The eighth portion of the book of Sh’mot/Exodus is Tetzaveh, which means “You are to order.” This is the 20th Torah Portion.
Torah: Exodus 27:20-30:10
Hatarah: Ezekiel 43:10-27
Apostolic: Hebrews 8:1-6;
You can read or listen to the portions below:
“You, human being, describe this house to the house of Isra’el, so that they will be ashamed of their crimes. And let them measure accurately. If they become ashamed of all they have done, show them the elevation and plan of the house, its exits and entrances, all its details and decorations, and all its specifications, its design and its Torah. Sketch it for them to see, so that they can observe the entire design with its specifications, and carry them out. This is Torah for the house: the whole surrounding area on the mountaintop will be especially holy. This is Torah for the house.” These are the measurements of the altar in cubits (a cubit here is defined as a normal cubit [eighteen inches] plus a handbreadth [three inches]): the base, one cubit [twenty-one inches] deep and one cubit wide; with the molding surrounding it at its rim about a hand-span [nine inches] in width. The height of the altar is thus: from the base on the ground to the lower ledge, three-and-a-half feet, with the width twenty-one inches; from the lower ledge to the upper ledge, seven feet, with the width again twenty-one inches. The hearth measures seven feet [high], with four horns on top of the hearth. The hearth is a square twenty-one feet on each of its four sides. The ledge measures a square twenty-four-and-a-half feet on each of its four sides; the molding around it ten-and-a-half inches [across]; and its base twenty-one inches [larger than the rest, all the way] around. Its steps face east. He said to me, “Human being, The LORD Elohim says, ‘These are the regulations for the altar when the time comes to construct it, offer burnt offerings on it and splash the blood against it: you are to give to the cohanim, who are L’vi’im descended from Tzadok and who approach to serve me,’ says The LORD Elohim, ‘a young bull as a sin offering. You are to take its blood and put it on the four horns of the altar, on the four corners of the ledge and on the molding all the way around; this is how you will purify it and make atonement for it. You are also to take the bull which is the sin offering and have it burned up at the designated place [on the grounds] of the house, outside the sanctuary. On the second day you are to offer a male goat without defect as a sin offering, and they are to purify the altar as they purified it with the bull. When you have finished purifying it, you are to offer a young bull without defect and a ram from the flock without defect. You are to present them before The LORD, and the cohanim will throw salt on them and offer them as a burnt offering to The LORD. Every day, for seven days, you are to prepare a goat as a sin offering; they are also to prepare a young bull and a ram from the flock without defect. For seven days, they are to make atonement for the altar and cleanse it; in this way they are to consecrate it. When these days are over, then, on the eighth day and afterwards, the cohanim will present your burnt offerings on the altar and your peace offerings; and I will accept you,’ says The LORD Elohim.”
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 in heaven. There he serves in the Holy Place, that is, in the true Tent of Meeting, the one erected not by human beings but by The LORD. For every cohen gadol is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices; so this cohen gadol too has to have something he can offer. Now if he were on earth, he wouldn’t be a cohen at all, since there already are cohanim offering the gifts required by the Torah. But what they are serving is only a copy and shadow of the heavenly original; for when Moshe was about to erect the Tent, G-d warned him, “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern you were shown on the mountain.” But now the work Yeshua has been given to do is far superior to theirs, just as the covenant he mediates is better. For this covenant has been given as Torah on the basis of better promises.
Now the first covenant had both regulations for worship and a Holy Place here on earth. A tent was set up, the outer one, which was called the Holy Place; in it were the menorah, the table and the Bread of the Presence. Behind the second parokhet was a tent called the Holiest Place, which had the golden altar for burning incense and the Ark of the Covenant, entirely covered with gold. In the Ark were the gold jar containing the man, Aharon’s rod that sprouted and the stone Tablets of the Covenant; and above it were the k’ruvim representing the Sh’khinah, casting their shadow on the lid of the Ark — but now is not the time to discuss these things in detail. With things so arranged, the cohanim go into the outer tent all the time to discharge their duties; but only the cohen hagadol enters the inner one; and he goes in only once a year, and he must always bring blood, which he offers both for himself and for the sins committed in ignorance by the people. By this arrangement, the Ruach HaKodesh showed that so long as the first Tent had standing, the way into the Holiest Place was still closed. This symbolizes the present age and indicates that the conscience of the person performing the service cannot be brought to the goal by the gifts and sacrifices he offers. For they involve only food and drink and various ceremonial washings — regulations concerning the outward life, imposed until the time for G-d to reshape the whole structure. But when the Messiah appeared as cohen gadol of the good things that are happening already, then, through the greater and more perfect Tent which is not man-made (that is, it is not of this created world), he entered the Holiest Place once and for all. And he entered not by means of the blood of goats and calves, but by means of his own blood, thus setting people free forever.