of righteousness, serving Him as a royal priesthood!
The last son of Aharon, Ithamar, which means land of palms or coastlands of palms, speaks of the righteous coming
from the ‘coastlands’ to learn the Torah:
Palms are likened to a righteous one:
Tehillah/Psalm 92: 12 “The righteous one flourishes like a palm tree, he grows like a cedar in Leḇanon.”
And we see the coastlands waiting for the Torah being spoken of in:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 42:4 “He does not become weak or crushed, until He has established right-ruling in the earth. and the coastlands wait for His Torah.”
Just as Aharon and his sons were to be set-apart for esteem and comeliness – so too have we been called to esteem and uprightness:
Kěpha Bět/2 Peter 1:1-2 “Favour and peace be increased to you in the knowledge of Elohim and of יהושע our Master, as His Mighty-like power has given to us all we need for life and reverence, through the knowledge of Him who called us to esteem and uprightness.”
Verse 3 –
Speak to all the wise of heart – all which have been filled with the spirit of wisdom!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 2:6 “For יהוה gives wisdom; out of His mouth come knowledge and understanding.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 4:5 “Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, and do not turn away From the words of my mouth.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 4:7 “The beginning of wisdom is: Get wisdom! And with all your getting, get understanding.”
Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of Elohim, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it shall be given to him.”
Ya’aqoḇ/James 3:17 “But the wisdom from above is first clean, then peaceable, gentle, ready to obey, filled with compassion and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.”
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 1:17-18 “that the Elohim of our Master יהושע Messiah, the Father of esteem, would give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened, so that you know what is the expectation of His calling, and what are the riches of the esteem of His inheritance in the set-apart ones.”
It is very clear that without the wisdom from above we cannot accomplish that which יהוה has designed and planned for our lives, and so as we “get wisdom” through His Torah and grow in our knowledge and understanding of Him, we can find the wisdom we need to walk in the light and guard His Word in us!
Here in Shemoth, Mosheh was told to speak to the wise of heart – to those who have been filled with a spirit of wisdom for it was those who are filled that יהוה can use to make that which was needed.
This, ‘being filled with wisdom’, is associated with those who diligently seek out His Word:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, because they shall be filled.”
Filled with what? WISDOM from above!!!
יהוה was telling Mosheh to speak to those who are truly seeking and hungering and thirsting for יהוה and His righteousness – those whom He has filled because of their earnest seeking!
Are you hungering and thirsting for righteousness?
For then you will be filled and be of great use in The Master’s Hand!
The Garments of Aharon the High Priest:
Let us first briefly look at the garments, as listed in verse 4:
1 – The Breastplate:
The Hebrew word for ‘breastplate’ is חשֶׁן ḥoshen – Strong’s H2833 which means, ‘breastplate, breast-piece, pouch’ and it was made of gold, of blue and purple and scarlet material, and fine woven linen.
It held the stones bearing the names of the Yisra’ĕlites safely in place and also carried the urim and tummim.
A breastplate of ‘right-ruling’!
The Hebrew word for ‘RIGHT-RULING’ is מִשְׁפָּט mishpat – Strong’s H4941 which means, ‘judgement, ordinance, regulations’ and comes from the primitive root word שָׁפַט shaphat – Strong’s H8199 which means, ‘to judge, govern, rule, pronounce judgement, give law’.
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 33:22 “for יהוה is our Judge, יהוה is our Lawgiver, יהוה is our Sovereign, He saves us”
There is only One who gives us the Law by which we must live and by which we are governed and these judgements and right-rulings and regulations given by Him we must DO!!!
2 – The Shoulder garment:
The word for shoulder garment, in Hebrew, is אֵפוֹד ephoḏ – Strong’s H646 which was a priestly garment, like a shoulder cape or mantle. This was the ‘outer garment’ worn by the priests that was white, however the High Priests ephod was more costly – woven of gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and linen threads.
An ephoḏ was a priestly garment, like a shoulder cape or mantle.
In Shemuʼěl Bět/2 Samuel 6:14 we are told that Dawiḏ was wearing a linen shoulder garment when he was dancing before יהוה with all his might when they brought back the Ark of Elohim, after it had been at the house of Oḇĕḏ-Eḏom for three months, and so pictures for us a wonderful reflection of wearing true and pure garments of praise and service unto Elohim as we ‘carry/bear’ His presence daily!
Shemuʼěl too wore an ephoḏ, even as a youth:
Shemuʼěl Aleph/1 Samuel 2:18 “But Shemuʼěl was attending before יהוה – a youth, wearing a linen shoulder garment.”
The word in verse 18 translated as ‘wearing’ or in other translations as ‘clothed’ is חָגַר ḥagar – Strong’s H2296 and carries the meaning, ‘to gird, gird on, gird oneself, be armed, dressed, come trembling’ and can carry the essence of being ‘belted’ as in girded up and ready!
What was he ‘wearing’ or ‘girded up with and ready’?
An אֵפוֹד ephoḏ – Strong’s H646 – ‘outer garment of priest’!!!
This verse we see here, describing what Shemuʼěl was doing, is an example of pure devotion in contrast to the wickedness of the sons of Ěli, who defiled their duty as priests.
The ‘ephoḏ’ represents for us the need for us to be girded up and ready to do the good works of the Torah that has been prepared beforehand for us to do and speaks of being ready, attending to the required duty of the royal set-apart priesthood in Messiah, keeping the lamps burning as we wait for His soon return:
Luqas/Luke 12:35-36 “Let your loins be girded and your lamps burning, 36 and be like men waiting for their master, when he shall return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they open to him immediately.”
3 – A Robe:
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘robe’ comes from the root word מְעִיל meil – Strong’s H4598 which means, ‘robe, mantle, cloak, i.e., an exterior garment which covers an inner tunic; and can also be described as a ‘sleeveless coat’’.
This word in the Hebrew for ‘robe’ has a very powerful lesson for us, in terms of what we are discussing here, in that we are to be robed in true garments of righteousness and walk in them!
The Hebrew word is מְעִיל me‘il – Strong’s H4598 and means, ‘robe, mantle’.
What is interesting to take note of is that this word comes from the root word מָעַל maal – Strong’s H4603 and means, ‘to act unfaithfully or treacherously, violate, break faith’.
This is what got me digging a little deeper and then it struck me as I looked at the difference between these two words, and that is that the word for robe, which would picture for us robes of obedience, has one more letter than the word that renders one acting corruptly or being unfaithful.
And so, when we look at these words in the ancient script, we see a clear picture and message being given that we also see being portrayed in the difference between Shemuʼěl and the two sons of Ěli.
Let us look at these two words in the ancient pictographic script:
1 – מָעַל ma‘al – treacherous, wicked, unfaithful:
– the letter ‘mem’ – מְ – which in the early script is pictured as ‘water’, also carries the meaning of chaos (from the storms of the sea) and can picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown
– the letter ‘ayin’ – עַ – which in the early script is pictured as an ‘eye’, and can carry the meaning of paying attention, to take heed, keep a close eye on, as well as something that ‘covers’
– the letter ‘lamed’ – ל – which in the early script is pictured as a ‘shepherd’s staff’, can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide
2 – מְעִיל me‘il – robe
The difference as you can see is the additional letter:
– the letter ‘yad’ – י – which in the ancient script is pictured as ‘arm and hand’, and the meaning of this letter is work, make, throw – the functions of the hand and arm and well as the gestures of the hand – ‘thanksgiving’.
Now, when we understand the meaning behind these individual letters we see what makes the difference between serving faithfully and being unfaithful or corrupt in service. The difference between the two words we are looking at is the picture of a hand or arm and hand.
And so, when we look at the word for robe, we can see the clear message of how יהוה, out of the chaos of the waters, set His order in place through His instructions.
Man had sinned and was naked and exposed and יהוה saw how man needed a covering, which He sent through the work of His Outstretched Arm and Right Hand – יהושע Messiah, in order to redeem us back under His Rod of instructions, being forever robed in righteousness!
Without the true covering, our works will be exposed for their wickedness!
The covering that makes the difference between a true robe and that which is false and wicked is the Outstretched Hand of יהוה.
When you take away the hand – there is no salvation and it is just a works-based wickedness and treacherous service being delivered, that is abominable before יהוה.
The removal of the commands of Elohim and the idea of the false teachings that the Torah is no longer applicable is a removal of the Hand and Arm of יהוה.
The robe that Shemuʼěl wore each year is a picture of us having been clothed in the robes of righteousness as we walk in the Torah and we follow the Creators cycle each year, starting with every Shabbat!
Any other attempts at worship that do not follow His clear instructions, are nothing more than man-made traditions and rules that have removed the Hand of יהוה!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 61:10 “I greatly rejoice in יהוה, my being exults in my Elohim. For He has put garments of deliverance on me, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”
When Dawiḏ brought back the Ark of Elohim, we are told that not only did Dawiḏ wear a robe of fine line, but so did the Lěwites:
Diḇre haYamim Aleph/1 Chronicles 15:27 “And Dawiḏ was dressed in a robe of fine linen, as were all the Lěwites who bore the ark, the singers, and Kenanyah the leader of the service with the singers. And Dawiḏ wore a linen shoulder garment.”
