The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the people of Israel, and tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a cord of blue on the tassel of each corner. And it shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the Lord, to do them, not to follow after your own heart and your own eyes, which you are inclined to whore after. So you shall remember and do all my commandments, and be holy to your God. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God:I am the Lord your God.”
Tassels on Clothes. In the ancient world, tassels were worn by nobles and other high- class people. In Israel they are to be worn by everyone as a mark of their status as the chosen people. Blue was used in the tabernacle curtains and in the priests ‘vestments (Ex. 26:31; 28:31). So the blue threads reminded the Israelites that they were “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Ex. 19:6). This meant they had to remember and do all my commandments (Num. 15:40). In particular, they had to avoid the mistake of the spies of following after your own heart (v. 39). There is a play on words with the expression to follow, for this verb (Hb. tur) means both “to spy” and “to follow,” and thus alludes to the danger found in following their own whims rather than being absolutely loyal to the divine commandments. It seems that tassels were part of Jesus’ clothing in observance of this requirement and that the “fringes” touched for healing by the sick in Matthew’s Gospel would have been “tassels,” since the same Greek word used for “tassel” in the Septuagint is also used in Matthew.
Numbers 15: 37-41