Priestly Garments

What are Priestly Garments?  Simply put, priestly garments are the garments that we wear while we minister as priests to the Lord or to His children.  This teaching on priestly garments should especially interest His prophetic dancers because what we wear while we minister is very important.  When we are ministering as priests, we could wear one thing and when we are ministering as kings (and of course, we are still priests), we could wear quite a different thing.  Usually these prophetic presentations seem to overlap, but I have seen specific dances that the Lord has instructed dress to be one way or the other.  It is important to know what the Lord has sent you to do.  Seek Him for infomation about your ministry garments for each time you minister in dance.

The description of Priestly Garments is found in Exodus 28.  God was very specific about what He wanted His priests to wear.  As ordinary priests in plain dress, Aaron's sons symbolize all of today's believers.  While Aaron, the High Priest, in his garments of glory and beauty, symbolizes Jesus Christ our great High Priest.

No priest, neither lay nor High Priest, was fit to serve in the Temple unless he was wearing the prescribed sacred garments. The ***Talmud states, "While they are clothed in the priestly garments, they are clothed in the priesthood; but when they are not wearing the garments, the priesthood is not upon them" (BT [Babylonian Talumd] Zevachim 17:B).  Conducting the service without these garments would have rendered the priests unfit for service, just as if they were not descendants of Aaron and would surely have brought them judgment.

Why did the Bible attach so much significance to the priest's garments? Because their quality and design elevated the wearers. God designed the garments themselves to possess a certain holiness; powerful enough to sanctify all those who even came in contact with them, as we read in the prophets, they were not allowed to touch the people before changing:  "...so as not to hallow the people with their garments" (Ezekiel 44:19).  In this sense, both priestly garments and kingly garments are holy unto the Lord.

The Hebrew word which we translate as "sacred" or "holy" garments also means "garments of the Temple;"  That means, the garments themselves showed that their wearers were standing in Divine service.


"For Honor and for Beauty"

God's command for the priestly garments to be "for honor and for beauty" teaches us that they had to be new, honorable and lovely.  If the garments were soiled, stained, or ripped, the priests could not conduct the service while wearing them - and if they did, the service would be invalid. It also means that the garments were treated respectfully and not dishonorably.  They were taken care of and stored properly.

Another aspect of "honor and beauty" meant that the garments had to fit each priest perfectly.  It was forbidden for the pants, for example, to be too long or too short. The garments were tailored for each priest. 

 "And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty." Exodus 28:2

"Awake, awake, clothe yourself in your strength, O Zion; clothe yourself in your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city." Isaiah 52:1

 

"Worship the Lord in the splendor (beauty) of holiness; tremble before Him, all the earth." Psalm 96:9

 

"I delight greatly in the Lord, my soul rejoices in my God.  For He has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, as a bride
adorns herself with her jewels"  Isaiah 61:10

 

 

"Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready. "Revelation 19:7

  


The Priests' Garments Were Not Washed 

Any garments for the ordinary priests which became soiled to the extent that their stains could not be removed, were not washed.  They were shredded and recycled as candle wicks.  However, when the High Priest's garments became unusable through wear and tear, they were not recycled but hidden away so that no other man could ever wear them again.

While we today, do not have a mandate to destroy our priestly dance garments that get soiled, we do recognise how important it is to treat all our ministry garments with honor and care. See Ex. 28:2 again.

We should never treat them with disrespect such as throwing them on the floor (even when dirty) or letting them get soiled and stay soiled.  We should treat them gently and lovingly when we wash them, and I believe even wash them separately from other garments; again, treating them as holy unto the Lord.  We should mend them carefully and promptly and set them aside in a special place or garment bag, protected until our next ministry appointment. 

We should, as much as possible, not wear them outside of ministry.  This includes in the car, to and from ministry.  I believe this is wisdom in several areas:  Why would we want to be seen in public dressed the way we dress for ministry and why would we want to lower the perception of our garments to everyday wear?  Why would we want to drag our skirts across the car seat or through the parking lot?  Okay, well, we also have to realize that this cannot become bondage and we live in the real world!  There are situations where you will have to wear certain garments to your ministry location and then add to or modify them when you dance.

When we are transporting our ministry garments, they should be properly protected from coming into contact with the elements.  If you do not have a garment bag, then at least hang your garments covered with plastic bag from a dry cleaner. 

