Exodus 28:9
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"Take two onyx stones and engrave on them the names of the sons of Israel

New Living Translation
"Take two onyx stones, and engrave on them the names of the tribes of Israel.

English Standard Version
You shall take two onyx stones, and engrave on them the names of the sons of Israel,

New American Standard Bible
"You shall take two onyx stones and engrave on them the names of the sons of Israel,

King James Bible
And thou shalt take two onyx stones, and grave on them the names of the children of Israel:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Take two onyx stones and engrave on them the names of Israel's sons:

International Standard Version
You are to take two onyx stones and engrave the names of the sons of Israel on them,

NET Bible
"You are to take two onyx stones and engrave on them the names of the sons of Israel,

New Heart English Bible
You shall take two onyx stones, and engrave on them the names of the children of Israel:

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Take two onyx stones, and engrave on them the names of the sons of Israel

JPS Tanakh 1917
And thou shalt take two onyx stones, and grave on them the names of the children of Israel:

New American Standard 1977
“And you shall take two onyx stones and engrave on them the names of the sons of Israel,

Jubilee Bible 2000
And thou shalt take two onyx stones and engrave on them the names of the sons of Israel:

King James 2000 Bible
And you shall take two onyx stones, and engrave on them the names of the children of Israel:

American King James Version
And you shall take two onyx stones, and grave on them the names of the children of Israel:

American Standard Version
And thou shalt take two onyx stones, and grave on them the names of the children of Israel:

Douay-Rheims Bible
And thou shalt take two onyx stones, and shalt grave on them the names of the children of Israel:

Darby Bible Translation
And thou shalt take two onyx stones, and engrave on them the names of the children of Israel:

English Revised Version
And thou shalt take two onyx stones, and grave on them the names of the children of Israel:

Webster's Bible Translation
And thou shalt take two onyx stones, and engrave on them the names of the children of Israel:

World English Bible
You shall take two onyx stones, and engrave on them the names of the children of Israel:

Young's Literal Translation
'And thou hast taken the two shoham stones, and hast opened on them the names of the sons of Israel;
Study Bible
The Ephod
8"The skillfully woven band, which is on it, shall be like its workmanship, of the same material: of gold, of blue and purple and scarlet material and fine twisted linen. 9"You shall take two onyx stones and engrave on them the names of the sons of Israel, 10six of their names on the one stone and the names of the remaining six on the other stone, according to their birth.…
Cross References
Exodus 28:8
"The skillfully woven band, which is on it, shall be like its workmanship, of the same material: of gold, of blue and purple and scarlet material and fine twisted linen.

Exodus 28:10
six of their names on the one stone and the names of the remaining six on the other stone, according to their birth.

Exodus 39:6
They made the onyx stones, set in gold filigree settings; they were engraved like the engravings of a signet, according to the names of the sons of Israel.
Treasury of Scripture

And you shall take two onyx stones, and grave on them the names of the children of Israel:

onyx

Exodus 28:20 And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall …

Exodus 39:13 And the fourth row, a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper: they were enclosed …

Genesis 2:12 And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone.

Job 28:16 It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, …

grave

Exodus 28:36 And you shall make a plate of pure gold, and grave on it, like the …

Exodus 39:6 And they worked onyx stones enclosed in ouches of gold, graven, as …

2 Chronicles 2:7 Send me now therefore a man cunning to work in gold, and in silver, …

Songs 8:6 Set me as a seal on your heart, as a seal on your arm: for love is …

Isaiah 49:16 Behold, I have graven you on the palms of my hands; your walls are …

(9) Two onyx stones.--The shham of the Hebrews has been regarded by some as the emerald, by others as the beryl; but it is probably either the stone usually called the onyx, or that variety which is known as the sardonyx--a stone of three layers--black, white, and red. (See Joseph., Ant. Jud., iii. 7, 5.) Emeralds could not have been cut by any process known at the time. Onyx and sardonyx were used from a very early period, as stones for signets, both in Egypt and elsewhere.

