Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked
Being excited to it, by an object presented, of an unusual appearance, which engaged his attention, and caused him to look wistly at it: and, behold a certain man clothed in linen;
not Gabriel, but the Son of God, the Messiah; who, though not as yet incarnate, yet was so in the counsel and purpose of God; had agreed in covenant to be man, was promised and prophesied of as such; and now appeared in a human form, as he frequently did before his incarnation, as a pledge of it, and showing his readiness to assume human nature: he appears here "clothed in linen", in the habit of a priest; which office he sustains, and executes by the sacrifice of himself, and by his prevalent intercession; and may denote his purity and innocence, as well as direct us to his spotless righteousness he is the author of, which is like fine linen, clean and white, ( Revelation 19:8 ) : whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz;
or of Fez, which is the best gold. Some take it to be the same with the gold of Ophir, often spoken of in Scripture; so the Targum on ( Jeremiah 10:9 ) , renders Uphaz by Ophir. Ptolemy F9 makes mention of a river called Phasis in the island of Taprobane or Zeilan, where Bochart F11 seems to think Ophir was, from whence the gold of that name came; and the same geographer
F12 takes notice of a city and river of the same name in Colchis; perhaps the same with Pison, which encompassed Havilah, where was good gold, ( Genesis 2:11 Genesis 2:12 ) , and both Strabo F13 and Pliny F14 say that much gold was found in that country, and taken out of rivers there; and was so plentiful, that even chambers were made of gold, Some think that this was an island in India called Paz or Topaz, and might with the Jews go by all three names, Paz, Topaz, and Uphaz F15; however, it is certain, that very fine gold, even the finest gold, is here designed: and the loins of this illustrious Person being girded with a girdle made of it, as it may be expressive of his royal dignity, so likewise of his readiness to do any service he was employed in, as man and Mediator; and especially the great work of man's redemption and salvation, for the sake of which he would really become man, as he has, as well as now he appeared as one; see ( Revelation 1:13 ) where Christ is said to be "girt with a golden girdle"; and such an one was this; and which is to be understood, not of his girdle as a King, which is a girdle of faithfulness and righteousness, ( Isaiah 11:5 ) , all his administrations of government being just and true; though such a girdle well suits him, and his character in the discharge of every office, as well as his kingly office; nor of his girdle as a Prophet, which is the girdle of truth, which all his faithful ministers are girt with, ( Ephesians 6:14 ) , and he in a more eminent manner, who is full of grace and truth, and by whom both came, and who is truth itself; but of his girdle as a Priest; for as such is he here habited, and such a girdle the priests used to wear, even the girdle of the ephod, made of gold, blue, purple, and fine twined linen, ( Exodus 28:8 ) , and this is the girdle of love, which constrained Christ to become the surety and substitute of his people; to take upon him their nature, and their sins; to offer himself a sacrifice for them, and to be their advocate with the Father; and the form and matter of this girdle being round about him, and of gold, may denote the perfection, duration, and eternity of his love.
F9 Geograph. l. 7. c. 4.
F11 Phaleg. l. 2. c. 27. col. 141.
F12 Ptolem. Geograph. l. 5. c. 10.
F13 Geograph. l. 11. p. 343.
F14 Nat. Hist. l. 33. c. 3.
F15 Hiller. Onomastic. Sacr. c. 8. p. 141.