Our robes of righteousness is to guard to do all His commands:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:25 “And it is righteousness for us when we guard to do all this command before יהוה our Elohim, as He has commanded us.”
Yoḥanan Aleph 2:29 “If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone doing righteousness has been born of Him.”
Yoḥanan Aleph 3:7 “Little children, let no one lead you astray. The one doing righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous.”
Yoḥanan Aleph 3:10 “In this the children of Elohim and the children of the devil are manifest: Everyone not doing righteousness is not of Elohim, neither the one not loving his brother.”
Ḥazon/Revelation 7:13-14 “And one of the elders responded, saying to me, “Who are these dressed in white robes, and where did they come from?” 14 And I said to him, “Master, you know.” And he said to me, “These are those coming out of the great distress, having washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
Ḥazon/Revelation 19:8 “And to her it was given to be dressed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteousnesses of the set-apart ones.”
4 – An Embroidered long shirt:
The Hebrew phrase that is translated as ‘an embroidered long shirt’ is written as וּכְתֹנֶת תַּשְׁבֵּץ – ‘uḵethoneth tashbets’ – which comes from two root words:
1) כְּתֹנֶת kethoneth – Strong’s H3801 which means, ‘a tunic, garment, clothing as a covering more complete than a loincloth, a basic garment reaching the knees’ and
2) תַּשְׁבֵּץ tashbets – Strong’s H8665 which means, ‘checkered work, special woven fabric, i.e., a decorative fabric special either because of the variegated pattern of the weaving, or the special threads (silver or gold?) that would be interwoven with it’.
The Hebrew word כְּתֹנֶת kethoneth is used to describe the ‘coat’ that Yisra’ĕl made for his son Yosĕph in:
Berěshith/Genesis 27:3 “And Yisra’ĕl loved Yosĕph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. And he made him a long robe.”
This kind of robe/coat was not an ordinary coat, but was seen as a royal robe, and was a robe typically worn by the king’s daughters – a robe that went to the wrists and the knees or even to the ankles.
Tamar, who was raped by Aḇshalom, tore her ‘robe’ that was defiled:
Shemuʼěl Bět/2 Samuel 13:18-19 “And she had on a long coat, for the sovereign’s maiden daughters wore such garments. And his servant put her out and bolted the door behind her. 19 And Tamar put ashes on her head, and tore her long coat that was on her, and put her hand on her head and went away crying bitterly.”
We again see this word being used in Yeshayahu, which prophesied of what יהוה would do and was a powerful shadow picture of Messiah to come – the deliverance that יהוה would raise up:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 20:20-22 “And it shall be in that day, that I shall call My servant Elyaqim son of Ḥilqiyahu. 21 ‘And I shall put your robe on him, and strengthen him with your girdle, and give your authority into his hand. And he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Yerushalayim and to the house of Yehuḏah. 22 ‘And I shall place the key of the house of Dawiḏ on his shoulder. And he shall open, and no one shuts; and shall shut, and no one opens.”
5 – A Turban:
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘turban’ is מִצְנֶפֶת mitsnepheth – Strong’s H4701 which means, ‘turban, head-wrap, headband, i.e., an ornamental headdress cap made by wrapping cloth around and around on the head’ and comes from the primitive root word – צָנַף tsanaph – Strong’s H6801 which means ‘to wrap, wind up together, roll you tightly’.
6 – A Girdle:
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘girdle’ is אַבְנֵט aḇnet – Strong’s H73 – ‘girdle/sash worn around the waist’.
The above picture gives you an idea of the garments that the high priest wore, and as we can see from these that there is a great significance in the completeness of the garments of the High Priest and the very work that יהושע, our High Priest, has done and still does as he continues to make intercession for us!
The Shoham stones on the shoulder garment –
The shoham stone is also the stone that represents Yosĕph on the breastplate, and so gives us a wonderful shadow picture of Messiah, as Yosĕph ‘carried’ or bore his brothers on his shoulders as he ruled in Mitsrayim and brought about their deliverance, and so the names of the 12 tribes on the two stones speak of how our names are written in the Rock and the Rock of our deliverance – יהושע Messiah bears us upon His shoulders as High Priest and King:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 9:6 “For a Child shall be born unto us, a Son shall be given unto us, and the rule is on His shoulder. And His Name is called Wonder, Counsellor, Strong Ěl, Father of Continuity, Prince of Peace.”
יהושע took our burdens upon His shoulders as He came to ‘fulfil’ the Torah, enabling us to walk in His Torah as we follow Him and too bear each other’s burdens:
Galatiyim/Galatians 6:2 “Bear one another’s burdens, and so complete the Torah of Messiah.”
The word used for ‘complete’, which is also often translated as ‘fulfil’, is the Greek word ἀναπληρόω anaplēroō – Strong’s G378 and means ‘to fill up, complete, fill up the measure to perfection’, and so we see that as we bear one another’s burdens we perfect the Torah.
Why this is important to note here, is that we need to understand our need to walk in the Torah as this is the same Greek word used when יהושע made it clear that He did not come to destroy the Torah or the prophets, but rather to ‘complete’, meaning that He came to fully meet its requirements and to walk in it perfectly showing us how we can too as we follow Him.
If He ‘did away’ with the keeping of the Torah as many erroneously teach today, then how would we then be able to complete that which has been done away with!!! This text in Galatiyim/Galatians is a wonderful proof text of our need to walk in the Torah as we too, like Messiah bear each other’s burdens!
The Breast plate and its stones:
Although this is just a representation of the stones on the breastplate – we must note that it was only in regards to the two shoham stones on the shoulder garment that the instruction was clear to write the names of the 12 tribes – 6 on each stone in order of birth, whereas there has been much debate for centuries as to the order on the breastplate.
While many argue that the order is also of birth, and others the order grouped by mother, and still others believe that it was grouped according to their blessings received from Ya’aqoḇ, while what we have been given in Scripture is the stones which are in each row.
Whichever way the tribes are represented on the breastplate according to the stones what we find, in all the various assumptions we see that Yosĕph always ends up being the middle stone in the 4th row which is the shoham stone, and as stated above is significant in the shadow picture that Yosĕph is of Messiah having the rule on His shoulders. The above picture has the tribes set out in order according to their birth, which I believe would be in line with the similar pattern instructed on the two shoham stones upon the shoulder garment. So while there is much debate over the breastplate stones and the relevant tribes, what we do know is that the stones represent the full house of Yisra’ĕl.
Taking the above order regarding each stone we would see it represented as follows:
רְאוּבֵן Re’uḇĕn – Ruby = אֹדֶם oḏem – Strong’s H124
שִׁמְעוֹן Shim’on – Topaz = פִּטְדָה pitḏah – Strong’s H6357
לֵוִי Lewi – emerald = בָּרֶקֶת bareqeth – Strong’s H1304
יְהוּדָה Yehuḏah – Turquoise = נֹפֶךְ nophek – Strong’s H5306
דָּן Dan – Sapphire = סַפִּיר sappiyr – Strong’s H5601
נַפְתָּלִי Naphtali – Diamond = יַהֲלֹם yahalom – Strong’s H3095
גָּד Gaḏ – Jacinth = לֶשֶׁם leshem – Strong’s H3958
אָשֵׁר Asher – Agate = שְׁבוֹ shebo – Strong’s H7618
יִשָּׂשכָר Yissasḵar – Amethyst = אַחְלָמָה achlamah – Strong’s H306
זְבֻלוּן Zeḇulun – Beryl = תַּרְשִׁישׁ tarshish – Strong’s H8658
יוֹסֵף Yosĕph – Shoham = שֹׁהַם shoham – Strong’s H7718
בִּנְיָמִין Binyamin – Jasper = יָֽשְׁפֶה yashepheh – Strong’s H3471
The breastplate was bound by means of its gold rings to the gold rings of the shoulder garment using a blue cord so that it does not come loose – this is a very powerful picture for us as it clearly pictures for us that we are bound together by the Torah, as the blue reminds us of His Torah!!!
With Aharon bearing the names of Yisra’ĕl whenever he would go into the Set-Apart Place as a remembrance forever, is a shadow picture for us of how יהושע, our High Priest, bears us continually in the Most Set-Apart Place always being remembered by Him!
Urim and Tummim
1) אוּרִים Urim – Strong’s H224 means ‘lights, illuminations’, which is the plural of אוּר ur – Strong’s H217 which actually means, ‘a flame, fire, fires, light’ or ‘light of fire’.
2) תֻּמִּים Tummim – plural of tom – Strong’s H8537, and carries the meaning of ‘perfections’, from which we get the word תָּמִים tamiym – Strong’s H8549 meaning, ‘complete, whole, sound, perfect, without blemish, blameless’.
While there is no evidence to clearly tell us what the Urim and Tummim consisted of, be it stones or any other substance, what we can see is that the High Priest would use these in order to get right-ruling and so speaks of seeking the perfect truth from יהוה.
