Christian Churches of God
(Edition 2.0 20060101-20060101-20061215)
The High Priest’s role in the past and currently is very important. In this paper we will cover some of the important facets of his garments and the associated symbolism as to how they tie into the Plan of Salvation.
The Garments of the High Priest
In today’s society dress seems to be based on personal desire and the latest fashion trends of the time. With God, things are consistent, planned and thought out. So too it is with the priest’s garments. From the physical we learn the spiritual (Rom. 1:20). In this paper we will attempt to learn about the items the High Priest wore when he was ministering in the Temple, and see what spiritual applications we may make to the priest’s garments. People wear clothes to cover themselves (Gen. 3:7,10,11,21) or in the case of the priest the clothes (or garments) were for glory and beauty (Ex. 28:2, 40).
There seems to be some correlation or connection to the High Priest’s garments and the armour of God that we are told to put on daily. Ephesians 6:14-18 talks of the armour of God. The armour includes the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness; our loins are to be gird with truth, our feet are to be shod with the gospel of peace; we are to put on the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God, and the shield of faith. We are told to pray always, with all perseverance (faithfulness) and all supplication (to ask earnestly and humbly) for the saints.
There were eight garments worn by the High Priest all year round. The only exception to this was on the Day of Atonement when the High Priest wore the white linen garments prior to robing with the royal robes. The four white garments were: the breeches, the tunic/shirt, sash and the turban. The four coloured garments were the blue robe, the ephod with the curious girdle, the breastplate, and the golden mitre. With the exception of the breeches, all the other garments were wholly or partly visible, or seen to the eye of the onlooker.
We see the number ‘four’ frequently coming up in Scripture, such as four Living Creatures, four blue ribbons or the four coverings on the Tabernacle. The significance of the number ‘eight’, according to Bullinger in The Companion Bible at Appendix 10, is that it is the number of the resurrection or regeneration, new beginnings or commencement. With the set-up of the Tabernacle and consecration of the priesthood, Israel began another phase or period of its development in God’s Plan.
The Garments of the ordinary priests and High Priest on Atonement
The ordinary priests wore four garments that were the same type as the High Priest’s white garments. The High Priest wore the holy white garments on Atonement (Lev. 16:4). They are the tunic/shirt, sash, turban/bonnet and linen breeches (Ex. 28:40, 42; 39:27-29). Some authors believe the High Priest’s white garments were more ornate or beautiful then the ordinary priest’s white garments, but Scripture is silent on the matter.
Yet, when we look at the origin of the different types of linen, we have an idea that there appears to be two types of linen referred to. Two entries from Easton’s Bible Dictionary on linen are as follows:
Heb. Bad SHD 906; possibly from 909 rendered "linen" Exd 28:42; 39:28; Lev 6:10; 16:4, 23, 32; 1Sa 2:18; 2Sa 6:14, etc. It is uniformly used of the sacred vestments worn by the priests. The word is from a root signifying "separation."
So clearly, the priests were separate and set apart by God for a holy purpose. In Leviticus 16:23, we see the reference to SHD 906 being used for the High Priest’s garments on Atonement.
Leviticus 16:23 And Aaron shall come into the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall put off the linen garments, which he put on when he went into the holy [place], and shall leave them there:
Heb. SHD 8336 shesh; rendered "fine linen" Exd 25:4; 26:1, 31, 36, etc. In Pro 31:22 it is rendered in Authorized Version "silk," and in Revised Version "fine linen." The word denotes Egyptian linen of peculiar whiteness and fineness (byssus). This was the usual dress of the Egyptian priest. Pharaoh arrayed Joseph in a dress of linen (Gen. 41:42).
The priests are to reflect God’s light and Law to the entire planet. Even the dress of the priest was to have the pure white reflective quality. SHD 8336 is also the type of linen that curtains in the tabernacle were made of (Ex. 26:1). It is also the linen that was used to make the High Priest’s royal garments and his sons’ garments.