Ezekiel 44:19    "And when they go forth into the outer court, even into the outer court of the people, they shall put off their garments wherein they ministered, and lay them in the holy chambers, and they shall put on other garments; and they shall not sanctify the people with their garments."

 

Even the making of the garments should be in the hands of Spirit filled believers.  If we do, however, acquire garments from a nation or a person that is questionable, we should immediately take the garments before the Lord and cleanse them, binding the spiritual enemy of our souls and anointing our garments with oil and pronouncing them holy unto the Lord. 

Remember that your ministry garments (both priestly and kingly) are tools of ministry.  They belong to the Lord. Treat them with the respect and that attitude will be reflected in the anointing that rests upon you and your garments.

 

Here are the Priests' Garments as they apply to us today as

Spiritual Garments: 

Gold symbolizes purity of the heart (tried by fire) and wisdom.  Linen represents the physical aspect of man and God's righteousness towards man. White represents perfection and judgment.  Red wool represents the blood of the Lamb.  Blue wool conveys the Heavenly, the spiritual, and also signifies healing.  Purple wool is of course, a royal color, linking us to the King of Kings, but it also is a combination of blue and red, symbolizing that man is both spiritual and physical.

The Rabbis taught that the regular priests represent man striving to reach Yahweh and that The High Priest respresented humanity's higest spiritual level.  His turban was flat on top, and meant "I reached the top." (Just symbolic, not that he was infallable.)  However, we understand that the High Priest, actually represents Jesus the Messiah.

In the First Temple, the priests were good and Godly men.  However, in the *Second Temple, there was a period of time when the position was sold by the Roman governor to highest bidder.   When these unscrupulous men entered the Holy of Holies, they died on the spot and had to be dragged out by the rope that was tied to their waists.
 
Leviticus 8:7 NIV:  He put the tunic on Aaron, tied the sash around him, clothed him with the robe and put the ephod on him.

In Exodus 28th, it's specific about the garments that Aaron and his sons wore when entering into the temple to minister unto the Lord. In Exodus 28:2, God told Moses that the garments were for beauty and glory. He called them "Holy." The pieces of the priestly garments are:  breastplate & ephod, robe, embroidered coat (coat of ephod), mitre (turban), girdle (sash) and linen breeches.  It is important to note the differences between the clothing of Aaron and his sons. The High Priest, Aaron, was the only one with a Breastplate of Judgment, an Ephod and a Mitre,

Breastplate (connected to and worn over the ephod) (worn only by the High Priest):  The Breastplate of Judgment, with four rows of 3 stones representing the twelve tribes of Israel.  The stones were engraved with each of the names of the Twelve Tribes, and also had the Patriarchs' names, and the words "Tribes of Yaweh" and was worn over the Ephod by the High Priest; covers the heart, symbolic of judgement, and also commitment to the Lord and His protection and anointing over us.  The Rabbis taught that the Breastplate atoned for misjudgments of the Courts.

The chief ornament of the high priest was the breastplate, a rich piece of cloth, made with the same cunning workmanship, using the same threads of gold, blue, purple, scarlet and fine twined linen, as the Ephod. The name of each tribe was engraved in a precious stone and fixed in the breastplate, to signify how precious in God's sight believers are. Even the small tribes were as a precious stone in the breastplate of the high priest; symbolic that all the saints are dear to Christ. The high priest had the names of the tribes both on his shoulders and on his breast, which reminds us of the power and the love with which our Lord Jesus pleads for those that are his. He not only bears them up in his arms with almighty strength, but he carries them in his bosom with tender affection.

Ephod/Apron:  Worn over the Cloak/Robe of Ephod; Symbol of priestly ministry; made of threads of gold, blue, purple, scarlet and fine twined linen;  very elaborate and very expensive; plain linen ephods were worn by the regular priests.

It was a short coat/overlay without sleeves, woven of gold, blue, purple, scarlet and linen threads, fastened close to the body with a girdle. The shoulder-pieces were buttoned together with precious stones set in gold, one on each shoulder, on which were engraved the names of the children of Israel; the overlays or ephods we wear today in liturgical dance are representative of this biblical piece. (The Breastplate was worn on top of, and connect to the Ephod.)

