Parsha Tetzaveh תְּצַוֶּה is translated as “you shall command”. It’s the twentyth Torah reading in the annual reading cycle and eighth in sefer Shemot, the book of Exodus. I found four different spellings – “Tetzaveh”, “Tetsaveh”, “T’tzaveh”, or “T’tzavveh”.
Parsha Tetzaveh Summary
Parsha Tetzaveh begins with the command for the children of Israel to bring pure olive oil for the menorah (candlestand).
Aaron and his sons are set apart as the kohanim (priests). The instruction for their garments is described. It begins with the ephod, breastplate of judgement, a blue robe, plate of gold attached to a turban, a tunic and linen under garments.
Next, the instructions to consecrate Aaron and his sons as the kohanim is detailed.
Finally, the details for the construction of the incense altar are provided. Aaron’s daily role with the altar of incense and menorah are given. Aaron’s annual atonement ritual is mentioned and closes this parsha.
Tetzaveh תְּצַוֶּה is the second word and in the Hebrew text (see text below).
Parsha Tetzaveh Readings
Torah: Exodus (Shemot) 27.20 – 30.10
Halftorah: Eze 43.10-27
Brit Hahagaddah: Heb 13.10-16
Parsha Tetzaveh Aliyah
First reading — Exodus (Shemot) 27.20-28.12
Second reading — Exodus (Shemot) 28.13-30
Third reading — Exodus (Shemot) 28.31-43
Fourth reading — Exodus (Shemot) 29.1-18
Fifth reading — Exodus (Shemot) 29.19-37
Sixth reading — Exodus (Shemot) 29.38-46
Seventh reading — Exodus (Shemot) 30.1-10
Parsha Tetzaveh Stats
- Hebrew letters – 5,403
- Hebrew words – 1,412
- Pesukim (sentences) – 101
- Lines in a Torah Scroll – 179
- Double Count – 0
- Scribal Practices – 0
- See Hebrew text for Parsha Exodus
- Number of Mitzvot in Parsha Exodus- 7
- Maimonides says: 7
- Positive – 4
- Negative – 3
- Sefer ha-Chinuch says: 7
- Positive – 4
- Negative – 3
Parsha Tetzaveh Scriptures
Exodus (Shemot) 27.20,21 (Parsha Tetzaveh, Aliyah 1)
Exo 27:20 And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring unto thee pure olive oil beaten for the light, to cause a lamp to burn continually.
Exo 27:21 In the tent of meeting, without the veil which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall set it in order, to burn from evening to morning before the LORD; it shall be a statute for ever throughout their generations on the behalf of the children of Israel.
Exodus (Shemot) 28.1-12 (Parsha Tetzaveh, Aliyah 1)
Exo 28:1 And bring thou near unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that they may minister unto Me in the priest’s office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons.
Exo 28:2 And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother, for splendour and for beauty.
Exo 28:3 And thou shalt speak unto all that are wise-hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they make Aaron’s garments to sanctify him, that he may minister unto Me in the priest’s office.
Exo 28:4 And these are the garments which they shall make: a breastplate, and an ephod, and a robe, and a tunic of chequer work, a mitre, and a girdle; and they shall make holy garments for Aaron thy brother, and his sons, that he may minister unto Me in the priest’s office.
Exo 28:5 And they shall take the gold, and the blue, and the purple, and the scarlet, and the fine linen.
Exo 28:6 And they shall make the ephod of gold, of blue, and purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen, the work of the skilful workman.
Exo 28:7 It shall have two shoulder-pieces joined to the two ends thereof, that it may be joined together.
Exo 28:8 And the skilfully woven band, which is upon it, wherewith to gird it on, shall be like the work thereof and of the same piece: of gold, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen.
Exo 28:9 And thou shalt take two onyx stones, and grave on them the names of the children of Israel:
Exo 28:10 six of their names on the one stone, and the names of the six that remain on the other stone, according to their birth.
Exo 28:11 With the work of an engraver in stone, like the engravings of a signet, shalt thou engrave the two stones, according to the names of the children of Israel; thou shalt make them to be inclosed in settings of gold.
Exo 28:12 And thou shalt put the two stones upon the shoulder-pieces of the ephod, to be stones of memorial for the children of Israel; and Aaron shall bear their names before the LORD upon his two shoulders for a memorial.
