These things were commanded by God, concerning the altar of Burnt Offerings and the priestly garments.
The altar of burnt offering consisted of a box of acacia wood overlaid with brass, upon which was to be a grate of brass to place the sacrifice to be burned up. Underneath the box of acacia wood were pans on which the firewood was placed, so that when the firewood was burned, the fire would rise up through the grate and consume the sacrifice. The pans could then be removed to remove the ashes.
This was far superior to placing an animal on a pile of burning wood, this system made a VERY hot fire which could consume the entire burnt offering quickly.
Exodus 27:1 And thou shalt make an altar of shittim [acacia] wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad; the altar shall be foursquare: and the height thereof shall be three cubits. 27:2 And thou shalt make the horns of it upon the four corners thereof: his horns shall be of the same: and thou shalt overlay it with brass.
27:3 And thou shalt make his pans to receive his ashes, and his shovels, and his basons, and his fleshhooks, and his firepans: all the vessels thereof thou shalt make of brass.
27:4 And thou shalt make for it a grate of network of brass; and upon the net shalt thou make four brasen rings in the four corners thereof. 27:5 And thou shalt put it under the compass of the altar beneath, that the net may be even to the midst of the altar. 27:6 And thou shalt make staves for the altar, staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with brass. 27:7 And the staves shall be put into the rings, and the staves shall be upon the two sides of the altar, to bear it.
The altar shall be made as a hollow box with boards overlaid with brass.
27:8 Hollow with boards shalt thou make it: as it was shewed thee in the mount, so shall they make it.
The alter would have looked somewhat like this when burning the burnt offering before the tabernacle, which tabernacle contained the Holy and the Most Holy places.
27:9 And thou shalt make the court of the tabernacle: for the south side southward there shall be hangings for the court [the actual tabernacle] of fine twined linen of an hundred cubits long for one side: 27:10 And the twenty pillars thereof and their twenty sockets shall be of brass; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets shall be of silver. 27:11 And likewise for the north side in length there shall be hangings of an hundred cubits long, and his twenty pillars and their twenty sockets of brass; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets of silver.
27:12 And for the breadth of the court on the west side shall be hangings of fifty cubits: their pillars ten, and their sockets ten. 27:13 And the breadth of the court on the east side eastward shall be fifty cubits.
27:14 The hangings of one side of the gate shall be fifteen cubits: their pillars three, and their sockets three. 27:15 And on the other side shall be hangings fifteen cubits: their pillars three, and their sockets three.
27:16 And for the gate of the court shall be an hanging of twenty cubits, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, wrought with needlework: and their pillars shall be four, and their sockets four. 27:17 All the pillars round about the court shall be filleted with silver; their hooks shall be of silver, and their sockets of brass.
The court of the tabernacle.
27:18 The length of the court shall be an hundred cubits [150 feet], and the breadth fifty [75 feet] every where, and the height five cubits [7.5 feet] of fine twined linen, and their sockets of brass.
27:19 All the vessels of the tabernacle in all the service thereof, and all the pins thereof, and all the pins of the court, shall be of brass.
27:20 And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always.
27:21 In the tabernacle of the congregation without the vail, which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall order it from evening to morning before the LORD: it shall be a statute for ever unto their generations on the behalf of the children of Israel.
The commandments concerning the physical priestly garments.
Exodus 28:1 And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons.
Moses was a type of Christ as the mediator between God and the people, while Aaron the high priest of the Mosaic Covenant, was also a type of Christ as the High Priest of the New Covenant.
28:2 And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty. 28:3 And thou shalt speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office.
At this point I would like you to visit this youtube link of about five minutes, which reads these scriptures along with pictures and explanations of each article of the high priest’s garments. I think you will find this very informative.
28:4 And these are the garments which they shall make; a breastplate, and an ephod, and a robe, and a broidered coat, a mitre, and a girdle: and they shall make holy garments for Aaron thy brother, and his sons, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office.
There are some issues with the choice of descriptive words in the KJV. The robe is the white linen shirt next to the skin which comes down to the ankles, to hide the loins and thighs; which is then covered by the Ephod, which is the blue robe hanging from the pieces on the shoulders; these are covered with the embroidered coat; then the breastplate is the square of stones on the chest; and finally the sash embroidered the same as the vest; and the headwear.
28:5 And they shall take gold, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen. 8:6 And they shall make the ephod of gold, of blue, and of purple, of scarlet, and fine twined linen, with cunning work.
The ephod is the blue coat, or curious girdle with the two shoulder pieces; overtop of the white linen robe. There is more on the ephod beginning verse 31.
28:7 It shall have the two shoulderpieces thereof joined at the two edges thereof; and so it shall be joined together. 28:8 And the curious girdle of the ephod, which is upon it, shall be of the same, according to the work thereof; even of gold, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen.
28:9 And thou shalt take two onyx stones, and grave on them the names of the children of Israel: 28:10 Six of their names on one stone, and the other six names of the rest on the other stone, according to their birth. 28:11 With the work of an engraver in stone, like the engravings of a signet, shalt thou engrave the two stones with the names of the children of Israel: thou shalt make them to be set in ouches of gold. 28:12 And thou shalt put the two stones upon the shoulders of the ephod for stones of memorial unto the children of Israel: and Aaron shall bear their names before the LORD upon his two shoulders for a memorial.
