Aaron’s priestly garb: the ephod (bib), breastplate, robe, and the tunic, turban and sash.
VERSE 1. “Bring Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, near to you from among the children of Israel, that he may minister to me in the priest’s office: Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons.
he may minister to me. Aaron will minister to the LORD God.
and his sons with him. This implies the priesthood of Aaron will extend to his son.
for glory. Aaron’s priestly garb exists for two reasons. The first is to glorify the LORD God.
for beauty. The second reason for Aaron’s priestly garb is to be an expression of beauty.
Beauty itself has value. It is one of the three “transcendentals.”
The transcendentals are these:
The Greek philosopher Parmenides was the first to name the transcendentals. Later philosophers such as Socrates and Plato and Aristotle continued to explore them.
Christians see the transcendentals as objective properties that all humans hunger for. They transcend the limits of time and space.
Christians see the transcendentals perfectly expressed in the LORD God. He is ultimate truth and goodness and beauty.
VERSE 3. You shall speak to all who are wise-hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they make Aaron’s garments to sanctify him, that he may minister to me in the priest’s office.
that they make Aaron’s garments. They were to recruit various expert workmen whom the LORD God had endowed with skill.
God provides us with talents, and provides ways for us to use them to glorify him!
to sanctify him. The purpose of Aaron’s vestments is to set him apart from other people.
VERSE 4. These are the garments which they shall make: a breastplate, an ephod, a robe, a fitted tunic, a turban, and a sash. They shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother and his sons, that he may minister to me in the priest’s office.
Aaron’s priestly garb will consist of six pieces:
- Ephod (bib)(verses 6 to 14)
- Breastplate (verses 15 to 30)
- Robe (verses 31 to 36)
- Tunic (verse 39 to 43)
- Turban (verse 39 to 43)
- Sash (verse 39 to 43)
VERSE 5. They shall use the gold, and the blue, and the purple, and the scarlet, and the fine linen.
VERSE 6. “They shall make the ephod of gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen, the work of the skillful workman.
the ephod. The ephod was a sort of bib.
VERSE 7. It shall have two shoulder straps joined to the two ends of it, that it may be joined together.
VERSE 8. The skillfully woven band, which is on it, shall be like its work and of the same piece; of gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen.
two onyx stones. They will decorate the ephod with precious stones. As will be the New Jerusalem”
Revelation 21:19. The foundations of the city’s wall were adorned with all kinds of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald;
VERSE 10. Six of their names on the one stone, and the names of the six that remain on the other stone, in the order of their birth.
VERSE 11. With the work of an engraver in stone, like the engravings of a signet, you shall engrave the two stones, according to the names of the children of Israel. You shall make them to be enclosed in settings of gold.
VERSE 12. You shall put the two stones on the shoulder straps of the ephod, to be stones of memorial for the children of Israel. Aaron shall bear their names before the LORD on his two shoulders for a memorial.
VERSE 13. You shall make settings of gold,
VERSE 14. and two chains of pure gold; you shall make them like cords of braided work. You shall put the braided chains on the settings.
VERSE 15. “You shall make a breastplate of judgment, the work of the skillful workman; like the work of the ephod you shall make it; of gold, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, you shall make it.
a breastplate. This was a stylized box used for storing the Urim and Thummim (see verse 30 below).
a span. A span is the length from the tip of a man’s thumb to the tip of his little finger when his hand is stretched out. It is about half a cubit, or 9 inches.
VERSE 17. You shall set in it settings of stones, four rows of stones: a row of ruby, topaz, and beryl shall be the first row;
sapphire. Or “lapis lazuli.”
VERSE 19. and the third row a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst;
VERSE 20. and the fourth row a chrysolite, an onyx, and a jasper. They shall be enclosed in gold in their settings.
VERSE 21. The stones shall be according to the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names; like the engravings of a signet, everyone according to his name, they shall be for the twelve tribes.
VERSE 22. You shall make on the breastplate chains like cords, of braided work of pure gold.
VERSE 23. You shall make on the breastplate two rings of gold, and shall put the two rings on the two ends of the breastplate.
VERSE 24. You shall put the two braided chains of gold in the two rings at the ends of the breastplate.
VERSE 25. The other two ends of the two braided chains you shall put on the two settings, and put them on the shoulder straps of the ephod in its forepart.
VERSE 26. You shall make two rings of gold, and you shall put them on the two ends of the breastplate, on its edge, which is toward the side of the ephod inward.
VERSE 27. You shall make two rings of gold, and shall put them on the two shoulder straps of the ephod underneath, in its forepart, close by its coupling, above the skillfully woven band of the ephod.
VERSE 28. They shall bind the breastplate by its rings to the rings of the ephod with a lace of blue, that it may be on the skillfully woven band of the ephod, and that the breastplate may not swing out from the ephod.
VERSE 29. Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment on his heart, when he goes in to the holy place, for a memorial before the LORD continually.
VERSE 30. You shall put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be on Aaron’s heart, when he goes in before the LORD. Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel on his heart before the LORD continually.
the Urim and the Thummim. These were sacred dice.
These were stored in the breastplate (see verse 15 above).
When posed with a question, the High Priest rolled the dice.
How the dice fell provided the answer. It was considered to be the authentic answer from the LORD God.
VERSE 31. “You shall make the robe of the ephod all of blue.
VERSE 32. It shall have a hole for the head in the middle of it. It shall have a binding of woven work around its hole, as it were the hole of a coat of mail, that it not be torn.
VERSE 33. On its hem you shall make pomegranates of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, all around its hem; with bells of gold between and around them:
VERSE 34. a golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, around the hem of the robe.
VERSE 35. It shall be on Aaron to minister: and its sound shall be heard when he goes in to the holy place before the LORD, and when he comes out, that he not die.
VERSE 36. “You shall make a plate of pure gold, and engrave on it, like the engravings of a signet, ‘HOLY TO THE LORD.’
VERSE 37. You shall put it on a lace of blue, and it shall be on the sash. It shall be on the front of the sash.
VERSE 38. It shall be on Aaron’s forehead, and Aaron shall bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall make holy in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always on his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD.
Aaron shall bear the iniquity of the holy things. The people themselves will not be guilty if they misuse the Holy Things.
Rather, their guilt is transferred to Aaron. Aaron is both a priest and a scapegoat.
VERSE 39. You shall weave the tunic with fine linen. You shall make a turban of fine linen. You shall make a sash, the work of the embroiderer.
VERSE 40. “You shall make tunics for Aaron’s sons. You shall make sashes for them. You shall make headbands for them, for glory and for beauty.
VERSE 41. You shall put them on Aaron your brother, and on his sons with him, and shall anoint them, and consecrate them, and sanctify them, that they may minister to me in the priest’s office.
VERSE 42. You shall make them linen pants to cover their naked flesh. They shall reach from the waist even to the thighs.
VERSE 43. They shall be on Aaron and on his sons, when they go in to the Tent of Meeting, or when they come near to the altar to minister in the holy place, that they don’t bear iniquity, and die. This shall be a statute forever to him and to his offspring after him.
they don’t bear iniquity, and die. To minister as a priest is to face grave danger. There is a chance that the LORD God will kill the priest for the slightest mistake.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.