Exodus 28:9-36 New International Version

9  "Take two onyx stones and engrave on them the names of the sons of Israel 10  in the order of their birth-six names on one stone and the remaining six on the other. 11  Engrave the names of the sons of Israel on the two stones the way a gem cutter engraves a seal. Then mount the stones in gold filigree settings 12  and fasten them on the shoulder pieces of the ephod as memorial stones for the sons of Israel. Aaron is to bear the names on his shoulders as a memorial before the Lord. 13  Make gold filigree settings 14  and two braided chains of pure gold, like a rope, and attach the chains to the settings.

15  "Fashion a breastpiece for making decisions-the work of skilled hands. Make it like the ephod: of gold, and of blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and of finely twisted linen. 16  It is to be square-a span[1] long and a span wide-and folded double. 17  Then mount four rows of precious stones on it. The first row shall be carnelian, chrysolite and beryl; 18  the second row shall be turquoise, lapis lazuli and emerald; 19  the third row shall be jacinth, agate and amethyst; 20  the fourth row shall be topaz, onyx and jasper.[2] Mount them in gold filigree settings. 21  There are to be twelve stones, one for each of the names of the sons of Israel, each engraved like a seal with the name of one of the twelve tribes. 22  "For the breastpiece make braided chains of pure gold, like a rope. 23  Make two gold rings for it and fasten them to two corners of the breastpiece. 24  Fasten the two gold chains to the rings at the corners of the breastpiece, 25  and the other ends of the chains to the two settings, attaching them to the shoulder pieces of the ephod at the front. 26  Make two gold rings and attach them to the other two corners of the breastpiece on the inside edge next to the ephod. 27  Make two more gold rings and attach them to the bottom of the shoulder pieces on the front of the ephod, close to the seam just above the waistband of the ephod. 28  The rings of the breastpiece are to be tied to the rings of the ephod with blue cord, connecting it to the waistband, so that the breastpiece will not swing out from the ephod. 29  "Whenever Aaron enters the Holy Place, he will bear the names of the sons of Israel over his heart on the breastpiece of decision as a continuing memorial before the Lord. 30  Also put the Urim and the Thummim in the breastpiece, so they may be over Aaron's heart whenever he enters the presence of the Lord. Thus Aaron will always bear the means of making decisions for the Israelites over his heart before the Lord.

31  "Make the robe of the ephod entirely of blue cloth, 32  with an opening for the head in its center. There shall be a woven edge like a collar[3] around this opening, so that it will not tear. 33  Make pomegranates of blue, purple and scarlet yarn around the hem of the robe, with gold bells between them. 34  The gold bells and the pomegranates are to alternate around the hem of the robe. 35  Aaron must wear it when he ministers. The sound of the bells will be heard when he enters the Holy Place before the Lord and when he comes out, so that he will not die. 36  "Make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it as on a seal: HOLY TO THE Lord.


[1] 28:16 That is, about 9 inches or about 23 centimeters

[2] 28:20 The precise identification of some of these precious stones is uncertain.

[3] 28:32 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.

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