The Royal Bride

The Royal Bride

 

In the book of Esther we learn about a young woman from the tribe of Benjamin who was known by the Hebrew name Hadassah, and also by the name Esther which was a name that was more in alignment and familiar to the culture she was living among. She was chosen to become the wife of the King, making her the character we all know as Queen Esther. I want to encourage you all to go back and read the book of Esther as a whole after going through this message and see if your understanding and perspective of this Scriptural account deepens!

The story of Esther like all of the rest of the books of the Bible reveals much deeper prophetic & symbolic meanings than what can be seen on the literal surface level. This is what I refer to as the spiritual picture and the symbolic & prophetic revelations that I believe are very important to see and to take to heart.

It is my prayer and hope that I am able to share some spiritual picture understanding & prophetic revelation from the book of Esther as it relates to all of the Scripture. May it be so!

 

I would like to begin with a rhetorical question. That question being what does or what can clothing represent or reveal about a person or people in the Bible, as well as in the whole world today?

1.) Role in life (medic, janitor, doctor, nurse, etc)

2.) Authority (police officer, judge, king, queen, etc)

3.) Royalty (purple garments & crowns)

4.) Identity/Beliefs (gothic clothing, Amish clothing, wearing head coverings, cultural influenced clothing, etc)

5.) Character/Attitude (harlot, biker, gang members, etc)

6.) Mourning (widow in dressed in black, sack cloth & ashes, fasting)

7.) Status (very expensive clothing, prisoner clothes)

(note: some of these can be subjective and interchangeable)

 

As we can see, clothing can reveal a lot about a person or a group of people!

As I was studying the book of Esther a question came to mind, that question being what does Esther’s clothing reveal about her?

How she was clothed and by whom?

While contemplating these questions and the answers I was coming up with, an immediate thought came to mind of a possible parallel to other people found in Scripture.

A parallel involving a group of people and a person who also had a specific role, given authority, responsibility, were royalty, had specific character traits that were required of them, held the same beliefs, status and would also sometimes be in mourning (fasting and/or deep prayer) just like Queen Esther!

 

Let’s start by examining all that is revealed about Queen Esther according to the details given in the book of Esther and see if there truly are parallels elsewhere in the Bible that reveal to us a connection and spiritual picture. That spiritual picture being of something deeper of what had already been established, and prophetic of what was yet to come!

A.) Esther was specifically chosen by a royal decree of the king (Esther 2:14-17)

B.) Esther was brought to the king’s house to be prepared

C.) Esther went through a purification process (Esther 2:3)

D.) Esther was anointed with myrrh and sweet smelling fragrances (Esther 2:12)

E.) Esther had a royal crown placed on her head (Esther 2:17)

F.) Esther was clothed in royal apparel (Esther 5:1)

G.) Esther put on her royal apparel and was able to stand in the inner court of the king’s house, over against the king’s house and she gained permission to enter into his royal house, his throne room without being killed (Esther 5:1-2)

H.) Esther was able to draw closer to serve and “to know” the king more intimately than any others

I.) Esther was a servant to the people, especially her people Israel and her role allowed & required of her to protect them from certain death by her burdensome and sacrificial service because she loved them and because of her faith in, zeal and fear of God.

 

Can you think of a group of people that were chosen for a specific role that parallels the pattern we see with Esther?

If you haven’t thought of them already that group of people would be the Levitical Priesthood!

What statement did God make to all of Israel and the world when He had the sons of Levi clothed a particular way with specific garments? What all was revealed by these garments that they were instructed to be dressed in?

1.) Royalty (they directly served the King of kings with His granted authority over Israel)

2.) Set-Apart and specifically chosen from the rest of the people for a specific service (to be holy)

3.) For Glory & Beauty (Exodus 28:40)

4.) Authority (over the house of God/Tabernacle/Temple)

5.) Representatives/Servants (of the King)

6.) Greatest Responsibility & Accountability (to serve the people & to serve the King)

 

Doesn’t all this sound familiar to what we have learned in regards to Queen Esther? Let’s go even deeper and see additional parallels for further Scriptural witnesses to prove these similarities between the Levitical Priesthood (Levites & Aaron and his sons) and Queen Esther as it relates to their roles & function.

