Exodus 28:8
And the curious girdle of the ephod, which is on it, shall be of the same, according to the work thereof; even of gold, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen.
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(8) The curious girdle.—The word khésheb, which is thus translated, means properly “device,” “ornamental work,” and has not in itself the sense of “belt” or girdle.” Still, there is no reason to doubt that the khêsheb of the ephod was in fact a girdle, as Josephus calls it (Ant. Jud., iii. 7, §4), though named from the peculiar skill displayed in its patterning. Josephus says it was “a girdle dyed of many hues, with gold interwoven in it.”

Shall be of the same.—Not sewn on, but woven continuously with the front or back piece.

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 curious girdle ... - Rather: the band for fastening it, which is upon it, shall be of the same work, of one piece with it. This band being woven on to one of the pieces of the ephod, was passed round the body, and fastened by buttons, or strings, or some other suitable contrivance.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). The girdle of the ephod was for the closer fastening and girding of it. Which is upon it: this is added to distinguish it from the other girdle, Exodus 28:4, which was to gird all the garments, and was tied in a lower place.

Of the same; either,

1. Of the same piece; or rather,

2. Of the same kind of materials and workmanship, as the following words explain it. And the curious girdle of the ephod, which is upon it,.... Which was worn along with it, and went out from it like two thongs, as Jarchi says, which girt the ephod close to the back and breast:

shall be of the same; of the same matter as the ephod, and woven in the same manner, and together with it:

according to the work thereof; wrought with the same coloured, curious, and cunning work:

even of gold, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen; and from the gold in it, it was called a golden girdle, to distinguish it from others, and with it the priest was girt under the arm holes about the paps, to which the allusion is, Revelation 1:13 and is an emblem of the close union of the human nature of Christ to his divine which is the effect of his love to his people; which, as it is seen in his incarnation, so more especially in his sufferings and death; and it may denote his strength to do his work as a priest, his readiness to perform it, and his faithfulness and integrity in it; righteousness being the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.

And the {d} curious girdle of the ephod, which is upon it, shall be of the same, according to the work thereof; even of gold, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen.

(d) Which went about his upmost coat.

8. And the artistically woven band (or simply, And the band: see below) of its attachment, which is upon it, shall be, &c.] ‘Artistically woven band’ is in the Heb. one word, ḥçsheb, cognate apparently with ḥôshçb, ‘designer,’ v. 6. As however the entire ephod was to be of the same material, and the ḥçsheb was indeed to be of the same piece with it, it is not apparent why the term should be applied to this particular part of the entire fabric: hence many suppose ḥçsheb to be derived by metathesis from ḥçbesh (from ḥâbash, to bind on), and to mean simply band (cf. késheb, and kébesh, both = ‘lamb’). Whichever etymology be adopted, the general sense remains the same: the band, as the following words shew, was to be of the same work, and the same piece, as the ephod itself, though perhaps of a different pattern, so as to form a border along the bottom of the ephod. The word is used only of this band of the ephod: vv. 27, 28, Exodus 29:5 ("" Leviticus 8:7), Exodus 39:5; Exodus 39:20-21†.

of its attachment] cognate with ‘ephod’; the word which in Isaiah 30:22 is rendered ‘plating’ (viz. of gold round an idol), probably lit. encasement. The rend. ‘to gird’ is not sufficiently distinctive.Verse 8. - The curious girdle. Josephus says of the ephod, ζώνῃ περισφίγγεται βάμμασι διαπεποικιλμένῃ χρυσοῦ συνυφασμένου, "it is fastened with a girdle dyed of many hues, with gold interwoven in it." Hence its name, khesheb, which means properly "device" or "cunning work." Of the ephod. Rather "of its girding" - i.e. "wherewith it (the ephod) was to be girded." Shall be of the same. Compare above, Exodus 25:19. The girdle was to be "of one piece" with the ephod, woven on to it as part of it, not a separate piece attached by sewing. According to the work thereof. Rather, "of like workmanship with it." (cf. Exodus 39:1-31). Appointment and Clothing of the Priests. - Exodus 28:1, Exodus 28:5. "Let Aaron thy brother draw near to thee from among the children of Israel, and his sons with him, that he may be a priest to Me." Moses is distinguished from the people as the mediator of the covenant. Hence he was to cause Aaron and his sons to come to him, i.e., to separate them from the people, and install them as priests, or perpetual mediators between Jehovah and His people. The primary meaning of cohen, the priest, has been retained in the Arabic, where it signifies administrator alieni negotii, viz., to act as a mediator for a person, or as his plenipotentiary, from which it came to be employed chiefly in connection with priestly acts. Among the heathen Arabs it is used "maxime de hariolis vatibusque;" by the Hebrews it was mostly applied to the priests of Jehovah; and there are only a few placed in which it is used in connection with the higher officers of state, who stood next to the king, and acted as it were as mediators between the king and the nation (thus 2 Samuel 8:18; 2 Samuel 20:26; 1 Kings 4:5). For the duties of their office the priests were to receive "holy garments for glory and for honour." Before they could draw near to Jehovah the Holy One (Leviticus 11:45), it was necessary that their unholiness should be covered over with holy clothes, which were to be made by men endowed with wisdom, whom Jehovah had filled with the spirit of wisdom. "Wise-hearted," i.e., gifted with understanding and judgment; the heart being regarded as the birth-place of the thoughts. In the Old Testament wisdom is constantly used for practical intelligence in the affairs of life; here, for example, it is equivalent to artistic skill surpassing man's natural ability, which is therefore described as being filled with the divine spirit of wisdom. These clothes were to be used "to sanctify him (Aaron and his sons), that he might be a priest to Jehovah." Sanctification, as the indispensable condition of priestly service, was not merely the removal of the uncleanness which flowed from sin, but, as it were, the transformation of the natural into the glory of the image of God. In this sense the holy clothing served the priest for glory and ornament. The different portions of the priest's state-dress mentioned in Exodus 28:4 are described more fully afterwards. For making them, the skilled artists were to take the gold, the hyacinth, etc. The definite article is sued before gold and the following words, because the particular materials, which would be presented by the people, are here referred to.
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