Thursday, December 20, 2012

My Axioms and My Methods

PLEASE SEE NEW DEDICATED PAGE FOR EXPLANATION OF MY PHILOSOPHY AND METHODS.

A Little Bit About The Promised Land

There is no such thing in the Pentateuch as "the Land of Israel". There is only The Land of Canaan (literally - Humiliated Land or the Land of Humiliated-ones; i.e Ex 13:11). This is a very important fact that few people are aware of due to misinterpretation of the original Hebrew text and partly due to the rabbinic tradition and the existence of the so-called "state of Israel".

The reason why the Promised Land is not called "the Land of Israel" is outlined in the Pentateuch, particularly in the book of Deuteronomy (i.e Deut 7:1). The Pentateuch describes that this was the land that was specifically given to the seven nations: Hittites (lit. the terrorizing-ones), Girgashites (lit. the enraged-ones), Amorites (lit. the boasting-ones), Canaanites (lit. humiliated-ones, in whose "honor" the land was named), Perizzites (lit. villagers), Hivites (lit. encampers) and Jebusites (lit. trodden-ones), the nations (or people) that according to Deut 7:6-8 and Lev 18:24-28 were very numerous yet very very sinful. They were specifically put there by God to sort of "protect" the land from the Hebrews if they would not observe the Laws of the Pentateuch and if they would not want to live by the Laws of the Pentateuch (i.e Leviticus 18:3-4 and Deut 28:63). Creation of the State of Israel effectively restored all of these 7 Canaanite nations, who now pretty much occupy the promised land.

This is why it is very important to understand that the only way there can be peace and prosperity in the Land of Canaan is if the Hebrews (which includes the Jews - descendants of the Hebrew tribe of Judah) would live by the Pentateuch. Not by some form of democracy or some man-made constitution, not by rabbinical or any other form of Judaism, not by the Oral Tradition aka Talmud, but ONLY by the Pentateuch and nothing else. After all, the word "Hebrews" means "the ones that crossed over (to God)", which means that these are the people who have chosen to serve God, do good and not evil, and live according to the Pentateuch. Because only such good and righteous people (Hebrews) who live by the highest and strictest morals and values (the Pentateuch) can conquer and subdue the land that God Himself has called humiliated (Canaan). Only then God will grant His blessings and protection to the Hebrews, and peace will spread throughout the Land. Besides, the only claim that Hebrews (which also includes the Jews) have over the Land of Canaan is the Pentateuch, but ONLY on a strict condition that they will observe and live by all the Laws outlined in the Pentateuch, and Pentateuch alone.

You may be asking yourself what does it have to do with the Tabernacle? The answer is simple. According to the Pentateuch, Numbers 18:20-24, Numbers 18:31, e.t.c, the Levites were to serve at The Tabernacle forever. In other words, The Tabernacle, as I have pointed out this many times before, was the only permanent and acceptable sanctuary of God and His presence, even though from an architectural perspective the Tabernacle was a mobile and temporary structure (location-wise). The Tabernacle must be restored, the Levitical priesthood must be restored and the Levites must serve there forever as it was outlined in the Pentateuch. They could, perhaps, also serve in the Temple as well, but their primary abode must be in the Tabernacle - a movable and mobile sanctuary of God's presence.

This is why it is important to understand that The Tabernacle needs to be present in the Land of Canaan, the Levitical service needs to be restored, as this is one of the major requirements for the fulfillment of the God's commandments outlined in the Pentateuch.


Sunday, December 2, 2012

There Was No Such Thing as The Sacrifices in The Tabernacle

One important point that I have not really made so far was that there were no sacrifices in the Tabernacle. Yes, this is right. The idea that any animal was "sacrificed" on the Altar of Burnt Offering is simply a colloquial mistranslation and misunderstanding of the original Hebrew text. 

