BIBLE: Exodus Chapter 28 – Headline “Unchained Melody”

Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic.

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Exodus 28

Garments for the Priesthood

Exodus 28:1-4
Exodus 28:1 “Now take Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister to Me as priest, Aaron and Aaron’s sons: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.
Exodus 28:2 And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty.
Exodus 28:3 So you shall speak to all who are gifted artisans, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments, to consecrate him, that he may minister to Me as priest.
Exodus 28:4 And these are the garments which they shall make: a breastplate, an ephod, a robe, a skillfully woven tunic, a turban, and a sash. So they shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother and his sons, that he may minister to Me as priest.
  • “Despite the evident diversity displayed by the world’s distinct Jewish populations, both culturally and physically, genetic studies have demonstrated most of these to be genetically related to one another, having ultimately originated from a common ancient Israelite population that underwent geographic branching and subsequent independent evolutions.

    A study published by the National Academy of Sciences found that “the paternal gene pools of Jewish communities from Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East descended from a common Middle Eastern ancestral population”, and suggested that “most Jewish communities have remained relatively isolated from neighboring non-Jewish communities during and after the Diaspora”. Researchers expressed surprise at the remarkable genetic uniformity they found among modern Jews, no matter where the diaspora has become dispersed around the world. Moreover, DNA tests have demonstrated substantially less inter-marriage in most of the various Jewish ethnic divisions over the last 3,000 years than in other populations.

    The findings lend support to traditional Jewish accounts accrediting their founding to exiled Israelite populations. The scientists estimated the date of the original priest (Aaron, the brother of Moses) based on genetic mutations, which indicated that the priest (Aaron) lived roughly 106 generations ago, between 2,650 and 3,180 years ago depending whether one counts a generation as 25 or 30 years.”

The Ephod

Exodus 28:5 “They shall take the gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and the fine linen,
Exodus 28:6 and they shall make the ephod of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen, artistically worked.
Exodus 28:7 It shall have two shoulder straps joined at its two edges, and so it shall be joined together.
Exodus 28:8 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 Four Colors represent the Four Faces of Jesus:
Exodus 28:9 “Then you shall take two onyx stones and engrave on them the names of the sons of Israel:
Exodus 28:10 six of their names on one stone and six names on the other stone, in order of their birth.
Exodus 28:11 With the work of an engraver in stone, like the engravings of a signet, you shall engrave the two stones with the names of the sons of Israel. You shall set them in settings of gold.
Exodus 28:12 And you shall put the two stones on the shoulders of the ephod as memorial stones for the sons of Israel. So Aaron shall bear their names before the Lord on his two shoulders as a memorial.
Exodus 28:13 You shall also make settings of gold,
Exodus 28:14 and you shall make two chains of pure gold like braided cords, and fasten the braided chains to the settings.

The Breastplate

Exodus 28:15 “You shall make the breastplate of judgment. Artistically woven according to the workmanship of the ephod you shall make it: of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen, you shall make it.
  • Linen is the cloth of righteousness:
    • Revelation 19:8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
    • Revelation 19:14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.
Exodus 28:16 It shall be doubled into a square: a span shall be its length, and a span shall be its width.
Exodus 28:17 And you shall put settings of stones in it, four rows of stones: The first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and an emerald; this shall be the first row;
Exodus 28:18 the second row shall be a turquoise, a sapphire, and a diamond;
Exodus 28:19 the third row, a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst;
Exodus 28:20 and the fourth row, a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper. They shall be set in gold settings.
Exodus 28:21 And the stones shall have the names of the sons of Israel, twelve according to their names, like the engravings of a signet, each one with its own name; they shall be according to the twelve tribes.
Exodus 28:22 “You shall make chains for the breastplate at the end, like braided cords of pure gold.
Exodus 28:23 And you shall make two rings of gold for the breastplate, and put the two rings on the two ends of the breastplate.
Exodus 28:24 Then you shall put the two braided chains of gold in the two rings which are on the ends of the breastplate;
Exodus 28:25 and the other two ends of the two braided chains you shall fasten to the two settings, and put them on the shoulder straps of the ephod in the front.
Exodus 28:26 “You shall make two rings of gold, and put them on the two ends of the breastplate, on the edge of it, which is on the inner side of the ephod.
Exodus 28:27 And two other rings of gold you shall make, and put them on the two shoulder straps, underneath the ephod toward its front, right at the seam above the intricately woven band of the ephod.
Exodus 28:28 They shall bind the breastplate by means of its rings to the rings of the ephod, using a blue cord, so that it is above the intricately woven band of the ephod, and so that the breastplate does not come loose from the ephod.
Exodus 28:29 “So Aaron shall bear the names of the sons of Israel on the breastplate of judgment over his heart, when he goes into the holy place, as a memorial before the Lord continually.
Exodus 28:30 And you shall put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim, and they shall be over Aaron’s heart when he goes in before the Lord. So Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel over his heart before the Lord continually.

