All traded with you.
In choice garments,
In clothes of blue.
In embroidered work.
Of colored material,
Bound with cords,
These all traded
There was no doubt that Tyre was a world class trading center. Here there is a list of its other trading partners. Haran was in Mesopotamia on the Euphrates River, while Canneh was southwest of Haran. Eden was in Assyria. Asshur was in Babylon, and Chilmad was also in Mesopotamia. These trading merchants had very good garments, especially blue and embroidered clothes. They also traded in colorful securely bound carpets that did not fall apart. Thus, Tyre also had these eastern trading partners, as well as their coastal trader town associates.
“Your sail was
Of fine embroidered linen
As your ensign.
Your awning was
From the coasts
The ship builders at Tyre used embroidered Egyptian linen as their sails and their signals. The purple and blue awnings were from Elishah or Cyprus. The people of Tyre were international traders, famous for their purple dye.
“They are stupid.
They are foolish.
The instruction given by idols
Is no better than wood.
Beaten silver is brought
Gold is brought
They are the work
Of the artisans.
They are the work
Of the hands of the goldsmiths.
Their clothing is blue.
Their clothing is purple.
They are all the product
Of skilled men.”
Jeremiah remarks that the false idol gods are stupid and foolish. Any instruction from them is like instruction from a piece of wood. Their silver is from Tarshish, the big ship building place somewhere on the Mediterranean Sea. Usually the gold is from Ophir, but here it is from an unknown place only mentioned here called Uphaz, that may be another name for Ophir. They even have blue and purple clothing. Obviously these false idols are the work products of skilled humans, both artisans and goldsmiths.
“The Lord blessed Aaron with stateliness.
He put a glorious robe on him.
He clothed him in perfect splendor.
He strengthened him
With the symbols of authority.
Aaron had linen undergarments.
He had a long robe.
He had the ephod.
The Lord encircled him with pomegranates.
There were many golden bells all around.
This sent forth a sound as he walked.
Their ringing could be heard in the temple.
This was a reminder to his people.”
Next Sirach explains the holy vestments of Aaron. The problem, of course, is that Aaron never made it to the Promise Land to wear any of these vestments, since he died in the desert or wilderness, centuries before the Jerusalem Temple was built. These were the vestments of the Levitical priests, not Aaron, as described in Exodus, chapter 28. Aaron was to be stately and splendid wearing these robes of authority. He was to wear linen undergarments, a long robe, and the ephod. According to Exodus, the long robe was blue with pomegranates all around it. The bells were to remind people that he was coming into the Temple that did not yet exist. The ephod was an old cultural vestment, an embroidered garment, believed to be like an apron with shoulder straps, worn by Levitical priests in ancient Israel.
“Just as Judas was finishing this speech, a detachment appeared, coming out of the hills. They saw that their army had been put to flight. The Jews were burning the camp. The smoke that was seen showed what had happened. When they perceived this, they were greatly frightened. When they also saw the army of Judas drawn up in the plain for battle, they all fled into the land of the Philistines. Then Judas returned to plunder the camp. They seized a great amount of gold and silver, cloth dyed blue and sea purple, as well as great riches. On their return they sang hymns and praises to heaven.
‘For he is good,
For his mercy endures forever.’
Thus Israel had a great deliverance that day.”
Just as Judas stopped speaking, a detachment of the gentiles appeared out of the hills. They saw that their army had been defeated as the Jews were burning up the camp. When they saw the smoke they were frightened. They then fled to the Philistine territory, always a good place for the enemies of Israel. Then Judas began to plunder the camp. They seized silver and gold, blue and purple cloth, and great wealth. On their return they sang hymns and praises. They had a great day of deliverance for Israel. They said that God was good and that his mercy endures forever.
“Then Mordecai went out from the presence of the king, wearing royal robes of blue and white, with a great golden crown and a mantle of fine linen and purple. The city of Susa shouted and rejoiced. The Jews had light and gladness, joy and honor. In every province and in every city, wherever the king’s command and his edict came, there was gladness and joy among the Jews, a festival and a holiday. Furthermore, many of the peoples of the country professed to be Jews, because the fear of the Jews had fallen upon them.”
We have a complete reversal of fortunes for Mordecai and the Jews. Mordecai now wore the royal blue and white robes with a golden crown with purple. He was like the king of Susa, at least the 2nd in command. The Jews in the various provinces or countries, because we are that time of the Diaspora, were glad and joyous. They held festivals and holidays. In fact, the other people sometimes professed to be Jews because they began to fear the power of the Jews. The Jewish fasting had turned to feasting.