The Talith
(The Prayer Mantel)

by Pastor CSJ Claassen

Bible Reading: Numbers 15: 32-41

Text verse:
Numbers 15:39
And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring.

The Wedding ring is a symbol of your Marriage Vows. It is a silent witness and every time you look at it, it reminds you that you are a married person.
It reminds you that you are not alone !
It reminds you that you belong to someone else !
It reminds you that you cannot just do what you please - someone else must be taken into consideration !
BUT most important it reminds you that someone loved you so much that, that someone made a promise to share his or her life with you forever ! Friends, the Bible calls us the Bride of Christ !

Just as we today, wear a wedding ring to remind us that we belong to another so the Children of Israel had something to remind them that they belonged to GOD !

That something was the Talith also called the Talis or Talit or Tzitzith. In Hebrew - The Prayer Mantle!

We read in our Scripture Reading of a man that broke the Sabbath. The man was taken and stoned to death !

But friend, GOD has no pleasure in the death of a sinner !

The Bible says:
2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

GOD is merciful and does not wish for the death of any person and now for this reason, HE commanded Israel to do something to help them remember HIS laws and Commandments.

Lets read it together again:
Numbers 15:38-39
Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring.

On the corners of their clothes - a tassel or fringe each one having a blue cord !
This would help them to remember all the Laws and Commandment of the LORD!
The blue cord would help them to remember that their help comes from the LORD !

The Prayer Shawl that I have here today does not have the blue cord in the Talit - the tassel for the simple reason that when the Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70AD - it was forbidden by law to make the Blue dye that was required for any Jewish Religious Garments.

Today, the Prayer Shawl with its Talis or fringes in this country is worn only at religious services and then only by Orthodox Jews but in Bible

In Old Testament Times and in the time of Jesus it was worn every day. But why was the wearing of the Prayer Shawl - the Mantle with its fringes so very important ?

The Hebrew word for Talit is almost the same of the word Talith which means a Lamb or a young sheep. Need I say anything further:

Psalm 23:1-2
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

The LORD is the Good Shepherd and we are HIS sheep !

Furthermore, the word Talith consists of 2 Hebrew words:
TAL which means Tent and ITH which means Small.
In other words a Small Tent !

Why a small Tent? - Remember the Tabernacle in the Wilderness:

Exodus 26:1-4
Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work shalt thou make them. The length of one curtain shall be eight and twenty cubits, and the breadth of one curtain four cubits: and every one of the curtains shall have one measure. The five curtains shall be coupled together one to another; and other five curtains shall be coupled one to another. And thou shalt make loops of blue upon the edge of the one curtain from the selvage in the coupling; and likewise shalt thou make in the uttermost edge of another curtain, in the coupling of the second.

The Tabernacle could not accommodate all of the Nation of Israel and for this reason each person was commanded to make his own Little Tabernacle or Tent - a Prayer Shawl !

Remember the Words of Jesus:
Matthew 6:6
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

By pulling the Mantel - Prayer Shawl over one's head - one could enter your very own private closet or Tabernacle to commune with GOD !

Paul reminds us:
1 Corinthians 6:19
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

The Apostle Paul was a Pharisee and therefore he would have worn a Mantle - Prayer Shawl. We read that he was a Tent Maker by Trade - Is it not possible that instead of making Tents that he made Prayer Shawls or Mantels - Talits instead ?

But let's delve a little deeper.

In Hebrew each letter does not only form part of the Alphabet but it also has a numerical value. Each Hebrew word therefore has a numerical value.
The numerical value of a Hebrew word is almost as important as the meaning of the word itself.

The study of the numerical value of Hebrew words is called: Gematria.

The numerical value or the Gematria of the word Tzitzith. is 600 and if you add the 5 double knots and the 8 cords or strings which make up the Talis or Tzitzith the sum total is 613. 600+5+8=613. What is the significance of 613 - 613 is the number of laws and commandments found in the Torah - the first five Books of our Bible - The Books of Moses !
The total number of laws and commandments that Israel was required to keep and remember !

The Talis is made up of 8 cords with 5 double knots and between the knots we have what is called the WINDINGS - 4 in total. In Biblical Times these winding were done with the blue cord.

The first windings consisted of 7 windings
The second winding consisted of 8 windings
The third winding consisted of 11 windings
The forth winding consisted of 13 windings.

7+8+11+13 These numbers are of great significance.

The Name of the LORD in Hebrew is represented in our Bible by the letters:
YHWH - the numerical value or gematria is 10+5+6+5 = 26 (2+6=8)

The first two letters make up the first part of the name of the LORD
YAH in our Bibles - Gematria 10+5 = 15
The first two windings are 7+8 =15

The last two letters that make up the Name of the LORD
WH - Gematria of 6+5 =11
The Third winding is 11

Thus the first three windings remind us of the Name of the LORD !

