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Exodus 28:1-14 (The Ephod)

May 29, 2016   //   by Charlie Garrett   //   Exodus, Exodus Sermons (written), Old Testament, Sermons, Torah, Torah (written)  //  No Comments

Exodus 28:1-14
The Ephod

The first four of our verses today give orders for the ordination of the line of priests who will serve before God on behalf of Israel. They are somewhat like the first verses of Chapter 25 which detailed the request for an offering for the tabernacle and its furnishings. Immediately after those verses, the account jumped right into the details for the construction of the Ark.

Now we move from the tabernacle itself to the garments for those who will serve in the tabernacle. And again, there is a short introduction of sorts before the first garment is described. The Bible is being exceedingly methodical in how it presents each step of the process.

These words are included in the Law of Moses and these implements, the furniture, the house, the garments, etc. are especially important for the administration of that law. But even more, as we have seen a jillion times already, they are especially important because they ultimately picture Christ and His work.

There is beauty and harmony each step of the way because there is beauty and harmony in Christ. He is the epitome of all perfection and therefore we would do well to consider each word as a joyous taste of a heavenly meal which is served by Him.

Concerning the priesthood of Israel, it only anticipates the eternal priesthood of Jesus. That priesthood is most notably recorded in the book of Hebrews. The term “priest” is used numerous times there to describe Him as our High Priest. The first time it is used is to show that He is a High Priest not unlike us, and thus not unlike the high priest of Israel.

Text Verse: “Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.” Hebrews 2:17, 18

Where in Scripture could we go to find more comforting words! The high priest of Israel was just a guy with a specific job. He was fallible and he was prone to any given weakness that any other person was prone to. He could sympathize, therefore, with those he interceded for.

And so to be like us who are fallen and in need of empathy, Christ came and dwelt among us as a human being. He suffered and He was tempted. He can understand what we are going through because of this and He is able to aid us in our weakness. But because He never succumbed to the temptations He faced, we have a far greater High Priest than Israel of Old.

If we are His, He will never get short tempered with us; He will never be too weak to carry out His duties; and He will never let our names be dropped from the rolls of heaven. Once we are His, we are that way for ever. This, and many, other pictures of His work for us are seen in today’s verses. Yes, it’s all to be found in His superior word. And so let’s turn to that precious word once again and… May God speak to us through His word today and may His glorious name ever be praised.

I. A Priesthood for Israel (verses 1-4)

“Now take Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel,

Here Moses is instructed to “take” Aaron and his sons. The word used means “to cause to draw near.” There is elegance and a formality concerning the coming ordination of the priestly line. They are being drawn out of the entire congregation of the children of Israel in order to serve before the Lord.

Up until this point, Moses was the sole person to act on behalf of the Lord in all such matters. However, with the enactment of the covenant, a line of priests would be necessary to mediate between the Lord and the people for the duration of the covenant. This honor is now to be bestowed upon the line of Aaron.

1 (con’t) that he may minister to Me as priest,

The word for “minister as a priest” is a single word, kahan. It is a verb which is introduced into the Bible here which means “to serve as priest.” It comes from the word kohen which is a noun first used to describe Melchizedek in Genesis 14:18. Since then it has been used to describe other priests in both Egypt and in Midian.

It is where the somewhat common Jewish name Cohen comes from today. They descend from this priestly line of Aaron as evidenced by modern DNA analysis. This line is now being prepared for ordination, but before that occurs, which is described in the next chapter, the implements of their priesthood will first be detailed.

This is the same type of process as has already been seen in the description of the implements for the tabernacle before the description of the tabernacle itself. Everything is following an exacting and precise pattern.

As Aaron is being drawn near to Moses, who is the Lord’s prophet, it is showing that, “The prophetic order is therefore perpetually the medium through which, and the condition on which, the priestly order officiates” (Lange). Moses was also the mediator of the covenant. Because of this, it is he to whom the priests must draw near.

1 (con’t) Aaron and Aaron’s sons:

Though there is a succession of priests from Aaron, it is still only one priestly line. In contradistinction to this, the prophetic office is not determined by a single line. The Lord chose His prophets not by line of succession, but by His spoken word through them.

This is why in the case of the priesthood, it is not just Aaron who is called, but also his sons who are to be his legal successors to him. Until he leaves the office, they will assist him in his duties. The actual ordination of the priests won’t occur until the tabernacle is completed. It will be detailed in Leviticus 8. It should be noted that Aaron is called for what is coming. He did not take the task upon himself, as is noted in Hebrews 5:4 –

“And no man takes this honor to himself, but he who is called by God, just as Aaron was.

1 (con’t) Nadab, Abihu,

The sons of Aaron have already been mentioned, but there will be a marked difference in their futures. These two will not serve long. During the time of their ordination, they will be destroyed by the Lord for not following the proper procedures laid out for the priesthood. That is seen in Leviticus 10 –

Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them. So fire went out from the Lord and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. And Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord spoke, saying:

‘By those who come near Me
I must be regarded as holy;
And before all the people
I must be glorified.’”
So Aaron held his peace. Leviticus 10:1-3

1 (con’t) Eleazar, and Ithamar.

Due to the death of the two elder sons of Aaron, the priestly line will continue only through these two sons. The high priestly line will follow directly through Eleazar, but at a later time it will pass to the line of Ithamar, to which it appears Eli the last judge of Israel belonged.

And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother,

The garments are not holy in and of themselves, but they are deemed holy by the purpose for which they will be used, which is ministering in the holy places of the tabernacle, and for conducting the sacred rites of the priesthood.

These garments would not have been worn at just any time, but only during the times when they performed their official functions. This is seen, for example, in Ezekiel 44:19 where it is explicitly stated. It should be noted that like all other aspects of the worship of Israel, no such mandates are given to the church.

These things of the law were given as pictures of Christ to come. In Him all of the details are realized in their fullness. Now, in the church, we can worship at any time, in any place, and without the legal constraints of certain attire or performing certain functions. The New Testament gives very few guidelines concerning the way in which a church is to be conducted. Those that are given are generally prohibitions rather than mandates.

2 (con’t) for glory and for beauty.

l’kavod u-letipharet – There is a real sense of honor and dignity in these words. Glory or kavod, comes from kavad, meaning “heaviness” or “weight.” But this is in the sense of something that is splendid. Thus we use the term “glory.” The second word, tipharah, is introduced into the Bible here. It means “beauty.” It comes from the verb pa’ar, to glorify.

The clothes were intended to exalt the position of the priest so that they would maintain the respect of the people. They would be offset and thus deemed holy rather than common. They were also given to make the entire system of their duties more beautiful.

The sacrificing of animals might seem like a task which would necessitate the wearing of some type of common or even purposely harsh garments. But it was a sacred duty and one which was to be held in high esteem by the people. In requiring such beautiful garments, the tasks would be elevated to their proper weight in the eyes of the people.

This type of sentiment is repeated several times in the Psalms and in this verse from 1 Chronicles 16 –

“Give to the Lord the glory due His name;
Bring an offering, and come before Him.
Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!” 1 Chronicles 16:9

John Gill notes that these garments “were typical of the glory and beauty of Christ’s human nature, which was as a garment put on, and put off, and on again, and in which he officiated as a priest, and still does; and which is now very glorious, and in which he is fairer than any of the children of men; and of the garments of salvation, and robe of righteousness, in which all his people, his priests, appear exceeding glorious and beautiful, even in a perfection of beauty.”

So you shall speak to all who are gifted artisans,

kal khakme lev – all the wise of heart. In the Bible, it is the heart which is considered as the well-spring of wisdom and understanding. And biblical wisdom is that which governs and refines practical intelligence. A man can have high intelligence and yet not have practical intelligence. Despite all of his knowledge then, he is a man lacking wisdom.

Therefore, when one uses an artistic skill in an inventive or intricate way, they are considered as wise of heart and thus a “gifted artisan.” One can make a plain old square basket out of wicker work, or they can make an intricate and marvelously designed basket out of the same materials.

Fine, precise, and beautiful work is what is notable and enduring. One can admire someone’s work from thousands of years earlier if it was done with care and wisdom. Those things which are simply mechanical and without true refinement may have utilitarian value, but they lack any sense of that which is glorious.

This is why the heart is considered the seat of wisdom. Today, we look at the brain as the seat of intelligence and the heart as the seat of emotion, but if we are truly emotional about what we are doing, we will do it to the utmost of our ability. As this is the case, we are attempting to put into the use of our intelligence and skills that which conveys a sense of wisdom.

In the case of what is to be made for the priestly garments, they were to go beyond mere utility and enter into the realm of true beauty and glory.

3 (con’t) whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom,

This verse leaves open an immense question which is not directly answered anywhere else. Were the artisans filled with a spirit of wisdom for this particular task at this particular time, or were they simply people who had a gift because of their makeup as individual humans.

Exodus 31:1-5 seems to state that one man, Bezalel, was especially infused with the Spirit of God for his duties. And yet, there are others in the world that can do the same things he has done. Should I wish to speculate, which I do and so I will, we all have gifts which are unique. Our makeup, and indeed all things, originally stem from God.

In the case of the workmen, they were simply people who had special abilities because of who they were as individuals. Can we say that those who built the atom bomb did it apart from the purposes of God? Can we say that those who designed the precision parts for the transmission in a car didn’t serve a purpose in the march of time and human achievement that God foreknew would occur?

God has filled us all with wisdom according to His purposes. What we do with it will either glorify Him or not, but the intelligence and wisdom we have certainly came from Him. If He wants to supplement that directly through external inspiration such as in the case of Solomon, that is His prerogative, but we shouldn’t assume that this is always the case.

Therefore, it is incumbent on us to use the wisdom that God has given us in the most effective way we can. If we feel we lack in that department, then we can petition for His hand to increase it –

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5

3 (con’t) that they may make Aaron’s garments, to consecrate him, that he may minister to Me as priest.

The making of the garments, beyond their regular use and purpose, is specifically said to be as a part of his consecration. In other words, the office of priest was not established for Aaron, nor is it defined by him. Rather, he is invested with the office according to the calling of God and in connection with the bestowal of these garments. This isn’t just speculation, but it is explicitly seen at the time of Aaron’s death –

“Take Aaron and Eleazar his son, and bring them up to Mount Hor; 26 and strip Aaron of his garments and put them on Eleazar his son; for Aaron shall be gathered to his people and die there.” Numbers 20:25, 26

The calling was of the Lord, the consecration was of the Lord, and the time for Aaron’s duties to end – followed by the consecration of the next high priest – was according to the Lord. This is why I cited Hebrews 5:4 earlier. No man takes this priestly honor upon himself. Rather it is according to the call of God.

And these are the garments which they shall make:

Six items will be described here. A seventh is added in verse 36. These six garments are to adorn the high priest, picturing Christ the Man. The seventh is a golden plate which will read “HOLINESS TO THE LORD.” Thus, it brings in the idea of spiritual perfection; that which defines the very holiness of the Lord.

4 (con’t) a breastplate, an ephod,

Both of these were introduced in chapter 25 in the initial instructions for the collection of materials for what would later be described. What is rather unusual is that almost no specifics were mentioned as to what the materials were for with but a few exceptions, two of them being the ephod and the breastplate. Here is that original mandate from chapter 25:1-9 –

“Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring Me an offering. From everyone who gives it willingly with his heart you shall take My offering. And this is the offering which you shall take from them: gold, silver, and bronze; blue, purple, and scarlet thread, fine linen, and goats’ hair; ram skins dyed red, badger skins, and acacia wood; oil for the light, and spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense; onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate. And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it.

What is also unusual is that in chapter 25 it first mentions the ephod and then the breastplate. However, they are reversed here. But then they are reversed again when the directions for making them are given in this chapter.

4 (con’t) a robe,

The robe, or meil, is introduced here. It is a long garment that went down to the feet which would be worn under the ephod.

4 (con’t) a skillfully woven tunic,

u-kethonet tashbets, this would be a checkered or embroidered garment as indicated by the words tashbets, which is only used here in the whole Bible. Josephus says it is “a tunic circumscribing or closely encompassing the body, and having tight sleeves for the arms.”

4 (con’t) a turban,

mitsnepheth – another new word in the Bible. It will be used a total of 12 times in Exodus, Leviticus, and once in Ezekiel. It is an official turban worn by a high priest or a king.

4 (con’t) and a sash.

v’avnet. The avnet, or sash is found for the first of 9 times here. Again, it will only be seen in Exodus, Leviticus, and once in Isaiah 22. It is a belt or a sash that is worn at the waist.

4 (con’t) So they shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother and his sons, that he may minister to Me as priest.

It is for this reason that all of this work is to be accomplished. They were to take part in the most solemn duties granted to man until the coming of Christ Himself. They were to minister to the Lord as a priestly line for the chosen people of God.

Beautiful garments, so rich and glorious
To adorn the high priest of Israel
But they only point to our Lord victorious
In every detail there is a story to tell

In them we see His beauty, His splendor and glory
In them we see His work accomplished on behalf of us
Yes, in every detail there is a marvelous story
About the coming Christ; our Lord Jesus

And they tell yet more; that of which He does even now
They tell of His work interceding to the Father for us
For to Him God did all high priestly duties endow
Yes, He stands before His Father, our great Lord Jesus

II. The Ephod and the Memorial Stones (verses 5-14)

“They shall take the gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and the fine linen,

There is a definite article in front of each category here. “They shall take ‘the’ gold, ‘the’ blue, etc…” This is because v’hem yiqhu – “And they shall take.” It is for this reason that they are used. The artisans who have been requested are to be given their materials from out of the offering noted at the beginning of chapter 25. The same materials for the tabernacle are to be used for the garments.

and they shall make the ephod of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen,

The ephod is a sleeveless garment, basically a jerkin or a waistcoat. It is to be made of the same colors as the veil, but with the addition of gold thread added into it. The colors follow the same meaning as they did as before – divinity/royalty for the gold, the law for the blue; royalty for the purple – which is a combination of blue and red; war, blood, and judgment for the red; and finally righteousness for the woven linen.

Before going on, I already noted that it first said the ephod and then the breastplate in chapter 25. Then it said the breastplate and then the ephod in verse 4. Now, the ephod is being described first. The two are being linked together in a manner quite similar to the Ark and the Mercy Seat.

The ephod will bear the breastplate just as the Ark bore the Mercy Seat. Though the Ark was described first, it is the Mercy Seat which crowns the Ark. The Ark embodies the law, thus the Old Covenant, while the Mercy Seat signifies the satisfaction of the law and the granting of the New Covenant.

So it is with the ephod and the breastplate. On the ephod will be two stones with the names of the children of Israel engraved on them. Thus it signifies the high priest’s role to bear the sufferings and labors of his people. On the breastplate will be twelve stones which will be engraved with the names of the children of Israel. This then signifies that the high priest sympathizes with his people as an intercessor before God.

In both, the work of Christ is seen. First He bore our burdens, and then He became our intercessor. This is the reason for the order of each description. Marvelous wisdom is seen even in the order of how each thing is described to Moses.

6 (con’t) artistically worked.

These are the same words, maaseh khoshev, or skillfully worked, that were used in Exodus 26:31 to describe the artistic weaving of the cherubim on the veil of the tabernacle. Intricate care and fine detail is to be used in the weaving of this ephod. This would have probably been woven with hand looms brought by the people when they departed Egypt.

It shall have two shoulder straps joined at its two edges, and so it shall be joined together.

What is believed to be the case here is that the ephod was two separate pieces of material – one which covered the back and one which covered the front. They were joined at the shoulders so that it would be pulled over the head and rest on the shoulders. From there the two halves would then be united by a band which will next be described.

If you think of the two halves of a coat of armor strapped together at the shoulders and then joined together after being put over the head, you can get the idea of what this was like.

And the intricately woven band of the ephod, which is on it, shall be of the same workmanship, made of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen.

The kheshev or “band” is introduced here. It will only be used eight times and only in connection with this ephod. It is the band or belt which will keep the two lower parts of the ephod held close to the body. This particular band is to be wrought with the same materials as the ephod itself.

It is believed to have been sewn onto the ephod at one point and then it could be wrapped around the body and secured by strings, or a button or some other way. Its use is seen at the time of the ordination of Aaron in Leviticus 8 –

“And he put the tunic on him, girded him with the sash, clothed him with the robe, and put the ephod on him; and he girded him with the intricately woven band of the ephod, and with it tied the ephod on him.” Leviticus 8:7

The idea of this band or “girdle” pictures “readiness for service.” This is a theme seen throughout Scripture. In one such instance, the most moving of all accounts is given in John where Christ girded Himself, or made Himself ready to serve, with a towel –

“Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.” John 13:3-5

The gold woven into this belt of the ephod anticipates the divine intervention of Christ for us. This is seen in Revelation 1:13 –

“…and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.”

It needs to be noted that the band is made of the same materials as the ephod. It then symbolizes that the services Christ now renders to us reflect His human/divine nature. Though ascended to heaven, the book of Hebrews says that He is there in the presence of God making intercession for us.

“Then you shall take two onyx stones

It isn’t known what the avne shoham, or stones onyx, really are. The Greek translation of the OT says emeralds. However, the emerald was too hard to engrave at this time in history. Some say beryl, some onyx, some sardonyx, or some other stone. It would be good to not be dogmatic here.

9 (con’t) and engrave on them the names of the sons of Israel:

Whatever the stones were, their use is not in question. They were to be used for engraving. On them would be the names of the sons of Israel. What is always difficult to precisely determine is when the term “children of Israel” and “sons of Israel” should be used. In Hebrew, it is the same word – bene yisrael.

However, the picture the people collectively make is that of a group who is bound by the law and thus under a tutor. Paul explains this in Galatians 3. As they are under the law, using the term “children of Israel” is best when describing them as a people.

However, in this case, the term “sons of Israel” seems better. It is the names of the twelve sons which are being engraved. Though they represent all of the people collectively, it is their individual names which are being engraved. Thus, translations that say “sons of Israel” more accurately reflect the intent of what is being said.

That may seem like nitpicking, but Paul is clear about the purpose of the law and those who live under the law. They are children being led by a tutor. They are not yet sons with full rights.

10 six of their names on one stone and six names on the other stone,

The names and their placement is actually a source of uncertainty. Are these the actual twelve sons of Israel which includes the name of Joseph and not the two adopted sons Ephraim and Manasseh? Or are they listed in his place and is Levi then dropped out? What seems most natural is that it is the literal 12 sons who issued from Israel. As Ephraim and Manasseh issue from Joseph, then they are contained within his seed and thus are reflected in his name.

10 (con’t) in order of their birth.

This is translated from a single word – k’towldotam. The word means “according to the generations,” and so translators say “birth.” But scholars question whether it is according to the birth order or the order of priority given in Exodus 1 where the sons of Jacob’s wives are named first and then the sons of his concubines. Josephus states that they are according to their actual births regardless of mother. This seems to be the most probable alignment of their names.

11 With the work of an engraver in stone,

The kharash, or “engraver” is introduced into the Bible here. The word can mean a fabricator of any material such as stone, wood, metal, etc. As stone is identified and the purpose is for engraving, then the term “engraver” is appropriate.

11 (con’t) like the engravings of a signet, you shall engrave the two stones with the names of the sons of Israel.

Two more interesting words are included here. The pittuakh, or “engravings” is a noun which indicates what an engraver makes. It comes from the verb pathakh, which means “to appear,” and so you get the idea of the work of the engraver’s hands having “appeared” as engravings.

The other word, khotham, indicates a signet. It has only been seen in Genesis 38:18 when Tamar, the daughter of Judah asked for his “signet, cord, and staff.” The work here is to be exceptionally fine and detailed. The names of the sons of Israel are to be clearly and precisely engraved on these two stones.

11 (con’t) You shall set them in settings of gold.

It’s a fun sounding clause – musabboth mishbetsowt zahav taaseh otam. The word musabbah indicates “a reversal.” In other words, the back side of the stone will be set in a mishbetsah, or a surrounding, probably of filigree work.

12 And you shall put the two stones on the shoulders of the ephod as memorial stones for the sons of Israel.

The KJV says “of memorial unto the children of Israel.” This is not correct. The stones were considered a reminder to God, not a reminder to the children of Israel. So Aaron shall bear their names before the Lord on his two shoulders as a memorial. However, the term “children of Israel” here is probably better. Though the names of the sons of Israel are recorded, they are recorded on behalf of the people collectively.

Therefore, as they are under the tutor of the law, it would not be incorrect to say “children” here instead of “sons.” In the end, this can be considered niggling over minutiae, but sometimes it is needed to get the best sense of what we are being taught through the symbols and pictures of these ancient passages.

These stones, resting on the shoulders of the high priest, were considered a reminder to God. They were for a memorial that the high priest was before Him, bearing the burden of them on his shoulders just as Christ bore our burdens on His. It is a picture of His mediatorial work for us before God the Father.

As the shoulder is the place of strength, this then pictures our perfect security in Christ. It is not our perseverance which saves us, but His. He is the one who bore our burdens, and He is the one who will continue to bear them until we arrive in our heavenly home. We are secure because of Him. As the names of the twelve sons are recorded on these stones, and as they are placed on the shoulders, it then reflects the sentiment of Isaiah 9:6 –

“For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

The number twelve signifies “perfection of government.” Thus this signifies Christ’s ministry as our perfect governmental leader.

13 You shall also make settings of gold,

There are two theories on what these settings are. The first is that they are settings for the stones themselves which were first named in verse 11. The second is that these are two different settings which are used specifically for the chains of the next verse to attach to. The purpose of which is to hold the breastplate to the ephod which will be described next.

The second option seems likely. They are a connecting part of the ephod, just as the crown molding was a connecting part of the Ark of the Covenant. The Mercy Seat sat in the molding, and in a similar fashion, the breastplate is attached by this socket and chain. In other words, in both instances, the two objects are not truly complete with out one another.

14 and you shall make two chains of pure gold like braided cords,

The sharsherah, or “chain” is now mentioned here for the first of seven times. It comes from a word which means “root.” Thus, theses chains entwine as a root would.

The chains are described by the adjective tahor, or pure. This word has not been seen since Chapter 25 when describing the things in the Holy Place. Thus, they are intended to picture the perfect purity of Christ’s divinity.

In this clause is a very rare word, found only here in Scripture, migbaloth. It is actually unknown what it means. Here it is translated as “braided cords.” Thus, the translators consider it as defining the word “chain.” However, it comes from the word gebul, or border, and so it could mean “of equal length.”

Either way, the intent is that these chains will be used to hold the breastplate onto the ephod. Either translation would work concerning what the chains are used for.

*14 (fin) and fasten the braided chains to the settings.

The chains are to be fastened to the settings. It won’t be until verse 22 that the purpose is defined. As I said though, this is not unusual considering the fact that the ephod and the breastplate are actually two implements and yet they are incomplete without each other.

In picture, and which I will try to remember to repeat later when we describe the breastplate, Christ’s work of bearing our burdens is not complete without Christ’s work of interceding for us. Without the first, the second would not take effect, but without the second, the first would have been pointless.

It would make no sense for Christ to die for our sins if He were not to then intercede for us after we receive His finished work. And, it wouldn’t make sense for Christ to be our Mediator before God if we were not acceptable to God because of His completed work.

It is marvelous to see how these seemingly obscure pieces of furniture and clothing come to life when viewed through the finished work of Christ’s first advent and His ongoing work on our behalf. It is great stuff from an even greater God.

The amazing thing about these verses today is that everything about them points to Jesus and yet for 1500 years they really had no idea that this was the case. The high priest wore his garments, did his work, and probably never stopped to consider that each detail of what he wore would actually find its fulfillment in Christ.

Who would think! But now, with Christ having come, we can see that this is the case. As with each set of details, it calls out to us that God wants us to look for Him, to fix our eyes on Him, and to follow Him every moment of our lives. I would pray that this would be your one burning desire… pursue Christ! He is there in every detail. Call on Him and you too can be a part of what God has shown, in advance, that He would do for us. It is all about Him.

Closing Verse: “The Lord reigns, He is clothed with majesty;
The Lord is clothed,
He has girded Himself with strength.
Surely the world is established, so that it cannot be moved.
Your throne is established from of old;
You are from everlasting.” Psalm 93:1, 2

Next Week: Study up these verses, this is your assignment… Exodus 28:15-30 (The Breastplate of Judgment) (77th Exodus Sermon)

The Lord has you exactly where He wants you. He has a good plan and purpose for you. Even if a deep ocean lies ahead of You, He can part the waters and lead you through it on dry ground. So follow Him and trust Him and He will do marvelous things for you and through you.

Garments of the Priesthood

Now take Aaron your brother, as I to you tell
And his sons with him, from the oldest to the least
From among the children of Israel
That he may minister to Me as priest

Aaron and Aaron’s sons, listed as they are
Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar

And you shall make holy garments
This you shall do
For Aaron your brother
For glory and for beauty, as I instruct you

So you shall speak to all who are gifted artisans
Whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, you see
That they may make Aaron’s garments
To consecrate him, that he may as a priest minister to Me

And these are the garments
Which they shall make: according to these words to you
A breastplate, an ephod, a robe
A skillfully woven tunic, a turban, and a sash too

So they shall make holy garments
For Aaron your brother and his sons, as well
That he may minister to Me as priest
They shall follow the instructions that I now tell

They shall take the gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread too
And the fine linen as they are instructed to do

And they shall make the ephod
Of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread
And fine woven linen, artistically worked
Following the details as I have said

It shall have two shoulder straps
Joined at its two edges, is how it is to be
And so it shall be joined together
It shall be made thus accordingly

And the intricately woven band of the ephod
Which is on it, shall be
Of the same workmanship, made of gold
Blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen, you see

Then you shall take two onyx stones as I now do tell
And engrave on them the names of the sons of Israel

Six of their names on one stone
And six names on the other stone
In order of their birth as is known

With the work of an engraver in stone
Like the engravings of a signet as well
You shall engrave the two stones
With the names of the sons of Israel

You shall set them in settings of gold
Ensure they do according to how they have been told

And you shall put the two stones as well
On the shoulders of the ephod
As memorial stones for the sons of Israel

So Aaron shall bear their names, so shall he do
Before the Lord as a memorial on his shoulders two

You shall also make settings of gold
And you shall make two chains, so shall it be
Of pure gold like braided cords
And fasten the braided chains to the settings, you see

Such are the garments of the high priest of Israel
And how beautiful they must have been to see
But they have an even greater story of which to tell
As they only foreshadow the work of Christ for you and me

Every detail gives us precious insights to delight
Things that provide our souls with surety
That through His work, all things have been made right
And that our future is secure, a Divine guarantee

Thank You, O God for these marvelous hints of Jesus
Written so long ago, and yet as new as the day before our eyes
They are an anchor for the expectant souls of each of us
As we wait upon His return; He our splendid prize

And because of Him we shall for all eternity give You our praise
Yes, we shall hail You O God because of Jesus for eternal days

Hallelujah and Amen…

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