Garments of the Priests
1 “Now bring your brother Aaron near, and his sons with him from among the sons of Israel, so that he may serve as priest to Me—Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons. 2 You are to make sacred garments [official clothing reserved for holy services] for Aaron your brother, for honor and for beauty (ornamentation). 3 Tell all the skilled and talented people whom I have endowed with a spirit of wisdom, that they are to make Aaron’s garments to sanctify him and set him apart to serve as a priest for Me. 4 These are the garments which they shall make: a breastpiece and an ephod [for the breastpiece] and a robe and a tunic of checkered work, a turban, and a sash. They shall make sacred garments for Aaron your brother and his sons, so that he may serve as a priest to Me. 5 They are to use the gold and the blue and the purple and the scarlet fabric and fine twisted linen [from the people],
6 and they shall make the ephod of gold and blue, purple, and scarlet fabric and fine twisted linen, skillfully woven and [beautifully] worked. 7 It is to have two shoulder pieces joined to its two [back and front] ends, so that it may be joined together. 8 And the skillfully woven sash, which is on the ephod shall be made of the same material: of gold, of blue, purple, and scarlet fabric and fine twisted linen. 9 You shall take two onyx stones and engrave on them the names of the [twelve] sons of Israel, 10 six of their names on one stone and the remaining six names on the other stone, arranged in the order of their births. 11 With the work of a jeweler, like the engravings of a signet, you shall engrave the two stones according to the names of the sons of Israel. You shall have them set in (a)filigree [settings] of gold. 12 You shall put the two stones on the [two] shoulder pieces of the ephod [of the high priest], as memorial stones for Israel; and Aaron shall bear their names on his two shoulders as a memorial before the Lord. 13 You shall make filigree [settings] of gold, 14 and you are to make two chains of pure gold like twisted cords, and fasten the corded chains to the settings.
15 “You are to make a breastpiece of judgment, the work of a skilled and talented craftsman; like the work of the ephod you shall make it: of gold, of blue, purple, and scarlet fabric and of fine twisted linen. 16 The breastpiece shall be square and folded double; a span [about nine inches] in length and a span in width. 17 You shall mount on it four rows of stones: the first row shall be a row of ruby, topaz, and emerald; 18 the second row a turquoise, a sapphire, and a diamond; 19 the third row a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; 20 and the fourth row a beryl and an onyx and a jasper; they shall be set in gold filigree. 21 The [engraved] stones shall be twelve, according to the names of [the twelve tribes of] the sons of Israel; they shall be like the engravings of a signet, each with its name for the twelve tribes. 22 You shall make for the breastpiece chains of pure gold twisted like cords. 23 You shall make on the breastpiece two rings of gold, and shall put the two rings on the two ends of the breastpiece. 24 You shall put the two twisted cords of gold in the two rings which are on the ends of the breastpiece. 25 The other two ends of the two cords you shall fasten in the two filigree settings in front, putting them on the shoulder pieces of the ephod. 26 You shall make two gold rings and put them at the two ends of the breastpiece, on its inside edge next to the ephod. 27 You are to make two gold rings and attach them to the lower part of the two shoulder pieces of the ephod in front, close to the place where it is joined, above the skillfully woven sash of the ephod. 28 They shall bind the breastpiece by its rings to the rings of the ephod with a blue cord, so that it will be above the skillfully woven sash of the ephod, so that the breastpiece will not come loose from the ephod. 29 So Aaron shall carry the names of the sons of Israel (Jacob) in the breastpiece of judgment over his heart when he enters the Holy Place, to bring them in continual remembrance before the Lord. 30 In the breastpiece of judgment you shall put the (b)Urim (Lights) and the Thummim (Perfections) [to be used for determining God’s will in a matter]. They shall be over Aaron’s heart whenever he goes before the Lord, and Aaron shall always carry the judgment (verdict, judicial decisions) of the sons of Israel over his heart before the Lord.
31 “And you shall make the (c)robe of the ephod all of blue. 32 There shall be an opening at its top in the center [for the head], with a binding of woven work around the opening, like the opening in a coat of armor, so that it will not tear or fray. 33 You shall make pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet fabric all around its hem, with gold bells between them; 34 a golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, all around the [bottom] hem of the robe. 35 Aaron shall wear the robe when he ministers, and its sound shall be heard when he goes [alone] into the Holy Place before the Lord, and when he comes out, so that he will not die there.
36 “You shall also make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it, like the engravings of a signet, ‘Holy to the Lord.’(A) 37 You shall fasten it on the front of the turban with a blue cord. 38 It shall be on Aaron’s forehead, and Aaron shall take away the guilt from the holy things which the sons of Israel dedicate, with regard to all their holy gifts. It shall always be on his forehead, so that they may be accepted before the Lord.(B)
39 “You shall weave the tunic of checkered work of fine linen, and make a turban of fine linen. You shall make a sash, the work of an embroiderer.
40 “For Aaron’s sons you shall make tunics and sashes and [ornamental] caps, for glory and honor and beauty. 41 You shall put the various articles of clothing on Aaron your brother and on his sons with him, and shall anoint them and ordain and sanctify them, so that they may serve Me as priests. 42 You shall make for them [white] linen undergarments to cover their bare flesh, reaching from the waist to the thighs. 43 The various articles of clothing shall be on Aaron and on his sons when they enter the Tent of Meeting, or when they approach the altar [of incense] to minister in the Holy Place, so that they do not incur guilt and die. It shall be a statute forever to Aaron and to his descendants after him.
a. Exodus 28:11: I.e. ornamental openwork of delicate or intricate design.
b. Exodus 28:30: I.e. unspecified articles used like lots when the high priest asked God’s counsel for Israel.
c. Exodus 28:31: I.e. the robe worn underneath the ephod.