All animals killings at the Tabernacle site bore strictly practical and specific purpose, thus making it a glorified animal slaughter rather than the "sacrifice" (in the proper understanding of this word). So the proper translation of the word "זבח" (zevach) should be something along the lines of "offering" or "slaughter", rather than "sacrifice" as, the word sacrifice usually implies complete "waste" of the victim in favor of some God. 

However, in the case of the Pentateuch and the Tabernacle, the "sacrifices" were purely ritualistic as most of the edible meat of the animal would go to the Levites (i.e Numbers 18). In fact, there is an explicit reference in the Pentateuch when the animal was burnt without any practical purpose, which produced anger from Moses (Leviticus 10:16-20). 

Even in the explicit cases, where the animal was indeed completely burnt (i.e Red Heifer, Numbers 19:5-6), it was still done for practical purposes. In this case, its ashes were utilized to produce what I believe to be either soap or a soapy water, as animal ashes are rich in fat and can be easily used to produce soap (Numbers 19:9)

So as you can see, the Tabernacle and its practices bore practical and specific purposes. Nothing was wasted and nothing was done in vain, as compared to other religions, especially the pagan ones. Everything in the Tabernacle, in this case the "sacrifices" were done primarily to feed the Levites as a reward for their services at the Tabernacle and for the congregation of the Hebrews.

And last, but not least, I would like to again to point out that there was no ramp leading to the Altar of Burnt Offerings in the Tabernacle. As you can see from the image below, the Altar was 3 cubit high in total (this includes the Copper Grate), which was the perfect height to operate the Altar.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Yet Another Online Samaritan Pentateuch

Archive.org came through with yet another beautiful and online Samaritan Pentateuch (Samaritan Torah) with varias lectiones (variant readings). This is an 1872 Pentateuchus Samaritanus edition by Julius Heinrich Petermann, which appears to be written in the modern Samaritan Hebrew.


Its most definitely not an easy read as it is not written in modern Hebrew script, but  by utilizing this table below of this wikipedia table you should still be able to enjoy this great book.

Enjoy!

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Day of the Blast (Yom Terua)

Today is the Day of the Blast (Yom Terua) (Numbers 29:1) or Memorial of the Blast (Leviticus 24:23). 

Today we remember the day that God spoke to Hebrews at Mt. Sinai, at which time among other things, the sound (not blast though) of the Horn (Shofar) (not trumpet) was heard(Exodus 19:16). However, today we are commanded to use the Trumpets (not Horn/Shofar) to make a Blast (not Sound) to honor this day(Numbers 10:10). 

As a note, it seems that the actual Horn/ Shofar (as in organic musical instrument) would be used only once every 50 years (once every Jubilee ), whereas during all other times the Trumpets (a metallic musical instrument) would've been used. (Leviticus 25:8-10)

Also, the Jewish tradition calls this day a "new year"/"rosh hashana". This is incorrect, as the text of Exodus 23:16 and Exodus 34:22 states, that today is a revolution (or turning point) of the year. After all, this is the 1st day of the 7th month of the Hebrew calendar (the middle of the year), not the 1st day of the first month.

In fact, the Pentateuch explicitly states that the New Year begins 14 days prior to Passover, in the month of Aviv (see Exodus 12:2). 

Also, it is worthy to point out that the exact term "rosh hashana" does not occur anywhere in the text. The text, in Exodus 12:2 uses the term "rosh hodesh"/"first or head month". However, in the same verse there is a word "hashana", so in a way it is possible to call the 1st of Aviv a "new year" or rather - "first year". Perhaps such terminology of the text is due to the fact that the word "rosh" is properly translated as the "head" or "first", so to translate it as "new" would not be very accurate.

The only explanation to the Jewish tradition, is this time of the year is indeed the beginning of the new agricultural year, so it seems that this is how this term ("rosh hashana"), over time, replaced the actual commandments and terminology of the Pentateuch. And this is very sad.

Other than that, this day is an astronomically significant event - an Autumn Equinox (Southern Equinox). 

