“And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron's heart, when he goeth in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually.”
King James Version (KJV)
28:30 The Urim and Thummim - By which the will of God was made known in doubtful cases, was put in this breast - plate, which is therefore called the breast - plate of judgment. Urim and Thummim signify light and integrity: many conjectures there are among the learned what they were: we have no reason to think they were any thing that Moses was to make, more than what was before ordered; so that either God made them himself, and gave them to Moses, for him to put into the breast - plate when other things were prepared; or, no more is meant but a declaration of the farther use of what was already ordered to be made. The words may be read thus, And thou shalt give, or add, to the breast - plate of judgment, the illuminations and perfections, and they shall be upon the heart of Aaron - That is, he shall be endued with a power of knowing and making known the mind of God in all difficult cases relating either to the civil or ecclesiastical state. Their government was a theocracy; God was their king, the high priest was, under God, their ruler, this Urim and Thummim were his cabinet council: probably Moses wrote upon the breast - plate, or wove into it, these words, Urim and Thummim, to signify, that the high - priest, having on him this breast - plate, and asking council of God in any emergency, should be directed to those measures, which God would own. If he were standing before the ark, probably he received instructions from off the mercy - seat, as Moses did, #Ex 25:22|. If he were at a distance from the ark, as Abiathar was when he enquired of the Lord for David, #1Sam 23:6|, then the answer was given either by a voice from heaven, or by an impulse upon the mind of the high priest, which last is perhaps intimated in that expression, he shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart. This oracle was of great use to Israel, Joshua consulted it. #Num 27:21|, and it is likely, the judges after him. It was lost in the captivity, and never retrieved after. It was a shadow of good things to come, and the substance is Christ. He is our oracle; by him God in these last days, makes known himself and his mind to us. Divine revelation centers in him, and comes to us through him; he is the light, the true light, the faithful witness; and from him we receive the Spirit of truth, who leads into all truth. The joining of the breast - plate to the ephod notes, that his prophetical office was founded on his priesthood; and it was by the merit of his death that he purchased this honour for himself, and this favour for us. It was the Lamb that had been slain that was worthy to take the book and to open the seals. #Rev 5:9|. The judgment - The breast - plate of judgment: That breast - plate which declared the judgment or mind of God to the Israelites.