Here is the comparison of the following list of details “A” thru “I” to the prior list of details “A” thru “I” given for Queen Esther.

A.) the Levitical Priestood were chosen by a royal decree of the King (Numbers 3:6-12)

B.) they were brought to the King’s house (Tabernacle) to be prepared (Exodus 40:12-15 & Numbers 8:9-21)

C.) they went through a purification process (Numbers 8:6-8 & Leviticus 8:1-6)

D.) the Levitical Priesthood were anointed with the anointing oil that also contained myrrh and sweet smelling fragrances (sweet cinnamon). (Exodus 30:22-30)

E.) the High Priest had a crown placed on his head (Exodus 28:36-38)

F.) The Levites and especially Aaron and his sons were clothed in royal (holy) apparel (Exodus Ch. 28)

G.) the Levites were able to stand in the inner court of the King’s house (Tabernacle/Temple) and when the High Priest put on His royal (holy) apparel he was able to gain access into the throne room of the King without being killed.

H.) the Levitical Priesthood were able to draw closest to God, to serve Him and “to know” the King more intimately than any of the other Israelites.

I.) the Levitical Priesthood were servants to the people, their people Israel. Their role allowed & required of them to protect Israel from certain death by their burdensome and sacrificial service because of their faith, zeal and fear of God.

 

Just like Aaron the High Priest had the 2 stones placed on the shoulders of his priestly garment that had the names of the 12 tribes of Israel inscribed on them (Exodus 28:9-12), Esther carried the burden of the welfare of all the people of Israel that were in harm’s path on her shoulders. She carried the weight of their well-being and of their hope of escaping possible death.

 

I hope by now that everyone is able to see that there is a clear parallel and connection between Esther, the wife of the king and the Priesthood!

 

I believe we can also find another parallel in the New Testament with a man, like Queen Esther, was also of the tribe of Benjamin. He was known by the Hebrew name “Saul” (Acts 9:4-5) and he also was known by a different name among those of the nations which aligned with the culture he had lived among since he was a Roman citizen, that name is “Paul”. (Acts 13:9) The Apostle Paul was chosen by the King (Acts 9:15-16), he was prepared by the cleansing and the clothing of the Holy Spirit, by baptism (Acts 9:17-18), and the walk of faith that led to his self-sacrificing acts. (2 Timothy 4:6-7)

Paul also had a heart that was willing to sacrifice all because of the love he had for his people! (Romans 9:1-3) The Apostle Paul will also be given a crown by the King, a crown of righteousness. (2 Timothy 4:8)

 

With this understanding of the parallel of the roles of the Priesthood & the wife of the king (Esther & Paul, hint hint!), I believe it helps us to better understand a section of the New Testament that many misunderstand and misinterpret.

I am referring to the book of Hebrews, more specifically the verses found in Hebrews 7:11-12, when understood in the proper context it helps us to better understand much of the book of Hebrews as it relates to the change of the priesthood and the law of God.

We read in Hebrews 7:11-12, “11 Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another Priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron? 12 For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily (necessity for) a change in the law as well.”

We also read in Hebrews 7:28, “For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever.”

The law of God appointed the Levitical Priesthood to serve as the priesthood, to give them the right and authority to enter and to serve in God’s House, His Tabernacle in the wilderness and eventually in the Temple in Jerusalem.

Just like Esther, they were chosen, prepared, clothed, anointed and brought near to the King in the most intimate earthly way possible at that time. A prophetic picture of a King choosing and confirming a wife so she can enter into the most intimate of relationships with the Him that others are not able to experience according to the word and decree of the King.

As I read the following verses in Hebrews chapter 8, I will insert the words “marriage” and “marriage terms & conditions” into the verses in parenthesis where the word “covenant” is mentioned, to paint a picture that I hope will help you to see this section of Scripture in a different light and with a new perspective.