This holy day is the forth out of five annual Hebrew holy days - see this table for detailed explanation. As on all such days, there is a prohibition to doing any work - just like on Sabbath.

You can also check out my last year's post on the Silver Trumpets here.


Have a great Day of the Blast!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

High Priest and His Sons Inside the Holy Place of The Tabernacle

Let's now go back to the Holy Place of the Tabernacle:

This image shows High Priest (Aaron) and his sons (Eleazar and Ithamar) doing day-to-day activities in the Holy Place of the Tabernacle. This view is from the middle of the southern wall looking toward the east, toward the Outer Curtain (Entrance Curtain) of the Tabernacle.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

High Priest Inside the Holy of Holies of The Tabernacle

IF YOU LIKED MY WORK, PLEASE CONSIDER DONATING. ANY AMOUNT HELPS. THANK YOU.

Let's take a look at what the Holy of Holies (the Ark room) of the Tabernacle looked like when the High Priest was inside. The High Priest would usually enter this room only once a year on the Day of Atonement and had to take special precautions as outlined in Leviticus 16.

Here is the Priest in the Holy Place of the Tabernacle:

As you can see from this next image, the two side Partitions (Parochet) could be moved towards the Inner Pillars to allow the Priest to enter into the Holy of Holies room:

As you can see from this next image, there were plenty of space for the Priest to come through:

Now, let's follow the Prist insode the Holy of Holies place. This is the view right from the left (south) side of the room:

Here is a view from a different angle, so that you can clearly see the reflections of the room:

And here is the view from the south-west corner of the Holy of Holies room looking back toward the Holy Place of the Tabernacle:

And this is the Holy of Holies place of the Tabernacle. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

High Priest Inside the Holy Place of The Tabernacle

I'm finishing up my review models, but meanwhile I wanted to give you a sneak peak of what you will be able to see.

The two images below are the new rendering of the Holy Place of the Tabernacle, with all latest changes incorporated into the rendering, and including the High Priest (Aaron) model in his garments. Please note that all of my models up-to-scale, so the renderings below are the most accurate reconstruction of this particular part of the Tabernacle.


And this image is made at a different angle so that you can clearly see reflections that could be seen via the gold-plated walls of the Tent of the Tabernacle.

Enjoy!

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Practical Importance of The Tabernacle

One other point that I did not make in my articles on the "Importance of the Tabernacle" is the practical importance of the Tabernacle. 

For example, if you are an engineer or mathematician (such as myself) you would be very interested in the layout of the Tabernacle and in its structure. All cubits, measurements and positioning of the artifacts would be your thing as it is something that engineers and mathematicians study and do.

If you are a plumber, you would be interested in, say, copper artifacts of the Tabernacle. As, for example, the copper is used in modern plumbing systems to prevent bacterial infection.

If you are a tailor, the Priestly Garments would be your thing as in order to properly understand the description you have to have an experience in this field.

If you are carpenter, all wooden parts of the Tabernacle would be of interest to you as to properly understand the description you have to have experience and understanding of woodworking.

If you are a soldier, in the army, you would be interested in the Sin of Nadab and Abihu (Leviticus 10), as that would teach you that it is not permissible to drink while on duty.

Either way, no matter who you are and what you do for a living, the Tabernacle offers you something from your field of expertise that you yourself can be an expert at. And this is the best and the easiest way to get in touch with the divine.


What I'm currently working on

I'm sorry that I have not been posting lately, but I'm busy on preparing the following materials:

1) A Review on the Tabernacle. I wanted to create new hi-res renderings of the Tabernacle with all of the changes and insights that I've discussed during the last year and a half. This includes remodeled Ark of the Covenant (the Cherubim - swords), the Coverings of the Tabernacle, the Altar of Burnt Offering and other minor little things. Also, I wanted to create a few images that show my Priestly Garments models together with the Tabernacle, particularly the images that show the Priests inside the Tabernacle Tent, as I think this is really important and very inspiring. 

