Exodus 28:6
And they shall make the ephod of gold, of blue, and of purple, of scarlet, and fine twined linen, with cunning work.
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(6-12) The ephod was, as already observed (Note on Exodus 28:4), a sort of jerkin or waistcoat. It was made in two pieces, a front piece and a back piece, which were joined together at the shoulders, apparently by a seam (Exodus 28:7). The pieces descended to the waist; and there one or other of them was expanded into a band, called “the curious girdle of the ephod,” which being passed round the waist and fastened, kept both front and back pieces in place (Exodus 28:8). On either shoulder was an onyx stone set in gold (Exodus 28:9-11), and engraved with the names of six of the tribes.

(6) With cunning work.—On this phrase, see Note on Exodus 26:1.

Exodus 28:6. They shall make the ephod of gold — This was the outmost garment of the high-priest. Linen ephods were worn by the inferior priests; but this which the high-priest wore was called a golden ephod, because there was a great deal of gold woven into it. It was a short linen coat without sleeves, of various colours, which hung behind upon the back and shoulders, and came down before upon the breast. The shoulder pieces were buttoned together with two onyx-stones, set in gold, one on each shoulder. And on these two onyx-stones were engraven the names of the twelve sons of Israel, six on each stone, according to their seniority, that the high-priest might bear their names before the Lord in his ministrations, in token of his appearing before God as their representative, and for a memorial, that he might both remember to plead their cause as their advocate, and also might put the Lord in remembrance, so to speak, of his promises to them, Isaiah 9:6. A similar reason is given, (Exodus 28:29,) for his wearing the breast-plate. Le Clerc gives it as his opinion, that these names upon the two precious stones signified further, 1st, The union of all the tribes in one commonwealth; 2d, Their union in one religion and priesthood; and, 3d, That the care of the public religion rested, as it were, upon the high-priest, and was, of all concerns, to be next his heart. According to our translation, and as most interpreters have understood the expression, the ephod was girt on with a girdle over the breast, dyed, embroidered, and interwoven with gold, like the other parts of the ephod.

Thus Christ appeared to John, girt about the paps with a golden girdle, Revelation 1:13. Righteousness was the girdle of his loins. He was girt with strength for the work of our salvation, and was clad with zeal as with a cloak. The government also is upon his shoulders, and he ever liveth to make intercession for his people, bearing their names before God, as a memorial, not engraven on stones of onyx, but in characters of unspeakable and everlasting love upon his heart. Hence, as their representative and advocate, he interposes in their behalf, prevalently pleads their cause, and will present them to himself and to his Father, a glorious church, (Ephesians 5:27,) without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.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.The ephod - Exodus 39:2-7. The Hebrew word has the same breadth of meaning as our word vestment. The garment was worn over the shoulders, and was the distinctive vestment of the High priest, to which "the breast-plate of judgment" was attached Exodus 28:25-28.

Cunninq work - Skilled work, or work of a skilled man Exodus 35:35.

6-14. ephod—It was a very gorgeous robe made of byssus, curiously embroidered, and dyed with variegated colors, and further enriched with golden tissue, the threads of gold being either originally interwoven or afterwards inserted by the embroiderer. It was short—reaching from the breast to a little below the loins—and though destitute of sleeves, retained its position by the support of straps thrown over each shoulder. These straps or braces, connecting the one with the back, the other with the front piece of which the tunic was composed, were united on the shoulder by two onyx stones, serving as buttons, and on which the names of the twelve tribes were engraved, and set in golden encasements. The symbolical design of this was, that the high priest, who bore the names along with him in all his ministrations before the Lord, might be kept in remembrance of his duty to plead their cause, and supplicate the accomplishment of the divine promises in their favor. The ephod was fastened by a girdle of the same costly materials, that is, dyed, embroidered, and wrought with threads of gold. It was about a handbreadth wide and wound twice round the upper part of the waist; it fastened in front, the ends hanging down at great length (Re 1:13). Of gold, beaten out into plates, and cut into wires. And they shall make the ephod,.... This was the outermost garment of, all, and was put over the robe; it was a short garment, reaching to the loins, as Kimchi (p); or to the buttocks, as Abarbinel (q); and not to the heels or feet, as Jarchi (r), and Maimonides (s); for Josephus (t) says it was but a cubit long, which was little more than half a yard; he means that part of it which was distinct from the shoulder pieces, and came down from thence: the hinder part of it covered the back, and reached to the middle of the buttocks; and the forepart covered the breast and belly, and with shoulder pieces under the arm holes was buttoned with onyx stones upon the top of the shoulders, and was girt about the breast with a curious girdle: it had no sleeves, though Josephus (u) says it had, as appears from the make of it; it was different from the linen ephod worn by the common priests and others, and was a symbol of the human nature of Christ, our great High Priest: it was made of

gold, of blue, and of purple, of scarlet, and fine twined linen, with cunning work; the stuff of which it was made was interwoven with threads of gold, and threads of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and threads of linen, wrought with divers figures in a curious manner, which looked very beautiful; and was a fit emblem of the glory, excellency, and purity of Christ's human nature; of the various graces of the Spirit in it; of his heavenly original; of his blood, sufferings, and death, and glorious exaltation; and of its being a curious piece of workmanship wrought by the Lord himself, Hebrews 10:5.

(p) Comment. in 1 Chronicles 15. 27. (q) Comment. in loc. (r) Comment. in loc. (s) Hilchot Cele Hamikdash, c. 9. sect. 9. (t) Antiqu. l. 3. c. 7. sect. 5. (u) Ib.

And they shall make the ephod of gold, of blue, and of purple, of scarlet, and fine twined linen, with cunning work.
6. gold] i.e. gold thread (see Exodus 39:3). The other materials for the ephod were the same as those for the curtains (Exodus 26:1): but the ephod would be the handsomer on account of the gold thread interwoven with them.

the work of the designer] or pattern-weaver: see on Exodus 26:1.Verse 6. - They shall make the ephod The word ephod signifies etymologically any "vestment" or "garment;" but in its use it is confined to the special vestment here described, the great object of which was to be a receptacle for the "breast-plate." The ephod was a sort of jerkin or waistcoat, consisting of two pieces, one to cover the chest and the other the back, joined together probably by a seam, above the shoulders, and united at the waist by a band called "the curious girdle of the ephod." This band was of one piece with the ephod, being woven on either to the front or the back part; it held the other part in place, and was passed round the body and fastened either with a clasp, or with buttons, or strings. Of gold, of blue, of purple, etc. - i.e., "of the same materials as the curtains and veil of the sanctuary, with the addition of gold." The gold was probably in the shape of gold thread, or wire of extreme tenuity, and was introduced by the needle after the fabric bad been woven, as was commonly done in Egypt (Herod. 3:47; Wilkinson's Ancient Egyptians, vol. 3. p. 128: compare below, Exodus 39:3). The white, blue, purple, and scarlet threads were doubtless woven into a pattern of some kind; but it is impossible to say what the pattern was. In Egypt patterns were not much affected, the dress worn being commonly white, with a stripe sometimes at the edge; but the Semitic tribes, who bordered Egypt on the East, affected gay colours and. varied designs, if we may trust the Egyptian wall-paintings. With cunning work. Literally, "work of the skilled (workman)." Some of the Hebrews had evidently carried on the trade of weaving in Egypt, and had brought their looms with them. The Egyptian looms were hand-looms, and of no great size; they admitted of easy transport. Aaron and his sons were to prepare this light in the tabernacle outside the curtain, which was over the testimony (i.e., which covered or concealed it), from evening to morning, before Jehovah. "The tabernacle of the congregation," lit., tent of assembly: this expression is applied to the sanctuary for the first time in the preset passage, but it afterwards became the usual appellation, and accords both with its structure and design, as it was a tent in style, and was set apart as the place where Jehovah would meet with the Israelites and commune with them (Exodus 25:22). The ordering of the light from evening to morning consisted, according to Exodus 30:7-8, and Leviticus 24:3-4, in placing the lamps upon the candlestick in the evening and lighting them, that they might give light through the night, and then cleaning them in the morning and filling them with fresh oil. The words "a statute for ever unto their generations (see at Exodus 12:14) on the part of the children of Israel," are to be understood as referring not merely to the gift of oil to be made by the Israelites for all time, but to the preparation of the light, which was to be regarded as of perpetual obligation and worth. "For ever," in the same sense as in Genesis 17:7 and Genesis 17:13.
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