Studies in Torah

Parashat Tzav (צו): Leviticus 6:8–8:36

The extended Tabernacle parable of how the contrite enter the Creator’s presence continues with instructions for the priesthood, detailed in this week’s Torah reading, צו Tzav (“command”), covering Lev. 6:8–8:36.

The standard Haftarah (Writings and Prophets) reading for this week is Jer. 7:21–8:3; 9:22–23.

Leviticus 6–7

Lessons from the sacrifices about thanksgiving and restitution

This chapter seems like a reiteration of the prior chapters but there’s more to this chapter than repetition. Every time the text says, “Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying…,” you have a new edict from the Lord. Many of these edicts were only for the sons of Aaron, and not for the general public.

God wants to move us from guilt to peace

The primary source of wealth in Moshe’s day were one’s animals, so offering an animal to the Lord was a financial inconvenience, a sacrifice. Romans 12 tells us what sacrifice we are called to make now that there’s no Temple. We give our lives to God. That is more expensive and more precious than a turtledove, goat or a bull. God can redeem anyone He wants. When He redeems you, you give Him a peace offering and your life.

Leviticus 6:8–8:36: God wants a relationship with you that responds and grows

Leviticus 8

God ordains the Tabernacle and priesthood of Israel

God, through Moshe (Moses), consecrates His mediator, Aharon (Aaron). There is a clear transfer of spiritual authority from Moshe to Aharon at this point. This is a foreshadowing of God’s consecration of Yeshua, our Messiah as our High Priest, who had to walk a sacrificial walk for us that we could hear, do and walk in God’s word as He does. After Moshe consecrated Aharon and his sons, there was no longer any doubt as to how God has chosen to be the mediator between Himself and His people.

Moshe ordains Aharon and his sons as the priesthood

The book of Leviticus is not about laws but about how to be a priest. A lot of these lessons are physical but there’s more of the Spirit in these chapters than a cursory view might suggest.

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