Unfortunately, there one problem that prevents me from accomplishing that, namely:

2) The Tabernacle Layout.  I'm trying to rework the layout of the Tabernacle to put all of its elements together so that I can have an exact and complete picture of the structure. In fact, if anyone who reads this blog can help I would really appreciate it.

For example, let's take my latest layout:

As you can see from this layout, the Western Wall of the Tabernacle is located 25 cubits from the curtains of the Courtyard, just like the Southern and Northern walls. However, this would mean that the First Covering of the Tabernacle would be covering western part of the framework of the Tent completely (10 cubits) in order to allow the Inner Pillars of the Tent to be located at 10 cubits from the western wall. However, the First Covering of the Tent was covering only 9 cubits of the Northern and Southern walls of the Tent, so most likely it had to be covering only 9 cubits of the Western wall as well (due to symmetry), which in turn would mean that the Inner Pillars would be located 11 cubits from the western wall, destroying 10x10x10 arrangement of the Holy of Holies room. 

This problem needs to be resolved, in order to create complete and precise layout of the Tabernacle. And, like I said above, this is what I'm trying to figure out right now.

And once again, if you would like to help to solve this majestic riddle, I would be more than happy to hear your thoughts and solutions.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Review of the Altar of Burnt Offering - The Grate and The Ramp

In this post I would like to review the Altar of Burnt Offering (Mizbeach). Particularly I would like to review the Copper Grate of the Altar and the issue of the Ramp of the Altar.

Let's begin with the Ramp. Well, there was no Ramp. My research indicated with an absolute certainty that there was no such thing existing in the Tabernacle. The Ramp of the Altar of Burnt offering in the Tabernacle comes from the Jewish tradition of the late Second Temple period, which is foreign to the Hebrew tradition and has nothing to do with the actual Hebrew Tabernacle that I'm discussing in this blog. Therefore, this image of the Altar is ultimately incorrect:

Now, since there was no Ramp, it also means that the total height of the Altar of Burnt Offering (Grate+Altar) was not 5 cubits, but rather 3 cubits, just like the description of Exodus 27:1 says. This, in turn would make total height of the Grate of the Altar - 1.5 cubits as Exodus 27:5 tells us that the Grate was only reaching half way up the Altar. Therefore, the proper Grate of the Altar of Burnt Offering looked like so:

As you can see from the image above, the Grate is now 1.5 cubits in height, with the Rings for the Staves attached right by the top of the Grate at each of the 4 corners. Please see my previous posts on the Altar for comparison. But the shape of the Grate remained pretty much the same.

Now, if we will place the Altar on this new Grate, you should be able to notice right away how proper the setup looks. Namely the total height of the Altar (now being 3 cubits) corresponds well with an average human height and allows very convenient access to the Altar - right at the chest level, just like this image below shows:

And because of the fact that the Copper Rings of the Grate (Exodus 27:4) now properly located at the edges of the Grate, once the Altar is being transported the weight of the Altar is being distributed evenly and symmetrically. Right through the horizontal center plane of the Altar. Like so:

To sum up: 
  1. There was no Ramp of any kind leading to the Altar of Burnt Offering of the Tabernacle
  2. The Copper Grate was 1.5 cubits tall, with the Copper Rings attached at the top of each of its 4 corners

I hope that now it is clear that it is extremely important to read the text of the Pentateuch without any bias whatsoever, as any traditional interpretations of the text will most certainly lead to mistakes like this one.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

High Priest Garments - Final Review

Let's review all of the garments of the High Priest (Aaron) and his Sons. Let's begin with the High Priest garments:

And here is a diagram of all the garments that High Priest would wear. From left to right and from bottom to the top:

