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Verses 31-35

THE ROBE

"And thou shalt make the robe of the ephod all of blue. And it shall have a hole for the head in the midst thereof: it shall have a binding of woven work round about the hole of it, as it were the hole of a coat of mail, that it be not rent. And upon the skirts of it make pomegranates of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, round about the skirts thereof; and bells of gold between them round about: a golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, upon the skirts of the robe round about. And it shall be upon Aaron to minister: and the sound thereof shall be heard when he goeth in unto the holy place before Jehovah, and when he cometh out, that he die not."

One of the significant things here is the fact of this robe being a seamless robe, in that characteristic resembling the one Jesus wore to the Cross, and upon which the soldiers cast lots for his vesture. Keil described it thus:

"In order that the robe might not be torn when it was put on, the opening of the head was to be made with a strong hem, which was to be of weavers' work; from which it follows as a matter of course that the robe was woven in one piece, and not made in several pieces and then sewed together."[25]

Josephus also adds the information that this seamless robe had no sleeves, only arm-holes, and thus it must have resembled the "panchos that one sees in Mexico and Central America (except for the arm-holes). We agree with the thought advanced by Fields: "This pullover robe of one piece reminds us of Christ's seamless robe. John 19:23 seems almost an indirect reference to Christ's High Priestly office."[26]

The seamless robe of the High Priest also had another connection with the sacred drama of the crucifixion. In Mark 14:61, where is recorded the question of Caiaphas: "Art thou the Christ the Son of the Blessed? Jesus amswered, I AM, and ye shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power and coming with the clouds of heaven!" It is then recorded that, "The High Priest rent his clothes!" (Mark 14:63). This was an unlawful and capital offense on the part of Caiaphas. God had specifically commanded even the sons of Aaron, "Uncover not your heads, neither rend your clothes, lest ye die, and lest wrath come upon all the people" (Leviticus 10:6). This tearing of his High Priestly garments by Caiaphas has been understood as typifying "the rending of the priesthood from himself and from the Jewish nation."[27]

"Golden bells ... pomegranates ..." Perhaps it is best to understand this in the sense of extravagantly beautiful decorations. There is practically no certain information either as to their number or their symbolism. Rawlinson cited three different schools of thought regarding how many there were: "According to some, there were 12 only; according to others 72; according to a third school 365!"[28] The same confusion exists with regard to what the bells and the pomegranates symbolized.

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