We read in Hebrews 8:7-13, “7For if that first covenant (MARRIAGE) had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. 8For finding fault with them (LEVITICAL PRIESTHOOD), he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant (MARRIAGE) with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:

9Not according to the covenant (MARRIAGE) that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant (MY MARRIAGE TERMS & REQUIREMENTS), and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.

10For this is the covenant (MARRIAGE) that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

11And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. 12For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

13In that he saith, A new covenant (MARRIAGE), he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away (the Temple was getting ready to be destroyed!).”

(*Note: the Greek word for “covenant” is not found in the older Greek manuscripts for verses 7 & 13, in Hebrews Chapter 8)

 

The author of the book of Hebrews consistently uses the Greek present tense when speaking of the Temple and the priestly activities connected with it to show that the book of Hebrews was written prior to the destruction of the Temple in 70AD, which also ended the service of the Levitical Priesthood and their ability to “draw near” to God!

We read in Esther 1:19, “If it please the king, let a royal order go out from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes so that it may not be repealed, that Vashti is never again to come before King Ahasuerus (ah-haz-uh-rus). And let the king give her royal position to another who is better than she.”

 

As we see in the book of Esther, the king found fault with his defiantly disobedient wife Vashti and he changed the law to send Vashti away! Vashti defiantly ignored and rejected a command made by the king. As we also see in the book of Hebrews, God found fault with the Levitical Priesthood and since His legal decree granted them the right and authority to draw near to Him in His House it was necessary for God to make a change in the part of His law that appointed them in the first place, which was connected to the prior marriage covenant.

We read in John 14:6, “6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

The only means of “drawing near” to God is by and through Yeshua (Jesus). The earthly priesthood (sons of Levi) are currently not able to “draw near” for the Temple in Jerusalem has been destroyed and the law that appointed them to draw near to the King was changed to appoint another priesthood (wife), by and through the new covenant. The new covenant grants the legal right to draw near to God and bring Him spiritual sacrifices and offerings (Romans 12:1) and to glorify Him! (Matthew 5:3-16)

In the “new” covenant I want to suggest that the marriage terms & conditions are “renewed” because God does not change, nor does He change His expectation and requirement for His bride. Just like when He made the prior marriage covenant His bride will have to agree to His marriage terms and also commit to and proclaim the same marriage vow being: “all that the Lord has spoken we will do and hear”! (Exodus 24:7)

 

Just as the king found fault in his wife Vashti and removed her legal rights to be able to come before him by changing the law that applied to her legal status as the queen which granted her the right to draw near to him and remain in his house. We see that our Heavenly King also found fault with the Levitical Priesthood (Hebrews 8:8) and removed their legal rights and royal position.

In order to do so, He had to change the law that granted the Levitical Priesthood their legal rights and authority in order to establish a better Priesthood through the High Priest whose service is in the greater and more perfect Tent not made with hands (Hebrews 7:11), the Heavenly Tabernacle.

It is through our High Priest (Yeshua) that the Royal Priesthood is established (1 Peter 2:9-10), to serve Him and to offer up acceptable sacrifices & offerings to God thereby allowing them to draw near to their King, closer than any others!

Our God did not change His holy, righteous and good law (Romans 7:12), He only changed the part of His law that granted the rights and authority of the Levitical Priesthood to serve and draw near to Him!

Another way to understand what God did is to understand that His law determines how His bride and Priesthood are to function because they represent Him and we know that God does not change! In other words, the requirements of the bride/priests doesn’t change because our God is holy, perfect and just, He does not have double standards for those most intimate roles.

He will not put away an unfaithful disobedient wife or priests in order to take another and then allow the new wife or priests to behave like the former and not also put her & and the priests away as well! (Romans 11:19-22 & John 15:1-6)

I believe we are shown a prophetic & spiritual picture of a change in the marriage covenant after the sin of the golden calf. The 1st set of tablets were broken by Moses due to the defiant disobedience (sin) of the people at the base of Mt.Sinai (the 1st marriage covenant) and the failure of the first born males that were originally chosen to be the original Priesthood to faithfully function in their role.

