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Exodus 28:28:1 "And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron's sons. 2 And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty."

Jacob had 12 sons so there were 12 tribes of Israel; one tribe was set aside for service to God. The Levites were to be the priestly tribe. A portion of all we have belongs to God and this includes our time for service.

Aaron was to be the high priest and he would have to dress the part. His clothes would distinguish him from everyone else. He was to have made for him holy garments; worn exclusivly when he was serving in the tabernacle. They were to be beautiful garments worn to give God glory. I believe we should be distinguishable from the rest of the world by our looks, our dress, our conversation and the places we go. I don't think we have to wear dresses to our ankles, sleeves to our wrists or collars to our chins, but I think we need to be modest and presentable when we go out. And when we go to church, we need to bring glory and honor to God by our looks. We should always dress to please God, not man, and especially so when we go to worship in His house!

3 "And thou shalt speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron's garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office. 4 And these are the garments which they shall make; a breastplate, and an ephod, and a robe, and a broidered coat, a mitre, and a girdle: and they shall make holy garments for Aaron thy brother, and his sons, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office."

Everyone in the church has a special, God given talent. God had give some wisehearted people the spirit of wisdom to sew so they could make Aaron's garments. He gives some the spirit of wisdom to teach, some to play instruments or sing, some to preach, some to pray and still others to decorate, clean or just encourage the pastor. Whatever talent God has given you, you need to use it for His glory.

5 "And they shall take gold, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen. 6 And they shall make the ephod of gold, of blue, and of purple, of scarlet, and fine twined linen, with cunning work. 7 It shall have the two shoulder pieces thereof joined at the two edges thereof; and so it shall be joined together. 8 And the curious girdle of the ephod, which is upon it, shall be of the same, according to the work thereof; even of gold, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen. 9 And thou shalt take two onyx stones, and grave on them the names of the children of Israel:"

These garments were to be made of the best material available. God ought to have the best but we need to be careful that we don't pay more attention to dressing up the outside than we do keeping the inside clean and pure!

The ephod was worn over the linen garment. It was two long pieces of cloth brought together on the shoulders and fastened with onyx stones. The names of the 12 tribes of Israel were engraved on the stones; 6 on one stone and 6 on another. This was done so the high priest would carry the children of Israel on his shoulders when he went into the presence of God. Today, Christ carries us on His shoulders just as He carried the little lost sheep in the parable in Luke 15:1-7. He will continue to carry us as long as we will allow Him to.

15 "And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work; after the work of the ephod thou shalt make it; of gold, of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen, shalt thou make it. 16 Foursquare it shall be being doubled; a span shall be the length thereof, and a span shall be the breadth thereof."

The breastplate was a vest that was worn over the other garments. The breastplate and the ephod were to be worn together and were both very beautiful. While the priest was to wear a breastplate of judgment, we are to put on the breastplate of righteousness. Both are worn over the heart! Only God knows what is in our hearts. There were to be 12 precious stones sewn onto the breastplate of the priest, one for each of the 12 tribes of Israel. The 12 stones used were: sardius, topaz, carbuncle, emerald, sapphire, diamond, ligure, agate, amethyst, beryl, onyx and jasper and they were all set in gold. These same stones are also found in the Book of Revelations were they are said to form the foundation of the New Jerusalem.

30 "And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron's heart, when he goeth in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually."

I'm not really sure exactly what the Urim and Thummin were. Many Bible Scholars believe they were stones. I do know that they were somehow used by the priest to determine the will of God. Some believe they glowed, still others believe they were somewhat like dice. But just think, if we knew how they were made and what they were made out of then there would be a huge market on Urim and Thummin today. We already have way too many fortune tellers as it is without magic stones. Aaron was to keep the Urim and the Thummin in the breastplate of judgment which is placed over his heart when he went in before the Lord.

31 "And thou shalt make the robe of the ephod all of blue. 32 And there shall be an hole in the top of it, in the midst thereof: it shall have a binding of woven work round about the hole of it, as it were the hole of an habergeon, that it be not rent. 33 And beneath upon the hem of it thou shalt make pomegranates of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, round about the hem thereof; and bells of gold between them round about: 34 A golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, upon the hem of the robe round about. 35 And it shall be upon Aaron to minister: and his sound shall be heard when he goeth in unto the holy place before the LORD, and when he cometh out, that he die not."

