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.

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  1. Valeria Imaculada


    1. Eric de Jesús Rodríguez Mendoza


      Shalom Valeria!

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

  2. David Gonzalez

    Excellent article, good research

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Anthony Bradshaw

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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?

  9. Diana

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

  10. 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