Exodus (Shemot) 28.13-30 (Parsha Tetzaveh, Aliyah 2)
Exo 28:13 And thou shalt make settings of gold;
Exo 28:14 and two chains of pure gold; of plaited thread shalt thou make them, of wreathen work; and thou shalt put the wreathen chains on the settings.
Exo 28:15 And thou shalt make a breastplate of judgment, the work of the skilful workman; like the work of the ephod thou shalt make it: of gold, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, shalt thou make it.
Exo 28:16 Four-square it shall be and double: a span shall be the length thereof, and a span the breadth thereof.
Exo 28:17 And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, four rows of stones: a row of carnelian, topaz, and smaragd shall be the first row;
Exo 28:18 and the second row a carbuncle, a sapphire, and an emerald;
Exo 28:19 and the third row a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst;
Exo 28:20 and the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper; they shall be inclosed in gold in their settings.
Exo 28:21 And the stones shall be according to the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names; like the engravings of a signet, every one according to his name, they shall be for the twelve tribes.
Exo 28:22 And thou shalt make upon the breastplate plaited chains of wreathen work of pure gold.
Exo 28:23 And thou shalt make upon the breastplate two rings of gold, and shalt put the two rings on the two ends of the breastplate.
Exo 28:24 And thou shalt put the two wreathen chains of gold on the two rings at the ends of the breastplate.
Exo 28:25 And the other two ends of the two wreathen chains thou shalt put on the two settings, and put them on the shoulder-pieces of the ephod, in the forepart thereof.
Exo 28:26 And thou shalt make two rings of gold, and thou shalt put them upon the two ends of the breastplate, upon the edge thereof, which is toward the side of the ephod inward.
Exo 28:27 And thou shalt make two rings of gold, and shalt put them on the two shoulder-pieces of the ephod underneath, in the forepart thereof, close by the coupling thereof, above the skilfully woven band of the ephod.
Exo 28:28 And they shall bind the breastplate by the rings thereof unto the rings of the ephod with a thread of blue, that it may be upon the skilfully woven band of the ephod, and that the breastplate be not loosed from the ephod.
Exo 28:29 And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the LORD continually.
Exo 28:30 And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron’s heart, when he goeth in before the LORD; and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually.
Exodus (Shemot) 28.31-43 (Parsha Tetzaveh, Aliyah 3)
Exo 28:31 And thou shalt make the robe of the ephod all of blue.
Exo 28:32 And it shall have a hole for the head in the midst thereof; it shall have a binding of woven work round about the hole of it, as it were the hole of a coat of mail that it be not rent.
Exo 28:33 And upon the skirts of it thou shalt make pomegranates of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, round about the skirts thereof; and bells of gold between them round about:
Exo 28:34 a golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, upon the skirts of the robe round about.
Exo 28:35 And it shall be upon Aaron to minister; and the sound thereof shall be heard when he goeth in unto the holy place before the LORD, and when he cometh out, that he die not.
Exo 28:36 And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and engrave upon it, like the engravings of a signet: HOLY TO THE LORD.
Exo 28:37 And thou shalt put it on a thread of blue, and it shall be upon the mitre; upon the forefront of the mitre it shall be.
Exo 28:38 And it shall be upon Aaron’s forehead, and Aaron shall bear the iniquity committed in the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow, even in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD.
Exo 28:39 And thou shalt weave the tunic in chequer work of fine linen, and thou shalt make a mitre of fine linen, and thou shalt make a girdle, the work of the weaver in colours.
Exo 28:40 And for Aaron’s sons thou shalt make tunics, and thou shalt make for them girdles, and head-tires shalt thou make for them, for splendour and for beauty.
Exo 28:41 And thou shalt put them upon Aaron thy brother, and upon his sons with him; and shalt anoint them, and consecrate them, and sanctify them, that they may minister unto Me in the priest’s office.
Exo 28:42 And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover the flesh of their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach.
Exo 28:43 And they shall be upon Aaron, and upon his sons, when they go in unto the tent of meeting, or when they come near unto the altar to minister in the holy place; that they bear not iniquity, and die; it shall be a statute for ever unto him and unto his seed after him.
Exodus (Shemot) 29.1-18 (Parsha Tetzaveh, Aliyah 4)
Exo 29:1 And this is the thing that thou shalt do unto them to hallow them, to minister unto Me in the priest’s office: take one young bullock and two rams without blemish,
Exo 29:2 and unleavened bread, and cakes unleavened mingled with oil, and wafers unleavened spread with oil; of fine wheaten flour shalt thou make them.