  1. Linen Breeches (or Trousers) - the undergarment.
  2. White Tunic
  3. Blue Robe with the embroidered Trees and the Golden Bells on its bottom half
  4. Ephod (The Vestment) with two "onyx" stones engraved with 12 names, embroidered in the golden fillings on its shoulders.
  5. Breastplate of Judgement with the 12 stones engraved with 12 names, Golden Rings, Golden Chains, Golden Mounts and Blue Laces
  6. Colored Embroidered Sash
  7. Golden Frontlet with the engraving (קדש ליהוה) and with the Blue Lace to mount it on the head.
  8. Linen Turban

Please note that traditional sources usually list 7 garments as these sources usually  join either Golden Frontlet with the Turban or the Breastplate of Judgement with the Ephod. 

Now, let's take a look at the garments of the Sons of the High Priest: 

From left to right, from bottom to top:

  1. Linen Breeches (or Trousers) - the undergarment.
  2. White Tunic
  3. Linen Sash
  4. Linen Cap


Monday, June 11, 2012

High Priest Garments - Sizing of the Ephod (Vestment)

Since we are now done with the description of all the garments of the High Priest and his Sons, it is no time to add finishing touches to the result. One important aspect of the High Priest garments that I have not covered yet is the size and shape of the Ephod (Vestment).

If you remember, the resulting Ephod so far looked like so:

But the verses of Exodus 28:33-35 state that the Blue Robe that was worn right under the Ephod had Golden Bells that were to serve as special warning sings for the Priest when he was going in/around the Tabernacle. Like so: 
Obviously, it is clear that the Ephod could not be covering these Bells as it would render them inoperable, muffling the sound or possibly even preventing them from making any. And since the Bells were located on the bottom portion of the Blue Robe, it is most logical that this part of the Robe was not covered by the Ephod at all. Like so:

Please also note that since the Ephod now would not be covering the bottom portion of the Blue Robe, it is also most likely that, for symmetry reasons, the Ephod also would not cover the parts of the High Priest hands (roughly from the elbow and to the end of each hand). Therefore, the Ephod most likely looked like a thick, woven T-Shirt, main purpose of which was to hold the Breastplate of Judgement and the two "onyx" stones. Also, the colored embroidered Sash was going over the Ephod but only because it would help to secure it upon the High Priest. Like so:

Please also note, that unlike the Sons of Aaron, the White Tunic that was worn under the Blue Robe was completely covered. At this point I do not see any reason why the White Tunic had to be visible at all, but as usual more research is needed to properly size each of these garments.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

High Priest Garments - The Linen Breeches (Trousers)

Verses of Exodus 28:42-43 discusses the last garments for both the High Priest (Aaron) and his Sons - the linen breeches (or trousers) that all priests who were serving in the Tabernacle had to wear. Let's take a look:


42 ‏וַעֲשֵׂ֤ה לָהֶם֙ מִכְנְסֵי־בָ֔ד לְכַסּ֖וֹת בְּשַׂ֣ר עֶרְוָ֑ה מִמָּתְנַ֥יִם וְעַד־יְרֵכַ֖יִם יִהְיֽוּ׃ 
‎43 ‏וְהָיוּ֩ עַל־אַהֲרֹ֨ן וְעַל־בָּנָ֜יו בְּבֹאָ֣ם׀ אֶל־אֹ֣הֶל מוֹעֵ֗ד א֣וֹ בְגִשְׁתָּ֤ם אֶל־הַמִּזְבֵּ֙חַ֙ לְשָׁרֵ֣ת בַּקֹּ֔דֶשׁ וְלֹא־יִשְׂא֥וּ עָוֹ֖ן וָמֵ֑תוּ חֻקַּ֥ת עוֹלָ֛ם ל֖וֹ וּלְזַרְע֥וֹ אַחֲרָֽיו׃ ס
42 And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach:

43 And they shall be upon Aaron, and upon his sons, when they come in unto the tabernacle of the congregation, or when they come near unto the altar to minister in the holy place; that they bear not iniquity, and die: it shall be a statute for ever unto him and his seed after him.
Let's begin with this semi-naked image of the Aaron and his sons:

As Exodus 28:42 describes, all of them were to wear identical Breeches (or trousers) that were to cover their private parts from waist to the ankles. These Breeches were to be made of white linen. Like so: 

And as the last verse of chapter 28 states, the High Priest and his Sons were to wear these Breeches so that during the service their nakedness would not be revealed and so that they would not die.




