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OverviewPurpose for the different elements found in the HighPriest’s garments: 1. Decretive 2. Functional 3. Symbolic
The PantsThe purpose of the pantswas to assure the modestydemanded of the priestwhen officiating at the altar.It was made of linen, sincethe priest must not perspirewhen officiating.The pants reached fromthe waist to the knees andso were not visible, beingentirely hidden by thepriestly tunic.
The TunicThis item, part of the normaldress of every man, it was madeof linen and was to be wornunder the outer garment. It wasa long or half-sleeved shirt-likegarb reaching to the ankles.Tunics were generally made ofwool, but the priests’ tunics wereof linen. Tunics could be madeof two pieces, but the priest’tunic was woven on a specialloom so as to be seamless, likethe tunic of Jesus for whichsoldiers cast lots at hiscrucifixion
The Sash The Sash is essential to a flowing garment, to assure warmth and maneuverability. The sash was tied about the priests waist. This was also of blue, purple, and scarlet linen intertwined with golden threads. In the language of Scripture for a priest to be girded with his sash was for him to be fully arrayed in his garments and prepared and ready to serve.The sash was wound around the tunicbetween the waist and the shoulders.Josephus says it was four fingersbroad, and “so loosely woven that youwould think it were the skin of aserpent.”
The RobeThe first "over" piece to be put on wasthe robe. This garment, probablysleeveless, was essentially a largeblue mantle with a hole for thewearers head.A closely woven binding bordered theedge of the head opening to preventtearing. The skirts of this robe werefringed with alternating woolenpomegranates (i.e., woolen ballsshaped like pomegranates) andgolden bells.Pomegranates were used fordecorative purposes. The bellsprovided sound by which the peoplecould follow the progress of the priest.
The EphodWoven of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet materials, it was very elaborate andornate. On top of each of the shoulders the ephod was fastened by two onyxclasps on which were engraved the names of six of the 12 tribes.
The BreastplateAn ornament covering the breast ofthe high priest. It was made ofembroidered cloth, set with four rowsof precious stones, three in eachrow. On each stone was engravedthe name of one of the twelve tribes.It was in size about ten inchessquare.The two upper corners werefastened to the ephod by blueribbons. It was not to be “loosed fromthe ephod.” The lower corners werefastened to the girdle of the priest.As it reminded the priest of hisrepresentative character, it wascalled the memorial. It was alsocalled the breastplate of judgment.
The BreastplateSo Aaron shall bear the names of thesons of Israel in the breastpiece ofjudgment on his heart, when he goesinto the Holy Place, to bring them toregular remembrance before theLord. (Ex. 28:29).Their position or standing beforeGod was neither affected nor alteredby their changingcircumstances, infirmities or sins.Whenever The High Priest went intothe holy place, there on his heartwere the names of all God’s people.Emphasizing this truth ofsecurity, note carefully how that theirnames were not simply written uponthe precious stones, but “engraved”
Turban The Hebrew word is derived from a verb which means “to roll, or wind around.” This may denote that the high priest’s turban was wound around his head, like a tiara.The head-dress of the high priestrepresented his subordination toGod, his obedience to God’scommands and submission to His will.The fine linen of which it wasmade, tells of the personalrighteousness which must be found inthe one who stands in the presence of
The CrownThe crown was a continuous reminder ofhis special role as priest, an engravedgolden plate with the words “Holy to theLord” is attached to his turban.It would parallel the king’s crown assymbolizing his authority. The crown ofoffice also placed responsibility forinfractions on the person in charge of allrituals.
How the high priestlygarments point to our HighPriest, Jesus.
The High Priest LinensThe spotless linen spoke of the holy humanity ofChristThen he was robed only in spotlesswhite, foreshadowing the personal righteousnessand holiness of the Lord Jesus, which fitted Him toundertake the stupendous work of putting awaythe sins of His people. Typically, these undergarments spoke of the personal righteousness of Christ, over which (so to speak) all His other perfections and glories were displayed. It reminds us of that blessed word in 1 John 2:1, “If any one sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous.
The SashThe “Sash” speaks of preparedness forservice.Beautifully is this brought out in Luke 12:37:“Blessed are those servants whom themaster finds awake when he comes. Truly, Isay to you, he will dress himself for serviceand have them recline at table, and he willcome and serve them.”In the days of His flesh “He took a towel andgirded Himself, and then He washed thedisciple’s feet.” Today He stands in the midstof His churches, girt about the breasts with agolden girdle (Rev. 1:13), ready to serve Hispeople on earth.
The RobeThis robe embodied the color of theheavens; it was all of blue. It portrayed theheavenly character of our great HighPriest, and also pointed to the place whereHe is now ministering on our behalf.Christ is a heavenly Priest, Hispeople are partakers of a heavenlycalling (Heb. 3:1), their citizenship isin heaven (Phil. 3:20), theirinheritance is there (1 Pet. 1). Beingworn beneath the ephod itself, this“robe” announces that the officialcharacter of Christ is sustained bywhat He is personally as theHeavenly One (1 Cor. 15:47).
The EphodWoven of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet materials, it was veryelaborate and ornate. On top of each of the shoulders theephod was fastened by two onyx clasps on which wereengraved the names of six of the 12 tribes.
The EphodThe spotless linen spokeof the holy humanity ofChristThe gold, of His divinegloryThe colors, of the variedperfections of Hischaracter.“Christ acts for us asPriest in all that He is asDivine and human, theGod-man. The wholevalue of His person
The BreastplateOn the jewels were inscribed thenames of Israel’s twelve tribes.Therefore, what we haveforeshadowed here is Christ, as ourgreat High Priest, bearing on Hisheart, sustaining, and presentingbefore God, His blood-boughtpeople.He is able to keep us fromfalling, and to present us faultlessbefore the presence of His glory withexceeding joy. We shall neverperish, neither shall any pluck us outof the Shepherd’s hand: and whoshall separate us from His love?”
The TurbanThe head-dress of the high priestrepresented his subordination toGod, his obedience to God’scommands and submission to His will.The fine linen of which it wasmade, tells of the personalrighteousness which must be found inthe one who stands in the presence ofGod on behalf was completely Jesus Christ of others. subordinate to God in his obedience. It is Jesus’ personal righteousness that has been imputed to all who believe because he went before the Father to atone for our sins.
The CrownGod can only accept that which is suitedto His own nature. Everything offered toHim, therefore, must be stamped withholiness. This being so, we are cleansedand brought into relation with Him. If leftto ourselves we could never accepted bythe Father. But He has met our need.Christ, as Priest, bears the iniquity; andHe is holiness to the Lord, so that ourworship, as presented through Him isacceptable to God.This golden-plate was the symbol of theessential holiness of the Lord Jesus. Thesaints are represented by Him andaccepted in Him. Because of their legal