Question & Answer Forum

What is the typical significance of Aarons mitre and the bonnets of his sons (Leviticus 8:9, 13)?

Although the Lord is a priest after the order of Melchisedec (Heb. 5:6), Aarons priesthood was typical of Christs (2:17). The mitre on Israels priest was of linen, the same material as his breeches and coat (Exodus 39:27). Although some have suggested that Aarons mitre portrays subjection, it may be better to see in it a complete righteousness in our representative as he appears before the presence of God for us (Hebrews 9:24). His head, controlling His body, also speaks of wisdom. The One in Whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom (Colossians 2:3) exercises that wisdom on our behalf, consistent with perfect righteous. The “beauty of holiness” is seen from head to foot in the priest.

The bonnets of Aarons son are of the same material as Aarons mitre, but are distinguishable. Because his sons are related to him, they have this same righteousness “garment” as they move in Gods holy place. Perhaps this suggests that, although there is a difference between us and our representative, yet we have a link with him and therefore enjoy complete acceptance in Gods presence. Appearing for us in Gods presence is what Christ is essentially, but the complete favor that rests on us is conferred on us because of him.

D. Oliver

What is the relationship of Aarons mitre with the coverings of 1 Corinthians 11?

The teaching of I Corinthians 11:2-16 seems to be more a contrast than a comparison. Headship is the core truth of the passage and is distinguished from lordship. Picturing a body, headship points downward from the head and involves the responsibility of the head for the body. God has established an order in which the head takes care of the body. Lordship is complementary to this and points upward to the head. Lordship indicates the responsibility of the body to the head. The body acknowledges this order by subjection. Authority is linked with lordship, administration with headship. Colossian truth is that He is the head of the Body (“looking from the head down”) and is therefore the source of our completeness (Colossian 1:18; 2:10, 19). Ephesian truth is that we are in the Body (“looking from the body up”) and are responsible to one another and to the Lord (Ephesians 5:21, 22).

Second, two spheres of headship are on display in the head coverings in 1 Corinthians 11: Christ is head of the man; man is head of the woman (verse 3). The temporary covering on the head of the woman and the lack of a covering on the head of the man expresses Christs headship of the man. The short hair of the man and the long hair of the woman express mans headship of the woman. The first sphere of headship requires incarnation and redemption. The second dates from creation (not the Fall).

Interpreting Aarons head covering in light of 1 Corinthians 1 seems to confuse the issue therefore, since headship is not related to subjection to authority and the covered head displays a New Testament headship.

D. Oliver

Why didn’t Johanan succeed Josiah?

According to 1 Chronicles 3:15 Johanan was Josiahs firstborn, making him heir to his fathers throne. Interestingly, he is the only one of the four sons mentioned who did not reign. Shallum (also called Jehoahaz, Jeremiah 22:11) was Josiahs first son to reign, although listed as fourth. Installed by Pharaohnechoh, Jehoiakim, the second son, reigned next. Zedekiah reigned last, installed by Nebuchadnezzar (1 Kings 23:21-24:19). Even if we assumed that Johanan had died, and there seems to be no evidence to support this, that wouldnt explain why Shallum reigned before his older brother Jehoiakim.

We read concerning three kings that the people made them kings (Uzziah, 2Chronicles 26:1; Josiah, 2 Chronicles 33:25; Jehoahaz, 2 Kings 23:30). The first two were good kings. Their being made king showed unity and righteousness, respectively. Jehoahaz, with only a 3 month reign, distinguished himself by means of unrighteousness (2 Kings 23:37). Perhaps, then, the people expressed their true spiritual condition by choosing a wicked king. Is it possible Johanan was too spiritually inclined to be the peoples choice?

D. Oliver

How could Josiahs 4th son have been born when his father was 16?

Jehoahaz (called Shallum), fourth in the list of Josiahs sons (1 Chronicles 3:15), was 23 when he began his 3 month reign (2 Kings 23:31). His father had reigned 31 years (22:1), So Jehoahaz was born in the eighth year of his fathers reign, when his father was about 16. At 25, Jehoiakim succeeded Jehoahaz three months (2 Chronicles 36:2) after his father died. Allowing for differences in birthdays, Josiah must have been 15, at most, when Jehoiakim his second son was born.

2 Kings 24:18 shows that Zechariah was 13 years younger than Jehoahaz. So Jehoahaz was the third son, not the fourth. Since Jehoahaz and Jehoiachim had different mothers (2 Kings 23:31, 36) and Johanan may have had a different mother, Josiah may have been, at most, 15 when his first son was born. This is still very young, but may be easier to understand.

D. Oliver