Exodus 28:43
(43) The tabernacle of the congregation.--Heb., the tent of meeting.

The holy place seems to be here the court of the tabernacle, within which the altar was to be set up (Exodus 40:6; Exodus 40:29).

That they bear not iniquity, and die.--The death penalty is threatened against the sin of ministering without the garments needed for decency, as against the sin of neglecting to wear the robe of the ephod (Exodus 28:35). In both cases a Divine vengeance, rather than a legal punishment, is probably intended.

Verse 43. - When they go into the tabernacle of the congregation. Literally," when they go into the tent of meeting - i.e., the place where God and the high priest were to meet. The holy place. The "holy place" seems in this passage to include the court of the tabernacle, wherein the altar was situated. That they bear not iniquity. To "bear iniquity" is to incur guilt, or have sin imputed to one. If even through forgetfulness a priest entered the sanctuary without this necessary article of clothing, and so risked an unseemly, exposure of his person, he was to be accounted guilty, and punished by death. This was to be a "statute for ever," and to apply both to the high priest and the ordinary priests. Compare Exodus 20:26.

28:40-43 The priest's garments typify the righteousness of Christ. If we appear not before God in that, we shall bear our iniquity, and die. Blessed is he, therefore, that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, Re 16:15. And blessed be God that we have a High Priest, appointed of God, and set apart for his work; furnished for his high office by the glory of his Divine majesty, and the beauty of perfect holiness. Happy are we, if by the law spiritually understood, we see that such a High Priest became us; that we cannot draw near to a holy God, or be accepted, but by him. There is no light, no wisdom, no perfection, but from him; no glory, no beauty, but in being like unto him. Let us take encouragement from the power, love, and compassion of our High Priest, to draw near with boldness to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.And they shall be upon Aaron and upon his sons,.... Not the linen breeches only, but all the other garments:

when they come into the tabernacle of the congregation; even into that part of it where the people assembled, the court of the tabernacle, and where stood the altar of burnt offering, on which they offered the sacrifices of the people, but never without the priestly garments on:

or when they came near unto the altar to minister in the holy place; at the altar of incense which stood there; or when they came to trim the lamps of the candlestick, and set the shewbread on the table, and take away the old, which candlestick and shewbread table were both in the holy place:

that they bear not iniquity and die; be guilty of sin in not having their priestly garments on in time of service, and so bear the punishment of it and die for it; the Targum of Jonathan adds, with flaming fire, with fire from heaven, such as Nadab and Abihu were afterwards consumed with; an high priest that had not the eight garments on, or a common priest that had not his four garments, his service was illegal and rejected, and he was guilty of death by the hand of heaven, as Maimonides (s) says; that is, he was deserving of immediate death from the hand of God, and might expect it:

it shall be a statute for ever unto him, and his seed after him; as long as the Aaronic priesthood continued, until Christ should arise, made an high priest, not after the order of Aaron, but after the order of Melchizedek, and should put an end to the priesthood of the former, by answering and fulfilling all the types and shadows of it; this respects all that is said in this chapter concerning the vestments of the priests, one and another.

(s) Cele Hamikdash, c. 10. sect. 4, 5.

Exodus 28:42
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