Exodus 39:27 And they made coats [of] fine linen [of] woven work for Aaron, and for his sons,
See the paper White Linen Garments of the Priest (No. CB63).
We should strive to be righteous at all times. The white linen is referred to in Revelation 19:8 as the righteous acts of the saints. Priests who did not wear their priestly garments when ministering in the Temple incurred guilt and death (Ex. 28:35, 43). The same holds true for us. God has set up a perfect plan because He knows we are not perfect yet. God has provided the perfect acceptable sacrifice – Messiah – to restore us to Him. Upon our repentance and baptism we are given the Holy Spirit that will lead us into all truth (Jn. 14:26). However, when we sin it is our responsibility to repent and change since we have soiled our white righteous garments. If we do not repent we will lose the possibility of being in the First Resurrection and so we will be in the Second Resurrection.
There are spirit beings that wear white robes (Rev. 4:4, 15:6). Revelation chapter 4 talks of those who have not soiled their garments being clothed in white garments (Rev. 3:4-5). Revelation chapter 7 talks of the “Great Multitude” that are clothed in white robes having washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 7:14). Those who have been martyred are given a white robe (Rev. 6:11). Those who have qualified and are in the First Resurrection have or will be given a white robe (Ecc. 9:8; Rev. 3:5).
Eloah gave the spirit of wisdom to people who were skilful with sewing, weaving and metal work to make Aaron’s garments to consecrate (SHD 6943) him, as priest to Me (Ex. 28:3; 36:1; 39:1).
The word consecrate (SHD 6942) means: to sanctify, prepare, dedicate, be hallowed, be holy, be sanctified, and be separate – BLB. NASV Key study comments on 6942, “Qadash” – to make clean, to pronounce clean; to hallow, to dedicate, to sanctify, to purify, to make oneself clean, to consecrate to God, to show oneself holy. Qadash is the sphere of what is considered sacred.
Five materials were used to create the High Priest’s garments. Some pieces of clothing were made of just one material and others were a combination of two or more materials. The materials included: 1) gold (Ex. 39:2,3); 2) blue wool (Ex. 39:1-3); 3) scarlet/red wool (Ex. 39:1-3); 4) purple wool (Ex. 39:1-3); 5) twisted linen. (Ex. 28:5). The priest’s holy (SHD 6944) garments were for glory (SHD 3519) and beauty (SHD 6597) from Exodus 28:2. Just as five is the number of grace here we see different materials all coming together for glory and beauty.
Note that the laity was prohibited from wearing clothing woven of two different kinds of material (Lev. 19:19; Deut. 22:11). It was reserved for the High Priest only as per Encyclopaedia Judaica.
Yet, in the future, it appears wool is prohibited from being part of the priest’s garments and they will be totally linen garments.
Ezekiel 44:17 And it shall come to pass, [that] when they enter in at the gates of the inner court, they shall be clothed with linen garments; and no wool shall come upon them, while they minister in the gates of the inner court, and within.
The High Priest’s Garments
The text for the priestly garments is primarily found in Leviticus chapter 8 and Exodus chapters 28 and 39.
Leviticus 8:1-9 The LORD said to Moses: 2 Send for Aaron and his sons, as well as their priestly clothes, the oil for ordination, the bull for the sin offering, the two rams, and a basket of bread made without yeast. 3 Then bring the whole community of Israel together at the entrance to the sacred tent. 4 Moses obeyed the LORD, and when everyone had come together, 5 he said, " We are here to follow the Lord’s instructions." 6 After Moses told Aaron and his sons to step forward, he had them wash themselves. 7 He put the priestly shirt and robe on Aaron and wrapped the sash around his waist. Then he put the sacred vest on Aaron and fastened it with the finely woven belt. 8Next, he put on Aaron the sacred breast piece that was used in learning what the LORD wanted his people to do. 9 He placed the turban on Aaron's head, and on the front of the turban was the narrow strip of thin gold as a sign of his dedication to the LORD. CEV
Making the Priestly Clothes
Exodus 39:1-7 Beautiful priestly clothes were made of blue, purple, and red wool for Aaron to wear when he performed his duties in the holy place. This was done exactly as the LORD had commanded Moses. 2-3 The entire priestly vest was made of fine linen, woven with blue, purple, and red wool. Thin sheets of gold were hammered out and cut into threads that were skillfully woven into the vest. 4-5 It had two shoulder straps to support it and a sash that fastened around the waist. 6 Onyx stones were placed in gold settings, and each one was engraved with the name of one of Israel's sons. 7 Then these were attached to the shoulder straps of the vest, so the LORD would never forget his people. Everything was done exactly as the LORD had commanded Moses.
