This week the Torah Parashah and Haftarah both focus on the Priesthood…
Teaching For Shabbat of April 4th, 2020
Tzav (צַו) — Hebrew for “command,” the sixth word in the parsha) is the 25th weekly Torah portion in the annual cycle of Torah reading and the second in the Book of Leviticus. The parashah teaches how the priests performed the sacrifices and describes the ordination of Aaron and his sons. The parashah constitutes Leviticus 6:1–8:36 (6:8–8:36 in the KJV).
Parsha Tzav Summary
God instructs Moses to command Aaron and his sons regarding their duties and rights as kohanim (“priests”) who offer the korbanot (animal and meal offerings) in the Sanctuary.
The fire on the altar must be kept burning at all times. In it are burned the wholly consumed ascending offering; veins of fat from the peace, sin and guilt offerings; and the “handful” separated from the meal offering.
The kohanim eat the meat of the sin and guilt offerings, and the remainder of the meal offering. The peace offering is eaten by the one who brought it, except for specified portions given to the kohen. The holy meat of the offerings must be eaten by ritually pure persons, in their designated holy place and within their specified time.
Aaron and his sons remain within the Sanctuary compound for seven days, during which Moses initiates them into the priesthood.
— Jeremiah 7:21-28; 9:22-23
This week’s haftorah touches on the subject of the Sacrifices and the Responsibility of the Priests, the main topic of the week’s Torah portion. The prophet Jeremiah in chapter 7 parallels the Torah portion about the Priest’s and their responsibilities and describes the failure of the Priests and we discuss the job of the Priesthood to Teach and Live Torah, Bless God’s People Israel, Pray and Intercede for the People, and Warn those in error and call them to Repent! Taken from Jeremiah 7:21-8:3; 9:22-23.
God tells the prophet Jeremiah to rebuke the Jewish people, saying that His primary intention in taking their forefathers out of Egypt wasn’t the sacrificial offerings, rather in order that they observe the commandments. But despite the fact that God repeatedly dispatched prophets to admonish the people,
They did not obey nor did they incline their ear, but walked according to [their] own counsels and in the view of their evil heart, and they went backwards and not forwards.” (Jer. 7:24)
God further informs Jeremiah that the people will also not hearken to these words that he will speak to them now.
The haftorah concludes with God’s admonition:
Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom, nor the strong man boast of his strength, nor the rich man boast of his riches. But let him that boasts exult in this, that he understands and knows me, for I am God Who practices kindness, justice and righteousness on the earth; for in these things I delight, says God.”
Other Scriptures for further Study:
‘Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.”
Deuteronomy 7:6; 14:2
“For you are a holy people to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.
And you will be called the priests of the LORD; You will be spoken of as ministers of our God You will eat the wealth of nations, And in their riches you will boast.
I Peter 2:5
You also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Yeshua the Annointed…
…who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. (Titus 2:14)
I Peter 2:9
For you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
and He has made us to be a kingdom of priests to his God and Father–to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
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Torah Parashah teaching with video and audio and illustrations by Rabbi Isaac. © 2020 Assembly of Called-Out Believers. Use by Permission.