1 And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office, ( even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron's sons
The Priesthood separate from the nation (Num 18:20). No land inheritance
''And Yahweh spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel''.
What a priviledge! And responsibility.
The garments of the priests
2 And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty.
Holy = separated/sanctified
God not only plainly declared,
"I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me",
but He required such to be arrayed in vestments which were not only glorious and beautiful in an artistic sense, but which typically proclaimed the supremacy of God and the complete subordination of man as the conjoint and indispensable conditions of acceptable fellowship.
Not man unclothed: not man naked: not man as he is in himself, but man invested or "clothed upon" with superadded attributes or conditions, is acceptable. And these superadded conditions must be of divine pattern and prescription:
"See thou make all things according to the pattern shown to thee in the mount":
"Ye shall not add thereto or diminish aught therefrom."
... It was not the first put on, but it was evidently the most important of all the garments, for it contained the shoulder buckles of onyx stone on which the names of the Twelve Tribes were engraved in two groups of six each,
"for a memorial before the Lord";
and also the four-square breast-plate of judgment, with the twelve precious stones of different quality and colour, set in gold, and each having the name of one tribe--to be borne on Aaron's heart when he went into the holy place for a memorial before the Lord continually (28:29).*
Law of Moses Ch 17 *
6 And they shall make the ephod of gold, of blue, and of purple, of scarlet, and fine twined linen, with cunning work.
Ephod is an untranslated word... It appears to have been a kind of waistcoat or frock, closed behind the shoulders instead of in front (Exod. 39:4), and finished in a short skirt or girdle, reaching to the loins.
... In material it differed from the others, except as to the main fabric, which was "fine twined linen", On this appears to have been embroidered ornamental work in gold, blue, purple, and scarlet. We are exactly told how the gold was used. It was
"beaten into thin plates and cut into wires to work in the blue" (Exod. 39:3).
A garment with a white ground, with cunning work embroidered on it in gold and colours, would certainly have an aspect of" glory and beauty", Though differing from the other garments, it was allied to them in blending their white and blue in its constitution. It was different only in being more complete in its texture, adding the gold and the purple and scarlet to the white and the blue.
It was of identical constitution with the veil and the door-hangings of the tabernacle and the gate of the court, as its typical significance required: for while the fine linen and the blue betokened separate elements of the way of righteousness, the combination of the whole in the ephod prefigured the perfect qualification of Christ for the priesthood, as it prefigured his perfect qualification in the several aspects typified by the gate, and the door, and the veil.
....It was not the first put on, but it was evidently the most important of all the garments, for it contained the shoulder buckles of onyx stone on which the names of the Twelve Tribes were engraved in two groups of six each, "for a memorial before the Lord"; and also the four-square breast-plate of judgment, with the twelve precious stones of different quality and colour, set in gold, and each having the name of one tribe--to be borne on Aaron's heart when he went into the holy place for a memorial before the Lord continually (28:29). *
8 And the curious girdle of the ephod, which is upon it, shall be of the same, according to the work thereof; even of gold, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen.
These articles represented principles afterwards to be incarnated in the High Priest after the Order of Melchizedec.
Aaron wore the representations upon his person; Jesus bore them in himself.
The gold represents the wisdom of a tried and precious faith; blue, a cleansing principle; purple, the element of flesh; scarlet, the sin thereof; and fine, twined linen, righteousness. These principles were embodied in Jesus, as "holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners," as to character; yet "the likeness of sin's flesh, in whom sin was condemned" when crucified, as to nature; and the purifier unto righteousness of those who become the righteousness of the Deity in and through him.
The gold and fine twined linen were embroidered through all the blue, purple, and scarlet, of this "curious" breastband with which the breasts were girded; so in the case of Jesus, though "made sin for us, he knew no sin," "yet was he tempted in all points like as we are, but without transgression"; wisdom and righteousness were intertwined in all his words and actions, according to the type. Thus "the body or substance is of Christ" (Exod. 28:2-21; Rom. 8:3; 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 2:14; 4:15; Col. 2:17; 1 Pet. 2:24).
But when Jesus and his Brethren shall all have attained to the divine nature, even as Jesus hath already, the gold and the linen of the girdle will alone remain. The blue, the purple, and the scarlet, make no part of the garments for glory and for beauty of the Son of man, as beheld by John, because what John saw pertains not to the sufferings, but to the glory of the Christ, or Anointed Body.
(Admin: Bro Thomas' exposition shows that the purple does not symbolise royalty)
...The Cherubim, the Ark of the Testimony, the Mercy Seat, the Altar of Incense, the Seven-Branched Lampstand, the Table of Shew Bread, spoons, tongs, censers, hinges, staves, and so forth, were all of gold, or overlaid with gold. And beside all this, "the holy garments for glory and for beauty," worn by the High Priest, who officiated in this temple resplendent with gold, were brilliant with the shining metal and precious stones.
