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Aaron's Breastplate, The New Jerusalem and the Bride of Christ

Born-again Christian single mother of two grown kids. PC Tech, and Author of 18+ books in the non-fiction, personal/spiritual growth genres

God does not have a wife! Or does He?

Notes, links, and thoughts presented here are for research purposes as this author contemplates the question, "How does God Adorn His Bride in the Scriptures?" At first glance, this question seems entirely scandalous, particularly to the protestant evangelical or charismatic Christian. It is of no consequence to those who adhered to the Greeko-Roman deity worship back in ancient times. It is also of no consequence to those who adhere to the concept of worshipping the Mother of Jesus as Mary, Queen of Heaven. However, to those of neither persuasion, this is a jarring question for sure! God does not have a wife! Or does He?

Wedding Rings

Wedding Rings

God's Betrothal and Divorce

We see in the Old Testament Scriptures, references to God betrothing Himself to Israel and later divorcing Himself from that betrothal. In the New Testament, we see Christ referenced in relation to the Church in a passage on marriage in Ephesians, we see John the Baptist speaking of joy in his role as the Friend of the Bridegroom, and we see the Bride mentioned again in the closing verses of the book of Revelation. What becomes clear in these verses, is that God intended for Israel to be His future Bride, but due to Israel's continued rejection of God and His teachings, He chose to prepare the Bride of Christ and we see God the Son wanting to present His Bride to God the Father, without spot or wrinkle.

Verse Samples

  • Isaiah 62:5 KJV - Bible Gateway
    For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over
  • Jeremiah 2:32 KJV - Bible Gateway
    Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet my people have forgotten me days without number.
  • Matthew 9:15 KJV - Bible Gateway
    And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the
  • John 3:29 KJV - Bible Gateway
    He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.
  • Revelation 21:2 KJV - Bible Gateway
    And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
  • Revelation 22:17 KJV - Bible Gateway
    And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
Bridal gown

Bridal gown

How God Adorns His Bride

From time to time in the Scriptures, there are references to how God adorns His Bride. Some of these are in the Old Testament, and some are in the New Testament. There are references to jewels, to gold and silver, to fine linens, belts, cords, etc. The Scriptures tell us that upon acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord of our lives, He grants to us His Robe of Righteousness. Interspersed among these passages and sometimes immediately following them, are references to how this raiment has been spoiled and what is necessary to clean it up again, to be made presentable to the Father by Christ the Son.

Examining the various pieces of raiment and adornment begins with the puzzling and turns out, confusing correlation between the precious stones found in Aaron's Breastplate in the book of Exodus, and the precious stones that make up the foundations of the New Jerusalem, described in Revelation 21, as a city coming down out of heaven, like unto a Bride prepared for her husband. There are 12 stones in Aaron's Breastplate, and 12 stones, one for each of 12 foundations of the New Jerusalem. Each of the 12 stones on the breastplate were to bear the name of a tribe of Israel, according to birth order. Members of the Early Church chose to assign the 12 Apostles to the 12 foundation stones of the New Jerusalem.

Breastplate as worn by the High Priest during Temple Worship

Breastplate as worn by the High Priest during Temple Worship

Final Top Initial Resources

Research and Available Records

Unfortunately for this author, due to various bits and pieces of historical record, genealogical record, archaeological record, ancient church record, and astronomical record, uncovering the most commonly accepted assignments as best understood by various researchers proved time consuming. Thanks to a well-quoted Early Church source, it only took me 5 points of research to confirm the commonly accepted assignments of the 12 Apostles to the 12 foundation stones. But it took me 9 points of research before I finally found a common thread in which tribe was assigned to which stone on Aaron's breastplate! The assignments ranged so wildly that I was beginning to think I'd never find a consensus! Before I could even do those two bits of research however, I had to come to a consensus on how the stones looked and what they themselves were called. The names change from the breastplate to the foundation stones, but the equation between the two has long been accepted down through history. So it was a matter of matching up from various points of research as best I could, the names with the colors and the Hebrew and Greek with the common modern terms. Suffice to say that after two days of research, I am glad to have arrived at a basis of sorts that can be used to begin this study.

