Complete Jewish Bible
Parashah 20: Tetzaveh (You are to order) 27:20 –30:10
20 “You are to order the people of Isra’el to bring you pure oil of pounded olives for the light, and to keep a lamp burning continually. 21 Aharon and his sons are to put it in the tent of meeting, outside the curtain in front of the testimony, and keep it burning from evening until morning before Adonai. This is to be a permanent regulation through all the generations of the people of Isra’el.
28 “You are to summon your brother Aharon and his sons to come from among the people of Isra’el to you, so that they can serve me as cohanim — Aharon and his sons Nadav, Avihu, El‘azar and Itamar. 2 You are to make for your brother Aharon garments set apart for serving God, expressing dignity and splendor. 3 Speak to all the craftsmen to whom I have given the spirit of wisdom, and have them make Aharon’s garments to set him apart for me, so that he can serve me in the office of cohen.
4 “The garments they are to make are these: a breastplate, a ritual vest, a robe, a checkered tunic, a turban and a sash. They are to make holy garments for your brother Aharon and his sons, so that he can serve me in the office of cohen. 5 They are to use gold; blue, purple and scarlet yarn; and fine linen.
6 “They are to make the ritual vest of gold, of blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and of finely woven linen, crafted by a skilled artisan. 7 Attached to its front and back edges are to be two shoulder-pieces that can be fastened together. 8 Its decorated belt is to be of the same workmanship and materials — gold; blue, purple and scarlet yarn; and finely woven linen. 9 Take two onyx stones and engrave on them the names of the sons of Isra’el — 10 six of their names on one stone and the six remaining names on the other, in the order of their birth. 11 An engraver should engrave the names of the sons of Isra’el on the two stones as he would engrave a seal. Mount the stones in gold settings, 12 and put the two stones on the shoulder-pieces of the vest as stones calling to mind the sons of Isra’el. Aharon is to carry their names before Adonai on his two shoulders as a reminder.
(ii) 13 “Make gold squares 14 and two chains of pure gold, twisted like cords; attach the cord-like chains to the squares.
15 “Make a breastplate for judging. Have it crafted by a skilled artisan; make it like the work of the ritual vest — make it of gold; blue, purple and scarlet yarn; and finely woven linen. 16 When folded double it is to be square — a hand-span by a hand-span. 17 Put in it settings of stones, four rows of stones: the first row is to be a carnelian, a topaz and an emerald; 18 the second row a green feldspar, a sapphire and a diamond; 19 the third row an orange zircon, an agate and an amethyst; 20 and the fourth row a beryl, an onyx and a jasper. They are to be mounted in their gold settings. 21 The stones will correspond to the names of the twelve sons of Isra’el; they are to be engraved with their names as a seal would be engraved, to represent the twelve tribes.
22 “On the breastplate, make two pure gold chains twisted like cords. 23 Also for the breastplate, make two gold rings; and put the gold rings on the two ends of the breastplate. 24 Put the two twisted gold chains in the two rings at the two ends of the breastplate; 25 attach the other two ends of the twisted chains to the front of the shoulder-pieces of the ritual vest. 26 Make two gold rings and put them on the two ends of the breastplate, at its edge, on the side facing in toward the vest. 27 Also make two gold rings and attach them low on the front part of the vest’s shoulder-pieces, near the join, above the vest’s decorated belt. 28 Then bind the breastplate by its rings to the rings of the vest with a blue cord, so that it can be on the vest’s decorated belt, and so that the breastplate won’t swing loose from the vest. 29 Aharon will carry the names of the sons of Isra’el on the breastplate for judging, over his heart, when he enters the Holy Place, as a continual reminder before Adonai. 30 You are to put the urim and the tumim in the breastplate for judging; they will be over Aharon’s heart when he goes into the presence of Adonai. Thus Aharon will always have the means for making decisions for the people of Isra’el over his heart when he is in the presence of Adonai.
