The Miter

Exodus 28:39; Exodus 38:28  •  7 min. read  •  grade level: 8
"And thou shalt make the miter of fine linen."-Ex. 28:39
"And a miter of fine linen."- Ex. 39:28
The Hebrew word Mitznepheth, here translated Miter, is used exclusively for the head-dress of the high priest, except in one passage, Ezek. 21:2626Thus saith the Lord God; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. (Ezekiel 21:26). It is derived from a verb signifying " to roll, or wind round;" possibly intimating that the high priest's miter was wound round his head, like a tiara.
There is another word kindred to this, Tzaneeph, translated Diadem. Job 29:1414I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem. (Job 29:14).; Isa. 62:33Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. (Isaiah 62:3).-Hoods, Isa. 3:2323The glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the vails. (Isaiah 3:23).-and Miter, Zech, 3:5. But this word probably means a band or fillet; which was an emblem of royalty in the East; and in Zech. 3:55And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord stood by. (Zechariah 3:5). there may be an intimation of the change of the priestly order from that of Aaron to that of Melchizedek. Joshua, the high priest, is first represented standing in priestly garments, which are filthy. These garments are removed from him; his iniquity passes away; he is clothed with other garments; and a fair diadem is placed on his head. A kingly as well as priestly dignity is conferred on him.
The different purposes mentioned in scripture, for which the head was covered, appear at first sight somewhat contradictory: but these may be reconciled, if we take into account the various ways in which this was done. For instance, 2 Sam. xv. 30., " David went up by the ascent of mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered; and he went barefoot; and all the people that was with him covered every man his head; and they went up, weeping as they went up." -Esther 6:1212And Mordecai came again to the king's gate. But Haman hasted to his house mourning, and having his head covered. (Esther 6:12)., " Haman hasted to his house, mourning, and having his head covered."-Jer. 14 iii., "They were ashamed and confounded, and covered their heads." In these cases, probably a mantle or sackcloth was thrown over the head. covering the usual head-dress, and to some extent enveloping the person. This was done as a token of self-humiliation, grief, and shame. In modern days, the hood worn as an outward sign of mourning, may have been borrowed from this ancient custom. On the other hand, to have the head uncovered, that is deprived of its ordinary dress, was also an expression of shame and dishonor. The leper was commanded to have his head bare. Lev. 13:4545And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent, and his head bare, and he shall put a covering upon his upper lip, and shall cry, Unclean, unclean. (Leviticus 13:45). And in Ezek. 24:1717Forbear to cry, make no mourning for the dead, bind the tire of thine head upon thee, and put on thy shoes upon thy feet, and cover not thy lips, and eat not the bread of men. (Ezekiel 24:17), the prophet is ordered to bind the tire of his head upon him, and not to show any signs of mourning. Also, upon the death of Nadab and Abihu, (Lev. 10:66And Moses said unto Aaron, and unto Eleazar and unto Ithamar, his sons, Uncover not your heads, neither rend your clothes; lest ye die, and lest wrath come upon all the people: but let your brethren, the whole house of Israel, bewail the burning which the Lord hath kindled. (Leviticus 10:6)) Aaron, Eleazer, and Ithamar are forbidden to uncover their heads; and (Lev. 21:1010And he that is the high priest among his brethren, upon whose head the anointing oil was poured, and that is consecrated to put on the garments, shall not uncover his head, nor rend his clothes; (Leviticus 21:10)) the high priest is not allowed to uncover his head, although shame and dishonor fall upon him through the sin of his daughter.-The beautiful captive (Dent. 20:12) was to shave her head, and bewail her father and mother. Baldness was a sign of dishonor; Jer. 47:55Baldness is come upon Gaza; Ashkelon is cut off with the remnant of their valley: how long wilt thou cut thyself? (Jeremiah 47:5), and 47:37; Ezek. 7:1818They shall also gird themselves with sackcloth, and horror shall cover them; and shame shall be upon all faces, and baldness upon all their heads. (Ezekiel 7:18).
This seems to prove that the miter, covering the head of the high priest, was a type of his being subject to God, and that he was always supposed to be standing in the presence of God. He was never to lose sight of this glorious calling; but his life was to be spent in the tabernacle of the Most High, ready to accomplish God's commands, and submissive to His will. The white fine linen of which it was made, is an emblem of that righteousness and purity, which must be manifested in one who stands in the presence of God on behalf of others. The Ancient of days (Dan. 7:99I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. (Daniel 7:9)) is represented in vision, as having a garment white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool. Wisdom and righteousness are manifested by Him who sits on the throne of judgment.
In Rev. 1:1414His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; (Revelation 1:14), the Son of Man, in the midst of the golden candlesticks, scrutinizing their works in the exercise of His priestly office, is thus seen by John: " His Head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow." Here again, the snow-white head and hairs betoken purity, righteousness, and wisdom.
It is written also, " The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness." (Prov. 16:3131The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness. (Proverbs 16:31)) and " The beauty of old men is the gray (or hoary) head." Prov. 20:2929The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the gray head. (Proverbs 20:29).
The Lord Jesus, the great High Priest, is the Everlasting Father; or, as it perhaps might be rendered, " the Father of eternity." He is the wisdom as well as the power of God. He is Wisdom, as described in Prov. 8 " Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength. Jehovah possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting; from the beginning; or ever the earth was: when there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth." (Verse 14, and 2 2:-2 5.)
Our High Priest, the Son of God, has the wisdom of eternity. He has manifested the wisdom of God in creation. He is the wisdom of God, and power of God, in redemption. And he exercises in perfect righteousness, and in entire subjection, all this wisdom and power on behalf of the saints of the Most High. May not this miter of the high priest have some typical allusion to these glories of Christ?
It has been before observed, that the only other occurrence of this word Miter, in the Bible, except in connection with Israel's high priest, is in Ezek. xxi. 2527. " And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, who day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Remove the diadem, and take off the crown; this shall not be the same; exalt him that is low, arid abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn it; and it shall be no more, until he come, whose right it is; and I will give it him." The word here rendered diadem is really miter. This remarkable prophecy seems to point onward to a " profane and wicked prince of Israel," who will arise, and who will wear not only the crown of royalty, but the miter of priesthood; in fact, who will arrogantly and blasphemously assume both regal and priestly power, in Satanic mockery of the true priest and king, the Lord Jesus. The Antichrist, " whose coming is after the working of Satan, in all power and signs and wonders of falsehood„ and in all deceit of unrighteousness for them that perish because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved." 2 Thess. 2: 9,10. Also 1 John 2:18, 2218Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. (1 John 2:18)
22Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. (1 John 2:22)
-In his day, iniquity rises to its height; and therefore it will have an end: and He will come, whose right it is; or, as it might be translated, " to whom the judgment is committed," and God will give it Him. For, he that is low shall be exalted, and he that is high shall be abased. The King of righteousness, and King of peace, the Priest of the most high God, will come, and take to Himself His great power, and reign, and destroy this profane wicked prince. God will exalt thus openly Him who has been as low down even as to the death of the cross, and will abase down to hell the arrogant man of sin, and all his followers.
This prophecy clearly shows that the Antichrist will assume a headship in religion, as well as a throne of royal power over the nations of the Roman earth, and that he will be prince of Israel, professing to be even their god.
What a solemn thought it is, that this age closes with Satan's subtle imitation of the Christ of God, whom the world will receive, and to whom the princes of this world will yield allegiance! Men receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved: and therefore, God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe THE lie.