Exo 29:3 And thou shalt put them into one basket, and bring them in the basket, with the bullock and the two rams.
Exo 29:4 And Aaron and his sons thou shalt bring unto the door of the tent of meeting, and shalt wash them with water.
Exo 29:5 And thou shalt take the garments, and put upon Aaron the tunic, and the robe of the ephod, and the ephod, and the breastplate, and gird him with the skilfully woven band of the ephod.
Exo 29:6 And thou shalt set the mitre upon his head, and put the holy crown upon the mitre.
Exo 29:7 Then shalt thou take the anointing oil, and pour it upon his head, and anoint him.
Exo 29:8 And thou shalt bring his sons, and put tunics upon them.
Exo 29:9 And thou shalt gird them with girdles, Aaron and his sons, and bind head-tires on them; and they shall have the priesthood by a perpetual statute; and thou shalt consecrate Aaron and his sons.
Exo 29:10 And thou shalt bring the bullock before the tent of meeting; and Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands upon the head of the bullock.
Exo 29:11 And thou shalt kill the bullock before the LORD, at the door of the tent of meeting.
Exo 29:12 And thou shalt take of the blood of the bullock, and put it upon the horns of the altar with thy finger; and thou shalt pour out all the remaining blood at the base of the altar.
Exo 29:13 And thou shalt take all the fat that covereth the inwards, and the lobe above the liver, and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, and make them smoke upon the altar.
Exo 29:14 But the flesh of the bullock, and its skin, and its dung, shalt thou burn with fire without the camp; it is a sin-offering.
Exo 29:15 Thou shalt also take the one ram; and Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands upon the head of the ram.
Exo 29:16 And thou shalt slay the ram, and thou shalt take its blood, and dash it round about against the altar.
Exo 29:17 And thou shalt cut the ram into its pieces, and wash its inwards, and its legs, and put them with its pieces, and with its head.
Exo 29:18 And thou shalt make the whole ram smoke upon the altar; it is a burnt-offering unto the LORD; it is a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
Exodus (Shemot) 29.19-37 (Parsha Tetzaveh, Aliyah 5)
Exo 29:19 And thou shalt take the other ram; and Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands upon the head of the ram.
Exo 29:20 Then shalt thou kill the ram, and take of its blood, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of Aaron, and upon the tip of the right ear of his sons, and upon the thumb of their right hand, and upon the great toe of their right foot, and dash the blood against the altar round about.
Exo 29:21 And thou shalt take of the blood that is upon the altar, and of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it upon Aaron, and upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon the garments of his sons with him; and he and his garments shall be hallowed, and his sons and his sons’ garments with him.
Exo 29:22 Also thou shalt take of the ram the fat, and the fat tail, and the fat that covereth the inwards, and the lobe of the liver, and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, and the right thigh; for it is a ram of consecration;
Exo 29:23 and one loaf of bread, and one cake of oiled bread, and one wafer, out of the basket of unleavened bread that is before the LORD.
Exo 29:24 And thou shalt put the whole upon the hands of Aaron, and upon the hands of his sons; and shalt wave them for a wave- offering before the LORD.
Exo 29:25 And thou shalt take them from their hands, and make them smoke on the altar upon the burnt-offering, for a sweet savour before the LORD; it is an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
Exo 29:26 And thou shalt take the breast of Aaron’s ram of consecration, and wave it for a wave-offering before the LORD; and it shall be thy portion.
Exo 29:27 And thou shalt sanctify the breast of the wave-offering, and the thigh of the heave-offering, which is waved, and which is heaved up, of the ram of consecration, even of that which is Aaron’s, and of that which is his sons’.
Exo 29:28 And it shall be for Aaron and his sons as a due for ever from the children of Israel; for it is a heave-offering; and it shall be a heave-offering from the children of Israel of their sacrifices of peace-offerings, even their heave-offering unto the LORD.
Exo 29:29 And the holy garments of Aaron shall be for his sons after him, to be anointed in them, and to be consecrated in them.
Exo 29:30 Seven days shall the son that is priest in his stead put them on, even he who cometh into the tent of meeting to minister in the holy place.
Exo 29:31 And thou shalt take the ram of consecration, and seethe its flesh in a holy place.
Exo 29:32 And Aaron and his sons shall eat the flesh of the ram, and the bread that is in the basket, at the door of the tent of meeting.