What is very interesting and worthy of noting is that the first letter of ‘Urim’ is the א ‘aleph’ and the first letter of Tummim is the ת ‘taw’:
Ḥazon/Revelation 1:8 “I am the ‘Aleph’ and the ‘Taw’, beginning and end,” says יהוה “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 44:6 “Thus said יהוה, Sovereign of Yisra’ĕl, and his Redeemer, יהוה of hosts, ‘I am the First and I am the Last, besides Me there is no Elohim.”
So, what are the urim and tummim? They are the things that illuminate and perfect!
We know that יהושע is the Light and He was the Perfect Lamb, and so this represents for us our need to hunger and thirst for righteousness and be perfect before Elohim, for He is perfect and we are called to be the salt and light, which we can only be when we seek out His Right-Ruling and walk according to that which is to be upon our heart – His Torah (notice the positioning of the Urim and Tummim in the breastplate – by the heart!!!)
He writes His Torah on our hearts and so, it is in our hearts and in mouths, that we may do it!
The Pomegranates and Bells:
On the hem of the robe of the shoulder garment was gold bells and pomegranates of blue, purple and scarlet – a significant picture indeed. Although there has been the thought that a pomegranate has exactly 613 seeds, this has not been proven to be the case, certainly not in our day as they range from 200 to 1400.
What is interesting about the pomegranate is the fact that there are many seeds inside and represents the Word that is sown by the Farmer with the expectation of a return – the bells can be symbolic of the trumpet of His Coming – where the questions remains as to what will He find?
Will He find faith? And Active faith that has taken that which has been sown and multiplied?
The bells would sound on the hem of Aharon’s robe so that he does not die when he comes before יהוה, and so we see the very symbol of how יהושע, our High Priest never slumbers nor sleeps but is continually making intercession for us in the Set-Apart place. It also speaks of how we too, in Messiah, are not to ‘fall asleep’ in our need to be sowing the Good Seed of His Besorah (Good News) and be a praising people, offering up thanksgiving in everything!
The gold plate on the turban
A gold plate was to be engraved with the words ‘Set-Apartness to יהוה’ and it was attached to the turban by a blue cord (signifying the heavenly connection and a reminder of His commands) and placed on the forehead.
This engraving reminds us that we are to life Set-Apart lives and be diligent in having self-discipline when it comes to our minds as we to think only pure and set-apart thoughts before יהוה continually.
As we are ambassadors of יהושע, our thoughts should always reflect His thoughts and our speech always mirror His speech.
Pilipiyim/Philippians 4:8-9 “For the rest, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is righteous, whatever is clean, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good report, if there is any uprightness and if there is any praise – think on these. 9 And what you have learned and received and heard and saw in me, practise these, and the Elohim of peace shall be with you.”
The other significant picture we see, as we remain clothed in Messiah, is that the sign on the frontlet between our eyes is the Pěsaḥ and Matzot and we know that the Sabbath is also a sign between us and יהוה forever.
It is when we remain obedient to following His commands and keeping his Set-Apart Times that we are able to consistently guard our minds and wear the ‘helmet of salvation’, able to continually renew our minds and not be conformed to the pattern of the world but be transformed and think as He thinks!
The Robe, the turban and the sash were all made of fine linen, which also represents the righteousnesses of the set-apart ones and reflects our wedding garments that are to be kept pure.
With the oil, and all the relevant garments in place, Aharon and his sons could be set-apart, which we see in Chapter 29 and this carries for us the picture of how we too are ‘set-apart’ through our ‘immersion’ and are clothed in Messiah, for which we now have the responsibility to keep our garments clean through walking in righteousness!
As one looks at all the garments of the High Priest, we see a truly magnificent array of splendour and brilliance, as the High Priest is adorned with such beauty and excellence in all the work of skilled workmen.
This reflects how יהוה has indeed makes His Bride beautiful – for we the Body are dressed in His splendour as we walk in Messiah!
The term ‘set-apartness’, in Hebrew, comes from the root word קֹדֶשqoḏesh – Strong’s H6944 – and this means ‘apartness/ consecrated/ dedicated/ that which is dedicated and separated unto יהוה’.
The word is self-explanatory and carries with it great weight, in its identification of truly setting something or someone apart from another, with a clear distinction of being marked as separate and apart from the rest.
Set-apartness in the Greek is ἁγιασμός hagiasmos – Strong’s G38 – ‘consecration, sanctifying’, and the noun is the word ἅγιος hagios – Strong’s G40. To ‘consecrate’ means ‘to make or declare to be set-apart and be devoted to a purpose with the deepest irrevocable dedication’.
As we consider the engraving of ‘set-apartness to יהוה’ being place on the plate of clean gold that would be upon the turban, we are to recognise that as we stay in Messiah, we are to live set-apart lives unto יהוה, perfecting and pursuing set-apartness, so that we may see Him!
To be set-apart, means to be devoted and dedicated to serving Elohim and to do so involves the need to be separated from the profane or common, lest the mixing of the two hinders the ability to distinguish between the set-apart and the profane!
The desire of Elohim is our set-apartness:
Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 “For this is the desire of Elohim: your set-apartness! – that you should abstain from whoring, 4 that each one of you should know how to possess his own vessel in set-apartness and respect, 5 not in passion of lust, like the gentiles who do not know Elohim, 6 not to overstep and take advantage of his brother in this matter, because the Master is the revenger of all such, as we indeed said to you before and earnestly warned. 7 For Elohim did not call us to uncleanness, but in set-apartness.”
How are you doing in possessing your own vessel, which is your body, in set-apartness?
Have you truly separated yourself from the profane and common things or do you find the lines between the set-apart and profane being blurred by compromise and laziness!
We are told to pursue apartness in:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:14 “Pursue peace with all, and pursue apartness without which no one shall see the Master.”
Why I am mentioning this verse is to highlight this vital fact – that without a proper pursuit of apartness we will not see the Master, and this day of Yom Kippur is the day which brings in our ability to see the Master, as He will come out of His Most Set-Apart Place and fetch His Bride that has made Herself ready and pursued apartness, while destroying those who have not!
Due to the ‘perfect’ and ‘complete’ work of our Messiah and King (which this day reflects for us), we are able to be perfect and set-apart before Elohim, for that is what we are called to – to set-apartness, and having been grafted into the Covenants of Promise by the Blood of Messiah that cleanses and washes us, we are now called to be a called-out people who are ‘perfecting’ set-apartness in the fear of Elohim!
How then are we to ‘perfect’ our set-apartness in the fear of Elohim?
By walking in THE PERFECT TORAH!!!
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 7:1 “Having, then, these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of the flesh and spirit, perfecting set-apartness in the fear of Elohim.”
The main point I am putting across here is that when one does not observe the command to have a set-apart gathering then the pursuit of apartness becomes null and void!
All of יהוה’s Sabbaths are commanded set-apart gatherings:
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:2-4 “Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, and say to them, ‘The appointed times of יהוה, which you are to proclaim as set-apart gatherings, My appointed times, are these: 3 ‘Six days work is done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a set-apart gathering. You do no work, it is a Sabbath to יהוה in all your dwellings. 4 ‘These are the appointed times of יהוה, set-apart gatherings which you are to proclaim at their appointed times.”
At this point I want us to take a look at this Hebrew word for set-apartness as it was written in the ancient pictographic script. The Hebrew word קֹדֶשׁ qoḏesh – Strong’s H6944 which means ‘apartness/ consecrated/ dedicated/ that which is dedicated and separated unto יהוה’, is rendered as follows in the ancient pictographic letter/symbols:
Quph – קֹ:
This is the letter ‘quph’, which is pictured as , and is a ‘horizon’ and depicts the elements of ‘time’, as it pictures the sun in its rising and setting. It therefore carries the meaning of ‘circle’ or ‘to go around’, representing for us both, appointed cycles or times as well as eternity and speaks of continual adherence to the Appointed Times.
Dalet – דֶ:
This is the letter ‘dalet’ which is pictured as , which is a ‘tent door’. It can also have the meaning of a back and forth movement, as one goes back and forth through a tent door and so speaks of an access point. It can also carry the meaning of ‘dangle’ or hanging as the tent door would hang from the roof pole of the tent. It speaks a great deal in terms of understanding the door of the tent of appointment as the only means of access. And we also know that Messiah is ‘The Door’, for we only can have access into the Kingdom through Him! The commands are also to be written on the doorposts teaching us to remember to guard the commands of Elohim as we go out and come in, so that our going out and coming is in peace!
Shin – שׁ:
This is the letter ‘shin’ which in the ancient script is pictured as, , which is ‘two front teeth’ and carries the meaning of ‘sharp or press, chew or devour’; which is what the teeth do and speaks of the sharpened word that comes forth from the mouth as the teeth ‘chew’ or ‘meditate’ on the Truth, making what comes forth pure and sharp! It also carries the understanding of consuming or destroying – as teeth do to food.
Looking at the rendering of this Hebrew word קֹדֶשׁ qoḏesh – Strong’s H6944 in the pictographic form that renders set-apartness or to be set-apart we, can see what this clearly implies as we take note that this word can render for us the following meaning:
CONTINUALLY COMING TO THE DOOR OF APPOINTMENT TO MEDITATE ON THE WORD!
