The Robe Of Jesus The High Priest (rev. 1:13)

The Robe of Jesus the High Priest (by Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg and Peter Shirokov)

13 I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash.

The description of the Son of Man’s clothing is consistent with his priestly duties (though different from the Aaronic priesthood). A robe reaching to the feet and a sash were both prescribed for priests in the Mosaic tabernacle (Ex.28). In addition we read in Lev. 16:3-4:

Aaron shall enter the holy place with this: with a bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. He shall put on the holy linen tunic, and the linen undergarments shall be next to his body, and he shall be girded with the linen sash and attired with the linen turban (these are holy garments).”

In Revelation1:13 we read about a robe reaching to the feet and a sash, but we do not read about a white turban. We do, however, read in vs.14 that his head (and then separately his hair) is described in terms of white wool. There is some similarity to the high priest’s attire for the Day of Atonement during which, unlike his daily clothing, the High Priest’s clothing was all white. In a much later rabbinic discussion on the function of priestly vestments we read in the Babylonian Talmud, Zevachim 88b:

“R. ‘Inyani b. Sason also said: Why are the sections on sacrifices and the priestly vestments close together? To teach you: as sacrifices make atonement, so do the priestly vestments make atonement. The coat atones for bloodshed… The breeches atoned for lewdness… The mitre made atonement for arrogance. The girdle atoned for [impure] meditations of the heart… The breastplate atoned for [neglect of] civil laws… The ephod atoned for idolatry… The robe atoned for slander… the head plate atoned for brazenness…”

This reference cannot be taken as background information since it was written much later, yet it shows general interpretive trajectories (as with almost everything in the Talmud) that may be traceable to the time of Jesus and before. So at least one thing is clear; Jesus’ heavenly garments are intentional, they are in fact highly symbolic – they show that Jesus is the heavenly priest, fully prepared and qualified to carry out his duties.

There is no reason to expect an exact correlation between the priestly vestments in the Mosaic Tabernacle and those of Jesus. Jesus’ priesthood is decisively of a different order (the order of Melchizedek and not the order of Aaron). Relative correlation can, however, be established and it shows the general idea of Jesus as the heavenly priest.

About the author

Dr. Eli Lizorkin-EyzenbergTo secure your spot in our new course “The Jewish Background of New Testament” - CLICK HERE NOW

You might also be interested in:

Pardes: Abram And Sarai In Egypt...

By Julia Blum

Abraham In Egypt (lech Lecha...

By Julia Blum

Join the conversation (62 comments)

Leave a Reply

  1. Anthony Jackson

    I am thankful the information and understanding. I never thought there wasn’t anybody God compared JESUS to.

  2. Magauta Kumbi

    Wow! What a revelation, this is what i have been looking for. Thank you Dr Eli

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Welcome to Jewish Studies for Christians, Magauta! Dr. Eli

  3. Valeria Imaculada

    ALELUJAH!!! JESUS É NOSSO SUMO SACERDOTE. E DA ORDEM DE MELQUISEDEQUE EIM?!!!!! UHUUUU
    GLORIA A DEUS. GRATIDÃO ETERNA E INOMINÁVEL. POR CRISTO

    1. Eric de Jesús Rodríguez Mendoza

      BS”D

      Shalom Valeria!

      Gosto de ver o teu comentário… Yehoshúa’ é nosso Sumo Sacerdote! É uma grande noticia! 🙂 Tems um mediador perfecto.
      Um abraço!

