Exodus 28:33
And beneath on the hem of it you shall make pomegranates of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, round about the hem thereof; and bells of gold between them round about:
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(33) Pomegranates.—The pomegranate was a favourite ornament in Assyria, but not in Egypt. It appears from Joshua 7:21 that the fabrics of Babylon were carried by the merchants into Syria at a date not much later than this, whence we may conclude that they circulated also in Arabia and Egypt.

Bells of gold.—The bell is also more Assyrian than Egyptian. Its use as an article of priestly costume has no direct parallel, nor are bells known to have been employed in the religious services of any ancient nation. The statement that Persian kings wore bells rests upon no sufficient authority. We seem to have here the introduction of an entirely new religious usage.

28:31-39 The robe of the ephod was under the ephod, and reached down to the knees, without sleeves. Aaron must minister in the garments appointed. We must serve the Lord with holy fear, as those who know they deserve to die. A golden plate was fixed on Aaron's forehead, engraven with Holiness to the Lord. Aaron was hereby reminded that God is holy, and that his priests must be holy, devoted to the Lord. This must appear in their forehead, in open profession of their relation to God. It must be engraven like the engravings of a signet; deep and durable; not painted so as to be washed off, but firm and lasting; such must our holiness to the Lord be. Christ is our High Priest; through him sins are forgiven to us, and not laid to our charge. Our persons, our doings, are pleasing to God upon the account of Christ, and not otherwise.An habergeon - Corselets of linen, such as appear to be here referred to, were well known amongst the Egyptians.31-33. the robe of the ephod all of blue—It was the middle garment, under the ephod and above the coat. It had a hole through which the head was thrust, and was formed carefully of one piece, such as was the robe of Christ (Joh 19:23). The high priest's was of a sky-blue color. The binding at the neck was strongly woven, and it terminated below in a fringe, made of blue, purple, and scarlet tassels, in the form of a pomegranate, interspersed with small bells of gold, which tinkled as the wearer was in motion. Pomegranates; the figures of pomegranates, but flat and embroidered. By the sound of the

bells the people might be admonished of the work which the priest was employed in, and thereby be provoked to join their affections and devotions with his. These pomegranates and bells might note either,

1. The qualifications of the priest, who was both to declare or give forth the sound of pure and wholesome doctrine, and to adorn his doctrine with the fragrancy and fruitfulness of a good conversation. Or,

2. The glorious achievements of Christ, who caused the sound of his doctrine to be heard by all men, and offered up himself as a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour, Ephesians 5:2. And beneath upon the hem of it,.... Or the skirts of it, at the bottom of the robe:

thou shalt make pomegranates of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, round about the hem thereof; these were figures made of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, in the form of pomegranates: Jarchi says they were round and hollow, and made like hens' eggs, about the size of them, and of an oval form:

and bells of gold between them round about; according to some, the bells were put into the pomegranates, which is supposed to be the meaning of the phrase "between them", or, "in the midst of them"; and so Aben Ezra observes, that some say the bells did not appear, they were only in the midst of the pomegranates, and there they caused their sound to be heard: but according to our version and others, the bells were placed between the pomegranates, between every pomegranate and pomegranate there was a golden bell; and this seems to be plainly the sense of the following verse.

And beneath upon the hem of it thou shalt make pomegranates of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, round about the hem thereof; and bells of gold between them round about:
33, 34. The skirt was to be adorned with a border of pomegranates (i.e. balls shaped like pomegranates), made of the richly coloured materials mentioned in Exodus 25:4; and a small golden bell was to be attached to the hem between each two of the pomegranates. The pomegranate tree was common in Palestine (cf. Numbers 13:23, Deuteronomy 8:8, al.); its fruit, when ripe, is of a bright red colour, about the size of an orange. In v. 33 Sam. LXX. add, and fine twined linen: cf. Exodus 38:24.Verse 33. - Upon the hem of it. Literally "at its edge" Pomegranates. Tassels in the shape of pomegranates, of three colours, seem to be intended. An ornament of the kind is common in Assyria, but not in Egypt. Bells of gold between them. The bell is not often found in Egypt, and seems certainly not to have born in common use there. It was, however. often hung round the necks of horses in Assyria (Ancient Monarchies, vol. it. pp. 8, 14, 15, 27), and is so simple an object that its invention was probably very early. The Assyrian bells are shaped almost exactly like our own. as are the classical ones. Two golden rings were also to be put "upon the shoulder-pieces of the ephod underneath, toward the fore-part thereof, near the joining above the girdle of it," and to fasten the choshen from its (lower) rings to the (lower) rings of the ephod with threads of hyacinth, that it might be over the girdle (above it), and not move away (יזּח Niphal of זחח, in Arabic removit), i.e., that it might keep its place above the girdle and against the ephod without shifting.
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