They were no doubt bare; as were the feet of the Levitical priesthood ministering in the sanctuary. We are no where indeed expressly told of these that they ministered barefoot, but every thing leads us to this conclusion. Thus while all the other parts of the priestly investiture are described with the greatest minuteness, and Moses accurately instructed how they should be made, there is no mention of any covering for the feet. Then again the analogy of such passages as Ex. 3:5; Jos. 5:15, and the fact that the moral idea of the shoe is that of defense against the defilements of the earth, of which defilements there could be none in the Holy Place, all this irresistibly points to the same conclusions.1fine brass, refined in a furnace
Bochart sees in χαλκολίβανος [chalkolibanos] [fine brass], a hybrid formation, the combination of a Greek word and a Hebrew, χαλκός [chalkos] , and לִבֵּן [libbēn] = “albare,” to make white; brass which in the furnace has attained what we call “white head.” . . . If this be correct, the χαλκολίβανο [chalkolibano] will not be “fine brass” or the “shining,” but the “glowing brass.” This conclusion is very much strengthened by the following phrase, “as if they burned in a furnace;”3
It has often been suggested that our term was familiar to the important local guild of bronze-workers [in Thyatira, Rev. 2:18+] . . . I suggest then that an alloy of copper with metallic zinc was made in Thyatira, the zinc being obtained by distillation. This was a finer and purer brass than the rough and variable coinage-alloy. . . . The product, I suggest, was known there as χαλκολίβανος [chalkolibanos] , which I conjecture to be a ‘copulative compound’, literally rendered ‘copper-zinc’, λίβανος [libanos] being an unrecorded word, perhaps peculiar to the trade, for a metal obtained by distillation, and so derived from the verb λείβω [leibō] .4Refined is πεπυρωμένης [pepyrōmenēs] : “Make red hot, cause to glow, heat thoroughly . . . By such heating precious metals are tested and refined (Job 22:25; Ps. 11:7; 65:10; Pr. 10:20).”5 voice as the sound of many waters
1 Richard Chenevix Trench, Commentary on the Epistles to the Seven Churches in Asia (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1861), 35.
2 A. T. Robertson, Robertson’s Word Pictures in Six Volumes (Escondido, CA: Ephesians Four Group, 2003).
3 Trench, Commentary on the Epistles to the Seven Churches in Asia, 37.
4 Colin J. Hemer, The Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia in Their Local Setting (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989), 111-112,116.
5 Frederick William Danker and Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 731.
6 This return of the glory of the Lord to the Millennial Temple ends the most recent departure of God from His Temple which occurred when Jesus departed to the Mount of Olives (Mat. 23:37-39). It is for this reason that His “house” in Jerusalem has been desolate for these long ages. See The Abiding Presence of God.