Malachi 3;1 Behold, I am sending My messenger, and he will clear a path before Me; suddenly the Lord Whom you seek will come to His Sanctuary, and the messenger of the covenant for whom you yearn, behold, he comes, says HASHEM, Master of Legions. 2 Who can bear the day of his coming and who can survive when he appears? For he will be like the smelter’s fire and like the launderers’ soap. 3 He will sit smelting and purifying silver; he will purify the children of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will be for HASHEM presenters of offerings in righteousness. 4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to HASHEM as in the days of old and in previous years.
–We now enter the Torah portion of Tzav, which means command. This word relates a sense of urgency, rather than using the ‘speak to….’. This Torah Portion falls during the Shabbat Hagadol, the Sabbath prior to Pesach and couldn’t be more fitting and timely. The previous Torah portions have all been leading to this event, the Mishkan (Tabernacle) has been constructed and God has given the instructions as to the Korbanot (The Offerings- which allow man access to closeness with God and spiritual cleansing and personal growth.) Now all we need is the Kohanim (priests) to be immersed, anointed, and inaugurated. Tzav describes the offerings of the priests and this portion contains 9 positive and 9 prohibitionary commandments. Coinciding with Pesach we can keep in mind the inauguration of our High Priest Yeshua, who served as a freewill sin-offering on behalf of us all, the only One who could serve to cover all our willful sin ( for there were no offerings for willful sin, even the sin-offerings in the Mishkan were brought due to unintentional transgression) with his precious blood, it was at this time he gave his life for us and afterward was risen by the Father, donned the Priestly vestments and was inaugurated…who serves now at the right hand of the Throne of Glory.
Leviticus 6;1 HASHEM spoke to Moses, saying: 2 Command Aaron and his sons, saying: This is the law of the burnt-offering: It is the burnt-offering [that stays] on the flame, on the Altar, all night until morning, and the fire of the Altar should be kept aflame on it. 3 The Kohen shall don his fitted linen Tunic, and he shall don linen Breeches on his flesh; he shall separate the ash of what the fire consumed of the burnt-offering on the Altar, and place it next to the Altar. 4 He shall remove his garments and don other garments, and he shall remove the ash to the outside of the camp, to a pure place. 5 The fire on the Altar shall be kept burning on it, it shall not be extinguished; and the Kohen shall kindle wood upon it every morning; he shall prepare the burnt-offering upon it and shall cause the fats of the peace-offerings to go up in smoke upon it. 6 A permanent fire shall remain aflame on the Altar; it shall not be extinguished.
–There were two Tamid (continual) lambs that were offered ( one at 9 in the morning, and one at 3 in the evening- the First and Last Lamb was Yeshua, and he was fixed to the cross at 9, and passed near 3, the times of the tamid lambs.) The last lamb was to remain on the Altar and burn overnight. In the morning the priest would come, carefully separate the ashes from the coals, place new wood upon the coals, put the new day’s first peace-offering lamb onto the wood and flame, he would don other garments and remove the ashes to a clean place outside the camp. The fire on the Altar was to be a continual flame, it was not to be put out. The fire on the Altar speaks of our faith. Just as the Kohanim has to come every single morning, prepared to kindle…what does it take to kindle a fire? It is not like a charcoal grill with lighter fluid splashed on it , you can just toss a match and watch the flame erupt. To kindle a fire you have to expend the energy to gather the wood (the wood speaks of the word of God), prepare a place for the wood and lovingly stack sticks or paper, you often have to expend some of your very breath to get the small flame to ignite and become fuller. Kindle can also mean to arouse or inspire, we are to keep the fire of our faith in God burning continually. It is possible in this life and unfortunately all too easy to allow the service of the Creator to become a side note in ‘our’ lives, or that our service and acts of worship become mundane. This lesson of the removal of the ashes and the continual fire teaches us that coming close to HASHEM is not a hobby, this is a full time occupation, and we are to continually tend to our duties to the King. From the moment we wake in the morning, be in preparation to go to the altar, to remove the ashes of the previous day’s offerings (keeping them sanctified in a clean place, for reference and remembrance) and place new wood on the altar of your heart. Getting into God’s word daily and coming before Him with offerings, with all your heart. A permanent fire, not to be extinguished.
Psalm 73;34 May You guide me in Your counsel; and afterwards, You will take [my] soul unto You. 25 Whom [else] do I have in heaven? And when I am with You I do not desire [anything] on earth. 26 MY flesh and my heart yearn- God is the rock of my heart and my portion forever. 27 For behold, those removed from you shall perish, You cut down all who stray from You. 28 But as for me, God’s nearness is my good; I have placed my trust in the Lord HASHEM/ELOHIM, to recount all of Your works.
–The offerings of the Kohanim: the Torah begins with the meal-offering, explaining it is to be offered unleavened and eaten in a Holy Place, specifically in the Courtyard of the Mishkan. What is fascinating about these verses is how God wants us to know how special these servants of His are, to the Kohanim
God describes bestowing a portion of His offerings to those who have devoted their life first and foremost to the service of the Lord. God’s present(ing) -Cheleq can mean allotment, but it can also mean an inheritance. Not only are the gifts God shares with us to be considered as something which can ’cause’ holiness in others, but they must be safeguarded and shared in a holy place, we are to attempt to remain
in a holy state.
Leviticus 6; 7 This is the law of the meal-offering: The sons of Aaron shall bring it before HASHEM, to the front of the Altar. 8 He shall separate from it with his threefingersful some of the fine flour of the meal-offering and some of its oil, and all the frankincense that is on the meal-offering; and he shall cause them to go up in smoke on the Altar for a satisfying aroma- its memorial portion unto HASHEM. 9 Aaron and his sons shall eat what is left of it; it shall be eaten unleavened in a holy place, in the Courtyard of the Tent of Meeting shall they eat it. 10 It shall not be baked leavened, I have presented it as their share from My fire-offerings; it is most holy, like the sin-offering and like the guilt-offering. 11 Every male of the children of Aaron shall eat it, an eternal portion for your generations, from the fire-offerings of HASHEM; whatever touches then shall become holy.
