When the priests enter therein
Into the holy place, these holy chambers, and approach unto God, and eat of the most holy things, and minister therein to the Lord: then shall they not go out of the holy place into the utter court;
denoting, not that the ministers of the word should not concern themselves in secular employments, but give themselves up to the word and prayer, though so to do is right; but the perseverance of the saints in the house and worship of God, in grace and holiness, and in all the duties of religion; these should not relinquish their profession, desert their station and the service of God, and return to the world; but continue as pillars in the temple of God, and go no more out, but abide by the truths and ordinances of the Gospel: but there they shall lay their garments wherein they minister, for they
these signify Christ's robe of righteousness and garments of salvation, that fine linen, clean and white, which is the righteousness of the saints; and fitly represented by the linen garments of the priests, in which they ministered in their office, and were like them holy, pure, and spotless; in these only saints appear before God, and present their supplications to him, not for their own, but for Christ's righteousness sake, making mention of that only; and herein they have acceptance with God now, and shall be introduced into his presence hereafter, and behold his face, clothed with these garments, and serve him for ever: and shall put on other garments, and shall approach to those things
which are for the people;
these are the conversation garments of the saints, which are not fit to appear in before God, being attended with imperfection and sin; but very proper to appear in before men, among whom their lights should shine, and their good works be seen, for the adorning of the doctrine of Christ, the recommending of the Christian religion, and the stopping of the mouths of gainsayers: for this respects not the different habits of ministers, when they are in their ministrations, and out of them; though the allusion is to the priests under the law, who wore their priestly garments only in the temple, and while ministering there, and never elsewhere, or when among the common people on civil accounts: so Josephus says F3, the priests only wore their holy garments when they ministered; at other times they appeared in the habit of private persons; with which agrees what Maimonides F4 says, their garments are not upon them when they are not ministering in the priestly office, but then they are clothed as laymen; or when, as the Targum here has it,
``they were mingled with the people.''There were places in the temple where they put on and off their clothes, and where they were laid up. So Adrichomius F5 says, speaking of the temple,
``there were rooms, otherwise called treasuries, and priests' apartments, which were houses on the side of it, like towers, long, broad, and high; in which the priests, when they went into the sanctuary, put off their common woollen garments, and put on their holy linen ones; and, when they had performed their holy services, laid them up there again.''And another writer, quoted by Solomon Ben Virga F6, observes, that
``here (that is, the temple) was a house for the priest whose office it was to clothe the rest of the priests at the time of service; and he gave to everyone of them four sorts of garments, as were commanded, and fetched them out of the chests of the wardrobe; and on every chest, which were at the walls of this house, that is, above everyone of them, was the name of the garment, that there might be no mistake nor confusion when they were wanted.''And this agrees with what is said in the Misnah F7, that there was one that was appointed over the priests' garments, and who might be properly enough called the master of the wardrobe; on which one of the commentators says F8, his business was
``to clothe the priests at the time of service, and to unclothe them after service was done, and to keep the garments of the priesthood in the chambers made for that purpose.''Very wrongly, therefore, is the learned Selden F9 charged by Mr. Shoringham F11, with a mistake, in denying that the priests wore their holy garments at any other time but when they were at divine service.
F3 De Bello Jud. l. 5. c. 5. sect. 7.
F4 Cele Hamikdash, c. 10. sect. 4.
F5 Theatrum Terrae Sanct. Jerusalem, No. 92. p. 161.
F6 Shebet Judah, fol. 43. 2. Ed. Gentii, p. 464.
F7 Shekalim, c. 5. sect. 1.
F8 Bartenora in ib.
F9 De Success. in Pontif. Heb. l. 2. c. 7. Vid. ib. de Synedriis, l. 3. c. 11. sect. 6. & Braunium, de Vestitu Sacerdot. Hebr. l. 2. c. 25.
F11 Ad Codicem Joma, c. 7. sect. 1. p. 78, 79.