There is much we can learn from the Bible account of Queen Esther. An amazing, unique woman, Esther portrayed courage and dignity that was exceptional, all while serving her people at a very critical moment in history. She is also a wonderful example for those who aspire to be a part of the heavenly Bride-Company.
As we look into this brief description of putting on the royal apparel, we will see that in Scripture, our apparel or clothing reveals things of far greater importance than many of us realize.
As we shall see, Esther knew that she must put on her royal apparel:
… Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king’s house … (Esther 5:1a)
Queen Esther knew the proper attire to ‘put on.’ Her royal apparel speaks to us of the significance of ‘clothing,’ both in the spiritual realm and in the natural realm.
Let us look first at Esther’s character.
Great Spiritual Character
Esther was a woman of remarkable spiritual character. First she obtained favour with everyone in the palace. And, when the time came for her to first come before King Ahasuerus, Esther “obtained grace and favour in the king’s sight, more than all others” (Esther 2:17; 2:8-9).
Then Esther showed great strength of character under the pressure of the coming threat against her people. Esther bravely ‘put on’ the spiritual garments of humility, compassion, meekness, patience, and long-suffering, in order to endure a three day fast for the lives of herself and her people.
Esther further revealed her courage and wisdom of character when she approached King Ahasuerus, without being summoned! Again she obtained the favour of the King!
When the King asked what her petition was, she ‘put on’ wisdom and understanding in dealing with the issue, which led to a successful outcome for her and her people. Her wisdom, which was ‘the wisdom from above,’ was truly honourable and worthy of a queen (Esther 5:3-8; James 3:17-18).
The spiritual apparel that Queen Esther put on were extremely necessary for a woman in her position. Over and over, she clothed herself with respectfulness and humility in the midst of decisive challenges. In her preparations, and in putting on her royal apparel, Esther became a prophetic example for us today, as we prepare to enter the presence of the King of Kings!
Esther recognized the great importance of both her spiritual clothing and her physical clothing! As a member of the royal family, Esther knew she must follow the proper protocol of both walking in wisdom, and in being clothed as royalty. She knew that if she did not prepare herself inwardly, as well as clothe herself as royalty outwardly, she would be shamed, and would bring dishonour to her King and husband.
Esther knew that if she brought dishonour to her King and husband, she could well lose her standing as Queen, and be banished from the palace!
This brings us to the importance of Esther as a prophetic example for us today, of preparing ourselves as the Bride of Messiah.
The Bride of Messiah
The Scriptures reveal several characteristics about Queen Esther that clearly portray her as a type, or prophetic picture, of the Bride of Messiah.
We will look at two simple illustrations.
First, the meaning of her name is significant. The name Esther means ‘Star.’ The word ‘Star’ reminds us of Daniel 12:3:
And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness [shall shine] as the stars for ever and ever. (Daniel 12:3)
This verse shows us that Esther represents those who will have the characteristics of a ‘star’ — shining brightly as the ‘light of the world,’ being ‘wise’ [as in the Five Wise Virgins], and turning many to righteousness. These are some of the characteristics of Messiah’s Bride.
Second, we are told in Esther 2:7, that Esther is ‘fair and beautiful.’ These two terms, fair and beautiful, are used throughout the Song of Solomon to describe the Bride of the King, another picture of Messiah’s Bride. [For more insight on this subject, see the links below.]
Let us recall that the Bride of Messiah consists of the Wise Virgins, who are chosen from among the Born-Again children of Yahuwah Elohim [the LORD God]. As set-apart unto Him, they have chosen to prepare themselves by following the Lamb of God wherever He goes (Revelation 14:4), and have become partakers of the divine nature (2Peter 1:4).
This company of Believers is glorious — yet they are unseen to the natural senses, and to the worldly-minded. The Bride of Messiah is completely hidden from the world’s understanding and perceptions (2Corinthians 4:3-7; 1Peter 2:9; Ephesians 1:10; 4:15-16).
With Queen Esther as an example for those desiring to be a part of this Bride-Company, let us apply Esther’s example to us as modern-day Believers in Yahushua Messiah [Jesus Christ]. We must understand that if we want to be a part of the Bride of the King, then we too need to ‘put on’ our royal apparel, which can be seen in both the spiritual realm and in the natural, physical realm.
As Believers in Messiah, we are told (Revelation 1:5-6) that we are ‘kings and priest unto God,’ and so we represent the King of Kings! All Believers are part of Yahuwah’s royal family, and thus we all have a royal status to uphold! Everything we do should be a reflection of our Saviour, Messiah Yahushua. And as we represent Him before a lost and dying world, we are to represent Him with honour and dignity!
It is therefore fitting for us, as His ambassadors, to represent Him by our clothing. Like Queen Esther, our ‘clothing’ reflects our set-apart, royal status, and speaks of both the spiritual and physical clothing we are to put on.
