The Embroidered Coat

Exodus 28:39; Exodus 39:27  •  13 min. read  •  grade level: 8
"And thou shalt embroider the coat of fine linen."-Ex. 28:39
"And they made coats of fine• linen."-Ex. 39:27
The portion of the High Priest's dress called the coat, was more properly a tunic; the Hebrew and Greek words being very similar. It was the innermost garment worn by the high priest, being placed first upon him. after he was washed. Lev. 8:77And he put upon him the coat, and girded him with the girdle, and clothed him with the robe, and put the ephod upon him, and he girded him with the curious girdle of the ephod, and bound it unto him therewith. (Leviticus 8:7). It seems to be derived from a verb meaning " to cover, or hide." It is called a broidered coat. Ex. 28:44And 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. (Exodus 28:4), and in the 39th verse of the same chap., " thou shalt embroider the coat. When made it is said to be of woven work. (39: 27.)
The word embroider (shahvatz) only occurs once more. Ex. 28:2020And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings. (Exodus 28:20), " they (the precious stones) shall be set in gold." In 2 Sam. 1: 9, the same word in the Hebrew is translated "anguish is come upon me: " the margin however reads " my coat of mail, or my embroidered coat hindereth me."
Ouches, or settings (Ex. 28:11, 13, 14, 2511With the work of an engraver in stone, like the engravings of a signet, shalt thou engrave the two stones with the names of the children of Israel: thou shalt make them to be set in ouches of gold. (Exodus 28:11)
13And thou shalt make ouches of gold; 14And two chains of pure gold at the ends; of wreathen work shalt thou make them, and fasten the wreathen chains to the ouches. (Exodus 28:13‑14)
25And the other two ends of the two wreathen chains thou shalt fasten in the two ouches, and put them on the shoulderpieces of the ephod before it. (Exodus 28:25)
; also 39:13, 16) is derived from the same word as embroider. Psa. 45:1313The king's daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold. (Psalm 45:13), the king's daughter is represented as having a clothing " of wrought gold." Here " wrought " is again the same word. Judging from the various uses of the word which we have above, it may be concluded that the fine linen coat was interwoven, like net, or checker work, so as to present, what in modern days we should call, a damask appearance, combining weaving with a species of embroidery. " Fine twined linen" was used for the door curtain; the vail; the ten curtains; the court of the tabernacle; the gate of the court; the high priest's ephod; the curious girdle of the ephod; and the breastplate.
" Fine linen," without the word " twined," was employed in making the miter and broidered coat of the high priest: and the coats and bonnets of the priests. It is difficult to say why this variation occurs. The word " twined" would imply that the fine linen was twisted into a strand of many threads, before it was worked into the curtains and garments. It may be in order to give it more strength.
The blue robe, and gorgeous ephod, with its cluster of brilliant precious stones on the shoulders and breastplate, would entirely conceal from the eye of an observer this fine linen coat. Beneath therefore the splendid dress of the high priest there was a more humble attire of pure white, though it was still a " garment for glory and beauty." The outer garments were distinctly of a representative character: that is, they bore the names of Israel before the Lord. And also, the pomegranates around the hem of the robe, had relation to that people as bearing fruit to God. But in this under tunic there was no apparent connection with that people. It was rather the personal clothing of the high priest; manifesting him, beneath all his official glory as one who could minister before the Lord in a perfect righteousness of his own. A glory and beauty no less costly and precious than was displayed by the other garments, though to the eye of sense not so striking in appearance.
In fact, the high priest could not have worn his magnificent apparel unless he could previously exhibit a spotless purity, diversified in every possible way like the embroidered fine linen coat.
The Lord Jesus, in the days of His flesh, passed through an ordeal of temptation and suffering, throughout which He evinced His complete fitness to be the great High Priest in resurrection, showing forth a righteousness and holiness, as well as grace, sympathy and tenderness which proved Him perfectly suited for the high dignity and responsibility to which God called Him by an oath, " thou art a Priest forever after the order of Melchisedek." " King of righteousness," first, by reason of His own intrinsic righteousness. " King of peace," next, because able to introduce perfect peace into His dominions.