–Yeshua promises us he will be with us, some of his last words to his talmidim (disciples) have given me courage to continue when I was in the deepest darkness. To the end of the age he is with us and he will be within us as we go out into the world making new disciples for him and becoming better servants ourselves. The Greek word used for end of the age is Sunteleia -(soon-Tel’-i-ah): entire, completion, consummation (of a dispensation). The priests consume in a state of purity in a holy place…completely, the gifts of HASHEM, which will bind them to Him in service eternally.
Matthew 28;16 So the eleven talmidim went to the hill in the Galil where Yeshua has told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they prostrated themselves before him; but some hesitated. 18 Yeshua came and talked with them. He said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore, go and make people from all the nations into talmidim (disciples) , immersing them into the reality of the Father, the Son and the Ruach He Kodesh (Holy Spirit), 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember! I will be with you always, yes, even until the end of the age.”
Deuteronomy 31;6 Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid and do not be broken before them, for HASHEM, your God- it is He Who goes before you, He will not release you nor will He forsake you.
–The day of the inauguration! These are the last chapters before the ‘Temple Service’ actually begins in the Mishkan. It is interesting that the continual meal offering is prepared as if it is to be consumed (repeatedly baked, broken into pieces as if to be shared) and yet it is caused to go up in smoke in its entirety (the Olah).
Leviticus 6;12 HASHEM spoke to Moses, saying: 13 This is the offering of Aaron and his sons, which each shall offer to HASHEM on the day he is inaugurated: a tenth-ephah of fine flour as a continual meal-offering; half of it in the morning and half of it in the afternoon. 14 It should be made on a pan with oil, scalded shall you bring it; a repeatedly baked meal-offering, broken into pieces, you shall offer it as a satisfying aroma to HASHEM. 15 The Kohen from among his sons who is anointed in his place shall perform it; it is an eternal decree for HASHEM; it shall be caused to go up in smoke in it entirety. 16 Every meal-offering of a Kohen is to be entirely [caused to go up in smoke]; it shall not be eaten.
–The Torah is making it clear how very important it is for us to establish a legacy. Not a legacy of property or of esteem…but a role, a goal for our children to strive for. Even on the day of the kohen’s inauguration we are already concerning ourselves with “the Kohen from among his sons who is anointed in his place…” At the end of his Last Seder, years ago during the times we are LIVING now, Yeshua washed his disciples feet:
John13;12 After he had washed their feet, taken back his clothes and returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you?” 13 You call me ‘Rabbi’ and ‘Lord’, and you are right, because I am. 14 Now if I , the Lord and Rabbi, have washed your feet, you also should wash each other’s feet. 15 For I have set you an example, so that you may do as I have done to you. 16 Yes, indeed! I tell you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is an emissary greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. 18 I’m not talking to all of you- I know which ones I have chosen.
–We are to prepare our children according to God’s commands and follow in Yeshua’s ways, keeping His word and not replacing it with our own ideas of what will work for us. The Greek word Kataritzo-to complete thoroughly; repair, adjust- fit, frame, mend, (make) perfect (ly) join together, prepare, restore…is used in all the following verses to teach us how we are to be of one mind in our service to God, becoming fully trained just as the Kohanim are doing in the Tzav!
Luke 6;39…”Can one blind man lead another blind man? Won’t they both fall into a pit? 40 A talmid is not above his rabbi; but each one, when he is fully trained, will be like his rabbi.
I Corinthians 1;10 Nevertheless, brothers, I call on you in the name of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah to agree, all of you, in what you say, and not to let yourselves remain split into factions but to be restored to having a common mind and a common purpose.
II Corinthians 13;8 For we cannot act against the truth, only for it. 9 So we rejoice whenever we are weak and you are strong; indeed, what we pray for is that you become perfect. 10 I write these things while I am away from you, so that when I am with you I will not have to use my authority to deal sharply with you, for the Lord gave it to me for building up and not for tearing down. 11 And now brothers, shalom! Put yourselves in order, pay attention to my advice, be of one mind, live in shalom- and the God of love and shalom will be with you.
Proverbs 3;1 My child, do not forget My Torah, and let your heart guard my commandments, 2 for they add to you length of days and years of life and peace. 3 Kindness and truth will not forsake you. Bind them upon your neck; inscribe them on the tablet of your heart, 4 and you will find favor and goodly wisdom in the eyes of God and man. 5 Trust in HASHEM with all your heart and do not rely upon your own understanding. 6 In all your ways know Him, and He will smooth your path.
–Before we go on, it is very important for us to understand the what the great value of the role of the Kohanim is. These servants of HASHEM live their life to serve Him, and to be a central part of the atonement and sanctification of God’s children. Remember they are not just serving in the Mishkan, with painstaking attention to God’s detailed instruction, they are daily physically giving of all aspects of their being…performing these offerings to HASHEM, but they are to make the whole ‘occasion’ of coming before the Lord filled with imagery that will not easily be forgotten. The chanting of song and prayer, there was music and exuberance. Perhaps one of the crucial things to keep in mind is that they are also the teachers of the Torah. They are to give the word of God to the people as well as tend to their spiritual growth. Amazing.
Malachi 2;4 Know that I have send this commandment to you, so that My covenant should be with Levi, says HASHEM , Master of Legions. 5 My covenant was with him, life and peace; I gave these to him for the sake of the fear with which he feared Me, for he was in awe of My Name. 6 The teaching of truth was in his mouth, and injustice was not found on his lips; he walked with Me in peace and with fairness, and turned many away from iniquity. 7 For the lips of the Kohen should safeguard knowledge, and people should seek teaching from his mouth; for he is an agent of HASHEM, Master of Legions.
