Friday, July 4, 2008


Exo 28:30 -

Into this choshen Moses was to put the Urim and Thummim, that they might be upon his heart when he came before Jehovah, and that he might thus constantly bear the right (mishpat) of the children of Israel upon his heart before Jehovah. It is evident at once from this, that the Urim and Thummim were to bring the right of the children of Israel before the Lord, and that the breastplate was called choshen mishpat because the Urim and Thummim were in it. Moreover it also follows from the expression אל נתתּ, both here and in Lev_8:8, that the Urim and Thummim were not only distinct from the choshen, but were placed in it, and not merely suspended upon it, as Knobel supposes. For although the lxx have adopted the rendering ἐπιτιθέναι ἐπί, the phrase is constantly used to denote putting or laying one thing into another, and never (not even in 1Sa_6:8 and 2Sa_11:16) merely placing one thing upon or against another. For this, על נתן is the expression invariably used in the account before us (cf. Exo_28:14 and Exo_28:23.).

What the Urim and Thummim really were, cannot be determined with certainty, either from the names themselves, or from any other circumstances connected with them.

(Note: The leading opinions and the most important writings upon the subject are given in my Bibl. Archaeol. §39, note 9.)

The lxx render the words δήλωσις (or δῆλος) καὶ ἀλήθεια, i.e., revelation and truth. This expresses with tolerable accuracy the meaning of Urim (אוּרים light, illumination), but Thummim (תּמּים) means integritas, inviolability, perfection, and not ἀλήθεια. The rendering given by Symm. and Theod., viz., φωτισμοὶ καὶ τελειώσεις, illumination and completion, is much better; and there is no good ground for giving up this rendering in favour of that of the lxx, since the analogy between the Urim and Thummim and the ἄγαλμα of sapphire-stones, or the ζώδιον of precious stones, which was worn by the Egyptian high priest suspended by a golden chain, and called ἀλήθεια (Aelian. var. hist. 14, 34; Diod. Sic. i. 48, 75), sufficiently explains the rendering ἀλήθεια, which the lxx have given to Thummim, but it by no means warrants Knobel's conclusion, that the Hebrews had adopted the Egyptian names along with the thing itself. The words are therefore to be explained from the Coptic. The Urim and Thummim are analogous, it is true, to the εἰκῶν τῆς ἀληθείας, which the Egyptian ἀρχιδικαστής hung round his neck, but they are by no means identical with it, or to be regarded as two figures which were a symbolical representation of revelation and truth. If Aaron was to bring the right of the children of Israel before Jehovah in the breastplate that was placed upon his breast with the Urim and Thummim, the latter, if they were intended to represent anything, could only be symbolical of the right or rightful condition of Israel. But the words do not warrant any such conclusion. If the Urim and Thummim had been intended to represent any really existing thing, their nature, or the mode of preparing them, would certainly have been described. Now, if we refer to Num_27:21, where Joshua as the commander of the nation is instructed to go to the high priest Eleazar, that the latter may inquire before Jehovah, through the right of Urim, how the whole congregation should walk and act, we can draw no other conclusion, than that the Urim and Thummim are to be regarded as a certain medium, given by the Lord to His people, through which, whenever the congregation required divine illumination to guide its actions, that illumination was guaranteed, and by means of which the rights of Israel, when called in question or endangered, were to be restored, and that this medium was bound up with the official dress of the high priest, though its precise character can no longer be determined. Consequently the Urim and Thummim did not represent the illumination and right of Israel, but were merely a promise of these, a pledge that the Lord would maintain the rights of His people, and give them through the high priest the illumination requisite for their protection. Aaron was to bear the children of Israel upon his heart, in the precious stones to be worn upon his breast with the names of the twelve tribes. The heart, according to the biblical view, is the centre of the spiritual life, - not merely of the willing, desiring, thinking life, but of the emotional life, as the seat of the feelings and affections (see Delitzsch bibl. Psychologie, pp. 203ff.). Hence to bear upon the heart does not merely mean to bear in mind, but denotes "that personal intertwining with the life of another, by virtue of which the high priest, as Philo expresses it, was τοῦ σύμπαντος ἔθνους συγγενὴς καὶ ἀγχιστεὺς κοινός (Spec. leg. ii. 321), and so stood in the deepest sympathy with those for whom he interceded" (Oehler in Herzog's Cycl.). As he entered the holy place with this feeling, and in this attitude, of which the choshen was the symbol, he brought Israel into remembrance before Jehovah that the Lord might accept His people; and when furnished with the Urim and Thummim, he appeared before Jehovah as the advocate of the people's rights, that he might receive for the congregation the illumination required to protect and uphold those rights.


