Exodus 28:30
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Also put the Urim and the Thummim in the breastpiece, so they may be over Aaron's heart whenever he enters the presence of the LORD. Thus Aaron will always bear the means of making decisions for the Israelites over his heart before the LORD.

New Living Translation
Insert the Urim and Thummim into the sacred chestpiece so they will be carried over Aaron's heart when he goes into the LORD's presence. In this way, Aaron will always carry over his heart the objects used to determine the LORD's will for his people whenever he goes in before the LORD.

English Standard Version
And in the breastpiece of judgment you shall put the Urim and the Thummim, and they shall be on Aaron’s heart, when he goes in before the LORD. Thus Aaron shall bear the judgment of the people of Israel on his heart before the LORD regularly.

New American Standard Bible
"You shall put in the breastpiece of judgment the Urim and the Thummim, and they shall be over Aaron's heart when he goes in before the LORD; and Aaron shall carry the judgment of the sons of Israel over his heart before the LORD continually.

King James Bible
And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron's heart, when he goeth in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Place the Urim and Thummim in the breastpiece for decisions, so that they will also be over Aaron's heart whenever he comes before the LORD. Aaron will continually carry the means of decisions for the Israelites over his heart before the LORD."

International Standard Version
You are to put the Urim and Thummim into the breast piece of judgment, and they are to be on Aaron's heart when he goes into the LORD's presence. He is to carry the breast piece of decision that depicts Israel's sons on his heart in the LORD's presence continuously."

NET Bible
"You are to put the Urim and the Thummim into the breastpiece of decision; and they are to be over Aaron's heart when he goes in before the LORD. Aaron is to bear the decisions of the Israelites over his heart before the LORD continually.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Put the Urim and Thummim into the breastplate for decision-making. They, too, will be over Aaron's heart when he comes into the LORD's presence. In this way whenever he's in the LORD's presence, Aaron will always be carrying over his heart the [means for determining the LORD's] decisions for the Israelites.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And thou shalt put in the pectoral of judgment Urim and Thummim, that they shall be upon Aaron's heart when he goes in before the LORD; and Aaron shall always bear the judgment of the sons of Israel upon his heart before the LORD.

King James 2000 Bible
And you shall put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron's heart, when he goes in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually.

American King James Version
And you shall put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be on Aaron's heart, when he goes in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel on his heart before the LORD continually.

American Standard Version
And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron's heart, when he goeth in before Jehovah: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before Jehovah continually.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And thou shalt put in the rational of judgment doctrine and truth, which shall be on Aaron's breast, when he shall go in before the Lord: and he shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel on his breast, in the sight of the Lord always.

Darby Bible Translation
And thou shalt put into the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim, that they may be upon Aaron's heart when he goeth in before Jehovah; and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before Jehovah continually.

English Revised Version
And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron's heart, when he goeth in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually.

Webster's Bible Translation
And thou shalt put in the breast-plate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron's heart, when he goeth in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually.

World English Bible
You shall put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be on Aaron's heart, when he goes in before Yahweh: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel on his heart before Yahweh continually.

Young's Literal Translation
'And thou hast put unto the breastplate of judgment the Lights and the Perfections, and they have been on the heart of Aaron, in his going in before Jehovah, and Aaron hath borne the judgment of the sons of Israel on his heart before Jehovah continually.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

