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Tzav | צו | “Command “
Parashah 25: Tzav (Give an order) 6:1(8) – 8:36
6 (8) Adonai said to Moshe, 2 (9) “Give this order to Aharon and his sons: ‘This is the law for the burnt offering : it is what goes up on its firewood upon the altar all night long, until morning; in this way the fire of the altar will be kept burning. 3 (10) When the fire has consumed the burnt offering on the altar, the cohen, having put on his linen garment and covered himself with his linen shorts, is to remove the ashes and put them beside the altar. 4 (11) Then he is to remove those garments and put on others, before carrying the ashes outside the camp to a clean place. 5 (12) In this way, the fire on the altar will be kept burning and not be allowed to go out. Each morning, the cohen is to kindle wood on it, arrange the burnt offering and make the fat of the peace offerings go up in smoke. 6 (13) Fire is to be kept burning on the altar continually; it is not to go out.
7 (14) “‘This is the law for the grain offering: the sons of Aharon are to offer it before Adonai in front of the altar. 8 (15) He is to take from the grain offering a handful of its fine flour, some of its olive oil and all of the frankincense which is on the grain offering; and he is to make this reminder portion of it go up in smoke on the altar as a fragrant aroma for Adonai. 9 (16) The rest of it Aharon and his sons are to eat; it is to be eaten without leaven in a holy place — they are to eat it in the courtyard of the tent of meeting. 10 (17) It is not to be baked with leaven. I have given it as their portion of my offerings made by fire; like the sin offering and the guilt offering, it is especially holy. 11 (18) Every male descendant of Aharon may eat from it; it is his share of the offerings for Adonai made by fire forever through all your generations. Whatever touches those offerings will become holy.’”
(ii) 12 (19) Adonai said to Moshe, 13 (20) “This is the offering for Adonai that Aharon and his sons are to offer on the day he is anointed: two quarts of fine flour, half of it in the morning and half in the evening, as a grain offering from then on. 14 (21) It is to be well mixed with olive oil and fried on a griddle; then bring it in, break it in pieces and offer the grain offering as a fragrant aroma for Adonai. 15 (22) The anointed cohen who will take Aharon’s place from among his descendants will offer it; it is a perpetual obligation. It must be entirely made to go up in smoke for Adonai; 16 (23) every grain offering of the cohen is to be entirely made to go up in smoke — it is not to be eaten.”
17 (24) Adonai said to Moshe, 18 (25) “Tell Aharon and his sons, ‘This is the law for the sin offering: the sin offering is to be slaughtered before Adonai in the place where the burnt offering is slaughtered; it is especially holy. 19 (26) The cohen who offers it for sin is to eat it — it is to be eaten in a holy place, in the courtyard of the tent of meeting. 20 (27) Whatever touches its flesh will become holy; if any of its blood splashes on any item of clothing, you are to wash it in a holy place. 21 (28) The clay pot in which it is cooked must be broken; if it is cooked in a bronze pot, it must be scoured and rinsed in water. 22 (29) Any male from a family of cohanim may eat the sin offering; it is especially holy. 23 (30) But no sin offering which has had any of its blood brought into the tent of meeting to make atonement in the Holy Place is to be eaten; it is to be burned up completely.
7 “‘This is the law for the guilt offering: it is especially holy. 2 They are to slaughter the guilt offering in the place where they slaughter the burnt offering, and its blood is to be splashed against all sides of the altar. 3 He is to offer all its fat — the fat tail, the fat covering the inner organs, 4 the two kidneys, the fat on them near the flanks, and the covering of the liver, which he will remove with the kidneys. 5 The cohen will make them go up in smoke on the altar as an offering made by fire to Adonai ; it is a guilt offering. 6 Every male from a family of cohanim may eat it; it is to be eaten in a holy place; it is especially holy. 7 The guilt offering is like the sin offering; the same law governs them — it will belong to the cohen who uses it to make atonement.
8 “‘The cohen who offers someone’s burnt offering will possess the hide of the burnt offering which he has offered.
9 “‘Every grain offering baked in the oven, cooked in a pot or fried on a griddle will belong to the cohen who offers it. 10 But every grain offering which is mixed with olive oil or is dry will belong to all the sons of Aharon equally.
