New European Commentary


About | PDFs | Mobile formats | Word formats | Other languages | Contact Us | What is the Gospel? | Support the work | Carelinks Ministries | | The Real Christ | The Real Devil | "Bible Companion" Daily Bible reading plan

Deeper Commentary

28:8 The significance of the colours should not be over emphasized. Israel in the wilderness only had a limited range of things with them, and as with the use of the shittim wood for the tabernacle construction, God was [and is] in a sense limited by the material He choses to have available to work with.

28:10 According to their birth - Jacob had tried to re-arrange the order of his sons according to his judgment of them, but his judgment was somewhat human. God takes no notice of it here. Note that we are to wear the breastplate of righteousness (Eph. 6:14); all that is true of Christ is in some sense true of those who are in Him. We too are to seek to bear others' burdens of sin, enter the Most Holy and seek to reconcile others to God. The many applications of the OT High Priestly language to ordinary believers would've been so difficult for our early Christian Jewish brethren to accept. We are right now sitting in heavenly places [cp. the Most Holy] with Christ, who sits there at God's right hand (Eph. 2:6).

28:12 Bearing on the shoulders by the High Priest in order to gain atonement surely looks forward to the Lord bearing the cross on His shoulders. Yet He bore our sins. The cross is presented as symbolic of the weight of our sins.

28:35 "Woe is unto me, if I preach not the Gospel" (1 Cor. 9:16) may be alluding to how the High Priest had to have bells so that "his sound may be heard... that he die not" (Ex. 28:35; this idea of the sound being heard is picked up in Ps. 19 concerning the spread of the Gospel).


Most of the surrounding tabernacles featured quite a lot of noise- especially incantations and spoken formulas regarding the holiness of the god and shrine. There were few spoken words in the Mosaic rituals; "Holy to the Lord" was written upon the forehead of the High Priest rather than stated by incantations (Ex. 28:36). We could maybe go so far as to say that we see here the exaltation of God's written word, with all the faith and understanding which this requires, as opposed to the incantations of other worship systems.

28:38 Accepted - Heb. delighted in, great pleasure. Those whose names are carried by the High Priest thereby and therefore become God's great pleasure and delight. His delight in us, seeing us as unblemished, is a great Bible theme. The transaction seems in a sense unfair- that because of the work of one man, many could come into that status. But this is the challenge of faith.