28:15-30 The chief ornament of the high priest, was the breastplate, a rich piece of cloth, curiously worked. The name of each tribe was graven in a precious stone, fixed in the breastplate, to signify how precious, in God's sight, believers are, and how honourable. How small and poor soever the tribe was, it was as a precious stone in the breastplate of the high priest; thus are all the saints dear to Christ, however men esteem them. The high priest had the names of the tribes, both on his shoulders and on his breast, which reminds us of the power and the love with which our Lord Jesus pleads for those that are his. He not only bears them up in his arms with almighty strength, but he carries them in his bosom with tender affection. What comfort is this to us in all our addresses to God! The Urim and Thummim, by which the will of God was made known in doubtful cases, were put in this breastplate. Urim and Thummim signify light and integrity. There are many conjectures what these were; the most probable opinion seems to be, that they were the twelve precious stones in the high priest's breastplate. Now, Christ is our Oracle. By him God, in these last days, makes known himself and his mind to us, Heb 1:1,2; Joh 1:18. He is the true Light, the faithful Witness, the Truth itself, and from him we receive the Spirit of Truth, who leads into all truth.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 30. - Thou shalt put in the breast-plate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim. The words Urim and Thummim mean respectively "Lights "and" Perfections," or perhaps "Light" and "Perfection - the plural form being merely a plural of honour. They were well translated by Aquila and Symmachus, φωτισμοὶ καὶ τελειότητες: less well by the LXX. ἡ δήλωσις καὶ ἡ ἀλήθεια: still worse by the Vulgate, Doctrina et Veritas. What exactly the two words represented is doubtful in the extreme. It has been supposed by some that they were not material objects, but a method by which God communicated his will; e.g., a miraculous light, or a miraculous voice. But such things as these could not have been put by Moses either "in," or "on the breastplate of judgment." Modern critics are generally agreed that the Urim and Thummim must have been material objects of one kind or another. The objects suggested are -

1. The engraved stones of the breast-plate.

2. Two small images, like the teraphim.

3. A gold plate, engraved with the name of Jehovah.

4. Three plates or slips; one blank, one engraved with "yes," and one with "no."

5. Diamonds, cut and uncut, with marks engraved on them.

Against the first of these views it is urged with very great force that the present passage shows the Urim and Thummim to be something quite distinct from the breast-plate - something which was to be added to the breast-plate after all the stones had been set in it; and which Aaron was to bear upon his breast in addition to the breast-plate and its jewels (compare ver. 29 with ver. 30). Against the fourth and fifth, it is sufficient to observe that they are pure conjectures, without any basis of authority, either in Scripture or tradition. The second and the third remain. The third has important Jewish names in its favour, but is open to the objection that it makes a single object correspond to both words. The second alone seems to have any basis in Scripture, which certainly connects the use of teraphim with the use of an ephod (Judges 17:5; Judges 18:14, 17, 20; Hosea 3:4). On the whole, while admitting that there is no sufficient evidence to determine the question, we incline to regard the Urim and Thummim as small images, kept in the bag of the "breast-plate" (ver. 16), by means of which the high priest gave a decision when he was consulted. How the decision was arrived at, is an even more difficult problem than the one which we have attempted to solve. Some suppose the two images to have been used as lots, one giving an affirmative and the other a negative answer. Others imagine, that by gazing attentively upon them, and fixing his thoughts on the qualities which they symbolised - illumination and perfection - the high priest was thrown into an ecstatic state which enabled him to prophesy aright. The notion has even been started, that an angel spoke by their lips, and answered any question that was put to them. The truth seems to be that no theory on the subject can be more than a theory - quite arbitrary and conjectural - neither Scripture nor tradition furnishing any hint on the matter. If we knew how men divined from teraphim (2 Kings 23:24; Ezekiel 21:21; Zechariah 10:2), we might thence obtain some inkling of the truth, since there is much probability in the view, that the teraphim were employed as an unauthorised substitute for the Urim and Thummim. (See Judges 17:5; Judges 18:5, 6, 14-20.) But the method of this divination is wholly unknown. It is not however likely to have been a mere casting of lots, which is a very simple process, and requires no images; nor can this explanation of the decision by Urim and Thummim be regarded as having probability m its favour. Perhaps, of all the theories, that which supposes the Urim and Thummim to have been objects gazed at by the high priest until he entered the ecstatic state, is the least objectionable. It must not, however, be considered an essential part of this theory, that the material objects were derived from the religion of Egypt (Plumptre). The objects must have been well known to Moses and to those for whom he wrote; otherwise, they could not have been introduced, without any account of their nature, as," The Urim" and "The Thummim." They had probably been long possessed and consulted by the nation, which was accustomed to believe that it received enlightenment from them. Perhaps they were a sort of teraphim, but unconnected with any idolatrous worship. It is quite conceivable that an old usage, hitherto un-authorised, but not debased by any flagrant corruption, should have been adopted by Divine command into the Mosaic ritual, purified of any evil that attached to it, and consecrated to an important purpose.

CHAPTER 28:31-35

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And thou shall put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim,.... What these interpreters are at a loss about, both Jewish and Christian; some have confessed their ignorance of them, have conjectured they were only these two words and put in the duplicature of the breastplate; that the name of Jehovah, with other divine were put there and so called; and some have that they were little images, the same with the teraphim, the high priest carried in the folds of breastplate, by which consultation was made; others have thought them to be a work purely divine, of Jehovah's putting there; for my own part I am to follow Josephus (x), who takes them to be the same with the twelve stones; and it is observable that where the stones are mentioned nothing is said of the Urim and Thummim, and where the Urim and Thummim are observed, no notice is taken of the stones, see Exodus 39:10 the use of these was to have the names of the children of Israel engraven upon them, and so be borne on the heart of Aaron when he went into the holy place, as is here said of the Urim and Thummim; and that consultation might be made by them in matters of moment and difficulty, as appears from various other passages of the Scripture, Numbers 27:21 and but in what manner this was done, and in what way the answer was given and understood, are not easily accounted for: some say, by the brightness or protuberance of the letters on the stones; others, by the shining and splendour of the stones, which is more probable; others, by an inward impression on the mind of the priest; and others, by an articulate voice, which seems best of all: the Septuagint render these two words "manifestation and truth"; and Aelianus (y) reports, that the chief and oldest among the Egyptian priests and judges wore an image of a sapphire stone about his neck, which they called "truth": and, according to Diodorus Siculus (z), this image was of more precious stones than one; for he says, the president in the Egyptian courts of judicature had on his neck, hanging on a golden chain, an image of precious stones, which they called truth: but there is no reason to believe that this custom was as ancient as the times of the Israelites in Egypt, or that they borrowed this from them; but rather, that the Egyptians did this in imitation of what the high priest among the Jews wore, which they might learn from the Jews in Solomon's time, or in later ages; the words Urim and Thummim signify "lights and perfections", agreeably to which is the paraphrase of Jonathan;"Urim, which enlighten their words, and manifest the hidden things of the house of Israel, and Thummim, which perfect their works, by the high priest, who seeks instruction from the Lord by them:''they were typical of Christ, in whom all lights and perfections are; all light is in him; the light of nature and reason is from him, as the Creator, and is given to every man that comes into the world; the light of grace is with him, and communicated to all his people at conversion, and in all the after degrees and supplies of it; all light and knowledge in divine things is from him, the knowledge of God, of himself, and of the Gospel, and the truths of it; and the light of glory will be from him: all the perfections of deity, the whole fulness of the Godhead, all human perfections, which make him as man in all things like unto us, but far exceeding us; as Mediator, all the blessings and promises of the covenant are in him; all the gifts of the Spirit, and a fulness of all grace; there are in him perfect righteousness, perfect holiness, all light, life, strength, wisdom, joy, and comfort (a): and these stones, or Urim and Thummim, may be an emblem also of the saints, being made light and perfect righteousness in Christ, from whom they have both:

and they shall be upon Aaron's heart, when he goeth in before the Lord; either into the holy or into the most holy place, just as the names of the children of Israel on the stones are said to be; see Gill on Exodus 28:29,

and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the Lord continually; not only bear their names and remember their cases, make intercession for them, and represent their persons, in all which he was a type of Christ, but bear their judgment, have that at heart, and administer it unto them; and in all doubtful and difficult cases inquire of God what was fit and right to do for them, or for them to do: so Christ has the government of his people both at heart and in his hands; all judgment is committed to him, and he is the righteousness of his people now, and will be their Judge hereafter.