Gold was chosen as the most precious of all known metals, to represent the most precious of "heavenly things" before the Eternal Spirit, namely, FAITH PERFECTED BY TRIAL, which is "much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be refined by fire"; and "without which it is impossible to please God" (Heb. 11:6; James 2:22; 1 Pet. 1:7; 2 Pet. 1:1).
It is the basis of righteousness unto life eternal; for "we are justified by faith"; the fine linen robe of righteousness is girded about the saints by the golden girdle of a tried faith. "When God hath tried me," saith Job, "I shall come forth as gold."
Thus David, in celebrating the future glory of the New Order of Elohim, consisting of the King and his Brethren, styles the latter "the Queen," in Psalm 45:9, saying to His Majesty,
"the Queen hath been placed at thy right in fine gold of Ophir."
He then addresses the Consort of the Great King, who, being the Eternal Spirit manifested in David's Son, is both Father and Husband of the Bride, (thy maker is thine Husband; Yahweh Tz'vahoth is his name; the Elohim of the whole earth shall He be called -- Isai. 54:5), saying,
"Hear, O Daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; and forget thy nation, and the house of thy father; and the King shall greatly desire thy beauty; for He is thy Lord, therefore do thou homage unto him. So the Daughter of Tyre with tribute, the rich of the people, shall supplicate thy favor. The daughter of the King is all glorious within; her clothing is of interweavings of gold; in embroideries she shall be conducted to thee; the Virgins, her companions, following her, shall be brought to thee. They shall be conducted with joyous shouts and exultation; they shall enter into the palace of the King."
Thus David sings of "the Spirit and the Bride," clothed in the holy garments of righteousness and of a tried and perfected faith, for glory and for beauty. They are apocalyptically represented as "like a Son of Man;" as "a great city," styled "the Holy City, New Jerusalem, having been prepared as a Bride adorned for her Husband"; "a city of pure gold, like to transparent crystal"; "the precious sons of Zion," saith the prophet, "are comparable to fine gold;" for in their glory they are the Spirit-Incarnations of a tried and precious faith, which is the shining girdle of their ephod.
10 Six of their names on one stone, and the other six names of the rest on the other stone, according to their birth.
The commonwealth of Israel finally consists of those who are reconciled to God through Christ, many of whom are adopted Gentiles. They are a multitude that no man can number, and will finally fill the earth. They are comprehended in the twelve tribes in their final organization. Meanwhile, they are represented in detail, in their development from generation to generation, by the same high priest who makes intercession for them all, according to their need. Therefore, the high priest's function could not be more appropriately represented than by the memorial names of the twelve tribes on heart and shoulder. *
Breastplate of judgement displaying the Urim and Thummim.
15 And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work; after the work of the ephod thou shalt make it; of gold, of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen, shalt thou make it.
16 Foursquare it shall be being doubled; a span shall be the length thereof, and a span shall be the breadth thereof.
17 And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row.
18 And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond.
19 And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst.
20 And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings.
21 And the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet; every one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes.
That splendid decoration worn on the breast of Aaron in the holy place, is fulfilled in those who are the units of the Holy Square.
The first place mention is made of it is in Exod. xxviii. 15. It was not a plate of metal, but a texture wrought of gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen. It was foursquare and of equal sides. It was filled in with settings of precious stones; four rows of them, and three in a row, and each stone set in gold.
Upon these twelve stones were engraved, as upon a seal, the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, thereby showing that these tribes were represented by them; so that symbolically speaking, the whole nation of Israel was contained in the square ornament, and borne upon the breast or heart of the High Priest in the holy place. This ornament, styled khoshen mishpat, and in our version, "the breastplate of judgment," was attached to the aiphod, a robe called ephod, or the overall, because it was put on over all other vestments.
Having prepared the foursquare texture, Moses was commanded to put into it the Urim and the Thummim; that is, the twelve precious stones: not that the stones abstractly were the Urim and the Thummim, but were indispensable to its manifestation. The Urim were the glistering of the stones -- the lights refracted and reflected from their cut and polished surfaces, and developing lights of divers colours. These were styled, urim, lights; and the twelve stones themselves, thummim, fulnesses, that is, of number and measure -- fulness of number, and fulness of measure; or 144,000 and 144 cubits and furlongs; because these are the perfections, or square of 12.
Eureka Ch 7:6
30 And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron's heart, when he goeth in before Yahweh: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before Yahweh continually.
Heart the seat of affection.
