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'Broidered Work - Ancient Jewish Bridal Attire

Updated on September 3, 2013
Marilynn Dawson profile image

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

Embroidered cloth
Embroidered cloth

Embroidered Robes

Embroidery. . . This is a skill that has truly been passed down through the ages of time. Historical writings say that prior to being written about it in the Torah, the Hebrew people had picked up the art from the Egyptians, their hosts prior to enslavement by the Pharaohs. Truly it was a beautiful art, as God appointed men to oversee it's use in the creation of the Temple implements.

"In celebrating the triumph of Sisera, his mother is made to say that he has a " prey of divers colours of needle-work on both sides," evidently meaning that the stuff was wrought on both sides alike, a style of embroidery exhibiting a degree of patience and skill only practised by the nations of the East."

1902 Encyclopedia Britannica 9th Edition (Ninth Edition)

The quote above from the Encyclopedia Britannica, creating embroidery such that the design showed through on both sides of the cloth, was a method of embroidery only found in the Middle East. Understanding that the Temple Curtain was 4 inches thick and from what we can tell, embroidered on both sides, and the feat is even more impressive.

Embroidered velvet bag for a prayer shawl
Embroidered velvet bag for a prayer shawl

Then and Now

The book of Ezekiel describes the clothing of the bride, typified by Jerusalem, as having 'broidered work. Many discussions of the ancient clothing styles worn in the historical period of the Bible, one way or another refer to colour. However these same writings also mention that most of the clothing of that day was made from either wool or flax. Linen does not accept dye very well, so the women would embroider designs onto their clothing for festive occasions. This craft became entrenched in the Jewish culture where now, common Jewish embroidery designs have been digitized for use in embroidery machines.

One piece of embroidery continues to this day in modern Jewish circles on the prayer shawl. Pictured here is a velvet bag for a prayer shawl. This bag is embroidered with a design unique to the owner, and bears the owner's name. Some sources say that families and clans would develop their own unique embroidered designs and you knew which clan they were from by the embroidery on their clothing.

Vexilloid_of_the_Roman_Empire
Vexilloid_of_the_Roman_Empire | Source

Relation to the Armour of God

In a very similar fashion, Roman armies would be broken into their ranks by large embroidered standards bearing the image of a plant or animal associated with that particular group of soldiers. These standards would be held high as the army paraded into town in processions toward the Emporer.

One such standard is pictured to the right here.

Meaning for the Bride of Christ

The Bride of Christ has also been marked, by her Lover, bearing His image stamped on her heart. She wears the Robe of Righteousness, given to her by Christ Himself. Over the years, illustrations have arrisen, describing life as a tapestry, and how when we look at the tapestry of our lives, sometimes all we see is the messy underside and wonder how God could love us. We fail to see that God, the master weaver, sees the design on the top side of the tapestry, and He sees something beautiful.

Tapestries are woven, while embroidery is sewed. In both cases, great attention to detail is applied, with dark and light threads used to bring out the desired presentation. It is said that gold was sometimes worked in like thread, and as the Hebrews would have learned this from the Egyptians, it is not a stretch to see royalty dressed in robes embroidered with gold.

We too, as the Bride of Christ, are dressed in the glory and radiance of Christ.

Learn to Embroider

Today we covered 'Broidered Work in Bridal Attire

Ezekiel
Ephesians
Specifically given as special outfit
Armour
broidered work
Standards

© 2013 Marilynn Dawson

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