  4. David Gonzalez

    Excellent article, good research

  5. Kat

    Your article has helped me understand and transition from what I learned in Judaism (sacrifice + gift) to the command Love, God, self, and others. I have never understood this before. This pulls the two (Judaism + Christianity) together for me rather than replaces one for the other. Thank you

  6. Diana

    Thanks Rav, I appreciate all your teaching that is taking me out of replacement theology. at least I am able to thin k for my self and exejit text with the true meaning behind what was written. I definitely need your guidance, there is a lot to learn! I was shocked the way Mat.18:18 is interpreted, I felt embarrassed! can I please ask the Jewish meaning of Luke 9:10-11 (the serpents and scorpions)

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Dear Diana, would you please take questions like this one to the eTeacher student forum? I am going to be a good moderator and ask people to stay on topic of Revelation and the article at hand in particular. All questions and comments are welcome, but lets discuss things in appropriate context. Thank you for your understanding.

  7. Anthony Bradshaw

    I have learned a lot by the questions you answered,thanks Dr Eli.

  8. Jerry Akinwe

    I think there are some clues in tne book of Hebrew to suggest Apostle Paul to be at least a part author of the book. The mention of Timothy at the tail end of the last chapter is one of the clues. Timothy was a key figure in the mission of Paul going by his epistles.

  9. Diana

    Shalom! who wrote the book of Hebrews?The author of this book does not tell us his name. There is nothing in the book to say who wrote it. For centuries the church thought that the author was the *apostle Paul. But Paul always begins his letters with his name. The way that the author uses *Greek words is unlike the way Paul uses them. There have been many suggestions, but nobody knows who wrote this book, It is full of allegories, I sometimes feel uneasy using it as scriptural references, I need more assurance from you, i.e. the Jewish background of this epistle

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Diana, you are right about the book of Hebrews. Its not Paul. It is full of poetic/pictorial language because it is not a personal letter as other epistles. In my opinion it is a sermon, or to be more precise maybe even a series of sermons arranged into a book. This would explain the structure. Having said this, please be careful not to mistake “sermon illustrations” for main material. One should always read for the big picture main point and alight all other material as supplementary and supportive of the primary. People say a lot of things in sermons and taken out of context they can be misunderstood.

  10. Kat

    Are Gen 3:22 or Romans 7:24 pictures of the Hebrew word covered (keep water from getting in)? It has never made sense to me how Jesus could die for the sins of the world and how everybody isn’t saved. What also didn’t make sense to me is why I understood the idea of sinful nature and thirsting (keep God’s Commands) for water prior to hearing the gospel. People have told me only a believer can experience Rom 7:24, yet I knew it before I heard the gospel. This is why I have kept saying “nobody told me about the Holy Spirit” (nobody told me water can get in). What does covered mean?

  11. Diana

    The Midrash says the book of Beraishis; popular series from Bnay Yakov publications by Rabbi Moshe Weissman, 1980 Brooklyn New York;

  12. Dr Alfred Branson

    Dr.Eli, you have made me feel very great and fulfilled when I grance through your study.It is educative,revealing and real.I am fully encourage.please take me alone Am ready to accompany you, have never heard this way.Thanks. I love you.

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Dear Dr. Branson, thank you so much for writing and thank you for your encouragement. As we move on through the book of relevelation and other themes we address do stay attentive, participate, learn with us and teach us that which you are thought from above. Yours, Dr. Eli

  13. Jerry Akinwe

    Quite some vital information. It brings some expalanation also regarding the armour of God as mentioned in Ephesians 6. Being the High Priest in heaven explains many questions about our roles on earth. Thank you Dr. Eli

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      I am glad you enjoy this study!

  14. Conrad Cumberbatch

    Thanks Dr Eli and fellow lecturers. This information is enlightening and resourceful

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Welcome to the blog!

  15. BJ

    Glad someone else saw this.
    Thanks for bringing it out.
    And there is so much more isn’t there?

  16. Margaret Kiaro

    Dr Eli; I always read your teachings and sometimes quote them; as I preach. You are an amazing teacher of the Word and have built me greatly. God bless

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Thanks Margaret, glad you can benefit and can pass it on!

