Verses of Exodus 28
Exodus 28:36 Commentary - Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae (Old and New Testaments)
Exo 28:36-38. And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD. And thou shalt put it on a blue lace, that it may be upon the mitre: upon the fore-front of the mitre it shall be. 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.
IF it were once ascertained that God had imposed a number of ordinances upon his people, we should be ready to conclude that his institutions were not mere arbitrary and insignificant laws, but that they had some occult meaning, worthy of their divine Author. But when we are informed by God himself, that many things, apparently most indifferent, were intended to shadow forth the great mystery of redemption, we are persuaded that not even the minutest ordinance among them was without some appropriate and important signification. But though we believe this, we do not presume to assign the meaning of each, any further than we are warranted by the Scriptures themselves. Instead of wandering into the regions of conjecture, we judge it more for general edification to confine ourselves to matters which are obvious and acknowledged.
The whole dress of the high-priest was unquestionably typical; and designated either the office of our great High-Priest, or his qualifications for the discharge of it. That part to which we would now direct your attention, is his mitre. This, as the text informs us, was a covering for his head (somewhat like the turbans worn in the East at this day): it was made of fine linen, and had, in the front of it, a gold plate, with this inscription, holiness to the lord. It was worn by him whenever he officiated in the temple. Through this the high-priest was considered as holy, and was the appointed means of expiating the defects that were in the services of the people, and of procuring acceptance for their persons. Now, whilst the end for which it was worn manifests, beyond a doubt, that the appointment was typical, it enables us to declare with certainty the true intention of the type.
This institution then was intended to foreshew,
The holiness of our great High-Priest—
[Christ was in truth “the holy one of Israel” It was necessary that he should be spotless himself; for had he not been so, he could not hare made atonement for us; yea, he would have needed an atonement for himself [Note: Heb 7:26-27. 1Jn 3:5.]. The utmost care was taken respecting the typical offerings, to ascertain that they were without blemish: and it seems to have been particularly ordained of God that the innocence of Jesus should be established by every possible proof, (and by the repeated testimony even of the judge that condemned him,) in order that his fitness, as our sin-offering, might appear. Thus was the type accomplished in him; and a sure foundation was laid for all the hopes that are built upon him.]
The need we have of an interest in it—
[The high-priest, so habited, was to “bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the people should hallow.” Their best services were imperfect, in manner at least, if not in the matter of them also: and they were to seek acceptance through the holiness of their high-priest alone. Thus it is with us also. All that we do is imperfect. The best service we ever performed was mixed with sin, and needed an atonement to be made for it. Without an atonement, it could never have been regarded by a holy God. This was strongly marked in the ordinance before us, and ought to be remembered by us as a ground for the deepest humiliation.]
Its efficacy in our behalf—
[The people’s services were, through this typical holiness of their high-priest, accepted of God, notwithstanding the imperfection of them: nor shall ours be despised, if we trust in the merits and mediation of the Lord Jesus. This was beautifully represented under the Mosaic dispensation by the acceptance of leavened bread [Note: Lev 2:11 with 7:13 and 23:17.], and mutilated beasts [Note: Lev 22:21-23], when offered as thank-offerings, and not as offerings for sin: and the same encouraging truth is plainly asserted in the New Testament [Note: Heb 13:15; 1Pe 2:5.]. Let us only be interested in “the spotless Lamb of God,” and all that we do in his name shall find acceptance before God.]
This subject is well calculated,
To humble the self-righteous—
[What room can there be for trusting in our own righteousness, when the most righteous act we ever performed had an iniquity in it which needed to be borne by our great HighPriest? Lay aside your proud thoughts, and “seek to be found in Christ, not having your own righteousness, but his.”]
To encourage the desponding—
[Be it so; you are a sinner: “but if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:” and through him you may draw nigh to God with boldness and confidence [Note: Eph 3:12; Heb 10:19-22.].]
To direct and animate the godly—
[You are now “priests unto God;” and are to have holiness to the lord written upon your foreheads [Note: Zec 14:20.], that it may be visible to God and man. Remember that “God will be sanctified in all that draw nigh unto him [Note: Lev 10:3; Psa 93:5.] ;” and that “as He who hath called you is holy, so must ye be holy in all manner of conversation [Note: 1Pe 1:15-16; 1Pe 2:9.].”]
Verses of Exodus 28
Consult other comments:
Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae (Old and New Testaments)
Charles Simeon (1759 - 1836) was an English evangelical Anglican cleric.
Horae Homileticae reflects the rich source of Biblical understanding of Simeon, a towering figure in the history of evangelical theology.