Friday, June 8, 2012

Sons of Aaron Garments - The Tunics, Sashes and Caps

Verse of Exodus 28:40-41 describes most of the garments that Sons of Aaron, the High Priest, had to wear. Namely the linen Tunics, linen Sashes and linen Caps. Let's take a look:


‎40 ‏וְלִבְנֵ֤י אַהֲרֹן֙ תַּעֲשֶׂ֣ה כֻתֳּנֹ֔ת וְעָשִׂ֥יתָ לָהֶ֖ם אַבְנֵטִ֑ים וּמִגְבָּעוֹת֙ תַּעֲשֶׂ֣ה לָהֶ֔ם לְכָב֖וֹד וּלְתִפְאָֽרֶת׃  
‎41 ‏וְהִלְבַּשְׁתָּ֤ אֹתָם֙ אֶת־אַהֲרֹ֣ן אָחִ֔יךָ וְאֶת־בָּנָ֖יו אִתּ֑וֹ וּמָשַׁחְתָּ֨ אֹתָ֜ם וּמִלֵּאתָ֧ אֶת־יָדָ֛ם וְקִדַּשְׁתָּ֥ אֹתָ֖ם וְכִהֲנ֥וּ לִֽי׃  
40 And for Aaron's sons thou shalt make coats, and thou shalt make for them girdles, and bonnets shalt thou make for them, for glory and for beauty. 
41 And thou shalt put them upon Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him; and shalt anoint them, and consecrate them, and sanctify them, that they may minister unto me in the priest's office.
First of all, on all images below I'm showing only two sons of Aaron (another) - Eleazar (strength-of-help) and Ithamar (island-erected). I'm not showing Nadab (liberal) and Abihu (father-of-him), as they died due to sin and throughout the wilderness journey only two younger sons of Aaron performed the Tabernacle service. 

Secondly, additional details about these garments are provided in the parallel verses of Exodus 39:27-29, so please read them as well. Please note that even though it is not clearly visible on the images below, as Exodus 28:41 states, Aaron also wore a linen Tunic under the Blue Robe and under the Ephod.

Here is the rendering of the first garment of the description - the linen Tunics for sons of Aaron. 



As you can see from this image, the next piece of clothing was the linen Sashes for the sons of Aaron. However Aaron himself wore a colored woven Sash.

And the last piece of clothing that these verses describe were the special linen Caps that sons of Aaron would wear. Please note that these Caps were different from the Turban of Aaron and were more, well, of a cap-like form. Also, sons of Aaron did not wear the Golden Plates on their foreheads as Aaron have.

And here is the comparative rendering of the Turban of Aaron vs. Caps of his sons, and the colored Sash of Aaron and the linen Sashes of his sons.

As you can see from the image above, the garments of Aaron were far more majestic and more glorious than  the garments of his sons. This is because Aaron was the High Priest and only he was most holy onto God. Not even his sons were deserving of his glory and abilities.



Thursday, June 7, 2012

High Priest Garments - The Tunic and The Sash

Exodus 28:39 deals with the one of the last pieces of the High Priest Garments - The White Tunic and The Embroidered Sash. Let's take a look:


39 ‏וְשִׁבַּצְתָּ֙ הַכְּתֹ֣נֶת שֵׁ֔שׁ וְעָשִׂ֖יתָ מִצְנֶ֣פֶת שֵׁ֑שׁ וְאַבְנֵ֥ט תַּעֲשֶׂ֖ה מַעֲשֵׂ֥ה רֹקֵֽם׃ 
39 And thou shalt embroider the coat of fine linen, and thou shalt make the mitre of fine linen, and thou shalt make the girdle of needlework.


