Exodus 28 - Outline of Exodus (MENU page)
   The Garments for the Priests (ch. 28) -
28:1 And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him,
from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office,
even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron's sons.
28:2 And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty.
28:3 And thou shalt speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom,
that they may make Aaron's garments to consecrate him,
that he may minister unto me in the priest's office.
28:4 And these are the garments which they shall make;
a breastplate, and an ephod, and a robe, and a broidered coat, a mitre, and a girdle:
and they shall make holy garments for Aaron thy brother, and his sons,
that he may minister unto me in the priest's office.
28:5 And they shall take gold, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen.
28:6 And they shall make the ephod of gold, of blue, and of purple, of scarlet, and fine twined linen,
with cunning work.
{eg., Ex 39:3}
The Garments for the high priest also speak of Christ.
  • for glory and for beauty. cp. Heb 7:23-28
  • of... blue, purple, scarlet, and fine linen...-
    We have previously seen the significance of these colors in the fabric of the Inner Covering, the Veil, the Door, and the Gate of the Tabernacle. Individually and together, each thread speaks of the One, who came down from Heaven, who is the King, who is the Lamb, who is the Righteous Man.
    - - Now, the gold thread makes clear that our High Priest is God the Son.
    - - Note that the threads, inseparably woven into one fabric, remain distinct. Christ's dual nature as God and Man remains intact in Heaven, even after His sacrificial death, resurrection, and ascension.
    His earthly life evidenced His dual nature. Examples:
    Mark 4:37-41, the One who needed sleep, calmed the storm;
    Mat 17:22-27, the rejected King, paid taxes, by exercising His dominion over His creation;
    Joh 11:35-44, Jesus wept at a grave. Yet, He released the dead with "the keys of hell and of death." [examples from CHM]
   The Ephod for the High Priest (v.6-14) -
28:6 And they shall make the ephod of gold, of blue, and of purple, of scarlet, and fine twined linen,
with cunning work.
28:7 It shall have the two shoulderpieces thereof joined at the two edges thereof;
and so it shall be joined together.
28:8 And the curious
{ie., cunningly crafted} girdle {ie., sash} of the ephod, which is upon it,
shall be of the same, according to the work thereof;
even of gold, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen.
28:9 And thou shalt take two onyx stones, and grave on them the names of the children of Israel:
28:10 Six of their names on one stone, and the other six names of the rest on the other stone,
according to their birth.
28:11 With the work of an engraver in stone, like the engravings of a signet,
shalt thou engrave the two stones with the names of the children of Israel:
thou shalt make them to be set in ouches
{ie., settings} of gold.
28:12 And thou shalt put the two stones upon the shoulders of the ephod
for stones of memorial unto the children of Israel:
and Aaron shall bear their names before the LORD upon his two shoulders for a memorial.
28:13 And thou shalt make ouches of gold;
28:14 And two chains of pure gold at the ends; of wreathen work shalt thou make them,
and fasten the wreathen chains to the ouches.
The Ephod was the high priest's primary outer garment.-
The colors of the fabric speak of Christ.
two onyx stones... {engraved with} the names of the children of Israel (cp. v.21).-
Christ, our High Priest, is (was, and forever will be) the Messiah, and High Priest of Israel.
Aaron shall bear their names upon his two shoulders...-
  • Wherever the high priest went in the course of ministry, the names of God's people were continually in remembrance before the LORD.
    Engraved in stone, they would not be forgotten. cp. Isa 49:15,16
  • The shoulders suggest strength.- cp. Isa 9:6; Luk 15:3-7
    Our High Priest is strong in our behalf. cp. Heb 7:25; 1Pet 5:7; Php 4:6
    Believers, as priests with Him (1Pet 2:9; Rev 1:6), are also to bear our brothers' burdens before the Lord. Gal 6:2
   The Breastplate of Judgment, for the High Priest (v.15-30) -
28:15 And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work;
after the work of the ephod thou shalt make it;
of gold, of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen, shalt thou make it.
28:16 Foursquare it shall be being doubled;
a span shall be the length thereof, and a span shall be the breadth thereof.
28:17 And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones:
the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row.
28:18 And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond.
28:19 And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst.
28:20 And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper:
they shall be set in gold in their inclosings.
28:21 And the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel,
twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet;
every one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes.
28:22 And thou shalt make upon the breastplate chains at the ends of wreathen work of pure gold.
28:23 And thou shalt make upon the breastplate two rings of gold,
and shalt put the two rings on the two ends of the breastplate.
28:24 And thou shalt put the two wreathen chains of gold in the two rings
which are on the ends of the breastplate.
28:25 And the other two ends of the two wreathen chains thou shalt fasten in the two ouches,
and put them on the shoulderpieces of the ephod before it.
28:26 And thou shalt make two rings of gold,
and thou shalt put them upon the two ends of the breastplate in the border thereof,
which is in the side of the ephod inward.
28:27 And two other rings of gold thou shalt make,
and shalt put them on the two sides of the ephod underneath,
toward the forepart thereof, over against the other coupling thereof,
above the curious girdle of the ephod.
28:28 And they shall bind the breastplate by the rings thereof
unto the rings of the ephod with a lace of blue,
that it may be above the curious girdle of the ephod,
and that the breastplate be not loosed from the ephod.
28:29 And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment
upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place,
for a memorial before the LORD continually.
28:30 And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim;
and they shall be upon Aaron's heart, when he goeth in before the LORD:
and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually.
The Breastplate of Judgment was a flat fabric pouch, worn on the chest, over the Ephod,
and secured, by means of gold chains and a blue cord, to the Ephod.
It was made of the multi-colored fabric, which speaks of Christ,
and supported twelve precious stones, corresponding to each of the twelve tribes of Israel.
Aaron shall bear the names...
  • ...upon his heart...- The heart is the place of affection.
    Our High Priest loves each of His own, more than they know. Eph 3:17-19
    He ever lives to make intercession for us. Heb 7:25
  • ...when he goeth in unto the Holy Place, for a memorial before the LORD...-
    Identified with Christ, the names of His people shine as gems in the beauty of our High Priest, and in the glory of God's Presence.
    Inspite of our infirmities, errors, and failures, the Father sees us in Christ. We are accepted before Him, in the Beloved (Eph 1:6,7).
    We have not attained to this favor on our own. Rather, Christ sought us, bought us, and brought us into the glory which had once been His, and is now again His. Joh 17:24
    - - We are represented before the Mercy-seat on the heart of our High Priest, who bore the judgment for each believer.
the Urim {'lights', cp. Psa 27:1,11} and Thummim {'perfections', cp. Rom 12:1,2} -
These were special stones carried in a pouch of the Breastplate of Judgment. Their purpose was for ascertaining God's will and providing guidance for the nation (cp. Lev 8:8; Num 27:21; 1Sam 28:6; Ezra 2:63).
- - Not only did the High Priest bear the judgment of the people before the Mercy-seat, but also, he was to commune with the LORD there, in order that he might communicate the judgments (directions) of the LORD to the people, according to their need at that time.
- - Scripture describes neither the appearance, nor the use of the Urim and Thummin. No doubt, the LORD knew we would give undue attention to such objects. God would not make His will known through a 'crystal ball.' But rather, He desires that we seek to know Him (cp. Psa 27:8; Mat 11:28).
- - God's will is made known to the seeker, from the heart of our High Priest, who ever lives to make intercession for us. Psa 27:14
   The Robe of the Ephod, for the High Priest (v.31-35) -
28:31 And thou shalt make the robe of the ephod all of blue.
28:32 And there shall be an hole in the top of it, in the midst thereof:
it shall have a binding of woven work round about the hole of it,
as it were the hole of an habergeon, that it be not rent.
28:33 And beneath upon the hem of it thou shalt make pomegranates
of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, round about the hem thereof;
and bells of gold between them round about:
28:34 A golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate,
upon the hem of the robe round about.
28:35 And it shall be upon Aaron to minister: and his sound shall be heard
when he goeth in unto the holy place before the LORD, and when he cometh out, that he die not.
the Robe of the Ephod, over which the Ephod was worn, was...
  • all of blue - This speaks of our High Priest, "made higher than the heavens." Heb 7:26; Eph 1:19-23
  • hemmed with...
    1. pomegranates (in the colors which speak of Christ) suggest His fruitfulness (cp. Isa 53:10(b); Psa 22:30).
    2. gold bells - suggest the clear sound of His testimony (cp. Psa 22:22,24-31).
      gold - reminds us that He speaks from heaven, with the authority of God (Heb 12:24,25).
that he die not- For Aaron, whose ministry only pictured the ministry of Christ,
the Most Holy Place was a fearful place. He was not truly suited for the heavenly places.
He could not approach casually, but must take care to wear the garments, and to perform the ministry, according to the pattern prescribed.
   The Mitre and Crown, for the High Priest (v.36-39) -
28:36 And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold,
and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD.
28:37 And thou shalt put it on a blue lace, that it may be upon the mitre
{ie., turban};
upon the forefront of the mitre it shall be.
28:38 And it shall be upon Aaron's forehead,
that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things,
{ie., be responsible for every neglect or offence regarding "the holy things" [ScofRB margin].}
which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts;
and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD.
28:39 And thou shalt embroider the coat of fine linen, and thou shalt make the mitre of fine linen,
and thou shalt make the girdle of needlework.
The high priest was crowned with "Holiness unto the LORD."
"It shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD."-
- - Apart from the Holiness of Christ, we could not approach the LORD. Eph 1:6
- - As His believer-priests, Christ's holiness is also to occupy, control and transform our minds. Rom 12:1,2; 2Cor 10:5
   The General Garments, for the Priests (v.40-43) -
28:40 And for Aaron's sons thou shalt make coats, and thou shalt make for them girdles,
and bonnets
{ie., turbans} shalt thou make for them, for glory and for beauty.
28:41 And thou shalt put them upon Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him;
and shalt anoint them, and consecrate them, and sanctify them,
that they may minister unto me in the priest's office.
28:42 And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness;
from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach:
28:43 And they shall be upon Aaron, and upon his sons,
when they come in unto the tabernacle of the congregation,
or when they come near unto the altar to minister in the holy place;
that they bear not iniquity, and die:
it shall be a statute for ever unto him and his seed after him.
The Garments of the High Priest were described in v.1-39.
The unique fabric, rich with embroidery and ornamentation, set the High Priest apart for a ministry which was above that of all other priests. We have observed that his garments "for glory and for beauty" (v.2), speak of Christ.
The Garments of the associate priests are described in v.40-43.
  1. These garments, though much less ornate, were also "for glory and for beauty."
    The believer priest, serving alongside Christ, our High Priest, reflects His glory. 1Pet 2:5,9; Rev 1:6
  2. The coat of linen and breeches of linen were the priests' common clothing, worn next to the skin.
    • linen - speaks of the righteousness of life, which must characterize those who are annointed and sanctified for service.
    • to cover their nakedness - God wants no display of 'the flesh' in His service.
    • that they bear not iniquity and die -
      The priests' service was accepted only because it was a picture of Christ's ministry,
      and only as their service was true to Him.
      The believer priest is also identified with Christ's life and ministry (2Cor 5:17- 6:1);
      we dare not serve according to our fleshly wisdom and ways (Mat 7:21-23; Rom 8:1,5; Gal 5:16-25).

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