But, Pastor the forth winding with 13 windings - What is its significance ? The word ONE has a gematria or numerical value of 13 !

The Tzzitzit with its windings has a message:

The Name of the LORD is ONE !
Did you notice something - Three winding - The Name of the LORD and yet ONE !

The Trinity !
The Windings have still further deeper meaning - Time is short so I will only just touch on these meanings:

First Winding - 7
The 7 Blessings bestowed on Abraham in Genesis 12: 2-3. The 7 Feasts to be kept in Leviticus 23.
In the Book of Revelation - the 7 Churches -the 7 Crowns - the 7 Trumpets, etc.

Second Winding - 8
On the 8th Day after birth circumcision was to take place. But 8 is the Number of the Messiah.
The Messiah was to be of the seed of David.
David was the 8th Son of Jesse (1 Samuel 16:10-11)

Jesus rose from the dead on the 8th day !

But, I have something very important to share with you - Remember the Tzitzit is made up of 8 cords. The Prayer Shawl has 4 corners = 8 X 4=32.

What is important about the number 32?
32 is the numerical value or gematria of the word Heart ! At the very heart of the Tzitzit is the Messiah !

Third Winding - 11
Of the 12 Disciples of Jesus only 11 remained faithful - Are you among the faithful ?

Forth Winding -13
The Numerical value for the Word ONE !

The Name of the LORD is ONE !

Although the Mantle or Prayer Shawl can be made of any material it is normally made of Wool and was weaved from top to bottom without a seam or joining - in one piece !

And now I want to remind you of something:
John 19:23-24
Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.

The Coat without seam was surely the Prayer Mantle - Talit of Jesus !

The Talit reminds us of the Name of the LORD and HIS law ! It remind us of the Promises of GOD !

Exodus 15:26
And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.

Read with me:
Malachi 4:2
But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.

A prophecy that points to the Messiah - Jesus !

Psalm 91:1
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

Shadow of HIS wings - The small Tent of the LORD - The corners - the Tzitzit is a symbol of the wings of the LORD !

Now remember:
Luke 8:42-44
For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him. And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.

She touched the Hem of HIS garment - HIS Tzitzit - and she was healed !

Remember the windings = remember how many ?
7+8+11+13 add them up = a total of 39 windings !

Jesus received 39 lashes of the cruel Roman whip !

Isaiah 53:5
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

The Prayer Mantle with its Talit - is a Testimony that the LORD is able to heal all who look to HIM ! The promises of GOD are sure !

Reach out to HIM today, for your miracle !

But I started my message with the Wedding Ring.

At every Marriage Service I conduct I always read the following as the Bride and the Groom kneel for the Blessing:

Ruth 1:16-17
Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.

But, in the Book of Ruth we also read:
Ruth 3:9
And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy mantle over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman.

We have a Chorus we sing in this Church:

Cover me, Cover me,
Extend the Border of thy mantle over me
Because Thou art my nearest Kinsman
Cover me, cover me, cover me.

Perhaps, Church, we should also cover the Bride and the Groom with a Prayer Mantle as they kneel for the Marriage Blessing and sing this chorus for
them !

I wanted to start this message with the Wedding Ring and end with the Marriage Blessing, reminding all present that the Church is the Bride of Christ !

Will you be ready Church, for HIS coming ?

BUT this Morning is Communion Sunday and I stand before the Table of the LORD !

This Table speaks of Death - the Death of our LORD ! Death - Did you know that it was a Bible custom for a person to be buried with his Prayer Mantle with its Talis, covering his face ?

John 20:4-8
So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulcher, and seeth the linen clothes lie, And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulcher, and he saw, and believed.

When Peter saw the Prayer Mantle with its Talis neatly folded up by itself -

He believed !

Friend, remember:
Hebrews 9:27
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.

In that day will you be able to say:
I am under the wings of GOD !
I am under the promises of GOD
- under HIS Prayer Mantle !

BUT, this Table also reminds us that Jesus is returning !

This study made me aware of something !

Revelation 19:13
And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

Yes, Friend, JESUS will return wearing HIS Prayer Mantle dipped in HIS Blood.

The Mantle they casted lots for !

Will you be ready in that Day ?

Reach out this morning and touch HIM and put your hope, trust and faith in HIS promises !

AMEN

Pastor CSJ Claassen
Goldfields Revival Centre
PO Box 99
Welkom
9460 SOUTH AFRICA

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