Ex 20:26 Steps, altar, and nakedness

Status
Not open for further replies.

blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
We read Exodus 20 for our family Bible reading the other day. My youngest son asked what Exodus 20:26 was talking about.

Exo 20:26 Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon.

He wanted to know what having steps going up to an altar has to do with the nakedness.

Giil says
...that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon; that part of the body which is not to be named, and ought not to be seen, and which would be exposed if there were many steps, and these at a distance from each other; which would oblige them to take large strides, and so be in danger of discovering those parts which would make them the object of contempt and ridicule with the people; since as yet breeches were not used, and the garments were long loose ones, which were easily turned aside, or the parts under them seen by those below; to prevent which, afterwards linen breeches were ordered to be made for the priests, and to be used by them in their service.

So, I gather the gist of it is that they didn't wear underpants at the time and if they went up a high set of stairs people would see their nakedness. Bottom line, as Gill continues is, "all immodesty and indecency, and whatever tends to create impure thoughts and stir up unclean lusts, should be carefully avoided in his worship.

That makes sense, but then a few chapters later we read:

Exo 28:42 And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach:

Any thoughts why Exo 20:26 speaks of nakedness with regard to having steps to the altar if in Exo 28:42 they are commanded to make linen breeches to cover their nakedness?
 

pastorway

Puritan Board Senior
I think the point is to be careful and aware of these things when approaching the altar.

Also, they were in robes and in that day sight of the thigh was considered to have exposed your nakedness.....so no shorts either! ;)
 

blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
Originally posted by pastorway
I think the point is to be careful and aware of these things when approaching the altar.

Also, they were in robes and in that day sight of the thigh was considered to have exposed your nakedness.....so no shorts either! ;)
Thanks for your response.

That's pretty much what I told my son before leaving for work this morning. but I also mentioned about the verse in chapter 28, and said I'd check into it further.

Doesn't it seem like the "problem" of Exodus 20:46 is solved in Exodus 28:42, so that, if they wore the breeches designed to cover their nakedness, climbing the stairs to the altar wouldn't be a problem?

[Edited on 3-29-2005 by blhowes]
 

kevin.carroll

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by pastorway
I think the point is to be careful and aware of these things when approaching the altar.

Also, they were in robes and in that day sight of the thigh was considered to have exposed your nakedness.....so no shorts either! ;)

But can you wear a robe and be naked underneath? Mississippi summers are hot...:lol:
 

CalsFarmer

Puritan Board Freshman
Just an FYI- Middle Eastern men in this day and age DO NOT wear undergarments underneath their loing robes, think Saudis; I suspect that the men in historical biblical days did not either, therefore the admonishment from God.

Scot men do not wear undergarments under their kilts.

This is probably more information than anyone wanted to know.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top