“The Urim and the Thummim”


And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron’s heart, when he goeth in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually. (Exodus 28:30)

We are never told what the Urim and Thummim were. All we know is that these were worn upon Aaron’s breastplate of judgment (discernment), upon his heart continually before the Lord, along with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. Though we do not know what they were, through grace and the teaching of God the Holy Spirit, we do have a very clear knowledge of what they represented and what they meant.


Lights and Perfections


The words “Urim” and “Thummim” mean “Lights” and “Perfections.” As Aaron, the high priest, was a clear, instructive type of Christ, our great High Priest, so, by bearing on his breast-plate “the Urim and the Thummim,” it is obvious that the Lord Jesus Christ is represented by these emblems as the light and perfection of his people.


As Aaron bore all the names of the tribes of Israel upon his heart, where “the Urim and Thummim” were worn, so the Lord Jesus Christ bears all his elect, all his redeemed, upon his holy heart and in his own light and perfection before God. Sweet and precious thought! Contemplate its majesty and its comfort. As Christ is Light, so are we in him. As Christ is Perfection, so are we in him! As Christ is accepted, so are we in him! Well might we cry, as we are represented in the Song of Solomon (8:6), “Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm!


With God’s Holy One


This is a matter of such great magnitude and importance that just before the Lord took him out of this world, as he was giving his final words to the children of Israel, Moses expressly commanded of Levi, “Let thy Thummim and the Urim be with thy holy one” (Deuteronomy 33:8).


He who is Jehovah’s Holy One can be none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. With him “the Urim (Lights) and the Thummim (Perfections)” eminently remained, and with him only. During the time of the Babylonian Captivity, the physical “Urim and Thummim” were lost with the destruction of the temple, and were never again restored. But it continues on everlastingly, unmarred and unchanged with Christ Jesus in his everlasting and unchangeable priesthood. Like Christ himself, it is “the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.”


It is our blessed Lord Jesus who is “the Urim and the Thummim” to our souls. He, and he alone, who is Jehovah’s Holy One, is the Light and Perfection of his people in grace here, and glory for ever.


Christ the Urim


All light and perfection are found in Christ and only in Christ. Apart from Christ there is no light of any kind; and apart from him there is no perfection (Colossians 1:19; 2:3). Christ is the Urim, the Light (John 1:9), the Light in whom all light is found and from whom all lights come. As all the light of the creation from the first to the fourth day was in the sun, so all the light of the new creation is in Christ, the Sun of Righteousness. As the light of the earth is but the reflected light of the sun, so the light that is in us is but the reflection of Christ, who is the Sun of our souls and the Light of the world.


            All natural light in men comes from Christ. There is a sense in which all men are in their natural state enlightened by Christ. This natural light is not sufficient to save, but it does render all men without excuse before God (Romans 1:20; 2:14-15).


            As all natural light comes from him, so all the light of grace is found in and comes from Christ. The light of grace is that light which comes upon poor sinners, sinners born in darkness, raised in darkness, living in darkness, walking in darkness, and loving darkness, causing them to be made “light in the Lord.”


Sinners enlightened by Christ, enlightened with the enlightenment of grace, testify with the man in John 9:25, — “One thing I know, that whereas I was blind, now I see! God’s saints are called “children of light, because they have been called, by the almighty, irresistible power and grace of the Holy Spirit, out of darkness into light, out of the darkness of depravity, death and sin, into the marvelous light life, grace and righteousness in Christ. If anyone receives this light, it is by the gift and grace of Christ our God (Ephesians 5:14). If any are called to light, it is by Christ. If any walk in the light, they walk in Christ. He is given of God the Father, “A Light to lighten the Gentiles.”


Christ the Thummim


Our Lord Jesus Christ is the true Thummim, too. All perfections are found in him fully, completely and everlastingly. Whenever we think about perfections, let us only think of Christ. He comprehends them all and possesses them all.

Š      All the perfections of the triune God are in him (Colossians 2:9).

Š      All the perfection of the gifts of the Holy Spirit are in him, and flow to us from him (Psalm 68:17-20).

Š      All the perfection of grace is in Christ and comes to chosen, redeemed sinners through Christ and for Christ’s sake (1 Corinthians 1:30; Ephesians 1:3-6).

Š      All the perfection of the blessings and promises of God to sinners in the covenant of grace are in Christ. He is our Joseph. He owns and holds the key to all the storehouse of God’s grace (2 Corinthians 1:20).

Š      All the perfection of life is Christ our Lord. He is our Life; and he is the Fountain of Life (John 17:2).

Š      And Christ is our Perfection before God, our Holiness and our Righteousness, in whom we are made whole and in whom we are complete (Colossians 2:10).





Don Fortner



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