Yahweh clothes himself with righteousness (Isa 59:15-59:17)

“Yahweh saw this.

It displeased him

That there was no justice.

He saw that there was no one.

He was appalled

That there was no one to intervene.

Thus his own arm brought him victory.

His righteousness upheld him.

He put on righteousness

Like a breastplate.

He put on a helmet of salvation

Upon his head.

He put on garments of vengeance

For clothing.

He wrapped himself in fury

As a mantle.”

Yahweh saw all this evil. He was displeased since there was no justice. He was appalled that no one had intervened in that situation. Thus he was going to bring victory with his mighty arm. Righteousness would be his breastplate out front. He would wear the helmet of salvation on his head. His garments would be for vengeance. His fury would be in his mantle coat. Yahweh, according to Third Isaiah, was dressed like a warrior ready for battle wearing the proper upright clothes.

The unique ornamented vestments of Aaron (Sir 45:10-45:13)

“The sacred vestments were

Gold,

Violet,

And purple.

They were the work of an embroiderer.

Aaron had the oracle of judgment,

The Urim and the Thummim.

They had twisted crimson,

The work of a craftsman.

There were precious stones

Engraved like signet seals.

There was a setting of gold,

The work of a jeweler.

This was a commemoration

In engraved letters,

Of each of the tribes of Israel.

He had a gold crown upon his turban.

This was inscribed

Like a signet seal with

‘Holiness.’

This was a distinction to be prized.

This was the work of an expert.

This was the delight for the eyes,

As this was richly adorned.

Before him,

Such beautiful things did not exist.

No outsider ever put them on.

Only his sons put this on.

Only his descendants perpetually put this on.”

The colorful vestments of Aaron were made of embroidered gold, violet, and purple. The artisans had made these crimson yarns. The Urim and Thummim were sacred oracles, in the pouch of the breastplate of judgment, according to Exodus, chapter 28. Aaron would carry the names of the Israelites and the judgment of the Israelites, when he went into the holy place. This unmentioned breastplate had precious stones engraved seals of the 12 tribes in settings of gold. He had a gold crown on his head that was on the top of his turban with gold flower designs. On the top of it was engraved “holiness” or as in Exodus, “Holy to Yahweh.” These highly artistic works were a delight to the eye since nothing like it existed anywhere before. Nobody, but Aaron and his sons could wear these vestments. Eventually, these became the sacred vestments of the Temple high priest.

The Lord prepares for the battle (Wis 5:17-5:20)

“The Lord will take his zeal

As his whole armor.

He will arm all creation

To repel his enemies.

He will put on righteousness

As a breastplate.

He will wear impartial justice

As a helmet.

He will take holiness

As an invincible shield.

He will sharpen stern wrath

For a sword.

Creation will join with him

To fight against his frenzied foes.”

The Lord will prepare for this battle against the unjust. His zeal will be his armor. All creation will join him against his enemies. His breastplate will be righteousness. His helmet will be impartial justice. Holiness will be his shield. His sword will be his stern anger. Once again, all of creation will join with the Lord to fight his foes.

A poem about Judas Maccabeus (1 Macc 3:3-3:9)

“He extended the glory of his people.

He put on his breastplate like a giant.

He tied on his armor of war.

He waged battles.

He protected the camp by his sword.

He was like a lion in his deeds.

He was like a lion’s cub roaring for prey.

He searched out

He pursued those who broke the law.

He burned those who troubled his people.

Lawbreakers shrank back for fear of him.

All the evildoers were confounded.

Deliverance prospered by his hand.

He embittered many kings.

He made Jacob glad by his deeds.

His memory is blessed forever.

He went through the cities of Judah.

He destroyed the ungodly out of the land.

Thus he turned away wrath from Israel.

He was renowned to the ends of the earth.

He gathered in those who were perishing.”

Somehow this poem about Judas Maccabeus is here at the beginning of his adventures, and not at the end. He was the commander of the army of revolutionaries in Judea. He was like a giant of his time. Like a giant, he wore the armor and breastplate of a fighter waging wars. He was like lion or lion’s cub as he went after his prey. He searched out those who broke the Mosaic Law. He made many people fear him, but he made the memory of Jacob proud. He destroyed the ungodly of the land so that the wrath of God was turned away from Israel. He became renowned to the ends of the earth.