And grave on them the names of the children of Israel.--That gem-engraving was practised from a remote antiquity both in Egypt and in Babylonia appears from the remains found in those countries. The signet cylinders of Chaldan kings are regarded by the best Assyriologists as going back, at least, to B.C. 2,000. The signets of Egyptian monarchs reach, at any rate, to the twelfth dynasty, which is perhaps nearly as early. The hardest kinds of stone--diamond, ruby, emerald, sapphire, topaz--defied the art of the time; but stones of the second class--sard, carnelian, onyx, beryl, jasper, lapis lazuli--readily yielded to the engraver's tools. There is no difficulty in supposing that among the Israelites were to be found persons who had been engaged in Egyptian workshops during the servitude, and were acquainted with Egyptian art in all its principal departments. The "names" to be engraved were doubtless the "tribe" names, as explained by Josephus.

Verse 9. - Two onyx stones. The correctness of this rendering has been much disputed. The LXX. give σμάραγδος, "emeraid." as the Greek equivalent in the present passage, while many argue for the beryl (Winer, Rosenmuller, Bollermann), and others for the sardonyx. This last rendering has the support of Josephus and Aquila. The sardonyx is, in fact, nothing but the best kind of onyx, differing from the onyx by having three layers - black, white, and red - instead of two - black and white - only. When large, it fetches a high price, as much as a thousand pounds having been asked for one by a dealer recently. The probability is, that it is the stone here intended. It is an excellent material for engraving. With respect to the possibility of Moses having in the congregation persons who could engrave the sardonyx, we may remark that the Egyptians cut stones quite as hard, from a date long anterior to the exodus. Grave on them the names of the children of Israel. Egyptian names are frequently found engraved on rings and amulets in hard stone; these rings and amulets date from the time of the twelfth dynasty. The names here intended are evidently the Israelite tribe names, which are reckoned as twelve, the double tribe of Joseph counting as one only. (Compare Numbers 1:10; Deuteronomy 33:13-17.) And thou shall take two onyx stones,.... called from the colour of a man's nail, which they to resemble: the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan call them stones of beryl, and so the Syriac version; the Septuagint, stones of emerald, and the Arabic version, crystal stones: but, according to Josephus (x), they were sardonyx stones, and in which Brannius (y) thinks he was right:

and grave on them the names of the children of Israel; the names of the twelve sons of Jacob, six on one stone and six on the other, as often mentioned, for which onyx stones are very fit; and they must be very large to have so many letters graved upon them; for there is no reason to believe the initial letters of their names only were engraved, but their whole names at length. In the Museum at Dresden is an oriental onyx which cost 48,000 dollars; it is of an oval figure, and its longest diameter is almost six inches, and in such an one might easily be engraved so many names: and Wagenseil makes mention of one in the possession of the bishop of Bamberg, in which were represented Christ sitting, and teaching his twelve apostles standing round him, of which he has given the figure (z): the onyx stone being of the colour observed, was a fit emblem of Christ in his human nature, and if the sardonyx, of him in both his natures; and as the twelve tribes of Israel were a figure of the church, their names being on two stones may denote both the Jewish and Gentile churches; these being precious stones on which they were engraven, may signify how valuable the church and its members are to Christ; and being alike there, their being equally loved of God, chosen in Christ, redeemed by his blood, interested in all the blessings of his grace, and shall enjoy the same glory; and their names being there, the distinct knowledge had of them by name, and being in ouches of gold, their dignity and safety, as afterwards declared.

(x) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 3. c. 7. sect. 5.) (y) De Vestitu Sacerd. Heb. l. 2. c. 18. sect. 4. p. 730. (z) Not. in Misn. Sotah, c. 9. p. 996. 28:6-14 This richly-wrought ephod was the outmost garment of the high priest; plain linen ephods were worn by the inferior priests. It was a short coat without sleeves, fastened close to the body with a girdle. The shoulder-pieces were buttoned together with precious stones set in gold, one on each shoulder, on which were engraven the names of the children of Israel. Thus Christ, our High Priest, presents his people before the Lord for a memorial. As Christ's coat had no seam, but was woven from the top throughout, so it was with the ephod. The golden bells on this ephod, by their preciousness and pleasant sound, well represent the good profession that the saints make, and the pomegranates the fruit they bring forth.
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