Coat, Cloak, or Robe of Ephod:  The robe of the Ephod is a blue tunic (represents total emersion in the spirit and speaks of walking in healing), all one piece of material, with a hole in the top to slip over the head, with golden bells and pomegranates of blue, purple and scarlet hanging from the hem (worn over the Robe/Tunic).  The pomegranates speak of the Fruit of the Spirit.  As ministers, we should be exhibiting the pomegranates spiritually by the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives, and the bells signifying our heavenly language. The Rabbis say that the robe atoned for evil gossip, which is why its collar was double-stitched, hinting of the two barriers to protect the tongue, the teeth and lips.  Also, the bells gold (purity anda wisdom) bells made noise, hinting to the atonement of sins done by speech.

Robe or Tunic:  Usually made of white linen, it was a basic item all priests wore. Linen stands for "righteousness."  High priest wore it under the blue robe of the Ephod (tunic). The robes we wear today as liturgical dancers are a direct reflection of this.  Our ankle length skirts also reflect this covering and are symbolic of the robe.

Turban:  A turban with a plate of pure gold, with the words "Holy to Yahweh" or, in other words, "Holiness to the LORD" written upon it.  It was wrapped in blue lace was worn on the High Priest's forehead. This speaks of taking on the mind of Christ. The Rabbis taught that this piece represented the Holy of Holies in the Temple, symbolic of the highest spiritual level and that it atoned for conceited thoughts.  Lets also note that we, as children of God, are the Temple of God now, and can come into the Holy of Holies, and no longer need a physical Temple.  The headbands and headpieces we sometimes wear today as priestly ministers can be compared to this piece

Sash:  speaks of putting on the belt of truth, Ephesians 6:10, referring to the armor of God. The sash held the Ephod tightly against the body.  It also was a type of "girding oneself in preparation" (like the Exodus when the Jews at the Passover sacrifice with their bels on, ready to travel.) The sequin or cloth belts we wear today are symbols of this biblical piece.

Linen Breeches: (again, linen means righteousness) speaks of Jesus; it's the only piece that the priest had to step into; all the other pieces came over the head.  These were a type of covering undergarment.  They also represented atonement for sexual transgressions.  The Lord told Aaron to wear linen breeches to cover his nakedness when he ministered before the Lord in the tabernacle.  Our under culottes represent this item.  As we step into them, we remember that we are taking on a holy ministry, we are representing Jesus as priests and kings.

 

 

***About the Talmud:

"The Talmud (Hebrew: תַּלְ×ΕΎ×•Ö¼×“) is a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, customs, and history. It is a central text of Rabbinic Judaism, second only to the Hebrew Bible in importance. Jesus most certainly knew this and referred to some of its teachings.

The Talmud has two components: the Mishnah (c. 200 CE), the first written compendium of Judaism's Oral Law; and the Gemara (c. 500 CE), a discussion of the Mishnah and related Tannaitic writings that often ventures onto other subjects and expounds broadly on the Tanakh.

The terms Talmud and Gemara are often used interchangeably. The Gemara is the basis for all codes of rabbinic law and is much quoted in other rabbinic literature. The whole Talmud is also traditionally referred to as Shas (ש"ס), a Hebrew abbreviation of shisha sedarim, the "six orders" of the Mishnah."  --- from the Wikipedia

 *The Jews' Second Temple stood in Jerusalem between 516 BC and 70 AD.  It replaced the First Temple which was destroyed in 586 BD when the Jewish nation was exiled to Babylon.  The Sadducees rejected the Oral Torah and many of them bought their way into the office of High Priest.

Links to more info on Priestly Garments: 

http://campus.houghton.edu/orgs/rel-phil/schultzweb/priestly.htm    and

http://www.bible-history.com/tabernacle/TAB4The_Priestly_Garments.htm

http://rinahshal.tripod.com/id184.html

 

 

Teachings  Copyright of Jeanine Lynch, owner Judah Dancewear 

And you shall make holy garments ... for glory and for beauty.
Exodus 28:2

He is to put on the sacred linen tunic, with linen undergarments next to his body; he is to tie the linen sash around him and put on the linen turban. These are sacred garments; so he must bathe himself with water before he puts them on.
Leviticus 16:4

She was wearing a richly ornamented robe, for this was the kind of garment the virgin daughters of the king wore.
II Samuel 13:18

All glorious is the princess within her chamber; her gown is interwoven with gold. In embroidered garments she is led to the king;
Psalm 45:13-15


phone: 770-682-8320  email: