Rabbi Ken Alpren
Summary by Teresa Bennett, Pharm.D.
February 12, 2011
Exodus 28: 9-12, Take two onyx stones and engrave on them the names of the sons of Isra'el - six of their names on one stone and the six remaining names on the other, in the order of their birth. An engraver should engrave the names of the sons of Isra'el on the two stones as he would engrave a seal. Mount the stones in gold settings, and put the two stones on the shoulder-pieces of the vest as stones calling to mind the sons of Isra'el. Aharon is to carry their names before ADONAI on his two shoulders as a reminder.
Exodus 28:15-21 "Make a breastplate for judging. Have it crafted by a skilled artisan; make it like the work of the ritual vest - make it of gold; blue, purple and scarlet yarn; and finely woven linen. 16 When folded double it is to be square - a hand-span by a hand-span. 17 Put on it settings of stones, four rows of stones: the first row is to be a carnelian, a topaz and an emerald; 18 the second row a green feldspar, a sapphire and a diamond; 19 the third row an orange zircon, an agate and an amethyst; 20 and the fourth row a beryl, an onyx and a jasper. They are to be mounted in their gold settings. 21 The stones will correspond to the names of the twelve sons of Isra'el; they are to be engraved with their names as a seal would be engraved, to represent the twelve tribes.
Exodus 28: 28-29, Then bind the breastplate by its rings to the rings of the vest with a blue cord, so that it can be on the vest's decorated belt, and so that the breastplate won't swing loose from the vest. 29 Aharon will carry the names of the sons of Isra'el on the breastplate for judging, over his heart, when he enters the Holy Place, as a continual reminder before ADONAI.
The priestly garments contained two especially important items. The first is the ephod commonly known in Hebrew as a vest or ritual vest and the second item is the breastplate or the choshen. This High Priestly Breastplate is known as the Coshen Mishpat or Breastplate of Judgement. The ephod had two straps that went over each shoulder each containing a stone engraved with six of the twelve names of the Sons of Israel. They are Remembrance Stones.
1 Peter 2:4, As you come to him, the living stone, rejected by people but chosen by God and precious to him.
We are chosen; male, female, Jew or Gentile, like one of those stones, engraved and placed in the setting of the High Priest’s garment. We belong to the L-rd. Yeshua is the living stone and we are in Him; like “little Yeshua’s” because we are part of Him. We are sons, and part of His Body.
Hebrews 7:24-25, But because he lives forever, his position as cohen does not pass on to someone else; 25 and consequently, he is totally able to deliver those who approach God through him; since he is alive forever and thus forever able to intercede on their behalf.
Yeshua is our High Priest representing us and ever lives to make intercession for us. We are on His shoulders which speaks of His strength and power. We are engraved, not just written, sealed by the Holy Spirit to the Day of Redemption. If we were just written we could be erased, but we are engraved and belong to Him forever. We are fixed and settled. Our names are engraved on the Messiah!
John 10:27-30, “My sheep listen to my voice, I recognize them, they follow me, 28 and I give them eternal life. They will absolutely never be destroyed, and no one will snatch them from my hands. 29 My Father, who gave them to me, is greater than all; and no one can snatch them from the Father's hands. 30 I and the Father are one."
The Strength of the L-rd; He carries us on His shoulders. He completely able to save us and represents us before the Father now. G-d remembers us as His sons and daughters! Yeshua represents us in Heaven and we are here now on earth in His stead!
2 Corinthians 5:20, Therefore we are ambassadors of the Messiah; in effect, God is making his appeal through us. What we do is appeal on behalf of the Messiah, "Be reconciled to God.”
While the stones on the shoulder speak of His Strength, the Breastplate of Judgement was upon His heart and speaks of His love!
Isn’t it wonderful to know that He bears us on His heart? Now the judgement is without condemnation for those in Messiah Yeshua! Judgements have to be thrown out of court because we are made whole, righteous, and justified by His blood. See Romans 8:33,34, 1 Peter 2:24, Isaiah 53 and Romans 8:3,4.
Power and love!
Psalm 62:11-12, God has spoken once, I have heard it twice: strength belongs to God. 12 Also to you, Adonai, belongs grace (can also be translated as love); for you reward all as their deeds deserve.
Carried on His shoulders but borne on His heart!
Further Reading: Isaiah 41:8-9, Psalm 139:16, Song of Songs 8:6, Nehemiah 13:14, Ephesians 1:13-14, Philippians 1:3-7, 1 Thessalonians 1:2-4, Hebrews 9:24, Ephesians 1:13, Ephesians 4:30, Numbers 7:9, 1 Chronicles 15:15, Genesis 9:15,16, Hebrews 8:12, Hebrews 10:17, Ephesians 2:10, Hebrews 6:10