This white tunic was actually first piece of clothing that the High Priest (Aaron) would put upon himself (save for the undergarment, of'course), and as the description says it was a plain white garment made of fine linen. Like so:

Next, the description discusses the Turban that I have already covered in my previous post - the one with the golden plate. The only thing that this verse clarifies is that the Turban was also made of fine linen.

Now, the description moves onto the so-called Embroidered Sash (or Belt). Verse of Exodus 28:39 does not provide any information about it, however the parallel verse of Exodus 39:29 explains that this Sash was to be made of "of corded cambric with blue, purple and double-dipped crimson, the handiwork of as embroiderer". Like so:

Please note that this was the Sash only for the High Priest. The other priest wore Sashes made out only of fine linen. Here is the rendering of the above Sash upon the High Priest:

And here is the complete rendering of the High Priest in all of the garments I have covered so far:

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

High Priest Garments - The Turban and The Frontlet (Golden Plate)

Verses of Exodus 28:36-38 discusses two more pieces of the Garments of the High Priest- The Turban and a special engraved Golden Plate - The Frontlet. Let's take a look:

‎36 ‏וְעָשִׂ֥יתָ צִּ֖יץ זָהָ֣ב טָה֑וֹר וּפִתַּחְתָּ֤ עָלָיו֙ פִּתּוּחֵ֣י חֹתָ֔ם קֹ֖דֶשׁ לַֽיהוָֽה׃

‎37 ‏וְשַׂמְתָּ֤ אֹתוֹ֙ עַל־פְּתִ֣יל תְּכֵ֔לֶת וְהָיָ֖ה עַל־הַמִּצְנָ֑פֶת אֶל־מ֥וּל פְּנֵֽי־הַמִּצְנֶ֖פֶת יִהְיֶֽה׃

‎38 ‏וְהָיָה֮ עַל־מֵ֣צַח אַהֲרֹן֒ וְנָשָׂ֨א אַהֲרֹ֜ן אֶת־עֲוֹ֣ן הַקֳּדָשִׁ֗ים אֲשֶׁ֤ר יַקְדִּ֙ישׁוּ֙ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל לְכָֽל־מַתְּנֹ֖ת קָדְשֵׁיהֶ֑ם וְהָיָ֤ה עַל־מִצְחוֹ֙ תָּמִ֔יד לְרָצ֥וֹן לָהֶ֖ם לִפְנֵ֥י יְהוָֽה׃ 

36 And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD. 
37 And thou shalt put it on a blue lace, that it may be upon the mitre; upon the forefront of the mitre it shall be. 
38 And it shall be upon Aaron's forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD.
As the first verse of the description states, there were to be a special engraved golden frontlet for Aaron to bear upon his forehead. Upon this frontlet were to be engraved two words - קדש ליהוה (holiness to Yahveh). Like so:

As Exodus 28:37 states, this golden plate were to be mounted upon the forehead of Aaron (or any other High Priest) with the help of blue lace that was attached to the plate, and over the Turban of twined linen. Like so:

Here is another view of the Turban and the Plate:

And here is the resulting rendering of a Priest in the Turban and with this special frontlet:






Tuesday, June 5, 2012

High Priest Garments - The Blue Robe

Verses of Exodus 28:31-35 discuss another Priestly Garment - The Blue Robe. It was worn by Aaron right under the Ephod (The Vestment) and thus this garment was only partially visible, however, in this post for illustrative purposes I will show only the Robe (w/o other garments). Let's take a look:
31 ‏וְעָשִׂ֛יתָ אֶת־מְעִ֥יל הָאֵפ֖וֹד כְּלִ֥יל תְּכֵֽלֶת׃
‎32 ‏וְהָיָ֥ה פִֽי־רֹאשׁ֖וֹ בְּתוֹכ֑וֹ שָׂפָ֡ה יִֽהְיֶה֩ לְפִ֨יו סָבִ֜יב מַעֲשֵׂ֣ה אֹרֵ֗ג כְּפִ֥י תַחְרָ֛א יִֽהְיֶה־לּ֖וֹ לֹ֥א יִקָּרֵֽעַ׃