Exo 29:33 And they shall eat those things wherewith atonement was made, to consecrate and to sanctify them; but a stranger shall not eat thereof, because they are holy.
Exo 29:34 And if aught of the flesh of the consecration, or of the bread, remain unto the morning, then thou shalt burn the remainder with fire; it shall not be eaten, because it is holy.
Exo 29:35 And thus shalt thou do unto Aaron, and to his sons, according to all that I have commanded thee; seven days shalt thou consecrate them.
Exo 29:36 And every day shalt thou offer the bullock of sin-offering, beside the other offerings of atonement; and thou shalt do the purification upon the altar when thou makest atonement for it; and thou shalt anoint it, to sanctify it.
Exo 29:37 Seven days thou shalt make atonement for the altar, and sanctify it; thus shall the altar be most holy; whatsoever toucheth the altar shall be holy.
Exodus (Shemot) 29.38-46 (Parsha Tetzaveh, Aliyah 6)
Exo 29:38 Now this is that which thou shalt offer upon the altar: two lambs of the first year day by day continually.
Exo 29:39 The one lamb thou shalt offer in the morning; and the other lamb thou shalt offer at dusk.
Exo 29:40 And with the one lamb a tenth part of an ephah of fine flour mingled with the fourth part of a hin of beaten oil; and the fourth part of a hin of wine for a drink-offering.
Exo 29:41 And the other lamb thou shalt offer at dusk, and shalt do thereto according to the meal-offering of the morning, and according to the drink-offering thereof, for a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
Exo 29:42 It shall be a continual burnt-offering throughout your generations at the door of the tent of meeting before the LORD, where I will meet with you, to speak there unto thee.
Exo 29:43 And there I will meet with the children of Israel; and the Tent shall be sanctified by My glory.
Exo 29:44 And I will sanctify the tent of meeting, and the altar; Aaron also and his sons will I sanctify, to minister to Me in the priest’s office.
Exo 29:45 And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God.
Exo 29:46 And they shall know that I am the LORD their God, that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them. I am the LORD their God.
Exodus (Shemot) 30.1-10 (Parsha Tetzaveh, Aliyah 7)
Exo 30:1 And thou shalt make an altar to burn incense upon; of acacia-wood shalt thou make it.
Exo 30:2 A cubit shall be the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof; foursquare shall it be; and two cubits shall be the height thereof; the horns thereof shall be of one piece with it.
Exo 30:3 And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, the top thereof, and the sides thereof round about, and the horns thereof; and thou shalt make unto it a crown of gold round about.
Exo 30:4 And two golden rings shalt thou make for it under the crown thereof, upon the two ribs thereof, upon the two sides of it shalt thou make them; and they shall be for places for staves wherewith to bear it.
Exo 30:5 And thou shalt make the staves of acacia-wood, and overlay them with gold.
Exo 30:6 And thou shalt put it before the veil that is by the ark of the testimony, before the ark-cover that is over the testimony, where I will meet with thee.
Exo 30:7 And Aaron shall burn thereon incense of sweet spices; every morning, when he dresseth the lamps, he shall burn it.
Exo 30:8 And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at dusk, he shall burn it, a perpetual incense before the LORD throughout your generations.
Exo 30:9 Ye shall offer no strange incense thereon, nor burnt-offering, nor meal-offering; and ye shall pour no drink-offering thereon.
Exo 30:10 And Aaron shall make atonement upon the horns of it once in the year; with the blood of the sin-offering of atonement once in the year shall he make atonement for it throughout your generations; it is most holy unto the LORD.’
Ezekiel 43.10-27 (Parsha Tetzaveh, Haftarah)
Eze 43:10 Thou, son of man, show the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities; and let them measure accurately.
Eze 43:11 And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, make known unto them the form of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof, and write it in their sight; that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them.
Eze 43:12 This is the law of the house: upon the top of the mountain the whole limit thereof round about shall be most holy. Behold, this is the law of the house.
Eze 43:13 And these are the measures of the altar by cubits – the cubit is a cubit and a handbreadth: the bottom shall be a cubit, and the breadth a cubit, and the border thereof by the edge thereof round about a span; and this shall be the base of the altar.
Eze 43:14 And from the bottom upon the ground to the lower settle shall be two cubits, and the breadth one cubit; and from the lesser settle to the greater settle shall be four cubits, and the breadth a cubit.
Eze 43:15 And the hearth shall be four cubits; and from the hearth and upward there shall be four horns.
