And thou shall embroider the coat of fine linen
Which was a distinct garment from the ephod, and from the robe of the ephod, and was the innermost of all; it was made of fine linen, curiously wrought in the weaving of it: according to some, it was full of a sort of eyelet holes; but as the word is that, from whence comes that for ouches, ( Exodus 28:6 ) . Jarchi thinks it was full of holes, like those ouches or sockets, in which the stones were set; and so this coat was decked and adorned with gems and precious stones stuck in those holes or ouches: but rather it was figured with such little cornered holes as are in the stomach of animals that chew the cud, called the "reticulum"; being in the form of network, as Maimonides F9 observes, and which is approved by Braunius F11: this was an emblem of the righteousness of Christ, comparable to fine linen richly embroidered, decked and adorned with jewels, and curiously wrought, see ( Revelation 19:8 ) ( Isaiah 61:10 ) :
and thou shalt make the mitre of fine linen:
which was a wrap of linen sixteen cubits long, as Maimonides F12 says, both for the high priest, and for common priests, which only differed in the manner of wrapping them; that for the high priest was wrapped fold upon fold, as a roller for a plaster, and so the mitre was flat upon the head, and was like a turban, and did not rise up into a point; but those of the common priests were so wrapped, as that they arose up like a night cap, or a high crowned hat. The mitre, hat, or cap, though a token of honour, yet also of servitude; and may denote, that the people of the Jews were in a state of servitude, and point at the obscurity and darkness of that dispensation; they not clearly discerning divine mysteries, and wanting boldness and freedom to look up to God; or it may denote that the priests under the law were servants, and that Christ, our great High Priest, should appear in the form of one; and may also point at the intenseness of the mind in them and him on business, being deaf to everything else. The Targum of Jonathan says, the coat of fine linen was to atone for the shedding of innocent blood, and the mitre to atone for those who have elated thoughts, are puffed up with pride and vain conceit:
and thou shall make the girdle of needlework;
to gird about the embroidered coat, which Josephus F13 says was four fingers broad; but, according to Maimonides F14, it was about three fingers broad, and thirty two cubits long, which they wound about and about; and though we translate it "needlework", it should rather be the "work of the embroiderer", as Ainsworth renders it: and this was not wrought by the needle, but in weaving; for, as Maimonides F15 observes,
``they did not make any of the priests' garments with needlework, but the work of the weaver, according to ( Exodus 39:27 ) .''This girdle may denote the strength, readiness, faithfulness, and integrity of Christ in the performance of his priestly office; see ( Isaiah 11:5 ) .
F9 Cele Hamikdash, c. 8. sect. 16.
F11 De Vestitu Sacerdot. Heb. l. 1. c. 17. p. 379, 380.
F12 Ut supra, (Cele Hamikdash) c. 8. sect. 19.
F13 Antiqu. l. 3. c. 7. sect. 2.
F14 Ut supra. (Cele Hamikdash, c. 8. sect. 19.)