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Bible Commentaries
Exodus 39

Kretzmann's Popular Commentary of the BibleKretzmann's Commentary

Verses 1-7

The Ephod and its Girdle

v. 1. And of the blue and purple and scarlet, the fine woven fabrics which they had made, they made cloths of service, to do service in the Holy Place, and made the holy garments for Aaron, as the Lord commanded Moses. This included all the vestments and paraments in use in the Tabernacle.

v. 2. And he made the ephod of gold, blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, the fine, damasklike cloth being interwoven with threads of gold.

v. 3. And they did beat the gold into thin plates, gold, being highly malleable, yielding readily to this treatment, and cut it into wires, thin threads, to work it in the blue, and in the purple, and in the scarlet, and in the fine linen with cunning work.

v. 4. They made shoulder-pieces for it to couple it together; by the two edges was it coupled together, the effect being that of a stole, or vest.

v. 5. And the curious girdle of his ephod, that was upon it, was of the same, according to the work thereof, of the same material and workmanship; of gold, blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, as the Lord commanded Moses.

v. 6. And they wrought onyx stones, cut and polished them, inclosed in ouches of gold, that is, in settings which were continued as clasps, or buckles, graven, as signets are graven, with the names of the children of Israel.

v. 7. And he put them on the shoulders of the ephod that they should be stones for a memorial to the children of Israel, to keep their names in remembrance before the Lord, as the Lord commanded Moses. Cf Exodus 28:6-12.

Verses 8-21

The Breastplate and its Fastenings

v. 8. And he made the breastplate of cunning work, a production of the highest artistic skill, like the work of the ephod; of gold, blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen.

v. 9. It was foursquare, half a cubit either way; they made the breastplate double, the material forming a sort of pocket; a span was the length thereof and a span the breadth thereof, being doubled.

v. 10. And they set in it four rows of stones, precious gems. The first row was a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle; this was the first row.

v. 11. And the second row, an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond.

v. 12. And the third row, a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst.

v. 13. And the fourth row, a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper; they were enclosed in ouches of gold in their inclosings, in the settings by which they were fastened to the cloth.

v. 14. And the stones were according to the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet, everyone with his name, according to the twelve tribes.

v. 15. And they made upon the breastplate chains at the ends, of wreathen work of pure gold, braided of gold wire.

v. 16. And they made two ouches of gold, the settings continued in the form of clasps, or buckles, and two gold rings; and put the two rings in the two ends of the breastplate.

v. 17. And they put the two wreathen chains of gold in the two rings on the ends of the breastplate.

v. 18. And the two ends of the two wreathen chains they fastened in the two ouches, in the clasps connected with the two onyx stones on the shoulders, and put them on the shoulderpieces of the ephod, before it.

v. 19. And they made two rings of gold, and put them on the two ends of the breastplate, upon the border of it, which was on the side of the ephod inward, on the lower end inside, facing the ephod.

v. 20. And they made two other golden rings, and put them on the two sides of the ephod underneath, on the ephod, in front, beneath the breastplate, toward the forepart of it, over against the other coupling thereof, where it was held together, above the curious girdle of the ephod.

v. 21. And they did bind the breastplate by his rings unto the rings of the ephod with a lace of blue, with threads made of the hyacinth-colored material, that it might be above the curious girdle of the ephod, and that the breastplate might not be loosed from the ephod, as the Lord commanded Moses. Cf Exodus 28:15-29.

Verses 22-31

The Other Articles of Wear

v. 22. And he made the robe of the ephod, over which the ephod was worn, of woven work, all of blue, a hyacinth-colored garment reaching to the knees.

v. 23. And there was an hole in the midst of the robe, for the head to pass through, as the hole of an habergeon, a strong linen shirt worn by soldiers, with a band, a strong hem, or selvage, round about the hole, that it should not rend.

v. 24. And they made upon the hems of the robe pomegranates of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and twined linen; these were on the skirt of the garment, at the knees.

v. 25. And they made bells of pure gold, and put the bells between the pomegranates upon the hem of the robe, round about between the pomegranates;

v. 26. a bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate, round about the hem of the robe to minister in, as the Lord commanded Moses. Cf Exodus 28:31-34.

v. 27. And they made coats of fine linen, of shining byssus, of woven work for Aaron and for his sons,

v. 28. and a miter of fine linen, the high, turbanlike headdress, and goodly bonnets, ornamented caps, of fine linen, for the ordinary priests, and linen breeches of fine twined linen,

v. 29. and a girdle of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, of needlework, of a damasklike fabric prepared from the various costly materials, as the Lord commanded Moses. The girdle of Aaron only is mentioned, since the girdles of the ordinary priests were patterned after his.

v. 30. And they made the plate of the holy crown of pure gold, a crown, or diadem, of holiness, and wrote upon it a writing, like to the engravings of a signet, holiness to the Lord.

v. 31. And they tied unto it a lace of blue, a hyacinth-colored, ornamental string, to fasten it on high upon the miter, as the Lord commanded Moses. Cf Exodus 28:39-42.

Verses 32-43

Moses Approves the Work

v. 32. Thus was all the work of the Tabernacle of the Tent of the Congregation finished; and the children of Israel did according to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so did they.

v. 33. And they brought the Tabernacle unto Moses, both the inner and the outer covering, the fine damask being intended for the inner wall, and the curtains woven of goat-hair for the outside, the tent, and all his furniture, his taches, his boards, his bars, and his pillars, and his sockets,

v. 34. and the covering of rams' skins dyed red, and the covering of badgers' skins, the tough and pliant seacow leather, which served to shelter the tent, something on the order of a fly-top in our days, and the veil of the covering, the curtain for the door of the Most Holy Place,

v. 35. the Ark of the Testimony, and the staves thereof, and the mercy-seat,

v. 36. the table, and all the vessels thereof, and the showbread,

v. 37. the pure candlestick, with the lamps thereof, even with the lamps to be set in order, the burners as they were regularly to be renewed by trimming and filling the lamps, and all the vessels thereof, and the oil for light,

v. 38. and the golden altar of incense, and the anointing oil, and the sweet incense, literally, the incense of sweet odor, and the hanging for the Tabernacle door,

v. 39. the brazen altar and his grate of brass, his staves and all his vessels, the laver and his foot,

v. 40. the hangings of the court, his pillars, and his sockets, and the hanging for the court gate, his cords, and his pins, and all the vessels of the service of the Tabernacle for the Tent of the Congregation, the various articles being enumerated in the order of their importance,

v. 41. the cloths of service to do service in the Holy Place, and the holy garments for Aaron, the priest, and his sons' garments, to minister in the priest's office.

v. 42. According to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so the children of Israel made all the work, the majority of them by donating the materials, and the artisans by producing the articles.

v. 43. And Moses did look upon all the work, and, behold; they had done it as the Lord had commanded, even so had they done it; a careful inspection showed that the instructions of the Lord had been carried out in every detail. And Moses blessed them. "The readiness with which the people had brought in abundance the requisite gifts for this work, and the zeal with which they had accomplished the work in half a year or less, were delightful signs of Israel's willingness to serve the Lord; and for this the blessing of God could not fail to be given. " (Keil. )

Bibliographical Information
Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Exodus 39". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kpc/exodus-39.html. 1921-23.
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