STUDY ON TASSELS
Yep … we all hate sticking out like a sore thumb … “You want me to do what? Wear white and blue strings around my waist?” Talk about standing out! BUT, if it’s a command of God … there is no question, “Yes sir”.
(I am using NIV below)
The command: Numbers 15:38-40 … “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: Throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments, with a blue cord on each tassel. You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the Lord, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by going after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes. Then you will remember to obey all my commands and will be consecrated to your God.”
The command … again: Deuteronomy 22:11-13 … “Do not wear clothes of wool and linen woven together. Make tassels on the four corners of the cloak you wear. If a man takes a wife and, after lying with her, dislikes her …”
• The passage found in Numbers 15:38-40 is right after the recording of the Sabbath-breaker being stoned. As if, DO THIS (wear these tassels) so that this does not happen again (as verse 40 states … “By wearing them … THEN you will remember to obey”. Remember the “tying a string around your finger to remember what you are to remember?” God uses tassels!)
• Also found are the words “throughout the generations” and the verb “TO MAKE”.
• Let me ask you, are these following commands still valid today?:
- Putting a parapet around your roof so that no one gets injured by falling?
- Not planting two kinds of seed in your vineyard?
- Not plowing with and ox and donkey yoked together?
- Leaving part of your field (the corners) for the poor and hungry?
- Rising up when the “gray-haired” enters a room (the elderly)?
- If we find our neighbor’s ox (animal) we are to take it in and care for it until they return?
- Not wearing clothes of wool and linen woven together?
• If yes … then the verse on the tassels is the very next statement of some of the above … not skipping a beat … “Make tassels on the four corners of the cloak you wear.” … (It then continues on marriage violations) as well as mixed in with the others above.
People may use excuses for not obeying certain commands, such as:
1.) It doesn’t say “forever” or “for all generations”, so it’s not for us today (Can’t use this excuse, it does say throughout the generations!) Did you know that the Ten Commandments do not say “forever” yet we know that it is to be. Hmmm …
2.) They (the Jews) had the tassels to remind them of God’s Law … we have the Spirit now (We are never to negate a command because we know the spiritual meaning … “You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.” (Matthew 23:23) and “Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard.” (1 John 2:7) This is how we KNOW that the Spirit is within a child of God … their flesh obeys the Law (For it is through the Spirit that it is done)!
3.) I have even heard that it was used as a similie … you know, describing something else. Let us examine that one for a moment:
Two similes come to mind … Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and another similar one in Exodus 13:7-9. A Simile is comparing two items using the words like or as. Below, in blue, are descriptive words or action words. The underlined are the similes. Note: wearing tassels is not used as NEVER used as a descriptive word for an action. Simply, by wearing them, you are reminded.
(I am using NASB below)
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 … “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you get up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
Exodus 13:7-9 … “Unleavened bread shall be eaten throughout the seven days; and nothing leavened shall be seen among you, nor shall any leaven be seen among you in all your borders. You shall tell your son on that day, saying, “It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt. And it shall serve as a sign to you on your hand, and as a reminder on your forehead, that the law of the Lord may be in your mouth; for with a powerful hand the Lord brought you out of Egypt.” (BY observing this feast, and by doing so, it will be “as if” it were written on our hands and displayed on our foreheads.)
Can you see in the above passages that there is a difference between actually being asked to do something (in blue) VERSUS being told that doing something was “as if” it was like doing something else (a simile … see the underlined items)
1.) You just finished a beautiful vacation that was absolutely breathtaking. You come back to explain it to your friends … “It was as if I was in paradise” (Were you actually in paradise, or was it like you were?).
2.) Again, many people living out in the farm lands of the country often say, “Living in the country is as if you are living in heaven.” (Are you actually living in heaven, or is it “LIKE” living in heaven, “as if” you were?)
The same with the above passages … by doing one thing, it is “as if” you were doing another. As you can see, wearing tassels is never mentioned as a similie. It even explains what they will do when worn.
Let me ask you:
How do you exactly live out “Keeping the Sabbath”? I often look and see what my forefathers have done … I often institute my own precautions, as well. What if our Master (Yeshua / Jesus Himself) did or did not do something on the Sabbath … would that be a good enough test on what to do? Well … He wore His tassels! Matthew 9:20 … “Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind Him and touched the edge of His cloak.” (Edge is strong’s # G2899 … specifically a fringe or tassel) Are we not to be imitating what HE does? (1 John 2:6).