The Spiritual Clothing: Arrayed in Fine Linen
The Scriptures tell us in detail how we are to make ourselves ‘ready‘ for the Bridegroom, by putting on our spiritual clothing:
Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed (be clothed) in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. (Revelation 19:7-8)
Here we see that the first thing mentioned to describe the Bride’s preparation is her clothing! A huge part of any bride’s readiness always includes her clothing! Messiah’s Bride is no different — she is arrayed in fine linen, clean and white! To be ‘arrayed’ has the meaning of being covered all around in an orderly fashion, and often includes wearing ceremonial clothing.
Next we are told that the fine linen clothes granted to the Bride is the righteousness of the saints — which are the obedient actions of the set-apart ones, who choose to walk in righteousness — regardless of the personal cost to them. To walk in Biblical righteousness is to live our daily lives as taking a journey, walking in Father’s truth, and in Father’s ways — a very distinctive and glorious mark of Yahuwah’s set-apart children.
Thus we see that putting on the ‘fine linen’ that is given to us, speaks of our outward actions of obedience that result from the righteousness of Messiah given to us. It is by His mercy that He saves us, but it is by His grace that he enables us to obey His Word, and to serve Him in an acceptable manner (1Corinthians 1:30; Titus 3:5; Hebrews 12:28). [For more on this subject, see the links below.]
Yahuwah Elohim [the LORD God] is most insistent that His children wear the beautiful and ‘royal’ robes of righteousness, and the garments of salvation and praise. These clothes in the spiritual realm are complemented by ‘putting on’ the beautiful character qualities of humility, compassion, mercy, strength and honour, long-suffering, patience, and agape love. All these are vital and glorious clothes, in the spiritual realm! (See Isaiah 52:1;61:10; 1Peter 5:5; Psalms 132:9,16; Proverbs 31:25; Revelation 3:5;19:14; Romans 13:14; Colossians 3:12-14.)
In the spiritual realm, these are the honourable things that the King’s children are to ‘put on’ and be ‘clothed with.’ These beautiful garments of obedience and character worn by the King’s children, are a reflection of the intrinsic, glorious, and royal nature given to us by the King of Kings. These spiritual ‘royal’ garments are very dignified and noble and honourable, which is as it should be, for these are clothes for members of royalty!
Another key verse for helping us to see the significance of the Bride’s spiritual clothing can be seen in Psalms 45:
The King’s daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold. (Psalms 45:13)
Here we see that the outward clothing of the King’s daughter is the result of her inward condition — she is all glorious within. Thus the outward clothing of the King’s daughter is of wrought gold, that is, embroidered or woven “according to a pattern.”
This inward glory comes to us through Messiah’s work of mercy and regeneration, when His Holy Spirit begins to dwell within us (Titus 3:4-7). The beautiful outward clothing speaks of Messiah’s work of grace, that enables us to live in obedience to His pattern of Truth in the Scriptures.
So we see that the clothing, the spiritual garments we wear, are seen in our behaviour. These spiritual clothes portray our actions and our character, what we might call our works of love, our obedience to Yahuwah’s Word (John 14:15).
Many of these qualities come as a result of cultivating ‘the hidden person of the heart,’ when we adorn ourselves with the precious ‘meek and quiet spirit’ (1Peter 3:3-4), and when we ‘put on’ those qualities listed in Colossians 3:12-14.
These qualities are truly glorious to the Father!! Such spiritual clothing is dignified, beautiful, respectful, and noble! And rightfully so, because these are part of the required clothing of the Bride of Messiah!
Now let us consider the second meaning of the Bride’s clothing, her physical clothing.
The Physical Clothing: As of Wrought Gold
We now look at the Bride’s clothing in the natural or physical aspect of what it means for the Lamb’s wife to ‘be arrayed in fine linen.’
We have thus far seen that the King’s daughter is all glorious within! Her inward glory speaks of those who will be among the Bride-Company. Having been ‘Born Again’ to become a ‘new creation’ in Messiah, she chooses to set-apart herself [to walk in ‘holiness’], in order to prepare herself for her Bridegroom. As a result, she is then chosen — chosen by Yahuwah for Himself (2Corinthians 5:17; Psalms 4:3)
Those who truly follow Messiah — who desire to become obedient to His Word, and make every attempt to walk carefully in Father’s ways — have this inward glory! This inward condition ought to have a profound effect on everything we do, not only in our actions and behaviour, but also in our outward appearance. This is why we can see that the Bride’s outward, physical clothing is portrayed as two very beautiful things — ‘fine linen, clean and white’ and ‘clothing of wrought gold.’
Our outward, physical clothing has great spiritual significance. Like our actions, our physical clothing reflects the inward condition of the heart. Whether we like it or not, our clothing reveals much about our inward condition and character qualities. For this reason alone, we should not neglect how we clothe ourselves.