(iii) 31 “You are to make the robe for the ritual vest entirely of blue. 32 It is to have an opening for the head in the middle. Around the opening is to be a border woven like the neck of a coat of mail, so that it won’t tear. 33 On its bottom hem make pomegranates of blue, purple and scarlet; and put them all the way around, with gold bells between them all the way around — 34 gold bell, pomegranate, gold bell, pomegranate, all the way around the hem of the robe. 35 Aharon is to wear it when he ministers, and its sound will be heard whenever he enters the Holy Place before Adonai and when he leaves, so that he won’t die.
36 “You are to make an ornament of pure gold and engrave on it as on a seal, ‘Set apart for Adonai.’ 37 Fasten it to the turban with a blue cord, on the front of the turban, 38 over Aharon’s forehead. Because Aharon bears the guilt for any errors committed by the people of Isra’el in consecrating their holy gifts, this ornament is always to be on his forehead, so that the gifts for Adonai will be accepted by him.
39 “You are to weave the checkered tunic of fine linen, make a turban of fine linen, and make a belt, the work of a weaver in colors. 40 Likewise for Aharon’s sons make tunics, sashes and headgear expressing dignity and splendor. 41 With them clothe your brother Aharon and his sons. Then anoint them, inaugurate them, and consecrate them, so that they will be able to serve me in the office of cohen. 42 Also make for them linen shorts reaching from waist to thigh, to cover their bare flesh. 43 Aharon and his sons are to wear them when they go into the tent of meeting and when they approach the altar to minister in the Holy Place, so that they won’t incur guilt and die. This is to be a perpetual regulation, both for him and for his descendants.
29 (iv) “Here is what you are to do to consecrate them for ministry to me in the office of cohen. Take one young bull and two rams without defect, 2 also matzah, matzah cakes mixed with olive oil, and matzah wafers spread with oil — all made from fine wheat flour; 3 put them together in a basket, and present them in the basket, along with the bull and the two rams.
4 “Bring Aharon and his sons to the entrance of the tent of meeting, and wash them with water. 5 Take the garments, and put on Aharon the tunic, the robe for the ritual vest, the vest itself, and the breastplate. Fasten the vest on him with its belt. 6 Put the turban on his head and attach the holy ornament to the turban. 7 Then take the anointing oil, and anoint him by pouring it on his head. 8 Bring his sons; put tunics on them; 9 wrap sashes around them, Aharon and his sons; and put the headgear on their heads. The office of cohen is to be theirs by a permanent regulation. Thus you will consecrate Aharon and his sons.
10 “Bring the young bull to the front of the tent of meeting. Aharon and his sons are to lay their hands on the bull’s head, 11 and you are to slaughter the bull in the presence of Adonai at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 12 Take some of the bull’s blood, and put it on the horns of the altar with your finger; pour out all the rest of the blood at the base of the altar. 13 Take all the fat that covers the inner organs, the covering of the liver and the two kidneys with their fat, and offer them up in smoke on the altar. 14 But the bull’s flesh, skin and dung you are to destroy by fire outside the camp; it is a sin offering.
15 “Take one of the rams: Aharon and his sons are to lay their hands on the ram’s head; 16 and you are to slaughter the ram, take its blood, and splash it on all sides of the altar. 17 Quarter the ram, wash the inner organs and the lower parts of the legs, and put them with the quarters and the head. 18 Then offer up the whole ram in smoke on the altar. It is a burnt offering for Adonai, a pleasing aroma, an offering made to Adonai by fire.
(v) 19 “Take the other ram: Aharon and his sons are to lay their hands on the ram’s head; 20 and you are to slaughter the ram, take some of its blood, and put it on the lobe of Aharon’s right ear, on the lobes of his sons’ right ears, on the thumbs of their right hands and on the big toes of their right feet. Take the rest of the blood and splash it on all sides of the altar. 21 Then take some of the blood that is on the altar and some of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it on Aharon and his clothing and on his sons and the clothing of his sons with him; so that he and his clothing will be consecrated, and with him his sons and his sons’ clothing. 22 Also take the fat from the ram, the fat tail, the fat that covers the inner organs, the two kidneys, the fat covering them and the right thigh — for it is a ram of consecration — 23 along with one loaf of bread, one cake of oiled bread and one wafer from the basket of matzah which is before Adonai — 24 and put it all in the hands of Aharon and his sons. They are to wave them as a wave offering in the presence of Adonai. 25 Then take them back; and burn them up in smoke on the altar, on top of the burnt offering, to be a pleasing aroma before Adonai; it is an offering made to Adonai by fire.