  17. Bev Palmer

    Shalom Dr Eli from South Africa
    Your lesson is interesting from both Christian and Jewish aspects. I noted ‘as sacrifices make atonement, so do the priestly vestments make atonement.’. Jesus’ death, crucifixion, is thought of as a sacrifice and an atonement in Christianity. From what I know a ‘crucifixion’ was the Roman form of ‘execution’ and not a sacrifice (burnt offering) and the robes he wore at the time of this ‘sacrifice’ were not those described for atonement. This makes it questionable for me whether a ‘correlation can be established’ of Jesus fitting ‘the general idea of Jesus as the heavenly priest.’. From my argument there is a contradiction between the Old and New Testaments.

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Dear Bev, the contradiction only exists when one reads these texts as if they were scientifically exact. Revelation is full of poetic, pictorial and idiomatic language. It is not supposed to be exact, just as it is never exact in poetry. The seas road and mountains leap for joy…. garments atone 🙂 Do not compare Revelation with Leviticus. It is apples and oranges.

      1. Bev Palmer

        Dear Dr Eli, thank you for sorting out the dichotomous idea beneath the literal and abstract meaning of the text of Leviticus and Revelations.
        The premise of Jesus’ existence as ‘scientifically exact’ and Jesus as a poetic ‘heavenly priest’ – a deity – for religious and teaching purposes are not the same, but both levels are believed as true. The ‘oranges and apples’ are of two different Religions with some commonalities of ‘religious’ thought that can be correlated.

        1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

          In Hebrew poetry/prophecy/visionary accounts dichotomy is to be expected. When one sees it – the words come alive.

          1. Bev Palmer

            Dear Dr Eli,
            Thank you for understanding exactly what you clarified for me. The cart containing the apples and oranges had fallen over, spilling to the ground the apples and oranges. The cart is now upright with the apples and oranges side by side. The journey on the cart can continue steadily and I hope smoothly for the rest of our days.
            God Bless you.

          2. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

            Yes, yes… I encountered a bump and a similar thing happened to my cart 🙂

  18. vaine hosking

    Thank you

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Welcome to the blog!

  19. Dr. Stefano Giliberti

    I would like to focus on the symbolism of Jesus’robe in his role of High Priest (see Hebrews letter). The white color refers to the purification of his people from sin, thus accomplishing both the virtual purification from sin, through forgiveness of sins (Heb.2: 17), and the actualisation of such a purification (Heb. 2: 18), through letting us get rid of sin once for all (Heb.12:1). The virtual purification from sin was accomplished by sharing our human nature (Heb.2:14; Ph.2:5-8) and thus by dying in our stead (Heb.2:9,14). The actualisation of such a purification is accomplished by Jesus acting just as High Priest helping those who are tempted to sin, win the victory over sin once for all

  20. Karen Bals

    Please explain:”…the mItre.”

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Dear Karen, Mitre is a headdress. Or do you seek an explanation that relates to its function in Talmudic quote, that it atones for arrogance? Please clarify your question.

    2. Eric de Jesús Rodríguez Mendoza

      BS”D

      Shalom Karen!

      The Mitznéphet as “mitre” or “headdress” stands for the white hair of the Elder of days in the book of Daniel. According to the Torat hachasidut, it means the knowledge of the Torah, his interpretation and his application… the entire and deep knowledge of the wisdom of God. Indeed one of the attributes of the Elder of days, is עמר נקא ‘Amer Naqa’ “The cleaned Hairs” 🙂

      1. Fritz Brown

        Shalom Eric,

        I was reading the above post and I would be very interested in learning more. This has very powerful meaning and this relates to my personal studies in Torah and I would be very eager to learn more. What is the Torat Hachasidut? Does it come in English? The info about the white hair of the Elder of days meaning “knowledge of the Torah, his interpretation and his application” is of very special interest to me. If you would please provide more info on this I would be very much appreciative.
        Thank you.
        Shalom.
        Fritz

        1. Eric de Jesús Rodríguez Mendoza

          BS”D

          Shalom Fritz!

