Past works have connected the design, execution, and content of Aaron's inscribed clothing in the tabernacle-building narrative in Exod 28 and 39 to different types of ancient Near Eastern inscriptions. This largely form-critical enterprise sheds light on their power as inscriptions that draw authority from diverse text-types, including dedications, seals, and amulets. Yet the inscriptions set into Aaron's clothing do more than tell us about the types of textual practices priests may have known about or engaged in—they project a priestly ideal of writing as a source of ritual authority. When the narrative description of these inscriptions is theorized through the framework of multimodality, we can see that they communicate through their semantic content and through their design, but also through their display features on Aaron's body and their movement with him in the tabernacle. Exodus 28 and 39 embed a host of inscriptional practices into Aaron's uniform in a way that transforms it into an archetypical priestly text, one that is mobile yet tied to the priesthood. In the story of the building of the tabernacle, this literary representation of Aaron's inscribed clothing both anticipates and affirms the ritual authority of texts in priestly communities in the aftermath of the destruction of Jerusalem's temple in the Neo-Babylonian period.

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