28 “Consecrate Aaron your brother, and his sons Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar, to be priests, to minister to me. 2 Make special clothes for Aaron, to indicate his separation to God—beautiful garments that will lend dignity to his work. 3 Instruct those to whom I have given special skill as tailors to make the garments that will set him apart from others, so that he may minister to me in the priest’s office. 4 This is the wardrobe they shall make: a chestpiece, an ephod,[a] a robe, an embroidered shirt, a turban, and a sash. They shall also make special garments for Aaron’s sons.
5-6 “The ephod shall be made by the most skilled of the workmen, using gold, blue, purple, and scarlet threads of fine linen. 7 It will consist of two pieces, front and back, joined at the shoulders. 8 And the sash shall be made of the same material—threads of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet fine-twined linen. 9 Take two onyx stones and engrave on them the names of the tribes of Israel. 10 Six names shall be on each stone, so that all the tribes are named in the order of their births. 11 When engraving these names, use the same technique as in making a seal; and mount the stones in gold settings. 12 Fasten the two stones upon the shoulders of the ephod, as memorial stones for the people of Israel: Aaron will carry their names before the Lord as a constant reminder. 13-14 Two chains of pure, twisted gold shall be made and attached to gold clasps on the shoulder of the ephod.
15 “Then, using the most careful workmanship, make a chestpiece to be used as God’s oracle; use the same gold, blue, purple, and scarlet threads of fine-twined linen as you did in the ephod. 16 This chestpiece is to be of two folds of cloth, forming a pouch nine inches square. 17 Attach to it four rows of stones: A ruby, a topaz, and an emerald shall be in the first row. 18 The second row will be carbuncle, a sapphire, and a diamond. 19 The third row will be an amber, an agate, and an amethyst. 20 The fourth row will be an onyx, a beryl, and a jasper—all set in gold settings. 21 Each stone will represent one of the tribes of Israel and the name of that tribe will be engraved upon it like a seal.
22-24 “Attach the top of the chestpiece to the ephod by means of two twisted cords of pure gold. One end of each cord is attached to gold rings placed at the outer top edge of the chestpiece. 25 The other ends of the two cords are attached to the front edges of the two settings of the onyx stones on the shoulder of the ephod. 26 Then make two more gold rings and place them on the two lower, inside edges of the chestpiece; 27 also make two other gold rings for the bottom front edge of the ephod at the sash. 28 Now attach the bottom of the chestpiece to the bottom rings of the ephod by means of blue ribbons; this will prevent the chestpiece from coming loose from the ephod. 29 In this way Aaron shall carry the names of the tribes of Israel on the chestpiece over his heart (it is God’s oracle) when he goes into the Holy Place; thus Jehovah will be reminded of them continually. 30-31 Insert into the pocket of the chestpiece the Urim and Thummim,[b] to be carried over Aaron’s heart when he goes in before Jehovah. Thus Aaron shall always be carrying the oracle over his heart when he goes in before the Lord.
“The ephod shall be made of blue cloth, 32 with an opening for Aaron’s head. It shall have a woven band around this opening, just as on the neck of a coat of mail, so that it will not fray. 33-34 The bottom edge of the ephod shall be embroidered with blue, purple, and scarlet pomegranates, alternated with gold bells. 35 Aaron shall wear the ephod whenever he goes in to minister to the Lord; the bells will tinkle as he goes in and out of the presence of the Lord in the Holy Place, so that he will not die.
36 “Next, make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it, just as you would upon a seal, ‘Consecrated to Jehovah.’ 37-38 This plate is to be attached by means of a blue ribbon to the front of Aaron’s turban. In this way Aaron will be wearing it upon his forehead, and thus bear the guilt connected with any errors regarding the offerings of the people of Israel. It shall always be worn when he goes into the presence of the Lord, so that the people will be accepted and forgiven.
39 “Weave Aaron’s embroidered shirt from fine-twined linen, using a checkerboard pattern; make the turban, too, of this linen; and make him an embroidered sash.
40 “Then, for Aaron’s sons, make robes, sashes, and turbans to give them honor and respect. 41 Clothe Aaron and his sons with these garments, and then dedicate these men to their ministry by anointing their heads with olive oil, thus sanctifying them as the priests, my ministers. 42 Also make linen undershorts for them, to be worn beneath their robes next to their bodies, reaching from hips to knees. 43 These are to be worn whenever Aaron and his sons go into the Tabernacle or to the altar in the Holy Place, lest they be guilty and die. This is a permanent ordinance for Aaron and his sons.
- Exodus 28:4 ephod. Apparently a sort of sleeveless tunic reaching from the shoulders to below the knees.
- Exodus 28:30 Urim and Thummim. What they looked like has been lost in antiquity. They were perhaps two gemstones located in the breastplate of the High Priest. They were marked in some way and used by the High Priest to determine God’s yes or no on urgent matters.