That they should be called the Urim and the Thummin (light and fulness) is an indication of the fact that without light, precious stones have no beauty; and that when the light shines upon them, their beauty is a radiant fulness. The light that developed the beauty of the stones in the ephod when Aaron "went in before the Lord" in the dark interior of the tabernacle, was the glory that dwelt between the cherubim. The antitype will be seen in its completeness when the glory of the Lord beautifies the perfected tribes of Israel with light and immortality.
When the glory of the Lord departed from the temple (Ezek. 11:23) there was no answer from the glory that used to cover the mercy seat: the breastplate of the high priest sank to a mere piece of lustreless jewellery. The ephod was no longer a medium of communication with God. *
31 And thou shalt make the robe of the ephod all of blue.
32 And there shall be an hole in the top of it, in the midst thereof: it shall have a binding of woven work round about the hole of it, as it were the hole of an habergeon, that it be not rent.
This was a skirt of blue woven work--answerable almost to the modern petticoat of female attire, only that it was an outer garment, and did not reach to the ground, but fell some eight or ten inches short of the lower end of the inner coat or linen tunic. It was fastened over the tunic at the waist, exactly like a petticoat, except that the fastening was not with strings, but by the grip of the garment at the bound border of the upper opening. It would be put on by being slipped over the head. *
The Hem - pomegranates and bells
33 And beneath upon the hem of it thou shalt make pomegranates of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, round about the hem thereof; and bells of gold between them round about:
Words (Bells) and Pomegranates (Fruit - of the spirit) Faith and works.
In so far as the brethren of Christ are covered with the name of Christ, and in him are an holy priesthood, the figure would have a minor application to them as the sounders of the truth and the doers of his commandments--"a bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate"--words and deeds, words and deeds, of Divine character. *
34 A golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, upon the hem of the robe round about.
A golden bell: The sound of faithful teaching
The golden bells, with their sound, tell us of ... the preaching of the word of faith, both when the Great High-priest goes into heaven, and when he comes out: for preaching is not ended when Christ comes, though its particular object changes. *
35 And it shall be upon Aaron to minister: and his sound shall be heard when he goeth in unto the holy place before Yahweh, and when he cometh out, that he die not.
Sound forth the truth or perish
Silence would be stagnation: it would be disobedience in the high priest: the golden bells sound, "that he die not".
36 And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO YAHWEH.
The priesthood, in the strict sense, belonged exclusively to the family of Aaron, as the rebellion of Korah made decisively plain (Num. I6).
"Therefore thou and thy sons with thee shall keep your priest's office for every thing of the altar, and within the vail, and ye shall serve: I have given your priest's office unto you as a service of gift: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death" (Num. 18: 7).
In keeping with this more privileged position the sons of Aaron wore special garments-coats, girdles, bonnets and breeches, all of linen (Exod. 28: 40-43; 39: 27-29) - and underwent a far more complicated and significant ceremony of initiation than the mass of the Levites (Lev. 8)
This was even truer of Aaron their father. He wore special High Priestly robes besides the coat, girdle and breeches worn by his sons; where they wore only a bonnet he wore a mitre (or turban); oil was used to anoint his sons' heads but not with the same profusion as in his case (Lev. I0: 7 and Lev. 2I : 12; cf Psa. I 33)·
Moreover the demand for holiness assumed its most intense form in his case, for laced to his turban was a plate, a holy crown (Exod. 29: 6), and deeply engraved upon it the words, "HOLINESS TO [YAHWEH]" (Exod. 28: 36-37).
Thus the symbolism culminated in one man. Symbol after symbol, each more concentrated than the one before - first the Camp, next the Levites, then the priests, finally Aaron himself - represented Israel as they were meant to be - a holy nation.
Aaron figuratively bore the entire nation upon his shoulders in the two onyx stones
(Exod. 28: 9-12), and upon his heart in the breastplate of judgment (Exod. 28 : 29), and so stood for the nation as a whole. It was for that reason that he and the congregation were equated in the schedule of Sin Offering (Lev. 4).
In his crown the whole of Israel (on this principle of representation) made avowal that its fundamental duty was "Holiness to the Lord". Aaron was thus, as the crowned priest, the microcosm of the people viewed as a dynasty of priests and a holy nation. It was only their representative recognition in his crown of their duty to be holy as God's priestly People that made their offerings acceptable, and the forgiveness possible of those sins with which they daily outraged His holiness.
"It shall be upon Aaron's forehead",
said God. That is, holiness was to be the entire nation's pursuit and the preoccupation of its thinking.
"It shall be upon Aaron's forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts, and it shall be always upon his forehead that they may be accepted before the Lord" (Exod. 28 : 38).
Law and Grace Ch 5
Daniel was "girded with fine gold of Uphaz." This Uphaz is the Ophir of other passages.
