“Speak to all the craftsmen to whom I have given the spirit of wisdom, and have them make Aaron’s garments to set him apart for me, so that he can serve me in the office of priests.”-Exodus 28:3
Today we’re going to take a look at the clothing of the High Priest which was distinct from the other common Levite priests.
Working from the inside out, this is what the High Priest’s uniform consisted of:
This was basically underwear similar to long johns that extended from the waist to the knees.
The purpose was similar to why we underwear-to prevent our outer garments from being soiled by conditions of the flesh whether normal or abnormal.
Worn over the breeches was a white linen tunic that a lot of Bible translations mistakenly call a coat.
According to the description provided by Josephus, the tunic was a fairly tight fitting outfit that stretched from neck to feet.
Next, worn over the tunic was a blue colored robe.
This garment had to be seamless containing zero buttons or loose straps.
Thus, it only had a slit for the High Priest’s head to fit through and two more slits on the sides for the arms to pass through.
The robe extended from the neck all the way down to past the knee caps.
POMEGRANATES AT THE BOTTOM OF THE ROBE
Around the bottom or hem of the robe in alternating fashion were blue, purple and red pomegranates woven in together with little bells made out of gold.
This item sometimes gets confused with the breastplate because in Scripture they are both referred to as the EPHOD at times.
However, the EPHOD was a distinct garment and was what the Breastplate was actually attached to.
The EPHOD was a two-piece garment that was held together by a braided strap that lay over the shoulders.
One part covered the High Priest’s chest, the other his back and was embroidered with blue, purple and red linen yarns.
On the braided shoulder straps were two onyx stones with the names of 6 of the tribes of Israel engraved on each stone.
The breastplate was also called the “Breastplate of Judgment”.
It was square-shaped and attached to the plate were 12 precious stones each having one of the names of the 12 Tribes of Israel engraved on them.
The breastplate was an interesting accessory because it contained a pouch containing two mysterious stones called the URIM and the THUMMIM.
We’ll talk about these stones in detail in a later post, but for now, just know that the URIM and THUMMIM was one way the Lord communicated His will to Israel.
The final item we come to is the turban the High Priest wore on his head.
In Hebrew it was called a MITRE and attached to the forehead part was a gold plate with the words “Holiness to YHVH” inscribed on it.
The purpose of the High Priest’s uniform was to reflect the Lord’s characteristics of purity and a high degree of modesty.
It was common practice among the pagan religions of the day to have their priests perform their rituals to their gods in the nude!
Or if they did wear something, it was highly sensual or erotic.
The spiritual takeaway for today is obvious.
As I’ve said many times before, the Lord is all about SEPARATENESS.
He is continually in the process of SETTING APART AND SEPARATING His People from the demonic ways of this world and one way He accomplishes this is through clothing.
I came across an interesting article on my Facebook feed the other day that said in the Bible, the Godly attribute of “modesty” is NEVER referred to as a heart matter but is only used in reference to clothing.
I would have to agree and I think many of us have a tendency to overemphasize the “heart”.
If how we feel in our “heart” isn’t followed up by solid action, what good is it?
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
What good is it,
my brothers and sisters,
if someone claims to have faith
but has no deeds?
Can such faith save them?
I also want the women to dress modestly,
with decency and propriety,
not with elaborate hairstyles
or gold or pearls or expensive clothes
-1 Timothy 2:9