Exodus 28:37
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.
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(37) Thou shalt put it on a blue lace.—Compare Exodus 39:31, where we read “they tied unto it a lace of blue.” Probably the two ends of the plate were perforated, and a blue lace or cord passed through the holes and tied to the plate, which was then put in front of the turban and kept in place by the two cords being tied together at the back of the head.

28:31-39 The robe of the ephod was under the ephod, and reached down to the knees, without sleeves. Aaron must minister in the garments appointed. We must serve the Lord with holy fear, as those who know they deserve to die. A golden plate was fixed on Aaron's forehead, engraven with Holiness to the Lord. Aaron was hereby reminded that God is holy, and that his priests must be holy, devoted to the Lord. This must appear in their forehead, in open profession of their relation to God. It must be engraven like the engravings of a signet; deep and durable; not painted so as to be washed off, but firm and lasting; such must our holiness to the Lord be. Christ is our High Priest; through him sins are forgiven to us, and not laid to our charge. Our persons, our doings, are pleasing to God upon the account of Christ, and not otherwise.A blue lace - The plate was fastened upon a blue band or fillet, so tied round the mitre as to show the plate in front.

The mitre - A twisted band of linen Exodus 28:39 coiled into a cap, to which the name mitre, in its original sense, closely answers, but which, in modern usage, would rather be called a turban.

37. mitre—crown-like cap for the head, not covering the entire head, but adhering closely to it, composed of fine linen. The Scripture has not described its form, but from Josephus we may gather that it was conical in shape, as he distinguishes the mitres of the common priests by saying that they were not conical—that it was encircled with swathes of blue embroidered, and that it was covered by one piece of fine linen to hide the seams. The words may be rendered, thou shalt put it on, or, bind it, as the Vulgate renders it, with a blue lace, to wit, upon the mitre, as it follows.

And thou shalt put it on a blue lace,.... The plate of gold:

that it may be upon the mitre; either the plate or the lace; the lace is the nearest antecedent, but it seems by what follows it should be the plate:

upon the forefront of the mitre it shall be; the plate of gold; the mitre was of linen, a wrap of linen about the head, and was like a turban on it, in the top of it; it did not come down low upon the forehead, but left that bare for this plate of gold to be put upon it. Jarchi seems to understand all this of the lace, by comparing it with the following verse, and Exodus 39:31 as if the plate was represented as in the lace, and the lace upon the plate and upon the mitre above; all which he thinks is to be reconciled by observing, that the plate had three holes, and in every hole was a blue lace, and each lace was divided into two parts, so that there were six in all, two laces at each end of the plate, and two in the middle, by which they were fastened upon the top of the mitre, by which it was kept from falling off; and of this middle lace, he thinks, the text is to be understood. The Targum of Jonathan observes, that this plate was put on a blue lace, to make atonement for the impudent.

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.
37. a lace of blue] a lace, or band, of the violet material mentioned in Exodus 25:4. This was apparently tied round the turban, somewhat ‘above’ its lower edge (cf. Exodus 39:31), in the manner of a ‘diadem’ (Exodus 29:6 n.),—in the proper sense of the word, something bound round1[209],—so that the plate attached to it might appear conspicuously in front.

[209] The ‘diadem’ was properly a blue silk band, spotted with white, 2 in. wide, tied round the lower part of the tall stiff cap worn by the Persian kings, and fastened in a knot behind, with the ends hanging down (see ill. in Rawl. Anc. Mon. iii. 204, n. 17; and cf. Xen. Cyr. viii. 3, 13).

the mitre] the turban (RVm.): see on v. 39.

Verse 37. - Thou shalt put it on a blue lace. In Exodus 39:31, it is explained that the blue lace, or ribbon, was "tied to it," probably at either end. That it may be upon the mitre - i.e., "that it may be kept in place, and not slip from its position on the mitre." Exodus 28:37The fourth article of the high priest's dress was the diadem upon his head-band. ציץ, from צוּץ to shine, a plate of pure gold, on which the words ליהוה קדשׁ, "holiness (i.e., all holy) to Jehovah," were engraved, and which is called the "crown of holiness" in consequence, in Exodus 39:30. This gold plate was to be placed upon a riband of dark-blue purple, or, as it is expressed in Exodus 39:31, a riband of this kind was to be fastened to it, to attach it to the head-band, "upon the fore-front (as in Exodus 26:9) of the head-band," from above (Exodus 39:31); by which we are to understand that the gold plate was placed above the lower coil of the head-band and over Aaron's forehead. The word מצנפת, from צנף to twist or coil (Isaiah 22:18), is only applied to the head-band or turban of the high priest, which was made of simply byssus (Exodus 28:39), and, judging from the etymology, was in the shape of a turban. This is all that can be determined with reference to its form. The diadem was the only thing about it that had any special significance. This was to be placed above (upon) Aaron's forehead, that he "might bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel sanctified, with regard to all their holy gifts,...as an acceptableness for them before Jehovah." עון נשׁא: to bear iniquity (sin) and take it away; in other words, to exterminate it by taking it upon one's self. The high priest was exalted into an atoning mediator of the whole nation; and an atoning, sin-exterminating intercession was associated with his office. The qualification for this he received from the diadem upon his forehead with the inscription, "holiness to the Lord." Through this inscription, which was fastened upon his head-dress of brilliant white, the earthly reflection of holiness, he was crowned as the sanctified of the Lord (Psalm 106:16), and endowed with the power to exterminate the sin which clung to the holy offerings of the people on account of the unholiness of their nature, so that the gifts of the nation became well-pleasing to the Lord, and the good pleasure of God was manifested to the nation.

(Note: See my Archaeology i. pp. 183-4. The following are Calvin's admirable remarks: Oblationum sanctarum iniquitas tollenda et purganda fuit per sacerdotem. Frigidum est illud commentum, si quid erroris admissum est in ceremoniis, remissum fuisse sacerdotis precibus. Longius enim respicere nos oportet: ideo oblationum iniquitatem deleri a sacerdote, quia nulla oblatio, quatenus est hominis, omni vitio caret. Dictu hoc asperum est et fere παράδοξον, sanctitates ipsas esse immundas, ut venia indigeant; sed tenendum est, nihil esse sane purum, quod non aliquid labis a nobis contrahat.... Nihil Dei cultu praestantius: et tamen nihil offerre potuit populus, etiam a lege praescriptum, nisi intercedente venia, quam nonnisi per sacerdotem obtinuit.)

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