mature cotton flower before turns in boll.

Ahasuerus (king of Persia 486-465 B.C.) gave an elaborate banquet for his nobles and officials. The banquet was held in the palace’s enclosed garden. The garden had white cotton curtains and violet hangings fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rings on marble pillars.

Cotton Flower, leaves

Young cotton flower, before turning cream-colored.

The white cotton curtains  were probably Levant cotton (known as Arabian cotton.  The cotton plant fruit is called a boll. When ripe, the boll splits and a mass of fine white filaments or fibers exude.

In Ahasuerus’ palace, cotton curtains could have had several meanings: 1) a hanging screen that can be drawn back, 2) a device that conceals or acts as a barrier, or 3) the time that an event started.  Technically, the white cotton curtains were tied back by cords of fine linen on purple-to-silver rods. In inclement weather or to obscure the sun’s rays, the cotton curtains were let down.

The veil or curtain in the Temple was made of linen, not cotton; but it concealed, e.g., the Most Holy of Holies room from the Holy of Holies room.  When Christ died, the curtain separating the two rooms tore from top to bottom. Symbolically, Christ’s death tore the curtain separating us from God. God became open and available to us; no longer concealed by a curtain. Now, through the blood of Jesus Christ, we have the confidence to stand before God (Hebrews 10:19).

Reflection:  We have ready access to God through Christ.  Now the only one who can keep God concealed from us is us.







One response to “Concealment”

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    Lifetime Chicago


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