The robe of the high priest was to be all one piece of blue cloth with a hole cut in the top for the head to go through. Verse 32 says it should be made as a habergeon which is a short, sleeveless coat of mail (like a bullet proof vest), which just means it was to be all one piece. Pomegranates and golden bells were to be sewn alternately around the hem of the robe. A pomegranate is a sweet smelling fruit, a lot like a peach. The bells could be heard outside the holy place as the priest moved around performing his duties. If he failed to perform his duties as he should, he would be stricken dead and the bells would cease to ring. When that happened the people would know to pull him out. We don't even think about that today as we go to worship God. We have everything in the world on our minds and in our hearts and go into God's holy presence without thought for our lives as the priests did. We are constantly told we serve a loving God but He is also to be revered and feared!

Aaron's sons' garments were made different from his so the high priest would be distinguishable from the other priests. They were all to wear linen pants to cover their nakedness; they were to reach from the loins to the thighs. Makes you stop and think about how you dress before the Lord, doesn't it?

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CHAPTER 29

EXODUS 29:29:1 "And this is the thing that thou shalt do unto them to hallow them, to minister unto me in the priest's office: Take one young bullock, and two rams without blemish, 2 And unleavened bread, and cakes unleavened tempered with oil, and wafers unleavened anointed with oil: of wheaten flour shalt thou make them. 3 And thou shalt put them into one basket, and bring them in the basket, with the bullock and the two rams. 4 And Aaron and his sons thou shalt bring unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shalt wash them with water."

Chapter 29 is a rather long and (forgive me Lord) somewhat boring chapter. It speaks of the consecration of the priests, the sacrifices that were to be made for the priests, the priest's food and the burnt offering.

Notice that the priests (vs.1) were to take a bullock and 2 rams without blemish. This is what God did for us in the New Testament. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice made to redeem us from sin. He was the Lamb without blemish offered for us! Our consecration is not anything we can do for ourselves, it has already been done for us! The priests had to be washed because nothing unclean can come into the presence of God. When we come before God with unconfessed sin in our hearts, we had better be praying a prayer of repentance if we want to be heard!

10 "And thou shalt cause a bullock to be brought before the tabernacle of the congregation: and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the bullock. 11 And thou shalt kill the bullock before the LORD, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 12 And thou shalt take of the blood of the bullock, and put it upon the horns of the altar with thy finger, and pour all the blood beside the bottom of the altar."

Aaron and his sons put their hands on the bullock and then on each of the rams as a symbol of transference. It was a sign that they were transfering their sins onto the bullock who would then die for thier transgressions. Aren't you glad we don't have to sacrifice an animal everytime we sin today. Jesus has already taken our sins on Himself and died in our stead! All we have to do is give our transgressions to Him by confession! Each of the animals offered here and the bread offerings were to serve a specific purpose. These were rituals that were to be strictly kept or the priests could be stricken dead. There were many such offerings in the Old Testament. We will go over most of them and what they were for when we get to Leviticus.

26 "And thou shalt take the breast of the ram of Aaron's consecration, and wave it for a wave offering before the LORD: and it shall be thy part. 27 And thou shalt sanctify the breast of the wave offering, and the shoulder of the heave offering, which is waved, and which is heaved up, of the ram of the consecration, even of that which is for Aaron, and of that which is for his sons:"

A part of all offerings went to the priests. The priests did not inherit a portion of the land in Israel as the other tribes did. Giving them a part of the sacrifices to eat was where their food came from. This was necessary since they had no land on which to grow their own food.

37 "Seven days thou shalt make an atonement for the altar, and sanctify it; and it shall be an altar most holy: whatsoever toucheth the altar shall be holy. 38 Now this is that which thou shalt offer upon the altar; two lambs of the first year day by day continually. 39 The one lamb thou shalt offer in the morning; and the other lamb thou shalt offer at even: 40 And with the one lamb a tenth deal of flour mingled with the fourth part of an hin of beaten oil; and the fourth part of an hin of wine for a drink offering. 41 And the other lamb thou shalt offer at even, and shalt do thereto according to the meat offering of the morning, and according to the drink offering thereof, for a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto the LORD. 42 This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD: where I will meet you, to speak there unto thee. 43 And there I will meet with the children of Israel, and the tabernacle shall be sanctified by my glory. 44 And I will sanctify the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar: I will sanctify also both Aaron and his sons, to minister to me in the priest's office. 45 And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God."

There was to be a continual burnt offering. A daily sacrifice of a lamb was offered in the morning and another in the evening. Just as the Israelites of that day needed a continual sacrifice for their sins, we need to be continually reminded that Someone was needed to take our place and that Someone had to die for our sins. There had to be shedding of blood for remission of sin and Jesus paid the ultimate price for us! The blood of lambs, bullocks, rams and goats could not take away sin, only Jesus Christ was able to do that!

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