The Breast Piece
Exodus 39:8-21 The breast piece was made with the same materials and designs as the priestly vest. 9 It was nine inches square and folded double (a span long and a span wide when folded double NASV) 10 with four rows of three precious stones: A carnelian, a chrysolite, and an emerald were in the first row; 11 a turquoise, a sapphire, and a diamond were in the second row; 12 a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst were in the third row; 13 and a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper were in the fourth row. They were mounted in a delicate gold setting; 14 and on each of them was engraved the name of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. 15-18 Two gold rings were attached to the upper front corners of the breast piece and fastened with two braided gold chains to gold settings on the shoulder straps. 19 Two other gold rings were attached to the lower inside corners next to the vest, 20and two more near the bottom of the shoulder straps right above the sash. 21 To keep the breast piece in place; a blue cord was used to tie the two lower rings on the breast piece to those on the vest. These things were done exactly as the LORD had commanded Moses.
The Clothes for the Priests
Exodus 39:22-31 The priestly robe was made of blue wool 23 with an opening in the center for the head. The material around the collar was bound so as to keep it from ravelling. 24-26Along the hem of the robe were woven pomegranates of blue, purple, and red wool with a bell of pure gold between each of them. This robe was to be worn by Aaron when he performed his duties. 27-29 Everything that Aaron and his sons wore was made of fine linen woven with blue, purple, and red wool, including their robes and turbans, their fancy caps and underwear, and even their sashes that were embroidered with needlework. 30 "Dedicated to the LORD" was engraved on a narrow strip of pure gold; 31 which was fastened to Aaron's turban. These things were done exactly as the LORD had commanded Moses. CEV
NASV says material versus wool.
All priests were from the tribe of Levi. Aaron, Moses’ elder brother, was chosen by God as the High Priest. For more information about the new priesthood see the paper Melchisedek (No. 128)).
Priests Ordination and Consecration
Here we are only going to deal with the dress of the High Priest. There was an ordination and seven-day consecration phase. For more information about the priests’ consecration see Exodus 29.
Prior to putting on the Priestly Garments
The priests were brought to the tent of meeting. Then the priests were washed with water.
This could symbolize when we repent and ask to be baptised. Typically, people are baptised at the Feast in front of their brethren. Upon our repentance, baptism and laying of hands the Holy Spirit is given to us. We become priests of God (Rev.1:5,6).
As strange as this may seem to us in our modern world, in the Temple, the priests ministered barefoot. Yearly, each baptised member renews his/her baptismal commitment, or promise, by partaking in the Lord’s Supper where we first wash each other’s feet and then partake of the body/bread and blood/wine of Christ. See the paper God’s Holy Days (No. CB22).
Remember, in the story regarding Moses’ calling he was told to remove his sandals because the place where he was standing was holy ground (Ex. 3:5). In Ephesians 6, our feet are to be shod with the gospel of peace. Currently, there is nothing else more important than getting the Gospel out to the dying planet.
High Priest’s Clothing or Garments
We will start from Leviticus chapter 8, with the items Moses put on Aaron when Aaron and his sons were consecrated or set apart. Depending on which Bible we use, different names may be used to describe the pieces of clothes. Therefore, the various names are added into the text to attempt to help qualify what is being described.
