Exodus 28:1 “…take Aaron your brother, and his sons with him…”
The Levites would become the tribe which took care of the holy things. And within the tribe, the house of Aaron would be the priests. From that time, only descendants of Aaron could be priests. But others in the tribe of Levi would have assigned duties when it came to the tabernacle and other holy items.
1 “…Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar”
It is amazing how God always gives fair chances. The sons of Aaron would show themselves to be unfit for their office, and God certainly knew this ahead of time. Yet He sets them apart for the positions. He gives them fair chance knowing they will sin in regard to the priesthood. He does the same with us. Doesn’t deal with us according to our sin, but according to His grace and mercy.
6 “…shall make the ephod of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen, artistically worked”
Several pieces to the High Priest garment. Ephod was a vest-like or apron-like garment with places across the shoulders to connect a breastplate. This one was highly colorful and ornamental.
12 “…put the two stones on the shoulders of the ephod…”
Two onyx stones which had the twelve tribe names engraved on them. That way the names would be before the LORD when the priest went before Him.
15 “…the breastplate of judgment…”
Item of woven cloth, very ornamental, in the shape of a square. Contained twelve stones representing the twelve tribes. Also held the Urim and Thummim which the priest would use like dice or casting lots to determine what God wanted in a decision. It was held in place by golden chains connecting it to the ephod.
31 “…make the robe of the ephod all of blue”
Long robe with a hole in the middle for the person’s head. The seam around the head opening was reinforced to prevent tearing. Wear like a poncho apparently with the ephod over it.
33 “…upon its hem you shall make pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet, all around its hem, and bells of gold between them all around”
Decorate the hem with alternating pomegranates and golden bells.
35 “…its sound will be heard when he goes into the holy place before the LORD and when he comes out…”
Other priests could hear him as he walked about. They would know something had happened if they didn’t hear him for a time.
35 “…that he may not die”
Interesting phrase. Doesn’t say in case he dies, but that he may not die. There is a tale told that a rope was tied to the High Priest so he could be pulled out of the Holy of Holies if he died since no one else could go in to retrieve him. This is given as the reason for the bells. But it says that he may not die. So the bells signified that he was wearing what he was supposed to be wearing and that he was doing the work he was called to do. All who heard would know he was going in to present the people to the LORD. From what I can find online, the tale has no confirmation. It probably came from a book of Jewish mysticism which has no legitimate standing. Besides, as one commentator mentioned, God was so specific about what the High Priest was to wear, He probably wouldn’t have allowed a rope or chain to be added. There is also debate as to exactly what the High Priest would wear into the Holy of Holies before God. The text refers to this outfit as presenting the names of the twelve tribes to God, but a passage in Leviticus 16 appears to say he wore only a plain linen tunic, sash, and turban. Difficult to say at this point since this outfit was all of linen. Will need to do more study when I get to Leviticus.
36-37 “…plate of pure gold and engrave on it…shall put it on a blue cord, that it may be on the turban…”
Headpiece was a turban of linen with a golden plate attached to the front with Holiness to the LORD inscribed on it.
39 “You shall skillfully weave the tunic of fine linen thread, you shall make the turban of fine linen, and you shall make the sash of woven work.”
Turban, tunic, and sash. The whole garment was of fine woven linen and colorful threads. That makes for a tunic, a robe, a sash, the ephod, the breastplate, and the turban. No shoes or sandals are mentioned.
42 “…make for them linen trousers to cover their nakedness…”
Linen pants which went from the waist to the thighs. I’m guessing to just above the knees. Would have covered them as they ascended the stairs to the alter so their nakedness couldn’t be seen under their robes.
43 “…a statute forever to him and his descendants after him”
God was specific about what the priests were to wear before Him as they did their service. They represented His holiness and had to take all of the requirements very seriously.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.