The correct linen holy vestments or garments (Ezek 44:17-44:19)

“When they enter

The gates

Of the inner court,

They shall wear

Linen vestments.

They shall have nothing

Of wool on them,

While they minister

At the gates

Of the inner court,

As well as within.

They shall have

Linen turbans

On their heads.

They shall have

Linen undergarments

On their loins.

They shall not

Bind themselves

With anything

That causes sweat.

When they go out

Into the outer court

To the people,

They shall remove

The vestments

In which

They have been ministering,

They shall lay them

In the holy chambers.

They shall put on

Other garments,

So that they may not

Communicate holiness

To the people

With their vestments.”

When these Zadok Levitical priests entered the gates of the inner court, they had to wear certain garments or vestments made of linen when they ministered to Yahweh. They could not have anything made of wool on them, when they were in the inner court. They would have to wear linen turbans on their heads. They also would have to wear linen underwear. They could not wear any binding clothes, anything that would make them sweat. When they went out to the outer court, they had to change clothes. They were not allowed to communicate holiness to the people in the outer court with their holy vestments. Thus, the holy linen garments were kept in the holy chambers or rooms.

Taking care of Jerusalem (Ezek 16:9-16:10)

“Then I bathed you

With water.

I washed off

The blood from you.

I anointed you

With oil.

I clothed you also

With embroidered cloth.

I gave you sandals

Of fine leather.

I bound you

In fine linen.

I covered you

With a rich fabric.”

Yahweh continued to take care of this young girl Jerusalem. He gave her a bath. He washed off her blood. He anointed her with fine oil. He clothed her with hand crafted clothes. He gave her leather sandals for her feet. He gave her linen and rich fabric clothes to wear. She seemed to get only the best available items and care.

The useless false wooden gods (Bar 6:70-6:73)

“Like a scarecrow

In a cucumber bed,

That guards nothing,

So are their gods of wood,

Overlaid with gold

Or silver.

In the same way,

Their gods of wood,

Overlaid with gold

Or silver,

Are

Like a thorn bush

In a garden,

On which every bird perches.

They are

Like a corpse

Thrown out in the darkness.

From the purple

Or the linen

That rot upon them,

You will know

That they are not gods.

They will finally

Be consumed themselves.

They will be a reproach

In the land.

Better,

Therefore

Is someone upright.

Such a person

Will be far above reproach.”

This letter of Jeremiah found as the last chapter in this book of Baruch ends with a comparison of these false wooden gods covered with gold and silver. The author compared them to a scarecrow in a cucumber bed that guarded nothing. They were compared to a thorn bush in a garden where birds sat on it. They were compared to a dead corpse in the dark. All of these useless items were like these useless idol gods. Even with purple or linen on them, they would still rot. They would be finally consumed and become a reproach to all. It was much better to be an upright person beyond reproach than any of these gods. So ends the letter of Jeremiah in the Book of Baruch.

Leprous clothing (Lev 13:47-13:59)

“When a leprous disease appears in the clothing, in woolen or linen cloth, in a warp or woof of linen or wool, or in a skin or in anything made of skin, if the disease shows greenish or reddish in the garment, whether in a warp or woof or in skin or in anything made of skin, it is a leprous disease and shall be shown to the priest.   The priest shall examine the disease.  He shall put the diseased article aside for seven days.  He shall examine the disease on the seventh day.  If the disease has spread in the cloth, in the warp or woof, or in the skin, whatever is the use of the skin, this is a spreading leprous disease.  It is unclean.   He shall burn the clothing, whether diseased in warp or woof, woolen or linen, or anything of skin, for it is a malignant spreading leprous disease.  It shall be burned in fire.”

The lepers could wear woolen, linen, or skin clothing.  If the disease showed greenish or reddish in the garment, it had to be shown to the priest.  This warp and wool refers to the threads in a fabric.  The priest was to wait 7 days to see if this mold, mildew, or stain had spread on the cloth.  If it had, he burnt the clothing.  The clothing was unclean because of the leprosy.

“If the priest makes an examination, and the disease has not spread in the clothing, in the warp or woof, or in anything of skin, then the priest shall command them to wash the article in which the disease appeared.  He shall put it aside seven days more.  The priest shall examine the diseased article after it has been washed. If the diseased spot has not changed color, though the disease has not spread, it is unclean.  You shall burn it in fire, whether the leprous spot is on the inside or the outside.”

If the disease had not spread, you were to wash the article and put it aside 7 days more.  If there is no change after the washing, then burn it.  Even after this, it is still unclean.

“If the priest makes an examination, and the disease has abated after it is washed, he shall tear the spot out of the cloth, in the warp or woof, or out of the skin.  If it appears again in the garment, in the warp or woof, or in anything of skin, it is spreading.  You shall burn with fire that in which the disease appears.  But the cloth, warp or woof, or anything of skin from which the disease disappears when you have washed it, shall then be washed a second time.  Then it shall be clean. This is the ritual law for a leprous disease in a cloth of wool or linen, either in warp or woof, or in anything of skin, to decide whether it is clean or unclean.” 

If there is nothing after it has been washed, the priest shall tear the spot out of the cloth.  If it still appears, that you burn it.   However, if everything is okay, then it should be washed a second time.  Then it shall be clean.  There were very specific rules about what made a garment clean or unclean.

The curtains of the tabernacle (Ex 36:8-36:19)

“All those with skill among the workers made the tabernacle with ten curtains.  They were made of fine twisted linen, and blue, purple, and crimson yarns, with cherubim skillfully worked into them.  The length of each curtain was twenty-eight cubits, and the width of each curtain four cubits.  All the curtains were the same size.”  

As in chapter 26, the tabernacle had 10 curtains of fine linen and colorful yarns with cherubim skillfully worked into them.  Cherubim seemed to have a special role.  All 10 of the curtains were the same size, about 50’ long..

“He joined five curtains to one another.  Then the other five curtains he joined to one another.  He made loops of blue on the edge of the outermost curtain of the first set.  Likewise he made them on the edge of the outermost curtain of the second set.  He made fifty loops on the one curtain.  He made fifty loops on the edge of the curtain that was in the second set.  The loops were opposite one another.   He made fifty clasps of gold, and joined the curtains one to the other with clasps.  So the tabernacle curtain was one whole.”

These colorful 50’ long curtains were joined together in 2 groups of 5.  There were 50 loops on the edge of both sets of the curtains.  The curtains were joined together with 50 clasps of gold to make one complete covering.

“He also made curtains of goats’ hair for a tent over the tabernacle.  He made eleven curtains.  The length of each curtain was thirty cubits, and the width of each curtain four cubits.  The eleven curtains were of the same size.  He joined five curtains by themselves and six curtains by themselves.  He made fifty loops on the edge of the outermost curtain of the one set, and fifty loops on the edge of the other connecting curtain.  He made fifty clasps of bronze to join the tent together so that it might be one whole.   He made for the tent a covering of tanned rams’ skins and an outer covering of fine leather.”

This artisan continued his work following the outline of chapter 26.  He also made 11 same size curtains of goat’s hair, but a little longer, 2 cubits more than the linen curtains, or about a yard longer.  These were divided into 5 and 6.  Once again, there were the 50 loops and 50 bronze, and not gold, clasps loops to join them together. Then on top of this he took tanned ram’s skins and an outer covering of fine leather.   This was a layered tent with the fine curtains on the inside and the goats’ hair, ram’s skins, and leather on the outside.

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.