The Temple Institute: The Priestly Garments: The Ephod and Breastplate
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    The Ephod and Breastplate

    The ephod and breastplate were made of all five materials. Thus the Bible states regarding each, "And they shall make the ephod of gold, sky-blue, dark-red and crimson dyed wool, and twisted linen" and "And you shall make the breastplate of judgment, the work of an artist; after the manner of the ephod shall you make it: of gold, sky-blue, dark-red, and crimson dyed wool, and of twisted linen shall you make it." (Ex. 28:6,15)

     

    The belt: Three Different Types

    Three different belts were worn by the priests in the Holy Temple:

    1. The High Priest's year-round belt, part of the "golden garments." This was embroidered of sky-blue, dark-red and crimson dyed wools, and twisted linen: "And a belt of fine twisted linen, and sky-blue, dark-red and crimson dyed wools, the work of an embroiderer." (Ex. 39:29)
    2. The belt worn by the High Priest on the Day of Atonement; one of the "white garments." This was made only of six-ply linen, as the verse states "and he shall be girded with a linen belt." (Lev. 16:4)
    3. The belt of the Ordinary Priests: Regarding this item, there are two opinions among the scholars. Some maintain that it was the same as the belt belonging to the set of "golden garments," and thus consisting of four materials; others opine that it belongs to the "white garments" category and was made of linen alone.

     

    The Pomegranates

    The robe was decorated with pomegranates that were made from three materials: sky-blue, dark-red and crimson dyed wools. "On the bottom of the robe, you shall make pomegranates of sky-blue, dark-red and crimson dyed wool." (Ex. 28:33)

     

    The Bells and The Crown

    The bottom of the robe was also decorated with bells. These bells, and the High Priest's crown, were both made of pure gold exclusively: "A golden bell and (alternatively) a pomegranate... on the bottom of his robe, all around" and "and you shall make a crown of pure gold." (Ex. 28:34,36)

     

    The Robe

    The robe was made exclusively of sky-blue dyed wool: "And you shall make the robe of the ephod completely of sky-blue wool" (ibid., 31) Its threads were 12 ply.

     

    A Closer Look at the Sacred Garment

    The "Golden Garments"

    I. The Ephod

    The most important garment worn by the High Priest is the ephod. Its appearance can be likened to an apron; it was worn in back, on top of his other garments, and was fastened by a long belt in the front, opposite his heart. This belt was woven into the entire length of the ephod's upper hem. There were also had two shoulder-straps that were sewn onto the belt. These straps went behind, up and slightly over the upper corners of the garment, over the priest's shoulders. The settings for the two sardonyx stones were attached at the ends of these straps, on the shoulders.

    The ephod covered the back of his body. Some opinions describe it as a sort of half-cape; others, more like a skirt. It was long - it extended from just below his elbows, all the way to his heels. It was slightly wider than a man's back, since it was to cover his back and extend a little towards the front on both sides as well, covering a portion of his belly from either side.

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