Exodus 28

* Aaron and his sons set apart for the priest's office, Their

garments. (1-5) The ephod. (6-14) The breastplate, The Urim and

Thummim. (15-30) The robe of the ephod, The plate of the mitre.

(31-39) The garments for Aaron's sons. (40-43)

1-5 Hitherto the heads of families were the priests, and

offered sacrifices; but now this office was confined to the

family of Aaron only; and so continued till the gospel

dispensation. The holy garments not only distinguished the

priests from the people, but were emblems of that holy conduct

which should ever be the glory and beauty, the mark of the

ministers of religion, without which their persons and

ministrations will be had in contempt. They also typified the

glory of the Divine majesty, and the beauty of complete

holiness, which rendered Jesus Christ the great High Priest. But

our adorning under the gospel, is not to be of gold and costly

array, but the garments of salvation, the robe of righteousness.
6-14 This richly-wrought ephod was the outmost garment of the

high priest; plain linen ephods were worn by the inferior

priests. It was a short coat without sleeves, fastened close to

the body with a girdle. The shoulder-pieces were buttoned

together with precious stones set in gold, one on each shoulder,

on which were engraven the names of the children of Israel. Thus

Christ, our High Priest, presents his people before the Lord for

a memorial. As Christ's coat had no seam, but was woven from the

top throughout, so it was with the ephod. The golden bells on

this ephod, by their preciousness and pleasant sound, well

represent the good profession that the saints make, and the

pomegranates the fruit they bring forth.
15-30 The chief ornament of the high priest, was the

breastplate, a rich piece of cloth, curiously worked. The name

of each tribe was graven in a precious stone, fixed in the

breastplate, to signify how precious, in God's sight, believers

are, and how honourable. How small and poor soever the tribe

was, it was as a precious stone in the breastplate of the high

priest; thus are all the saints dear to Christ, however men

esteem them. The high priest had the names of the tribes, both

on his shoulders and on his breast, which reminds us of the

power and the love with which our Lord Jesus pleads for those

that are his. He not only bears them up in his arms with

almighty strength, but he carries them in his bosom with tender

affection. What comfort is this to us in all our addresses to

God! The Urim and Thummim, by which the will of God was made

known in doubtful cases, were put in this breastplate. Urim and

Thummim signify light and integrity. There are many conjectures

what these were; the most probable opinion seems to be, that

they were the twelve precious stones in the high priest's

breastplate. Now, Christ is our Oracle. By him God, in these

last days, makes known himself and his mind to us, #Heb 1:1,2;

Joh 1:18|. He is the true Light, the faithful Witness, the Truth

itself, and from him we receive the Spirit of Truth, who leads

into all truth.
31-39 The robe of the ephod was under the ephod, and reached

down to the knees, without sleeves. Aaron must minister in the

garments appointed. We must serve the Lord with holy fear, as

those who know they deserve to die. A golden plate was fixed on

Aaron's forehead, engraven with "Holiness to the Lord." Aaron

was hereby reminded that God is holy, and that his priests must

be holy, devoted to the Lord. This must appear in their

forehead, in open profession of their relation to God. It must

be engraven like the engravings of a signet; deep and durable;

not painted so as to be washed off, but firm and lasting; such

must our holiness to the Lord be. Christ is our High Priest;

through him sins are forgiven to us, and not laid to our charge.

Our persons, our doings, are pleasing to God upon the account of

Christ, and not otherwise.
40-43 The priest's garments typify the righteousness of Christ.

If we appear not before God in that, we shall bear our iniquity,

and die. Blessed is he, therefore, that watcheth, and keepeth

his garments, #Re 16:15|. And blessed be God that we have a High

Priest, appointed of God, and set apart for his work; furnished

for his high office by the glory of his Divine majesty, and the

beauty of perfect holiness. Happy are we, if by the law

spiritually understood, we see that such a High Priest became

us; that we cannot draw near to a holy God, or be accepted, but

by him. There is no light, no wisdom, no perfection, but from

him; no glory, no beauty, but in being like unto him. Let us

take encouragement from the power, love, and compassion of our

High Priest, to draw near with boldness to the throne of grace,

that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of

need.
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