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Instructions for priests, sacrifices, and the Sabbath
The clothes for the high priest
(Exodus 39.1–7)
The LORD said to Moses:
1Send for your brother Aaron and his sons Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. They are the ones I have chosen from Israel to serve as my priests. 2Make Aaron some beautiful clothes that are worthy of a high priest. 3Aaron is to be dedicated as my high priest, and his clothes must be made only by persons who possess skills that I have given them. 4Here are the items that need to be made: a breastpiece, a priestly apron, a robe, an embroidered shirt, a turban, and a sash. These sacred clothes are to be made for your brother Aaron and his sons who will be my priests. 5Only gold and fine linen, woven with blue, purple, and red wool, are to be used for making these clothes.
The apron for the high priest
(Exodus 39.2–7)
The LORD said:
6-8The entire priestly apron must be made of fine linen skilfully woven with blue, purple, and red wool, and decorated with gold. It is to have two shoulder straps to support it and a sash that fastens around the waist.
9-12Put two onyx#28.9–12 onyx: See the note at 25.7. stones in gold settings, then attach one to each of the shoulder straps. On one of these stones engrave the names of Israel's first six sons in the order of their birth. And do the same with his remaining six sons on the other stone. In this way Aaron will always carry the names of the tribes of Israel when he enters the holy place, and I will never forget my people.
13-14Attach two gold settings to the shoulder straps and fasten them with two braided chains of pure gold.
The breastpiece for the high priest
(Exodus 39.8–21)
The LORD said:
15From the same costly material make a breastpiece for the high priest to use in learning what I want my people to do. 16It is to be twenty-two centimetres square and folded double 17with four rows of three precious stones: in the first row put a carnelian, a chrysolite, and an emerald; 18in the second row a turquoise, a sapphire, and a diamond; 19in the third row a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; 20and in the fourth row a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper.#28.20 jasper: The stones mentioned in verses 17–20 are of different colours: carnelian is deep red or reddish white; chrysolite is olive green; emerald is green; turquoise is blue or blue green; sapphire is blue; diamond is colourless or white; jacinth is reddish orange; agate has circles of brown and white; amethyst is deep purple; beryl is green or bluish green; onyx has bands of different colours; and jasper is usually green or clear. Mount the stones in delicate gold settings 21and engrave on each of them the name of one of the twelve tribes of Israel.
22-25Attach two gold rings to the upper front corners of the breastpiece and fasten them with two braided gold chains to gold settings on the shoulder straps. 26Attach two other gold rings to the lower inside corners next to the apron 27and two more near the bottom of the shoulder straps just above the sash. 28Then take a blue cord and tie the two lower rings on the breastpiece to those on the apron. This will keep the breastpiece in place.
29In this way Aaron will have the names of the twelve tribes of Israel written on his heart each time he enters the holy place, and I will never forget my people. 30#Num 27.21; Deut 33.8; Ezra 2.63; Neh 7.65.He must also wear on his breastpiece the two small objects#28.30 two small objects: The Hebrew text has “urim and thummim”, which may have been made of wood, stone, or metal, and were used in some way to receive answers from God. that he uses to receive answers from me.
The other high-priestly clothes
(Exodus 39.22–26,30,31)
The LORD said:
31Under his apron Aaron must wear a robe of blue wool 32with an opening in the centre for his head. Be sure to bind the material around the collar to keep it from fraying. 33-34Along the hem of the robe weave pomegranates#28.33,34 pomegranates: A bright red fruit that looks like an apple. of blue, purple, and red wool with a gold bell between each of them. 35If Aaron wears these clothes when he enters the holy place as my high priest, the sound of the bells will be heard, and his life will not be in danger.
36On a narrow strip of pure gold engrave the words: “Dedicated to the LORD”. 37Fasten it to the front of Aaron's turban with a blue cord, 38so he can wear it on his forehead. This will show that he will take on himself the guilt for any sins the people of Israel commit in offering their gifts to me, and I will forgive them.
39Make Aaron's robe and turban of fine linen and decorate his sash with fine needlework.
The clothes for the other priests
(Exodus 39.27–29)
The LORD said:
40Since Aaron's sons are priests, they should also look dignified. So make robes, sashes, and special caps for them. 41Then dress Aaron and his sons in these clothes, pour olive oil on their heads, and ordain them as my priests.
42Make linen shorts for them that reach from the waist down to the thigh, so they won't expose themselves. 43Whenever they enter the sacred tent or serve at the altar or enter the holy place, they must wear these shorts, or else they will be guilty and die. This same rule applies to any of their descendants who serve as priests.