Numbers 4: 5-12 describes the procedures to be undertaken before the Tent of Meeting could be moved. The first mention of the ark of the testimony is in Exodus 25:10.

I realise these most holy items had to be covered, and that the Kohathite's were not allowed to even look at these sacred items, let alone touch them.

What is the significance of this cloth of solid blue?

  • 1
    Check out this related post hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/55000/….
    – Bach
    Apr 29, 2021 at 13:27
  • @Bach - that is helpful, and goes some way to explain how blue, purple and red are royal colours, and very costly. But is there any significance of this "solid cloth of blue" used to cover the ark of the Testimony?
    – Lesley
    Apr 29, 2021 at 13:52
  • 1
    Regarding the תכלת Tekhelet dye : tekhelet.info Apr 29, 2021 at 15:07

2 Answers 2


In the tabernacle, blue appears regularly as the sacred colour representing the divine presence of the shekinah glory. See Ex 26:4, 31, 36:23, 35, 39:1, etc.

In the Epiphanes of Psalms and Ezekiel, we see the domination of the colour blue again associated with the personal presence of God.

  • Eze 1:26 - Above the expanse over their heads was the likeness of a throne with the appearance of sapphire, and on the throne high above was a figure like that of a man.
  • Eze 10:1 - I looked, and I saw the likeness of a throne of lapis lazuli above the vault that was over the heads of the cherubim.

In many places, God is described as "enthroned between the cherubim" which the desert tabernacle was to represent, particularly the Ark of the Covenant, 1 Chron 13:6, 2 Kings 19:15, 1 Sam 4:4, Ps 80:1, 99:1, 2 Sam 6:2, Isa 37:16, etc.


Numbers 4:

5 When the camp is to move, Aaron and his sons are to go in and take down the shielding curtain and put it over the ark of the covenant law. 6Then they are to cover the curtain with a durable leather, a spread a cloth of solid blue over that and put the poles in place.

The blue cloth served as identification and a warning:

20 But the Kohathites must not go in to look at the holy things, even for a moment, or they will die.”

When the Kohathites saw the blue cloth, they knew that it covers the holy things.

  • Sometimes less is more! This is so obvious yet I failed to pick it up while reading Numbers chapter 4.
    – Lesley
    Apr 29, 2021 at 16:30
  • How do you know that it was the blue cloth specifically that was a warning?
    – curiousdannii
    Apr 29, 2021 at 22:32

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