Exodus 28

Special clothes for the priests

1 Fetch Aaron your brother with his sons, from among the Israelites. The names of Aaron's sons are Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. I want them to be my servants, my priests. 2 Make special clothes for your brother Aaron. These clothes will show that he is important and special to me. 3 I have made certain men very wise so that they can make these clothes. Tell them that they must make Aaron's clothes. The clothes must be ready for the day when I make him my servant, my priest. 4 These are the clothes that the clever men must make:

a breastpiece

an ephod

a robe

a tunic

a turban

a long belt.

They must make these special clothes for your brother Aaron and for his sons. Then Aaron and his sons can be my servants, my priests. 5 The clever men must use beautiful material that is gold, blue, purple, red, as well as good linen.

The ephod

6 Make the ephod out of gold and out of blue, purple and red material. Use also special white material that a clever worker has made. 7 On two of its corners you must fix pieces for Aaron's shoulders. Then you can fasten the ephod. 8 Make the special belt like the ephod. The belt and the ephod must be one piece of work. You must make them with gold and with blue, purple and red material and with good linen.

9 Take two onyx stones. With a sharp tool, write on them the names of the sons of Israel. 10 Begin with the name of the oldest son and finish with the name of the youngest son. Write six names on one stone and six names on the other. 11 Write these names on the two stones like a clever man draws on valuable metal. Then fix the stones to some thin gold pieces that you have made beautiful. 12 Fasten the stones on the shoulder pieces of the ephod. When the Lord sees the stones, he will remember his promises to the sons of Israel. Aaron will carry the names on his shoulders and the Lord will see them. 13 Make special pieces of thin gold 14 and two chains of gold. Fix these chains to the thin pieces of gold.

The breastpiece

15 A clever worker must make the breastpiece. This will give Aaron help when he must decide any matter. Make it like the ephod, out of gold and out of blue, purple and red material. Use good linen too. 16 Bend a piece of cloth to make a square, 22 centimetres long and 22 centimetres wide. 17 Then fix four sets of valuable stones on it. Fix a ruby, a topaz and a beryl in the first set. 18 Fix a turquoise, a sapphire and an emerald in the second set. 19 Fix a jacinth, an agate and an amethyst in the third set. 20 Fix a chrysolite, an onyx and a jasper in the fourth set. Fix each stone in a thin piece of gold that you have made beautiful. 21 There will be 12 stones, one stone for each of Israel's sons. You must write their names on the stones with a sharp tool. Write one name on each stone.

22 Make thin lines out of gold and put them together. This will make a chain. 23 Then make two gold rings for the chains. Fasten them to two corners of the breastpiece. 24 Fasten the two gold chains to the rings at the corners of the breastpiece. 25 Fasten the other ends of the chains to the shoulder pieces of the ephod, in the front. 26 Make two gold rings and fasten them to the two other corners of the breastpiece. Put them inside, next to the ephod. 27 Make two more gold rings. Fix them to the lower edge of the shoulder pieces, on the front of the ephod. Put them just above the ephod's belt. 28 Tie the rings of the breastpiece to the rings of the ephod with a line of blue cotton. Fix it to the belt, then the breastpiece and the belt will not become separated.

29 When Aaron goes into the Holy Place, he will wear the breastpiece over his heart. So he will carry the names of Israel's sons over his heart. And the Lord will always remember the Israelites. 30 Put the Urim and Thummim in the breastpiece. Then they will also be over Aaron's heart when he goes into the Lord's home. So Aaron will always carry over his heart the help that he needs. He will always carry this help with him, to decide matters for the Israelites.

Other clothes for the priests

31 Make the robe of the ephod completely out of blue cloth. 32 Make a hole in the centre of the robe, for the priest's head. You must make a collar round this hole, and then it will not tear. 33 Make pomegranates out of blue, purple and red material. Fix them to the lower edge of the robe, with gold bells between them. 34 Fix a bell, then a pomegranate, a bell, then a pomegranate round the whole lower edge of the robe.

35 Aaron must wear the robe when he works as God's servant. The bells will make a sound when he goes into the Holy Place. And they will make a sound when he comes out. So he will not die.

36 Make a thin plate out of gold and write on it with a sharp tool: HOLY TO THE Lord. 37 Fasten a line of blue cotton to the plate. Then fix the plate to the front of the turban. 38 Aaron will wear the turban, with the plate, on his head for a special reason. When the Israelites bring gifts to God, Aaron himself will carry any bad things in the gifts. Then the Lord will accept the gifts because of the turban on Aaron's head. 39 Make the tunic and the turban out of good linen. A clever worker must make the long belt.

40 Make tunics, long belts and hats for Aaron's sons. These things will make them look important and beautiful. 41 Put these clothes on your brother Aaron and on his sons. Then pour oil on their heads and give them authority. Make them separate from the other Israelites so that they can be the Lord's priests.

42 Use good linen to make trousers that will cover the lower parts of the priests' bodies. 43 Aaron and his sons must wear them when they go into the Tent of Meeting. They must also wear them when they go near to the altar in the Holy Place. Then the Lord will not become angry with them, and they will not die. This rule is for Aaron and for all his children and grandchildren. The rule remains the same for all time.