          I don’t want to send you something you can’t read, so that, could you say me if you can almost read Hebrew as well?, because this information is available only in Hebrew. Thanks!

        2. Fritz Brown

          Thank you Eric for the reply. I did some research prior to me asking you and I saw that it was only available from the source in Hebrew. I just thought you might have some info in English. Thank you for for the info in your reply and also the info in original post. I’ll keep working on my Hebrew in the meantime. 🙂
          Shalom!

  21. José Hélder Saraiva Bacurau

    Shalom Dr ELI, que o ETERNO continue a te abençoar,tenho sido muito edificado com as suas mensagens.

    1. Eric de Jesús Rodríguez Mendoza

      BS”D

      shalom José!

      ‘Ameen! tambem a você e tuda a tua casa!

    2. José Hélder Saraiva Bacurau

      Shalom Eric !
      D-US tem uma grande obra a realizar através de tua vida,muitas almas serão alcançadas pelo SENHOR ,nunca se desanime,lançai a rede a direita do barco e encontrareis peixes.Então disse Pedro sobre a tua palavra lançarei a rede,e aconteceu que apanharam uma grande quantidade de peixes,a ponto de quase irem a pique,e chamaram outro barco para puxarem a rede,devido a grande quantidade de peixes que apanharam,e se maravilharam da pescaria…
      Continue a lançar as redes,e se prepare para o milagre.
      Que o ETERNO continue te abençoar Eric de Jesús, de YESHUA.
      Paz sobre Israel!

      1. Eric de Jesús Rodríguez Mendoza

        BS”D

        Shalom o meu irmao!

        Só disso ‘Amen!! seja o Senhor com nois! que o Deus de ‘Avraham, YItzjaq e Ya’aqov, te abençoe e te guarde em Yehoshúa’ nosso Senhor!

  22. Diana

    Midrash says Melekh tsaddik of Salem was Shem, does this mean that Abraham coming from the line of Shem is where Elohim chose the coming priesthood?

    1. Prof. Peter Shirokov

      Diana, I am not sure which midrash you are referring to. Abraham is from Shem based on his genealogy. But that that has no relation to the priesthood. Originally all firstborn of Israel were supposed to be priests but because of the golden calf sin God chose Levites to represent Israel.

    2. Eric de Jesús Rodríguez Mendoza

      BS”D

      Shalom Diana. According to Apostle Paul, Malkitzedeq, was an angel of God, priest of the heavens, so that is writen (Gn 14:18) : כוהן לאל עליון Kohén le’el ‘elyon … if we read carely, we can understand why Paul said he was an angel; we must read:
      “Priest for God, from above”, and not:
      the priest of God Most High (as NKJV);
      in this case, the word ‘elyon doesn’t stay for an adjective to God, but for an adverb to Malkitzedeq. In the Jewish literature, like the zohar, is accepted that Micha’el was the High Priest in heavens… the NT, clarifies and correct this idea, because there were only priests.. the High Priest, the Kohen Gadol, is our master Yehoshúa’ Hamashíach

      1. Fritz Brown

        Shalom Eric,

        Melchizedek’s genealogy was not recorded in Genesis’ Hebrew/Aramaic text that we currently have. The Holy Spirit (the Author of Hebrews) says in Hebrews 7:4 referring to Melchizedek, says, “consider how great this “man” was.” He did not say “consider how great this angel was”. Abraham gave the tenth to Shem (Melchizedek) who was still alive, and as a matter of fact, Shem died 35 years after the death of Abraham. When Abraham met Melchizedek/Shem, Abraham was about 75 years old and Shem was about 465.

        Melchizedek was the first born of Abraham. Yeshua was the first born of believers. Yeshua follows Melchizedek’s priesthood of the firstborn.

        Blessings,

        Fritz

        1. Fritz Brown

          Melchizedek/Shem was the first born of Noah. Sorry about that typo.

