And thou shall put the stones upon the shoulders of the ephod,
&c.] That is, the shoulder pieces of it; these stones were put there, the names of the twelve sons of Israel being engraven on them, and they, set in rims or sockets of gold, and serving for buttons to the shoulder pieces: but chiefly the design of them was
for stones of memorial unto the children of Israel:
not to put the Israelites in mind of the merits of their ancestors, as the Targum of Jonathan; for none of their works were meritorious, and some were not good, and not worthy of remembrance; but rather to put Aaron or the high priest in mind to pray and make intercession for the twelve tribes, whose names were on the stones; or rather to put God himself in remembrance of his promises made unto them, and that they were his dear, special, and peculiar people; just as the rainbow was to be a memorial to the Lord of the covenant he made with all flesh, and which is to be understood after the manner of men:
and Aaron shall bear their names before the Lord upon his two shoulders
for a memorial;
signifying his presentation of them to the Lord when he appeared before him on the mercy seat; his intercession for them, and his patient bearing all their infirmities and weaknesses; in which he was a type of Christ, who presents all his people to his divine Father, makes intercession for them, and bears all their burdens, the care and government of them being upon his shoulders, ( Isaiah 9:6 ) ( Luke 15:5 ) .