This coat is the same word as we find in Gen. 3:21, 421Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them. (Genesis 3:21)
4And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: (Genesis 3:4)
. unto Adam also and his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them." Disobedience had made them sinners, and naked to their shame. They had invented a mode of concealing that shame from one another, and it answered their purpose well for a time, until the voice of the Lord God was heard in the garden.
Man's ingenuity was thus first developed through sin. His inventive faculty showed itself in devising a way by means of which he hid his own shame from the eyes of his fellow, and pacified a disquieted conscience.
Cain was the next to exhibit still further this remarkable power of invention, fostering his pride in the very act of worshipping God. He began by what may be called religious inventions; and when they failed turned his attention to others of an entirely worldly kind. He and his family were the great architects, agriculturists, artificers, and musicians of the antidiluvian world, as well as founders of a self-righteous religious system.
The aprons. Of fig leaves which gave self-complacency to the man and woman after the fall, proved of no avail when God manifested His presence in the garden. Fertile in expedients, our first parents next sought amongst the trees of the garden a hiding place from the presence of the Lord, and Adam confessed that his nakedness had made him fear, although he had before attempted to conceal that nakedness, and had for a time effectually done so, so far as Eve and himself were concerned.
The religious garments which men devise to hide their nature of sin and shame, become mere " spiders' webs" when the presence of God is realized. " The covering is narrower than that he can wrap himself in it." " They weave the spider's web." " Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works." Isa. 28:20;5920For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it. (Isaiah 28:20)
20And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord. (Isaiah 59:20)
. 5, 6.
After that wonderful interview between the Lord God and fallen man, and after Adam had shown an entirely new intelligence, the intelligence of faith, by calling his wife's name Eve, (life) because she was the mother of all living, " unto Adam also and his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins and clothed them."
These coats were for clothing as well as to hide their shame. They were not their own; not of their own invention, but made by Jehovah from skin taken off some slain victim, and placed by His hand upon the man and woman who needed them.
It may be here observed that "skin" is in the original in the singular number, and not plural as in our version, apparently to make the type more significant; one victim supplying the whole covering. Also the Hebrew word translated skin, is derived from a root, signifying to be naked. The victim was made naked, stripped of its skin, that a covering might be provided for the naked ones. What a type of Him who went into the shame and nakedness of death, that we through His obedience might be made righteous.
The high priest's coat of fine linen, woven in a beautifully embroidered pattern, may appropriately represent the righteous servant, " By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many, for he shall bear their iniquities." Isa. 53:1111He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. (Isaiah 53:11). God's righteous Servant has borne our iniquities, and in that death upon the cross has made His obedience, His righteousness manifest to the full. He now therefore justifies us by His blood. He has washed us from our sins in His own blood. This justification becomes ours in the way of faith, " by his knowledge," that is, " by the knowledge of him " through faith.
Because He justifies us by having borne our iniquities, He is our advocate with the Father. One who completely identifies Himself with us and maintains our cause, notwithstanding our sin and failure Jesus Christ the righteous, personally spotless in righteousness and holiness; and at the same time, the propitiation for our sins. A representative who can appear for us before God, on the ground of His own perfect obedience and purity; and who can present for us the "precious blood which cleanseth us from all sin," the efficiency of which is daily and hourly perpetuated, preserving us in perfect cleanness in the presence of the Father, as His children, kings, and priests.
How the blessed Lord was vindicated as the righteous man at the very moment of His condemnation.
Judas was obliged to confess to the chief priests and elders, that he had sinned and betrayed innocent blood. The pieces of silver which he returned were silent witnesses to this truth. Matt. 27:44Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. (Matthew 27:4).
On the cross, a malefactor condemned himself whilst he vindicated Christ, " this man hath done nothing amiss." Luke 23:4141And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. (Luke 23:41).
And the Gentile Centurion was the first after the Lord had given up the Ghost, to glorify God, by proclaiming the truth, " certainly this was a righteous man." Luke 23:4747Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man. (Luke 23:47).
Three times in the Acts is the Lord called the Righteous One. Peter in preaching to the Jews, says: " Ye denied the holy one, and the Just," (or righteous one,)
Stephen, in his last address, tells them " that their fathers had slain them who showed before of the coming of the Just One." vii. 52.