Other Priestly Garments

Exodus 28:31 “You shall make the robe of the ephod all of blue.
Exodus 28:32 There shall be an opening for his head in the middle of it; it shall have a woven binding all around its opening, like the opening in a coat of mail, so that it does not tear.
Exodus 28:33 And upon its hem you shall make pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet, all around its hem, and bells of gold between them all around:
Exodus 28:34 a golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, upon the hem of the robe all around.
Exodus 28:35 And it shall be upon Aaron when he ministers, and its sound will be heard when he goes into the holy place before the Lord and when he comes out, that he may not die.
Exodus 28:36 “You shall also make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it, like the engraving of a signet:

HOLINESS TO THE LORD.
(Separated for the service of the Lord)

  • A signet ring is engraved with the title of an authority to seal legal documents pressing the engraving into hot wax.
  • During the millennium when Jesus reigns on earth in Jerusalem:
    • Zechariah 14:20-21 In that day “HOLINESS TO THE LORD” shall be engraved on the bells of the horses. The pots in the Lord’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yes, every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holiness to the Lord of hosts. Everyone who sacrifices shall come and take them and cook in them. In that day there shall no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts.
Exodus 28:37 And you shall put it on a blue cord, that it may be on the turban; it shall be on the front of the turban.
Exodus 28:38 So it shall be on Aaron’s forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things which the children of Israel hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall always be on his forehead, that they may be accepted before the Lord.
Exodus 28:39 “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.
Exodus 28:40 “For Aaron’s sons you shall make tunics, and you shall make sashes for them. And you shall make hats for them, for glory and beauty.
Exodus 28:41 So you shall put them on Aaron your brother and on his sons with him. You shall anoint them, consecrate them, and sanctify them, that they may minister to Me as priests.
  • Jesus the High Priest
    • Hebrews 7:26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens;
Exodus 28:42 And you shall make for them linen trousers to cover their nakedness; they shall reach from the waist to the thighs.
  • Nakedness of the “fruit of man” is symbolic of sin and linen is symbolic of righteousness.
Exodus 28:43 They shall be on Aaron and on his sons when they come into the tabernacle of meeting, or when they come near the altar to minister in the holy place, that they do not incur iniquity and die. It shall be a statute forever to him and his descendants after him.

Caiaphas was not High Priest during the time of Jesus after he tore his clothes:

  • Mark 14:63 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “What further need do we have of witnesses?

According to the laws of Leviticus the high priest is not to tear his clothes or he will be disqualified to act as high priest.

  • Leviticus 21:10 ‘He who is the high priest among his brethren, on whose head the anointing oil was poured and who is consecrated to wear the garments, shall not uncover his head nor tear his clothes;

Jesus became the high priest of the believers from the heavens:

  • Hebrews 9:11 The Heavenly Sanctuary – But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation.

A colonial New England Pastor, Samuel Mather, captured this beautifully:

How should faith triumph in this? Is not our High Priest in the Sanctuary? Is He not clothed with garments of righteousness and salvation? And doth He not bear the names of His people upon his shoulders and upon his breasts before the Lord? Thy particular concerns (if thou are a believer) are written upon His heart with the pen of a diamond, in such lasting letters of loving-kindness as shall never be blotted out.

Samuel Mather: Colonial New England Pastor

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