30.2. Creating the Priestly Garments (39:1-31)

(1) Of the blue, purple, and crimson yarns they also made the service vestments for officiating in the sanctuary; they made Aaron’s sacral vestments — as the Lord had commanded Moses.

(2) The ephod was made of gold, blue, purple, and crimson yarns, and fine twisted linen.

(3) They hammered out sheets of gold and cut threads to be worked into designs among the blue, the purple, and the crimson yarns, and the fine linen.

(4) They made for it attaching shoulder-pieces; they were attached at its two ends.

(5) The decorated band that was upon it was made like it, of one piece with it; of gold, blue, purple, and crimson yarns, and fine twisted linen — as the Lord had commanded Moses.

(6) They bordered the lazuli stones with frames of gold, engraved with seal engravings of the names of the sons of Israel.

(7) They were set on the shoulder-pieces of the ephod, as stones of remembrance for the Israelites — as the Lord had commanded Moses.

(8) The breastpiece was made in the style of the ephod: of gold, blue, purple, and crimson yarns, and fine twisted linen.

(9) It was square; they made the breastpiece doubled — a span in length and a span in width, doubled.

(10) They set in it four rows of stones. The first row was a row of carnelian, chrysolite, and emerald;

(11) the second row: a turquoise, a sapphire, and an amethyst;

(12) the third row: a jacinth, an agate, and a crystal;

(13) and the fourth row: a beryl, a lapis lazuli, and a jasper. They were encircled in their mountings with frames of gold.

(14) The stones corresponded [in number] to the names of the sons of Israel: twelve, corresponding to their names; engraved like seals, each with its name, for the twelve tribes.

(15) On the breastpiece they made braided chains of corded work in pure gold.

(16) They made two frames of gold and two rings of gold, and fastened the two rings at the two ends of the breastpiece,

(17) attaching the two golden cords to the two rings at the ends of the breastpiece.

(18) They then fastened the two ends of the cords to the two frames, attaching them to the shoulder-pieces of the ephod, at the front.

(19) They made two rings of gold and attached them to the two ends of the breastpiece, at its inner edge, which faced the ephod.

(20) They made two other rings of gold and fastened them on the front of the ephod, low on the two shoulder-pieces, close to its seam above the decorated band.

(21) The breastpiece was held in place by a cord of blue from its rings to the rings of the ephod, so that the breastpiece rested on the decorated band and did not come loose from the ephod — as the Lord had commanded Moses.

(22) The robe for the ephod was made of woven work, of pure blue.

(23) The opening of the robe, in the middle of it, was like the opening of a coat of mail, with a binding around the opening, so that it would not tear.

(24) On the hem of the robe they made pomegranates of blue, purple, and crimson yarns, twisted.

(25) They also made bells of pure gold, and attached the bells between the pomegranates, all around the hem of the robe, between the pomegranates:

(26) a bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate, all around the hem of the robe for officiating in — as the Lord had commanded Moses.

(27) They made the tunics of fine linen, of woven work, for Aaron and his sons;

(28) and the headdress of fine linen, and the decorated turbans of fine linen, and the linen breeches of fine twisted linen;

(29) and sashes of fine twisted linen, blue, purple, and crimson yarns, done in embroidery — as the Lord had commanded Moses.

(30) They made the frontlet for the holy diadem of pure gold, and incised upon it the seal inscription: “Holy to the Lord.”

(31) They attached to it a cord of blue to fix it upon the headdress above — as the Lord had commanded Moses.

(1) The service vestments: These were used to cover and protect the vessels of the Tabernacle when they were being transported.

They made Aaron’s sacral vestments: The creation of the priestly garments is described in this portion, Pekudei, because this is Aaron’s portion (the creation of the Temple and its vessels has already been covered in Vayakhel, Moses’ portion).

As the Lord had commanded Moses: This phrase is repeated many times in these paragraphs. It emphasizes Aaron’s connection with his source, which is rooted in Moses.

(3) They hammered out sheets of gold and cut threads to be worked into designs among the blue, the purple, and the crimson yarns, and the fine linen: Here for the first time we are told how the gold thread was made for use in the Tabernacle’s canopy and curtain. This is relevant here, in light of the foregoing accounting of the expenditures of gold.

(28) And the decorated turbans of fine linen: All the priestly garments are designed to have an aesthetically pleasing and inspiring effect on those who come to the Temple.

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Bible Dynamics, VOL. 2. EXODUS Copyright © by Orot Yerushalaim / P. Polonsky / English translation of the Torah by the Jewish Publication Society, New JPS Translation, 1985. With sincere gratitude for the permission to use. All Rights Reserved.

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