Exodus 28 : Holy garments

February 17, 2024 ·

Summary:
Aaron and his sons are designated as priests. Special garments to be crafted for Aaron include a breastplate, an ephod, a robe, a tunic, a turban, and a sash.

The ephod is to be woven from blue, purple, scarlet, and gold threads, featuring two onyx stones set into it. Each stone will have the names of six sons of Israel engraved on it.

Similarly, the breastplate is to be made of blue, purple, scarlet, and gold, with twelve precious stones set in it, each engraved with the name of an Israelite tribe. Gold chains and rings will attach the breastplate to the ephod, and the Urim and Thummim are to be placed inside the breastplate.

The robe is to be blue, adorned with gold bells.

A gold plate inscribed with “HOLY TO THE LORD” is to be attached to the turban.

The tunic and undergarments are to be made of linen.

Key verse:
43. and they shall be on Aaron and on his sons when they go into the tent of meeting or when they come near the altar to minister in the Holy Place, lest they bear guilt and die. This shall be a statute forever for him and for his offspring after him. 

My thoughts:
These garments were crucial for the priests as they appeared before God, who is powerful and formidable. The presence of guilt could be lethal. The garments were divinely designed to confer holiness, ensuring that priests ministering in the tabernacle could do so safely. The bells on the robe served a practical purpose: allowing those outside to hear whether the priest was alive. Prior to Jesus’s redemptive act, various sacraments, including these clothes, were necessary for approaching God.

The Urim and Thummim, used for divining God’s will, involved a form of casting lots, with the outcome determined by the dominance of either Urim or Thummim in the process. Interestingly, Joseph Smith claimed to use Urim and Thummim for translating the Book of Mormon in the 1800s.

The garments bore the names of all Israelite tribes, symbolizing Aaron’s representation of the entire nation before God.

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