28:4 Now these are the garments that they are to make: a breastpiece, 1 an ephod, 2 a robe, a fitted 3 tunic, a turban, and a sash. They are to make holy garments for your brother Aaron and for his sons, that they may minister as my priests.
28:31 “You are to make the robe 4 of the ephod completely blue. 28:32 There is to be an opening 5 in its top 6 in the center of it, with an edge all around the opening, the work of a weaver, 7 like the opening of a collar, 8 so that it cannot be torn. 9 28:33 You are to make pomegranates 10 of blue, purple, and scarlet all around its hem 11 and bells of gold between them all around. 28:34 The pattern is to be 12 a gold bell and a pomegranate, a gold bell and a pomegranate, all around the hem of the robe. 28:35 The robe 13 is to be on Aaron as he ministers, 14 and his sound will be heard 15 when he enters the Holy Place before the Lord and when he leaves, so that he does not die.
29:5 and take the garments and clothe Aaron with the tunic, 16 the robe of the ephod, the ephod, and the breastpiece; you are to fasten the ephod on him by using the skillfully woven waistband. 17
39:22 He made the robe of the ephod completely blue, the work of a weaver. 39:23 There was an opening in the center of the robe, like the opening of a collar, with an edge all around the opening so that it could not be torn. 39:24 They made pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn and twisted linen 18 around the hem of the robe. 39:25 They made bells of pure gold and attached the bells between the pomegranates around the hem of the robe between the pomegranates. 39:26 There was 19 a bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate, all around the hem of the robe, to be used in ministering, 20 just as the Lord had commanded Moses.
2 sn The word “ephod” is taken over directly from Hebrew, because no one knows how to translate it, nor is there agreement about its design. It refers here to a garment worn by the priests, but the word can also refer to some kind of image for a god (Judg 8:27).
3 tn The word תָּשְׁבֵּץ (tashbets), which describes the tunic and which appears only in this verse, is related to a verb (also rare) of the same root in 28:39 that describes making the tunic. Their meaning is uncertain (see the extended discussion in C. Houtman, Exodus, 3:473-75). A related noun describes gold fasteners and the “settings,” or “mountings,” for precious stones (28:11, 13, 14, 20, 25; 36:18; 39:6, 13, 16, 18; cf. Ps 45:14). The word “fitted” in 28:4 reflects the possibility that “the tunic is to be shaped by sewing, … so that it will fit tightly around the body” (C. Houtman, Exodus, 3:475).
4 tn The מְעִיל (mÿ’il), according to S. R. Driver (Exodus, 307), is a long robe worn over the ephod, perhaps open down the front, with sleeves. It is made of finer material than ordinary cloaks because it was to be worn by people in positions of rank.
5 tn Heb “mouth” or “opening” (פִּי, pi; in construct).
6 tn The “mouth of its head” probably means its neck; it may be rendered “the opening for the head,” except the pronominal suffix would have to refer to Aaron, and that is not immediately within the context.
7 tn Or “woven work” (KJV, ASV, NASB), that is, “the work of a weaver.” The expression suggests that the weaving was from the fabric edges itself and not something woven and then added to the robe. It was obviously intended to keep the opening from fraying.
8 tn The expression כְּפִי תַחְרָא (kÿfi takhra’) is difficult. It was early rendered “like the opening of a coat of mail.” It occurs only here and in the parallel 39:23. Tg. Onq. has “coat of mail.” S. R. Driver suggests “a linen corselet,” after the Greek (Exodus, 308). See J. Cohen, “A Samaritan Authentication of the Rabbinic Interpretation of kephi tahra’,” VT 24 (1974): 361-66.
9 tn The verb is the Niphal imperfect, here given the nuance of potential imperfect. Here it serves in a final clause (purpose/result), introduced only by the negative (see GKC 503-4 §165.a).
10 sn This must mean round balls of yarn that looked like pomegranates. The fruit was very common in the land, but there is no indication of the reason for its choice here. Pomegranates are found in decorative schemes in Ugarit, probably as signs of fertility. It may be that here they represent the blessing of God on Israel in the land. The bells that are between them possibly have the intent of drawing God’s attention as the priest moves and the bells jingle (anthropomorphic, to be sure), or that the people would know that the priest was still alive and moving inside. Some have suggested that the pomegranate may have recalled the forbidden fruit eaten in the garden (the gems already have referred to the garden), the reason for the priest entering for atonement, and the bells would divert the eye (of God) to remind him of the need. This is possible but far from supportable, since nothing is said of the reason, nor is the fruit in the garden identified.
11 tn The text repeats the idea: “you will make for its hem…all around its hem.”
12 tn The words “the pattern is to be” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied in the translation for clarity and for stylistic reasons.
13 tn Heb “it”; the referent (the robe) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
14 tn The form is a Piel infinitive construct with the lamed (ל) preposition: “to minister” or “to serve.” It may be taken epexegetically here, “while serving,” although S. R. Driver takes it as a purpose, “in order that he may minister” (Exodus, 308). The point then would be that he dare not enter into the Holy Place without wearing it.
15 sn God would hear the bells and be reminded that this priest was in his presence representing the nation and that the priest had followed the rules of the sanctuary by wearing the appropriate robes with their attachments.
16 tn The Hiphil of לָבַשׁ (lavash, “to clothe”) will take double accusatives; so the sign of the accusative is with Aaron, and then with the articles of clothing. The translation will have to treat Aaron as the direct object and the articles as indirect objects, because Aaron receives the prominence in the verse – you will clothe Aaron.
17 tn The verb used in this last clause is a denominative verb from the word for ephod. And so “ephod the ephod on him” means “fasten as an ephod the ephod on him” (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 316).
18 tn The word is simply “twined” or “twisted.” It may refer to the twisted linen that so frequently is found in these lists; or, it may refer to the yarn twisted. The LXX reads “fine twined linen.” This is not found in the text of Exod 28:33, except in Smr and LXX.
19 tn The words “there was” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
20 tn The infinitive “to minister” is present; “to be used” is supplied from the context.