Exodus 28:16

16 It is to be square—a span[a] long and a span wide—and folded double.

Exodus 28:16 in Other Translations

King James Version (KJV)
16 Foursquare it shall be being doubled; a span shall be the length thereof, and a span shall be the breadth thereof.
English Standard Version (ESV)
16 It shall be square and doubled, a span its length and a span its breadth.
New Living Translation (NLT)
16 Make the chestpiece of a single piece of cloth folded to form a pouch nine inches square.
The Message Bible (MSG)
16 Make it nine inches square and folded double.
American Standard Version (ASV)
16 Foursquare it shall be [and] double; a span shall be the length thereof, and a span the breadth thereof.
GOD'S WORD Translation (GW)
16 Fold it in half so that it's 9 inches square.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
16 It must be square and folded double, nine inches long and nine inches wide.
New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
16 Make it nine inches square. Fold it in half.

Exodus 28:16 Meaning and Commentary

Exodus 28:16

Four square it shall be, [being] doubled
That is, when it was doubled; for the length of it, according to Maimonides F3, was a cubit, which is two spans, and so, when it was doubled, was but one, and its length and breadth being alike, as follows:

a span [shall be] the length thereof, and a span [shall be] the breadth
thereof; a square, which is the measure, the form of the new Jerusalem, the church of Christ, ( Revelation 21:16 ) and may denote the perfection, firmness, and immovableness of it, ( Psalms 125:1 ) . Some have thought that this breastplate was doubled, in order to have something enclosed in it: some imagine, that within this fold were put the Urim and Thummim, which they suppose to be two words engraved on a stone, and different from the twelve stones in it; others, that the name of Jehovah was written and put there, as the Targum of Jonathan and Jarchi on ( Exodus 28:30 ) and other Jewish writers, and others, fancy some little images were put within these folds, the name with the teraphim, and supposed to be the Urim and Thummim; but if these were hid in the folds, they could not be seen when consulted; it is most probable there is nothing put within the double, which was not done for any such use; but most likely that it might be strong to bear the weight of the precious stones, put in ouches of gold upon it.


F3 Cele Hamikdash, c. 9. sect. 6.

Exodus 28:16 In-Context

14 and two braided chains of pure gold, like a rope, and attach the chains to the settings.
15 “Fashion a breastpiece for making decisions—the work of skilled hands. Make it like the ephod: of gold, and of blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and of finely twisted linen.
16 It is to be square—a span long and a span wide—and folded double.
17 Then mount four rows of precious stones on it. The first row shall be carnelian, chrysolite and beryl;
18 the second row shall be turquoise, lapis lazuli and emerald;

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. That is, about 9 inches or about 23 centimeters
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