Matthew 23:5 … “Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long;” (We often say that the Master had many opportunities to address an issue such as nullifying the Sabbath, but He never did (He simply corrected the interpretation of how to obey it). Same with this passage, He had the opportunity to let us know that wearing the tassels is NOT a command. Instead, He corrects the way they were being worn. The leaders were making their tassels and prayer shawls longer and wider to show others that they were superior to the “common folk”)
4.) (Regarding excuses for not wearing tassels) “I don’t have a 4 corner garment, so I don’t have to wear them.” OR “you are not wearing them right, since you are not wearing a 4 corner garment” (some attach them on their belt loops around themselves).
Here’s a thought regarding how to wear tassels:
• I have been criticized about wearing them on the belt loops of my pants. (Yet, I do not hear criticism of those who hide them by tucking them in?). What is the proper way to wear them? Let me ask you, what if someone was wearing his tassels on the bottom of His pant-legs? To him I would say, “Ah, Great!” (I would then ask him how he came up with that, but great!) What are the four corners of your garments? If you use other Scriptural references to four corners which simply refers to being “around the entire object” … the object, in this case, is me. I have nothing against those who actually wear them on a 4 corner garment (that happened to be what they were wearing at that time in history).
“Son of man, this is what the Sovereign Lord says to the land of Israel: The end! The end has come upon the four corners of the land.” (Ezekiel 7:2) (Since Israel’s land is not a square … the combined meaning in Strong’s means “border”, “end”, or “uttermost part” … in word search it also describes it as “It took on the sense of the outer edges, corners, or extremities of something.”
“After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree.” (Revelation 7:1) (Maybe this is where they got that whole “the world is flat” idea? Instead, I think that the writer meant that there was no escaping the four angels … they covered the earth, they had it surrounded!!))
“When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth – ” (Revelation 20:7-8a) (Maybe this is why they believed the earth was flat?)
(I enjoyed this next one … most heads are not square, nor do they have edges / corners … except mine … it has a flat top! Get it? (Wow, tough crowd!))
(NIV) Leviticus 19:7 … “Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shall thou mar the corners of thy beards.” (I don’t know if anyone told Moses, but God already rounded off the corners of my head … it’s now a ball-shape)
(NASB) Leviticus 19:17 … “Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.”
(KJV) Leviticus 19:7 … “You shall not round off the side-growth of your heads, nor harm the edges of your beard.” (Question: Where would the side end and the top begin? That would be the next controversy, eh?)
Makes you think again … “Make tassels on the four corners of the cloak you wear.” (Deuteronomy 22:12) (How do I see it? You should be surrounded by God’s Word … these tassels shall be all around you. They are on the edge of my garment (the top of my pants) and my brothers can see them and remember to obey God’s Laws. What does “all around” mean to you? As long as we are practicing … that is what pleases God, I believe.
But what about woman? Are they to wear them too?
Deuteronomy 22:12 simply states to do “this”: “Make tassels on the four corners of the cloak you wear.” To answer the question about who this command is to, let me ask you, who is Deuteronomy 22:11 to? (“Do not wear clothes of wool and linen woven together.”). Obviously, this is for the woman to do, as much as for the men. I think about Adam and Eve. Adam (the man of the house) was given the command and HE was to pass it on to Eve. That is the job of the men or husband, to be spiritual heads of their household. ALL the commands were to the “Israelites” or “sons of Israel” (unless a certain command was for the woman or man, it then said “a man is not to …..” or “a woman is to do ….”) Below is the Strong’s definition of “Israelites” or “sons of Israel”:
From H1129; a son (as a builder of the family name), in the widest sense (of literal and figurative relationship, including grandson, subject, nation, quality or condition, etc., (like H1, H251, etc.):
Numbers 15:38-41 … “Speak to the Israelites (many translations have “sons of Israel”) and say to them: ‘Throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments, with a blue cord on each tassel. You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of YHVH, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by going after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes. Then you will remember to obey all my commands and will be consecrated to your God. I am YHVH your God, who brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am YHVH your God.’” Could this be to the men, like Adam, the builders of the family name, to tell the woman? Oh … you thought that I would have an answer? I don’t know. My wife has put them on her prayer shawl she covers herself with during her intimate prayer times. We are saved by faith as we try to figure out how to obey God.