Our ability to be properly set-apart involves our ability to properly meditate on the Word on a daily basis as well as making sure that we do not neglect the set-apart Appointed Times that are clearly commanded as ‘set-apart gatherings’, which are ALL the Appointed Times of יהוה, as outlined and instructed in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23, which includes the weekly Sabbath.
Turbans were to be made for Aharon and his sons, for esteem and comeliness!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘esteem’ comes from the root word כָּבוֹד kaḇoḏ – Strong’s H3519 which means, ‘honour, esteem, reverence, splendid’, which comes from the root verb כָּבֵד kaḇeḏ – Strong’s H3513 which means, ‘to be heavy, weighty or burdensome, to give high esteem and respect and honour’, and is often translated as ‘praise’ that is to be given to יהוה. They were to bring the proper esteem to יהוה as they served as a set-apart priesthood!
We also take note of the clear respect and esteem that we are to give our Father who is in the Heavens!
Mal’aḵi/Malachi 1:6 “A son esteems his father, and a servant his master. And if I am the Father, where is My esteem? And if I am a Master, where is My fear? said יהוה of hosts to you priests who despise My Name. But you asked, ‘In what way have we despised Your Name?’”
יהוה is making a clear statement that the hearers would be able to identify with and not be able to deny its truth and then asks: “And if I am the Father, where is My esteem? And if I am a Master, where is My fear?”
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘esteems’ is the root verb כָּבֵד kaḇeḏ – Strong’s H3513 and the noun that is translated as ‘esteem’ is כָּבוֹד kaḇoḏ – Strong’s H3519.
The verb כָּבֵד kaḇeḏ – Strong’s H3513 is often translated as ‘praise’ that is to be given to יהוה and this word is used in the 10 Words (Commandments) where we are told to ‘respect’ our parents; and so what is, in effect, being told to us here is that we must carefully consider and ‘give weight to’ the Word of Elohim and guard the Truth in order that we may live long in the land which יהוה is giving us, and not be kept out or expelled as our forefathers were for disobedience and a lack of faith!
A son treats his father with much respect and considers him to be very important. The opposite of this is to treat ‘lightly’ and give no honour to the instructions and discipline of a father. This question that יהוה was asking of Yehuḏah was clear- “If I am the Father then where is My esteem?”
This is a question of identity!
The Hebrew word translated as ‘if’ is אִם im – Strong’s H518 which is a conditional participle or primary conjunction which renders, ‘if, though, either, neither, when, whenever’.
The basic meaning is “if” and this meaning can be seen in most of its occurrences and is usually occurs in conditional clauses, which we are able to see very clearly here! If He is the Father… where then is His esteem?
Many people want to be identified as being children of The Most-High, yet they give no weight to His commands and cast aside the need to obey His Torah and instructions and in the process are unable to properly praise His Name!
Lots of people today will even recite the words that our Master and Elohim taught as a pattern of how we ought to pray yet their lawlessness and compromised lifestyles reveal that they are not sons or daughters of Elohim. Many will recite the following: Our Father who is in the heavens, let Your Name be set-apart – yet are not bringing esteem to His Name as they do not take Him serious enough and have no clue what His word teaches about set-apartness!
Yisra’ĕl had no clue about how they were despising the Name of יהוה which is to be esteemed!
They did not see their compromised and corrupt worship and festivals as wrong, simply because the priesthood had been corrupted and no proper Torah was being taught.
Blemished offerings were being brought and they even called the Table of יהוה despicable!
When we consider this Hebrew word for ‘esteem’ – כָּבוֹד kaḇoḏ – Strong’s H3519 in the ancient script we gain further insight in the revelation of the esteem of יהוה.
In the ancient pictographic script, the word כָּבוֹד kaḇoḏ looks like this:
Kaph – כָּ:
The ancient form of this letter is – meaning ‘the open palm of a hand’. The meaning behind this letter is ‘to bend and curve’ from the shape of a palm as well as ‘to tame or subdue’ as one has been bent to another’s will (under their hand), as an open hand symbolises submission. This also can picture for us a palm or palm branch from the curved palm shape. The hand also speaks of one’s work, or under whose hand you submit and obey, and can also speak of a covering, as in the covering of a hand.
Beyt – ב:
The ancient script has this letter as , which pictures a tent floor plan and means, ‘house’ or ‘tent’. It represents family and the importance of those who are inside the tent as opposed to the tent structure itself, and is the Dwelling Place of the Most-High, which we are, as we are as living stones being built up in Messiah.
Waw – וֹ:
The ancient pictographic form of this letter is , which is a peg or ‘tent peg’ or nail, which was used for securing or tying the tent or other items. The possibility of it having a Y-shape is to show that it prevents the rope from slipping off. The root meaning of this letter is ‘to add, secure or hook’.
Dalet – ד:
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as a ‘tent door’. It can also have the meaning of ‘a back and forth movement’, as one goes back and forth through a tent door, and so speaks of an access point. It can also carry the meaning of ‘dangle’ or hanging as the tent door would hang from the roof pole of the tent. It speaks a great deal in terms of understanding the door of the tent of appointment as the only means of access.
When we look at these pictographic letters for ‘esteem’ we are able to see some wonderful insight into the esteem of יהוה being revealed to us.
The collective rendering of these pictographic letters can give us the meaning:
THE COVERING OF THE HOUSE THAT HAS BEEN SECURED AND ENTRANCE GIVEN!
We also take note that we are able to recognise, that the esteem we are to give to Elohim, and Elohim alone, is because He is the builder of the House! By His Hand He has built us and by His Mighty Saving Hand He has secured for us an entrance into His presence, as we are built up in Him who is greater than the House!
For the builder of the House is greater that the House! We are the dwelling Place and He is the Master Builder who covers us as we take our stand upon Him, our Rock and Refuge!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘comeliness’ in verse 41 comes from the root word תִּפְאֶרֶת tiphereth – Strong’s H8597 which means, ‘beauty, adornment, splendour’, which is used to describe what the garments of Aharon and his sons were to be made for!
Their garments were to be seen as a reflection of the character of Elohim by which He is described, and to which we are to ascribe the splendour of His Name, which is to be upon us as set-apart children of the Most-High.
This word תִּפְאֶרֶת tiphereth – Strong’s H8597 comes from the primitive root verb פָּאַר pa’ar – Strong’s H6286 which has the meaning, ‘to beautify, adorn, become boastful’, and we see this being used in:
Tehillah/Psalm 149:4 “For יהוה takes pleasure in His people; He embellishes the meek ones with deliverance.”
In a prayer of thanksgiving, after all had voluntarily contributed to the building materials for the temple, we see the root word תִּפְאֶרֶת tiphereth – Strong’s H8597 being used with Dawiḏ saying that the comeliness belongs to יהוה and praise is given to the comely Name of יהוה:
Diḇre HaYamim Aleph/1 Chronicles 29:10-13 “And Dawiḏ blessed יהוה before all the assembly. And Dawiḏ said, “Blessed are You, יהוה Elohim of Yisra’ĕl, our Father, forever and ever. 11 “Yours, O יהוה, is the greatness, the power and the comeliness, the pre-eminence and the excellency, because of all that is in the heavens and in the earth. Yours is the reign, O יהוה, and You are exalted as head above all. 12 “And the riches and the esteem come from Your presence, and You rule over all. And in Your hand is power and might, and in Your hand to make great and to give strength to all. 13 “And now, our Elohim, we thank You and praise Your comely Name.”
The reason for me highlighting the two root words, esteem and comeliness, is to simply express the urgency we are to have in bringing the proper esteem to the comely Name of יהוה, especially as we acknowledge and recognise that we are, in Messiah our Head, a royal and set-apart priesthood that is dressed in His garments of righteousness, for esteem and comeliness!!!
Verse 41: Anoint, Ordain, Set-Apart and Serve!
Once Aharon and his sons were dressed, they were to be anointed, ordained, and set-apart in order to serve as a fully functioning priesthood before Elohim. As we consider these terms used here, we are able to recognise how we are cleansed, clothed, anointed and set-apart to serve Elohim, when we are immersed in the Name of יהושע Messiah!
Let us take a closer look at these terms used here in verse 41.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘anoint’ comes from the primitive root word מָשַׁח mashaḥ – Strong’s H4886 which means, ‘smear, anoint, spread a liquid, consecrate, to be anointed’.
The sons of Aharon were anointed with oil for service in the Tabernacle and were given set-apart garments that were also anointed, to wear in order to do their duty as a priesthood.
The oil for anointing, as we have come to recognise through our understanding of the Tabernacle and all its furnishings, represents and is symbolic of the presence and anointing of His Spirit.
Anointing was required, before any priest was able to serve before יהוה, as the Tent of Appointment, The Ark of The Witness, The Table and all the utensils, The Lampstand and its utensils, The Slaughter Place of Incense, The Slaughter Place of ascending offering, the Bronze Basin and its stand, as well as Aharon and his sons, were all to be anointed with the set-apart anointing oil!