          1. Eric de Jesús Rodríguez Mendoza

            BS”D

            If He was Shem, we all know the Genealogy of Shem.. you’d be entering in a contradiction 😉 🙂

        2. Eric de Jesús Rodríguez Mendoza

          BS”D

          Shalom Fritz!

          Really I got excited when I began to read your comment, because you use correctly Bible.. but your conclusion is against let be Paul’s or Hebrews letter writer’s, because the point, is that Malkitzedeq was free of sin and free of imperfection (characteristic of all human beings).
          Let me remind you that ‘Ish, in hebrew is not only “man” but -according to Maimonides and old hermeneutics-, one of the ten grades of Angels/spiritual beings. Remember Ya’aqov’s fight against ‘ish, and beyond, in Prophet Hoshea’ (Os. 12:4), specificaly, was writen Ya’aqov fought against an Angel.
          So, Malkitzedeq is a priest of God, from above…

          1. Fritz Brown

            There is no contradiction. Most mistakenly think Melchizedek was a separate individual “being” of unknown origin. Melchizedek isn’t the name of a person or being. Melchizedek is a “title” and which means “king of righteousness.” Besides, Yeshua wasn’t made a Priest after the order of an angel. Hebrews 7 is speaking about human priest who die & one coming who would live forever. Yeshua would be like the priest (& king) whose death isn’t recorded. Yeshua has an eternal priesthood & not like the Levite’s who died. G-d told King David prophetically that he (David) would be a priest & king like Melchizedek. David was a priest/king & offered sacrifices. Yeshua fulfilled this role too. 🙂

          2. Eric de Jesús Rodríguez Mendoza

            BS”D

            Shalom Fritz!

            Let me ask you something. How do read Heb. 7:3 and Heb.7:8 ? according to this.. Malkitzedeq is still alive!! never died… Shem was a man and died! 🙂

          3. Fritz Brown

            Shalom Eric,
            I read it within its context including Heb 6:18-20 – (vs 18) Yeshua is our Hope. (19) Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and “who entered into that within the veil;”
            (20) Whither the forerunner is for us entered, “even Jesus”, made an high priest forever after the order of Melchisedec. Heb. 7:1-7 is a parentheses about Melch. The author returns in vs 8 to “Who” is within the veil… 7:8 “And here men that die receive tithes; but there (within the veil) He (Yeshua) receives our tithes, of whom it is witnessed that He (Yeshua) liveth.”
            What a great anchor? Yeshua lives beyond the veil! He is our eternal High Priest!!!

            Your thoughts please

          4. Eric de Jesús Rodríguez Mendoza

            BS”D

            Shabat Shalom Fritz!

            Of course! I never have said Yehoshúa’ isnt’ our Most-high Priest… that’s correct… but Malkitzedeq was a priest from above (among other priest from above)… and was a priest through (or making) a Divrah (oath)… as is writen on Psalm. 111:
            אתה כוהן לעולם על דברת מלכיצדק
            you are a Priest for a hiden time, over the oath of Malkitzedeq… hiden time (play words between Ne’elam “hiden” and ‘olam, “world, universe”, le’olam, “forever”) for in the New Jerusalem won’t be Temple 🙂 in the meantime, Yehoshua’ acts as the Most high Priest.

            Blessings!

          5. Fritz Brown

            Shalom Eric. Melch. was a “great man” & human king according to the Holy Spirit in Heb. No where does Paul, Moses or David say he was an angelic creature. Gen. intentionally didn’t record who his parents were to reveal Melch. as a “type” of Christ. King Melc was “made like the Son” as with many other typology in the Scriptures. Yeshua wasn’t made like an angel. Melch’s birth & death were intentionally left out of Scripture to show Yeshua’s type of priesthood would be eternal &not like the Levites who r subject to death. The order of Melch.’s priesthood was a type (order) of an eternal priesthood.
            (continued below)

          6. Eric de Jesús Rodríguez Mendoza

            BS”D

            Shalom Fritz!