Eze 43:16 And the hearth shall be twelve cubits long by twelve broad, square in the four sides thereof.
Eze 43:17 And the settle shall be fourteen cubits long by fourteen broad in the four sides thereof; and the border about it shall be half a cubit; and the bottom thereof shall be a cubit about; and the steps thereof shall look toward the east.’
Eze 43:18 And He said unto me: ‘Son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD: These are the ordinances of the altar in the day when they shall make it, to offer burnt-offerings thereon, and to dash blood against it.
Eze 43:19 Thou shalt give to the priests the Levites that are of the seed of Zadok, who are near unto Me, to minister unto Me, saith the Lord GOD, a young bullock for a sin-offering.
Eze 43:20 And thou shalt take of the blood thereof, and put it on the four horns of it, and on the four corners of the settle, and upon the border round about; thus shalt thou purify it and make atonement for it.
Eze 43:21 Thou shalt also take the bullock of the sin-offering, and it shall be burnt in the appointed place of the house, without the sanctuary.
Eze 43:22 And on the second day thou shalt offer a he-goat without blemish for a sin-offering; and they shall purify the altar, as they did purify it with the bullock.
Eze 43:23 When thou hast made an end of purifying it, thou shalt offer a young bullock without blemish, and a ram out of the flock without blemish.
Eze 43:24 And thou shalt present them before the LORD, and the priests shall cast salt upon them, and they shall offer them up for a burnt-offering unto the LORD.
Eze 43:25 Seven days shalt thou prepare every day a goat for a sin-offering; they shall also prepare a young bullock, and a ram out of the flock, without blemish.
Eze 43:26 Seven days shall they make atonement for the altar and cleanse it; so shall they consecrate it.
Eze 43:27 And when they have accomplished the days, it shall be that upon the eighth day, and forward, the priests shall make your burnt-offerings upon the altar, and your peace-offerings; and I will accept you, saith the Lord GOD.’
Hebrews 13.10-16 (Parsha Tetzaveh, Renewed Covenant)
Heb 13:10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat.
Heb 13:11 For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy places by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp.
Heb 13:12 So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood.
Heb 13:13 Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured.
Heb 13:14 For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.
Heb 13:15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.
Heb 13:16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
- Covenant & Conversation Commentary – Rabbi Sacks book on Amazon. Parsha Tetzaveh contains a total of four different articles on pages 218 – 248.
- Exploring Exodus: The Origin of Biblical Israel – Nahum Sarna
- The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon – One of the most used Hebrew and English Lexicons among serious Bible students.
WSB Show Podcast
- Exodus (Shemot) Introduction
- Exodus 27 (Shemot) | Bible Hub Interlinear Exodus 27
- Exodus 28 (Shemot) | Bible Hub Interlinear Exodus 28
- Exodus 29 (Shemot) | Bible Hub Interlinear Exodus 29
- Exodus 30 (Shemot) | Bible Hub Interlinear Exodus 30
- Shemot – 13th Parsha – Ex. 1.1 – 6.1
- Vaeira – 14th Parsha – Ex. 6.2 – 9.35
- Bo – 15th Parsha – Ex. 10.1 – 13.16
- Beshalach – 16th Parsha – Ex. 13.17 – 17.16
- Yitro – 17th Parsha – Ex. 18.1 – 20.23 (26)
- Mishpatim – 18th Parsha – Ex. 21.1 – 24.18
- Terumah – 19th Parsha – Ex. 25.1 – 27.19
- Tetzaveh – 20th Parsha – Ex. 27.20 – 30-10
- Ki Tisa– 21st Parsha – Ex. 30.11 – 34.35
- Vayakhel – 22nd Parsha – Ex. 35.1 -38.20
- Pekudei – 23rd Parsha – Ex. 38.21 – 40.38
- Hebrew in Israel – Torah Portion Tetsaveh– Yoel HaLevi’s teaching series Learn Torah on Parsha Tetsaveh
- Hebrew in Israel – Haftarah Portion Tetsaveh– Yoel HaLevi teaching series Learn Torah on the Haftarah on Parsha Tetzaveh
- Torah Pearls #20 – Tetzaveh– Nehemia Gordan’s teaching on Parsha Tetzaveh
- Prophet Pearls #20 – Tetzaveh– Nehemia Gordan’s teaching series on the Haftarah for Parsha Tetzaveh
- Covenant and Conversion – Rabbi Sacks Video teaching in 5771 on Tetzaveh.