And in the midst of the seven candlesticks [one] like unto
the son of man
By whom is meant not an angel, for he speaks of himself as a divine Person, as the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, phrases not applicable to any created beings; and of himself also as having been dead, which angels are not capable of, and of living again, and of living for evermore, and having power over death and the grave, which no creature has; yea, he calls himself expressly the Son of God, ( Revelation 1:11 Revelation 1:17 Revelation 1:18 ) ( 2:18 ) ; so that Christ is manifestly designed, who, as a divine Person, appeared in a form like that individual human nature which was at his Father's right hand; for that human nature of his, or he as the son of man, was not in the midst of these candlesticks, or churches, but he the Son of God was in a form like to his human nature in heaven; so before his incarnation, he is said to be like unto the son of man, in ( Daniel 7:13 ) ; to which there is a reference here, and not only in this, but in some other parts of the description; so after his ascension, he in a visionary way appears, not in that real human nature he assumed, but in a form like unto it, that being in heaven; but when he was here on earth he is called the son of man, and not like to one; though even such a phrase may express the truth and reality of his humanity, for who more like to the son of man than he who is so? see ( John 1:14 ) ( Philippians 2:7 ) ; now Christ was seen by John in the midst of the candlesticks or churches, and among whom he walked, as in ( Revelation 2:1 ) ; which is expressive of his presence in his churches, and which he has promised unto the end of the world; and of the gracious visits he makes them, and the sweet communion and conversation he indulges them with, to their joy and comfort; as well as the walks he takes among them for his own delight and pleasure; and where he is, abides and takes his turns, particularly as a priest, in which form he now appeared, as the antitype of Aaron the high priest, to him the lamps or candles in the candlesticks, to cause them to burn more brightly and clearly:
clothed with a garment down to the foot;
which some understand of the righteousness of Christ; this is called a garment, a wedding garment, the best or first robe, the robe of righteousness; and is fitly compared to one, it being unto, and upon believers, put upon them, and which covers their persons, keeps them warm and comfortable, and beautifies and adorns them; and is a very beautiful, pure, and spotless robe; and reaches to the feet, covers all the members of Christ's mystical body, the meanest and lowest, as well as the more excellent; the weakest believer as well, and as much, as the strongest: but not Christ mystical, but personal, is here represented; others therefore think that this long garment is a sign of gravity and wisdom, it being usual for men of power and authority, and learning, as the Jewish sanhedrim, Scribes and Pharisees, to wear long garments; but it seems rather to design a priestly robe; the robe of the ephod wore by the high priest is called by this name in the Septuagint version of ( Exodus 28:4 Exodus 28:31 ) ; and so it is by Josephus F9, who speaking of the hyacinthine tunic, or robe of blue, says, this is (podhrhv) , "a garment down to the foot", which in our language is called "Meeir"; rather it should be (lyem) , "Meil", which is its Hebrew name; and so this robe is expressed by the same word here, used by Philo the Jew F11, and by Jerom F12; so Maimonides F13 says, the length of his garment was to the top of his heel: and in the habit of a priest did Christ now appear; and so he is described in his priestly office, in the midst of his churches, having made atonement for their sins by the sacrifice of himself; and now as their high priest had entered into the holiest of all with his own blood and righteousness; bore their names on his breastplate, appeared in the presence of God on their account, and ever lived to make intercession for them:
and girt about the paps with a golden girdle;
as the high priest was with the girdle of the ephod, which was made of gold, of blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen, ( Exodus 28:8 ) ; and with which the priests were girt about the paps, or breast, as Christ is here described: it is said of the priests in ( Ezekiel 44:18 ) , "they shall not gird themselves with anything that causeth sweat"; which some render "in sweating places": and so some Jewish writers interpret it, which will serve to illustrate the present place;
``says R. Abai F14, (upon citing ( Ezekiel 44:18 ) ) they do not gird themselves in the place in which they sweat; according to the tradition, when they gird themselves they do not gird neither below their loins, nor above their arm holes, but over against their arm holes;''the gloss says, upon their ribs, against their arm pit, that is, about their breast, or paps; and which is still more plainly expressed by the Targum on the above place, which paraphrases it thus,
``they shall not gird about their loins, but they shall gird (Nwhbbl le) , "about their heart".''So Josephus F15 says, the high priest's garment was girt about the breast, a little below the arm holes. Christ's girdle, as a King, is the girdle of faithfulness and righteousness, which is about his loins; and his girdle, as a prophet, is the girdle of truth; but, as a priest, it is the girdle of love; it is that which has constrained him to put himself in the room and stead of his people, to assume their nature, give himself a sacrifice for them, and intercede on their behalf: this is like a girdle, round from everlasting to everlasting; is said to be "golden", because of the excellency, purity, glory, and duration of it; and because it is very strong, affectionate, and hearty, it is hid to be a girdle about the paps, near where is the heart, the seat of love; and this may also denote the power, strength, and readiness of Christ to assist and help his churches in every time of need.
F9 Antiqu. l. 3. c. 7. sect. 4.
F11 De Vita Mosis, l. 3. p. 671.
F12 Ad Fabiolam. fol. 19. H.
F13 Cele Hamikash, c. 8. sect. 17.
F14 T. Bab. Zebachim, fol. 18. 2. & 19. 1. Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 74. 2. Vid. Jarchi & Kimchi in Ezek. xliv. 18.
F15 Antiqu. l. 3. c. 7. sect. 2.