For a more in-depth look at the ‘anointing oil’ that was used and what it teaches us today, please see the Torah portion notes from Shemoth/Exodus 30:11-34:35, as well as Wayyiqra/Leviticus 6:8-8:36.
His sons were anointed to serve, having had their right ear, thumb and big toe anointed by oil, after having had the blood of the second ram being applied to their right ear, thumb and toe.
This is a wonderful picture of our being set-apart and anointed: we first accept and receive cleansing from sin by the Blood of Messiah that is applied to the doorposts of our hearts and we choose to become His bondservant forever having our ears ‘pierced’ to hear all His commands and guard to walk in them and do them always; and through the immersion/baptism in the Name of יהושע we are then ‘filled’ with the Spirit of Elohim having His work sealed in our lives, as we recognise the need to walk according to all He commands. His ‘Blood’ and His ‘Oil’ is applied to us in order to anoint us and set us apart for a set-apart walk and service unto Him and Him alone!
Then the sons of Aharon were also ‘ordained’. The Hebrew phrase that is translated as ‘and shall ordain them’ is written as follows: וּמִלֵּאתָ֧ אֶת־יָדָ֛ם – umilleta eth-yaḏam and comes from the root words:
1) מָלֵא male’(maw-lay) – Strong’s H4390 and carries the meaning, ‘to be full, to fill, complete, covered, dedicate, fulfil, ordain’
2) אֵת eth – Strong’s H853 which is a word that is seen as an ‘untranslated participle’ and is used as a direct object marker for which we have no equivalent in English.
Therefore, this is used as a sign of the definite direct object, not translated in English but generally preceding and indicating the accusative, which is the grammatical case that marks the direct object of a verb or the object of any or several prepositions.
3) יָד yaḏ – Strong’s H3027 and is a primitive root which is translated as, ‘hand, command, authority, power, tenon, side’, and the primary meaning of this noun is “the terminal part of the arm used to perform functions of man’s will.”
This term is employed literally of man’s hand which does normal work functions, good or bad; and what we see here in this account is the hands being employed to do what is required in the service of the set-apart priesthood before יהוה.
When combining these words into understanding the concept of what it means to be ordained is simply this: “to fill the hands”; and so, when the priests hands are filled with that which is required of them – then there is no place for their hands to be engaged in any other matter that is not of Elohim!
What is also worthy of noting is that their hands were filled, and when understanding the concept of the hands representing that which we do or that which we work, we see here that יהושע having ‘filled our hands’ must make us see that we are not to come up with our own innovative ideas on how to serve and worship, but rather we must follow that with which He has filled our hands with – and that is His Torah. When we put our hand to the plough in service to our King as a set-apart priesthood then we must not look back, else we will be found to be unfit for the kingdom!
Luqas/Luke 9:62 “But יהושע said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the reign of Elohim.”
We have already discussed the term ‘set-apartness’ and the Hebrew word that is translated as ‘set-apart’ is the primitive root verb the root קָדַשׁ qaḏash – Strong’s H6942 which means, ‘set-apart, consecrated, dedicated’ – and that is what we have been called to be!!!
Having been anointed, ordained and set-apart, by the perfect work of our Master and Elohim, we are equipped to serve!
The Hebrew phrase that is translated as ‘and they shall serve as priests’ is written as follows: וְכִהֲנ֥וּ – veḵihanu which comes from the primitive root verb כָּהַן kahan – Strong’s H3547 which means, ‘to act as a priest, minister as a priest, serve as a priest’.
The Greek root word that is used here in the LXX (Septuagint) is ἱερατεύω hierateuō – Strong’s G2407 which means, ‘to serve as a priest, perform priestly service’ and comes from the root word ἱερεύς hiereus – Strong’s G2409 which is a noun that means, ‘priest, priests’ and the reason for me highlighting these words is to show that we who are in Messiah and are part of the blessed first resurrection, shall as priests in His Millennial Reign:
Ḥazon/Revelation 20:6 “Blessed and set-apart is the one having part in the first resurrection. The second death possesses no authority over these, but they shall be priests of Elohim and of Messiah, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”
As we consider these four root words for anoint, ordain, set-apart and serve, we must be reminded how we are a royal priesthood that has been equipped to serve our Master and therefore we should do so with much joy and perfect our service in order to ensure that we do not compromise our position on the Master!
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a people for a possession, that you should proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light”
Ordination of the priests
Now that the instructions for the oil and garments were given, יהוה sets out the clear instructions that Mosheh was to fulfil in setting apart the priests for daily service unto יהוה.
This was a task for Mosheh – which is a picture of that which the Torah does, in bringing us to the point of being a set-apart priesthood in Messiah, the Living Torah, to serve Elohim daily. Mosheh in a sense would be the mediator between the priests and יהוה, a great and wonderful shadow picture of Messiah who is our mediator:
Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 2:5 “For there is one Elohim, and one Mediator between Elohim and men, the Man Messiah יהושע.”
As we walk in Messiah, as a chosen people and royal priesthood, we have the Torah that teaches us how we are to live and serve as a set-apart priesthood, having been set-apart through the sacrifice of Messiah.
Already, in verse 1, we see the pointing to Messiah in the shadow picture of Mosheh as mediator and by the animals that were to be used for the ordination. One young bull and two rams – perfect ones!!!
The Hebrew root word that is used here for ‘perfect’ is תָּמִים tamiym – Strong’s H8549, which means, ‘perfect, without blemish, complete, sound, and blameless, without defect’.
Now, when we see the requirements for these animals to be ‘tamiym’, for this ordination of the priesthood and slaughter-place, we see just how יהושע, our High Priest met the requirements in being a blameless, prefect, complete sacrifice without defect:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 7:26 “For it was fitting that we should have such a High Priest – kind, innocent, undefiled, having been separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens,”
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 1:19 “but with the precious blood of Messiah, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless”
In verse 2 with regards to the requirements of the bread, cakes and wafers being unleavened – we once again see the shadow picture of that which points to Messiah and is a reminder to us of the Pěsaḥ/Passover Lamb – that which יהושע fulfilled in being a spotless Lamb without sin (leaven):
Kěpha Aleph/ 1 Peter 2:21-22 “For to this you were called, because Messiah also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps, 22 “who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth,”
Three types of bread are mentioned – all of course being unleavened:
1 – לֶחֶם leḥem – Strong’s H3899, meaning ‘bread, meal, provision, food’. We also know that bread in Scripture is a picture of a torah obedient community:
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 10:17 “Because there is one bread, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.”
2 – חַלָּה ḥallah – Strong’s H2471 and is translated as ‘cake’ and comes from the word חָלַל ḥalal – Strong’s H2490 which means, “to bore, pierce, wound, kill” and this is a picture of how Messiah, the sinless perfect Lamb was pierced for our transgressions:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 53:5 “But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our crookednesses. The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”
3 – רָקִיק raqiq – Strong’s H7550 meaning ‘thin cake or wafer’ and comes from the root word רָקַק raqaq – Strong’s H7556 which means to ‘spit’.
Marqos/Mark 16:45 “And some began to spit on Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him, and to say to Him, “Prophesy!” And the officers struck Him with the palms of their hands.”
יהושע is the Bread of Life and He is our head and we are made one in Him as we partake of the one Bread – His Body as we eat the Pěsaḥ Meal, for which יהושע said that unless we eat of Him we possess no life in ourselves, for without the Bread of Life we have no life!
He was beaten and pierced for our sins and was spat upon and trampled upon and crushed under the weight of our sins, and so each type of bread pictures the fullness of His body that was offered for us.
Another picture we can see, when understanding community, is that in Messiah we are all to get rid of the leaven and live set-apart lives, as we eat of His unleavened/ unadulterated Torah and each of these types of bread can represent the community as a whole representing collectively the ‘ordinary’, the ‘pierced’ – those who give greatly of themselves and also of the one who ‘spits’ – those who will always tend to find the fault in every solution.
And it is the job of the ‘priests’ to ensure that the community does not get infected with sin at any level as all come together in Messiah and are without leaven, having been cleansed of leading mediocre and critical lives to serving as set-apart servants of the Most-High Elohim!
No matter our background – the way to approach יהוה has never changed and it was the duty of the High priest and the priesthood to be ordained for service that they may mediate between the people and יהוה, and we have such a High Priest who has been set-apart, anointed and ordained as both High Priest and King that we may come boldly to the Throne of favour, and through His offering of Blood and the anointing of His Spirit we have access to the Most High that we may offer our bodies as daily living sacrifices unto יהוה.
In verse 4 we see that Mosheh was to bring Aharon and his sons to the door of the Tent of Appointment and wash them with water. Another wonderful picture of how we all have an ‘appointment’ at the Door – which is יהושע who tells us that He is the Door – and we get washed in Him through His Blood and the washing of the Word that cleanses us from the stain of sin so that we may put on righteousness as a cloak and begin to serve with joy!
Messiah, as a faithful Husband, has given Himself up for us in order to set us apart and wash us:
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:25-26 “Husbands, love your wives, as Messiah also did love the assembly and gave Himself for it, 26 in order to set it apart and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word”
And so now we can draw near having our conscience cleared:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10:22 “let us draw near with a true heart in completeness of belief, having our hearts sprinkled from a wicked conscience and our bodies washed with clean water.”