            I think you have not read as well Hebrews. There is writen “without beginning of days… and without end of days…” (Heb. 7:3). Is not correct the translation: “Made like the Son” because in Greek is αφωμοιωμενος δε τω υιω του θεου “and recembling to the Son of God” this is not a simple typology.. this is literal and wants to say that is not from this creation… Of course Yehoshua’ is not an angel, but He, as the Most High Priest, is the Messenger anounced by the Prophet Mal’achi: (Mal. 2:7) “For the lips of the Priest keep wisdom, and from his mouth people will search the Torah, for is Messenger of YHWH Tzva’ot… Behold! I’m sending my Messenger before me that will prepare the way before me… is Yehoshúa’ as high Priest, as Mal’ach when he came to earth, and now on heavens till the second coming and return of our Master.

          7. Fritz Brown

            The whole point of Heb 7 is to show that the priesthood of Yeshua doesn’t follow that of Aaron who inherited it after the golden calf incident. Rather the priesthood originated with the rite of the firstborn which Melchizedek was. Yeshua is the firstborn of many brothers. I would encourage you to study the Jewish topic of firstborn.
            In Gen 14, Melch blesses Abram before he blesses God. Abraham blesses God 1st. In this the sages say Melch didn’t honor the Most High properly. An angel can’t b high priest. They can’t officiate sacrifices 4 man’s sins. They don’t intercede in Scripture 4man when he sins. Beware.Paul is against hyped-up angel theology & worship (Col. 2:18).

            Blessings
            🙂

          8. Eric de Jesús Rodríguez Mendoza

            BS”D

            I’m afraid you have been comfussed.. I have never said Malkitzedeq was the High Priest… He is an angel-priest… as there were levites and Sons of Aharon.. I don’t know what is not clear still… I encourage you to read the Torah and the Book of Leviticus in orden you can understand the difference between Levites and sons of Aharon. The point simply is: Malkitzedeq as an angel-priest, was greater than Levitical priest and high priest because Levites gave the tenth through Avraham. How much superior is now our Master YEhoshúa’ the HIgh Priest of Heavens??

          9. Fritz Brown

            Heb. 5:5-10 So Mashiach also did not take upon himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.” And he says in another place, “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” During the days of Yeshua’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.
            (continued below)

          10. Fritz Brown

            “From this passage we come to learn that Melchizedek was also a high priest.”
            Yeshua’s priesthood is after the “order of Melchizedek”. Yeshua’s was also a high priest like Melchizedek.
            “Messiah did take upon Himself the glory of becoming a high priest.” Then, “You are My Son”, the priest hood is handed to the 1st born as in Gen. in Adam to Shem.
            “Yeshua was designated to by a high priest in the order (like) Melchizedek.” Like Melch.’s high priesthood, Yeshua became ultimate high priest & like all highpriests, He ministers for the people.

            I have enjoyed our discussion. I respect your thoughts & views on angels. I’ll leave you with the above comments.
            Blessings to you Eric.
            Shalom. 🙂

          11. Eric de Jesús Rodríguez Mendoza

            BS”D

            Shalom Fritz 🙂

            Yeah nice…
            Your “like” is only one thing: The oath, not the degree. “you are Priest over the oath of Malkitzedeq”… Notice “priest over…”
            if we read this verse plainly, then anyone could say Yehoshúa’ was a simple priest.. but, the text says: Priest over the oath… this is what makes “HIGH” to Yehoshúa’ upon angels… and seemed according to the “Method” for “High-priest-ness”, the oath and not the descendence.
            Malkitzedeq doesn’t have “end of days” is an angel-priest and Yehoshúa’ is the “over-oath-taker”.
            Shalom and blessings Fritz! 🙂

          12. Fritz Brown

            Typo correction, “Messiah did “not” take upon Himself the glory of becoming a high priest.”