|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
44:1-31 This chapter contains ordinances relative to the true priests. The prince evidently means Christ, and the words in ver. 2, may remind us that no other can enter heaven, the true sanctuary, as Christ did; namely, by virtue of his own excellency, and his personal holiness, righteousness, and strength. He who is the Brightness of Jehovah's glory entered by his own holiness; but that way is shut to the whole human race, and we all must enter as sinners, by faith in his blood, and by the power of his grace.
Verse 18. - In particular the priests should have linen bonnets upon their heads - literally, linen tires shall be upon their heads - and linen breeches upon their loins. To infer from the use of מִגְבָּעות in Leviticus 8:13 and of פְאֵר here for the head-dress of the priests, that Ezekiel was composed before Leviticus, is not convincing. Smend explains the latter term as the customary headdress of common people, and the former as a specially ornamental tiara or turban. Gesenius reverses this meaning, making the former the ordinary round cap, and the latter a tiara (see for the former, Exodus 28:40; Exodus 29:9; Exodus 39:28; and for the latter, Exodus 39:28; Isaiah 61:10; Ezekiel 24:17, 23). In addition, the priests should not gird themselves with any thing that causeth sweat; literally, should not gird themselves in, or with sweat, which was another way of forbidding them to wear woollen clothing, which might cause them to sweat and so lead to uncleanness.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And they shall have linen bonnets upon their heads,.... Denoting gravity and modesty, subjection to God, and authority among men under him; and also purity of doctrine, and clearness of light and knowledge:
and shall have linen breeches upon their loins; expressive of chastity; see Exodus 28:40,
they shall not gird themselves with anything that causeth sweat; so not with wool, which is apt to cause sweat; and is thought to be the reason why it is forbidden in the preceding verse; and so this girdle must be different from the priest's girdle under the law, for that had wool in it: sweat is of an ill smell, and very offensive; and may denote unsound doctrine and immorality in life and conversation, which give offence, and cause the ministry to be blamed, to which is opposed the girdle of truth and holiness, Ephesians 6:14. The Talmudic doctors interpret this of the place of girding, which is liable to sweat; and they say (o),
"they used not to gird neither below the loins, nor above the arm holes; but over against, or about the armholes;''
which is observed by Jarchi and Kimchi on the text; and the Targum is,
"they shall not gird upon or about the loins, but about the heart;''
that is, about the breast or paps; hence Christ our great High Priest is described as girt about the paps with a golden girdle, Revelation 1:13 so these are girt that are made priests by him; denoting their hearty zeal and affection for the truths of his Gospel, and the honour of his name, and their readiness to serve and glorify him: or,
they shall not gird themselves loosely (p); in a negligent manner, which is both indecent, and hinders business.
(o) T. Bab. Zevachim, fol. 18. 2. & 19. 1.((p) "non cingent seipsos modo instabili, nempe neglectim circumponendo cingulum nimis laxum", Gussetius, p. 315. The Tigurine version is, "quae non adstringent arctius".
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
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