Old Testament

Exodus 39
The Vestments
391From the blue, purple, and scarlet material, they made finely woven garments for ministering in the Holy Place, and they made the holy garments for Aaron, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.
The Special Vest
2He[] made the special vest[] from gold and from blue, purple, and scarlet material and fine woven linen. 3They beat the gold into thin sheets and cut it into threads so that they could work it into the blue, purple, and scarlet material and into the fine linen, the work of a skilled craftsman.[] 4They made two shoulder straps for the top, one on each side, so that the vest could be fastened together. 5The decorated sash, which is attached to the vest, was made just like it: of gold, of blue, purple, and scarlet material, and of fine woven linen, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.
6They took two onyx stones and mounted them in gold settings and engraved on them the names of the sons of Israel, like the engraving on signet seals. 7They mounted them on the shoulder straps of the vest as memorial stones for the sons of Israel, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.
The Chest Pouch
8Bezalel made a folded pouch, the work of a skillful craftsman. He made it with the same workmanship as the vest. He made it of gold, and of blue, purple, and scarlet material and of fine woven linen. 9It was square, nine inches by nine inches when it was folded double.
10They mounted on it four rows of precious stones. The first row was carnelian, diamond, and jacinth; 11the second row agate, sapphire, and emerald; 12the third row beryl, jasper, and ruby; 13and the fourth row topaz, onyx, and turquoise.[] The stones were mounted in gold settings. 14There were twelve stones, corresponding to the names of the sons of Israel. Each one was like an engraved seal with the name of one of the twelve tribes.
15They made braided chains of pure gold for the pouch. 16They made two gold rings for the pouch and attached the two rings to the top corners of the pouch. 17They put the two braided gold chains into the two rings at the top corners of the pouch. 18The other ends of the two braided chains they attached to the two settings, and then attached them to the shoulder straps on the front of the vest. 19They made two gold rings and put them on the two lower corners of the pouch, on its inside edge, which is toward the vest. 20They made two more gold rings and attached them to the two shoulder straps of the vest in the front, close to the bottom where it is joined to the sash of the vest. 21They tied the rings of the pouch to the rings of the vest with a blue cord, so that the pouch was kept right next to the woven sash of the vest and would not swing out from the vest—just as the Lord had commanded Moses.
The Robe Worn With the Vest
22The robe that was to be worn under the vest was the work of a weaver. It was all blue. 23It had an opening in the middle of its top for the head. It had a woven binding around the opening, like the opening of a collar,[] to prevent it from tearing. 24For its hem they made pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet material. 25They put the pomegranates around its hem with gold bells alternating with them 26(a gold bell, then a pomegranate, a gold bell, then a pomegranate), all around the hem of the robe that was worn when ministering, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.
The Tunics and Pants
27They wove the tunics of fine linen, the work of a weaver, for Aaron and for his sons. 28They made the turban and the small pointed turbans of fine linen,[] and the underwear was made from a special kind of finely woven linen.[] 29The sash was made of finely woven linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet material, the work of an embroiderer, just as the Lord commanded Moses.
The Gold Medallion
30They made a medallion of pure gold to serve as a crest and engraved on it (like the engravings on a seal): HOLY TO THE LORD. 31They put it on a blue cord to fasten it to the turban on the front, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.
Completion of the Dwelling
32In this way all the work on the Dwelling, that is, the Tent of Meeting, was finished. The people of Israel did everything exactly as the Lord had commanded Moses. 33They brought the Dwelling to Moses: the tent with all its furniture, its clasps, its boards, its crossbars, its posts, its socket bases, 34the covering of rams' skins dyed red, the covering made from hides of sea cows, the special veil, 35the Ark of the Testimony with its poles, the atonement seat, 36the table, all its utensils, the Bread of the Presence, 37the pure gold lampstand, its lamps (that is, the lamps to be set out in order), all its vessels and utensils, the oil for the Light, 38the golden altar, the anointing oil, the fragrant incense, the screen for the door of the Tent, 39the bronze altar, its bronze grate, its poles, all of its utensils, the basin and its pedestal, 40the hangings of the courtyard, its posts, its sockets, the screen for the gate of the courtyard, its ropes, its stakes, all the equipment for the service of the Dwelling (that is, the Tent of Meeting), 41the finely woven garments for ministering in the Holy Place, the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments for his sons to minister in the priest's office. 42So the people of Israel did all the work according to everything that the Lord had commanded Moses. 43Moses inspected all the work, and he saw that they had done it exactly as the Lord had commanded, so Moses blessed them.


  • 39:2 Some of the Hebrew pronouns and verbs in this section are singular referring to the leader Bezalel. Some are plural referring to the craftsmen who worked under his supervision. It is likely most items were the work of several craftsmen directed by Bezalel.
  • 39:2 Hebrew ephod
  • 39:3 Here we have the clearest description of how the five materials (gold, blue, purple, and scarlet threads, and linen) were woven together into one fabric. The material from which the blue, purple, and scarlet threads were made is a question because Deuteronomy 22:11 forbids fabric that is a mixture of wool and linen. Perhaps this mixture was reserved for the sacred material.
  • 39:13 The specific identification of these gems is uncertain, and translations vary widely. The translation uses names of recognizable modern gemstones, even if they might not have the same mineral makeup as the ancient stones. The Jewish commentator Ibn Ezra writes, “We have no way to identify what they are, having no tradition to rely on.”
  • 39:23 The meaning of this word is uncertain. Traditionally a coat of mail.
  • 39:28 The Hebrew word mitznephet most likely refers to a turban, since the word for putting it on comes from a Hebrew root meaning “to wrap.” The turban worn by the high priest was larger than the head coverings of the priests and was wound so that it formed a broad, flat-topped turban, resembling the blossom of a flower or a chef's hat. The head covering of the priests was different, being wound so that it formed a cone-shaped turban, called a migbahat.
  • 39:28 There are two different words for linen in this verse. The precise distinction between them is unknown.