Leviticus 6;17 HASHEM spoke to Moses, saying: 18 Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying: This is the law of the sin-offering; in the place where the burnt-offering is slaughtered shall the sin-offering be slaughtered, before HASHEM- it is most holy. 19 The Kohen who performs its sin-offering service shall eat it; it shall be eaten in a holy place: in the Courtyard of the Tent of Meeting.
–The burnt-offering speaks of the ‘gift’ of a man at the heights of joy and spiritual connection. He comes to give praise and offer worship, drawing nearer still to God in his rich spirit! The sin-offering speaks of one who is perhaps at his bottom, he has transgressed against HASHEM and feels as if he has fallen from grace, yet he repents and returns to HASHEM, seeking forgiveness and the change at the redemption of that relationship. Both of these offering’s are slaughtered in the same place. What is God trying to teach us? The Sages discussed this at length, which man is capable of becoming closest to God. The man who has always striven to be righteous and keep Gods commandments, who has never strayed past innocent fouls or the man who has fallen and then repented. There was a ‘line’ on the Altar, and the blood of the burnt-offering is poured on the walls of the Altar below that line…the blood of the sin-offering is poured above this line. It is said that the man who’s cries out to God in repentance reaches heights beyond that of one who never ‘fell’ and he finds such great strength in HASHEM he can come closer than the King than anyone else.
Isaiah 30;12 Therefore, thus said the Holy One of Israel: Since you have despised this word and you trusted in robbery and waywardness, and have depended on it- 13 therefore, this sin will be for you like the breach of a fallen [wall], like a bulge in a lofty wall, whose collapse comes with quick suddenness. 14 [God] will break it as one breaks the potters’ flask into fragments, He will have no pity; there will not be found among the fragments a shard to scrape a burning coal from a fire or to scoop water from a cistern.
Leviticus 6; 20 Whatever touches its flesh becomes holy; and if its blood is sprinkled upon a garment, whatever it has been sprinkled upon you shall wash in a holy place. 21 An earthenware vessel in which it was cooked shall be broken; but if it was cooked in a copper vessel, that should be purged and rinsed in water. 22 Every male among the Kohanim may eat it; it is most holy. 23 And sin-offering from which some of the blood has been brought to the Tent of Meeting, to effect atonement within the Holy, shall not be eaten; it shall be burned in fire.
–The priestly garments and blood of the sin-offering are holy, the washing of soiled garments is to be done in a holy place. It does not specify the Courtyard as in all the rest of the verses in Tzav when we read ‘holy place: the Courtyard of the Tent of Meeting.’ but we can assume it would be within the grounds of the Mishkan. The earthenware vessel is one that can not be cleaned well enough to eliminate the odor, residual, etc. of what was contained or cooked therein. It absorbs and retains that which comes into contact with it, therefore it must be shattered. The copper vessel however can be purged (boiled or passed through the fire) and then immersed, then it can be of use once more. We are the vessels, the Lord is our Molder…we must be careful not to take in the things of the world, assimilating to the contaminants all around us. If we are earthenware vessels when we come into contact with such things (gossip, bad language, hatred, sexually impropriety, etc.) there is no way to clean them out…they are unfortunately retained. You can not control the thoughts that come into your head, the challenge is to be near to goodly (Godly) people, places and influences so that this is what we absorbing preserving. Some hope is that we do have the power to push aside these thoughts and contaminations especially when we call upon the Lord to do the shattering (for he can not make good use of a ‘well-meaning-vessel’ which has become mingled with that which is foul, may we call on Him change us into vessels… which can be, desire to be (and are willing to be) purged and cleansed by His holy fire and Living water, ready to be used for honorable purposes.
II Timothy 2;20 In a large house there are dishes and pots not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay. That is, some are meant for honorable use and some for dishonorable. 21 If a person keeps himself free of defilement by the latter, he will be a vessel set aside for honorable use by the master of the house and ready for every kind of good work. 22 So, flee the passions of youth; and, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart, pursue righteousness, faithfulness, love and peace.
Revelation 2;26 To him who wins the victory and does what I want until the goal is reached, I will give him authority over the nations; 27 he will rule them with a staff of iron and dash them to pieces like pottery, 28 just as I have received authority from my Father.
Isaiah 29;15 Woe to those who try and hide in the depths to conceal counsel from HASHEM, and their deeds are [done] in darkness; they say, ‘Who sees us and who knows of us?’ 16 Shall your contrariness be considered like the potter’s clay? Can a product say of its maker, ‘He did not make me’? Or a molded thing say of its molder, ‘He does not understand’?
Isaiah 45;7 [I am the One] Who forms light and creates darkness; Who makes peace and creates evil; I am HASHEM, Maker of all these. 8 “Pour out, O heavens, from above, and let the upper heights drip righteousness; let the earth open up and salvation and goodness will flourish; let it make them sprout together; I am HASHEM, Who created this. 9 Woe to him who argues with his Creator, a shard among the shards of the earth! Does clay say to the one who forms it, ‘What are you doing? Your creation is without skilled hands’?
Leviticus 7;1 This is the teaching of the guilt-offering; it is most holy. 2 In the place where they slaughter the burnt-offering shall they slaughter the guilt -offering; and he shall throw its blood upon the Altar, all around. 3 All of its fat shall he offer of it; the tail and the fat that covers the innards; 4 and the two kidneys and the fat that covers them, which is on the flanks; and he shall remove the diaphragm as well as the liver, as well as the kidneys. 5 The Kohen shall cause them to go up in smoke on the Altar, a fire-offering to HASHEM; it is a guilt-offering. 6 Every male among the Kohanim may eat it; it shall be eaten in a holy place, it is most holy. 7 Like the sin-offering is the guilt-offering, there is one law for them; it shall belong to a Kohen who performs its atonement service. 8 And the Kohen who offers a person’s burnt-offering- the hide of the burnt-offering that he offered shall belong to that Kohen, it shall be his.
