Day 24

Instructions for the Priestly Garments



Exodus 28:1-29, Ezekiel 44:15-19, Ezekiel 44:23-29, 1 Peter 2:4-5

BY Guest Writer

Scripture Reading: Exodus 28:1-29, Ezekiel 44:15-19, Ezekiel 44:23-29, 1 Peter 2:4-5

I’m not married, and I’m not getting married any time soon, but I think about my wedding dress a lot.

Not in a weird way. And from what I’ve gathered from my married friends, I know that if I do get married someday, I won’t think much about the dress on the actual day anyway. But as a twenty-something girl raised in the South, I’ve been attending a lot of weddings lately, and inevitably, they lead to dreams about my own.

I think it says a lot that we take the time to get dressed up to partake in this covenantal ceremony before God. The bride, the groom, the wedding party, and the guests—everyone puts on their Sunday best to celebrate.

In Exodus 28, God gives Moses intricate instructions for how to make the clothes that his brother, Aaron, will wear as priest. The entire chapter is full of beautiful descriptions of the garments that the artisans are instructed to create. God tells Moses that these garments should be made for Aaron and his sons “for glory and beauty” (v. 2).

The priests were mediators between God and the Israelites. They were the only ones allowed to enter into the holy place of the tabernacle, God’s sanctuary, where His spirit dwelt (Ezekiel 44:16).

It is fitting, then, that the instructions for the priestly garments are so detailed and delicate. The clothes the priest wore to enter into the presence of God deserved the utmost beauty, the utmost glory. The priests were set apart from the rest of the Israelites to be called holy. The garments they wore should have been their Sunday best.

I wonder if Aaron and the other priests were giddy with excitement to enter into the presence of God. I wonder if they felt the weight of their responsibility every time they put on these garments—the responsibility to be set apart as holy, as God is holy (Leviticus 19:2).

God’s holiness is always connected to glory and beauty. His holiness is stunning. As God’s people, we are called to be holy, too.

Thanks to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we are able to come before God without wearing the intricate garments of the priests (1 Peter 2:4-5). Christ clothes us in righteousness and gives us the ability to participate in the royal priesthood of the kingdom of God. May we live each day in the glory and beauty given to us by Christ.

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Ellen Taylor was born and raised in sweet home Alabama, but has called Nashville home since 2013. When she’s not working as the editorial assistant at She Reads Truth, you can find her enjoying good food and good conversation with her friends and family. She is a lover of cozy sweaters, ugly dogs, and the Oxford comma.

Post Comments (75)

75 thoughts on "Instructions for the Priestly Garments"

  1. Alissa Craig says:

    Oh my gosh! I was feeling like a horrible person for being so annoyed by how much scripture they had!! I read from Exodus 28-38 and just had to stop. I’m glad to hear it was a glitch of some kind!

  2. JJ Arthur says:

    I love the closing sentence, “may we live each day in the glory and beauty given to us by Christ”. What a beautiful statement! This will be my prayer for the day!

  3. Katherine Chan says:

    I was struck with your line, “God’s holiness is always connected to glory and beauty. His holiness is stunning.” I was marveling because, in a world of supermodels, and sexy body glorification, holiness is absent. But what if women in particular demonstrated beauty and glory with holiness? Think how our culture would change. What if we, as christian women didn’t crave a beauty and a glory for ourselves, but rather a holiness so beautiful, it shocks the world. What if we captured the essence of being set apart, as being so distinctly beautiful, that it challenges the view of modern culture, because it is actually so incredibly strikingly beautiful?

    1. Kaitlyn G says:

      That same line really stuck out to me too! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  4. Elle says:

    I was really struck by Ezekiel today. The note that the priests should take off their special garments before going out into the people so that the holiness from the garments doesn’t transmit to the people. This paired with the commandment that they teach people what is holy and not holy really speaks to the importance of symbolism and ritual. If the priests wore the special garments all the time, they wouldn’t be special anymore (and people might at first assume that everything they did even when they were off duty was holy). We need a distinction between holy and not holy or nothing feels special or elevated. To go with the wedding dress metaphor, if we wore them all the time they wouldn’t have any meaning anymore.

    This all feels really tied to the commandment to the priests that they should teach people about the holy festivals and sabbath. Days set apart as special and full of symbolism and holy things. Things that create sacred space in our lives. In this era of everything being casual and rejection of ritual as old fashioned, I’m thankful for this reminder that these things serve a holy purpose. I plan to try harder to make a demarcation between the holy and mundane in my own life (and what better time than to celebrate Easter fully!)

    1. Ro says:

      This is so good! It gave me a new perspective on the whole study! Going off of this, I think in our own lives, because Jesus died for us we are no longer common but holy. BUT I think we forget this. I think we forget that we are holy because we do not have to wear special garments to be holy or do something that really shows people we are holy. This seems like kind of a wake up call to me to remember that Jesus died to make us holy! that’s a huge deal! so, how can we live life everyday remembering we are holy? how do we set apart the mundane and the holy in our own lives/hearts?
      I actually would like some advice as to how we can better live life knowing we are set apart and made holy!

      1. Rhonda says:

        This is so good!! Thank you both for such good insight!!! It is a wake up call!! We nowadays go to church in a mundane way…wearing whatever….rather than making it a special, holy event!! We drink our coffee, and talk…, we should be in a holy state to realize how amazing it is to come to God and worship together in such an amazing way! Not that church can’t be fun, but maybe it has become “too common,” too simplistic?! I used to love to dress up on Sundays and get out of my normal weekday clofhes, and now, I wear my normal weekday clothes….hmmm. I have taken the glorious and beautiful feelings of going to church and made it nothing special. I love this study. I have skipped over these chapters so many times..

