The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Exodus 28

Exo 28:1

AARON: Sig "very high" (Act 5:31; Heb 4:14; Phi 2:9).

FROM AMONG THE ISRAELITES: The High Priest is to be taken from among the people whom he represents (cp Heb 5:1).

NADAB: Sig "willing" / "free will" (Jdg 5:2; 2Ch 17:16).

ABIHU: Sig "my father is he" (Gal 4:6; 1Jo 3:2).

ELEAZAR: Sig "help of EL" (Psa 121:2; Hos 13:9; Exo 18:4).

ITHAMAR: Sig "land of palms" (Psa 92:12; Eze 41:18).

PRIESTS: Saints are priests also (1Pe 2:9).

Exo 28:2

Exo 28:2ff: See Article, For glory and for beauty (Exo 28).

Clothing symbolizes a way of life, to be kept clean, as in the "wedding garment" of Christ's parable (Mat 22:11-13). It describes an inner beauty, not like the Pharisees' "whited sepulchres" -- which are outwardly clean, but inside are filled with dead men's bones (Mat 23:25-28; Ecc 3:11). "Let your priests be clothed with righteousness" (Psa 132:9). "I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and diadem" (Job 29:14). "Put on the new man... righteousness, true holiness" (Eph 4:24). "Be clothed with humility" (1Pe 5:5). "Whole armor of God..." (Eph 6). "Righteousness, girdle of loins; faithfulness, girdle of reins" (Isa 11:5). "Clothed with house from heaven" (2Co 5:2,3). "Girt with golden girdle" (Rev 1:13).

TO GIVE HIM DIGNITY AND HONOR: "For glory and for beauty" (AV). Cp Psa 27:4; 29:2; 90:17; 149:4.

"God's purpose for these particular works of Bezalel suggests a purpose for all of the arts -- to glorify God and to manifest beauty" (Gene Edward Veith).

Exo 28:5

GOLD: A tried faith (1Pe 1:7), necessary to please God (Heb 11:6). "When he has tried me, I shall come forth as gold" (Job 23:10).

BLUE: Color of heaven, God's dwelling (on fringe of garments, to remember commandments: Num 15:37-40).

PURPLE: Color of kings. Jesus wore such a robe. Cp Mar 15:17; Est 8:15; Dan 5:7 mg. Combination: blue of God and red of man.

SCARLET: Or red, "adom": denotes our mortal, sinful natures (Isa 1:18; Rev 6:4; 17:3). (Conc Christ: "God made him to be sin": 2Co 5:21.)

FINE LINEN: White, sym righteousness (Rev 19:8).

Exo 28:8

SKILLFULLY WOVEN WAISTBAND: "Curious girdle" (AV). A belt, allowing freedom of movement without stumbling. Exhortation to put aside hindrances. An active, working righteousness: "Loins girt, lamps burning... as men that wait for their lord" (Luk 12:35,36). "Gird up loins of mind" (1Pe 1:13). Also, Eph 6:4.

Exo 28:12

ON THE SHOULDER PIECES: And upon heart (v 30), and forehead (v 38).


Exo 28:15

A BREASTPIECE FOR MAKING DECISIONS: "A breastplate of judgment" (AV). "Urim" (lights: ie Zec 14:7) and "Thummim" (fullness: ie Col 1:19) speak of glorious light from stones in breastplate. Represent the light of God (1Ti 6:16) and holy men -- ie saints (Deu 33:8), both now (Phi 2:15; Eph 5:8) and in purified state (Dan 12:3; Mat 13:43).

Exo 28:16

SQUARE: "Foursquare" (AV), sym Israel, with 4 cherubim of Ezek, 4 divisions of camp, and "foursquare" New Jerusalem. Prob 4 lines of 3 stones each, forming a square, like the encampment of Israel.

Exo 28:21

"The names of all the saints he bears, engraven on his heart..." (cp v 39).

Exo 28:29

WHEN AARON ENTERS THE HOLY PLACE, HE WILL BEAR THE NAMES OF THE SONS OF ISRAEL OVER HIS HEART: Christ bore our names into the holy place: By his own blood, obtaining eternal redemption (for himself, and for others): Heb 9:11,12.

A CONTINUING MEMORIAL BEFORE THE LORD: And a memorial to the children of Israel (v 12). "To bring them to continual remembrance before the Lord" (RSV).

Exo 28:30

PUT... IN: Or "inside". A pouch, behind breastplate (WRev 24). Cp Lev 8:8.

OVER HIS HEART: "Set me as a seal upon your heart" (Song 8:6).

Exo 28:33

POMEGRANATES: Sig "fruit": "By their fruits you shall know them" (Mat 7:16). "Fruits of spirit" (Gal 5:22,23). The land of promise = "land of pomegranates" (Deu 8:8), and is for those who manifest the "fruits of the Spirit". Sym multitudinous Christ, with many seeds in perfect whole.

GOLD BELLS: The bell-shaped blossom as well as the ripe fruit (LB 584). Thus, both promise and fruition. Also, "bells" for a joyful noise of worship. Bells of gold = words of faith.

Exo 28:37

TURBAN: "Mitre" (AV). A crown, on forehead. "As frontlets between your eyes" (Deu 6:6-9). Our minds always engraved with mind of God; "sealed" (Rev 7:2,3; Zec 3:4; 2Co 3:3; 11:22).

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