(iii) 11 “‘This is the law for sacrificing peace offerings offered to Adonai: 12 If a person offers it for giving thanks, he is to offer it with the thanksgiving sacrifice of unleavened cakes mixed with olive oil, matzah spread with olive oil, and cakes made of fine flour mixed with olive oil and fried. 13 With cakes of leavened bread he is to present his offering together with the sacrifice of his peace offerings for giving thanks. 14 From each kind of offering he is to present one as a gift for Adonai; it will belong to the cohen who splashes the blood of the peace offerings against the altar. 15 The meat of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for giving thanks is to be eaten on the day of his offering; he is not to leave any of it until morning. 16 But if the sacrifice connected with his offering is for a vow or is a voluntary offering, then, while it is to be eaten on the day he offers his sacrifice, what remains of it may be eaten the next day. 17 However, what remains of the meat of the sacrifice on the third day is to be burned up completely. 18 If any of the meat of the sacrifice of his peace offerings is eaten on the third day, the sacrifice will neither be accepted nor credited to the person offering it; rather, it will have become a disgusting thing, and whoever eats it will bear the consequences of his wrongdoing. 19 Meat which touches something unclean is not to be eaten but burned up completely. As for the meat, everyone who is clean may eat it; 20 but a person in a state of uncleanness who eats any meat from the sacrifice of peace offerings made to Adonai will be cut off from his people. 21 Anyone who touches something unclean — whether the uncleanness be from a person, from an unclean animal or from some other unclean detestable thing — and then eats the meat from the sacrifice of peace offerings for Adonai, that person will be cut off from his people.’”
22 Adonai said to Moshe, 23 “Say to the people of Isra’el, ‘You are not to eat the fat of bulls, sheep or goats. 24 The fat of animals that die of themselves or are killed by wild animals may be used for any other purpose, but under no circumstances are you to eat it. 25 For whoever eats the fat of animals of the kind used in presenting an offering made by fire to Adonai will be cut off from his people. 26 You are not to eat any kind of blood, whether from birds or animals, in any of your homes. 27 Whoever eats any blood will be cut off from his people.’”
28 Adonai said to Moshe, 29 “Say to the people of Isra’el, ‘A person who offers his sacrifice of peace offerings to Adonai is to bring part of his sacrifice of peace offerings as his offering for Adonai. 30 He is to bring with his own hands the offerings for Adonai made by fire — he is to bring the breast with its fat. The breast is to be waved as a wave offering before Adonai. 31 The cohen is to make the fat go up in smoke on the altar, but the breast will belong to Aharon and his descendants. 32 You are to give the right thigh from your sacrifices of peace offerings to the cohen as a contribution. 33 The descendant of Aharon who offers the blood of the peace offerings is to have the right thigh as his share. 34 For the breast that has been waved and the thigh that has been contributed I have taken from the people of Isra’el out of their sacrifices of peace offerings and given them to Aharon the cohen and to his descendants as their share forever from the people of Isra’el.’”
35 On the day when Aharon and his sons were presented to serve Adonai in the office of cohen, this portion was set aside for him and his descendants from the offerings for Adonai made by fire. 36 On the day they were anointed, Adonai ordered that this be given to them by the people of Isra’el. It is their share forever through all their generations.
37 This is the law for the burnt offering, the grain offering, the sin offering, the guilt offering, the consecration offering and the sacrifice of peace offerings 38 which Adonai ordered Moshe on Mount Sinai on the day he ordered the people of Isra’el to present their offerings to Adonai, in the Sinai Desert.
8 (iv) Adonai said to Moshe, 2 “Take Aharon and his sons with him, the garments, the anointing oil, the bull for the sin offering, the two rams and the basket of matzah; 3 and assemble the entire community at the entrance to the tent of meeting.” 4 Moshe did as Adonai ordered him, and the community was assembled at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 5 Moshe said to the community, “This is what Adonai has ordered to be done.”
