Torah Portion: Tetzaveh (You will command) Exodus 27:20-30:10
HafTorah: Ezekiel 43:10-27
A few thoughts first about this section of Torah; First, it is mainly about the priesthood, the articles of clothing and the setting apart of the priests for their service. However, it begins with the commandment that the people bring pure olive oil to cause the lamp to burn continually before G-d. Why not include these few verses with the prior section which was about those things of the Mishkan? Also, G-d speaking to Moses in Exodus 27:20 “bring to you” not “bring to Me.” Why? We are the ones who need the light of G-d in this world. We pray mainly to remind ourselves of whom we serve. So the light here reminds us that without it we are lost in a world of spiritual darkness. No wonder Yeshua said that He was the light of the world. And as here, we as priests are reminded that we must depend upon the light to find our way as we do G-d’s will and service
Now we come to the vestments of the priests and especially the High Priest. What can we learn from this? Why should we bother? Remember things like this are a shadow of things in heaven. So as we study this it should give us a good understanding or insight into Yeshua’s role in heaven. First, could Yeshua fill the role of High Priest in the earthly temple? (Hebrews 7:14) No. He was not from the priestly line. However, in heaven it is another matter.
In Exodus 28:5 we get a summary of materials used (gold, blue, purple, scarlet and fine linen) Think of each of these: gold, pure gold. John, in the book of Revelation, talks of New Jerusalem being a city of pure gold. (Rev. 21:18) Gold represents royalty. Again in Revelation 1:13 Yeshua appears wearing a gold sash.
Next is blue, a blue like the sky. It is very expensive and rare. In Numbers 15:38 every man was commanded to wear a blue thread in his tassels. This showed that each person was connected to the priest. They were all a nation of priests. There was a spiritual connection of Israel to G-d. Likewise, the indwelling Spirit of G-d reminds us that we are connected to Him through our High Priest, Yeshua.
Purple was the color for kings and royalty. (Judges 8:26 tells of the king of Midian. Daniel received a purple robe in Daniel 5:7 and Yeshua, in John 19:2 had a purple robe put on Him as he was crucified. Purple was the color of a king.
Scarlet in the Torah symbolized purification. Look at Leviticus 14:4 and Numbers 19:6. Isaiah 1:18 tells us of G-d’s promise to purify Israel.
White was always the color of the linen. It was never dyed. It was the symbol of purity. On Yom Kippur the high priest wore simple white linen. In Revelation 19:14 it says that the armies of heaven are clothed in fine linen, white and clean. Of course Yeshua after His death was wrapped in linen. (Mark 15:46) So each of these colors have a spiritual meaning that can be associated with Yeshua.
Exodus 28:6 talks about the Ephod. This was worn by the High Priest and it incorporated all the colors we just mentioned. In Exodus 28:21 we read where the High Priest wore a special ephod on which hung the breastplate. It was attached to the ephod by straps upon which were two stones, one on each shoulder on which was inscribed the names of the 12 tribes of Israel. Also on the breastplate itself there were 12 stones on which the names of the tribes were engraved. By wearing these two items the High Priest carried the people of Israel before G-d, over his heart and on his shoulders, each time he ministered before G-d.
As our High Priest in heaven, Yeshua, carries us before the Father continually, making intercession for us. In Revelation 21:14, 21:19-20 we see that the New Jerusalem rests upon 12 foundation stones, which bear the names of the 12 apostles.
In the breastplate were carried the Urim and Thummim. These were used to disclose G-d’s will about certain questions. Let us look at these words. First, Urim is actually a word that means “lights.” Thummim is a word meaning perfect. It is the same word used to describe the sacrifice brought to the altar, perfect or unblemished. Who fills that role for us? Yeshua is the source of divine direction. He speaks the word of the Father. His light lights our way. He is the light and the perfection.
The robe of the Ephod was all of blue. Yeshua is the High Priest over the heavenly temple, the one not made by human hands. (Revelation 1:6 He has made us to be a kingdom of priests to His G-d and Father) As we read these verses about the priest and their vestments we should be able to see the flow of G-d over the ages. When Moses wrote these verses they spoke of actual things and action to be taken. They also speak to us of who we are and how Yeshua serves today in that heavenly temple on our behalf. Praise G-d!