–Tzav repeatedly mentions that the Kohen who is actively involved in these offerings is the one to whom HASHEM gifts with a holy part of His portion. The offerings that are to bring atonement (guilt-sin offerings) are not to be distributed among the people. Keeping in mind that the Kohanim’s service would greatly restrict his ability to farm or pasture flocks or to acquire other wealth. His ‘wealth’ came from continual, daily, dedicated service to HASHEM. Because of the greatness of the task of Kohanim eventually there had to be divisions and assignments as to who would serve at what ‘post’. At the time preceding David there were eight priestly courses. King David assigned each of the 24 priestly clans to a weekly watch (Hebrew- mishmeret) during which its members were responsible for maintaining the schedule of offerings at the Temple in Jerusalem (I Chronicles 24;3-5). King David and Solomon divided the then existing priestly groups into 24 priestly divisions (Mishmarot), since at the time preceding David and Samuel the priestly courses numbered a mere eight. Each group’s members were responsible for maintaining the schedule of offerings at the Temple. Each of the 24 groups consisted of six priestly families, with each of the six serving one day of the week. On the Shabbat all six worked in tandem. These 24 groups changed every Sabbath at the completion of the service. However, on the biblical festivals all 24 were present in the Temple for duty.
–“This is the teaching…” This is the same word used in many texts as law, instruction, Torah= to hit the mark. The kohen offers fat, which is cleared away to reveal our inner intentions (Hebrews 4;12 See, the Word of God is alive! It is at work and is sharper than any double-edged sword- it cuts right though to where soul meets spirit and joints meet marrow, and it is quick to judge the inner reflections and attitudes of the heart.) The organs that are being removed are the filters of the body, they strain out the poisons that could infect our life blood. The Hebrew word for Kidney (kilyah) can mean- mind, intellect and reigns. If we can offer our minds to God on the altar and allow His Word to counsel our intellect…we subject our will to God and become willing partners with God as our Teacher. Here at the altar stripped of any filters we might have we are naked before HASHEM, and He sees our innermost intentions, motivations and deep into our hearts.
Job 16;11 God has handed me over to an evildoer, and He consoles me through the wicked. 12 I was once serene, but he broke me into pieces; he grasped me by my neck and mangled me, and he stood me up as a target. 13 His archers surrounded me; he sliced open my kidneys without mercy; he spilled my bile to the ground. 14 He attacked me with one attack upon another. He charged me like a warrior. 15 I have sewn sackcloth for my scabs and sullied my countenance with dirt. 16 My face is wrinkled from weeping; death’s shadows are upon my eyelids- 17 but for no iniquity in my hands; and my prayers were virtuous. 18 O earth, do not conceal my blood! Let there not be a place for my screams! 19 Even now, my Witness is in heaven, my Attester is on high. 20 O, my orators, my friends: It is to God that my eyes shed tears. 21 If only a man could argue with God, as a human being with his fellow!
Psalm 26;1 Judge me, HASHEM, for I – I have walked in my perfect innocence; and I have trusted in HASHEM, I shall not waver. 2 Examine me, HASHEM, and test me; scrutinize my intellect and my heart. 3 For Your kindness is before my eyes, and I have walked in Your truth.
Proverbs 22;17 Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise; set your heart to My knowledge. 18 For it is pleasant if you guard them in your innards and establish all of them upon your lips. 19 Let your trust remain with HASHEM, I have made this known to you today, you also. 20 Surely, I have written for you [in the Torah] extremely noble things, with counsel and knowledge, 21 to teach you the veracity of true words, so that you may answer words of truth to those who send word to you.
Jeremiah17;10 I the Lord search the heart, I try the reigns, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
–Before the Pesach Seder we search our homes, traditionally with a candle, to uncover any remaining traces of leaven (chametz) that may be in our possession. As we do we note how easy it can be for a small bit of leaven to hide in a crack or crevice. So too we shall be aware that sin can just as easily hide in our hearts, so we ask God to illuminate with by light of Yeshua all remaining leaven from our lives, that it be removed and burned beyond further recongnition. The verse in Zephaniah reminds me of ‘God’s search’ for the chametz of Jerusalem in the day of the Lord.
Zephaniah 1;12 It will be at that time I will search Jerusalem with candles and I will deal with the men who are settled on their lees, who say in their heart, ‘HASHEM will not do good, and will not do evil.’ 13 Their wealth I will give away to plunder and their houses to desolation; they will build houses, but will not dwell in them; they will plant vineyards, but not drink their wine. 14 The great day of HASHEM in near, it is near and it hastens greatly, the sound of the day of HASHEM, when the mighty warrior cries out bitterly.
Leviticus 7;11 This is the law of the feast peace-offering that one will offer to HASHEM: 12 If he shall offer with the feast thanksgiving peace-offering unleavened loaves mixed with oil, and loaves of scalded fine flour mixed with oil, unleavened wafers smeared with oil, and loaves of scaled fine flour mixed with oil. 13 With loaves of leavened bread shall be bring his offering, with his feast thanksgiving peace-offering. 14 From it he shall offer one from each as an offering, a portion to HASHEM; it shall belong to the Kohen who throws the blood of the peace-offering. 15 And the flesh of his feast thanksgiving peace-offering must be eaten on the day of its offering; he shall not leave any of it until morning.