26 “Take the breast of the ram for Aharon’s consecration, and wave it as a wave offering before Adonai; it will be your share. 27 Consecrate the breast of the wave offering and the thigh of any contribution that has been waved and raised up, whether from the ram of consecration, or from anything else meant for Aharon or his sons; 28 this will belong to Aharon and his sons as their share perpetually due from the people of Isra’el — it will be a contribution from the people of Isra’el from their peace offerings, their contribution to Adonai.
29 “The holy garments of Aharon will be used by his sons after him; they will be anointed and consecrated in them. 30 The son who becomes cohen in his place, who comes into the tent of meeting to serve in the Holy Place, is to wear them for seven days. 31 Take the ram of consecration, and boil its meat in a holy place. 32 Aharon and his sons will eat the ram’s meat and the bread in the basket at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 33 They are to eat the things with which atonement was made for them, to inaugurate and consecrate them; no one else may eat this food, because it is holy. 34 If any of the meat for the consecration or any of the bread remains until morning, burn up what remains; it is not to be eaten, because it is holy. 35 Carry out all these orders I have given you concerning Aharon and his sons. You are to spend seven days consecrating them.
36 “Each day, offer a young bull as a sin offering, besides the other offerings of atonement; offer the sin offering on the altar as your atonement for it; then anoint it to consecrate it. 37 Seven days you will make atonement on the altar and consecrate it; thus the altar will be especially holy, and whatever touches the altar will become holy.
(vi) 38 “Now this is what you are to offer on the altar: two lambs a year old, regularly, every day. 39 The one lamb you are to offer in the morning and the other lamb at dusk. 40 With the one lamb offer two quarts of finely ground flour mixed with one quart of oil from pressed olives; along with one quart of wine as a drink offering. 41 The other lamb you are to offer at dusk; do with it as with the morning grain and drink offerings — it will be a pleasing aroma, an offering made to Adonai by fire. 42 Through all your generations this is to be the regular burnt offering at the entrance to the tent of meeting before Adonai. There is where I will meet with you to speak with you. 43 There I will meet with the people of Isra’el; and the place will be consecrated by my glory. 44 I will consecrate the tent of meeting and the altar, likewise I will consecrate Aharon and his sons to serve me in the office of cohen. 45 Then I will live with the people of Isra’el and be their God: 46 they will know that I am Adonai their God, who brought them out of the land of Egypt in order to live with them. I am Adonai their God.
30 (vii) “You are to make an altar on which to burn incense; make it of acacia-wood. 2 It is to be eighteen inches square and three feet high; its horns are to be of one piece with it. 3 Overlay it with pure gold — its top, all around its sides, and its horns; and put around it a molding of gold. 4 Make two gold rings for it under its molding at the two corners on both sides; this is where the carrying-poles will go. 5 Make the poles of acacia-wood, and overlay them with gold.
6 “Place it in front of the curtain by the ark for the testimony, in front of the ark-cover that is over the testimony, where I will meet with you. 7 Aharon will burn fragrant incense on it as a pleasing aroma every morning; he is to burn it when he prepares the lamps. (Maftir) 8 Aharon is also to burn it when he lights the lamps at dusk; this is the regular burning of incense before Adonai through all your generations. 9 You are not to offer unauthorized incense on it, or a burnt offering or a grain offering; and you are not to pour a drink offering on it. 10 Aharon is to make atonement on its horns once a year — with the blood of the sin offering of atonement he is to make atonement for it once a year through all your generations; it is especially holy to Adonai.”
Haftarah Tetzaveh: Yechezk’el (Ezekiel) 43:10–27
B’rit Hadashah suggested reading for Parashah Tetzaveh: Philippians 4:10–20