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Cloth Of Purity
by Wayne Blank
"And you shall weave the coat in checker work of fine linen, and you shall make a turban of fine linen, and you shall make a girdle embroidered with needlework. And for Aaron's sons you shall make coats and girdles and caps; you shall make them for glory and beauty. And you shall put them upon Aaron your brother, and upon his sons with him, and shall anoint them and ordain them and consecrate them, that they may serve Me as priests. And you shall make for them linen breeches to cover their naked flesh; from the loins to the thighs they shall reach; and they shall be upon Aaron, and upon his sons, when they go into The Tent of Meeting, or when they come near the altar to minister in The Holy Place; lest they bring guilt upon themselves and die. This shall be a perpetual statute for him and for his descendants after him." (Exodus 28:39-43 RSV) (the illustration shows Aaron, dressed in his linen garments, in the Most Holy Place where The Ark Of The Covenant containing The Ten Commandments was placed)
The Tabernacle In The Wilderness had curtains of fine linen:
"Moreover you shall make The Tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen and blue and purple and scarlet stuff; with cherubim skillfully worked shall you make them. The length of each curtain shall be twenty-eight cubits, and the breadth of each curtain four cubits; all the curtains shall have one measure. Five curtains shall be coupled to one another; and the other five curtains shall be coupled to one another. And you shall make loops of blue on the edge of the outmost curtain in the first set; and likewise you shall make loops on the edge of the outmost curtain in the second set. Fifty loops you shall make on the one curtain, and fifty loops you shall make on the edge of the curtain that is in the second set; the loops shall be opposite one another. And you shall make fifty clasps of gold, and couple the curtains one to the other with the clasps, that the tabernacle may be one whole." (Exodus 26:1-6 RSV)
The body of Jesus Christ was wrapped in linen:
"When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph [see Joseph Of Arimathea], who also was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. And Joseph took the body, and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud, and laid it in his own new tomb [see The Garden Tomb], which he had hewn in the rock; and he rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb, and departed. Mary Magdalene [see Mary of Magdala] and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the sepulchre." (Matthew 27:57-61 RSV)
White linen was often used as a symbol of purity, as Prophecy states that it will again:
"Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunderpeals, crying, "Hallelujah! For The Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give Him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to be clothed with fine linen, bright and pure" - for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints." (Revelation 19:6-8 RSV) (see The Kingdom of God and What Is A Saint?)
Fact Finder: Were angels sometimes dressed in linen?
This Week's Bible Quiz
Who said it? (Revised Standard Version)
1. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."
2. "You are the salt of the earth"
3. "But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also"
4. "But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing"
5. "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also"
6. "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many"
7. "Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand"
8. "He who is not with me is against me"
9. "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's"
10. "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first Commandment."
For the answers to this March 20 2001 quiz, see the Bible Quiz Answers Page