The Three Categories of Priestly Garments

There are three separate categories of priestly garments:

  1. The High Priest's uniform, which he wears all year round. These consist of eight garments, called the "golden garments."
  2. The clothing worn by the High Priest on the Day of Atonement. These are four garments called the "white garments."
  3. The uniform of the ordinary priests, consisting of four garments.


The Golden Garments

The eight garments worn by the High Priest all year round are as follows:

The ephod, breastplate, robe, tunic, turban, belt, crown, and pants.

These are the garments described in these verses: "And these are the garments which they shall make: a breastplate, an ephod, a robe and a tunic of checkered pattern, a turban and a belt. And they shall make the sacred garments for your brother Aaron and his sons, to serve me." (Ex. 28:4).

"And you shall make a crown of pure gold" (ibid. 36). "And make for them linen pants." (ibid. 42).


The White Garments

With regard to the High Priest's service on the Day of Atonement the Bible states: "He shall put on the holy linen tunic, and he shall have the linen pants upon his flesh, and he shall be girded with a linen belt, and with the linen turban he shall be attired." (Lev. 16:4).

The four garments worn by the High Priest on the Day of Atonement are the tunic, pants, the turban and the belt. These garments are made from white flax; hence their designation "the white garments." They must be woven, as mentioned above, and each thread used must be six-ply - woven from six individual strands of fabric.

The High Priest had two tunics which he wore on the Day of Atonement. One-he wore in the morning, and the other at the evening.

After the conclusion of the Day of Atonement, he will never again wear the white garments in which he officiated on this day. They are hidden in the place where he removes them, as the verse indicates "And Aaron shall come into the Tent of Meeting, and he shall take off the linen garments, which he put on when he went into the holy place, and he shall leave them there." (ibid. v. 23)



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