Songs and Praise
   

 
 
 

Less THE ROBES AND GARMENTS OF ISRAEL'S PRIESTS

 
Exodus 28:1-43; 29:29, 30; 39:1-31;

Lesson Senior Lessons

MEMORY VERSE:  "Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually" (Exodus 28:30).

I Holy Garments for the High Priest, for Glory and Beauty

All the priests' garments were made through the freewill offerings of the people by skilled, consecrated hands, Exodus 28:1-5; 39:1; 25:2, 4, 7; Ezra 2:68-69; Nehemiah 7:70-72 The Ephod and Girdle were beautiful garments that displayed the finest textile skill, and the inscribed stones as shoulder pieces, Exodus 28:6 14; 39:2 7; 35:4, 5, 9 The Breastplate of Judgment, woven of gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine linen, with its 12 precious stones to represent the 12 tribes of Israel, was fastened to the ephod, Exodus 28:16-29; 39:8-14; Isaiah 49:16 The Urim and Thummim were placed in the breastplate, Exodus 28:30; Leviticus 8:8; Numbers 27:21 The Robe of the Ephod, a richly ornamented blue garment, was worn under the ephod, Exodus 28:31-35; 39:22-26; Leviticus 8:7-9 The Mitre, or headdress, was of linen, Exodus 28:39; 39:28 The Engraved Gold Plate was secured to the mitre with blue lace, Exodus 28:36 38; 39:30, 31 The Embroidered Linen Robe and its Girdle, and Linen Breeches were worn under the robe of the ephod, Exodus 28:39, 42, 43; 39:27-29 The holy garments were to be passed on to each successor upon the death of the high priest, Exodus 29:29-30; Numbers 20:24-28

II Holy Garments for the Regular Priests, for Glory and Beauty

Linen Coats, Breeches, Bonnets, and Girdles were made for the regular priests, Exodus 28:4, 40 43; 39:27-28; Leviticus 8:13; Ezekiel 44:17-19

NOTES

Beautiful Perfection in Every Detail of God's Worship

In our last lessons about the Israelites we saw them leaving their encampment at the base of Mt. Sinai and starting for the Promised Land after having received the Law and ordinances of God. The Tabernacle had been built and set up, and God's presence had manifested itself in a wonderful way upon and in that sacred structure. Finally, the pillar of cloud had lifted and moved ahead and God led them on. The Levites had taken up their newly assigned responsibilities and every detail of their movement had been carefully executed and carried out.

 

 From the time of the dedication of the Tabernacle to the time of their movement, less than two months (Compare Exodus 40:2 with Numbers 10:11), God had met With them many times as they presented their offerings to Him. It was during this period that the princes of Israel brought their offerings to the Lord (Numbers 7:1 89); the second Passover was celebrated; the high priest and assisting priests were anointed and consecrated for their service; and the Levites were set aside and instructed in their work for God. The daily morning and evening sacrifices had been offered, the Sabbath offerings brought to the Lord, and the prescribed offerings brought at the beginning of the new month. Thus, even though the worship was only newly instituted, they had seen the Perfect Sacrifice that was to come from Heaven typified over and over again.

 

 Naturally, all the technical details of the worship and their significance was not fully plain to them. They followed the plan in faith, because it was God's plan. We who live in the Gospel dispensation do the same if we are God's children. They knew that their obligation to God was to come to Him in faith and in obedience to the plan He gave them even though it was not fully understood in every detail. We know the same to be true. So, even though they did not know all to which every type and shadow pointed they could still receive the same benefits from Calvary's Blood as we who know that event as a historical fact.

 

 Perhaps they looked upon some of the details of the worship in wonderment, even as we look at the prophesied events of the future in eagerness, desiring to know the manner in which all those things are going to be fulfilled. No doubt as they came to the Tabernacle court entrance they were amazed at the beauty of the parts of the structure and its appointments that they could see. Perhaps they looked at the gorgeous robes of the regular priests with admiration, and in the simple beauty of those holy garments could see the typical presentation of many of the attributes of the coming Christ. And if those garments caused them to ponder upon the promises given them of the coming Advocate what must have been their thoughts when they saw the high priest arrayed in the glory and beauty of his official robes?

The Robes of the High Priest ,

 The priesthood was headed by the high priest; and to show the position he held God ordained that the robes of that office should be outstanding from all the others. But that was not the only reason for the difference between his robes and those of the regular priests. We have said that the simple beauty of the robes of the regular, priests showed some of the attributes of Christ. But it was not possible for any one man or one sacrifice to show all phases of Christ's attributes or intercessory office. The most that could be typified in any one person was shown in the high priest. He, in his robes and jewels, was an earthly type of our great High Priest who is now arrayed in the sublime glories of His everlasting righteousness   the beauty of which cannot be imagined by man, let alone be adequately shown by earthly garments or choice stones of this cursed earth.

 

 In Leviticus 8:7-9 we are told the order in which these garments were put on. After the undergarments Moses put the broidered linen coat on Aaron and fastened it with its linen girdle, colored blue, purple, and scarlet. Over that coat Moses next placed the robe of the ephod, a blue garment with pomegranates of blue, purple and scarlet wrought on its hem, alternated with bells of gold. It is thought by some that there were about 72 bells and pomegranates on the hem of this one garment.

