Friday, March 1, 2024

The Hebrew verb צוה (tsivâh, from the letters tsade-vav-heh and pronounced tsih-VAH) means "to command, order, or instruct." The noun form of this word, "commandment," can be formed by prefixing a mem ("m") to the verb, creating מצוה (mitsvah). The verb צוה (tsivâh) often occurs in association with divine instruction. For example, it is the verb צוה (tsivâh) that appears in Exodus 16:34: "As the LORD commanded (צוה) Moses, so Aaron placed it before the covenant, for safekeeping." The verb צוה (tsivâh) can also be used to unite various types of classifications of instructions as in Deuteronomy 6:17: "You must diligently keep the commandments (מצות) of the LORD your God, and his decrees, and his statutes that he has commanded (צוך) you." The verb צוה (tsivâh) is not limited to divine commands, but also appears with human instruction as seen in Genesis 42:25: "Joseph then gave orders (ויצו) to fill their bags with grain."