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Exodus 28:4-6

Context
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. 28:5 The artisans 4  are to use 5  the gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine linen.

28:6 “They are to make the ephod of gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twisted linen, the work of an artistic designer.

1 sn The breastpiece seems to have been a pouch of sorts or to have had a pocket, since it was folded in some way (28:16; 39:9) and contained the Urim and Thummim (Exod 28:30; Lev 8:8).

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 Heb “and they.” The word “artisans” is supplied as the referent of the pronoun, a connection that is clearer in Hebrew than in English.

5 tn Heb “receive” or “take.”



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