Last week’s Portion gave us the details of the Tabernacle and most of the interior furnishings; this week’s Portion, Tetzaveh (“You Shall Command”) gives the details concerning the High Priest: his garments and his consecration to the LORD.
The Priests’ garments utilize many of the same materials and all of the same colors as we encountered in the Tabernacle. We also see the introduction of the 12 types of gemstones on the Breast Plate and the mention of those strange Urim & Thummim, which were apparently used by the High Priest to make decisions – although the exact nature of their workings is not explained.
We are introduced to the consecration of the Priests: the animal sacrifices offered (we will study these sacrifices in detail when we get to Leviticus) and the specific act of Priestly consecration. The blood of the Consecration Ram is applied to his ear (to guard his ear gate from unholiness entering his body), to his thumb (sanctifying the work of his hands) and to his toe (sanctifying His walk). Through Messiah Yeshua, we are all priests and must be consecrated in the same manner.
Now that the Priests have been consecrated, they can now offer incense to the LORD. So this Portion ends with the description of the Altar of Incense.