And of the blue, and purple, and scarlet, they made cloths of service, to do service in the holy place, and made the holy garments for Aaron; as the LORD commanded Moses.
It is a law of our being and the being of all material things that everything grows like to that with which it is conversant and familiar. Those who frequent the good gather the image of their goodness, and those who deal much with God grow Godlike.
I. What was the glory on Moses' face? St. Paul gives us a remarkable answer to this question. He says, "They could not look steadfastly to the end of that which is abolished." "That which is abolished" is the law, and the end of the law is Christ; therefore the glory upon Moses' face was the Lord Jesus Christ.
II. It was not in compassion for the weakness of the Israelites that Moses put a veil upon his face. The Jews had lost the power to see the end of that which is abolished, to see the glory of God in Jesus Christ reflected in the law. The veil was judicial, the consequence of sin; it was interposed between them and the beauty of the glory of God in the person of Jesus Christ.
III. There are veiled hearts among us now, and the reason of the veil is sin. The remedy is Christ. "When they shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away." When we have Christ within, we shall be able to look with unveiled mind upon all the beauties and glories of the Christ without. And then will come to pass that with which St. Paul sums it all up: "We, with open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."
J. Vaughan, Meditations in Exodus, p. 109.
References: Exodus 35:8.—Spurgeon, Evening by Evening, p. 336. Exodus 35:20-29.—Parker, vol. ii., p. 293. Exodus 35:29.—J. Vaughan, Meditations in Exodus, p. 118; Preacher's Monthly, vol. ii., p. 300. Exodus 35:30-34.—Homiletic Magazine, vol. xiv., p. 165. Exodus 35:30-35.—L. D. Bevan, Sermons to Students, p. 121. Exod 35.—Preacher's Monthly, vol. ii., p. 303. 35, 36—Ibid., p. 303. Exodus 36:1.—W. Arnot, Good Words, 1862, p. 318. Exodus 37:7.—S. Baring-Gould, Village Preaching for a Year, vol. ii., p. 103. Exodus 37:23.—Ibid., p. 145. Exodus 38:8.—Parker, vol. ii., p. 301; H. Macmillan, The Olive Leaf, p. 169; S. Baring-Gould, Village Preaching for a Year, vol. i., p. 189. Exodus 38:23.—Ibid., vol. ii., p. 321. Exodus 38:26, Exodus 38:27.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxvii., No. 1581.
Exodus 39:8A full description of the breastplate is given twice over in the Book of Exodus, and from it we may gather certain useful lessons as to the Church in all ages.
I. There were twelve stones in the breastplate, each of them different, and each bearing a different name. This shows what variety there is among believers. So long as the human race differs so much in mental structure, we shall not be able to think alike, even in those things that are spoken of in Holy Writ. There are differences with regard to worship, differences in religious feelings and experiences; the stones are not alike, yet they are all on the same breastplate.
II. This brings us to another truth—the unity of the Church, all differing, yet all on the heart of Christ. The enemy has only to show himself, and men who differ amongst themselves agree to drive him back.
III. They were all precious stones; not one was mean or contemptible. God's Church has ever been costly. No jewel is what it afterwards becomes when first found. Let not the stone which sparkles in its setting sneer at that which only looks like a pebble. The Master has chosen it; He knows that He has put within its rude exterior that which only needs time and skill to make it "shine as the stars for ever and ever."
IV. Why were those precious stones put upon the breastplate? They were not on the mitre; they were upon the heart, teaching us that the Church is beloved. Every believer is on the heart of God.
V. Great pains were taken to keep the breastplate from being lost. It was not only fastened to the shoulders by chains, but the bottom part of the breastplate was fastened by two rings lashed to the two rings in the ephod. This tells us of the Church's security.
T. Champness, New Coins from Old Gold, p. 234.
Exodus 39:9-10, Exodus 39:14The breastplate of the Jewish high-priest is a beautiful type of intercession. When the high-priest appeared before God in his full sacerdotal attire, there would be the twelve names upon his heart, indicative of his love and care for the whole people of Israel. The names upon the breastplate betoken the individuality of Christ's intercession for His people. Every Christian ought to intercede, because he is in a certain important sense a priest, and intercession is one of the priestly functions.
I. Observe, first, the great importance attached to this duty in Scripture. In the Old Testament we find Abraham interceding for Sodom; in the New Testament we find the early Church winning the life of St. Peter by intercessory prayer. The Lord's Prayer is so constructed that it is impossible to use it without praying for all other Christians besides ourselves.
II. The duty of intercessory prayer is based upon the fact that men are one body and members one of another. Whether in nature or in grace, a man is essentially the member of a family. And if this be so, the weal and woe of other men, of other Christians, must be, to a certain extent, our weal and woe, cannot ultimately fail to reach us. We must bring our relations and sympathies with us when we appear before God.