“And he put on [Aaron] the tunic/shirt/chequered coat and girded him with the sash and clothed him with the robe, and put the ephod/sacred vest on him and he girded him with the artistic band of the ephod. This is the curious girdle/finely woven belt, with which he tied it to him. He then placed the breast piece on him and in the breast piece he put the Urim and Thummim. He also placed the turban/bonnet on his head, and on the turban, at its front he placed the golden plate, the Holy crown just as the Lord had commanded Moses” (Lev. 8:7-9).
Though it is not listed, the linen breeches were likely the first thing that was put on after the washing with water.
In Exodus 28:42-43 it states: “and you shall make for them linen breeches to cover their bare flesh, they shall reach from the loins even to the thighs. And they shall be on Aaron and on his sons when they enter the tent of meeting or when they approach the altar to minister in the holy place, so that they do not incur guilt and die. It shall be a statute forever to him and to his descendants after him.”
Linen breeches were for modesty. Priests’ garments were for glory and beauty (Ex. 28:2,40). Part of this beauty was the priest demonstrating modesty. So too should it be with us. In Ephesians 6:14 we see that our loins are to be girded with the truth. Truth is central to the Faith. We must always remain loyal to God’s truth and keep His Law.
He made the tunics of finely woven linen for Aaron and his sons (Ex. 39:27). These were one-piece garments and it appears they were made on a loom using a double weave so that there were no side seams. It is the same as the garment Messiah wore on the night of his betrayal/crucifixion: “This garment was seamless, woven from one piece from top to bottom” (Jn. 19:23). The Revised Version describes it as, “to weave in chequer work” (Ex. 28:39; NASV Ex. 28:4). This too would be a type of weave that could be set up on a loom, where the pattern on the fabric looks like squares. For more comments on squares see the paper The Tabernacle in the Wilderness (No. CB42).
Exodus 39:29: “The sash was of finely twisted linen and blue and purple and scarlet material, the work of the weaver, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.”
There were three different types of sashes/girdles worn by the priests in the Temple:
1) The High Priest’s year-round girdle, which was part of the “golden garments” embroidered with blue, purple, scarlet dyed wools and twisted linen (Ex. 39:29, AV).
2) The girdle worn by the High Priest on the Day of Atonement was one of the four white garments that he wore that day (Lev. 16:4).
3) The girdle of the ordinary priests: some people think was like the High Priest’s golden garments; others think it was part of the white garments. “Righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins and faithfulness the girdle of his reins” (Isa. 11:5).
The robe was blue (Ex. 28:31, 39:22). This blue robe was worn under the ephod and was not as decorative as the ephod. There was an opening for the head in its center and a woven edge around this opening, so that it would not tear (Ex. 28:32; 39:23). For the blue robe had no sleeves, but only slits in the sides for the arms to come through. The skirt of this robe had a remarkable trimming of pomegranates in blue, red, and scarlet.
Numbers 15:37-40 instructs us to have four blue ribbons on the corners of our garments “that we may look on them and remember all the commandments of the Lord and do them.” Here we see the entire robe was to be blue.
The bottom of the robe had bells made of gold attached to the hem. The gold bells and pomegranates were to alternate around the hem of the robe. “And it shall be on Aaron when he ministers” (Ex. 28:33-35; 39:24-26). There are mixed views on the reasons for the bells. Some scholars believe it was so that the High Priest could be heard moving about in the Tabernacle or Temple. The tinkling of the bells may have been heard when he entered and left the holy place before the Lord. This was a reassurance that he found favour in the eyes of the Lord and he did not die. Other authors say this is not logical. All we can be sure of is that Scripture states that there were bells and pomegranates on the bottom of the blue robe.
They made pomegranates of blue, purple and scarlet material and twisted linen around the hem of the robe (Ex. 39:24). The Encyclopaedia Judaica suggests there were 36 or 72 bells and pomegranates. Easton believes there were 72, which is the number in the Sanhedrin. If there were 72 bells and pomegranates then we have the bottom of the High Priest’s robe encircled with the 144 items. We also see pomegranates on the pillars of Solomon’s Temple. The details of Solomon’s Temple will be discussed in a future paper.
