|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
28:1-5 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.
Verse 2. - Holy garments have provoked an extreme aversion and an extreme affection at different periods of the world's history. In Moses' time probably no one thought of raising any objection to them. Priestly dresses of many different kinds were worn in Egypt, and some costume other than that of ordinary life, was probably affected by the priest class of every nation. Without entering into any elaborate "philosophy of clothes," we may say that the rationale of the matter would seem to be that expressed with great moderation by Richard Hooker - "To solemn actions of royalty and justice their suitable ornaments are a beauty. Are they in religion only a stain?" (See Eccl. Pol. 5:29, § 1.) The garments ordered to be made for Aaron and his sons (ver. 41), are said to have been for glory and for beauty.
1. "For glory." To exalt the priestly office in the eyes of the people - to make them look with greater reverence on the priests themselves and the priestly functions - to place the priests in a class by themselves, in a certain sense, above the rest of the nation.
2. "For beauty." As fit and comely in themselves - suitable to the functions which the priests exercised - in harmony with the richness and beauty of the sanctuary wherein they were to minister. God, himself, it would seem, is not indifferent to beauty. He has spread beauty over the earth, fie will have beauty in his earthly dwelling-place. He requires men to worship him "in the beauty of holiness" (Psalm 29:2; Psalm 96:9; 1 Chronicles 16:29). He ordains for his priests rich and splendid dresses "for glory and for beauty."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother,.... Called so, because in these he was to minister in the holy place, and perform holy service; and because typical of the holy human nature of Christ our great High Priest, and of his spotless righteousness, and of the garments of sanctification, both outward and inward, that all believers in him, who are made priests unto God, are arrayed with: Aaron and his sons being appointed priests, their garments are first described before their work and even before their consecration to their office; and there were some peculiar to Aaron, or the high priest, and different from those of his sons, or the common priests; and which are first treated of, as the breastplate, the robe of ephod, and the plate of gold; besides these, there were four more, common to all the priests, as the coat, the breeches, the girdle, and bonnet. Now whereas some of the Heathen priests performed their office, and offered their sacrifices, naked, which was very shameful and abominable, as Braunius (o) from various authors has shown, though this was not done by them all: in opposition to such a filthy practice, and to show his detestation of it, the Lord orders his priests to be clothed, and that in a very splendid manner, with garments
for glory and beauty; that is, with glorious and beautiful ones, and which would make his priests look so: and this was done, partly to point out the dignity of their office to themselves, that they might take care to behave suitable to it, and keep up the honour and credit of it; and partly to make them respectable unto men, and be honoured by them, none being clothed as they were, as Aben Ezra observes; but chiefly because they were typical of the glory and beauty of Christ's human nature, which was as a garment put on, and put off, and on again, and in which he officiated as a priest, and still does; and which is now very glorious, and in which he is fairer than any of the children of men; and of the garments of salvation, and robe of righteousness, in which all his people, his priests, appear exceeding glorious and beautiful, even in a perfection of beauty.
(o) De Vestitu Sacerdot. Heb. l. 1. c. 1. sect. 5. p. 11.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2-5. holy garments—No inherent holiness belonged either to the material or the workmanship. But they are called "holy" simply because they were not worn on ordinary occasions, but assumed in the discharge of the sacred functions (Eze 44:19).
for glory and for beauty—It was a grand and sumptuous attire. In material, elaborate embroidery, and color, it had an imposing splendor. The tabernacle being adapted to the infantine aid of the church, it was right and necessary that the priests' garments should be of such superb and dazzling appearance, that the people might be inspired with a due respect for the ministers as well as the rites of religion. But they had also a further meaning; for being all made of linen, they were symbolical of the truth, purity, and other qualities in Christ that rendered Him such a high priest as became us.
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