Ḥazon/Revelation 1:5-6 “and from יהושע Messiah, the trustworthy witness, the first-born from the dead, and the ruler of the sovereigns of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, 6 and has made us sovereigns and priests to His Elohim and Father, to Him be esteem and rule forever and ever. Aměn.”
Anointed with oil:
In verse 7 we see the instruction to anoint Aharon once he had been washed and clothed. Kings and priests were anointed with oil and both picture יהושע Messiah, which means ‘anointed one’.
We see this as a shadow picture of when יהושע was immersed by Yoḥanan and then clothed from on high and being ‘anointed’ by the Spirit of Elohim descending upon Him like a dove, so Aharon could not be anointed until he was washed and fully clothed!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 3:15-17 “But יהושע answering, said to him, “Permit it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fill all righteousness.” Then he permitted Him. 16 And having been immersed, יהושע went up immediately from the water, and see, the heavens were opened, and He saw the Spirit of Elohim descending like a dove and coming upon Him, 17 and see, a voice out of the heavens, saying, “This is My Son, the Beloved, in whom I did delight.”
Verse 10 – 14
Aharon and his sons were to ‘lay their hands’ on the head of the bull – this was not just a simple touching of the bull but rather a placing/transferring of their full weight upon the bull’s head showing their identification with the animal as it was being killed for them! So here this is a time of giving up all else and placing full trust in יהוה by offering up the whole bull as a whole burnt offering.
They would slay the bull at the door of the Tent of Appointment and is another picture of יהושע (the Door) becoming the ‘bull offering’ just as His Blood was placed on the doorposts at Pěsaḥ.
They would then put blood on the 4 horns of the slaughter-place showing that atonement would be made for all 4 camps of Yisra’ĕl, that no matter where they would be dispersed over the 4 corners of the earth – the Blood of Messiah, as the Bull offering, would atone for all Yisra’ĕl!
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 9:13-14 “For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the defiled, sets apart for the cleansing of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of the Messiah, who through the everlasting Spirit offered Himself unblemished to Elohim, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living Elohim?”
Pouring the blood beside the base, is a picture of the Blood of Messiah being spilled on the ground.
Aharon and his sons, recognising that life is in the blood, would understand the connection being made between their lives and the place where they would serve.
Their lives were now given over to the service of the Tabernacle unto יהוה.
All the inward parts would be burnt up on the slaughter place as a whole burnt offering, while the flesh, skin and ding would be burnt outside the camp.
Our Master יהושע Messiah was taken outside of the city and executed; and so, we see here the distinguishing between the internal and the external – it is what is on the inside that יהוה is concerned with, and so as the flesh is taken outside and burnt so too must we put to death the misdeeds of the flesh and come before יהוה with pure hearts as we walk according to the Spirit and the Torah is Spiritual!
יהושע took our sin upon Himself as we too have placed our hands on His head and caused Him to become sin for us and therefore he took that outside the camp and defeated the punishment for sin that we may be able to offer our lives daily as a pleasing aroma before our King!
After the bull offering they would take the first of the two rams also lay their hands of the head and slay the ram and sprinkle some of its blood all around the slaughter place and the ram would be cut up into pieces, washed and the entrails were to be placed on the pieces and on its head. In other words, the picture we see here is the inward parts and legs were placed upon the other pieces and the head.
This is a picture of יהושע receiving the ‘crown of thorns’ and also how His inward organs were exposed after being whipped:
Tehillah/Psalm 22:14-17 “I have been poured out like water, and all My bones have been spread apart; My heart has become like wax; It has melted in the midst of My inward parts. 15 My strength is dried like a potsherd, And My tongue is cleaving to My jaws; And to the dust of death You are appointing Me. 16 For dogs have surrounded Me; A crowd of evil ones have encircled Me, Piercing My hands and My feet; 17 I count all My bones. They look, they stare at Me.”
This was offered up as a whole burnt offering – יהושע offered Himself up for us in order to make us a royal priesthood set-apart unto Him and we too are to give our whole life unto Him every day.
The second ram would be used in setting apart Aharon and his sons with their garments.
The slaughter place had been cleansed, and a pleasing offering was received by יהוה, now the priests could be cleansed from head to toe (literally).
Blood from the second ram was to be put on Aharon and his son’s tip of the right ear, on the thumb of their right hand and on the big toe of their right foot. This speaks a clear message to us today as we are to be set-apart as a priesthood serving יהוה with our all.
The Right ear speaks about our obedience to ‘hear’ His Word and guard it and the right thumb speaks of the work of His Word – doing that which we have been called to and doing the good works that He has prepared in advance – that is to walk in His Torah and Keep His Appointed Times and Sabbaths, setting them apart by doing no servile work on His days, and on the right toe of the right foot speaks of our walk – our daily walking in righteousness and not being found to have been led astray but stay on the narrow path of life and not following after the world and its lusts and vain traditions but walking as Messiah walked!
The Hebrew word used here for ‘ear’ is the word אֹזֶן ozen – Strong’s H241 which means, ‘an ear, hear, attentive, closely, recite, reveal’ and comes from the root verb אָזַן azan – Strong’s H238 which means, ‘to give, ear, listen, pay attention, perceived by ear’, and while this also carries the meaning to listen and listen attentively, it literally means to ‘cup the ear’ – in other words give your complete attention and be obedient to take it all in.
By the Blood of the second ram being applied to the ‘right ear’ we see the clear implication of how one’s ‘hearing’ is to be ‘set-apart’ in being continually a hearing people of the Word.
At Sukkoth the Torah was to be read in the hearing of all the assembly. In other words the Torah was not just to be read as a mere duty to get through, but it was to be heard attentively by all – each one had the responsibility to ‘cup the ear’ so to speak and focus on hearing the Torah – for ultimately with this hearing of the Torah every 7 years at Sukkot would clearly speak of the coming Messiah King who would bring about a complete deliverance; and so our hearing of the Torah must echo this same expectation as we listen carefully to what is written in order to be faithful in guarding what has been commanded.
The hearing of the Torah was for all – and with the first coming of Messiah, who proclaimed release, we recognise that we must not only hear the whole Torah every 7 years but hear it continuously as we each have in our hands that which they did not have back then. Meditating on the Torah day and night is critical to living the true life of freedom – hence Sha’ul calling it the Torah of Freedom – for Messiah has proclaimed release and we can hear that sound very clearly in the hearing of the Torah, the Prophets and the Writings! While not mandated by Scripture I firmly believe that each believer is more than able and capable of reading the entire Scriptures each year, I simply wonder how many actually do!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘hand’ is – יָד yaḏ – Strong’s H3027 and is a primitive root which is translated as, ‘hand, command, authority, power, tenon, side’, and the primary meaning of this noun is “the terminal part of the arm used to perform functions of man’s will.”
We understand, in the Hebraic mind-set, that one’s hand symbolises what one does or one’s ‘works’ and so to extend the hand to יהוה can carry with it a dual purpose of firstly a confession of the wrong works that have been done in disobedience to His commands and at the same time also can render a thanksgiving for us being His workmanship, created in Messiah יהושע unto good works, in restoring to us the ability to walk in and do the good works that were prepared beforehand for us to do!
This speaks of an acknowledgement and a total surrender of self in complete submission to guard to do the clear instructions of Elohim as we are guided by His Mighty Right Hand – יהושע, and so in everything we can give thanks as we ‘do’ it in Messiah:
Qolasim/Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the Name of the Master יהושע, giving thanks to Elohim the Father through Him.”
In all that we do – we do according to His Word and give Him thanks as we confess and surrender our own ways to submit to His!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘foot’ as in ‘right foot’ is רֶגֶל ‘regel’ Strong’s H7272 – means ‘a foot/feet or to walk’, and in Scripture this often speaks of one’s obedience to walking according to the commands of יהוה and obeying His call to keep His feasts as commanded; as this same word is used in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23 and translated as ‘times’ in reference to the 3 times a year all males were to appear before Elohim at Yerushalayim which would collectively cover all 7 Feasts/Appointed Times of Elohim, marking out the clear need to walk according to His word and guard the Appointed Times or Feasts of יהוה!
The Word teaches us how to walk and guides us in paths of righteousness and helps us in recognising the need to guard and keep His Feasts, as opposed to man-made feasts that are rooted in pagan worship practices!
With the right foot having the blood of the second ram being applied to it we recognise the clear instruction to walk in Messiah and walk as He walked:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:6 “The one who says he stays in Him ought himself also to walk, even as He walked.”
In understanding that ‘life is in the blood’, we can see how this ordination of the priesthood shadow pictures our ‘ordination’ in Messiah, who by His sinless Blood cleanses our lives causing us to be a ‘hearing, guarding and doing’ people, as a set-apart and royal priesthood!
Their garments were sprinkled with blood and would be symbolic for us that we are to constantly be covered by The Blood of Messiah and not taint our garments of righteousness that He has set-apart for us!
