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Bible Commentaries
Exodus 28

Trapp's Complete CommentaryTrapp's Commentary

Verse 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.

Take thou unto thee. — Christ also was "taken from among men," Hebrews 5:1 to mediate and negotiate man’s cause with God: and this honour he assumed not to himself, but it was given him from above. Hebrews 5:5

Verse 2

And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty.

For glory and for beauty.Prodit Aaron a capite ad calcem, os humerosque Deo similis. The high priest was gloriously apparelled, to strike a religious reverence into the eyes and hearts of the beholders, and to set forth the beauty and bravery of Christ and his Church.

Verse 3

And thou shalt speak unto all [that are] wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office.

That they may make, …Vides, in sacerdotibus nil plebeium reperiri, nil populare, saith Ambrose. Nothing in the priests but what was above the ordinary. The very workmen are to be filled with the Spirit of wisdom, to make their attire.

Verse 4

And these [are] the garments which they shall make; a breastplate, and an ephod, and a robe, and a broidered coat, a mitre, and a girdle: and they shall make holy garments for Aaron thy brother, and his sons, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office.

An ephod. — Not that which was common to all priests, 1 Samuel 2:18 ; 1 Samuel 22:18 but peculiar to the high priest. See Exodus 28:6 .

Verse 5

And they shall take gold, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen.

And they shall take gold, and blue, … — The cloak of Alcisthenes the Sybarite (sold for one hundred and twenty talents), that parliament robe of Demetrius, king of Macedonia (which no prince after him would put on propter invidiosam impendii magnificentiam, for its stately costliness), were but rags to Aaron’s raiment. Athenaeus.

Verse 6

And they shall make the ephod [of] gold, [of] blue, and [of] purple, [of] scarlet, and fine twined linen, with cunning work.

The ephod of gold. — This the high priest only might wear; neither might any imitate it; for that was the fall of Gideon’s house. Judges 8:26-27

Verse 9

And thou shalt take two onyx stones, and grave on them the names of the children of Israel:

Two onyx stones. — These signified Christ’s perpetual love to his people, and how precious they be to him.

Verse 12

And thou shalt put the two stones upon the shoulders of the ephod [for] stones of memorial unto the children of Israel: and Aaron shall bear their names before the LORD upon his two shoulders for a memorial.

And Aaron shall bear their names. — To set forth Christ’s incessant intercession for all God’s Israel, even when his back seems turned upon them.

Verse 14

And two chains [of] pure gold at the ends; [of] wreathen work shalt thou make them, and fasten the wreathen chains to the ouches.

Fasten. the wreathen chains. — These chains wherewith the breastplate and shoulder were tied, signified, saith one, Moses Unveiled. the perfect contexture of all heavenly virtues adorning Christ’s humanity; as also that true faith whereby we are girded to him.

Verse 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.

The breastplate of judgment. — So called because the priest was to put it on when he was to inquire and give sentence as from God. Numbers 27:21

Verse 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.

Four rows of stones. — According to the number and order of the twelve tribes encamping about God’s tabernacle. In all which rows, a very reverend writer Dr Taylor. hath well observed eight things: - (1.) The shining of the stones; pointing to the purity of Christ and his Church: (2.) Their price; of great value and worth; signifying what a price Christ valued his Church at: (3.) Their place or situation; they are set in the heart, and Aaron must carry them on his heart, signifying that Christ hath as much care of his Church, as if it were enclosed in his heart, - lets out his blood to make room in his heart for them: (4.) Their number; twelve; noting, that with Christ is plentiful redemption: (5.) Their order; they stood in a comely quadrangle; Christ hath stablished a comely order in his Church; and we must keep our ranks: (6.) The figure; the four square; signifying the stability and firmness of the Church; Satan and all deceivers shall not pick one stone out of Christ’s heart: (7.) Their use; that Aaron must bear them on his heart; signifying Christ’s ardent affection to his, and constant intercession for them: (8.) The quantity; as all the names of Israel were gathered into a narrow compass, so Christ shall "gather together into one all the dispersed sons of God," and present them before God as the most beautiful and precious parts of the world. John 11:52

Verse 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 the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually.

The Urim and the Thummim. — A distinct thing from the stones and chains; made it was not by the artificers, but given by God to Moses, as were the two tables, and by him put into the breastplate. The very names of Urim and Thummim, - lights and perfections, - lead us to Christ, in whom is all fulness. In imitation of this Urim and Thummim, the high priest among the Egyptians is reported by Aelian to have worn about his neck a sapphire stone, which was called αληθεια , truth. Var, Hist., lib. 14. s. 34.

When he goeth in before the Lord,sc., To consult with God, who answered the priest by "voice." Numbers 7:89

Verse 31

And thou shalt make the robe of the ephod all [of] blue.

The robe of the ephod. — Which signified the royal robe of Christ’s righteousness, reaching down to the feet, large enough to cover all our imperfections.

Verse 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.

That it be not rent. — To show that there should be no rents or schisms in the Church. 1 Corinthians 1:10 ; 1 Corinthians 1:13 1 Timothy 1:3

Verse 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:

Pomegranates of blue. — These hanging intermixed with bells, signified the sweet and comfortable effects of Christ’s doctrine; Mr Jackson. by which we come to be clothed with Christ’s righteousness, and "from his fulness to receive even grace for grace." John 1:16

Verse 34

golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, upon the hem of the robe round about.

A golden bell and a pomegranate. — Shadowing out, (1.) The prophetic office of Christ here, and his perpetual intercession in heaven: (2) The duty of ministers; which is, Vivere concionibus, concionari moribus: to live sermons, to be fruitful as well as painful teachers: not like him of whom it was said, that when he was out of the pulpit, it was pity he should ever go into it: and when he was in the pulpit, it was pity he should ever come out of it.

Verse 35

And it shall be upon Aaron to minister: and his sound shall be heard when he goeth in unto the holy [place] before the LORD, and when he cometh out, that he die not.

And his sound shall be heard.Necesse erat ut Pontifex totus vocalis ingrederetur sanctuarium, ne forte non audito sonitu, morte lueret silentium. A "dumb dog" is a child of death. Isaiah 56:10 Ministers must be both able and "apt to teach" upon all occasions.

Verse 36

And thou shalt make a plate [of] pure gold, and grave upon it, [like] the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD.

HOLINESS TO THE LORD. — Hence it was not lawful for the high priest, say the Jews, to put off his bonnet to whomsoever he met, were he never so great a man; lest the name and glory of God, whose person he sustained, should seem to submit to any man.

Verse 37

And thou shalt put it on a blue lace, that it may be upon the mitre; upon the forefront of the mitre it shall be.

Upon the mitre. — Which had a holy crown with it, Exodus 29:6 signifying the deity and dignity of Christ.

Verse 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 the LORD.

That Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things. — Get the people’s pardon. This Christ did indeed for all his. 1 John 2:1-2

Verse 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.

Embroider the coat. — See Revelation 1:13 . Christ is clothed with such a robe, as king and counsellor of his Church.

Verse 40

And for Aaron’s sons thou shalt make coats, and thou shalt make for them girdles, and bonnets shalt thou make for them, for glory and for beauty.

Coats — (1.) Linen garments for innocency; (2.) Girdles for constancy and stability; (3.) Bonnets for safety from the rage of Satan and his instrumants; (4.) Breeches, for comely reverance in God’s service.

Verse 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.

That they bear not the iniquity, and die, — sc., For not hiding their nakedness. See on Exodus 20:26 .

Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Exodus 28". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jtc/exodus-28.html. 1865-1868.
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