Moses pleaded with God for His forgiveness for the people and Moses was even willing to sacrifice his eternal life to save the people (Exodus 32:32), does that sound familiar?!

The (2nd) marriage covenant was established again because there was a change made from the 1st! This time Moses was required to cut the stone tablets himself and bring them to God for God to rewrite the same marriage requirements (Exodus 34:1).

The 1st time God Himself provided the tablets of stone. (Exodus 31:18) Even though there was a change made from the 1st to the 2nd the terms & requirements of the marriage covenant remained the same, they were renewed again and another Priesthood (Levitical) was put in place due to the unfaithfulness & disobedience of the 1st Priesthood, the first born males! (Numbers 3:12)

Our King judges according to His holy, righteous and good law which He says is spiritual! (Romans 7:14) He has a standard set in place from the beginning so that His bride/Priesthood correctly represents Him and reflects His character & authority to the world.

Since God does not change neither does His law of conduct & instruction which reveals light from darkness (Proverbs 6:23), righteousness from unrighteousness (lawlessness), holy from the profane (Ezekiel 22:26), life and good, death and evil (Deuteronomy 30:15-20), blessings and curses (Deuteronomy Ch.28), and truth from falsehood! (Psalm 119:142)

What can and has changed is the right to be able to come before our King and serve in His house as His priests & as His bride! The Royal Priesthood and The Royal Bride of the King of kings!

We also find that the cloth material that the Levitical Priesthood were dressed mostly in was linen, the Hebrew word that is translated as linen is the word “shaysh” which literally means fine linen or “something bleached white”! (Exodus Ch.28:5, 8, 15 & 39)

We read in Revelation 19:7-8, “7Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 8And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.”

His Royal Priests are His Royal Bride!

Another interesting fact about the book of Esther is that the name of God is not mentioned anywhere, and it could appear to someone that “does not have eyes to see” that God is not present and moving in this book! This can also be said and appear to be the same of the times we live in today, that God is not present and moving! Just as we see in the book of Esther, God is present and moving, He is revealed to all in and through His Priestly Bride!

 

May we be His Royal Bride, clothed in our royal apparel, the whole armor of God, standing alert guarding the Temple gates of our eyes & ears, and offering up the incense of our prayers to God.

May we continue giving His morning & evening offerings of our praise with the bulls of our lips, as we keep His altar of our lips/mouths from becoming profaned by anything that is unholy or unclean. May our praise offerings be an aroma pleasing to Him.

May the Spirit of our God and our High Priest reign, minister and dwell in the holy of holies of our hearts. May we have a deep love of His truth, His law, so that we are able to love Him in return and to enter into the fulfilment of our promised salvation.

May our worship, the sacrifice of ourselves, our flesh be acceptable and well pleasing in His sight. May we continue to die to self so that we are led more by His Spirit and less by our flesh.

May the Menorah, the Light of the World, Yeshua/Jesus shine through us all to those around so that they see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven. May they in turn be saved from the coming wrath, the curse that brings destruction and death which is decreed according to His law, which is due according to their disbelief (defiant disobedience).

May our King and the world witness our humble, peaceful, joyful and thankful service, as well as our sacrificial love for our King, for our people, and even for our enemies. May His will and not our will be done so that He receives all the praise, glory and honor, forever and ever, Amen!

Until next time, the Lord bless you and guard you

 

 

 

Scripture references:

14In the evening she would go in and in the morning she would return to the second harem, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the concubines. She would not again go in to the king unless the king delighted in her and she was summoned by name15Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai who had taken her as his daughter, came to go in to the king, she did not request anything except what Hegai, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the women, advised. And Esther found favor in the eyes of all who saw her. 16So Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus to his royal palace in the tenth month which is the month Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign. 17The king loved Esther more than all the women, and she found favor and kindness with him more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.” (Esther 2:14-17)

 

3And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather together all the fair young virgins unto Shushan the palace, to the house of the women, unto the custody of Hege the king’s chamberlain, keeper of the women; and let their things for purification be given them” (Esther 2:3)

 

12Now when every maid’s turn was come to go in to king Ahasuerus, after that she had been twelve months, according to the manner of the women, (for so were the days of their purifications accomplished, to wit, six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odours, and with other things for the purifying of the women;)” (Esther 2:12)

 

17And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti.” (Esther 2:17)

 

1Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king’s house, over against the king’s house: and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the gate of the house. 2And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the scepter.” (Esther 5:1-2)

 

“”For Aaron’s sons you shall make tunics; you shall also make sashes for them, and you shall make caps for them, for glory and for beauty.” (Exodus 28:40)

 

6Bring the tribe of Levi near, and set them before Aaron the priest, that they may minister to him. 7They shall keep guard over him and over the whole congregation before the tent of meeting, as they minister at the tabernacle. 8They shall guard all the furnishings of the tent of meeting, and keep guard over the people of Israel as they minister at the tabernacle. 9And you shall give the Levites to Aaron and his sons; they are wholly given to him from among the people of Israel. 10And you shall appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall guard their priesthood. But if any outsider comes near, he shall be put to death.” 11And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 12Behold, I have taken the Levites from among the people of Israel instead of every firstborn who opens the womb among the people of Israel. The Levites shall be mine, 13for all the firstborn are mine. On the day that I struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, I consecrated for my own all the firstborn in Israel, both of man and of beast. They shall be mine: I am the Lord.”’ (Numbers 3:6-12)

 

12Then you shall bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the tent of meeting and shall wash them with water 13and put on Aaron the holy garments. And you shall anoint him and consecrate him, that he may serve me as priest. 14You shall bring his sons also and put coats on them, 15and anoint them, as you anointed their father, that they may serve me as priests. And their anointing shall admit them to a perpetual priesthood throughout their generations.”’ (Exodus 40:12-15)

 

9And you shall bring the Levites before the tent of meeting and assemble the whole congregation of the people of Israel. 10When you bring the Levites before the Lord, the people of Israel shall lay their hands on the Levites, 11and Aaron shall offer the Levites before the Lord as a wave offering from the people of Israel, that they may do the service of the Lord. 12Then the Levites shall lay their hands on the heads of the bulls, and you shall offer the one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering to the Lord to make atonement for the Levites. 13And you shall set the Levites before Aaron and his sons, and shall offer them as a wave offering to the Lord. 14“Thus you shall separate the Levites from among the people of Israel, and the Levites shall be mine. 15And after that the Levites shall go in to serve at the tent of meeting, when you have cleansed them and offered them as a wave offering. 16For they are wholly given to me from among the people of Israel. Instead of all who open the womb, the firstborn of all the people of Israel, I have taken them for myself. 17For all the firstborn among the people of Israel are mine, both of man and of beast. On the day that I struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I consecrated them for myself, 18and I have taken the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the people of Israel. 19And I have given the Levites as a gift to Aaron and his sons from among the people of Israel, to do the service for the people of Israel at the tent of meeting and to make atonement for the people of Israel, that there may be no plague among the people of Israel when the people of Israel come near the sanctuary.” 20Thus did Moses and Aaron and all the congregation of the people of Israel to the Levites. According to all that the Lord commanded Moses concerning the Levites, the people of Israel did to them. 21And the Levites purified themselves from sin and washed their clothes, and Aaron offered them as a wave offering before the Lord, and Aaron made atonement for them to cleanse them. (Numbers 8:9-21)

 

6“Take the Levites from among the people of Israel and cleanse them. 7Thus you shall do to them to cleanse them: sprinkle the water of purification upon them, and let them go with a razor over all their body, and wash their clothes and cleanse themselves.” (Numbers 8:6-7)

 

1The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2Take Aaron and his sons with him, and the garments and the anointing oil and the bull of the sin offering and the two rams and the basket of unleavened bread. 3And assemble all the congregation at the entrance of the tent of meeting.” 4And Moses did as the Lord commanded him, and the congregation was assembled at the entrance of the tent of meeting. 5And Moses said to the congregation, “This is the thing that the Lord has commanded to be done.” 6And Moses brought Aaron and his sons and washed them with water.” (Leviticus 8:1-6)

 

22The Lord said to Moses, 23Take the finest spices: of liquid myrrh 500 shekels, and of sweet-smelling cinnamon half as much, that is, 250, and 250 of aromatic cane, 24and 500 of cassia, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, and a hin of olive oil. 25And you shall make of these a sacred anointing oil blended as by the perfumer; it shall be a holy anointing oil. 26With it you shall anoint the tent of meeting and the ark of the testimony, 27and the table and all its utensils, and the lampstand and its utensils, and the altar of incense, 28and the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils and the basin and its stand. 29You shall consecrate them, that they may be most holy. Whatever touches them will become holy. 30You shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may serve me as priests.” (Exodus 30:22-30)

 

36“You shall make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it, like the engraving of a signet, ‘Holy to the Lord.’ 37And you shall fasten it on the turban by a cord of blue. It shall be on the front of the turban. 38It shall be on Aaron’s forehead, and Aaron shall bear any guilt from the holy things that the people of Israel consecrate as their holy gifts. It shall regularly be on his forehead, that they may be accepted before the Lord.” (Exodus 28:36-38)

 

1“Then bring near to you Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the people of Israel, to serve me as priests—Aaron and Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. 2And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty. 3You shall speak to all the skillful, whom I have filled with a spirit of skill, that they make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him for my priesthood. 4These are the garments that they shall make: a breastpiece, an ephod, a robe, a coat of checker work, a turban, and a sash. They shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother and his sons to serve me as priests. 5They shall receive gold, blue and purple and scarlet yarns, and fine twined linen. 6And they shall make the ephod of gold, of blue and purple and scarlet yarns, and of fine twined linen, skillfully worked. 7It shall have two shoulder pieces attached to its two edges, so that it may be joined together. 8And the skillfully woven band on it shall be made like it and be of one piece with it, of gold, blue and purple and scarlet yarns, and fine twined linen. 9You shall take two onyx stones, and engrave on them the names of the sons of Israel, 10six of their names on the one stone, and the names of the remaining six on the other stone, in the order of their birth. 11As a jeweler engraves signets, so shall you engrave the two stones with the names of the sons of Israel. You shall enclose them in settings of gold filigree. 12And you shall set the two stones on the shoulder pieces of the ephod, as stones of remembrance for the sons of Israel. And Aaron shall bear their names before the Lord on his two shoulders for remembrance. 13You shall make settings of gold filigree, 14and two chains of pure gold, twisted like cords; and you shall attach the corded chains to the settings. 15“You shall make a breastpiece of judgment, in skilled work. In the style of the ephod you shall make it—of gold, blue and purple and scarlet yarns, and fine twined linen shall you make it. 16It shall be square and doubled, a span its length and a span its breadth. 17You shall set in it four rows of stones. A row of sardius, topaz, and carbuncle shall be the first row; 18and the second row an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond; 19and the third row a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; 20and the fourth row a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper. They shall be set in gold filigree. 21There shall be twelve stones with their names according to the names of the sons of Israel. They shall be like signets, each engraved with its name, for the twelve tribes. 22You shall make for the breastpiece twisted chains like cords, of pure gold. 23And you shall make for the breastpiece two rings of gold, and put the two rings on the two edges of the breastpiece. 24And you shall put the two cords of gold in the two rings at the edges of the breastpiece. 25The two ends of the two cords you shall attach to the two settings of filigree, and so attach it in front to the shoulder pieces of the ephod. 26You shall make two rings of gold, and put them at the two ends of the breastpiece, on its inside edge next to the ephod. 27And you shall make two rings of gold, and attach them in front to the lower part of the two shoulder pieces of the ephod, at its seam above the skillfully woven band of the ephod. 28And they shall bind the breastpiece by its rings to the rings of the ephod with a lace of blue, so that it may lie on the skillfully woven band of the ephod, so that the breastpiece shall not come loose from the ephod. 29So Aaron shall bear the names of the sons of Israel in the breastpiece of judgment on his heart, when he goes into the Holy Place, to bring them to regular remembrance before the Lord. 30And in the breastpiece of judgment you shall put the Urim and the Thummim, and they shall be on Aaron’s heart, when he goes in before the Lord. Thus Aaron shall bear the judgment of the people of Israel on his heart before the Lord regularly. 31“You shall make the robe of the ephod all of blue. 32It shall have an opening for the head in the middle of it, with a woven binding around the opening, like the opening in a garment, so that it may not tear. 33On its hem you shall make pomegranates of blue and purple and scarlet yarns, around its hem, with bells of gold between them, 34a golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, around the hem of the robe. 35And it shall be on Aaron when he ministers, and its sound shall be heard when he goes into the Holy Place before the Lord, and when he comes out, so that he does not die. 36“You shall make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it, like the engraving of a signet, ‘Holy to the Lord.’ 37And you shall fasten it on the turban by a cord of blue. It shall be on the front of the turban. 38It shall be on Aaron’s forehead, and Aaron shall bear any guilt from the holy things that the people of Israel consecrate as their holy gifts. It shall regularly be on his forehead, that they may be accepted before the Lord. 39“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 sash embroidered with needlework. 40“For Aaron’s sons you shall make coats and sashes and caps. You shall make them for glory and beauty. 41And you shall put them on Aaron your brother, and on his sons with him, and shall anoint them and ordain them and consecrate them, that they may serve me as priests. 42You shall make for them linen undergarments to cover their naked flesh. They shall reach from the hips to the thighs; 43and they shall be on Aaron and on 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 bear guilt and die. This shall be a statute forever for him and for his offspring after him.” (Exodus Chapter 28)