In verse 24 we see that Aharon and his sons would have their hands filled with the wave offering of the parts of the ram listed in verse 22 as well as the bread before יהוה before offering them up as a whole burnt offering, and this would symbolise that their hands would continually be full of the work of service unto יהוה as a set-apart priesthood and would not engage in any other affairs or work.
Timotiyos Bet/2 Timothy 2:4 “No one serving as a soldier gets involved in the affairs of this life, in order to please only him who enlisted him as a soldier.”
Do what you have been called to do – with the talents and gifts He has given you – do not get involved in other affairs of this life but serve as an obedient soldier.
In the entire process of this ordination we are able to see the clear shadow pictures of Pěsaḥ and the work of Messiah, who by His Blood ordains us into the priesthood!
After the ‘application of blood’ on the ears, hands and toes, blood was sprinkled on their garments and then a wave offering was done.
This wave offering is symbolic of the wave offering of the sheaves of barley that is done on the morrow after the Sabbath during Matzot (Unleavened Bread) as a first fruit offering that guarantees the promise of a full harvest at the ingathering, as well as the wave offering done on Shaḇuoth, as two loaves of Bread are waved before יהוה representing the full body of Yisra’ĕl that has been restored and cleansed and permeated with the Good News, able to shine as a light to the nations!
The wave offering was then taken from their hands and offered as an ascending offering, as a sweet fragrance to יהוה.
The term ‘ascending offering’, is the word that we have already discussed in this portion, which is ‘ עֹלָה olah – Strong’s H5930 meaning, ‘whole burnt offering, ascent, staircase, stairway’, where the lamps were to ‘burn’ continually; and so, here we see how the ordination of the priesthood brings about a great responsibility of being wholeheartedly dedicated to hearing, guarding and doing all He has commanded us to do, and our hands are to be ‘filled’ with the works of righteousness and not be found putting our hands to any form of whoring as the nations do, so that our lives are a sweet fragrance before יהוה.
In order to gain a deeper understanding of the significance of the ascending offering – the olah – take a look at this word in its pictographic form:
In the ancient pictographic script, the Hebrew word for ‘ascending offering’ – עֹלָה olah – Strong’s H5930 and the word up ‘up’ – עָלָה alah – Strong’s H5927, looks like this:
Ayin – עֵ:
The original pictograph for this letter is and represents the idea of ‘seeing and watching’, as well as ‘knowledge’. as the eye is the ‘window of knowledge’.
Lamed – לַ:
The ancient script has this letter as , and is pictured as a ‘shepherd’s staff’, can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority.
Hey – הָ:
The ancient script has this letter pictured as , which is ‘a man standing with his arms raised out’. The meaning of the letter is “behold, look, breath, sigh and reveal or revelation”, from the idea of revealing a great sight by pointing it out. It also carries for us the meaning of surrender, as we lift up our hands and submit to יהוה as we lift our hands in praise, declaring His authority under which we humbly submit!
When considering the ascending offering and the clear Torah of this offering that requires the fire to never be put out we are able to recognise the clear lesson portrayed in the pictograph rendering of this word עֹלָה olah, which teaches us how we are to have our eyes continually fixed upon our Shepherd who is to be praised!
In terms of the ascending offering, these letters can render the meaning:
LOOKING TO THE GOOD SHEPHERD WHO IS TO BE PRAISED
With the eye representing knowledge and experience we can also see how this can render our need to continually experience the staff as we lift our hands in surrendered praise, and this ought to be reflected in our lives being a daily living offering that is well pleasing to our Master and Good Shepherd!
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:2-4 “And walk in love, as Messiah also has loved us, and gave Himself for us, a gift and an offering to Elohim for a sweet-smelling fragrance. 3 But whoring and all uncleanness, or greed of gain, let it not even be named among you, as is proper among set-apart ones – 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather thanksgiving.”
Qorintiyim Bet/2 Corinthians 2:14-16 “But thanks be to Elohim who always leads us on, to overcome in Messiah, and manifests through us the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 15 Because we are to Elohim the fragrance of Messiah among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the smell of death to death, and to the other the fragrance of life to life. And who is competent for these?”
Here we see that Aharon and his sons would eat the breast of the wave offering and the thigh of the contribution, by the Door of the Tent of Appointment and we see the strict instruction that no stranger is to eat of it, nor is any to be left until morning!
This is very similar to the instructions for Pěsaḥ and so we see here a foreshadow of both the Pěsaḥ Meal as well as the Atonement being made, and once gain we are reminded that יהושע says that unless we eat of His Body and drink of His Blood we have no life in ourselves and so the Pěsaḥ meal is what sets us apart and is a sign on our forehead and hands of our set-apart worship and service to Him.
The atonement for the slaughter place and the ordination of the priests would last 7 days with daily offerings of two lambs a year old – one in the morning and one between the evenings, together with grain and drink offerings and this would set the Tent Apart and יהוה would come and dwell in the midst of the children of Yisra’ĕl and be their Elohim!
What is interesting here is the 7 days of atonement and ordination – we know that on the 7th day is the Sabbath of Rest where יהוה completed His work and set it apart, and as we look forward to the 7th Millennium of His Reign we see here a picture of the atonement made for His ‘Tent’ – that is you and me, where He will come to dwell in the midst of Yisra’ĕl and be our Elohim.
The Blood of יהושע was shed once for all – for all ‘7 days’ (7000 years). Once the complete atonement of the Tent was complete יהוה would come and dwell in their midst and so too do we see that when our High Priest and King comes out of His chamber on Yom Kippur on the ‘7th day’ He will dwell in our midst forever and be our Elohim.
The Slaughter-place of incense:
The slaughter-place of incense stood inside the set-apart place, before the veil that separated the set-apart place from the most set-apart place and once again, as we look at its makeup, we see the picture of Messiah and His intercession that He makes on our behalf.
It was made of acacia wood, overlaid with clean gold with mouldings all around and had rings under the moulding for the poles that would be used to carry the slaughter-place of incense.
The slaughter-place of incense is listed last because we cannot come to the slaughter-place of incense until our hearts have come into agreement with יהוה’s ways and our minds having been transformed and set-apart before Him.
The slaughter-place of incense will not function within us until this happens, thus the description of the slaughter-place follows after the pattern of the tabernacle furnishings and the garments of the priesthood are taught, as it is the High Priest who approaches the slaughter-place of incense on behalf of the people.
The Hebrew root word translated here as ‘veil’ is פָּרֹכֶת paroḵeth – Strong’s H6532 which means, ‘curtain, veil’; and as we study further these proceedings, we are able to see the great work of our Master, redeemer, High Priest and King, in understanding that we are now able to come boldly into the Set-Apart Place, for Messiah made a new and living way for us through His flesh:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10:19-22 “So, brothers, having boldness to enter into the Set-apart Place by the blood of יהושע, 20 by a new and living way which He instituted for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the House of Elohim, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in completeness of belief, having our hearts sprinkled from a wicked conscience and our bodies washed with clean water.”
The Greek word for ‘veil’ is καταπέτασμα katapetasma – Strong’s G2665 meaning, ‘to spread out (a curtain), a curtain (the inner veil of the Tabernacle)’, and this is the word used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek Translation of the Tanak)) here in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 16:2.
What we also see from this, on an individual basis, is that we, who are ‘in’ Messiah, now have access to the throne of Elohim each and every day, as the veil was torn at the death of Messiah; and by His Blood He has satisfied the requirements of this Torah of entering in to the presence of Elohim, giving us – His Body – access to the Most set-apart place.
The Master יהושע, having torn the veil that separates the set-apart place from the most set-apart place, has become the one who intercedes for us and our prayers are before Him who sits on the throne with no veil – so that through the Blood of Messiah we can come boldly to the throne and offer up our prayers and petitions with thanksgiving.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘incense’ is קְטֹרֶת qetoreth – Strong’s H7004 which means, ‘the smoke or odour of (burning) sacrifice; incense, sweet smoke of sacrifice, perfume’, which comes from the root verb קָטַר Qatar – Strong’s H6999 which means, ‘to make sacrifices smoke, burn incense’.
This verb carries the meaning of making a smoke offering, which is to burn an offering of aromatic incense that will smoke in dedication and worship of a deity, with a focus on the smoke that the material produces.
When we think of this word, we take note that the noun קְטֹרֶת qetoreth – Strong’s H7004 is used to describe the ‘incense’ that was to be burned on the slaughter place of incense every morning when Aharon would tend the lamps on the menorah!
Shemoth/Exodus 30:1 “And you shall make an slaughter-place to burn incense on, make it of acacia wood”
Shemoth/Exodus 30:7-9 “And Aharon shall burn on it sweet incense, morning by morning. As he tends the lamps, he shall burn incense on it. 8 “And when Aharon lights the lamps between the evenings, he shall burn incense on it – a continual incense before יהוה throughout your generations. 9 “Do not offer strange incense on it, or a burnt offering, or a grain offering, and do not pour a drink offering on it.”
What you will notice here, in regards to the clear instructions given to burn incense daily is that no strange incense was to be burned upon it!
