Tetzaveh (You Shall Command)
Torah: Exodus 27:20-30:10 Haftarah: I Samuel 15:1-34 Brit Chadasha: Ephesians 6:11-18
“Blessed are the clean in heart, because they shall see Elohim. Matthew 5:8
The Weight of it all
As we begin this week, we see right out of the gates a command for pure olive oil.
“And you, you are to command the children of Yisra’ĕl to bring you clear oil of pressed olives for the light, to cause the lamp to burn continually. “In the Tent of Meeting, outside the veil which is before the Witness, Aharon and his sons are to tend it from evening until morning before יהוה – a law forever to their generations, from the children of Yisra’ĕl. Exodus 27:20
This is a loaded verse and many times I believe we read over verses like this and don’t take the time to stop and really examine them the way we should. The verse instructs about bringing pure olive oil to put in the menorah, the seven branched candelabrum. Before we get into the oil; let’s look at something interesting in the text here. The Scriptures version of the Bible correctly translated the Tabernacle as the Tent of Meeting. When we read in the tabernacle of the congregation we lose the meaning of what is trying to be portrayed there and just see it as the tabernacle of Moshe. Tent of Meeting in Hebrew is the ohel moed. I know we are all familiar with the word moed which means meeting or divine appointment. The picture the Hebrew gives us here is that Moshe’s tabernacle is way more than just that. It was THE MEETING PLACE!
“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: Leviticus 23:2
So it could be said here in this verse concerning the meeting times of Elohim which you are to proclaim as set-apart gatherings, My meeting times are these. Many times I think that we get caught up in the hustle and bustle and fellowship with one another at the Feasts that often times we may lose track that the Father has set these times aside to specifically meet with us on these specific days. So the ohel moed is in the Mishkan and it is the time and the place where Yah and his people meet, where he met and spoke with Moshe, and where the sacrifices were brought unto Him. So there is something to these specific meeting times and they always carry a weight of importance. Next time we have a ‘meeting time’ ordained by the Father why not take a time to pause and see if He wants to ‘meet’ with you and me. Many times we are so busy talking and doing that I believe we forget to sit down, stop, shut up, and listen to what the Father is saying. I fail in this area just as much as anyone else. So again let’s not get so caught up in the festivities of the meeting times that we forget to remember the reason as to why these meetings were set up in the beginning.
Ok so let’s go back to the pure olive oil. The people of YHVH were to bring it to Him. This means that they had to process it themselves and it had to be pure. The word in Hebrew for pure is an interesting word which means removing the impurities by washing or refining to make pure. We clearly see here that Yah is asking His people to bring Him oil that is clear and free from impurities. Now is the picture becoming a little clearer?
For those of you who don’t know or haven’t really looked at the process of removing the oil from olives, it’s very detailed. There has to be a crushing of the olives not just once but many times. I watched a documentary once about this process over in Eretz Yisrael (Land of Israel). There was this huge round stone that was in the shape of a tire and it was connected to a horse. This stone must have weighed at least three hundred pounds or so and the horse just kept going round and round in circles while the weight of the stone just pulverized the olives. What began to happen was the liquid began to be separated from the olive itself and was strained into a holding vat. What was left at the end of this process was pure transparent olive oil and the pulp was discarded because there really wasn’t a use for it.