The priests were instructed to wear particular garments in order that they might have a testimony as they carried out G-d’s purposes.
v31: This ephod was the foundational priestly garment. This robe is unique – it’s not made up of many different colours (like we have seen throughout) but was completely blue.
v32: Coat of mail – like armour. It was made with a kind of reinforced weave.
v35: The commentators say that Aaron went into the Holy Place concentrating on the work he had to do. He was not there to gaze around or delay, and therefore those bells rang as he worked, to remind him that he was not supposed to be distracted or lose focus. If this was true for the holy place it was even more so for the Most Holy Place. He had to do the work he was required to do and then he needed to leave, otherwise he would die.
v36-37: This plate on Aaron’s forehead, engraved like a signet, showed Aaron’s authority.
· “Holiness to the L-rd” speaks of purpose. There’s a relationship between worship and the purposes of G-d. When we experience G-d’s revelation (through worship) things change in us and around us – in order for us to carry out the purposes of G-d.
v38: Maybe these gifts were made in a state of impurity, or with the wrong motivation. This head plate, worn in the presence of the L-rd, sanctified the gift or made it acceptable. The wearing of this headplate brought about reconciliation before G-d and man.
v39: Skilfully weave – again, intelligent design.
v40: The high priestly garments were different from the garments of the regular priests. All the garments were to bring honour to G-d, and to reveal His splendour.
v41: G-d is telling Moses what he needs to do.
· Anointing gave them authority (example: David was anointed as king)
· Consecration set them apart, giving them honour before the congregation/the children of Israel.
· Sanctification, purification in order to be enabled to serve before G-d. Their work had great implications – to bring about forgiveness, therefore reconciliation, between G-d and man.
v42: Trousers – ie an undergarment.
v43: This is not the first time we’ve encountered this. What G-d’s Word is telling us is that worship has great implications – it can bring about blessings and revelation. It can draw someone closer to G-d. But, once more, if this work is done with a different mindset (not in
G-d’s ways or according to His instruction) it brings about death. If these people didn’t have the proper covering or proper attire (if their appearance was not in accordance with what G-d said is appropriate) they would die.
· Descendants – the word used here is “seed”. We talk about the seed of Abraham – it’s a
broad term and does not only speak about the literal offspring of Aaron but also of those who partake of this G-d instructed worship.
To recap the principles about worship learnt here: When worshipping – make sure that your flesh is covered. Everything done was done with the right mindset – if it wasn’t it needed to be atoned for (significance of the head plate). Don’t be side-tracked or distracted (bells). Our worship needs to be focussed on G-d and not on man.