"Let Your priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation, and let Your saints rejoice in goodness." 2 Chronicles 6:41
Text: Exodus 28 : 9-14
SPECIAL SETTINGS ON THE EPHOD OF THE HIGH PRIEST
The ephod of the High Priest was special in more ways than one. Of course, the type of threads used made the garment especially beautiful. But there was one more thing that made it outstanding. The ephod had settings that made it even more symbolically beautiful.
“Then you shall take two onyx stones
and engrave on them the names of the sons of Israel;
Six of their names on one stone and six names on the other stone,
In order of their birth. With the work of an engraver in stone,
Like the engravings of a signet, you shall engrave the two stones
With the names of the sons of Israel. You shall set them in settings
of gold.” Exodus 28:9-11
1. “The work of an engraver in stone”
Master weavers were not the only ones to be engaged in the making of the high priestly ephod. Master engravers were to be engaged as well! Their challenge was to write the names of the sons of Israel on these onyx stones!
2. “Onyx stones… in settings of gold”
This piece of work must have been a piece of art, for the onyx stone (semi-precious) and gold were combined together carefully!
PUTTING ON THE EPHOD
After the ephod was made, and the onyx stones, covered by the names of the sons of Jacob, the high priest was to wear this garment when he ministered before the Lord.
“And you shall put the two stones on the shoulders of
the ephod as memorial stones for the sons of Israel.
So Aaron shall bear their names before the LORD on his
Two shoulders as a memorial. You shall also make settings
Of gold, and you shall make two chains of pure gold like
Braided cords, and fasten the braided chains to the settings.”
What were the “memorial stones for the sons of Israel?” These carefully-inscribed onyx stones represented the tribes of Israel!
Aaron by wearing the ephod as he ministered before the Lord, would in fact, symbolically bear the names of the tribes of Israel!
The high priest then would have two special roles. He would represent God to Israel, on the one hand. He would also represent the children of Israel to God, on the other! What a challenging ministry the high priest had!