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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Exodus 39

Verses 1-5

EXODUS - CHAPTER THIRTY-NINE

Verses 1-5:

When the entire tabernacle complex was completed the workman turned their attention to the priests’ vestments. First was the high priest’s ephod, a garment made of beautifully colored fine twined linen, interwoven with threads made of gold. This garment was held in place with a girdle or sash of the same colors and fabric. Instructions for the ephod and sash appear in Ex 4-8. The workmen followed the pattern the Lord gave to Moses.

Verses 6-7

Verses 6, 7:

The ephod was fastened at the shoulders by means of two onyx stones mounted in gold setting. Engraved on the stones were the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, six on each stone. These verses correspond to Ex 28:9-14.

Verses 8-21

Verses 8-21:

Details for the breastplate which the high priest was to wear are found in Ex 28:13-30. See the comments on these verses for a description of the stones and their meaning.

The breastplate pictures the high priests’ ministry on behalf of Israel. The high priest wore this breastplate over his heart, as he ministered in the tabernacle service. This signifies the care which Jesus, the believer’s High Priest, has for His own, see Heb 4:14-16.

The breastplate was also a kind of pouch, in which the high priest carried the "Urim and Thummin," used in determining judicial matters.

Verses 22-26

Verses 22-26:

Instructions for the "robe of the ephod" appear in Ex 28:31-35. The color scheme of blue, purple, scarlet, and gold continues in the design of this robe. The bells were designed to let the people know that the high priest was still alive, as he went about his duties in the tabernacle. There were no windows through which the people could peer, to see if the high priest were alive and functioning in his duties. And, the curtain over the door effectively shielded him from public view. So long as they could hear the tinkling of the bells, they knew that all was well.

Jesus gives the witness of His Spirit to let His children know today that He is still alive as He goes about His duties as High Priest in the Heavenly Temple, see Heb 7:25; Ro 9:14-16, 26, 27.

Verses 27-29

Verses 27-29:

The workmen next fashioned the special garments for the ordinary priests who ministered about the holy place. The pattern for these garments may be found in Exodus 28:39-43.

Verses 30-31

Verses 30, 31:

The final item made was the plate of pure gold which was permanently affixed to the mitre (hat or crown) worn by the high priest. Instructions for this plate are found in Ex 28:36-38. See the comments on this passage for the significance of this item.

Verses 32-43

Verses 32-43:

The workmen brought everything to Moses for his inspection. It is not likely that it was brought all at once, but as each item was completed. The text implies that Moses examined all that was done, and saw it was according to the pattern God had showed him in the mount, Ex 25:40; 26:30, et. al. There is no hint that Moses disapproved of anything which they brought for his inspection.

After the final item was inspected, Moses "blessed" the people.

This signifies not only Moses’ approval, but Jehovah’s approval, of their diligence and faithful obedience.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Exodus 39". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/exodus-39.html. 1985.