–In this text leaven is not a picture or sin but a symbol of freedom. The matzah (unleavened bread) can hearken back to the Exodus (the very time we are in the middle of celebrating the redemption from, during Pesach we eat matzah *Exodus 12;14 This day shall become a remembrance for you and you shall celebrate it as a festival for HASHEM; for your generations, as an eternal decree shall you celebrate it. 15 For a seven-day period shall you eat matzos, but on the previous day you shall nullify the leaven from your homes; for anyone who eats leavened food- that soul shall be cut off from Israel, from the first day to the seventh day. ) This matzah reminds us of the man who is enslaved (it is called the bread of affliction, it surely reminds us of Yeshua- the darkened markings remind us how he was bruised for our transgressions, the holes remind us of the wounds in his hands and feet from the nails by which he was hung on the execution stake.) The man who is enslaved can not create his own schedule, he has no time to tend to and prepare bread and as the Children of Israel left Egypt they ate the Pesach in haste * Exodus 12;11 So shall you eat it: your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; you shall eat it in haste…17 You shall safeguard the matzos, for on this very day I will have taken your legions out of the land of Egypt; you shall observe this day for your generations as an eternal decree.)
–The feast thanksgiving peace-offerings are brought with both unleavened and the leavened loaves. These loaves symbolize that once slaves, the Kohanim are able to freely give of their time, their schedules will now revolve around their service to the King. As free, redeemed men they offer the leavened loaves! This time between Pesach and the next pilgrimage festival of the Lord Shavoth (also known as Pentecost- the celebration of the Giving of the Torah) . At Shavouth leavened loaves were also brought, once again remembering the redemption and celebrating the freedom in Gods service! From Pesach to Shavouth we ‘Count the Omer’, that is each evening we offer blessings to HASHEM and take note of each and every day we have for each is a gift…from the time of our departure from Egypt to the giving of the Torah God know that the people needed yet more time to become prepared and continually sanctified by His hand in all their experiences (and the same holds true for us TODAY). Tonight (3-27-13) we will pray: “Blessed are You, HASHEM our God, King of the Universe, Who sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us regarding the counting of the Omer. Today is two days of the Omer. The compassionate One! May Yeshua return for us the service of the Temple to its place, speedily in our days, Amen, selah!
*Leviticus 23;15 You shall count for yourselves- from the morrow of the rest day, from the day when you shall bring the Omer of the waving- seven weeks, they shall be complete. 16 Until the morrow of the seventh week you shall count, fifty days; and you shall bring a new meal offering to HASHEM. 17 From your dwelling places you shall bring bread that shall be waved, two loaves made of two-ephah, they shall be fine flour, they shall be baked leavened; first-offerings to HASHEM.
–Consider this, the times we are in, Pesach we come to the Covenantal meal..count the Omer acknowledging that our King gives us this period to continually prepare to ‘receive’ the Torah , for the Spirit to be poured out at Shavouth. From here we come to Rosh Hashanah- The Feast of Trumpets where the heavens are torn open by the sound of our cries for continued renewal and help and growth at the sounding of the Shofar. Then Yom Kippur the day of atonement- the books are opened and we stand before the King with all that we are and have been, humbly and exercise our faith in His redemptive work and merciful nature. Thus we then come with a clean spirit to the time of our rejoicing, the shadow of the Wedding Supper of the Lamb, Succoth- Feast of Tabernacles. This is the last cycle of the Feasts of the Lord before the years of the blood moons. There will be eclipses in 2015 on nearly every Feast of the Lord. This is a very unique year we are alive in free to worship in and I pray we will count each moment as a gift and prepare for the coming of the King!
Hebrews 6;10 For God is not so unfair as to forget your work and the love you showed for him in your past service to his people- and in your present service too. 11 However, we want each one of you to keep showing the same diligence right up to the end, when your hope will be realized; 12 so that you will not become sluggish, but will be imitators of those who by their trust and patience are receiving what has been promised.
Psalm 16;5 HASHEM is my allotted portion and my share, You guide my destiny. 6 Portions have fallen to me in pleasant places, even the inheritance is beautiful to me. 7 I will bless HASHEM Who has advised me, also in the nights my intellect instructs me. 8 I have set HASHEM before me always; because He is at my right hand I shall not falter. 9 For this reason my heart rejoices and my soul is elated; my flesh too rests in confidence:10 Because You will not abandon my soul to the grave, You will not allow Your devout one to witness destruction. 11 You will make known to me the path of life, the fullness of joys in Your Presence, the delights that are in Your right hand for eternity.
Leviticus 7;16 If his feast-offering is for a vow or donation, it must be eaten on the day he offered his feast-offering; and on the next day, what is left over may be eaten. 17 What is left over from the flesh of the feast-offering shall be burned in the fire on the third day. 18 And if some of the flesh of his feast thanksgiving peace-offering was intended to be eaten on the third day, it is not acceptable, the one who offers it may not intend this- it remains rejected; and the soul that eats it shall bear its iniquity.
—Intend. The vow and donation are an admirable offering, there are rules about eating of them within two days of bringing the offering. The remainder of the text clearly is bringing to light the intentions of the heart. Whether or not the gift was given with good intent…if one is not willing to follow God’s prescribed orders and prohibitions, the offering as a whole….start to finish is unacceptable. Even worse, if the intent from the start was to disobey God or belittle His instructions…God does not even give a punishment, he simply warns this MAY NOT be our intent, and if we do this we will bear the iniquity of it. The word Hebrew word avon- meaning iniquity, fault, perversity, sin…is the same word used in the following verses (describing the iniquities of murder, abomination, kidnapping) , and I pray this context will give you an idea of the weight of this personal unacceptable INTENT against God’s order in the Leviticus text.
Genesis 4;13 Cain said to HASHEM, “Is my iniquity too great to be borne? 14 Behold, You have banished me this day from the face of the earth- can I be hidden from Your presence? I must become a vagrant and a wanderer on earth; whoever sees me will kill me!
Genesis 19;15 And just as dawn was breaking, the angels urged Lot on saying: “Get up- take your wife and your daughters who are present, lest you be swept away because of the sin of the city!”
Genesis 44;16 So Judah said, “What can we say to my lord? How can we speak? And how can we justify ourselves? God has uncovered the sin of your servants.
