This root-word is commonly associated with terms like “command” or “deed”. Contrary to this belief, we will shall see through precise scriptural inspection that the term actually refers to an “instruction” in contractual obligations. These obligations may be verbal or written, but they are not “commandments”, which implies superior, hierarchical order upon a subject. This notion of command simply does not exist in Hebrew thought. Let us now examine:
Upon making a bi-lateral agreement with Moses to receive specific portions of tribal inheritance, the elders of the Tribes of Reuben and Gad agree to participate in battles to capture the portions of land for the remaining tribes of Israel:
וַיֹּאמֶר בְּנֵי גָד וּבְנֵי רְאוּבֵן אֶל מֹשֶׁה לֵאמֹר עֲבָדֶיךָ יַּעֲשׂוּ כַּאֲשֶׁר אֲדֹנִי מְצַוֶּה
“And the children of Gad and the children of Reuben said the following to Moses: your servant shall do, as my master has instructed” (Num. 32:15).
The Levites were provided with State sponsored funds, in exchange for their services:
מִבְּנֵי אָסָף הַמְשֹׁרְרִים לְנֶגֶד מְלֶאכֶת בֵּית הָאֱלֹהִים. כִּי מִצְוַת הַמֶּלֶךְ עֲלֵיהֶם וַאֲמָנָה עַל הַמְשֹׁרְרִים דְּבַר יוֹם בְּיוֹמוֹ
“… the sons of Asaph, the singers; they oversaw the work of the house of God. For the instruction of the King was upon them, and there was a daily fixed provision for the singers” (Neḥ. 11:22-23).
In response to the transgressions of the various nations Isaiah addresses, God executes his order of the deal against the violation of Tyre and Phoenicia:
יָדוֹ נָטָה עַל הַיָּם הִרְגִּיז מַמְלָכוֹת יְהוָה צִוָּה אֶל כְּנַעַן לַשְׁמִד מָעֻזְנֶיהָ
He has stretched His hand out over the sea, He has made the kingdoms tremble; The Lord has given an instruction regarding Canaan to demolish its strongholds” (Isa. 24:11).
Likewise, Israel is offered blessings and curses as part of the contractual agreements of the Tora. If they wish to uphold and practice the law, God will provide and care for them in The Land. If they are not loyal to the law, then curses are delivered in exchange:
אֶת הַבְּרָכָה אֲשֶׁר תִּשְׁמְעוּ אֶל מִצְוֹת יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוֶּה אֶתְכֶם הַיּוֹם. וְהַקְּלָלָה אִם לֹא תִשְׁמְעוּ אֶל מִצְוֹת יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם וְסַרְתֶּם מִן הַדֶּרֶךְ אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוֶּה אֶתְכֶם הַיּוֹם לָלֶכֶת אַחֲרֵי אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים אֲשֶׁר לֹא יְדַעְתֶּם
“The blessing; if you accept the precepts of The Lord your God that I am instructing you today. And the curse; if you do not accept the commandments of The Lord your God, and you turn aside from the way I am instructing you to follow today, to go after gods that you have not known” (Deu. 11:27-28).
וְצִוִּיתִי אֶת בִּרְכָתִי לָכֶם בַּשָּׁנָה הַשִּׁשִּׁית וְעָשָׂת אֶת הַתְּבוּאָה לִשְׁלֹשׁ הַשָּׁנִים
“And I will instruct my blessing to you on the sixth year, and [the land] will yield a crop sufficient for three years” (Lev. 25:21).
For the first time in exile, in Persian thought, the root ṢWH, is used the sense of ‘command’:
וְכָל עַבְדֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲשֶׁר בְּשַׁעַר הַמֶּלֶךְ כֹּרְעִים וּמִשְׁתַּחֲוִים לְהָמָן כִּי כֵן צִוָּה לוֹ הַמֶּלֶךְ וּמָרְדֳּכַי לֹא יִכְרַע וְלֹא יִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה
“And all the servants of the king that were within the gates of the king, bowed and prostrated to Haman, for such had the king commanded him, but Mordechai would no bow and would not prostrate” (Esther 3:2).
 Contracts, or berit (ברית), in Hebrew thought, are always bi-lateral. Compare Gen. 15:18 and 26:5. See Ibid 21:17, Num. 25:12-13, 2 Sam. 3:13, 1 Kings 15:19. For this reason, the verb used for fulfilling a contract is to “uphold” (לקיים) it (as in Ezek. 16:60). The Tora, in its entirety, is also a berit between the Nation of Israel and God. See Deu. 4:23, 5:3, 28:69, Josh. 23:16. Based on the aforementioned, R. Yom Tov Asevilli (Ḥiddushé Haritva to Trac. Qiddushin 31a) notes that women may state that they are, in fact, “upholding an instruction”, when reciting the blessing on performing various precepts from which they are specifically exempt, since the Covenant was made with the entire Nation of Israel.
 Hence, God is bound by the Pact as well, as in Deu. 7:9, 12. In an attempt to seek refuge, King David poetically refers to himself as a Stranger, and implores God for mercy, by invoking the law against oppressing The Stranger (Ps. 39:13).