On the Day of Atonement, the priest left his kingly garments and changed into the white garments of the priest. At this time the High Priest would not make any sound as he moved around within the Tabernacle or Temple, since he did not have on the blue robe with the bells.
Materials of Breastplate and Ephod
The breastplate and ephod were made of all five materials. “And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgement with cunning work; after the work of the ephod thou shalt make it; of gold of blue, and purple, and of scarlet material and of twined linen, shall thou make it” (Ex. 28:6,15, NASV). The RSV uses the word “stuff” for material and other versions omit the word totally.
The Ephod was made of all five materials (Ex. 28:5). It had two shoulder pieces. (In the same way the Temple had the two pillars.) The shoulder pieces were joined on their ends with golden chains (Ex. 28:14). There were two onyx stones. Each stone had the names of the six sons of Israel engraved on them. Six names were on one stone and six names were on the other stone in order of their birth (Ex. 28:9-13; 39:6). They were set in beautiful gold settings on each of the ephod shoulder pieces. Aaron was to bear the names of the sons of Israel on his shoulders for a memorial. It was further united by a "curious girdle" of gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen round the waist. Upon it was placed the breastplate of judgment, which in fact was a part of the ephod, and included in the term in such passages as (1Sam. 2:28; 14:3; 23:9) and was fastened to it just above the curious girdle of the ephod.
The breastplate, like the ephod, was composed of all five materials: gold, blue, purple and scarlet material and fine twisted linen (NASV, Ex. 28:15). It was a square with the 12 stones mounted on it. (We saw many squares in the tabernacle in the wilderness.) This rectangle was folded in half and formed a square; it was a double square possibly to hold the weight of the stones that were attached. Mounted on the square were four rows of three stones; each of the twelve precious stones was set in a beautiful golden setting. The 12 stones are in accord with the names of the sons of Israel. Each was engraved like a seal with the name of one of the twelve tribes. Whether the order followed the ages of the sons of Israel, or the order of the encampment again we can’t be sure, as Scripture is silent on the matter.
Here we see two sets of stones having the names of Israel’s sons. One set has the names engraved on the stones on the shoulder and the other set has the names engraved on the stones on the breastplate. The stones are arranged in four sets of three and are probably set as per the order of March of the tribes.
The breastplate was fastened at the top by rings and chains of gold to the two onyx stones on the shoulders, and beneath with two other rings and a lace of blue, to two corresponding rings in the ephod to keep it fixed in its place above the curious girdle.
Exactly how the Urim and Thummin worked is not clearly told to us by Scripture. We do know when the High Priest asked a question regarding the tribes the Urim and Thummim somehow gave the answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ through God’s Holy Spirit (1Sam. 14:3,18,19; 23:2,4,9,11,12; 28:6; Jdg. 20:28; 2Sam. 5:23). We might suppose that the answer was simply given by the Word of the Lord to the High Priest (cf. Jn. 11:51) when he had inquired of the Lord clothed with the ephod and breastplate.
What that meaning was we learn from Exodus 28:30, where we read, "Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the Lord continually."
Aaron shall carry the names of the sons of Israel in the breastplate of judgment over his heart when he enters the holy place, for a memorial before the Lord continually (Ex. 28:28,29). The breastplate is referred to as the breastplate of judgement. In the breastplate are the Urim and Thummim and they shall be over Aaron’s heart when he goes before the Lord; and Aaron shall carry the judgement of the sons of Israel over his heart before the Lord continually (Ex. 28:3). Exactly the same symbolism of glory is assigned to the precious stones in the description of the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:11,19-21), a passage that ties together with the arrangement of the tribes in their camps, and that of the precious stones in the breastplate.
The breastplate was tied to the ephod, just as judgement is tied to the sons of Israel through Messiah. Israel was Yahovah’s portion. We saw what happened to the Israelites when they turned from God’s Laws and went after false gods during their journey to the Promised Land. Deuteronomy chapter 28 tells us about the blessings for obedience and the curses for disobedience.