III. Although both the duty of intercessory prayer and the grounds of it are clear, there is no part of devotion which Christians so much neglect. Some shrink from intercessory prayer under a feeling that, coming from them, it would be presumptuous. The real reason, however, of our reluctance to practise intercessory prayer, is a want of sympathy with others, a want of love. He who prays with the largest sympathy, he who embraces in. his prayer the widest circle of his fellow-creatures, is most in sympathy with the mind of God when he prays, has the key of God's heart, and therefore of God's treasury.
E. M. Goulburn, Thoughts on Personal Religion, p. 79.
Exodus 40 - Leviticus 1:1.—J. Monro Gibson, The Mosaic Era, p. 133.
And he made the ephod of gold, blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen.
And they did beat the gold into thin plates, and cut it into wires, to work it in the blue, and in the purple, and in the scarlet, and in the fine linen, with cunning work.
They made shoulderpieces for it, to couple it together: by the two edges was it coupled together.
And the curious girdle of his ephod, that was upon it, was of the same, according to the work thereof; of gold, blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen; as the LORD commanded Moses.
And they wrought onyx stones inclosed in ouches of gold, graven, as signets are graven, with the names of the children of Israel.
And he put them on the shoulders of the ephod, that they should be stones for a memorial to the children of Israel; as the LORD commanded Moses.
And he made the breastplate of cunning work, like the work of the ephod; of gold, blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen.
It was foursquare; they made the breastplate double: a span was the length thereof, and a span the breadth thereof, being doubled.
And they set in it four rows of stones: the first row was a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this was the first row.
And the second row, an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond.
And the third row, a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst.
And the fourth row, a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper: they were inclosed in ouches of gold in their inclosings.
And the stones were according to the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet, every one with his name, according to the twelve tribes.
And they made upon the breastplate chains at the ends, of wreathen work of pure gold.
And they made two ouches of gold, and two gold rings; and put the two rings in the two ends of the breastplate.
And they put the two wreathen chains of gold in the two rings on the ends of the breastplate.
And the two ends of the two wreathen chains they fastened in the two ouches, and put them on the shoulderpieces of the ephod, before it.
And they made two rings of gold, and put them on the two ends of the breastplate, upon the border of it, which was on the side of the ephod inward.
And they made two other golden rings, and put them on the two sides of the ephod underneath, toward the forepart of it, over against the other coupling thereof, above the curious girdle of the ephod.
And they did bind the breastplate by his rings unto the rings of the ephod with a lace of blue, that it might be above the curious girdle of the ephod, and that the breastplate might not be loosed from the ephod; as the LORD commanded Moses.
And he made the robe of the ephod of woven work, all of blue.
And there was an hole in the midst of the robe, as the hole of an habergeon, with a band round about the hole, that it should not rend.
And they made upon the hems of the robe pomegranates of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and twined linen.
And they made bells of pure gold, and put the bells between the pomegranates upon the hem of the robe, round about between the pomegranates;
A bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate, round about the hem of the robe to minister in; as the LORD commanded Moses.
And they made coats of fine linen of woven work for Aaron, and for his sons,
And a mitre of fine linen, and goodly bonnets of fine linen, and linen breeches of fine twined linen,
And a girdle of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, of needlework; as the LORD commanded Moses.
And they made the plate of the holy crown of pure gold, and wrote upon it a writing, like to the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD.
And they tied unto it a lace of blue, to fasten it on high upon the mitre; as the LORD commanded Moses.
Thus was all the work of the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation finished: and the children of Israel did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so did they.
And they brought the tabernacle unto Moses, the tent, and all his furniture, his taches, his boards, his bars, and his pillars, and his sockets,
And the covering of rams' skins dyed red, and the covering of badgers' skins, and the vail of the covering,
The ark of the testimony, and the staves thereof, and the mercy seat,
The table, and all the vessels thereof, and the shewbread,
The pure candlestick, with the lamps thereof, even with the lamps to be set in order, and all the vessels thereof, and the oil for light,
And the golden altar, and the anointing oil, and the sweet incense, and the hanging for the tabernacle door,
The brasen altar, and his grate of brass, his staves, and all his vessels, the laver and his foot,
The hangings of the court, his pillars, and his sockets, and the hanging for the court gate, his cords, and his pins, and all the vessels of the service of the tabernacle, for the tent of the congregation,
The cloths of service to do service in the holy place, and the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and his sons' garments, to minister in the priest's office.
According to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so the children of Israel made all the work.
And Moses did look upon all the work, and, behold, they had done it as the LORD had commanded, even so had they done it: and Moses blessed them.