6 Moshe brought Aharon and his sons, washed them with water, 7 put the tunic on him, wrapped the sash around him, clothed him with the robe, put the ritual vest on him, wrapped around him the decorated belt and fastened the vest to him with it. 8 He put the breastplate on him, and on the breastplate he put the urim and tumim. 9 He set the turban on his head, and on the front of the turban he affixed the gold plate, the holy ornament, as Adonai had ordered Moshe.
10 Then Moshe took the anointing oil and anointed the tabernacle and everything in it, thus consecrating them. 11 He sprinkled some on the altar seven times, anointing the altar with all its utensils and the basin with its base, to consecrate them. 12 He poured some of the anointing oil on Aharon’s head and anointed him, to consecrate him. 13 Moshe brought Aharon’s sons, clothed them with tunics, wrapped sashes on them and put headgear on them, as Adonai had ordered Moshe.
(v) 14 Then the young bull for the sin offering was brought, and Aharon and his sons laid their hands on the head of the bull for the sin offering. 15 After it had been slaughtered, Moshe took the blood and put it on the horns of the altar all the way around with his finger, thus purifying the altar. The remaining blood he poured out at the base of the altar and consecrated it, to make atonement for it. 16 Moshe took all the fat on the inner organs, the covering of the liver, the two kidneys and their fat, and made it go up in smoke on the altar. 17 But the bull, its hide, its flesh and its dung were taken outside the camp and burned up completely, as Adonai had ordered Moshe.
18 Next, the ram for the burnt offering was presented. Aharon and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram; 19 and after it had been slaughtered, Moshe splashed the blood on all sides of the altar. 20 When the ram had been cut in pieces, Moshe made the head, the pieces and the fat go up in smoke. 21 When the inner organs and the lower parts of the legs had been washed with water, Moshe made the entire ram go up in smoke on the altar; it was a burnt offering giving a fragrant aroma, an offering made by fire to Adonai — as Adonai had ordered Moshe.
(vi) 22 Then the other ram was presented, the ram of consecration; Aharon and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram. 23 After it had been slaughtered, Moshe took some of its blood and put it on the tip of Aharon’s right ear, on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot. 24 Next Aharon’s sons were brought, and Moshe put some of the blood on the tips of their right ears, on the thumbs of their right hands, and on the big toes of their right feet; then Moshe splashed the blood on all sides of the altar. 25 He took the fat, the fat tail, all the fat covering the inner organs, the covering of the liver, the two kidneys with their fat, and the right thigh. 26 From the basket of matzah that was before Adonai he took one piece of matzah, one cake of oiled bread, and one wafer, and placed them on the fat and on the right thigh. 27 Then he put it all in Aharon’s hands and in the hands of his sons and waved them as a wave offering before Adonai. 28 Moshe took them out of their hands and made them go up in smoke on the altar on top of the burnt offering; they were a consecration offering giving a fragrant aroma; an offering made by fire to Adonai. 29 Moshe took the breast and waved it as a wave offering before Adonai; it was Moshe’s portion of the ram of consecration — as Adonai had ordered Moshe.
(vii) 30 Moshe took some of the anointing oil and some of the blood which was on the altar and sprinkled it on Aharon and his clothing, and on his sons with him and their clothing, and consecrated Aharon and his clothing together with his sons and their clothing.
31 Moshe said to Aharon and his sons, “Boil the meat at the door of the tent of meeting; and eat it there with the bread that is in the basket of consecration, as I ordered when I said that Aharon and his sons are to eat it. 32 Whatever is left over of the meat and bread you are to burn up completely. (Maftir) 33 You are not to go out from the entrance to the tent of meeting for seven days, until the days of your consecration are over; since Adonai will be consecrating you for seven days. 34 He ordered done what has been done today, in order to make atonement for you. 35 You are to remain at the entrance to the tent of meeting day and night for seven days, thereby obeying what Adonai ordered done, so that you may not die. For this is what I was ordered.” 36 Aharon and his sons did all the things which Adonai ordered through Moshe.
Haftarah Tzav: Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) 7:21–8:3; 9:22(23)–23(24)
Suggested readings for Parashah Tzav from the B’rit Hadashah: Mark 12:28–34; Romans 12:1–2; 1 Corinthians 10:14–23
Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.
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