Ezekiel 44;1 Then He returned me toward the outer gate of the Sanctuary which faces eastward, and it was closed. 2 HASHEM said to me, “This gate shall be closed; it shall not be opened; no man shall come through it, because HASHEM, the God of Israel, has come through it; it shall be closed. 3 It is for the prince, he is the leader, so he will sit within it to eat food before HASHEM; he shall come in by way of the Hall of the [eastern] gate, and by that way he shall depart. 4 Then He brought me toward the northern gate, to the front of the Temple building and, behold, I saw the glory of HASHEM filled the House of HASHEM! I fell upon my face.
–The Rules of the House. When you are a guest in someone’s home, upon entering the house if all the members of the household removed their shoes and you kept yours on they might consider this rude.
It would be an offense if all the members of the household ate at the table for every meal and you took your plate to the couch. What is the purpose of such household rules? Safeguarding fine white carpets or leather furniture perhaps? Whatever the reasons I am sure one would have enough respect for the owner of the house to adhere to such ‘rules’. In the text God explains that someone who eats from contaminated flesh or who eats of the holy offerings in a state of contamination will be ‘cut off’. This would have to be a premeditated offense, we have previously been warned of these things…aside from the fact of all these sanctifying rituals and guidelines to keep these holy things set apart…if the Kohen can’t even wash garments splashed with the blood of these offerings outside of a holy place…someone who eats of this gifted Portion from HASHEM in an unclean state would have to knowingly do so. It is no coincidence that immediately following the verses about contamination in the Mishkan courts (so to speak at HASHEM’s table, for these were to be eaten in a Holy Place before HASHEM) we read about the expectations God has for the people in their dwelling places, at their own personal tables. They are not to eat of blood or fat, for their generations. How can you apply this to your life today? God’s ordinances are for good reason, even in this text it is as if He is trying to show how light this ‘yoke’ is, Yes, make use of the fat…just do not put it into your body (My Temple).
Leviticus 7;20 A person who eats flesh from the peace-offering that is HASHEM’s while his contamination is upon him, that soul will be cut off from its people. 21 If a person touches any contamination-whether human contamination or a contaminated animal [carcass] or any contaminated detestable [carcass]- and he eats from the flesh of a feast peace-offering that is HASHEM’s, then that soul is cut off from its people.
22 HASHEM spoke to Moses , saying: 23 Speak to the Children of Israel, saying: Any fat of oxen, sheep, or goats- you shall not eat. 24 The fat of an animal that died and the fat or an animal that had been torn to death may be put into any use; but you shall not eat it.
26You shall not consume any blood, in any of your dwelling places, whether from fowl or from animals. 27 Any person who consumes any blood- that soul shall be cut off from its people.
-When we read in the bible ‘cut off from his people’ we have to understand that this is meant to bring our attention to the Covenant. If you are not participating in the instructions and expectations of the High King, if you transgress the covenant of the King, you are not considered a part of His covenant or the people who are in covenant with HASHEM. The punishment may not come as immediate, the sages say that it could come somewhere ‘down the road’ or as premature death.
Deuteronomy 32;9 For HASHEM’s portion is His people; Jacob is the measure of His inheritance. …
13…He would suckle him with honey from a stone, and oil from a flinty rock; 14 Butter of cattle and milk of sheep with fat of lambs, rams born in Bashan and he-goats, with wheat as fat as kidneys; and you would drink the blood of grapes like delicious wine. 15 Jeshurun became fat and kicked. You became fat, you became thick, you became corpulent- and it deserted God its Maker….
–Now we come to it! The Consecration of the Kohanim. The word ‘take’ (laqach- send for, seize, send for, win.) Aaron…indicates that he may still have felt unworthy for this task. Nevertheless, this is the big day and Moses summons the whole assembly of the Children of Israel. He has his brother and his sons, the matzos and the animals for the inauguration offerings. How the vast assembly of people were all able to see from the entrance of the Mishkan is one of many unexplained miracles of HASHEM. Another incredibly endearing fact is that Moshe himself is at this point serving as Kohen Gadol (high priest), yet he dons the humble white linen vestments, showing once more his desire to be small in the eyes of men reiterating at the outset that all the events that would transpire would be by God’s command and not according to his own design or will. This is how hereafter the people, through the service of faithful Kohen, will draw near to the Lord.
Leviticus 8;1 HASHEM spoke to Moses, saying: 2 Take Aaron and his sons with him, and the garments and the oil of the anointment, and the bull of the sin-offering, and the two rams, and the basket of matzos. 3 Gather the entire assembly to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. 4 Moses did as HASHEM commanded him; and the assembly was gathered to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. 5 Moses said to the assembly: “This is the thing that HASHEM commanded to be done.” 6 Moses brought Aaron and his sons forward and he immersed them in water. 7 He placed the Tunic upon him and girdled him with the Sash; he dressed him in the Robe and placed the Ephod on him; he girdled him with the belt of the Ephod and adorned him with it. 8 He placed the Breastplate upon him; and in the Breastplate he placed the Urim and the Tumim. 9 He put the Turban upon his head; and upon the Turban upon his head; and upon the Turban, toward his face, he placed the golden Head-plate, the sacred diadem, as HASHEM commanded Moses.
–It was in the days we replay at this very time…that Yeshua rose from the dead and Ha’ elyon (God Most High) adorned His Son in the Garments, for splendor and glory or the Kohen Gadol, crowning Him with the sacred diadem of the priesthood…now He serves and we await the day He will be crowned once more by the Father, with a different diadem, the Crown of the conquering King! (*I Thessalonians 2;19 For when our Lord Yeshua returns, what will be our hope, our joy, our crown to boast about? Won’t it be you? Yes you are our glory and our joy!)
