Do not loosen the breastplate from the ephod

The Literal Commandment

They shall bind the breastpiece by its rings to the rings of the ephod with a blue cord, so that it will be on the skillfully woven band of the ephod, and that the breastpiece will not come loose from the ephod. (Exodus 28:28)

 

The commandment indicates that the breastpiece should not "come loose from the ephod". The Hebrew word translated as "come loose" (above) suggests intentional removal. The Hebrew word zachach is literally translated as "shove"1 or "remove"2... both intentional acts.

 

Messiah Says

Messiah implicitly affirmed this commandment when He spoke about the Law:

"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-19)

 

 

Pictures of Messiah

The ephod is a garment worn by the high priest that is somewhat like an apron in both the front of the priest as well as the back. The ephod is made from gold, blue, purple, and scarlet material as well as fine twisted linen. (Exodus 28:6) The ephod has two shoulder pieces that connect the front and back portions of the garment (Exodus 28:7) and the names of the twelve sons of Israel are engraved on the two shoulder pieces: six on one and six on the other. (Exodus 28:9-10)

The "breastpiece" is a separate item also made from gold, blue, purple, and scarlet material. Twelve precious stones are attached to this garment: one stone for each of the twelve sons of Israel. (Exodus 28:21) The breastpiece is described as "a breastpiece for judgment". (Exodus 28:15) The breastpiece is attached to the ephod by cords of blue. (Exodus 28:28)

When the high priest wears this he is bearing the names of the sons of Israel before the LORD on his two shoulders for a memorial. (Exodus 28:12) He is also carrying the names of the sons of Israel in the breastpiece of judgment over his heart when he enters the holy place for a memorial before the LORD continually. (Exodus 28:29)

Just as the priest interceded before G-d bearing the names of Israel so, too, Messiah bears the names of His people Israel before the throne and lives to make intercession for them (Hebrews 7:25).

 

How Messiah Fulfilled

Messiah fulfilled this commandment by not removing the ephod from the breastpiece of the priest.

 

Traditional Observance

The traditional observance of this commandment was the literal fulfillment by those who were near the high priest: do not loosen the breastpiece from the ephod.

 

Other Notes

Absent the Temple and the elements of its related priesthood (like the breastpiece and ephod), we are unable to literally fulfill this commandment today.

 

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Footnotes

1. Strong's Concordance of the Bible- H2118 [back]
2. New American Standard(r) Updated Edition Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible with Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries, Copyright (c) 1981, 1998 by The Lockman Foundation. All Rights Reserved. [back]


Commandment Details

  • Mishneh Torah # 320
  • Mishneh Torah Book # 8
  • Mishneh Torah Book Service
  • Mishneh Torah Category 40- The Vessels of the Temple and Those Who Serve in It
  • Reference Exodus 28:28
  • Scripture Book Exodus
  • Chapter 28
  • Verse 28
  • English They shall bind the breastpiece by its rings to the rings of the ephod with a blue cord, so that it will be on the skillfully woven band of the ephod, and that the breastpiece will not come loose from the ephod.
  • Hebrew כח וְיִרְכְּסוּ אֶת-הַחֹשֶׁן מִטַּבְּעֹתָו אֶל-טַבְּעֹת הָאֵפוֹד, בִּפְתִיל תְּכֵלֶת, לִהְיוֹת, עַל-חֵשֶׁב הָאֵפוֹד; וְלֹא-יִזַּח הַחֹשֶׁן, מֵעַל הָאֵפוֹד.
  • Greek Not present in LXX
  • Parashah 20- Tetzaveh
  • Positive/Negative Negative
  • Sefer Hachinuch # 100
  • Sef. Hach. Command The breastplate should not come loose from the ephod worn by the kohen gadol
  • Category Temple and Sacred Objects
  • We can fullfill today Yes

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