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Bible Commentaries

L. M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible
Exodus 39

 

 

Verses 1-43

THE EPHOD

(vs.2-7)

Various hangings for the tabernacle and the court were made of blue, purple and scarlet and fine twined linen, and these same materials were employed in making the priest's garments.

However, the ephod also included gold, which was beaten into thin sheets and cut into threads, to be woven into the blue, purple, scarlet and fine linen in an artistic design. Thus, in this most important article of clothing, the Lord Jesus is typified in His divine glory first, as God over all, then His heavenly character (the blue), his royal character (purple), His universally attractive glory (the scarlet) and His spotless humanity (the fine linen). Shoulder straps coupled the ephod together.

The encircling band of the ephod was made of the same materials, impressing us with the various aspects of the glory of the Lord Jesus, our Great High Priest. Then an onyx stone in a setting of gold was placed on each shoulder of the ephod. These stones were engraved with the names of the sons of Israel, six names on each stone (Exodus 28:10). This speaks of the Lord's sustaining all His saints on the shoulders of His strength. They are "memorial stones," for Israel is always in His memory.

THE BREASTPLATE

(vs.8-21)

The breastplate was of the same material as the ephod, but doubled to make a more solid background for the precious stones set in it. It would be about 12 inches square. The stones were set in four rows of three stones each, the first row a sardius, a topaz and an emerald; the second row a turquoise, a sapphire and a diamond; the third row a jacinth, an agate and an amethyst; the fourth row a beryl, an onyx and a jasper. These were all placed in settings of gold. Each of these stones was engraved with one of the names of the sons of Israel. Thus, the high priest wore their names on his breast, typical of the Lord Jesus holding His saints constantly in His affections.

Golden rings were placed on the two ends of the breastplate, to be connected by two chains of gold to the settings of the onyx stones on the shoulders of the ephod. Two more gold rings were placed on the lower corners of the breastplate and two rings also in the corresponding places on the ephod, so that these could be bound together by a blue cord. The ephod was vital in the high priest's inquiring of God on behalf of the people, for it denotes the unity of all the tribes of Israel, and none of these was to be ignored when God was asked for His directing will.

OTHER GARMENTS FOR THE PRIESTS

(vs.22-31)

The robe of the ephod was all of blue. It was worn beneath the ephod, forming a heavenly background for the beauty of the ephod. The opening of it that circled the neck was strengthened by a woven binding so that it would not tear. On the lower hem of the robe were pomegranates of blue, purple and scarlet and fine twined linen, interspersed with bells of pure gold, thus one bell, one pomegranate in order. This reminds us that God expects true worship when entering His presence, the golden bells indicating what is vocal, "the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name" (Hebrews 13:15), and the pomegranates speaking of the fruitfulness of a godly life: "But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased" (Hebrews 13:15).

The tunics both for Aaron and his sons were made of fine linen, and similarly their turbans and their short trousers, all emphasizing moral purity. Their girdles (or sashes) were made of fine linen, blue, purple and scarlet, however. For the high priest a golden plate was made to be set in his headdress, with the inscription. "Holiness to the Lord." This was fastened by blue cords to the turban.

COMPLETED, INSPECTED AND APPROVED

(vs.32-43)

Thus all the work was done in accordance with the Lord's instructions. It must be so if God was to dwell in the tabernacle, just as is true today if the Church is be a suitable dwelling place for Him. All of these components of the tabernacle were then brought to Moses, the list of which is given in verses 33 to 41. The fact that these things are spoken of so often indicates how deeply important they are to our God and Father, so that they call for our attention and meditation.

Moses inspected the work, and found it had been done precisely as the Lord had commanded him. Therefore he blessed the people. Ten times in this chapter [39] the expression is found, "as the Lord commanded Moses." In Chapter 40 the same expression is found eight times.

 


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Bibliography Information
Grant, L. M. "Commentary on Exodus 39:4". L.M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lmg/exodus-39.html. 1897-1910.

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