Exodus 28

The Priestly Garments

1 "Have your brother Aaron, with his sons, come to you from the Israelites to serve Me as priest-Aaron, his sons Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.
2 Make holy garments for your brother Aaron, for glory and beauty.
3 You are to instruct all the skilled craftsmen,[a] whom I have filled with a spirit of wisdom, to make Aaron's garments for consecrating him to serve Me as priest.
4 These are the garments that they must make: a breastpiece, an ephod, a robe, a specially woven tunic,[b] a turban, and a sash. They are to make holy garments for your brother Aaron and his sons so that they may serve Me as priests.
5 They should use[c] gold; blue, purple, and scarlet yarn; and fine linen.

The Ephod

6 "They are to make the ephod of finely spun linen embroidered with gold, and with blue, purple, and scarlet yarn.
7 It must have two shoulder pieces attached to its two edges so that it can be joined together.
8 The artistically woven waistband that is on the ephod[d] must be of one piece,[e] according to the same workmanship of gold, of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and of finely spun linen.
9 "Take two onyx stones and engrave on them the names of Israel's sons:
10 six of their names on the first stone and the remaining six names on the second stone, in the order of their birth.
11 Engrave the two stones with the names of Israel's sons as a gem cutter engraves a seal. Mount them, surrounded with gold filigree settings.
12 Fasten both stones on the shoulder pieces of the ephod as memorial stones for the Israelites. Aaron will carry their names on his two shoulders before the Lord as a reminder.
13 Fashion gold filigree settings
14 and two chains of pure gold; you will make them of braided cord work, and attach the cord chains to the settings.

The Breastpiece

15 "You are to make an embroidered breastpiece for decisions.[f] Make it with the same workmanship as the ephod; make it of gold, of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and of finely spun linen.
16 It must be square and folded double, nine inches long and nine inches wide.[g]
17 Place a setting of gemstones[h] on it, four rows of stones: The first row should be a row of carnelian, topaz, and emerald;[i]
18 the second row, a turquoise,[j] a sapphire,[k] and a diamond;[l]
19 the third row, a jacinth,[m] an agate, and an amethyst;
20 and the fourth row, a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper. They should be adorned with gold filigree in their settings.
21 The 12 stones are to correspond to the names of Israel's sons. Each stone must be engraved like a seal, with one of the names of the 12 tribes.
22 "You are to make braided chains[n] of pure gold cord work for the breastpiece.
23 Fashion two gold rings for the breastpiece and attach them to its two corners.
24 Then attach the two gold cords to the two gold rings at the corners of the breastpiece.
25 Attach the other ends of the two cords to the two filigree settings and in this way attach [them] to the ephod's shoulder pieces in the front.
26 Make two [other] gold rings and put them at the two other corners of the breastpiece on the edge that is next to the inner border of the ephod.
27 Make two [more] gold rings and attach them to the bottom of the ephod's two shoulder pieces on its front, close to its seam,[o] and above the ephod's woven waistband.
28 The craftsmen are to tie the breastpiece from its rings to the rings of the ephod with a cord of blue yarn, so that the breastpiece is above the ephod's waistband and does not come loose from the ephod.
29 "Whenever he enters the sanctuary, Aaron is to carry the names of Israel's sons over his heart on the breastpiece for decisions, as a continual reminder before the Lord.
30 Place the Urim and Thummim in the breastpiece for decisions, so that they will also be over Aaron's heart whenever he comes before the Lord. Aaron will continually carry the [means of] decisions for the Israelites over his heart before the Lord.

The Robe

31 "You are to make the robe of the ephod entirely of blue yarn.
32 There should be an opening at its top in the center of it. Around the opening, there should be a woven collar with an opening like that for body armor[p] so that it does not tear.
33 Make pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn[q] on its lower hem and all around it. Put gold bells between them all the way around,
34 [so that] gold bells and pomegranates alternate around the lower hem of the robe.
35 The robe must be [worn by] Aaron whenever he ministers, and its sound will be heard when he enters the sanctuary before the Lord and when he exits, so that he does not die.

The Turban

36 "You are to make a plate[r] of pure gold and engrave it, like the engraving of a seal: HOLY TO THE LORD
37 Fasten it to a cord of blue yarn so it can be placed on the turban; the plate is to be on the front of the turban.
38 It will be on Aaron's forehead so that Aaron may bear the guilt connected with the holy offerings that the Israelites consecrate as all their holy gifts. It is always to be on his forehead, so that they may find acceptance with the Lord.

Other Priestly Garments

39 "You are to weave the tunic from fine linen, make a turban of fine linen, and make an embroidered sash.
40 Make tunics, sashes, and headbands for Aaron's sons to [give them] glory and beauty.
41 Put these on your brother Aaron and his sons; then anoint, ordain,[s] and consecrate them, so that they may serve Me as priests.
42 Make them linen undergarments to cover [their] naked bodies; they must extend from the waist[t] to the thighs.
43 These must be [worn by] Aaron and his sons whenever they enter the tent of meeting or approach the altar to minister in the sanctuary [area], so that they do not incur guilt and die. This is to be a permanent statute for Aaron and for his descendants after him.

Footnotes 20

  • [a]. Lit all wise of heart
  • [b]. Hb obscure
  • [c]. Lit receive
  • [d]. Lit waistband of its ephod, which is on it
  • [e]. Lit piece with the ephod
  • [f]. Used for determining God's will; Nm 27:21
  • [g]. Lit a span its length and a span its width
  • [h]. Many of these stones cannot be identified with certainty.
  • [i]. Or beryl
  • [j]. Or malachite, or garnet
  • [k]. Or lapis lazuli
  • [l]. Hb obscure; LXX, Vg read jasper
  • [m]. Hb obscure
  • [n]. The same chains mentioned in v. 14
  • [o]. The place where the shoulder pieces join the front of the ephod
  • [p]. Hb obscure
  • [q]. Sam, LXX add of finely spun linen
  • [r]. Or medallion
  • [s]. Lit anoint them, fill their hand
  • [t]. Lit loins

Exodus 28 Commentaries

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