“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.
“Many kings have had to sit on the ground.
But one who was never thought of has worn a crown.
Many rulers have been greatly disgraced.
The honored ones have been handed over to others.”
Many kings have had to sit on the ground. Then there have been some strange people who have worn the kingly crown. Some rulers have been disgraced. Even honored people have been handed over to others. There is no certainty in being a ruler.
“If I speak,
My pain is not assuaged.
If I forbear,
How much of it leaves me?
Surely now God has worn me out.
God has made desolate all my company.
God has shriveled me up.
God is a witness against me.
My leanness has risen up against me.
It testifies to my face.
God has torn me in his wrath.
God hated me.
God has gnashed his teeth at me.
My adversary sharpens his eyes against me.
Men have gaped at me with their mouths.
They have struck me insolently upon the cheek.
They mass themselves together against me.
God gives me up to the ungodly.
God casts me into the hands of the wicked.”
Job now turned to God who has worn him out. God has shriveled him up. God has witnessed against him. God has torn him up with his anger. God has hated him with gnashed teeth. Thus Job’s adversaries have sharpened their eyes against him. They have gaped at him. They have struck him on the cheek. They have gathered against him because God has given him over to the ungodly, the hands of the wicked.