Exodus 29:45-46: “I will dwell among the children of Israel and will be their God. And they shall know that I am the LORD their God, who brought them up out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them. I am the LORD their God.””
The ‘parsha’ (‘Torah’ portion) this week, ‘Parsha Tetzaveh’ (You command), is found in Exodus 27:20 – 30:10 and is the twentieth weekly ‘Torah’ portion in the annual Jewish cycle of ‘Torah’ reading; the corresponding ‘haftorah’ (reading of the prophets) is found in Ezekiel 43:10-27.
‘Parsha Tetzaveh’ begins by telling us that G-d instructed Moses to receive pure olive oil from the Children of Israel to feed the “everlasting flame” of the menorah, which Aaron and his descendants as High Priest was to kindle each day in the tabernacle, “from evening until morning.”
The next 43 verses - about half of ‘Parsha Tetzaveh’s’ total - consist of G-d’s instructions to Moses regarding the making of the priestly garments for Aaron and his sons, who were to perform the service in the Sanctuary.
Our ‘parsha’ goes on to describe the priestly garments which were to be worn by the ‘kohanim’ (priests) while serving in the Sanctuary. All ‘kohanim’ wore a ‘ketonet’ - a full length linen tunic; ‘michnasayim’ - linen breeches; a ‘mitznefet’ or ‘migba’a’ - a linen turban and an ‘avnet’ - a long sash wound above the waist.
In addition, the ‘Kohen Gadol’ (High Priest) wore the ‘ephod’ - an apron-like garment made of blue- purple- and red-dyed wool, linen and gold thread; the ‘choshen’ - a breastplate containing twelve precious stones inscribed with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel; a ‘me’il’ - a cloak of blue wool, with gold bells and decorative pomegranates on its hem and the ‘tzitz’—a golden crown worn on the forehead, bearing the inscription “Holiness to the LORD.”
‘Parsha Tetzaveh’ also includes G-d’s detailed instructions for the seven-day initiation into the priesthood of Aaron and his four sons.
The last ten verses of ‘Parsha Tetzaveh’ describe the detailed instructions for the making of the Golden Altar on which the ‘ketoret’ (incense) was to be burned.
Our ‘parsha’ ends by telling us that, on ‘Yom Kippur’ (the Day of Atonement), the Golden Altar served an additional function: Exodus 31:10: “And Aaron shall make atonement upon its horns once a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonement; once a year he shall make atonement upon it throughout your generations. It is most holy to the LORD.”
In ‘haftorah Tetzaveh’, the prophet Ezekiel describes a vision of the altar that will be built for the Third Temple and its dedication ceremony - paralleling this week's ‘Torah’ portion which discusses the dedication of the Tabernacle's altar.
Shortly after the destruction of the first Temple, Ezekiel experienced a vision of the Third Temple that will be built either before the Messiah, Yeshua, returns to Jerusalem or by the Messiah after His return (depending on your theology). G-d told Ezekiel to recount this vision to the Jewish people.
The intention of this was to make them ashamed of the deeds they had done that caused the destruction of the Temple – Ezekiel 43:10-11: “Son of man, describe the temple to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities; and let them measure the pattern. And if they are ashamed of all that they have done, make known to them the design of the temple and its arrangement, its exits and its entrances, its entire design and all its ordinances, all its forms and all its laws. Write it down in their sight, so that they may keep its whole design and all its ordinances, and perform them.”
Ezekiel then goes on to describe in detail the Third Temple's altar as well as its seven-day inauguration ceremony and the offerings which would be brought on each day of that special week.
There is much debate about whether the Third Temple will be built; by whom it will be built and when it will be built (before or after the return of the Messiah). Personally, I believe that the Third Temple will be rebuilt before the return of the Messiah…But this is my personal opinion as no one really knows if and when the Third Temple will be rebuilt.
However what is important is that the Jewish ‘Mashiach’ (Messiah), Yeshua, will return to Jerusalem and we must be ready for that glorious day.
One way of preparing oneself for the return of Yeshua is to realise that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit – 1 Corinthians 6:19: “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?”
We read in Ezekiel 43:10 that Israel’s disobedience to G-d caused the destruction of both Temples.
Now before anyone runs off shouting ‘bad Jews’, the church has not done any better; in fact, I believe that much of the church has disobeyed G-d even more than the Jewish people – and I have experience from both sides, being a practicing, Orthodox Jew who is now a Jewish believer in Yeshua.
Why so I say this?
Let’s look at the facts! G-d commissioned the Jews to be His vessels to show Himself and His glory and majesty to the Gentile world. In this, they ultimately failed.
G-d then commissioned the church to be His vessels to show His Son, Yeshua, to the Jews - Romans 11:11: “I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles.”
In this the church has failed…miserably!
The Jews never attempted to wipe out an entire nation. And before you go shouting that the Jews killed Yeshua, allow me to quote two scriptures:
• Romans 11:25: “For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.”
• 2 Corinthians 3:12-15: “Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech-- unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart.”
These scriptures show that G-d Himself blinded the Jewish people to Yeshua so that the Gentiles can be saved.
Another thing, no one killed Yeshua. Yeshua is G-d, and G-d cannot be killed. In fact, the scriptures tell us that Yeshua gave up His life on the cross; and this happened only after Yeshua had fulfilled the final Old Testament prophecy regarding His first coming – John 19:30: “So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.”
However, in the name of Christianity, Jews have been murdered, persecuted and almost annihilated throughout the ages…and anti-Semitism is still rife in much of the church today…Replacement Theology is one example of this.
In fact, some of the church stands with Israel’s enemies against Israel…and this is total disobedience to G-d’s instruction in the Bible.
And here’s the thing, born again believers have the Holy Spirit indwelling them…our bodies are a “temple of the Holy Spirit” … Professing Christians should know better.
G-d has called believers to live according to a higher standard. We need to be a people of integrity; highly moral; glorifying G-d in our bodies and in our spirits.
G-d destroyed both Temples because of the disobedience of the Jewish people. What will he do to your temple if you are disobedient?
Finally, ask yourself: Will G-d inhabit my temple?
We love you.
Scriptures of the week: 1 Corinthians 6:17-20: “But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.”
Thank you Yeshua for Your love for me.
Thank you for giving up Your life on the cross for me and for taking my sins upon Yourself.
I confess that I have sinned.
I repent of my sins and I turn from everything I know to be wrong.
I invite You to come into my life as my Messiah, my Saviour.
By Your grace I will serve You all the remaining years of my life.