        1. Elle says:

          I also didn’t expect get so much out of these “boring” Exodus chapters. Goes to show that God is in the details sometimes!

          I totally agree that we should think of ways to make the holy more obvious and clear in our lives. Someone below said that God doesn’t really care if we dress up for Church or not, and I think that’s true. But maybe the point is that we dress up because we as humans can benefit from it because it helps us to appreciate how special it is. I think in the past we’ve maybe taken that to unhealthy and unholy places (judging people who didn’t dress up, etc.) and it’s a relief that we’ve moved beyond that. On an individual level though, maybe we’ve lost something meaningful in the process. My plan is to try to wear jeans to church less often (if I do cause I’m having a tough morning, that’s OK too, but if I can make it more special, even better!), actually make an Easter dinner (which is big when you don’t have kids, cause we pretty much never eat actual dinners), and maybe decorate a bit more around the house for holidays so I really feel how special they are. It’s nothing huge, but it’s a start!

  5. Erika Hess says:

    There is unfortunately a glitch. After reading several chapters of Exodus, I went over to the website and found the readings. Today’s readings are supposed to be Exodus 28, Ezekiel 44:15-19 & 23-29, and 1 Peter 2:4-5

    1. Sarah Wohlgamuth says:

      Thanks for doing that extra step for us, Erika!

    2. She Reads Truth says:

      We’re so sorry about that Erika! It should all be up and running now, thanks for your patience! -Margot, The SRT Team

  6. Kymyetta Turner says:

    Erika, excellent question! I definitely think that God wants our best. And we should not mind giving Him such. It is God who gives us the power to get wealth, so ALL that we have ultimately belongs to Him and we have what we have because of Him. Also, anything that we do for God should be done with a spirit if excellence, so giving away gold and the finest fabrics and luxuries to God should be a drop in the bucket, considering all that He has and continues to give and do for us.

  7. Meredith Ashley says:

    I have read (and loved) the SRT studies for a long time, but this is my first time participating in the community with a comment! Hi everyone! Here’s what stood out to me as I read today’s Scripture:
    Exod. 28: 1 – Aaron became a prominent leader of God’s people, but only after he was Moses’ sidekick and served faithfully. Perhaps God is preparing each of us for spiritual leadership by giving us opportunities to serve others and submit to authority first!
    Exod. 28:12 – Aaron carried the weight of stones on his shoulders as a reminder of the Israelites, the people he was leading. I love this because sometimes caring for God’s people (family, friends, coworkers, etc.) feels like carrying a ton of bricks! When the load seems heavy, we can be reminded that our burdens reflect our service to the Lord and to His people.

  8. Erika Jaeger says:

    I’m always confused by the seeming contradiction between Jesus’s focus on humility and this passage about the extravagant robes and tabernacle design we’ve read over the last two days.

    Is it that God wants us to be willing to give away our best to Him?

    1. Kaitlyn G says:

      This has seemed sort of confusing to me too sometimes. I think the huge difference between these two situations is that this extravagant tabernacle and all that went into it was solely to glorify and honor God. When Jesus instructs us in humility (as does Paul quite a few times), it’s in reference to how we draw attention to ourselves. If what we do, wear, have, or say brings us earthly glory and attention, we need to step away from it. But God is totally worthy of all of that glory and majesty!

    2. Kim Pullman says:

      I would love to hear thoughts on this as well!!

    3. Olivia Wolfe says:

      I think what this part of scripture is trying to illustrate is the importance of being priest and the responsibility that Aaron and the other priests had to lead the Israelites according to God’s law. It’s not necessarily about the extravagance of the robe, but what the robe meant for those that wore it. They were God’s chosen people; they wore the “breast-piece of decision” and choose to follow him. The extravagance of the robe illustrates the extravagance of God’s love for them and how he sees them as their best. I think their humility is show by the fact they are choosing to obey God instead of going about things their own way considering they were a people who constantly strayed and returned to the Lord. I’m not sure if I’m totally right on this, but this is my understanding of it!

    4. Taylor Landers says:

      Yes, I agree Olivia! It had to be extravagant, intricate, and perfect to fore shadow what Jesus would later become for us. Because of Jesus, God now sees us (his sons and daughters) clothed in this glory and beauty just as Aaron literally was. I think it’s all part of God’s plan for His Word to parallel perfectly!

    5. Lauren Hultz says:

      Remember the role of the high priest – it is to intercede on behalf of the people through prayer and sacrifice. Can you imagine just how HEAVY that priestly getup was? I see this as less about extravagance vs humility, and more of an example of how the priest – and eventually Jesus – took the peoples’ sin burdens to God. It’s easy to get lost thinking of beauty and glory and to forget the symbolism behind that beauty and glory.

    6. Mellie ChildsJordan says:

      I would encourage y’all to read Francis Chan’s Multiply, his walking through the Old Testament really enlightened me and helped me finally get it. Old Testament— the laws, all these details, sacrifices etc. were needed for a sinful people to be able to have a relationship with a Holy God. And it does foreshadow what is to come in the New Testament — Jesus — the ultimate sacrifice and the fulfillment of the law. His sacrifice and the Holy Spirit are how we are able to be in relationship with such a Holy God. The moral/ethical laws still apply (the 10 commandments) to us but we no longer need the civil laws to have a relationship with God. It’s ultimately not about the ritual it’s about the heart behind it then and now.

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