Making the Priestly Garments
39 From the blue and purple and scarlet yarns they made finely woven garments, for ministering in the Holy Place. They made the holy garments for Aaron, as the LORD had commanded Moses.
He made the ephod of gold, blue and purple and scarlet yarns, and fine twined linen. And they hammered out gold leaf, and he cut it into threads to work into the blue and purple and the scarlet yarns, and into the fine twined linen, in skilled design. They made for the ephod attaching shoulder pieces, joined to it at its two edges. And the skillfully woven band on it was of one piece with it and made like it, of gold, blue and purple and scarlet yarns, and fine twined linen, as the LORD had commanded Moses.
They made the onyx stones, enclosed in settings of gold filigree, and engraved like the engravings of a signet, according to the names of the sons of Israel. And he set them on the shoulder pieces of the ephod to be stones of remembrance for the sons of Israel, as the LORD had commanded Moses.
He made the breastpiece, in skilled work, in the style of the ephod, of gold, blue and purple and scarlet yarns, and fine twined linen. It was square. They made the breastpiece doubled, a span its length and a span its breadth when doubled. And they set in it four rows of stones. A row of sardius, topaz, and carbuncle was the first row; and the second row, an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond; and the third row, a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; and the fourth row, a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper. They were enclosed in settings of gold filigree. There were twelve stones with their names according to the names of the sons of Israel. They were like signets, each engraved with its name, for the twelve tribes. And they made on the breastpiece twisted chains like cords, of pure gold. And they made two settings of gold filigree and two gold rings, and put the two rings on the two edges of the breastpiece. And they put the two cords of gold in the two rings at the edges of the breastpiece. They attached the two ends of the two cords to the two settings of filigree. Thus they attached it in front to the shoulder pieces of the ephod. Then they made two rings of gold, and put them at the two ends of the breastpiece, on its inside edge next to the ephod. And they made two rings of gold, and attached them in front to the lower part of the two shoulder pieces of the ephod, at its seam above the skillfully woven band of the ephod. And they bound the breastpiece by its rings to the rings of the ephod with a lace of blue, so that it should lie on the skillfully woven band of the ephod, and that the breastpiece should not come loose from the ephod, as the LORD had commanded Moses.
He also made the robe of the ephod woven all of blue, and the opening of the robe in it was like the opening in a garment, with a binding around the opening, so that it might not tear. On the hem of the robe they made pomegranates of blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen. They also made bells of pure gold, and put the bells between the pomegranates all around the hem of the robe, between the pomegranates—a bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate around the hem of the robe for ministering, as the LORD had commanded Moses.
They also made the coats, woven of fine linen, for Aaron and his sons, and the turban of fine linen, and the caps of fine linen, and the linen undergarments of fine twined linen, and the sash of fine twined linen and of blue and purple and scarlet yarns, embroidered with needlework, as the LORD had commanded Moses.
They made the plate of the holy crown of pure gold, and wrote on it an inscription, like the engraving of a signet, “Holy to the LORD.” And they tied to it a cord of blue to fasten it on the turban above, as the LORD had commanded Moses.
Thus all the work of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting was finished, and the people of Israel did according to all that the LORD had commanded Moses; so they did. Then they brought the tabernacle to Moses, the tent and all its utensils, its hooks, its frames, its bars, its pillars, and its bases; the covering of tanned rams’ skins and goatskins, and the veil of the screen; the ark of the testimony with its poles and the mercy seat; the table with all its utensils, and the bread of the Presence; the lampstand of pure gold and its lamps with the lamps set and all its utensils, and the oil for the light; the golden altar, the anointing oil and the fragrant incense, and the screen for the entrance of the tent; the bronze altar, and its grating of bronze, its poles, and all its utensils; the basin and its stand; the hangings of the court, its pillars, and its bases, and the screen for the gate of the court, its cords, and its pegs; and all the utensils for the service of the tabernacle, for the tent of meeting; the finely worked garments for ministering in the Holy Place, the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons for their service as priests. According to all that the LORD had commanded Moses, so the people of Israel had done all the work. And Moses saw all the work, and behold, they had done it; as the LORD had commanded, so had they done it. Then Moses blessed them.
Exodus 39 Commentary
by Hank Workman
The details have been exact. Each area of the Tabernacle has been carefully instructed and laid out with care by God Himself. This went all the way down to the garments the priests would wear.
In these days the priests wore a uniform which was not only beautiful but significant. There was purpose behind these garments. There were 2 parts to what the High Priest would wear: the ephod and the breast-piece. The ephod resembled a vest and would be worn over the clothing. It stood out. The breast-piece as fitted to ephod itself.
This was made of of beautiful colored linens about 9″ square. On this piece were 12 precious stones with each tribe inscribed. The purpose was the High Priest was interceding for all 12 tribes of Israel. He represented the entire nation before God Himself. Within the breastplate there were pockets that held 2 stones or plates called the Urim and Thummim. These were used to determine the will of God for the nation.
As the Tabernacle was completed to the very last detail it really is a reminder for us of the very last details of our own lives God desires to be involved in. The Creator of the Universe is absolutely drawn into our own lives and smallest of things or at least what we call the smallest. In Matthew 10 Jesus said that God even knows the numbers of hairs on our head. That’s pretty exact in knowledge but He knows and cares about all things in our lives. The reality is God is interested in all the details of our comings and goings, our behavior our struggles. He is interested in you – with full attention.
The translation for each of us is nothing is too small to bring to the Father. Nothing is too minute that we are on our own. He is attentive to absolutely everything we are going through and loves us deeply. Bring these struggles, these wins, these challenges to Him each day and let Him guide your thoughts and prayers – and then stand firm in Him. Stand firm in the promises of God. Stand firm in the battle you face. Stand firm in glorious reality He knows, is interested and is waiting for us in our relationship to speak of all things.
Exodus 39 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
At the end of the chapter, Scripture tells us that everything God had commanded, the children of Israel completed. The construction went without a hitch. We see no evidence of an argument or distraction. Amazingly, the people of Israel followed through with their part.
I wondered as I read this, what does that look like for us today? What does it look like for us to follow through without a hitch? When the sacrifice of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and God the Father are working in our lives, what does it look like to really be obedient? I can tell you firsthand, it’s a great feeling. Now, it’s not always easy, and I certainly am not pretending that I follow through perfectly every time. However, it’s such a blessing to know that you are following through with what God has asked you to do. It brings great fulfillment to do what we ought to do according to God.
Whether it’s commitment to intentional prayer, devotion to the Word, or setting aside time for solitude, our dedication to our relationship with Jesus allows our spiritual lives to go without a hitch. Oh yes, the trials will come. The struggles are always before us. But that is true whether we are a committed Christian or not.
Where is Jesus calling you to greater commitment? Where is there a hitch in your spiritual life? Only you can answer that question, and only you can respond and change it.