Exodus 39:8-14

The Breastpiece

8 They fashioned the breastpiece—the work of a skilled craftsman. They made it like the ephod: of gold, and of blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and of finely twisted linen.
9 It was square—a span[a] long and a span wide—and folded double.
10 Then they mounted four rows of precious stones on it. The first row was carnelian, chrysolite and beryl;
11 the second row was turquoise, lapis lazuli and emerald;
12 the third row was jacinth, agate and amethyst;
13 the fourth row was topaz, onyx and jasper.[b] They were mounted in gold filigree settings.
14 There were twelve stones, one for each of the names of the sons of Israel, each engraved like a seal with the name of one of the twelve tribes.

Exodus 39:8-14 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO EXODUS 39

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 39:8-14 In-Context

6 They mounted the onyx stones in gold filigree settings and engraved them like a seal with the names of the sons of Israel.
7 Then they fastened them on the shoulder pieces of the ephod as memorial stones for the sons of Israel, as the LORD commanded Moses.
8 They fashioned the breastpiece—the work of a skilled craftsman. They made it like the ephod: of gold, and of blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and of finely twisted linen.
9 It was square—a span long and a span wide—and folded double.
10 Then they mounted four rows of precious stones on it. The first row was carnelian, chrysolite and beryl;
11 the second row was turquoise, lapis lazuli and emerald;
12 the third row was jacinth, agate and amethyst;
13 the fourth row was topaz, onyx and jasper. They were mounted in gold filigree settings.
14 There were twelve stones, one for each of the names of the sons of Israel, each engraved like a seal with the name of one of the twelve tribes.
15 For the breastpiece they made braided chains of pure gold, like a rope.
16 They made two gold filigree settings and two gold rings, and fastened the rings to two of the corners of the breastpiece.

Cross References 2

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. That is, about 9 inches or about 23 centimeters
  • [b]. The precise identification of some of these precious stones is uncertain.