The breastplate (Ex 39:8-39:21)

“He made the breastplate in skilled work, like the work of the ephod, of gold, of blue, purple, and crimson yarns, and of fine twisted linen.  It was square.  The breastplate was made double, a span in length and a span in width when doubled.   They set in it four rows of stones.  A row of carnelian, chrysolite, and emerald was the first row.  The second row was turquoise, sapphire, and moonstone.  The third row was a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst.  The fourth row was a beryl, an onyx, and jasper.  They were enclosed in settings of gold filigree. There were twelve stones with the names corresponding to the names of the sons of Israel.  They were like signets, each engraved with its name, for the twelve tribes.   They made on the breastplate chains of pure gold, twisted like cords.  They made two settings of gold filigree and two gold rings, and put the two rings on the two edges of the breastplate.   They put the two cords of gold in the two rings at the edges of the breastplate.  Two ends of the two cords they had attached to the two settings of filigree.  In this way they attached it in front to the shoulder-pieces of the ephod.  Then they made two rings of gold, and put them at the two ends of the breastplate, on its inside edge next to the ephod.  They made two rings of gold.  They attached them in front to the lower part of the two shoulder-pieces of the ephod, at its joining above the decorated band of the ephod.  They bound the breastplate by its rings to the rings of the ephod with a blue cord, so that it should lie on the decorated band of the ephod.  Then the breastplate would not come loose from the ephod, as Yahweh had commanded Moses.”

Here they speak in the plural they, as many artisans may have been involved in making the breastplate as er ethey HerYahweh had commanded Moses to do in chapter 28.  They made the breastplate with skilled work just like the ephod.  This breastplate was square with four rows of precious stones, corresponding to the twelve tribes of Israel with signet engravings.  There also were chains of golden twisted cords.  The breastplate was tied to the ephod with a blue cord in the two rings on its edges of his breastplate so that it would not come loose from the ephod.

The breastplate (Ex 28:15-28:30)

“You shall make a breastplate of judgment, in skilled work.  You shall make it in the style of the ephod.  You shall make it of gold, of blue and purple and crimson yarns, and fine twined linen. It shall be square and doubled a span in length and a span in width.  You shall set in it four rows of stones.  A row of carnelian, chrysolite, and emerald shall be the first row.  The second row is a turquoise, a sapphire, and a moonstone.  The third row is a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst.  The fourth row is a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper.  They shall be set in gold filigree. There shall be twelve stones with names according to the names of the sons of Israel.  They shall be like signets, each engraved with its name, for the twelve tribes.  You shall make for the breastplate chains of pure gold, twisted like cords.  You shall make for the breastplate two rings of gold, and put the two rings on the two edges of the breastplate.   You shall put the two cords of gold in the two rings at the edges of the breastplate.  The two ends of the two cords you shall attach to the two settings. Attach it in front to the shoulder-pieces of the ephod.  You shall make two rings of gold, and put them at the two ends of the breastplate, on its inside edge next to the ephod.  You shall make two rings of gold, and attach them in front to the lower part of the two shoulder-pieces of the ephod, at its joining above the decorated band of the ephod.   The breastplate shall be bound by its rings to the rings of the ephod with a blue cord, so that it may lie on the decorated band of the ephod, and so that the breastplate shall not come loose from the ephod.   So Aaron shall bear the names of the sons of Israel in the breastplate of judgment on his heart, when he goes into the holy place, for a continual remembrance before Yahweh. In the breastplate of judgment you shall put the Urim and the Thummim.  They shall be upon Aaron’s heart, when he goes in before Yahweh.  Thus Aaron shall bear the judgment of the Israelites upon his heart before Yahweh continually.”

The breastplate is made in the style of the ephod, but it is square with 4 rows of 3 stones each.  They really knew the various gemstones. 4 rows with 3 stones each corresponds to the 12 tribes of Israel.  Of course, there are gold rings at the two ends of the breastplate in order to attach it to the ephod with a blue cord.  There is a mention of the Urim and Thummim.  These were sacred oracles, in the pouch of the breastplate of judgment.  Aaron bears the names of the Israelites and the judgment of the Israelites, when he goes into the holy place, for a continual remembrance.

 

The priestly vestments (Ex 28:1-28:5)

“Then bring near to you your brother Aaron, and his sons with him, from among the Israelites, to serve me as priests.   Aaron and Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar will serve as priests.  You shall make sacred vestments for the glorious adornment of your brother Aaron. You shall speak to all who have ability, whom I have endowed with skill, that they make Aaron’s vestments to consecrate him for my priesthood.  These are the vestments that they shall make: a breastplate, an ephod, a robe, a checkered tunic, a turban, and a sash.  When they make these sacred vestments for your brother Aaron and his sons to serve me as priests, they shall use gold, blue, purple, and crimson yarns and fine linens.”

Aaron and his 4 sons will serve as priests to Yahweh.  There is no mention of Moses’ 2 sons.  Skilled workers were needed to make Aaron’s vestments so that he could be consecrated to the priesthood.  The following are the vestments that will be laid with gold, blue, purple, and crimson yarns and linens: 1) a breastplate, 2) an ephod, 3) a robe, 4) a checkered tunic, 5) a turban, 6) and a sash.