Hebrews 7;23 Moreover, the present cohanim are many in number, because they are prevented by death from continuing in office. 24 But because he lives forever, his position as cohen does not pass on to someone else; 25 and consequently, he is totally able to deliver those who approach God through him; since he is alive forever and thus forever able to intercedes on their behalf. 26 This is the kind of cohen gadol that meets our need- holy, without evil, without stain, set apart from sinners and raised higher than the heavens; 27 one who does not have the daily necessity, like other cohanim g’dolim, of offering up sacrifices first for their own sins and only then for those of the people; because he offered one sacrifice, once and for all, by offering up himself. 28 For the Torah appoints as cohanim g’dolim men who have weakness; but the text which speaks about swearing an oath, a text written later than the Torah, appoints a Son who has been brought to the goal forever. 8;1 Here is the whole point of what we have been saying: we do have just such a cohen gadol as has been described. And he does sit at the right hand of HaG’dulah (“The Greatness” “The Majesty”) in heaven. 2 There he serves in the Holy Place, that is, in the true Tent of Meeting, the one erected not by human beings but by ADONAI.
Leviticus 8;10 Moses took the oil of anointment and anointed the Tabernacle and everything within it; thus he sanctified them. 11 He sprinkled from it seven times upon the Altar; he anointed the Altar and all its utensils, and the Laver and its base, in order to sanctify them. 12 He poured from the oil of anointment upon Aaron’s head, and he anointed him to sanctify him. 13 Moses brought the sons of Aaron forward, he dressed them in Tunics and girdled [each of ] them with a Sash and wrapped the Headdresses upon them, as HASHEM had commanded Moses. 14 He brought forward the sin-offering bull; Aaron and his sons leaned their hands upon the head of the sin-offering bull. 15 He slaughtered it, and Moses took the blood and placed it on the horns of the Altar, all around, with his forefinger, and he purified the Altar; he poured the [remaining] blood upon the base of the Altar and he sanctified it to provide atonement for it.
–Moshe first anoints the Tabernacle, then Aaron. The House is first sanctified and then His Chosen leader is anointed. Aaron and his sons lean their hands on the head of the sin-offering bull, transferring their sin to the innocent sacrifice. And it the blood of this sacrifice which is completely burned that purifies and sanctifies the Altar. Yeshua was smote with the hands of both Jew and Gentile, these people have laid their hands upon the offering for sin…the only one who could atone for the willful rebellious sins of previous, present and future generations.
Matthew 26;67 Then they spit in his face and pounded him their fists; and those who were beating him 68 said, “Now, you, ‘Messiah,’ ‘prophesy’ to us: who hit you that time?”
John 19;2 The soldiers twisted thorn branches into a crown and placed it on his head, put a purple robe on him, 3 and went up to him, saying over and over, “Hail, ‘king of the Jews’! and hitting him in the face.
–The first ram is now brought and Aaron and his sons again lean their hands upon the ram, Moshe slaughters the ram and it is entirely burned. The priests have first offered their sin-offerings, this has to be done before they can serve HASHEM, before the people can put their ‘lives’ so to speak into their hands, before they can lead the people to draw near to HASHEM they must confess their own sins and make their offerings.
Leviticus 8;22 Then he brought near the second ram, the inauguration ram, and Aaron and his sons leaned their hands upon the head of the ram. 23 He slaughtered it, and Moses took some of its blood and placed it upon the middle part of Aaron’s right ear, upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the big toe of his right foot. 24 He brought the sons of Aaron forward, and Moses put some of the blood upon the middle part of their right ear, upon the thumb of their right hand and upon the big toe of their right foot; and Moses threw the remaining blood upon the Altar, all around.
–This is a beautiful lesson from HASHEM that should not be missed! The blood marks the ear, hand and foot. HASHEM desires our service in total…we are to Hear his word, hearken to His commandments with our ears and the ears of our hearts. We are to work with our hands doing what He has asked of us and performing His will with all our strength. We are to walk in His Torah and in faith in Yeshua…walk with the Lord, marked by the blood the Lamb, as priests for His service.
Psalm 8;2 HASHEM, our Master, how mighty is Your Name throughout the earth, [You] Who places Your majesty on the heavens. 3 Out of the mouths of babes and suckling’s You have established strength, because of Your enemies, to silence foe and avenger. 4 When I behold Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars that You have set in place, [ I think,] 5 “What is frail man that You should remember him, and the son of a mortal man that You should be mindful of him?” 6 Yet, You have made him but slightly less than the angels, and crowned him with soul and splendor. 7 You give him dominion over Your handiwork, You placed everything under his feet:8 sheep, cattle, all of them, even the beasts of the field; 9 the birds of the sky and the fish of the sea; for [man] traverses the lanes of the sea. 10 HASHEM, our Master, how mighty is Your Name throughout the earth!
–The inauguration ram is divided by Moshe and placed upon the palms of the hands of Aaron and his sons, on them is one of each of the matzah, oily bread loaf, and one wafer. They are then to be offered as a wave service to HASHEM. The wave service is a declaration, physically, of the sovereignty and authority of God over all directions…the offering is waved northward, southward, eastward and westward, heavenward and earthward. So too during the Feast of Sukkot we wave the four species in this same fashion, as a remembrance of this and other such wave services. The symbol of the star of David has six points, serving a similar declaration, God is sovereign King…ruler and keeper with dominion over His children for all directions, wherever He might lead them, wherever they might ‘be’… from the dust He took us and God willing someday we will be lifted to serve Him in His Kingdom eternally.
Numbers 16;5…”In the morning HASHEM will make known the one who is His own and the holy one, and He will draw him close to Himself, and whomever He will choose, He will draw close to Himself.
Nahum 1;6 Who can stand before His fury, and who can rise against His burning wrath? His wrath is poured out like fire and rocks become shattered because of Him. 7 HASHEM is beneficent, a stronghold on the day of distress, and mindful of those who take refuge in Him.
II Timothy 2;19 Nevertheless, God’s firm foundation stands, stamped with these words: “The Lord knows His own,” and “Let everyone who claims to belong to the Lord stand apart from wrongdoing.”