 

“4And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” 5And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” (Acts 9:4-5)

 

“9But Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him” (Acts 13:9)

 

“15But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. 16For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”’ (Acts 9:15-16)

 

“17So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized” (Acts 9:17-18)

 

“6For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:6-7)

 

“1I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— 2that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.” (Romans 9:1-3)

 

“8Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:8)

 

“1I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” (Romans 12:1)

 

“1Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: 3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 5“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. 6“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. 7“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. 8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 9“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 10“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. 13“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. 14“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:3-16)

 

“And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient (hear!).” (Exodus 24:7)

 

“9But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (1 Peter 2:9-10)

 

“12So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.” (Romans 7:12)

 

“19Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. 21For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. 22Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off.” (Romans 11:19-22)

 

“1“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not abide (remain) in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.” (John 15:1-6)

 

“30The next day Moses said to the people, “You have sinned a great sin. And now I will go up to the Lord; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.” 31So Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Alas, this people has sinned a great sin. They have made for themselves gods of gold. 32But now, if you will forgive their sin—but if not, please blot me out of your book that you have written.”’ (Exodus 32:30-32)

 

“1The Lord said to Moses, “Cut for yourself two tablets of stone like the first, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. (Exodus 34:1)

 

“18And he gave to Moses, when he had finished speaking with him on Mount Sinai, the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God.” (Exodus 31:18)

 

“12“Behold, I have taken the Levites from among the people of Israel instead of every firstborn who opens the womb among the people of Israel.” (Numbers 3:12)

 

“14For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin.” (Romans 7:14)

 

“23For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life” (Proverbs 6:23)

 

“26 Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.” (Ezekiel 22:26)

 

“15“See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. 16If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. 17But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, 18I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. 19I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, 20loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”’ (Deuteronomy 30:15-20)

 

See your Bible to read all of Deuteronomy Chapter 28

 

“142Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.” (Psalm 119:142)

 

 

 

 

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