It is interesting that as I read Exodus 10 through 30, about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, that today is July 4th, that we celebrate as the birth of our freedom as a nation.  Also, it reminds me that 24 years ago, I entered Oregon on my way to the Portland area to start Grand View Baptist Church.  We spent the night in Pendleton on July 4th, 1984.  That next day, we pulled into Portland.  Wow... God has done so much since that day!!  Last night out soul-winning, we saw 50 people trust Christ as their Savior.  I prayed with eight of them.  Three adults, two teens, and three children.  It was a blessed night!!  We had 31 out soul-winning.


This morning as I read it just seemed like so much just jumped out at me.  God was showing me so much that there is no way I can write about half of it, but here are a few thoughts:

1) WEALTH FOR A PURPOSE- Exodus 11:2 says:  "let every man borrow of his neighbour, and every woman of her neighbour, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold."  The same is said in Exodus 3:21,22 and Exodus 12:35,36.  They spoiled the Egyptians of these things the Bible records.... but why??  Did they need wealth in the wilderness where no stores were?  No!  Did that need wealth for food and clothing?  No, God provided the food and water, and their clothes never wore out!  Did they need it to make their idols?  Well, they did do that, but certainly that was not the purpose, and everything put to the calves of gold were destroyed and thrown in the river.  They were to use the treasures of the Egyptians to build the beauty of the Tabernacle.... a house for God!!  We too have our wealth for a purpose... if we chose to spend it unwisely, it too will be destroyed; but if we use it for God's glory... it will be blessed by God!!

2) THE SONG OF MOSES- I never understood it until this morning as I was reading and thinking about the verse found in Exodus 15:1 "Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord..."  I also knew in Revelation 15:3 it says that "And they sing the song of Moses", but I never understood why in Revelation they were singing the song of Moses until today!!  In Exodus, Moses sang this song because God had delivered them by drowning the army of Pharaoh in the waters of the Red Sea; and, in Revelation 15, they sang this song because chapter 14 ends with Jesus destroying the opposition in the battle of Armageddon.  In each instance it was a song of victory and praise to God for His deliverance!!  We too have been delivered from the penalty of sin, and one day will be from the presence of sin, so..... we too should have a "song of Moses" in our hearts each day!!  Sing unto the LORD!!

3) AARON AND HUR- In Exodus 17:12, they held up the hands of Moses, and because of that Joshua was able to win the battle with the Amalekites.  Never underestimate the power of those who hold up our hands!!  As a pastor, I would not be in the ministry, without the godly men and women who hold up my hands as I labor for the Lord.  They pray for me, encourage me, thank me, take care of me, listen to me, follow me as I follow Christ... they are a blessing and I could never do it without them!!  Bless you!!

4) INTERESTING!- In Exodus 17 16 it reads: "...the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation."  At first I thought, you are kidding!  Having war with Amalek every generation, but then I though how true!!  You see, Amalek was a people who attacked God's people with no provocation out of the blue so to speak, and all of the time, God's people have Amalek attacking them for nothing else than living for Jesus Christ.  We can expect Amalek to battle with us, but we can also rest assured that "the LORD will have war with Amalek"!  God will fight our battles for us!!

5) NO GIFTS- In Exodus 23:8 it says of the leaders (judges) of Israel: "thou shalt take no gift: for the gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous."  This is why in our government, we demand that every gift be declared if above a dollar amount... because the BIBLE told us to "take no gift"! 

6) URIM AND THE THUMMIM- To learn about this... I will copy notes from two noted theologians from two centuries ago.  Open the next blog to read it!

Well, have a great forth of July!!  Praise God for our nation's freedoms and our soul's freedom!!  Pastor Mike Mutchler

Free Counter