"The Priests' Garments" by Pastor Michael Adetunji

Pastor Michael Adetunji

Text: Exodus 28:1-12 

Exod. 28.1 - And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron's sons.

Exod.28.2 - And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty.

Exod.28.3 - And thou shalt speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron's garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office.

Exod.28.4 - And 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.

Exod.28.5 - And they shall take gold, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen.

Exod.28.6 - And they shall make the ephod of gold, of blue, and of purple, of scarlet, and fine twined linen, with cunning work.

Exod.28.7 - It shall have the two shoulderpieces thereof joined at the two edges thereof; and so it shall be joined together.

Exod.28.8 - And the curious girdle of the ephod, which is upon it, shall be of the same, according to the work thereof; even of gold, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen.

Exod.28.9 - And thou shalt take two onyx stones, and grave on them the names of the children of Israel:

Exod.28.10 - Six of their names on one stone, and the other six names of the rest on the other stone, according to their birth.

Exod.28.11 - With 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.

Exod.28.12 - And thou shalt put the two stones upon the shoulders of the ephod for stones of memorial unto the children of Israel: and Aaron shall bear their names before the LORD upon his two shoulders for a memorial.


Practically, every human born of a woman is born naked but not without a spiritual covering that reveals the glory of God in man. However, such is not left naked forever, hence, the immediate sense of providing clothes or wrapped with a shawl to prevent anything that can be detrimental to the health of the newly born if exposed for too long. 

In the beginning, man had a spiritual covering for all that God "had made, and, behold, it was very good" (Gen. 1:31) till Eve took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked (Gen. 3:6,7). Of course, this nakedness was one caused by sin "for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Gen. 2:17), but God's mercy was displayed when "unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them" (Gen. 3:21).

Some Highlights on the General Significance of Garments

Descriptively, garments cover nakedness. 

They bring out the beauty of an individual based on fashion design. 

They add value to the body and to the people who wear decent ones. 

Garments bring dignity (remember, the way you are dressed is the way you will be addressed).

Garment is a symbol of authority (depending on the context).

Our call into the ministry does not spell how important or indispensable we are to God; it is in most cases to cover our (spiritual) nakedness. The Priests’ garments in the Old Testament are also referred to as ephod. The ephod is like a type of apron worn by the high priests of the Levitical order. This garment was meant to be sacred as the Lord commanded; to bestow on Aaron and in sons with dignity and honor. 

While I will not try to delve into the OT representations of all the fashion design, the utmost concern here is in the seriousness attached to the garments of the Priests by God. The symbolic representation of these garments in the OT suggests being set apart for God’s work of atonement; therefore, the need for strict compliance with the dress code. Everyone called to minister unto God in one capacity or the other is given specifications on how the assignment is to be carried out including the outlook of the minister both inwardly and outwardly.

Biblical Significance of Garments

Garment is metaphorically used in the Bible purposefully. For instance, it sometimes typifies one's standing or portrait before God (Exo 19:10-14: Zech 3:3-5). 

Also, Matthew 22 1-14 talks about a man thrown out into outer darkness because he was without a wedding garment.

Revelation 3:4-5 says the ones in Sardis who did not defile their garments but overcometh shall be clothed in a white garment with his name everlasting in the book of life.

Mark 11:7,8 presents how garments were spread on the ground for Jesus implying a demonstration of honor and royalty. 

Rev 16:15 says garments are for covering shame.

Quality Description of the Priests’ Garments (Exo. 28)

1. Holy (v2).

2. Glorious (v.2)

3. Beautiful (v. 2) 

4. Expensive (v. 4ff)

5. Specific (4ff)

Biblical Significance of the Priests’ Garments (Exo. 28)

1. For Glory and beauty (v.2)

2. A representation/symbol of the office and proof of ministry (v. 4c).

3. Aaron's garment was a symbol of consecration and sanctification (28:3,41b). It wasn't a garment meant for everyone. The priestly garments were to separate the priests from others. Note that, it was specifically instructed that the “fashion designers” were persons God had filled with the spirit of wisdom (vs. 3a) to make the garment. This explains the height of consecration and specialness (1 Chron. 23:13). 

Let me ask a pertinent question here. As a minister/priest, who is your FASHION DESIGNER? I am not referring to the one sewing your native or corporate wears but spiritual things are spiritually discerned. 

Also worthy of note, the repetition of "in the priest's office" in v.3,4 implies it was specifically a Levitical garment, emphasizing it wasn't an anyhow dress for anybody.

4. It was proof of their ministry and uniform for service (v. 41c; Exo. 35:19). 

5. The length of verses taken for the description of its making similar to the prescriptions of the ark, temple, and not so many other cases, implies emphasis, importance, and the delicacy of God's assignment.

Contemporary Application

There are specifications for God's ministers and their assignments. Galatians 2:8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles). Ephesians 4:11-12 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers. For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.

Employing the marital description of Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:9 "Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man" it suffices that although a uniform of service, the garments were made for the Priests. In other words, the garments were to consecrate and separate the Priests from the rest of the people. 

As earlier said, the garment was a symbol of the man's office. Hence, you may not be wearing, or always wear (because some churches wear clerical garments) a physical garment that necessarily declares you as a Levite or Priest, but there is a spiritual/supernatural calling that offers you a covering. Moses' garment was different from Aaron's, so you should know your calling and priestly office. 

The garment, being a symbol of power (of atonement in the case of Aaron) practically in the New Testament surfaced the healing of the woman with the issue of blood who touched the hem of Jesus' garment (Matthew 9:20). Note, this was a function of the power within as Jesus attested virtue went out of him (Luke 8:46). Hence, the power of God is evident in the Priestly office (Hebrews 2:3,4) typified by Aaron's garment.

Also, we can infer that Jesus' call, "come, I WILL MAKE YOU fishers of men" (Matt 4:19; Mark 1:17) may be a cross-reference to our anchor text, "whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they MAY MAKE Aaron's garments to consecrate him, that he may minister." (Exo. 28:3). Today, Jesus is that wisdom of God (Isaiah 11:1,2; 1 Cor. 1:30) making Priests! He says, "come, I WILL MAKE YOU" This means that God Himself makes His priests. Will you allow God to make you? 

The Levitical garment, being part of the provisions for playing the role of the priest (Lev 8:2), is a symbolic assurance that God makes provisions available for every calling, instruction, and assignment in ministry.


Aaron shared similar garments only with other priests, and he didn't share assignments and instructions with any others. Despite being ministers of God by nomenclature, our assignments and functions may differ. Beyond the wearing of the garments, Aaron and his sons the priests, were meant to be consecrated, sanctified, and be remitted of sin (Exo 29; Lev. 8), that is, sinless before performing their priestly mandate. This aligns with Apostle Paul's pastoral instructions for ministers (1 Tim. 3-6; 2 Tim. 3-4; Titus 2-3). 

Our garments must be spotless and possess other quality descriptions earlier given. However, it is unfortunate today that the garment that should be of glory, dignity, honour, and beauty has now turned rag; hence, the reason many of us can no longer stand tall before God. Repentance is all we need!

1 Peter 2:9 - "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light..."

Again, I ask, who is your FASHION DESIGNER?

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