Contemporary English Version
Making the Priestly Clothes
39 Beautiful priestly clothes were made of blue, purple, and red wool for Aaron to wear when he performed his duties in the holy place. This was done exactly as the Lord had commanded Moses.
2-3 The entire priestly vest was made of fine linen, woven with blue, purple, and red wool. Thin sheets of gold were hammered out and cut into threads that were skillfully woven into the vest. 4-5 It had two shoulder straps to support it and a sash that fastened around the waist. 6 Onyx[a] stones were placed in gold settings, and each one was engraved with the name of one of Israel’s sons. 7 Then these were attached to the shoulder straps of the vest, so the Lord would never forget his people. Everything was done exactly as the Lord had commanded Moses.
8 The breastpiece was made with the same materials and designs as the priestly vest. 9 It was nine inches square and folded double 10 with four rows of three precious stones: A carnelian, a chrysolite, and an emerald were in the first row; 11 a turquoise, a sapphire, and a diamond were in the second row; 12 a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst were in the third row; 13 and a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper[b] were in the fourth row. They were mounted in a delicate gold setting, 14 and on each of them was engraved the name of one of the twelve tribes of Israel.
15-18 Two gold rings were attached to the upper front corners of the breastpiece and fastened with two braided gold chains to gold settings on the shoulder straps. 19 Two other gold rings were attached to the lower inside corners next to the vest, 20 and two more near the bottom of the shoulder straps right above the sash. 21 To keep the breastpiece in place, a blue cord was used to tie the two lower rings on the breastpiece to those on the vest. These things were done exactly as the Lord had commanded Moses.
The Clothes for the Priests
22 The priestly robe was made of blue wool 23 with an opening in the center for the head. The material around the collar was bound so as to keep it from raveling. 24-26 Along the hem of the robe were woven pomegranates[c] of blue, purple, and red wool with a bell of pure gold between each of them. This robe was to be worn by Aaron when he performed his duties.
27-29 Everything that Aaron and his sons wore was made of fine linen woven with blue, purple, and red wool, including their robes and turbans, their fancy caps and underwear, and even their sashes that were embroidered with needlework.
30 “Dedicated to the Lord” was engraved on a narrow strip of pure gold, 31 which was fastened to Aaron’s turban. These things were done exactly as the Lord had commanded Moses.
The Work Is Completed
32 So the people of Israel finished making everything the Lord had told Moses to make. 33 Then they brought it all to Moses: the sacred tent and its equipment, including the hooks, the framework and crossbars, and its posts and stands; 34 the covering of tanned ram skins and fine leather; the inside curtain; 35 the sacred chest with its carrying poles and the place of mercy; 36 the table with all that goes on it, including the sacred bread; 37 the lampstand of pure gold, together with its equipment and oil; 38 the gold-covered incense altar; the ordination oil and the sweet-smelling incense; the curtain for the entrance to the tent; 39 the bronze altar for sacrifices with its bronze grating, its carrying poles, and its equipment; the large bronze bowl with its stand; 40 the curtain with its posts and cords, and its pegs and stands that go around the courtyard; everything needed for the sacred tent; 41 and the finely woven priestly clothes for Aaron and his sons.
42-43 When Moses saw that the people had done everything exactly as the Lord had commanded, he gave them his blessing.
The Lord’s Tent Is Set Up
40 The Lord said to Moses:
2 Set up my tent on the first day of the year[d] 3 and put the chest with the Ten Commandments behind the inside curtain[e] of the tent. 4 Bring in the table and set on it those things that are made for it. Also bring in the lampstand and attach the lamps to it. 5 Then place the gold altar of incense in front of the sacred chest and hang a curtain at the entrance to the tent. 6 Set the altar for burning sacrifices in front of the entrance to my tent. 7 Put the large bronze bowl between the tent and the altar and fill the bowl with water. 8 Surround the tent and the altar with the wall of curtains and hang the curtain that was made for the entrance.
9 Use the sacred olive oil to dedicate the tent and everything in it to me. 10 Do the same thing with the altar for offering sacrifices and its equipment 11 and with the bowl and its stand. 12 Bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the tent and have them wash themselves. 13 Dress Aaron in the priestly clothes, then use the sacred olive oil to ordain him and dedicate him to me as my priest. 14 Put the priestly robes on Aaron’s sons 15 and ordain them in the same way, so they and their descendants will always be my priests.
16 Moses followed the Lord’s instructions. 17 And on the first day of the first month[f] of the second year, the sacred tent was set up. 18 The posts, stands, and framework were put in place, 19 then the two layers of coverings were hung over them. 20 The stones with the Ten Commandments written on them were stored in the sacred chest, the place of mercy[g] was put on top of it, and the carrying poles were attached. 21 The chest was brought into the tent and set behind the curtain in the most holy place. These things were done exactly as the Lord had commanded Moses.
22 The table for the sacred bread was put along the north wall of the holy place, 23 after which the bread was set on the table. 24 The lampstand was put along the south wall, 25 then the lamps were attached to it there in the presence of the Lord. 26 The gold incense altar was set up in front of the curtain, 27 and sweet-smelling incense was burned on it. These things were done exactly as the Lord had commanded Moses.
28 The curtain was hung at the entrance to the sacred tent. 29 Then the altar for offering sacrifices was put in front of the tent, and animal sacrifices and gifts of grain were offered there. 30 The large bronze bowl was placed between the altar and the entrance to the tent. It was filled with water, 31 then Moses and Aaron, together with Aaron’s sons, washed their hands and feet. 32 In fact, they washed each time before entering the tent or offering sacrifices at the altar. These things were done exactly as the Lord had commanded Moses.
33 Finally, Moses had the curtain hung around the courtyard.
The Glory of the Lord
34 Suddenly the sacred tent was covered by a thick cloud and filled with the glory of the Lord. 35 And so, Moses could not enter the tent. 36 Whenever the cloud moved from the tent, the people would break camp and follow; 37 then they would set up camp and stay there, until it moved again. 38 No matter where the people traveled, the Lord was with them. Each day his cloud was over the tent, and each night a fire could be seen in the cloud.
- 39.6 Onyx: See the note at 25.7.
- 39.13 jasper: For the stones mentioned in verses 10-13, see the note at 28.20.
- 39.24-26 pomegranates: See the note at 28.33,34.
- 40.2 first day of the year: See the note at 12.2.
- 40.3 inside curtain: Separating the holy place from the most holy place.
- 40.17 first month: See the note at 12.2.
- 40.20 place of mercy: See the note at 26.34.