Aaron, as High Priest, prefigured Christ as High Priest from his appointment above his fellows when he, Christ, was accepted as the perfect sacrifice on Wave Sheaf, in 30 C.E.
The turban was 16 cubits long and was the same length as the linen curtains in the Tabernacle.
Exodus 39:28…“and the turban of fine linen, and the decorative caps of fine linen, and the linen breeches of fine twisted linen.”
Here we see Aaron and his sons were told to cover their heads. The High Priest’s head was not to be left uncovered. Men were not to shave their head (Lev. 21:5) except at the end of Nazarite vow (Num. 6:18).
We must continually guard our mind since Satan as a roaring lion seeks to devour/destroy us (1Pet. 5:8).
“You shall make a Plate of pure gold and engrave on it “Holy to the Lord”. Fasten a blue chord to it to attach it to the turban; it is to be on the front of the turban. It will be on Aaron’s forehead (Ex. 28:36-38).
Also, the Ten Commandments were engraved on two stone tablets (Ex. 31:18; 34:1). Those who obey God and overcome sin will receive a white stone with a new name written on it (Rev. 2:17). We also get a new name written on our forehead (Rev. 3:12).
The Helmet of Salvation
Our salvation is the through Jesus Christ (or Joshuah/Yehoshua) the Messiah, the perfect sacrifice. He is our High Priest. We are to be priests of God (Ex. 19:6), and we are to receive a crown (Rev. 2:10; 3:11).
Christ sanctified the garments of the elect by the Wave Offering. From that point we were consecrated as priests and clothed to enter the sanctuary. For more details on the offerings and garments of the priests see the paper Wave Sheaf Offering (No. 106b).
The Jews are working on getting things in place for the third Temple. The Jews do not understand things the way we do; they do not see or believe Christ was the perfect sacrifice. The Jews believe they need to get the Temple ready. Here is a brief quote about the blue coat:
From Arutz - Israeli National News 20-12-05
BIBLICAL ROBE PRODUCED FOR USE BY HIGH PRIEST IN HOLY TEMPLE (By Ezra HaLevi)
After much hard work and research, the Techelet (azure blue) robe of the High Priest has been completed by the Temple Institute and it is hoped to be fit to be worn in the Third Temple. The blue coat, or me'il techelet as it is called in the Torah, sports 72 golden bells alternating with 72 pomegranates attached around its hem, woven of blue, purple, and scarlet wool. The project was researched and undertaken by skilled artisans over the past three years. It will join the already completed ephod and choshen (breastplate), featuring the 12 precious stones associated with the 12 tribes of Israel. They are located at the Temple Institute in Jerusalem's Old City, and it is hoped they will be found fit to be used by the High Priest in the third temple.
Master weaver Yehudit Avraham wove the robe using the Navajo "two-sided" weaving technique. The Techelet dye used is the most widely accepted of the blue dyes thought to be the Biblical Blue. The commandment to make such a robe appears in Exodus 28: 31-35:
"And you shall make the robe of the ephod entirely out of blue wool. Its head opening shall be folded over within it, its opening shall have a border all around of weaver's work - it shall be for it like the opening of a coat of mail, that it should not be torn. And you shall make on its hem pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet wool, on its hem all around, and gold bells between them, all around; a gold bell and a pomegranate, a gold bell and a pomegranate, all around. It must be on Aaron in order to minister. Its sound shall be heard when he enters the Sanctuary before Hashem and when he leaves, so that he not die."
"This is the first robe woven entirely out of techelet in nearly 2,000 years," Rabbi Chaim Richman of the Temple Institute told Arutz-7…. The completion of this sacred garment marks a great step forward towards the renewal of the Divine service in the Holy Temple."
In the future the Temple will again be operational with some modifications. There we see the priests only wear linen, just as the High Priest did on Atonement. “They must not wear any woollen garment while ministering at the gates of the inner court or inside the temple” (Ezek. 44:17ff.).
