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Exodus 28:33

Context
28:33 You are to make pomegranates 1  of blue, purple, and scarlet all around its hem 2  and bells of gold between them all around.

Exodus 39:25

Context
39:25 They made bells of pure gold and attached the bells between the pomegranates around the hem of the robe between the pomegranates.

1 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.

2 tn The text repeats the idea: “you will make for its hem…all around its hem.”



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