And Paul in relating the facts connected with his conversion, repeats the words of Ananias to him. " The God of our fathers bath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth." xxii. 14. God has vindicated His Son by raising Him to His own right hand of power and glory; and the Holy Ghost come down from heaven is witness of the exaltation of Jesus, and of the guilt of the world in putting Him to death.
The world is condemned under a threefold sentence; and the Holy Spirit is by His presence here, an evidence of its solemn judgment.
In John 16:7-117Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. (John 16:7‑11), the Lord Jesus promises to His disciples, after His departure, to send the Comforter: " And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment." That is, the presence of the Comforter here, abiding with God's people, would of itself be the sentence of conviction of the world. Not that he would convict the souls of all men in the world, of sin. The Lord was not speaking of this action of the Holy Spirit upon the heart and conscience of the sinner; but of the solemn fact, that the personal presence of the Comforter with the children of God, would be the condemnation of the world as in God's sight. First, on the ground of sin, " because they believe not on me." The fact of Christ's absence, and the result of that absence, the presence of the Holy Spirit here, proves that the world was guilty of the deepest sin, viz. unbelief of Him.
This is the crowning sin of all others. If the world had believed, had known and owned Him, its princes would not have slain Him. But they manifested their complete ignorance and unbelief by killing the Lord of glory; and under the guilt of this sin the world lies. The Spirit of God having come, sent by the crucified and risen Christ, is the conviction of the world upon this ground.
Secondly, " of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more." God and the world are fearfully at issue upon the question of righteousness. And the question has been brought to a definite point by the death of Christ. The world has slain Him as a malefactor, hanged Him upon a tree with thieves: preferred an abominable criminal, guilty of robbery, sedition, and murder, to the Son of God. But God has raised the same rejected and despised Christ to the throne of His glory, and counted Him worthy of sitting at the right hand of His Majesty in the heavens.
What a solemn difference thus exists upon the question of righteousness, between the world and God. Why is Jesus gone to the Father? Why do His people see Him no more? Why has the Holy Spirit come? Because He has been murdered and slain; rejected and disowned; scourged, spit upon, stripped naked, and crucified. He has been dealt with thus, as an unrighteous one by the world. God has received Him as the righteous one to glory. And the people of God have the Holy Spirit as the Comforter, because of Christ's rejection, and His exaltation to the highest heavens.
Lastly, " of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged."
Three times in the Gospel of John is the title " prince of this world" given to Satan by the Lord Jesus.
" Now is the judgment of this world; now shall the prince of this world be cast out." 12; 31.
This the Lord spoke in contemplation of His Cross. His being lifted up upon the tree, was at the same time the judgment of the world, the dethronement of its Prince as to the final result, and offered a new source of attraction, powerful enough to draw unto Himself away from the allurements of the world, and the seductions of Satan.
" Hereafter I will not talk much with you, for the prince of this world cometh and hath nothing in me." 14:30. The Lord's converse with His disciples was about to cease, for He was to meet and resist unto blood the closing fierce attacks of the adversary. But that prince would find nothing in Christ of which he could obtain one moment's possession. No shaft of the tempter could lodge in that bosom of purity. No temptation would have any response from that Righteous One. The prince of this world had no possession of any kind in Christ. For the first and last time he found a Man, proof against every inlet to sin, every suggestion of evil. One of whom it could be said, " Jehovah is well pleased for His righteousness' sake." And though the serpent was permitted to bruise the heel of the woman's seed, in that very act he hurled down destruction upon himself. The cross of Christ, and its inseparable result, resurrection, was the judgment of the prince of this world.
The coming of the Holy Spirit from the throne of glory, to which God had exalted His Son, is the evidence that this is a judged world, because Satan its prince has been vanquished, made naught of, and judged. Thus we live in a place already sentenced. The blood of the Lamb has redeemed us out of it to God: and we must look away to another region, to another country for righteousness and holiness. " Delivered out of the power of darkness, and translated into the kingdom of God's dear Son," our life, our hopes, our affections, and our fellowships are above. Christ is there, God's righteous servant, our Great High Priest, " who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption."