Exodus 28

 

וְאַתָּה הַקְרֵב אֵלֶיךָ אֶת־אַהֲרֹן אָחִיךָ וְאֶת־בָּנָיו אִתֹּו מִתֹּוךְ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לְכַהֲנֹו־לִי אַהֲרֹן נָדָב   28:1

וַאֲבִיהוּא אֶלְעָזָר וְאִיתָמָר בְּנֵי אַהֲרֹן

Exod. 28:1  “And you bring near to you from among the children of Israel, Aaron, your brother, and his sons with him, to minister to Me, Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, the sons of Aaron.”

וְעָשִׂיתָ בִגְדֵי־קֹדֶשׁ לְאַהֲרֹן אָחִיךָ לְכָבֹוד וּלְתִפְאָרֶת   28:2

Exod. 28:2  “And you shall make garments of holiness for Aaron, your brother, for honor and for beauty.”

Aaron’s garments are for holiness, for honor, and for beauty.  They are to signify Aaron’s elevated status among the priests.

וְאַתָּה תְּדַבֵּר אֶל־כָּל־חַכְמֵי־לֵב אֲשֶׁר מִלֵּאתִיו רוּחַ חָכְמָה וְעָשׂוּ אֶת־בִּגְדֵי אַהֲרֹן לְקַדְּשֹׁו לְכַהֲנֹו־לִי   28:3

Exod. 28:3  “And you shall speak to all the wise men, who have fullness of the spirit of wisdom, that they shall make the garments of Aaron to sanctify him for his ministering to Me.”

וְאֵלֶּה הַבְּגָדִים אֲשֶׁר יַעֲשׂוּ חֹשֶׁן וְאֵפֹוד וּמְעִיל וּכְתֹנֶת תַּשְׁבֵּץ מִצְנֶפֶת וְאַבְנֵט וְעָשׂוּ בִגְדֵי־קֹדֶשׁ   28:4

לְאַהֲרֹן אָחִיךָ וּלְבָנָיו לְכַהֲנֹו־לִי

Exod. 28:4  “And these are the garments that they shall make:  A breastplate and an ephod and a robe and a checkered tunic, a miter, and a sash.  So they shall make garments of holiness for Aaron, your brother, for his ministering to Me, and for his descendants.”

The phrase for his descendants at the end of this verse, could not mean all Aaron’s offspring.  Because these garments are for Aaron, the phrase must mean his descendants who will be the high priests.

וְהֵם יִקְחוּ אֶת־הַזָּהָב וְאֶת־הַתְּכֵלֶת וְאֶת־הָאַרְגָּמָן וְאֶת־תֹּולַעַת הַשָּׁנִי וְאֶת־הַשֵּׁשׁ   28:5

Exod. 28:5  “And they shall take the gold and the blue and the purple and the scarlet cloth and the fine linen.”

וְעָשׂוּ אֶת־הָאֵפֹד זָהָב תְּכֵלֶת וְאַרְגָּמָן תֹּולַעַת שָׁנִי וְשֵׁשׁ מָשְׁזָר מַעֲשֵׂה חֹשֵׁב   28:6

Exod. 28:6  “And they shall make the ephod of gold, blue and purple, scarlet cloth, and fine twined linen, of cunning workmanship.”

שְׁתֵּי כְתֵפֹת חֹבְרֹת יִהְיֶה־לֹּו אֶל־שְׁנֵי קְצֹותָיו וְחֻבָּר   28:7

Exod. 28:7  “It shall have two shoulder-pieces, coupled at their two ends, so it may be joined.”

וְחֵשֶׁב אֲפֻדָּתֹו אֲשֶׁר עָלָיו כְּמַעֲשֵׂהוּ מִמֶּנּוּ יִהְיֶה זָהָב תְּכֵלֶת וְאַרְגָּמָן וְתֹולַעַת שָׁנִי וְשֵׁשׁ מָשְׁזָר   28:8

Exod. 28:8  “And its enwrapping sash that will be on it shall be of the same work from it; it shall be of gold, blue and purple and scarlet cloth, and fine twined linen.”

וְלָקַחְתָּ אֶת־שְׁתֵּי אַבְנֵי־שֹׁהַם וּפִתַּחְתָּ עֲלֵיהֶם שְׁמֹות בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל   28:9

Exod. 28:9  “And you shall take two stones of onyx and engrave on them the names of the sons of Israel.”

שִׁשָּׁה מִשְּׁמֹתָם עַל הָאֶבֶן הָאֶחָת וְאֶת־שְׁמֹות הַשִּׁשָּׁה הַנֹּותָרִים עַל־הָאֶבֶן הַשֵּׁנִית כְּתֹולְדֹתָם   28:10

Exod. 28:10   “Six from their names shall be on the one stone and the six remaining names on the other stone according to the order of their birth.”

מַעֲשֵׂה חָרַשׁ אֶבֶן פִּתּוּחֵי חֹתָם תְּפַתַּח אֶת־שְׁתֵּי הָאֲבָנִים עַל־שְׁמֹת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל מֻסַבֹּת מִשְׁבְּצֹות   28:11

 זָהָב תַּעֲשֶׂה אֹתָם

Exod. 28:11   “A working engraver of stone, of engravings of signet, shall engrave the two stones according to the names of the sons of Israel.  You shall prepare them enclosed in settings of gold.”

וְשַׂמְתָּ אֶת־שְׁתֵּי הָאֲבָנִים עַל כִּתְפֹת הָאֵפֹד אַבְנֵי זִכָּרֹן לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְנָשָׂא אַהֲרֹן אֶת־שְׁמֹותָם   28:12

לִפְנֵי יְהוָה עַל־שְׁתֵּי כְתֵפָיו לְזִכָּרֹן

Exod. 28:12   “And you shall place the two stones upon the shoulder-pieces of the ephod, stones of remembrance for the children of Israel.  And Aaron shall carry their names before the Lord on his two shoulders for a remembrance.”

וְעָשִׂיתָ מִשְׁבְּצֹת זָהָב   28:13

Exod. 28:13   “And you shall make the settings of gold,

וּשְׁתֵּי שַׁרְשְׁרֹת זָהָב טָהֹור מִגְבָּלֹת תַּעֲשֶׂה אֹתָם מַעֲשֵׂה עֲבֹת וְנָתַתָּה אֶת־שַׁרְשְׁרֹת הָעֲבֹתֹת    28:14

עַל־הַמִּשְׁבְּצֹת

Exod. 28:14   and two chains of pure gold cords.  You shall make them of entwined work, and you shall put the entwined chains on the settings.”

וְעָשִׂיתָ חֹשֶׁן מִשְׁפָּט מַעֲשֵׂה חֹשֵׁב כְּמַעֲשֵׂה אֵפֹד תַּעֲשֶׂנּוּ זָהָב תְּכֵלֶת וְאַרְגָּמָן וְתֹולַעַת שָׁנִי וְשֵׁשׁ   28:15

מָשְׁזָר תַּעֲשֶׂה אֹתֹו

Exod. 28:15   “And you shall make a breastplate of judgment of cunning workmanship.  Like the work of the ephod you shall make it.  You shall make it of gold, blue and purple and scarlet cloth, and fine twined linen.”

רָבוּעַ יִהְיֶה כָּפוּל זֶרֶת אָרְכֹּו וְזֶרֶת רָחְבֹּו   28:16

Exod. 28:16   “It shall be square doubled over.  A span shall be its length and a span its width.”

A span is about half a cubit, roughly nine inches.

וּמִלֵּאתָ בֹו מִלֻּאַת אֶבֶן אַרְבָּעָה טוּרִים אָבֶן טוּר אֹדֶם פִּטְדָה וּבָרֶקֶת הַטּוּר הָאֶחָד   28:17

Exod. 28:17   “And you shall set a setting of stones on it, four rows of stones; a row of ruby, topaz, and emerald shall be the first row,

וְהַטּוּר הַשֵּׁנִי נֹפֶךְ סַפִּיר וְיָהֲלֹם   28:18

Exod. 28:18   and the second row, emerald, sapphire, and diamond,

וְהַטּוּר הַשְּׁלִישִׁי לֶשֶׁם שְׁבֹו וְאַחְלָמָה   28:19

Exod. 28:19   and the third row, jacinth, agate, and amethyst,

וְהַטּוּר הָרְבִיעִי תַּרְשִׁישׁ וְשֹׁהַם וְיָשְׁפֵה מְשֻׁבָּצִים זָהָב יִהְיוּ בְּמִלּוּאֹתָם   28:20

Exod. 28:20   and the fourth row, beryl, onyx, and jasper.  Embroideries of gold shall be in their settings.”

וְהָאֲבָנִים תִּהְיֶיןָ עַל־שְׁמֹת בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל שְׁתֵּים עֶשְׂרֵה עַל־שְׁמֹתָם פִּתּוּחֵי חֹותָם אִישׁ עַל־שְׁמֹו   28:21

תִּהְיֶיןָ לִשְׁנֵי עָשָׂר שָׁבֶט

Exod. 28:21   “And the stones shall be for the names of the sons of Israel, twelve for their names, engravings of a signet, each one according to his name.  They shall be for the twelve tribes.”

I assume the order of names on the stones of the breastplate of judgment is also according to birth sequence, as it was for the two stones on the shoulder pieces of the ephod.

וְעָשִׂיתָ עַל־הַחֹשֶׁן שַׁרְשֹׁת גַּבְלֻת מַעֲשֵׂה עֲבֹת זָהָב טָהֹור   28:22

Exod. 28:22   “And you shall make upon the breastplate chains of twisted entwined work of pure gold.”

וְעָשִׂיתָ עַל־הַחֹשֶׁן שְׁתֵּי טַבְּעֹות זָהָב וְנָתַתָּ אֶת־שְׁתֵּי הַטַּבָּעֹות עַל־שְׁנֵי קְצֹות הַחֹשֶׁן   28:23

Exod. 28:23   “And you shall attach upon the breastplate two rings of gold, and put the two rings on the two ends of the breastplate.”

וְנָתַתָּה אֶת־שְׁתֵּי עֲבֹתֹת הַזָּהָב עַל־שְׁתֵּי הַטַּבָּעֹת אֶל־קְצֹות הַחֹשֶׁן   28:24

Exod. 28:24   “And you shall attach the two entwined chains of gold upon the two rings at the ends of the breastplate.”

וְאֵת שְׁתֵּי קְצֹות שְׁתֵּי הָעֲבֹתֹת תִּתֵּן עַל־שְׁתֵּי הַמִּשְׁבְּצֹות וְנָתַתָּה עַל־כִּתְפֹות הָאֵפֹד אֶל־מוּל פָּנָיו   28:25

Exod. 28:25   “And you shall attach the two ends of the two entwined chains to the two settings and put them on the shoulder-pieces of the ephod at the front of its face.”

וְעָשִׂיתָ שְׁתֵּי טַבְּעֹות זָהָב וְשַׂמְתָּ אֹתָם עַל־שְׁנֵי קְצֹות הַחֹשֶׁן עַל־שְׂפָתֹו אֲשֶׁר אֶל־עֵבֶר הָאֵפֹד   28:26

בָּיְתָה

Exod. 28:26   “And you shall make two rings of gold, and place them upon the two corners of the breastplate on the edge of it that is to the inner side of the ephod.”

וְעָשִׂיתָ שְׁתֵּי טַבְּעֹות זָהָב וְנָתַתָּה אֹתָם עַל־שְׁתֵּי כִתְפֹות הָאֵפֹוד מִלְּמַטָּה מִמּוּל פָּנָיו לְעֻמַּת    28:27

מֶחְבַּרְתֹּו מִמַּעַל לְחֵשֶׁב הָאֵפֹוד

Exod. 28:27   “And you shall make two rings of gold, and put them on the two sides of the ephod from the bottom of its front face adjacent to its coupling above the woven band of the ephod.”

וְיִרְכְּסוּ אֶת־הַחֹשֶׁן (מִטַּבְּעֹתֹו) [קמִטַּבְּעֹתָיו] אֶל־טַבְּעֹת הָאֵפֹד בִּפְתִיל תְּכֵלֶת לִהְיֹות עַל־חֵשֶׁב   28:28

 הָאֵפֹוד וְלֹא־יִזַּח הַחֹשֶׁן מֵעַל הָאֵפֹוד

Exod. 28:28   “And they will bind the breastplate by its rings to the rings of the ephod with a blue cord, to remain on the woven band of the ephod, and the breastplate shall not be removed from the ephod.”

There’s another minor error in the Hebrew in this verse.  The word for by its rings appearing in parentheses is missing a yad.  The correctly spelled word is in the brackets.  However, another error appears in this verse.  The first word contains an extra yad that should not be there.  The addition of the yad makes the vav non-inverting, which is an error.  Because the action described by the word has not yet happened, the verb form should be perfect, not imperfect, and the vav should be inverting.  The yad, however, indicates the verb to be imperfect.  This is a relatively rare error among infrequent errors.

וְנָשָׂא אַהֲרֹן אֶת־שְׁמֹות בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּחֹשֶׁן הַמִּשְׁפָּט עַל־לִבֹּו בְּבֹאֹו אֶל־הַקֹּדֶשׁ לְזִכָּרֹן   28:29

לִפְנֵי־יְהוָה תָּמִיד

Exod. 28:29   “So Aaron shall carry the names the sons of Israel with the breastplate of judgment over his heart on his going in to the holy place for a continuous remembrance before the Lord.”

וְנָתַתָּ אֶל־חֹשֶׁן הַמִּשְׁפָּט אֶת־הָאוּרִים וְאֶת־הַתֻּמִּים וְהָיוּ עַל־לֵב אַהֲרֹן בְּבֹאֹו לִפְנֵי יְהוָה וְנָשָׂא   28:30

אַהֲרֹן אֶת־מִשְׁפַּט בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל עַל־לִבֹּו לִפְנֵי יְהוָה תָּמִיד

Exod. 28:30   “And you shall attach to the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim and they shall be over the heart of Aaron on his going in before the Lord, and Aaron shall carry the judgment of the children of Israel over his heart continually before the Lord.”

וְעָשִׂיתָ אֶת־מְעִיל הָאֵפֹוד כְּלִיל תְּכֵלֶת   28:31

Exod. 28:31   “And you shall make the mantle of the ephod entirely of blue.”

וְהָיָה פִי־רֹאשֹׁו בְּתֹוכֹו שָׂפָה יִהְיֶה לְפִיו סָבִיב מַעֲשֵׂה אֹרֵג כְּפִי תַחְרָא יִהְיֶה־לֹּו לֹא יִקָּרֵעַ   28:32

Exod. 28:32   “And its head opening shall be in the middle of it.  A binding of woven work shall be on the inside of its edge all around.  Like the opening of a coat of mail, it shall last; it shall not tear.”

וְעָשִׂיתָ עַל־שׁוּלָיו רִמֹּנֵי תְּכֵלֶת וְאַרְגָּמָן וְתֹולַעַת שָׁנִי עַל־שׁוּלָיו סָבִיב וּפַעֲמֹנֵי זָהָב בְּתֹוכָם סָבִיב   28:33

Exod. 28:33   “And you shall make on its hem pomegranates of blue and purple and scarlet cloth, on its hem all around, and bells of gold between them all around,

פַּעֲמֹן זָהָב וְרִמֹּון פַּעֲמֹן זָהָב וְרִמֹּון עַל־שׁוּלֵי הַמְּעִיל סָבִיב   28:34

Exod. 28:34   a gold bell and a pomegranate, a gold bell and a pomegranate on the hem of the mantle all around.”

וְהָיָה עַל־אַהֲרֹן לְשָׁרֵת וְנִשְׁמַע קֹולֹו בְּבֹאֹו אֶל־הַקֹּדֶשׁ לִפְנֵי יְהוָה וּבְצֵאתֹו וְלֹא יָמוּת   28:35

Exod. 28:35   And it shall be on Aaron for ministering, so his sound shall be heard on his coming in to the holy place before the Lord and on his going out, so he will not die.”

What would happen if someone other than Aaron, even one who is authorized to enter the holy place, were to enter and leave without bells and pomegranates somewhere on his garments?  Would he die?  One might conclude that he would from this verse.  Why do you suppose God would dictate such a mechanism to make sounds, as if it might be a warning of someone approaching or leaving the holy place?  Might it be to warn other priests in the Tabernacle to leave when the high priest enters?

Here’s what I believe to be the answer to this apparent puzzle.  In my considered opinion, although there is no concrete evidence for it -- only circumstantial, I assume that the priests were not permitted to enter the Tabernacle except to take it down and to put it back up.  Only the high priest was permitted to enter at all other times.  So, when the High priest was to enter the Tabernacle while it was being taken down or put up, his sounds would alert the priests inside and out.                                                                                         [Return to Exod. 30:19]

וְעָשִׂיתָ צִּיץ זָהָב טָהֹור וּפִתַּחְתָּ עָלָיו פִּתּוּחֵי חֹתָם קֹדֶשׁ לַיהוָה   28:36

Exod. 28:36   “And you shall make a pure gold plate and have engraved on it carvings of a signet: ‘Holy to the Lord.’”                                                                                         [Return to Zech. 14:20]

וְשַׂמְתָּ אֹתֹו עַל־פְּתִיל תְּכֵלֶת וְהָיָה עַל־הַמִּצְנָפֶת אֶל־מוּל פְּנֵי־הַמִּצְנֶפֶת יִהְיֶה   28:37

Exod. 28:37   “And you shall put it on a blue cord and it shall be on the miter.   It shall be against the front of the face of the miter.”

