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The High Priest of the Tabernacle



The Priesthood


Moses was called by God to be His servant to speak to the Israelites, and to free them from slavery in Egypt. He did not want to go though; he had tried to help his own people previously, as in Exodus 2 when he was forty years old, but fled for His life to Midian. He was in the dessert for forty years before God called him to go and tell Pharaoh to let God’s people go.

Moses objected because of his inability to communicate and his great fear, but God said to him.


Exodus 4:11

“Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf and mute? Who gives him sight and makes him blind. Is it not I the Lord. Now go and I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”


Later God said of Moses

“That he was the humblest man on the face of the earth, with whom I speak face to face.”


But Moses objected and God was angry with him and then graciously provided Aaron the Levite, Moses brother to meet him and to speak for Moses. So the confrontation with Pharaoh began and Israel was delivered with a miraculous delivery, under God’s mighty hand.


God met with Moses and Aaron and the seventy elders of Israel at Sinai, they saw The Lord and supped with Him.


The Israelites were to become a kingdom of priests, but because of their impatience, tried the Lord by setting up a golden calf, where they were involved in idolatry and great sexual promiscuity and fornication.


The Israelites lost the promised kingdom of priests, because of their faithlessness to God. The Levites became a special tribe from whom the family of Aaron would form the priesthood.


In the times of Israel there were three classes of people.


1:          The High Priest and the Priesthood.

2:         The Levites.

3:         The Congregation of the people.


The appointment of priests lay in the fact that the people were sinners before God and could not come before Him. The people needed representation before God.


Roman 3:23

“For all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God”


Isaiah 64:6

“All of us have become like one who is unclean and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags, we all shrivel up like a leaf and like the wind our sins sweep us away.”


Isaiah 53:12

“He bore the sins of many and made intercession for the transgressors”


The purpose of priesthood was to minister unto God, on behalf of the people


Exodus 28:1

“Have Aaron your brother brought to you from among the Israelites along with his sons, Nadab, Abihuu, Eleazer and Ithamar, so they may serve me as priests”


Hebrew 5:1-2

“Every High Priest is selected from among men and is appointed to represent them in matters related to God to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He vis able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness.”


God gave this honour to Aaron and his sons, it was by grace (in light of Levi’s failure in Genesis 34:30) and undeserved.


It was God’s command to take Aaron and make him priest, Aaron wasn’t requested or asked, as he was God’s servant. The tribe of Levi weren’t perfect or fit enough to serve, but God chose them to serve.


There were regulations, which would disqualify then from being priests. As the offerings were without spot, defect or blemish, so they had also to be the same.


Regulations for priests

Leviticus 21:


1:          A priest must never make himself unclean with a dead body unless
             with a close family member, not a family member who married into his family.


2:         A priest must be Holy to their God and not profane the Name of His God.


3:         A priest must not shave his head, or shave off the edges of their

            beards or cut their bodies.


4:         A priest must marry a virgin from his own people. He must not marry

            a widow or a divorced woman or prostitute.


5:         If a priest’s daughter becomes a prostitute, she defiles herself and

            disgraces her father and must be burnt to death.


6:         A High Priest must not tear his clothes and must not let his hair be unkept.


7:         A priest must not enter a place where there is a dead body. He must

            not make himself unclean for His father or mother.


8:         He must not leave the sanctuary of his God or desecrate it.


9:         No descendant from the generations of priests who has a defect can

            offer the food to his God or sacrifices made by fire.


10:        A priest must not have any defect. Blind, lame, crippled foot or

    hand, a hunchbacked or dwarfed, eye defect, running sores, crushed testicles.


11:        He may eat the most holy food and the holy food yet must not

            approach the curtain.


The High Priests Garments all reflect the rich beauty, nature and character of Christ.



1:          The Coat          -           Exodus 28:39

The coat was a finely twisted seamless garment of linen worn next to the body.


2:         The Linen Breeches                  -           Exodus 28:42

The linen breeches were worn from the waist to the thighs and covered their nakedness.


 Genesis 3:21

“The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them”


3:         The Robe of the Ephod            -           Exodus 28:31-35


            Blue represents Heaven or Divinity of Christ.


            Linen (white) represents the Spotless righteousness of Christ.


            Pomegranates represent the fruitfulness of Christ.

            They were pomegranates of blue, purple, scarlet alternating with bells.


(Blue = Heaven, Purple = Royalty, Scarlet = Sacrifice)

            Bells represent the testimony of Christ


If the bells were not heard ringing on the high priests garment the priests could assume the High Priest had died before the Lord due to an uncleanness or procedural error.


4:         The Ephod        -           Exodus 28:5-12


The Ephod was a very important part of the High Priest dress. And was a symbol of His office.


Fine Twisted Linen represents the Spotless righteousness of Christ.

            Gold represents the Divinity of Christ.

            Blue represents Heaven, the home of Christ.

            Purple represents the royalty of Christ.

            Red represents the sacrificial work of Christ.

            The Ephod was made of two pieces, front and back, united at the shoulders with two Onyx stones,i
            inscribed with the twelve tribes of Israel. 

            The stones were set in gold mountings.


             The shoulders were the place of power and strength.


             The shoulders represent the burden the High priest carried for all Israel.


Luke 15:3-7

“When the shepherd found the lost sheep, He joyfully places it on His shoulders”


5:         The Girdle\Waist Band            -           Exodus 28:8


The girdle\waist band speaks of service


Mark 10:45

“The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many”


Hebrews 8:1-2

“We do have a High Priest, who sat down at the right hand of the majesty in heaven, and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle, set up by the Lord and not by men.”


6:         The Breastplate           -           Exodus 28:25-29

             Significantly connected to His power and love.

            The Breast plate was a plate of judgement.

            The breast plate was made of Fine Twisted Linen, Blue, Purple and      red.


The breastplate was 22 cms square and moulded into the plated were twelve stones set in row of the. The stones represented each tribe of Israel.












See a Son






A Troop



Very Fruitful






Son of the Right Hand









Freedom Loving

7:         The Mitre        -           Exodus 28:36 & 37

The Mitre is the turban with a gold plate engraved with the words

“Holiness to The Lord”. This was like a crown at the base of the turban and a blue a blue cord passing

 Through horizontally, fastened the crown to the mitre.


The turban symbolised obedience to a higher authority, just as Jesus Christ was obedient to His Fathers                                      authority


He said I do exactly as the Father commanded Me


Under the most intense pressure, He was thinking of His Fathers will


Matthew 26:39

“My Father if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me? Yet not as I will but as you will!”





Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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