(x) Antiqu. l. 3. c. 7. sect. 5. (y) Var. Hist. l. 14. c. 34. (z) Bibliothec. l. 1. p. 68. (a) See a Discourse of mine, called Levi's Urim and Thummim, found with Christ, &c. published in 1725.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

30. thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and Thummim—The words signify "lights" and "perfections"; and nothing more is meant than the precious stones of the breastplate already described (compare Ex 39:8-21; Le 8:8). They received the name because the bearing of them qualified the high priest to consult the divine oracle on all public or national emergencies, by going into the holy place—standing close before the veil and putting his hand upon the Urim and Thummim, he conveyed a petition from the people and asked counsel of God, who, as the Sovereign of Israel, gave response from the midst of His glory. Little, however, is known about them. But it may be remarked that Egyptian judges wore on the breast of their official robes a representation of Justice, and the high priest in Israel long officiated also as a judge; so that some think the Urim and Thummim had a reference to his judicial functions.

Exodus 28:30 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Breastpiece
29"Aaron shall carry the names of the sons of Israel in the breastpiece of judgment over his heart when he enters the holy place, for a memorial before the LORD continually. 30"You shall put in the breastpiece of judgment the Urim and the Thummim, and they shall be over Aaron's heart when he goes in before the LORD; and Aaron shall carry the judgment of the sons of Israel over his heart before the LORD continually.
Cross References
Exodus 28:29
"Whenever Aaron enters the Holy Place, he will bear the names of the sons of Israel over his heart on the breastpiece of decision as a continuing memorial before the LORD.

Leviticus 8:8
He placed the breastpiece on him and put the Urim and Thummim in the breastpiece.

Numbers 27:21
He is to stand before Eleazar the priest, who will obtain decisions for him by inquiring of the Urim before the LORD. At his command he and the entire community of the Israelites will go out, and at his command they will come in."

Deuteronomy 33:8
About Levi he said: "Your Thummim and Urim belong to your faithful servant. You tested him at Massah; you contended with him at the waters of Meribah.

1 Samuel 28:6
He inquired of the LORD, but the LORD did not answer him by dreams or Urim or prophets.

Ezra 2:63
The governor ordered them not to eat any of the most sacred food until there was a priest ministering with the Urim and Thummim.

Nehemiah 7:65
The governor, therefore, ordered them not to eat any of the most sacred food until there should be a priest ministering with the Urim and Thummim.
Treasury of Scripture

And you shall put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be on Aaron's heart, when he goes in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel on his heart before the LORD continually.

the Urim and Thummim. lights and perfections; manifestation and truth; and doctrine and truth. Among the various and contradictory opinions respecting the form and substance of these mysterious appendages, the most probable seems to be that of Josephus, Philo, Bp. Patrick, Parkhurst, and the Jewish writers generally; who state, that they were no other than the twelve precious stones of the high priest's breastplate. In support of this statement, it is observed, that in the description of the high priest's breastplate, Ex.

Exodus 39:8 And he made the breastplate of cunning work, like the work of the …

Exodus 8:8 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, Entreat the LORD, …

Leviticus 8:8 And he put the breastplate on him: also he put in the breastplate …

Numbers 27:21 And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall ask counsel …

Deuteronomy 33:8 And of Levi he said, Let your Thummim and your Urim be with your …

Judges 1:1 Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass, that the children …

Judges 20:18,23,27,28 And the children of Israel arose, and went up to the house of God, …

1 Samuel 23:9-12 And David knew that Saul secretly practiced mischief against him; …

1 Samuel 28:6 And when Saul inquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither …

1 Samuel 30:7,8 And David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech's son, I pray you, …

Ezra 2:63 And the Tirshatha said to them, that they should not eat of the most …

Nehemiah 7:65 And the Tirshatha said to them, that they should not eat of the most …

bear the judgment

Zechariah 6:13 Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the …

upon his heart

2 Corinthians 6:11,12 O you Corinthians, our mouth is open to you, our heart is enlarged…

2 Corinthians 7:3 I speak not this to condemn you: for I have said before, that you …

2 Corinthians 12:15 And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more …

Philippians 1:7,8 Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have …

Hebrews 2:17 Why in all things it behooved him to be made like to his brothers…

Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling …

Hebrews 9:12,24 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he …

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