Leviticus 8;27 He put it all on Aaron’s palms and on the palms of his sons; and he waved them as a wave-service before HASHEM. 28 Then Moses took them from on their palms and caused them to go up in smoke on the Altar after the burnt-offering; they were inauguration offerings, for a satisfying aroma; it was a fire-offering to HASHEM. 29 Moses took the breast and waved it as a wave-service before HASHEM; from the inauguration ram it was a portion for Moses, as HASHEM had commanded Moses.
–I take great delight in knowing that the humble Moses who gave of his life continually, sacrificing for the people was able to be the firsthand constructor of the Mishkan and now partakes of the very first gift portion from HASHEM’s ‘table’. How delicious and fulfilling must that meat have been to the prophet and priest of HASHEM who ceaselessly ‘did as HASHEM commanded’! Moshe gave the message of the Lord to the people, he was God’s messenger and prophet, here we see him serve has high priest to HASHEM. So too, the prophet like unto Moses, Yeshua..came with the message of the Lord, he sacrificed himself for all people, serves as High Priest and will return as King!
Leviticus 8;30 Moses took from the oil of anointment and some of the blood that was on the Altar, and he sprinkled it upon Aaron and his vestments, and upon his sons and upon the vestments of his sons who were with him; thus he sanctified Aaron and his vestments, and his sons, and the vestments of his sons with him. 31 Moses said to Aaron and to his sons: Cook the flesh at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting and there shall you eat it and the bread that is in the basket of the inauguration offerings, as I have commanded, saying: “Aaron and his sons shall eat it.” 32 Whatever is left over of the flesh and of the bread, you shall burn in the fire. 33 You shall not leave the entrance of the Tent of Meeting for seven days, until the day when your days of inauguration are completed; for you shall be inaugurated for a seven-day period.
–The priests are to remain sequestered for the seven-day period of their inauguration. There are obvious physical functions that are to be tended to, that certainly can not be performed in or near the Mishkan…the lesson for us could be this…the Priests are to remain focused, their primary purpose and function is serving God and maintaining His dwelling place on earth, they are permitted to leave the holy boundaries but only to execute the crucial needed functions of life…they are not to linger, to stop and dwell in the camp along the way, they are to remain completely centered on the sanctity of their tasks, especially during this period of introduction, of initiation into this sacred and generational duty. They set an example for the people and for their children and are actively living out their legacy of righteous devotion to the King! It is easy to become distracted, someday there will be far less to turn our attention from HASHEM…let us pray for focus and commitment to our service that on the day when there is hunger and drought…we can give of the gifted portion of HASHEM and distribute it with energy and vitality and enthusiasm among all the people!
Amos 8;11 Behold, days are coming-the word of the Lord HASHEM/ELOHIM- when I will send hunger into the land; not a hunger for bread nor a thirst for water, but to hear the words of HASHEM. 12 [People] will travel from sea to sea, and from north to east; they will wander about to seek the word of HASHEM but they will not find it.
Leviticus 8;34 As he did on this day, so HASHEM commanded to be done to provide atonement for you. 35 At the entrance of the Tent of Meeting shall you dwell day and night for a seven-day period, and you shall protect HASHEM’s charge so that you will nor die; for so have I been commanded. 36 Aaron and his sons carried out all the matters that HASHEM commanded through Moses.
ADONAI if only it could be said of Your remnant…we carried out all the matters of HASHEM, we safeguarded and protected the charge You gave us, we heard…worked and walked with You. Lord in this time I pray that You will continue to clean out our hearts, making us all aware of the sanctity of these days…awakening us early to approach the Altar….instilling in our hearts the extent of our capabilities to serve our Almighty One….if only ALL of those whom You have called would draw near without hesitance, knowing that You have begun the work in us all…I pray that it continue for all our days, until the coming of our King and through eternity. Send me HASHEM, here I am….I offer You my heart, burn it all entirely, You have redeemed me God of Truth….may myself, my household and all Your children always be given the strength to serve You completely and constantly….for Your compassions are never exhausted and Your kindnesses never have ended….may we always put our hope in You.
(A prayer by Moses) Psalm 90;11 Who knows the power of Your anger? As You are feared, so is Your fury. 12 Teach us to count our days, then we shall acquire a heart of wisdom. 13 Return, HASHEM, until when? Relent concerning Your servants. 14 Satisfy us in the morning with Your kindness, then we shall sing out and rejoice throughout our days. 15 Gladden us according to the days You afflicted us, the years when we saw evil. 16 May Your works be visible to Your servants, and Your majesty upon their children. 17 May the pleasantness of the Lord, our God, be upon us; our handiwork, establish for us; our handiwork, establish it.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who has planted among us life eternal…Blessed are You Lord our God, gracious giver of the Torah…
in Yeshua’s name
Our God and the God of our forefathers, may there rise, come, reach, be noted, be favored, be heard, be considered, and be remembered- the remembrance and consideration of ourselves; the remembrance of our forefathers; the remembrance of Yeshua the Messiah, son of David, Your servant; the remembrance of Jerusalem, the city of Your Holiness; and the remembrance of Your entire people the Family of Israel- before You for deliverance, for goodness, for grace, for kindness, and for compassion, for life, and for peace on this day of the Festival of Matzos. Remember us on it, HASHEM our God, for goodness, consider us on it for blessing; and help us on it for life. In the matter of salvation and compassion, pity, be gracious and compassionate with us and help us, for our eyes are turned to You, because You are God, the gracious and compassionate King. Bestow upon us, O HASHEM, our God, the blessing of Your appointed Festivals for life and peace, for gladness and for joy, as You desired and promised to bless us. Blessed are You Lord our God, Who sanctifies His people and the festive seasons. Amein.
Resources/ tools :
-The Complete Jewish Bible-David H. Stern
-The Stone Edition Tanach- artscroll
-Interlinear Scripture Analyzer
-excellent resource: Online Tanach, easily searchable.
-For amazing commentary I find crucial please visit:
For teaching on the Feasts of the Lord: