Exodus 39

Making the Priestly Garments

1 They made specially woven[a] garments for ministry in the sanctuary, and the holy garments for Aaron from the blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

Making the Ephod

2 Bezalel made the ephod of gold, of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and of finely spun linen.
3 They hammered out thin sheets of gold, and he[b] cut threads [from them] to interweave with the blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and the fine linen in a skillful design.
4 They made shoulder pieces for attaching it; it was joined together at its two edges.
5 The artistically woven waistband that was on the ephod was of one piece with the ephod, according to the same workmanship of gold, of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and of finely spun linen, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.
6 Then they mounted the onyx stones surrounded with gold filigree settings, engraved with the names of Israel's sons as a gem cutter engraves a seal.
7 He fastened them on the shoulder pieces of the ephod as memorial stones for the Israelites, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.[c]

Making the Breastpiece

8 He also made the embroidered breastpiece with the same workmanship as the ephod of gold, of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and of finely spun linen.
9 They made the breastpiece square and folded double, nine inches long and nine inches wide.[d]
10 They mounted four rows of gemstones[e] on it. The first row was a row of carnelian, topaz, and emerald;[f]
11 the second row, a turquoise,[g] a sapphire,[h] and a diamond;[i]
12 the third row, a jacinth,[j] an agate, and an amethyst;
13 and the fourth row, a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper. They were surrounded with gold filigree in their settings.
14 The 12 stones corresponded to the names of Israel's sons. Each stone was engraved like a seal with one of the names of the 12 tribes.
15 They made braided chains of pure gold cord for the breastpiece.
16 They also fashioned two gold filigree settings and two gold rings and attached the two rings to its two corners.
17 Then they attached the two gold cords to the two gold rings on the corners of the breastpiece.
18 They attached the other ends of the two cords to the two filigree settings and, in this way, attached [them] to the ephod's shoulder pieces in front.
19 They made 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.
20 They made two [more] gold rings and attached them to the bottom of the ephod's two shoulder pieces on its front, close to its seam,[k] above the ephod's woven waistband.
21 Then they tied the breastpiece from its rings to the rings of the ephod with a cord of blue yarn, so that the breastpiece was above the ephod's waistband and did not come loose from the ephod. [They did] just as the Lord had commanded Moses.[l]

Making the Robe

22 They made the woven robe of the ephod entirely of blue yarn.
23 There was an opening in the center of the robe like that for body armor[m] with a collar around the opening so that it would not tear.
24 They made pomegranates of finely spun blue, purple, and scarlet yarn[n] on the lower hem of the robe.
25 They made bells of pure gold and attached the bells between the pomegranates, all around the hem of the robe between the pomegranates,
26 a bell and a pomegranate alternating all around the lower hem of the robe.[o] It is to be used for ministry, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

The Other Priestly Garments

27 They made the tunics of fine woven linen for Aaron and his sons.
28 [They also made] the turban and the ornate headbands[p] of fine linen, the undergarments,
29 and the sash of finely spun linen of embroidered blue, purple, and scarlet yarn. [They did] just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

Making the Holy Diadem

30 They also made a plate,[q] the holy diadem, out of pure gold, and wrote on it an inscription like the engraving on a seal: HOLY TO THE LORD
31 Then they attached a cord of blue yarn to it in order to mount [it] on the turban, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.[r]

Moses' Inspection of the Tabernacle

32 So all the work for the tabernacle, the tent of meeting, was finished. The Israelites did everything just as the Lord had commanded Moses.
33 Then they brought the tabernacle to Moses: the tent with all its furnishings, its clasps, its planks, its crossbars, and its posts and bases;
34 the covering of ram skins dyed red and the covering of manatee skins;[s] the veil for the screen;
35 the ark of the testimony with its poles and the mercy seat;
36 the table, all its utensils, and the bread of the Presence;[t]
37 the pure [gold] lampstand, with its lamps arranged and all its utensils, as well as the oil for the light;
38 the gold altar; the anointing oil; the fragrant incense; the screen for the entrance to the tent;
39 the bronze altar with its bronze grate, its poles, and all its utensils; the basin with its stand;
40 the hangings of the courtyard, its posts and bases, the screen for the gate of the courtyard, its ropes and tent pegs, and all the equipment for the service of the tabernacle, the tent of meeting;
41 and the specially woven[u] garments for ministering in the sanctuary, the holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments for his sons to serve as priests.[v]
42 The Israelites had done all the work according to everything the Lord had commanded Moses.
43 Moses inspected all the work they had accomplished. They had done just as the Lord commanded. Then Moses blessed them.

Exodus 39 Commentary

Chapter 39

The priests' garments. (1-31) The tabernacle completed. (32-43)

Verses 1-31 The priests' garments were rich and splendid. The church in its infancy was thus taught by shadows of good things to come; but the substance is Christ, and the grace of the gospel. Christ is our great High Priest. When he undertook the work of our redemption, he put on the clothes of service, he arrayed himself with the gifts and graces of the Spirit, girded himself with resolution to go through the undertaking, took charge of all God's spiritual Israel, laid them near his heart, engraved them on the palms of his hands, and presented them to his Father. And he crowned himself with holiness to the Lord, consecrating his whole undertaking to the honour of his Father's holiness. True believers are spiritual priests. The clean linen with which all their clothes of service must be made, is the righteousness of saints, ( Revelation 19:8 ) .

Verses 32-43 The tabernacle was a type or emblem of Jesus Christ. As the Most High dwelt visibly within the sanctuary, even on the ark, so did he reside in the human nature and tabernacle of his dear Son; in Christ dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, ( Colossians 2:9 ) . The tabernacle was a symbol of every real Christian. In the soul of every true follower of the Saviour the Father dwells, the object of his worship, and the author of his blessings. The tabernacle also typified the church of the Redeemer. The meanest and the mightiest are alike dear to the Father's love, freely exercised through faith in Christ. The tabernacle was a type and emblem of the heavenly temple, Re. 21:3 . What, then, will be the splendour of His appearance, when the cloud shall be withdrawn, and his faithful worshippers shall see him as he is!

Footnotes 22

  • [a]. Hb obscure
  • [b]. Sam, Syr, Tg read they
  • [c]. Ex 28:6-14
  • [d]. Lit a span its length and a span its width
  • [e]. Many of these stones cannot be identified with certainty.
  • [f]. Or beryl
  • [g]. Or malachite, or garnet
  • [h]. Or lapis lazuli
  • [i]. Hb uncertain; LXX, Vg read jasper
  • [j]. Hb obscure
  • [k]. The place where the shoulder pieces join the front of the ephod
  • [l]. Ex 28:15-28
  • [m]. Hb obscure
  • [n]. Sam, LXX, Vg add and linen
  • [o]. Lit bell and pomegranate, bell and pomegranate, on the hem of the robe around
  • [p]. Lit and the headdresses of headbands
  • [q]. Or medallion
  • [r]. Ex 28:31-42
  • [s]. Or of dolphin skins, or of fine leather; Hb obscure
  • [t]. Traditionally, showbread
  • [u]. Hb obscure
  • [v]. Ex 35:10-19

Chapter Summary


In this chapter is continued the account of making the several things belonging to the sanctuary, particularly the clothes for the service of the tabernacle, and the garments of the priests, as the ephod and its curious girdle, Ex 39:1-7 the breastplate and the putting of the stones in it, and the fastening of it to the ephod, Ex 39:8-21 the robe of the ephod, with the bells and pomegranates to it, Ex 39:21-26 and the coats, mitre, bonnets, breeches, and girdle of fine linen, for Aaron and his sons, Ex 39:27-29 and the golden plate, Ex 39:30,31 and all being finished, the tabernacle and everything belonging to it were brought to Moses, and viewed by him; who seeing that all was done exactly according to the commandment of the Lord, blessed the people, and particularly the artificers, Ex 39:38-43.

Exodus 39 Commentaries

Holman Christian Standard Bible ® Copyright © 2003, 2002, 2000, 1999 by Holman Bible Publishers.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.