28:13 And thou shalt make ouches of gold; 28:14 And two chains of pure gold at the ends; of wreathen work shalt thou make them, and fasten the wreathen chains to the ouches.
28:15 And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work; after the work of the ephod thou shalt make it; of gold, of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen, shalt thou make it. 28:16 Foursquare it shall be being doubled; a span shall be the length thereof, and a span shall be the breadth thereof.
28:17 And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row. 28:18 And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond. 28:19 And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst. 28:20 And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings.
This brings to mind the twelve stones of the New Jerusalem.
Revelation 21:19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; 20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.
Exodus 28:21 And the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet; every one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes.
28:22 And thou shalt make upon the breastplate chains at the ends of wreathen work of pure gold. 28:23 And thou shalt make upon the breastplate two rings of gold, and shalt put the two rings on the two ends of the breastplate. 28:24 And thou shalt put the two wreathen chains of gold in the two rings which are on the ends of the breastplate.
The breastplate shall be fastened to the shoulder pieces of the ephod by gold writhen chains.
28:25 And the other two ends of the two wreathen chains thou shalt fasten in the two ouches, and put them on the shoulderpieces of the ephod before it. 28:26 And thou shalt make two rings of gold, and thou shalt put them upon the two ends of the breastplate in the border thereof, which is in the side of the ephod inward. 28:27 And two other rings of gold thou shalt make, and shalt put them on the two sides of the ephod underneath, toward the forepart thereof, over against the other coupling thereof, above the curious girdle of the ephod. 28:28 And they shall bind the breastplate by the rings thereof unto the rings of the ephod with a lace of blue, that it may be above the curious girdle of the ephod, and that the breastplate be not loosed from the ephod.
Aaron is always to bear the names of the tribes of the Covenant on his own person next to his heart; as Jesus Christ has the names of his beloved always in his heart as he intercedes for them with God the Father.
28:29 And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the LORD continually.
The black and white Urim and the Thummim by which the Aaronic high priest was to cast lots before the LORD, to determine the will of God in any matter.
28:30 And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron’s heart, when he goeth in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually.
The Ephod Part 2
28:31 And thou shalt make the robe of the ephod all of blue. 28:32 And there shall be an hole in the top of it, in the midst thereof: it shall have a binding of woven work round [a reinforced seam around the neck hole] about the hole of it, as it were the hole of an habergeon, that it be not rent.
On the bottom of the blue ephod shall be bells of gold, that the physical high priest may be heard as he walks about.
These gold bells alternated with gold pomegranates hanging on the gold border of the garment.
The gold pomegranates: Pomegranates are filled with seeds and this represents the seed of the word of God (Mat 13).
28:33 And beneath upon the hem of it thou shalt make pomegranates of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, round about the hem thereof; and bells of gold between them round about: 28:34 A golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, upon the hem of the robe round about.
28:35 And it shall be upon Aaron to minister: and his sound shall be heard when he goeth in unto the holy place before the LORD, and when he cometh out, that he die not.
The Head Covering
28:36 And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD.
28:37 And thou shalt put it on a blue lace, that it may be upon the mitre; upon the forefront of the mitre it shall be.
The physical high priest was to bear the repented physical iniquities of the Mosaic Covenant people; as the spiritual High Priest bears the sincerely repented iniquities of the Called Out of the New Covenant faithful.
The mitre on the head being significant of the mind, and having HOLINESS TO THE LORD always on his mind, as he serves God as intercessor for the faithful.
28:38 And it shall be upon Aaron’s forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they [the Covenant faithful] may be accepted before the LORD.
The fabric of the garments shall be of fine linen.
28:39 And thou shalt embroider the coat of fine linen, and thou shalt make the mitre of fine linen, and thou shalt make the girdle of needlework.
Aaron’s sons the priesthood of the Mosaic Covenant shall also have priestly garments of fine while linen, covered by colorful garments of their office.
In the resurrection of the Chosen, we shall become priests of our High Priest Jesus Christ, and we shall also be arrayed in fine white linen, perhaps also wearing over that colorful ephods of office.
Revelation 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
Exodus 28:40 And for Aaron’s sons thou shalt make coats, and thou shalt make for them girdles, and bonnets shalt thou make for them, for glory and for beauty.
God Speaking to Moses
28:41 And thou shalt put them upon Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him; and shalt anoint them, and consecrate them, and sanctify them, that they may minister unto me in the priest’s office.
Linen breeches is an awkward translation and refers to the linen shirt upon the skin and under the blue ephod that extends down to the ankles and covers the loins and thighs.
28:42 And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach: 28:43 And they shall be upon Aaron, and upon his sons, when they come in unto the tabernacle of the congregation, or when they come near unto the altar to minister in the holy place; that they bear not iniquity, and die: it shall be a statute for ever unto him and his seed after him.