And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold
It was, as Jarchi says, two fingers broad, and reached from ear to ear, and so Maimonides F6; it is sometimes called the holy crown, and the plate of the holy crown, ( Exodus 29:6 ) ( 39:30 ) ( Leviticus 8:9 ) , this was a priestly crown, for priests were very honourable and dignified persons, especially the high priest among the Jews; and even among the Gentiles it was common for their kings to be priests: and though this crown may denote the kingly power of Christ, yet as residing in him who is a priest, for he is a priest on his throne, ( Zechariah 6:13 ) , and so may signify the conjunction of the kingly and priestly offices in Christ, who has a crown of pure gold given him by his Father, and put upon him, and by his people, ( Psalms 21:4 ) ( Song of Solomon 3:11 ) and being of pure gold, holy, and on the forehead, as this plate was, may signify the purity and holiness of Christ's kingdom and office, the glory, visibility, and perpetuity of it:
and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE
which words were written either in two lines, or in one. If in two, Maimonides F7 says, the word "holiness" was above, and to "the Lord" below: but it might be written in one line, and that seems most likely: he also says the letters were protuberant, or stood out; but then they would not be graved like the engravings of a signet, in which the letters or figures are engraved within, but like the impressions of a signet made on wax, or other things: in this the high priest was a type of Christ, who is holy in himself, in his person, in both his natures, divine and human, in his offices of prophet, priest, and King; and he is holiness itself, the most holy, essentially, infinitely, and perfectly so, as angels and men are not, and the source and spring of holiness to others: and he is holiness to the Lord for his people; he is so representatively; as their covenant head he has all grace in his hands for them, and they have it in him; this is sanctification in Christ, and is by virtue of union to him, and is complete and perfect, and the cause of holiness in his people; and he is so by imputation. The holiness of his human nature was not a mere qualification for his office, or only exemplary to us, but is with his obedience and sufferings imputed to us for justification. Moreover, Christ has by his blood sanctified his people, or made atonement for them, and procured the cleansing of them from their sins, or the expiation of them; and he is also the efficient cause of their internal holiness by his Spirit, without which there is no seeing God, ( 1 Corinthians 6:11 ) .
F6 Cele Hamikdash, c. 9. sect. 1. Vid. T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 63. 2. & Succah, fol. 5. 1.
F7 Cele Hamikdash, c. 9. sect. 1. Vid. T. Bab, Sabbat, fol. 63. 2. & Succah, fol. 5. 1.