Thursday, June 12, 2014

Exodus 28:6-14 The Ephod

       "Make the ephod of gold,
and of blue, purple and scarlet yarn,
       and of finely twisted linen --
the work of a skilled craftsman.

         It is to have two shoulder pieces
         attached to two of its corners,
   so it can be fastened.

Its skillfully woven waistband is to be like it --
of one piece with the ephod and made with gold,
and with blue, purple and scarlet yarn,
and with finely twisted linen.

Take two onyx stones and engrave on them
the names of the sons of Israel in the order of their birth --
six names on one stone and the remaining six on the other.

Engrave the names of the sons of Israel on the two stones
the way a gem cutter engraves a seal.

Then mount the stones in gold filigree settings
and fasten them on the shoulder pieces of the ephod
as memorial stones for the sons of Israel.

Aaron is to bear the names on his shoulders
as a memorial before the LORD.
Make gold filigree settings
and two braided chains of pure gold, like a rope,
and attach the chains to the settings."

Exodus 28:6-14 (NIV)

I so need pictures.  I have seen very helpful pictures about the priestly garments in various study Bibles, but I am sure that it is not legal to copy them without permission.  There may be some pictures online for public use.  It would make things much easier to understand.  I have been wanting to get more pictures for the rest of this blog, too.

Some observations in the meanwhile:
  • The ephod is made of blue, scarlet, purple and gold yarns and finely twisted linen.  These materials are the same as those used in the tabernacle itself.  The priests are to act as God's representatives to the people.  The ESV Study Bible notes on these verses list five ways that the priests acted as God's representative to the people:
                                 1)  They oversaw the sacrifices.
                                 2)  They pronounced blessings.
                                 3)  They taught God's Word.
                                 4)  They administered justice.
                                 5)  They were examples of holiness.

  • The two onyx stones (engraved with the names of the sons of Israel in the order of their birth, six names on one stone and the other six names on the other stone) show the great value which God places upon the nation as a whole.  The breastpiece,which we will talk about in the next post, has twelve precious stones, each with the name of an individual tribe.  Exodus 28:12 says this about the two onyx stones:  "And you shall set the two stones on the shoulder pieces of the ephod, as stones of remembrance for the sons of Israel.  And Aaron shall bear their names before the LORD on his two shoulders for remembrance."
  • Note:  'remembrance', at least on the LORD's part, does not mean that He would have forgotten them otherwise.  This word or concept of remembrance/memorial often means that God brings them to mind in order to do something good for them.  For example, in Genesis 8:1, "God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded."  As the NIV Study Bible notes: "To 'remember' in the Bible is not merely to recall to mind; it is to express concern for someone, to act with loving care for him." 

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