Because we are the King’s children, and part of Yahuwah’s royal Kingdom, it is fitting and proper that our clothing, in the natural realm, have an elegant quality. There should be nothing sloppy about the King’s children! The King’s children ought to be well-dressed [not in an obsessive sense of worldly fashions, but in a Biblical sense], because we represent the Holy One of Israel! Anything less than dressing in neat and modest clothing would be a dishonour to our King.
This is not to say that we should have an excessive attention on clothing as seen in worldly fashions! We are NOT to be prideful about our clothes or parading ourselves with our clothing. The world’s exaggerated obsession with clothing and fashion is a distorted counterfeit of what Father intended to be honourable and dignified. Instead, let us be careful to make sure that the kind of clothing we wear reflects the glory and respect due to our Heavenly Father, the King of Kings.
And so we see that the Bride of Messiah would not be clothed in anything that would be considered unclean, offensive, shabby, or sexually suggestive. Rather, she would be clothed in ‘beautiful’ clothing — elegant, refined, graceful, respectful, neat, and modest — clothing that reflects her inward glory.
Dressing As Royalty
When we become a Born-Again Believer in Messiah Yahushua, we enter into a royal family! Our Father is the KING, Yahuwah Elohim [the LORD God]! Father has selected us, and adopted us into His family. We are now members of His royal family of heaven. Let us therefore seek to clothe ourselves according to the inward glory of a child of the King of Kings. (1Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:5-6)!
If we claim Yahuwah Elohim as our Father, then let us ask ourselves, “Are we representing our King with honour and respect? Do we wear clothing that reflects our glorious inward condition, and is appropriate for royalty?”
In the natural realm, all members of royalty dress very elegantly — in clothing that is neat and clean, modest and respectful. Can we, who are members of the royal family of heaven, do any less?
Our clothing gives a ‘first impression’ that often seals our reception, within minutes of meeting someone. Many people evaluate our worth and credibility as soon as they see how we appear, and the clothes we wear. It is unfortunate that others may judge us based solely on our outward appearance and clothing, but we should not deny this reality.
If we as Believers in Messiah do not dress ourselves differently from the world’s ways — if we are often dressed in a sloppy, careless or indecent manner — then we will appear as another ‘one of many’ among the multitudes of those outside Father’s Kingdom. But children of the King have been chosen out of the world (John 15:19). Our Father wants us to be separate from the world’s ways, and to learn the difference between what is holy and what is unholy, and between what is clean and what is unclean (Ezekiel 44:23).
Furthermore, Yahuwah Himself is clothed with strength, honour, majesty, and light (Psalms 93:1; 104:1-2). Father’s garments are noble and glorious! They are excellent, honourable, and respectful! And since we are created in His image (Genesis 1:27), then I believe that we should also wear garments [both spiritual and physical] of dignity and honour, reflecting a respect and a sensitivity for our Creator, reflecting the majestic nature of His character and clothing.
Preparing For The Marriage
As sons and daughters of the King of Kings, we have a royal status to uphold and maintain! We have a very special dignity and glory that we should treasure and protect. Yahuwah has set us apart unto Himself, and we are ‘all glorious within!’ And now, we are preparing for the marriage supper of the Lamb.
Part of our preparations ought to include showing our love and honour to our King by reflecting the inward glory He has placed within us. Our inward glory should have a profound effect on BOTH our outward actions of obedience and our outward appearance!
If we are wise, we will determine, and carefully plan, to clothe ourselves spiritually, with ‘the fine linen, clean and white’ — our righteous actions of obedience to the Word of Yahuwah, because of our love for Him. And, . . . we will clothe ourselves physically, as ‘of wrought gold,’ by clothing ourselves in a way that reflects our inward royal status.
If we are wise, we will make the time and effort to learn and obey Father’s Word, to hide His Word in our heart, so that we will not sin against Him. And, . . . we will make the time and effort to wear appropriate clothing, remembering to wear clothing that reflects respect and honour for our King, Yahuwah Elohim.
Certainly Queen Esther understood the great importance of both her spiritual attire and her physical appearance!
Let us also follow her example, and seek to put on the beautiful, royal garments of righteousness, obedience, love, and wisdom, and to wear royal garments that are neat, proper, respectful, and modest.
Let us do as Queen Esther, and put on our royal apparel!
- The Bride Makes Herself Ready
- How Does the Bride Prepare?
- Esther: The Bride Makes Herself Ready
- Seal It With A Kiss – a look at the mysterious and binding significance of a kiss.
- Messiah’s Bride – The King’s Daughter – insights for those desiring to be part of the Bride-Company.
- Covering Principles for the Bride: The Torah Basis for the Woman’s Head Covering – Yahuwah’s requirements for covering His Glory. The Bride is identified by her covering.
- Wrestling with clothing choices for young adults – a post by Renee Ellison discussing the powerful results of clothing selections
- Characteristics of the Wise Virgins-Part 1