In the times of the prophets it was the gold region of the earth, whence the most abundant supplies of the finest gold were obtained. The fitting up of the temple, which in its places and furniture was "the patterns of things in the heavens" figures of the true heavenly things themselves were all of gold, or of precious woods overlaid with gold; to wit, the Cherubim, the Ark of the Testimony, the Mercy-Seat, the Altar of Incense, the Seven Branched Lampstands, the Table of Shew Bread, spoons, tongs, censers, hinges, staves, and so forth.
And besides all this, the "holy garments for glory and beauty," worn by the High Priest, who officiated in this golden temple, were brilliant with gold and precious stones; such as, the breastplate of righteousness, the ephod, the mitre, or "helmet of salvation," etc.
Phanerosis - Girded with fine Gold of Uphaz
38 And it shall be upon Aaron's forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before Yahweh.
Forehead - for judgement, memory, planning and impulse control
"The iniquity of the holy things" is at first sight a strange and obscure expression. It becomes intelligible when we look into it. The holy things were the things which Israel were required to offer, whether as free-will offerings, or firstfruits, or sacrifice. They were made holy in being consecrated to God: but as emanating from an unclean people, they were considered as tainted with their unholiness, and therefore as unfit for presentation, except through a cleansing medium.
This cleansing medium under the law was the high priest. The defilement came upon him, but was neutralized, as we might say, by the ceremonial holiness of the ever-visible assertion of the holiness of God on the frontal plate of gold. Thus he was qualified to "bear the iniquity of the holy things" without harm, and the offerings through him (with the plate "always upon his forehead ") were "accepted before the Lord"
...He [Yahoshua] has thus borne the iniquity of the antitypical holy things without harm by reason of that "Holiness to the Lord", which in a tried faith was exhibited to all Israel when manifest in their midst as the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world, and since more conspicuously shown in the preaching of the Apostles:
"Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus" (Rom. 3:25-26).
Like Israel's gifts, we are "accepted before the Lord", notwithstanding our imperfections, because of the proclamation of the holiness of the Lord in the life and death of the high priest through whom we come.*
The Coat, Girdle of the coat and Mitre
39 And thou shalt embroider the coat of fine linen, and thou shalt make the mitre of fine linen, and thou shalt make the girdle of needlework.
.The coat was a tunic, or long inner garment, of fine linen, of woven work, and embroidered (Exod. 28:39; 31:27). The fine linen is the symbol of righteousness,... the weaving and embroidery would stand for the particular works or actions in which righteousness is expressed: as it is said by John,
"He that doeth righteousness is righteous" (1 John 3:7),
and as it is figuratively said of the King's bride in the day of glory
"she shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework".
This, then, is the groundwork of the mental attire which renders the clothed man acceptable: white, pure, beautiful, righteousness, or the disposition to do what God commands, expressed in the actual rendering to Him what He delights in, which we can only know by His requirements.
The mitre was a head-covering of linen--a crown of righteousness. The Aaronic mitre was a comfortable bonnet of white, surmounting the entire priestly dress as the token of kindly purity presiding over all. *
Nakedness/ iniquity covered
42 And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach:
43 And they shall be upon Aaron, and upon his sons, when they come in unto the tabernacle of the congregation, or when they come near unto the altar to minister in the holy place; that they bear not iniquity, and die: it shall be a statute for ever unto him and his seed after him.
"Nakedness," and "iniquity," are convertible terms in scripture; as it is written, "when Moses saw that the people were, naked, for Aaron had made them naked to their shame," -- that is, they had transgressed in worshipping the golden calf; and "blessed is he that keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame."
Hence, to be "clothed," and to keep the clothing white, and clean, is to be "righteous," or holy. When Adam sinned, "he knew that he was naked," and he was ashamed, and afraid; but the Spirit appointed for clothing skins of sacrifices, and his sin was covered. Hence, "blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered," or clothed.
Joshua, son of Josedec, a type of Jesus in the flesh, is first introduced as clothed with filthy garments, representative of the flesh with its propensities and lusts; but when the type is changed to represent Jesus in pneuma hagiosunes, -- that is, in Holy Spirit Nature, such as he acquired after resurrection, Joshua's raiment is represented as being changed.
"Take away," says the Spirit, "the filthy garments from him." When this was done, then the Spirit addresses him, and says, "I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment." And when the time came to do it -- to clothe Jesus, and all in him; symbolised in Joshua, and "his Fellows" "they set a fair mitre (or priestly crown) upon his head, and clothed him with garments." These are indicated in the visions of John and Daniel (Zech. 3:3-10).
"I put on righteousness," says Job, "and it clothed me;" and in Psalm 132:9, "Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness."