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Garments of the Priests

28 “Now bring your brother Aaron near, and his sons with him from among the sons of Israel, so that he may serve as priest to Me—Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons. You are to make sacred garments [official clothing reserved for holy services] for Aaron your brother, for honor and for beauty (ornamentation). Tell all the skilled and talented people whom I have endowed with a spirit of wisdom, that they are to make Aaron’s garments to sanctify him and set him apart to serve as a priest for Me. These are the garments which they shall make: a breastpiece and an ephod [for the breastpiece] and a robe and a tunic of checkered work, a turban, and a sash. They shall make sacred garments for Aaron your brother and his sons, so that he may serve as a priest to Me. They are to use the gold and the blue and the purple and the scarlet fabric and fine twisted linen [from the people],

and they shall make the ephod of gold and blue, purple, and scarlet fabric and fine twisted linen, skillfully woven and [beautifully] worked. It is to have two shoulder pieces joined to its two [back and front] ends, so that it may be joined together. And the skillfully woven sash, which is on the ephod shall be made of the same material: of gold, of blue, purple, and scarlet fabric and fine twisted linen. You shall take two onyx stones and engrave on them the names of the [twelve] sons of Israel, 10 six of their names on one stone and the remaining six names on the other stone, arranged in the order of their births. 11 With the work of a jeweler, like the engravings of a signet, you shall engrave the two stones according to the names of the sons of Israel. You shall have them set in [a]filigree [settings] of gold. 12 You shall put the two stones on the [two] shoulder pieces of the ephod [of the high priest], as memorial stones for Israel; and Aaron shall bear their names on his two shoulders as a memorial before the Lord. 13 You shall make filigree [settings] of gold, 14 and you are to make two chains of pure gold like twisted cords, and fasten the corded chains to the settings.

15 “You are to make a breastpiece of judgment, the work of a skilled and talented craftsman; like the work of the ephod you shall make it: of gold, of blue, purple, and scarlet fabric and of fine twisted linen. 16 The breastpiece shall be square and folded double; a span [about nine inches] in length and a span in width. 17 You shall mount on it four rows of stones: the first row shall be a row of ruby, topaz, and emerald; 18 the second row a turquoise, a sapphire, and a diamond; 19 the third row a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; 20 and the fourth row a beryl and an onyx and a jasper; they shall be set in gold filigree. 21 The [engraved] stones shall be twelve, according to the names of [the twelve tribes of] the sons of Israel; they shall be like the engravings of a signet, each with its name for the twelve tribes. 22 You shall make for the breastpiece chains of pure gold twisted like cords. 23 You shall make on the breastpiece two rings of gold, and shall put the two rings on the two ends of the breastpiece. 24 You shall put the two twisted cords of gold in the two rings which are on the ends of the breastpiece. 25 The other two ends of the two cords you shall fasten in the two filigree settings in front, putting them on the shoulder pieces of the ephod. 26 You shall make two gold rings and put them at the two ends of the breastpiece, on its inside edge next to the ephod. 27 You are to make two gold rings and attach them to the lower part of the two shoulder pieces of the ephod in front, close to the place where it is joined, above the skillfully woven sash of the ephod. 28 They shall bind the breastpiece by its rings to the rings of the ephod with a blue cord, so that it will be above the skillfully woven sash of the ephod, so that the breastpiece will not come loose from the ephod. 29 So Aaron shall carry the names of the sons of Israel (Jacob) in the breastpiece of judgment over his heart when he enters the Holy Place, to bring them in continual remembrance before the Lord. 30 In the breastpiece of judgment you shall put the [b]Urim (Lights) and the Thummim (Perfections) [to be used for determining God’s will in a matter]. They shall be over Aaron’s heart whenever he goes before the Lord, and Aaron shall always carry the judgment (verdict, judicial decisions) of the sons of Israel over his heart before the Lord.

31 “And you shall make the [c]robe of the ephod all of blue. 32 There shall be an opening at its top in the center [for the head], with a binding of woven work around the opening, like the opening in a coat of armor, so that it will not tear or fray. 33 You shall make pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet fabric all around its hem, with gold bells between them; 34 a golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, all around the [bottom] hem of the robe. 35 Aaron shall wear the robe when he ministers, and its sound shall be heard when he goes [alone] into the Holy Place before the Lord, and when he comes out, so that he will not die there.

36 “You shall also make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it, like the engravings of a signet, ‘Holy to the Lord.’(A) 37 You shall fasten it on the front of the turban with a blue cord. 38 It shall be on Aaron’s forehead, and Aaron shall take away the guilt from the holy things which the sons of Israel dedicate, with regard to all their holy gifts. It shall always be on his forehead, so that they may be accepted before the Lord.(B)

39 “You shall weave the tunic of checkered work of fine linen, and make a turban of fine linen. You shall make a sash, the work of an embroiderer.

40 “For Aaron’s sons you shall make tunics and sashes and [ornamental] caps, for glory and honor and beauty. 41 You shall put the various articles of clothing on Aaron your brother and on his sons with him, and shall anoint them and ordain and sanctify them, so that they may serve Me as priests. 42 You shall make for them [white] linen undergarments to cover their bare flesh, reaching from the waist to the thighs. 43 The various articles of clothing shall be on Aaron and on his sons when they enter the Tent of Meeting, or when they approach the altar [of incense] to minister in the Holy Place, so that they do not incur guilt and die. It shall be a statute forever to Aaron and to his descendants after him.

Consecration of the Priests

29 “This is what you shall do to consecrate Aaron and his sons so that they may serve Me as priests: take one young bull and two rams, without blemish, and unleavened bread and unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers spread with oil; you shall make them of fine wheat flour. You shall put them in one basket, and present them in the basket along with the bull and the two rams. Then bring Aaron and his sons to the doorway of the Tent of Meeting [out where the basin is] and wash them with water. Then you shall take the garments, and put on Aaron the tunic and the robe of the ephod and the ephod and the breastpiece, and wrap him with the skillfully woven sash of the ephod; and you shall put the turban on his head and put the holy crown on the turban. Then you shall take the anointing oil and pour it on his head and anoint him. You shall bring his sons and put tunics on them. And you shall wrap them with sashes, Aaron and his sons, and put the [ornamental] caps on them; and the priest’s office shall be theirs by a perpetual statute. So you shall ordain Aaron and his sons.

The Sacrifices

10 “Then you shall bring the bull before the Tent of Meeting, and Aaron and his sons shall [d]lay their hands on the bull’s head. 11 Then you shall kill the bull before the Lord by the doorway of the Tent of Meeting. 12 And you shall take some of the blood of the bull and with your finger put it on the horns of the altar [of burnt offering], and you shall pour out the remainder of the blood at the base of the altar. 13 You shall take all the fat that covers the intestines and the lobe of the liver, and the two kidneys and the fat that is on them, and offer them up in smoke on the altar. 14 But the meat of the bull, its hide, and the contents of its intestines you shall burn in the fire outside the camp; it is a sin offering.(C)

15 “And you shall take one of the rams, and Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands on the head of the ram; 16 then you shall kill the ram and you shall take its blood and sprinkle it around the altar [of burnt offering]. 17 Then you shall cut the ram into pieces, and wash its intestines and legs, and place them with its pieces and its head, 18 and you shall burn the whole ram on the altar. It is a burnt offering to the Lord: it is a sweet and soothing aroma, an offering by fire to the Lord.

19 “Then you shall take the other ram, and Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands on the head of the ram. 20 Then you shall kill the ram, and take some of its blood and put it on the tip of the right ears of Aaron and his sons and on the thumbs of their right hands and on the big toes of their right feet, and sprinkle the [rest of the] blood around on the altar [of burnt offering]. 21 Then you shall take some of the blood that is on the altar and some of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it on Aaron and his garments and on his sons and their garments. Now Aaron and his garments and his sons and their garments shall be consecrated (dedicated, made holy, declared sacred for God’s purpose).

22 “You shall also take the fat of the ram, the fat tail, the fat that covers the intestines, the lobe of the liver, the two kidneys with the fat that is on them, and the right thigh; (for it is a ram of ordination), 23 and one loaf of bread and one cake of oiled bread and one wafer out of the basket of the unleavened bread that is before the Lord; 24 and you shall put all these in the hands of Aaron and his sons, and wave them as a [e]wave offering before the Lord. 25 Then you shall take them from their hands, add them to the burnt offering, and burn them on the altar for a sweet and soothing aroma before the Lord; it is an offering by fire to the Lord.

26 “Then you shall take the breast of the ram of Aaron’s ordination, and wave it as a wave offering before the Lord; and it shall be your (Moses) portion. 27 You shall consecrate the waved breast offering [of the ram] used in the ordination and the waved thigh offering of the priests’ portion, since it is [a contribution] for Aaron and for his sons. 28 It shall be for Aaron and his sons as their due portion from the Israelites forever, for it is a [f]heave offering. It shall be a heave offering to the Lord from the Israelites from the sacrifices of their peace offerings.

29 “The holy garments of Aaron shall be for his sons after him, to be anointed and ordained in them. 30 That son who is [high] priest in his place shall put them on [each day for] seven days when he comes into the Tent of Meeting to minister in the Holy Place.

Food of the Priests

31 “You shall take the ram of the ordination and boil its meat in a holy place. 32 Aaron and his sons shall eat the meat of the ram and the bread in the basket, at the doorway of the Tent of Meeting. 33 They shall eat those things by which atonement was made at their ordination and consecration; but a layman shall not eat them, because they are holy [that is, set apart to the worship of God]. 34 And if any of the meat of ordination or the bread remains until morning, you shall burn it in the fire; it shall not be eaten, because it is holy.

35 “So you shall do to Aaron and to his sons in accordance with all I have commanded you; during seven days you are to ordain them. 36 You shall offer a bull every day as a sin offering for atonement. You shall cleanse the altar from sin when you make atonement for it, and you shall anoint it to consecrate it [for God’s sacred purpose]. 37 For seven days you shall make atonement for the altar [of burnt offering] and consecrate it; then the altar shall be most holy. Whatever touches the altar must be holy (set apart for God’s service).

38 “Now this is what you shall offer on the altar: two one year old lambs shall be offered each day, continuously. 39 One lamb you shall offer in the morning and the other lamb [g]at twilight; 40 and with the one lamb there shall be one-tenth of a measure of fine flour mixed with one-fourth of a hin of beaten [olive] oil, and one-fourth of a hin of wine for a drink offering [to be poured out]. 41 And the other lamb you shall offer at twilight, and do with it as with the grain offering of the morning and with the drink offering, for a sweet and soothing aroma [to appease God], an offering by fire to the Lord. 42 This will be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the doorway of the Tent of Meeting before the Lord, where I will meet with you, to speak to you there. 43 There I will meet with the Israelites, and the Tent of Meeting shall be [h]sanctified by My glory [the [i]Shekinah, God’s dwelling presence]. 44 I will sanctify the Tent of Meeting and the altar [of burnt offering]; also I will sanctify Aaron and his sons to serve as priests to Me. 45 I will dwell among the sons of Israel and be their God. 46 They shall know [from personal experience] and acknowledge that I am the Lord their God who brought them out of the land of Egypt so that I might dwell among them; I am the Lord their God.


  1. Exodus 28:11 I.e. ornamental openwork of delicate or intricate design.
  2. Exodus 28:30 I.e. unspecified articles used like lots when the high priest asked God’s counsel for Israel.
  3. Exodus 28:31 I.e. the robe worn underneath the ephod.
  4. Exodus 29:10 By laying his hands on the head of the sacrifice the offerer identified himself with it and through its death it became an atonement or covering for his sin. Because the sacrifice “covered” his sin it placed the offerer in a right relationship with God, just as later under the new covenant the perfection and sacrifice of the Christ would cover (atone for) the imperfection and sin of those who identified with Him and accepted Him as Savior.
  5. Exodus 29:24 The wave (undulation, wavelike) offering and the heave (lifted up, raised) offering were named after their manner of presentation. These were either voluntary gifts or contributions required for a specific religious purpose such as the atonement offering. It was understood that God received these offerings and then designated them for a religious purpose such as the support of the priests and their families, or the preparation and maintenance of the tabernacle.
  6. Exodus 29:28 See note v 24.
  7. Exodus 29:39 See note 12:6.
  8. Exodus 29:43 Only God can sanctify (set apart) something for His divine purpose. Man can consecrate (dedicate) something as sacred, that is, declare it separated from secular use.
  9. Exodus 29:43 This Hebrew word is not found in the Bible, but was used by the rabbis to describe the presence of God. Its basic meaning is “royal residence.” Among other things, the rabbis said that the Shekinah is present where ten people pray together, or where three people are sitting as a court of judges.

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