 

 Over the robe of the ephod was placed the ephod itself. It was a shorter garment and was one of the most important of the high priest's wardrobe. It was beautifully and intricately wrought with gold, purple, scarlet, and blue, and fine linen in a design that God had no doubt given to Moses on Mt. Sinai. Two precious stones were mounted for shoulder pieces on the ephod. These stones were engraved with the names of the 12 tribes of Israel. The ephod had its own curiously wrought girdle that secured it to its place.

 

 The breastplate of judgment was fastened to the ephod by chains of gold passed through golden rings. It was about 18 inches long and 9 inches wide and was folded to a perfect square. Mounted upon it were 12 stones which also had the names of the tribes engraved upon them. Somewhere in this breastplate Moses placed the Urim and Thummim, an object or objects   about which little is specifically told us in the Bible.

 

The high priest's head was covered with a mitre, or head covering, made of fine linen upon which was fastened with blue lace a plate of gold engraved with the words, 'HOLINESS TO THE LORD.'

Christ, Our High Priest

We have conjectured somewhat upon the individual feelings of the members of the congregation who looked upon the glories of these priestly robes and garments. Some fulfillment of their glorious types has taken place already and we can now see a little more of the typical meaning than the Israelites could in their time. But there are still greater glories to be manifested to us, which glories we shall completely see only when we see Him who is now our High Priest in the heavens. He is now clad in the priestly robes and garments He earned when He suffered to become our Intercessor. (Read Isaiah 63: 1; Hebrews 2: 17; 3:1, 2; 4:14, 15; 7:24 28;8:1, 2; 9:11 14; 10: 19 21).

Some of the Types as They Have Been Partially Fulfilled

The Linen Garments have a wonderful significance. We are taught that they are emblematic of some of the virtues of the Bride of Christ (Proverbs 31:12). God's priests and great men of all ages wore linen in their ministrations and worship (I Samuel 2:18; 22:18; 11 Samuel 6:14; Ezekiel 44:17, 18). Gods chosen ones are dressed in it as well as being ornamented with the precious jewels (Ezekiel 16:10 14; Revelation 19:14). In Heaven it is the righteousness of saints (Revelation 19:8).

The Shoulder Pieces and the Breastplate of Judgment contained the engraved names of the 12 tribes of Israel. These were never separated from the ephod and were a memorial, a sign, whereby the Israelites might know they were remembered when the high priest went before God. Their intercessor thus bore them upon his shoulders and upon his heart.

The Urim and Thummim, about which we know very little as far as their shape or content is concerned, were most wonderful. They were placed in the breastplate of judgment by Moses and were the means whereby the high priest communicated with God. Their significance is easily seen to be the spiritual discernment and guidance given to those who receive the indwelling power and anointing of the mighty baptism of the Holy Ghost and who press on to a very close walk with God. That sacred treasure that God can give us is easily grieved and lost  - the Urim and Thummim being some of the five things listed by Bible students that were in Solomon's Temple and the Tabernacle, which were missing from the second Temple.

We find that many received messages from God in Bible times through the Urim and Thummim (Judges 20:18, 28; 1 Samuel 10:22, 23; 23:9 12; 30:7, 8). They were coveted, spiritual treasures to them, and should be so to us also (Ezra 2:63; Deuteronomy 33:8; 1 Samuel 28:6). And how thankful we should be that the passing away of the Old Dispensation did not deprive us of this treasure, but that it is reserved for those who will truly seek the best God can give them (I Corinthians 2:14; John 8:12; 16:13 15; 1 John 3:24; 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:21).

The Robe of the Ephod had upon its border hem alternate golden bells and wrought pomegranates. When the high priest went before the Lord in his ministrations these bells would sound and the people outside the court who waited in prayer would know that their intercessor was representing them before the Lord. The sound of the ringing bells would also let the people know that the high priest was alive. Abrupt silence would tell them that he had suddenly succumbed and that his successor would then have to take over the responsibilities of that office.

By prayer and communion with God we, too, can know that our great High Priest is interceding for us. We, too, can hear the 'bells' upon His garments when we draw near to Heaven.

The Mitre upon the head of the high priest was one of the crowning pieces of apparel worn by that godly man. A plate of gold was fastened to it upon which were engraved the words, 'HOLINESS TO THE LORD.' Here was a constant reminder to him, and to all who saw him, of the sacredness and importance of his office.

The high priest was to minister in holy things. He was the representative of a holy God. He was to offer sacrifices that atonement might be made to put away sin, to make holy those offerers who came in faith and sincerity. He was to teach the people the way of righteousness and true holiness. As a mediator, he was to be holy himself, that he might obtain favor for them so they might be made holy and be prepared to dwell with holy people in the kingdom of glory. He was, finally, a type of that holy and just One who, in God's time, was to come and put away sin and make us holy by the sacrifice of Himself.

QUESTIONS

1 Who furnished the material for the priests' robes and garments?
2 Name the garments worn by the regular priests.
 3 Name the garments worn by the high priest.
4 What significance did the shoulder pieces of stone have?
5 'What was engraved upon the stones that were over the high priest's heart and what is the       significance of the stones' being there?
 6 Tell what the linen garments signified.
7 How was the holiness of God shown in the high priest's robes?
8 Why was God so exacting in the details of these garments?
9 What is the significance of the bells upon the hem of the high priest 'blue robe?
10 Quote some passages of Scripture that tell us who our High Priest is.

 
   
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