This slaughter-place of incense represents the intercession/prayers of the priests and no strange fire was to be put on it – in other words do not pray with wrong motives;
Ya’aqoḇ/James 4:1-3 “Where do fightings and strivings come from among you? Do they not come from your pleasures that battle in your members? 2 You desire, and do not have. You murder, and are jealous, and are unable to obtain. You strive and fight, and you do not possess, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask evilly, in order to spend it on your pleasures.”
Many today, are simply praying in vain, simply because they are not being washed in the Blood of the Lamb and kept clean by the continual washing of the Word and are not clothed/walking in righteousness and claim to have access to the slaughter-place of incense.
When understanding the Tabernacle and its service we learn very quickly that we cannot come to the slaughter-place with wrong motives and impure hearts. יהושע also tells us in:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:23-24 “If, then, you bring your gift to the slaughter-place, and there remember that your brother holds whatever against you, 24 leave your gift there before the slaughter-place, and go, first make peace with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”
No strange incense!
Naḏab and Aḇihu offered strange fire and were killed!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘strange’ is זוּר zur – Strong’s H2114 which means ‘strange, stranger, adulterer, adulterous, enemy’, and is used to describe the ‘strange’ incense that the two sons of Aharon brought before Elohim, and were struck dead, and this teaches us that we must put off all strange works of darkness.
Romiyim/Romans 13:12-13 “The night is far advanced, the day has come near. So let us put off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13 Let us walk becomingly, as in the day, not in wild parties and drunkenness, not in living together and indecencies, not in fighting and envy, 14 but put on the Master יהושע Messiah, and make no provision for the lusts of the flesh.”
With the proper incense being brought to the slaughter-place if incense we are able to understand how we are to be praying continually, with pure motives!
Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 5:17 “pray without ceasing”
Luqas/Luke 18:1 “And He spoke a parable to them, that they should always pray and not lose heart”
Ya’aqoḇ/James 5:13-17 “Is any of you suffering evil? Let him pray. Is anyone in good spirits? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the assembly, and let them pray over him, having anointed him with oil in the Name of the Master. 15 And the prayer of the belief shall save the sick, and the Master shall raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he shall be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, so that you are healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous one accomplishes much. 17 Ěliyahu was a man with feelings like us, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain. And it did not rain on the land for three years and six months.”
Once a year, the high priest would make atonement on the horns of the slaughter-place, with the blood of the sin offering of atonement!
This would take place once a year, on Yom Kippur and as we understand the design of the Tabernacle and its furnishings and service, we are able to see how our Master, Elohim and High-Priest, יהושע Messiah, has offered His Blood, once for all, as a sin offering of atonement, so that we can come to his throne of favour, in our times of need, and not wait for the once a year, but have continual access to His Throne, where His blood continues to make intercession for us, until He comes for His ready and cleansed Bride!
The Hebrew word for atonement is כָּפַר ‘kaphar’ – Strong’s H3722 which means ‘to cover over, to pacify, to make propitiation, to pardon’.
As a noun, it can also carry the meaning of ‘a ransom’, ‘gift’, or ‘to secure favour’.
It literally means to ‘cover over’ or ‘smear with pitch’ as in the sealing of a ship.
Therefore, the Hebrew word כָּפַר ‘kaphar’ – Strong’s H3722, or atonement, means to cover that which is bare or naked or shamed, and also means to ‘smear the ship so that your ship will not sink and drown all those aboard’!
This is the same word used in instructing Noaḥ to ‘cover’ the ark with pitch inside and out, and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) is the Appointed Time of the fulfilment of יהוה’s redemptive plan for the nation of Yisra’ĕl, when our High Priest will come out from the Most Set-Apart place, having made atonement for by His own Blood, and be united with His Bride, after having destroyed the enemy and taking sin out of the world!
The Hebrew word כָּפַר ‘kaphar’ H3722 also means to ransom – and so we know that יהושע has paid our ransom and atoned for us. It is from this root word that we get the Hebrew word כִּפֻּר ‘kippur’ H3725, which is the Hebrew word for ‘atonement’.
Atonement means ‘to make ransom for or to cover over man’s sins’.
The English word Atonement was derived when the translator wanted best to describe what ‘kippur’ meant, as there was not a definitive English word to describe or translate the meaning of this and so, what he translated it to was – ‘At-One’ – therefore later being called ‘Atonement’.
This was the best way he could express what this day carries for us – it is when we are made to be ‘one’ with יהוה – be ‘at one with’ Him and finally be fully restored unto Him as a washed and purified body together as ‘one’!
So, this is also a day where we truly come and remember the ransom that was paid for us by the shed Blood of the Pěsaḥ Lamb – יהושע Messiah, once and for all and reflect on our lives as to how we are living out our covenant relationship with our Saviour, who is not only the Pěsaḥ Lamb, but is also the ‘ram’ that is provided for us, and the complete sin offering that covers us and cleanses us in His Own Blood!
The Hebrew word כָּפַר ‘kaphar’ H3722 also means to reconcile with someone who has the power of death over you, and to pacify the one who has the power to do you harm! We must realise that the punishment for sin is death, and no sin goes unpunished.
Through the Atonement of יהושע for our sins, we are reconciled to the One who has the power to put us to death!
When we look at the ancient pictographic script’s rendering of the words for כִּפֻּר ‘kippur’ H3725 (Atonement), כָּפַר ‘kaphar’ H3722 (cover) and כֹּפֶר ‘Kopher’H3724 (covering) we are able to see a powerful picture of the way which our Master Himself opened up for us to be One with Him!
In the ancient pictographic script, we see the following picture for these three words:
Kaph – כִּ:
The ancient form of this letter is – meaning ‘the open palm of a hand’. The meaning behind this letter is ‘to bend and curve’ from the shape of a palm as well as ‘to tame or subdue’ as one has been bent to another’s will (under their hand), as an open hand symbolises submission.
This also can picture for us a palm or palm branch from the curved palm shape. The hand also speaks of one’s work, or under whose hand you submit and obey!
Pey – פֻּ:
This is the letter ‘pey’, which is pictured as , which is an ‘open mouth’ and carries the meaning of ‘speak and blow’, from the functions of the mouth, and can have the meaning of ‘scatter’ by blowing.
It can also mean sword or beard as in things with edges, as well as a region in depicting a place with edges or boundaries. It also can represent that which has been spoken forth from the words of one’s mouth, as being established! This can also render for us a picture of that which has been opened, in terms of the way that has been opened by the Word of Elohim!
Resh – ר:
The ancient script has this letter ‘resh’ as – – and is pictured as ‘the head of a man’ and has the meaning of the head of a man as well as chief, top, begging or first. This letter can mean ‘top’ – as in the top or head of a body; and ‘chief’ – as in head of a tribe or people, as well as the one who rules the people.
When we consider the significance of these pictures that render the words כִּפֻּר ‘kippur’ H3725, כָּפַר ‘kaphar’ H3722 and כֹּפֶר ‘Kopher’H3724 we are able to clearly recognise the powerful working of our Master and Elohim, who has by His own Hand opened the Way for us to be joined to Him, who is our Head and therefore we can see the following:
THE OPEN HAND THAT OPENED THE WAY TO THE HEAD!
Our Master revealed His open Hand and took the nails in His Hands for our sin, in order that we can be cleansed and able to draw near to Him and be joined to Him, opening up for us the Way to Eternal Life in Him!
When I see the rendering of these pictures, with regards to Yom Kippur, I am reminded of the encounter that T’oma had with Messiah, in:
Yoḥanan/John 20:26-29 “And after eight days His taught ones were again inside, and T’oma with them. יהושע came, the doors having been shut, and He stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” 27 Then He said to T’oma, “Bring your finger here, and see My hands. And bring your hand and put it into My side – and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 And T’oma answered and said to Him, “My Master and my Elohim!” 29 יהושע said to him, “T’oma, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
At the sight of the open hand of the Master, T’oma instantly recognised that יהושע is the only One True Master and Elohim and that by His death and resurrection His revealed hand opened the way for us to be joined to Him, our Head!
The atonement that was to be made once a year upon the horns of the slaughter-place highlights the perfect redemption of our Master, hence it being referred to as being ‘most set-apart’, for all the service and function of the Tabernacle would be a collective working unto the most set-apart service of atonement that is made for sinful man!
We give thanks to our Master and High-Priest, who has offered up His body as the most set-apart of all offerings that could ever be made, for the blood of bulls and goats could only cover and not take away sins, but the most set-apart blood of Messiah takes away our sins!!!
As we consider this Torah portion and the command for us to bring clear oil of pressed olives, we are able to recognise how our Master, who was pressed and crushed for our sins, has given us all we need for life and reverence, in order for us to be cleansed and set-apart, as he is set-apart! His most set-apart intercession for us, enables us to be a royal priesthood that can have lamps trimmed and burning bright, continually, offering up the necessary praise and prayers, without ceasing!!!
We are to make sure that we have oil in our lamps and be wise, as we remain steadfast in walking in the Torah of our Mighty Master, Redeemer, High-Priest and King, guarding to do all He commands!