Exodus 28:3 MEANING

Exodus 28:3
(3) Thou shalt speak unto all that are wise hearted.--By "all that are wise hearted" we must understand all that had the special knowledge which would enable them to give effectual aid in the production of such garments as were about to be commanded. The Hebrews regarded the heart as the seat of knowledge, with perhaps neither more nor less scientific accuracy than underlies our own current modes of speech whereby the heart is made the seat of the affections.

Whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom.--Few passages in the Bible are more antagonistic than this to the general current of modern thought. God speaks of Himself as having infused His Spirit into the hearts of men, in order to enable them to produce satisfactory priestly garments. Moderns suppose such things to be quite beneath the notice of the Creator of the universe. But it has to be remembered, on the other hand, (1) that God is the fountain whence all knowledge is derived; (2) that He alone knows what is beneath Him and what is not beneath Him; and (3) that dress is not a wholly insignificant matter, or so much would not have been said in Scripture about it (Genesis 3:21; Genesis 37:3; Genesis 41:42; Leviticus 8:7-9; Leviticus 16:4; Numbers 15:38, &c.). Garments intended "for glory and for beauty" (Exodus 28:2) required artistic power in those who were to make them; and artistic power, like all other intellectual excellence, is the gift of God.

To consecrate him.--Investiture in the holy garments was a part of the ceremony of consecration. (See Leviticus 8:7-9; Leviticus 8:13.)

Verse 3. - Wise-hearted. In modern parlance the heart is made the seat of the affections and emotions, the brain of the intellect. But the Hebrew idiom was different. There the heart was constantly spoken of as the seat of wisdom. (See below, Exodus 31:6; Exodus 35:10, 25; Exodus 36:1, 2; Job 9:4; Proverbs 11:29, etc.) The spirit of wisdom might seem to be scarcely necessary for the work of constructing a set of priestly garments; but where "glory and beauty" are required, high artistic power is needed; and this power is regarded by the sacred writers, as indeed it is by most of those who have written on the human understanding - notably Plato and Aristotle - as a very important part of the intellect. Techne, says Aristotle, involves theoria, as well as aesthesis and genesis, requires, i.e., a knowledge of high abstract truths, as well as the perceptive faculty which we commonly call "taste," and the constructive one known as "power of execution." (See Eth. Nic. 6:4, § 4.) It is, with him, one of the five chief intellectual excellences. To consecrate him. Investiture in the holy garments was made a part of the ceremony of consecration (Exodus 29:5-9; Leviticus 8:7-9, 13), as it is in the English Ordinal in the consecration of a bishop.

28:1-5 Hitherto the heads of families were the priests, and offered sacrifices; but now this office was confined to the family of Aaron only; and so continued till the gospel dispensation. The holy garments not only distinguished the priests from the people, but were emblems of that holy conduct which should ever be the glory and beauty, the mark of the ministers of religion, without which their persons and ministrations will be had in contempt. They also typified the glory of the Divine majesty, and the beauty of complete holiness, which rendered Jesus Christ the great High Priest. But our adorning under the gospel, is not to be of gold and costly array, but the garments of salvation, the robe of righteousness.And thou shall speak unto all that are wise hearted,.... That have knowledge and understanding in mechanic arts, particularly in making garments; and it required men of more than ordinary skill to be employed in making these, because they were uncommon ones, and required a good deal of thought and judgment, and care and application, to make them exactly as they should be:

whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom; for besides a common understanding of things, these required a peculiar gift from God, which some men, as Bezaleel and Aholiab had:

that they may make Aaron's garments, to consecrate him to put upon him at the time of his consecration; and indeed this was one way, by which, as well as by sacrifices, that he was consecrated, see Exodus 29:1,

that he may minister unto me in the priest's office for the priests, without having these garments on, might not minister in their office; for when these garments were off, as they were when they were out of their service, they were as other men, as laymen; see Gill on Ezekiel 42:14.

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