Friday, July 22, 2011

A Bell from a Priest's Robe

In the Book of Exodus God gave specific instructions concerning the garments to be worn by the priests. One detail seems, at first, to be somewhat unusual...decorative bells and pomegranates that were to be fastened to the bottom of the priests' robes.

Here's the specific command from Exodus 28:33-35:
"And you shall make on its hem pomegranates of blue and purple and scarlet material, all around on its hem, and bells of gold between them all around: a golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, all around on the hem of the robe. And it shall be on Aaron when he ministers; and its tinkling may be heard when he enters and leaves the holy place before the LORD, that he may not die."

Archaeologists in Jerusalem may just have discovered one of the bells described in this passage! While excavating a drainage ditch from a street that ran along the western end of the Temple Mount, they uncovered a small golden bell (see above) that had evidently fallen off a priest's garment and rolled into the ditch. The bell had a loop on top to allow that would allow it to be fastened to the hem of the robe.

The bell that was discovered is from the Second Temple period, nearly 1,500 years after God first gave the command to Moses. It's another reminder that the Jewish people in the New Testament era were still being careful to follow the guidelines laid down by God for temple worship.

If you would like to read more about this amazing discovery, click here.

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