וְהָיָה עַל־מֵצַח אַהֲרֹן וְנָשָׂא אַהֲרֹן אֶת־עֲוֹן הַקֳּדָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר יַקְדִּישׁוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לְכָל־מַתְּנֹת    28:38

קָדְשֵׁיהֶם וְהָיָה עַל־מִצְחֹו תָּמִיד לְרָצֹון לָהֶם לִפְנֵי יְהוָה

Exod. 28:38   “And it shall be on the forehead of Aaron so Aaron can forgive the impurity of the holy things that the children of Israel will dedicate for all their holy offerings.  So it shall always be on his forehead to make them acceptable before the Lord.”

We see from this verse that the Lord is forgiving of the people’s impure offerings.  Obviously, He “knows” that the people will not be exacting in their assessment of the impurities in their gifts.  In effect, this gives us permission to be imprecise -- provided only if the high priest is wearing the engraved gold plate on his miter.

                                                                                                                           [Return to Exod. 29:6]

וְשִׁבַּצְתָּ הַכְּתֹנֶת שֵׁשׁ וְעָשִׂיתָ מִצְנֶפֶת שֵׁשׁ וְאַבְנֵט תַּעֲשֶׂה מַעֲשֵׂה רֹקֵם   28:39

Exod. 28:39   “And you shall weave the tunic of fine linen, and shall make a miter of fine linen, and you shall make a sash of colorful embroidered work.”

וְלִבְנֵי אַהֲרֹן תַּעֲשֶׂה כֻתֳּנֹת וְעָשִׂיתָ לָהֶם אַבְנֵטִים וּמִגְבָּעֹות תַּעֲשֶׂה לָהֶם לְכָבֹוד וּלְתִפְאָרֶת   28:40

Exod. 28:40   “And for the sons of Aaron you shall make tunics and sashes for them, and you shall make bonnets for them for honor and for beauty.”                            [Return to Ezek. 44:17]

Unlike Aaron’s garments, apparently his sons’ garments are only for honor and beauty.

וְהִלְבַּשְׁתָּ אֹתָם אֶת־אַהֲרֹן אָחִיךָ וְאֶת־בָּנָיו אִתֹּו וּמָשַׁחְתָּ אֹתָם וּמִלֵּאתָ אֶת־יָדָם וְקִדַּשְׁתָּ אֹתָם   28:41

וְכִהֲנוּ לִי

Exod. 28:41   “And you shall clothe Aaron, your brother, with them, and his sons with him, and you shall anoint them and consecrate their hand and sanctify them, so they will be priests for Me.”

וַעֲשֵׂה לָהֶם מִכְנְסֵי־בָד לְכַסֹּות בְּשַׂר עֶרְוָה מִמָּתְנַיִם וְעַד־יְרֵכַיִם יִהְיוּ   28:42

Exod. 28:42   “And make linen breeches for them to conceal the flesh of nudity.   They shall be from the hips and past the thighs.

וְהָיוּ עַל־אַהֲרֹן וְעַל־בָּנָיו בְּבֹאָם אֶל־אֹהֶל מֹועֵד אֹו בְגִשְׁתָּם אֶל־הַמִּזְבֵּחַ לְשָׁרֵת בַּקֹּדֶשׁ וְלֹא־   28:43

יִשְׂאוּ עָוֹן וָמֵתוּ חֻקַּת עֹולָם לֹו וּלְזַרְעֹו אַחֲרָיו

Exod. 28:43   “And they shall be on Aaron and on his descendants on their coming in to the tent of meeting or on their drawing near to the altar to minister in the holy place, so they will not bear iniquity and die, an everlasting statute for him and his seed after him.”

Again, because of the everlasting nature of this command, I have translated the word normally translated as and his sons as and his descendants.  See Exod. 27:21.                                          [Return to Levi. 8:7]

Torah Commandments in this Chapter

99. The high priest shall wear the holy garments on coming in to minister in the holy place.    V. 28:43

 

[Return to Exodus Chapters]  [Prev:  Exod. 27]  [Next:  Exod. 29]