Exodus 28

Special clothes for the priests

1 Bring your brother Aaron and his sons from among the other Israelites. They will serve me as my priests. That will be Aaron and his sons, Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. 2 Make special clothes for Aaron. They will be beautiful clothes to show that he deserves honour. 3 I have given special skills to some workers so that they know how to make beautiful things. Tell them to make clothes for Aaron. They will show that I have chosen him to serve me as my priest. 4 These are the clothes that they must make:

  • a breastpiece,
  • an ephod,
  • a robe,
  • a long shirt,
  • a linen hat,
  • a long belt of cloth.
  • They must make these special clothes for your brother Aaron and for his sons. Then Aaron and his sons will serve me as my priests. 5 The workers who have special skills must use beautiful material that is gold, blue, purple and red, as well as good linen.

    The ephod

    6 Use gold, blue, purple and red material, as well as good linen, to make the ephod. A worker should use special skills to make it so that it looks beautiful. 7 Fix pieces of cloth on its two edges. These will go over the priest's shoulders to join the front and the back parts of the ephod. 8 Make a beautiful belt to tie around the ephod. The belt and the ephod must be one piece of work. Use the same materials to make both of them: gold, blue, purple and red material, and good linen.

    9 Take two onyx stones and write on them with a sharp tool. Write 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 stone. 11 A worker who has skill to cut letters into metal must do this work. Then fix the stones into beautiful gold around their edges. 12 Fix the two stones on the shoulder pieces of the ephod so that they show the names of the 12 sons of Israel. Aaron will carry the names on his shoulders as he serves the Lord. Then the Lord will remember to bless his people. 13 Use gold to make beautiful pieces to hold the stones. 14 And use pure gold to make two thin chains, like strings. Fix these chains to the gold pieces that hold the onyx stones.

    The breastpiece

    15 A worker must use special skills to make a breastpiece so that it looks beautiful. The breastpiece will help the priest to know what God is saying. Make it like the ephod. Use gold, blue, purple and red material, and good linen to make it. 16 Bend a piece of cloth over to make a square pocket, 22 centimetres long and 22 centimetres wide. 17 Then fix four rows of jewels on it. These are the names of the jewels: A ruby, a topaz and a beryl in the first row. 18 A turquoise, a sapphire and an emerald in the second row. 19 A jacinth, an agate and an amethyst in the third row. 20 A chrysolite, an onyx and a jasper in the fourth row. Fix each jewel into beautiful gold around its edges. 21 There will be 12 jewels, one jewel for each of Israel's sons. You must carefully write one tribe's name on each jewel with a sharp tool.

    22 Use pure gold to make two thin chains like strings. These will fix the breastpiece to the ephod. 23 Make two gold rings and fix them to the two top corners of the breastpiece. 24 Fix the two gold chains to the two rings on the corners of the breastpiece. 25 Fix the other ends of the two chains to the shoulder pieces of the ephod, in the front. Join them to the gold pieces that hold the onyx stones. 26 Make two gold rings and fix them to the two bottom corners of the breastpiece. Put them on its inside edge, so that they are next to the ephod. 27 Make two more gold rings. Fix them to the bottom edge of the shoulder pieces, on the front of the ephod. Put them just above the ephod's belt. 28 Use a string of blue material to tie the rings on the breastpiece to the rings on the ephod. Fix them together above the ephod's belt. Then the breastpiece and the belt will not become separate.

    29 When Aaron goes into the Holy Place, he will wear the breastpiece. So he will carry the names of Israel's sons over his heart. And the Lord will always remember to bless the Israelites. 30 Put the Urim and Thummim in the pocket of the breastpiece. They will also be over Aaron's heart when he goes in there to serve the Lord. The Urim and Thummim will always be there to show Aaron what the Lord is saying about the Israelites. He will carry this help over his heart all the time.

    Other clothes for the priests

    31 Use only blue cloth to make the robe for the ephod. 32 Make a hole in the top of the robe, in the middle. Make an edge around this hole, for the priest's head to go through. Make the edge so that it will not tear. 33 Use blue, purple and red material to make pictures of pomegranates. Also make gold bells. The pomegranates and the bells will go all around the bottom edge of the robe. 34 There will be a bell, then a pomegranate, another bell then a pomegranate, all around the edge of the robe.

    28:31This robe was like a long shirt that the priest wore under the ephod.

    35 Aaron must wear the robe when he is serving the Lord. The bells will make a noise when he goes into the Holy Place to serve the Lord. They will also make a sound when he comes out. Then he will not die.

    36 Use pure gold to make a thin plate and write on it carefully with a sharp tool. Write this sign on it: “Holy to the Lord”. 37 Fix a blue string to the plate and tie it to the front of the linen hat. 38 Aaron will always wear this sign on the front of his head. When the Israelites bring gifts to God, they may be guilty of sins. When Aaron has this sign on his head, he himself will be guilty instead of them. Then the Lord will accept the gifts that his people offer to him.

    39 Use good linen to make the long shirt and the hat for the priest. A worker with special skills must make the long belt, so that it looks beautiful.

    40 Make shirts, belts and hats for Aaron's sons. These clothes must be beautiful to give them honour.

    41 Dress your brother Aaron and his sons with these clothes. Then pour oil on their heads to show that they have my authority. Make them separate from the other Israelites as my holy servants. They will serve me as my priests.

    42 Use good linen to make trousers that will cover the lower parts of their 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 to serve me in the Holy Place. Then they will not be guilty. I will not punish them with death. This will always be a rule for Aaron and his descendants.