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Fausset's Bible Dictionary


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1. The high priest's vestment, with the breast-plate and Urim and Thrumhim (some material objects in the bag of the breast-plate, used for consulting Jehovah by casting lots: Speaker's Commentary; but (See HIGH PRIEST) in it. This Abiathar carried off from the tabernacle at Nob, and David consulted (1 Samuel 21:9; 1 Samuel 23:6; 1 Samuel 23:9; 1 Samuel 30:7). The breast-plate, with its twelve precious stones, gave an importance to the ephod which led to its adoption in the idolatries of Gideon and Micah (Judges 8:27; Judges 17:5; Judges 18:14).

The large amount of gold used by Gideon on his ephod was not the material of it, but the means wherewith he completed it; including the breast-plate (choshen ), the 12 precious stones, and the two for the shoulders, the gold thread throughout, and gold braid, and gold twist chains fastening the breast-plate upon the ephod, and lastly the price of the labor (Exodus 28:6-30). (See GIDEON.) His aim was by wearing it to have a vehicle for inquiring the will of Jehovah, through the Urim and Thummim, the holy lot, and breast-plate.

The ephod was also used, but without the breast-plate, by the ordinary priests, as their characteristic robe (1 Samuel 2:28; 1 Samuel 14:3; 1 Samuel 22:18; Hosea 3:4). David's ephod, in bringing the ark to Jerusalem, differed from the priests' in being of ordinary linen (baad ), whereas theirs was of fine linen (sheesh ).

2. Father of Hanniel, head of Manasseh, assisted Joshua and Eleazar in apportioning Canaan (Numbers 34:23).

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Ephod'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. 1949.

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