Two sources ended up on top of the pack when all was said and done, "The Tribes of Israel and Their Symbolic Stones" and "Foundation Stones and the Apostles" both of them from jjkent's website, which appears to no longer be around. (edit 2016)

Combined Results - Use Horizontal scroll bar to see entire table

The Stones in Aaron's Breastplate, the 12 Foundation Stones of the New Jerusalem, the 12 Tribes of Israel, and the 12 Apostles.

HebrewGreekSeptuagintKing JamesBreastplate StoneFoundation StoneColorTribeApostle

Odem

sardius/Carnelian

Sardius

Sardius

Ruby

Sard

Red

Reuben

Philip

Pitdah

Topaz

Topaz

Topaz

Topaz

Topaz

Tan

Simeon

Matthew

Bareketh

Emerald

Emerald

Carbuncle (Garnet)

Peridot

Chrysoprase

Yellow green (Golden)

Levi

Thaddaeus

Jophek

Anthrax

Anthrax(Garnet)

Emerald

Garnet

Jacinth

Reddish black

Judah

Simon

Sappir

Sapphire

Sapphire

Sapphire

Aqua-marine

Chalcedony

Light Blue

Issachar

Paul

Yahalom

Jasper

Jasper

Diamond

Fire Opal

Jasper

Orange

Zebulun

Peter

Leshem

Ligure

Ligure

Ligure

Sapphire

Lapis Lazuli

Royal Blue

Dan

Andrew

Shebo

Agate

Agate

Agate

Emerald

Emerald

Green

Gad

John

Ahlamah

Amethyst

Amethyst

Amethyst

Amethyst

Amethyst

Purple

Naphtali

Matthias

Tarshish

Chrysolite

Chrysolite

Beryl

Chrysoberyl

Chrysolite

Yellow

Assher

Bartholomew

Shoham

Beryl,Beryl

Beryl

Onyx

Diamond,

Beryl, Onyx

White

Joseph

Thomas

Yashpheh

Onyx

Onyx

Jasper

Pink Tourmaline

Sardonyx,Rose Quartz

Red/White stripes, or Pink

Benjamin

James

In Conclusion

In the links below, I have researched each stone, what it's properties are, why it was generally assigned to the tribe and apostle it was, and what, if any, correlation there is to why that stone was used to adorn the New Jerusalem, the future home of the Bride of Christ.

Now that this particular set of jewels has been covered, it is time to move on to the other forms of raiment and adornment and learn why they were chosen and what they mean to the Bride of Christ.

Whenever possible, images have been gathered to help the reader visualize items as we go along. It feels like a milestone just getting this far! :-)

Continued Discussion

Want to Have a Little Fun?

Visit a Virtual Tabernacle

Before visiting the Virtual Tabernacle link to the right, be sure to install the Flux Player. The linked file is a Zip file. Download to your computer, unzip, run the 2.0 version. it will install a studio, and then the player. The successful install webpage nolonger works, close it. Click on the Virtual Tabernacle link. When your browser asks what to do with the file, tell it to open with the Flux Player. You may need to locate the player in the open dialogue box window. Typically it installs into c:\program files\media machine\flux. Then click open. A window will come up showing you a mock-up of the Israelit Tabernacle. Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to travel around it. Click the outer curtain to enter the main tabernacle, click the inner curtain to reveal the Holy of Holies. Very well done!

© 2013 Marilynn Dawson

Comments

Lulu Mercer from Gulfport, ms on November 05, 2015:

I am the bride. This month is my 16th month of purification

And will be recieved by christ on nov 22 as 3 tusuami waves.

The rushing of many water

Recieves the whole kingdom on all coast lines.

World wide revival nov 21

Sinh fance and worship every knee bow and every mouth shut for the manifestation of god to ope. The gate for immanuel

This is your offical bridal inviation

The spitit and e bride says come and thirst no more

Put on your white wrdding garments or be left behind

For a thousand years in the pit of an undieable death

Marilynn Dawson (author) on October 25, 2014:

Thanks so much for your encouraging feedback, Kenneth!

Kenneth Avery from Hamilton, Alabama on October 25, 2014:

Marilynn,

A very complete hub. In-depth and I admire the research you did.

I will tell you the truth. I really love this hub.

This is an excellent piece of writing. Amazing work. I loved the way you presented your topiic. Wonderful graphics.

This piece was helpful, informative and very interesting.I was glad to vote Up and all of the choices.

You are certainly a gifted writer. Please keep up the fine work.

Sincerely,

Kenneth Avery, Hamilton, Alabama