The priests' garments. (1-31) The tabernacle completed. (32-43)
Verses 1-31 The priests' garments were rich and splendid. The church in its infancy was thus taught by shadows of good things to come; but the substance is Christ, and the grace of the gospel. Christ is our great High Priest. When he undertook the work of our redemption, he put on the clothes of service, he arrayed himself with the gifts and graces of the Spirit, girded himself with resolution to go through the undertaking, took charge of all God's spiritual Israel, laid them near his heart, engraved them on the palms of his hands, and presented them to his Father. And he crowned himself with holiness to the Lord, consecrating his whole undertaking to the honour of his Father's holiness. True believers are spiritual priests. The clean linen with which all their clothes of service must be made, is the righteousness of saints, ( Revelation 19:8 ) .
Verses 32-43 The tabernacle was a type or emblem of Jesus Christ. As the Most High dwelt visibly within the sanctuary, even on the ark, so did he reside in the human nature and tabernacle of his dear Son; in Christ dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, ( Colossians 2:9 ) . The tabernacle was a symbol of every real Christian. In the soul of every true follower of the Saviour the Father dwells, the object of his worship, and the author of his blessings. The tabernacle also typified the church of the Redeemer. The meanest and the mightiest are alike dear to the Father's love, freely exercised through faith in Christ. The tabernacle was a type and emblem of the heavenly temple, Re. 21:3 . What, then, will be the splendour of His appearance, when the cloud shall be withdrawn, and his faithful worshippers shall see him as he is!
Exodus 39:1-43 . GARMENTS OF THE PRIESTS.
1, 2. cloths of service--official robes. The ephod of the high priest, the robe of the ephod, the girdle of needlework, and the embroidered coat were all of fine linen; for on no material less delicate could such elaborate symbolical figures have been portrayed in embroidery, and all beautified with the same brilliant colors.
3. cut the gold into wires to work it--that is, the metal was beaten with a hammer into thin plates, cut with scissors or some other instrument into long slips, then rounded into filaments or threads. "Cloth of golden tissue is not uncommon on the monuments, and specimens of it have been found rolled about mummies; but it is not easy to determine whether the gold thread was originally interwoven or subsequently inserted by the embroiderer" [TAYLOR].
30. a writing, like to the engravings of a signet--The seal-ring worn both by ancient and modern Egyptians on the little finger of the right hand, contained, inscribed on a cornelian or other precious stone, along with the owner's name, a religious sentiment or sacred symbol, intimating that he was the servant of God, or expressive of trust in Him. And it was to this practice the inscription on the high priest alludes (compare Exodus 28:11 ).
34. the covering of rams' skin dyed It was probably red morocco leather and "badgers' skins," rather "the skins of the "tahash," supposed to be the dugong, or dolphin of the Red Sea, the skin of which is still used by the Arabs under the same appellation." [GOSS].
43. Moses did look upon all the work, and, behold, they had done it as the Lord had commanded--A formal inspection was made on the completion of the tabernacle, not only with a view to have the work transferred from the charge of the workmen, but to ascertain whether it corresponded with "the pattern." The result of a careful and minute survey showed that every plank, curtain, altar, and vase had been most accurately made of the form, and in the place designed by the Divine Architect--and Moses, in accepting it of their hands, thanked God for them, and begged Him to bless them.