Exodus 28:36

The Turban

36 "You are to make a plate[a] of pure gold and engrave it, like the engraving of a seal: HOLY TO THE LORD

Exodus 28:36 Meaning and Commentary

Exodus 28:36

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.

Exodus 28:36 In-Context

34 [so that] gold bells and pomegranates alternate around the lower hem of the robe.
35 The robe must be [worn by] Aaron whenever he ministers, and its sound will be heard when he enters the sanctuary before the Lord and when he exits, so that he does not die.
36 "You are to make a plate of pure gold and engrave it, like the engraving of a seal: HOLY TO THE LORD
37 Fasten it to a cord of blue yarn so it can be placed on the turban; the plate is to be on the front of the turban.
38 It will be on Aaron's forehead so that Aaron may bear the guilt connected with the holy offerings that the Israelites consecrate as all their holy gifts. It is always to be on his forehead, so that they may find acceptance with the Lord.

Footnotes 1

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