The Holy of Holies Now
Throughout the High Priest’s garments we see the use of gold: on his head in the mitre, threads of gold and golden chains on the breastplate and ephod, and close to his feet with golden bells.
After Christ’s sacrifice, and consequent to our baptism and the receipt of the Holy Spirit, we are now the Naos or Holy of Holies as the Temple of God (1Cor.3:16-17; 6:19; 2Cor. 6:16; Eph.2:21). Just as we saw in the Tabernacle in the wilderness where the Holy of Holies was gold, here we see the High Priest wearing the gold. We will be priests working under our High Priest Joshuah the Messiah.
We need to remember that we can learn spiritual lessons from the physical things that are around us, or from what we are told to do.
We see we can soil or dirty our garments, but if we keep our garments clean and unspotted we will be found worthy and have our name in the book of life (Rev. 3:4-5).
The High Priest’s garments were for glory and beauty. Yet the garments actually show us the glory and beauty of the many aspects of the Plan of God. Let each one of us be about our Father’s business (Lk. 2:49) and hold fast to what we have so that no one man take our crown (Rev. 3:11) or our place in the Plan of God.
Lesson: Garments of the Priest
To review the basic concepts related to the physical appearance of the priest and High Priest in Israel.
1. Children will learn the biblical description of the priestly garments.
2. Children learn how the priest’s garments pointed toward Christ as our High Priest and ultimately our role as priests under the order of Melchisedek.
Revised Standard Bible
King James Bible
Open with prayer
Close with prayer
This Lesson can be done in parts as each part of the priestly garments is reviewed or it can be an activity review of the material covered.
Study materials are listed in the individual lessons on the Garments of the Priest.
The general activity will involve the children making priestly garments. This will either be in a 3-D fashion on a doll or on a “paper doll”.
Scissors, glue, hot glue, needle and thread
Doll per child or paper doll per child
White, blue, red, purple fabric or paper
Gold fabric or paper (possibly in the scrap booking area) gold foil
Stones for the breastplate, or possibly glitter glue to use as stones (12 coloured stones and 2 onyx stones per child).
Gold chain, gold wire, gold thread for certain parts may also work or gold pipe cleaners
Gold rings or make rings out of pipe cleaners
Small gold safety pins
Items that seem to work: buy a strand of purple pom poms for pomergranates ~1 inch longer than the distance of the edge of the blue robe. Allow the children to pin the bells on to the space between the pomegranates/pom poms. Even the 3-4 years olds that can string beads should be able to do this activity. For those who have problems with fine motor skills it will be very challenging.
Regarding the ephod: plan for the ephod to slip over the head of the 3-D figure with a piece of the ephod reaching to the middle back. Glue or use gold wire to attach the 2 onyx stones with the names of the 6 tribes written on them to the shoulder of the Ephod.
Using pipe cleaners form a general square shape for the breastplate and use the remainder (add extra if needed) of the gold pipe cleaner to form 2 loops on the top to slip over the onyx stones. Cut lengths of gold, purple, blue, red and white (preferably the glitter or shining pipe cleaners) pipe cleaners about ½ longer than the length of the breastplate. Simply weave over under over under, and on the next pipe cleaner under over under over until the breastplate has a solid appearance. You can also glue the gold paper behind the pipe cleaners or omit the pipe cleaner weaving aspect if you are limited with time.
For ease with younger children have the template cut out so all they need to do is cut and trace the various garments and attach them. Once the clothing is made go through the entire process of how one is called or selected by God and how we are given the Holy Spirit upon repentance and baptism, from which we receive our white robes. If we soil or get our robes dirty we repent immediately and yearly take of the Lord’s Supper. Review the concept that we are priests of the order of Melchisedek; that Christ is our High Priest. Take the children through the various items and emphasise what they may symbolise.
This could be a presentation for the adults, with each child or team of children explaining the individual aspects of each of the priest’s garments.
Close with prayer.