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Why did God ask the High Priest to have a golden plate with the inscription “Holiness to the Lord” on his mitre (Exodus 28:36)? Is there any significant meaning in this?

In Exodus 28:38 it says, “Aaron shall bear the iniquity committed in the holy things” and “they [gifts from the people of Israel] may be accepted before the LORD”.

The complete passage (Exodus 28:36-38) from the King James Version:

And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD. And thou shalt put it on a blue lace, that it may be upon the mitre; upon the forefront of the mitre it shall be. And it shall be upon Aaron's forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD.

Why does this Golden plate receive such impressive lines?

  • IMHO, this question is off topic because it has nothing to do with Christianity. – brasshat Sep 30 '14 at 16:10
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    @brasshat I'm pretty sure Christianity in general views Exodus as Scripture, therefore, this question posted here is seeking a Christian perspective answer, compared to a Jewish one, for example. – 3961 Sep 30 '14 at 18:00
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There is a specific purpose for every part of the Priest's attire, and that is most certainly true of the High Priest; since only he can ever enter the Holy of Holies, and then only once a year for the specific purpose of atoning for the sins of Israel.

It is worth noting that nearly all of Chapter 28 is devoted to describing only the High Priest's garments, and in meticulous detail.

Exodus 28:33 through 38 And beneath upon the hem of it thou shalt make pomegranates of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, round about the hem thereof; and bells of gold between them round about: 34 A golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, upon the hem of the robe round about. 35 And it shall be upon Aaron to minister: and his sound shall be heard when he goeth in unto the holy place before the LORD, and when he cometh out, that he die not. 36 And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD. 37 And thou shalt put it on a blue lace, that it may be upon the mitre; upon the forefront of the mitre it shall be. 38 And it shall be upon Aaron's forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things,* which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD.

In the above passage notice that there are two items that are designated with a specific purpose, that being the bells at the bottom of his robe and the plate.

  1. the bells are to announce the identity of who is entering so that the ire of God is not unleashed, and he be killed.

  2. The plate that identifies him as the bearer of the sins of Israel.

Hope this helps.

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    And the purpose of bearing the sins of Israel is to take them before God in the Holy of Holies to be atoned for. – mojo Sep 30 '14 at 15:09
  • @Bye. Please check your translation. The King James leaves out the word 'committed' that you will see in the question. The Good News Bible partly offers an explanation in that they say that the offerings will be accepted even if the rites were not carried out to perfection. A fuller explanation is that the High Priest accepts responsibility for all the mistakes. – gideon marx Sep 30 '14 at 17:01
  • @gideonmarx Either you or I am misreading Scripture. As I read this it means the High Priest carries the sins of Israel into the Most Holy once a year for atonement. Much of my reasoning is from: Exodus 30:10, Leviticus 16:32, 33, and 34. If I am the one misreading, could you backup your interpretation with Scriptures, as that will help my understanding of the Scriptures greatly. – BYE Sep 30 '14 at 18:31
  • The translation that includes 'committed' changes the meaning completely. The Good News Bible says in verse 38: 'I the Lord, will accept all the offerings that the Israelites dedicate to me, even if the people commit some error in offering them.' In other words, God knows what is in our hearts and even if we slip in a matter of procedure, He will still accept our prayers. The verses in Exodus and Leviticus are not applicable. This is about the direct communication between a person and God. The mistakes that are made are the responsibility of the High Priest for not teaching procedure properly. – gideon marx Oct 1 '14 at 20:49
  • @gideonmarx According my Southern Baptist upbringing you sure do have some strange understandings of Scripture. – BYE Oct 1 '14 at 20:52

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