Question & Answer – What are these frontlets spoken of in Deuteronomy 6:8?

“And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.” Deuteronomy 6:6–8

A frontlet is a decorative band or ornament worn on the forehead. Many Jewish people took this literally and wore these with Scripture written on them to ensure that others would count them as righteous. God wants us to regard His law foremost in our minds. Vision plays an essential role in life. Choices are made as the eyes work with the mind affecting what we do, where we walk and at what pace, looking through a crowd to recognize a friend, what food to eat, which book to read, just to mention a few. Each of these activities is accomplished through the joint effort of the eyes and the brain. God wants His word as frontlets in our minds and in our heart so they will determine our choices and shine forth in all of our actions to His glory.

“ ‘Thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes’ (Deuteronomy 6:8). These words have a deep meaning. As the word of God is meditated upon and practiced, the whole man will be ennobled. In righteous and merciful dealing, the hands will reveal, as a signet, the principles of God’s law. They will be kept clean from bribes, and from all that is corrupt and deceptive. They will be active in works of love and compassion. The eyes, directed toward a noble purpose, will be clear and true. The expressive countenance, the speaking eye, will testify to the blameless character of him who loves and honors the word of God. But by the Jews of Christ’s day all this was undiscerned. The command given to Moses was construed into a direction that the precepts of Scripture should be worn upon the person. They were accordingly written upon strips of parchment, and bound in a conspicuous manner about the head and wrists. But this did not cause the law of God to take a firmer hold of the mind and heart. These parchments were worn merely as badges, to attract attention. They were thought to give the wearers an air of devotion which would command the reverence of the people. Jesus struck a blow at this vain pretense.” The Desire of Ages, 612, 613.

It is within our own households that the family should be taught the principles of God’s law. It is of no benefit to paste pieces of paper with scripture on them on our foreheads, or plaques on our walls, or decals on our vehicles to advertise our Christianity. The frontlets are the principles that guide each decision we make and enable us to shine forth God’s ways in every word and action.