33 ‏וְעָשִׂ֣יתָ עַל־שׁוּלָ֗יו רִמֹּנֵי֙ תְּכֵ֤לֶת וְאַרְגָּמָן֙ וְתוֹלַ֣עַת שָׁנִ֔י עַל־שׁוּלָ֖יו סָבִ֑יב וּפַעֲמֹנֵ֥י זָהָ֛ב בְּתוֹכָ֖ם סָבִֽיב׃

‎34 ‏פַּעֲמֹ֤ן זָהָב֙ וְרִמּ֔וֹן פַּֽעֲמֹ֥ן זָהָ֖ב וְרִמּ֑וֹן עַל־שׁוּלֵ֥י הַמְּעִ֖יל סָבִֽיב׃

‎35 ‏וְהָיָ֥ה עַֽל־אַהֲרֹ֖ן לְשָׁרֵ֑ת וְנִשְׁמַ֣ע ק֠וֹלוֹ בְּבֹא֨וֹ אֶל־הַקֹּ֜דֶשׁ לִפְנֵ֧י יְהוָ֛ה וּבְצֵאת֖וֹ וְלֹ֥א יָמֽוּת׃ ס
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.
Just like I mentioned above, the Blue Robe was worn by Aaron right under the Ephod. Here is the rendering of the Ephod:



And here is the rendering of the Blue Robe of the description. Please note that for illustrative purposes I'm showing only the Blue Robe without the Ephod and the Breastplate and other garments.

As Exodus 28:32 says, the top of the robe, the hole for the head, was to be reinforced by a woven collar. The purpose of this collar is obvious - to prevent the Robe from tearing (if someone tries to grab it, e.t.c). This probably also indicates that the Robe was far more delicate then the Ephod, as only thin fabrics require such reinforcements. Like so:

The next verse of the description, Exodus 28:33, tells us that on the bottom portion of the robe there were to be "trees" (רמני) and golden bells (פעמני זהב). Like so:

Since this is very important distinction that I'm providing you with, let's take a look at the INCORRECT understanding of this verse as most traditional sources indicate (by placing actual "pomegranates" and bells right on the bottom edge of the blue robe). Like so:
The reason why there were no "pomegranates" and why the "trees" were located on the Robe itself (instead of being located on the edge) is very simply because the text says so. 

First of all, the word רמני (rimmōnê) can be translated both as the "fruits" (traditionally of pomegranate) and as the actual "trees" (of pomegranate - traditionally). However in this case, the description implies the actual trees, mostly because for the second reason below.

Secondly, traditional interpretations of this verse imply that these "pomegranates" and bells were to be located on the edge of the Robe. However, nowhere in the text such positioning can be found or even implied. This is because the text says על שוליו (al-šûlāyw) (on skirts of him), instead of say על שפת (on hems/lips) or על קצה (on end/edge) which would be more appropriate to satisfy such traditional interpretation. 

This is why there were actual "fruit trees" on the bottom of the Robe, made out of blue, purple and scarlet (and as Samaritan Pentateuch also implies - see my NIP) of twined linen, with the golden bells in the midst of these trees. Like so: 

Thus, the complete Blue Robe upon the Priest would look like so:

And as the last verse of the description implies (Exodus 28:35) this Robe with the bells were to be upon Aaron at all times while he was performing the service in the Tabernacle so that he could be heard when he is approaching the sanctuary and so he does not die (perhaps from sudden encounter with God). 

I will explain this last verse in more details in my next posts. 

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