Exodus 39:8-21

He made the breastpiece, the work of a skillful workman, like the workmanship of the ephod: of gold and of [i]blue and purple and scarlet material and fine twisted linen. It was square; they made the breastpiece folded double, a span [j]long and a span [k]wide when folded double. 10 And they [l]mounted four rows of stones on it. The first row was a row of ruby, topaz, and emerald; 11 and the second row, a turquoise, a sapphire and a diamond;12 and the third row, a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; 13 and the fourth row, a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper. They were set in gold filigree settings when they were [m]mounted.14 The stones were corresponding to the names of the sons of Israel; they were twelve, corresponding to their names, engraved with the engravings of a signet, each with its name for the twelve tribes. 15 They made on the breastpiece chains like cords, of twisted cordage work in pure gold. 16 They made two gold filigree settings and two gold rings, and put the two rings on the two ends of the breastpiece. 17 Then they put the two gold cords in the two rings at the ends of the breastpiece. 18 They put the other two ends of the two cords on the two filigree settings, and put them on the shoulder pieces of the ephod at the front of it.19 They made two gold rings and placed them on the two ends of the breastpiece, on its inner edge which was next to the ephod. 20 Furthermore, they made two gold rings and placed them on the bottom of the two shoulder pieces of the ephod, on the front of it, close to the place where it joined, above the woven band of the ephod. 21 They bound the breastpiece by its rings to the rings of the ephod with a [n]blue cord, so that it would be on the woven band of the ephod, and that the breastpiece would not come loose from the ephod, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

The ephod itself had the names of the sons of Israel, although it doesn’t specify if they were the actual birth sons, or the names of the tribes (slightly different). In any case, the twelve precious stones on the breastpiece made it clear that the high priest represented the twelve tribes before God. It is a reminder to those in leadership of any kind, to be aware of who we represent, before God AND man. To men we represent God, as well as those we lead, and even possibly our workplace. For those in spiritual leadership (no matter how small) we represent those we lead and love before God when we pray. Even a father or husband, or wife can have a leadership role in the family, a role which is of vital importance. Let us not forget that, and live accordingly.

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