Exodus 28:21
And the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet; every one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(21) The stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel.—Rather, the stones shall be according to the names, &c.—twelve, neither more nor fewer.

Every one with his name . . . —Rather, each stone, according to its name (i.e., the name engraved upon it), shall be (or, stand) for one of the twelve tribes.

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.A beryl - Supposed to be a brilliant yellow stone, identified with what is now nown as the Spanish topaz.

A jasper - Probably the green jasper.

15-29. thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work—a very splendid and richly embroidered piece of brocade, a span square, and doubled, to enable it the better to bear the weight of the precious stones in it. There were twelve different stones, containing each the name of a tribe, and arranged in four rows, three in each. The Israelites had acquired a knowledge of the lapidary's art in Egypt, and the amount of their skill in cutting, polishing, and setting precious stones, may be judged of by the diamond forming one of the engraved ornaments on this breastplate. A ring was attached to each corner, through which the golden chains were passed to fasten this brilliant piece of jewelry at the top and bottom tightly on the breast of the ephod. i.e. According to the order of their birth, the first stone to the eldest, the second to the next, &c. And the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names,.... And just so many are reckoned up in the preceding verses, each of which had one or other of the names of the children of Israel engraved on them, according to the order of their names in their birth. Some have thought that Levi's name was omitted, but their reason for it seems not sufficient; for why might not he bear the name of his own tribe, and represent that as well as the rest, since the whole Israel of God is represented by his antitype?

like the engravings of a net, everyone with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes; not like the impression of a seal on wax, then the letters indeed would have been protuberant, as some have thought; but these were like the engravings of a seal, in which the letters or figures are cut within it: these twelve stones, with the names on them, represent the twelve tribes of Israel, and they the whole spiritual Israel of God; and being precious stones, show the excellency of the people of God, of what value, and in what esteem they are with God and Christ, being their jewels and peculiar treasure; and their names being in them, denote the special and particular knowledge God has of them, their names being written in heaven in the book of life; and they are called by name by the Lord; and being engraved as a signet, is an emblem of their being set as a seal on the arm and heart of Christ, and of their being as dear and precious to him as a signet on a man's right hand; and being set in ouches and enclosures of gold, express both the dignity and excellency, and the careful preservation of them: these were set in rows, as members of churches are, everyone in his order, rank, and station, 1 Corinthians 12:18.

And the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet; every one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 21. - The stones shall be with the names. Rather, "according to the names;" the number of the stones shall agree with that of the names, viz., twelve. Everyone with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes. Rather, "every one according to its name, they shall be for the twelve tribes," i.e., each, according to the name that is on it, shall stand for one of the twelve tribes. The second ornament consisted of the choshen or breastplate. Chosen mishpat, λογειο͂ν τῶν κρίσεωον (lxx), rationale judicii (Vulg.). חשׁן probably signifies an ornament (Arab. pulcher fuit; Ges.); and the appended word mishpat, right, decision of right, points to its purpose (see at Exodus 28:30). This breastplate was to be a woven fabric of the same material and the same kind of work as the ephod. "Foured shall it be, doubled (laid together), a span (half a cubit) its length, and a span its breadth." The woven cloth was to be laid together double like a kind of pocket, of the length and breadth of half a cubit, i.e., the quarter of a square cubit.
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