Exodus 25:7
Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate.
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(7) Onyx stones.—The Hebrew shoham is rendered here by “sard” (LXX.), “sardonyx” (Vulg. And Josephus), and “beryl” (Rosenmüller and others). In Job 28:16, the same word is rendered by the LXX. “onyx.” There is thus considerable doubt what stone is meant. Only three such stones seem to have been required as offerings, one for the high priest’s breast-plate (Exodus 28:20), and two for the shoulder- pieces of the ephod (Exodus 28:9-12).

Stones to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate.—Heb., stones of insertion for the ephod and for the breast-plate. The stones of the ephod were two only, both probably either onyx or sardonyx; those of the breast-plate were twelve in number, all different (Exodus 28:17-20).

25:1-9 God chose the people of Israel to be a peculiar people to himself, above all people, and he himself would be their King. He ordered a royal palace to be set up among them for himself, called a sanctuary, or holy place, or habitation. There he showed his presence among them. And because in the wilderness they dwelt in tents, this royal palace was ordered to be a tabernacle, that it might move with them. The people were to furnish Moses with the materials, by their own free will. The best use we can make of our worldly wealth, is to honour God with it in works of piety and charity. We should ask, not only, What must we do? but, What may we do for God? Whatever they gave, they must give it cheerfully, not grudgingly, for God loves a cheerful giver, 2Co 9:7. What is laid out in the service of God, we must reckon well bestowed; and whatsoever is done in God's service, must be done by his direction.See the notes to Exodus 27; 28; 30,7. ephod—a square cloak, hanging down from the shoulders, and worn by priests. Onyx stones, or, sardonyx stones. Note, that the signification of the Hebrew names of the several stones are not agreed upon by the Jews at this day, and much more may we safely be ignorant of them, the religious use of them being now abolished.

Stones to be set in the ephod; stones of fulness, or filling, or perfecting stones; so called either because they did perfect and adorn the ephod, or because they filled up the ouches, or the hollow places, which were left vacant for this purpose. What the ephod and breastplate were, see Exo 28.

Onyx stones,.... So called from their likeness to the nail of a man's finger: the Targum of Onkelos calls them stones of beryl; and the Targum of Jonathan gems of beryl; and the Septuagint version, stones of sardius; and some take them to be the sardonyx stones, which have a likeness both to the onyx and to the sardius:

and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate; two onyx stones were set in the ephod, one of the garments of the high priest, and an onyx stone, with eleven other precious stones, were set in the breastplate of the high priest: these stones were doubtless among the jewels set in gold and silver the Israelites had of the Egyptians, and brought with them out of Egypt.

Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate.
7. Precious stones.

onyx] Heb. shôham, a precious stone highly valued in OT. times (cf. Genesis 2:12, Ezekiel 28:13, Job 28:16, 1 Chronicles 29:1). There is, how ever, some uncertainty what the shôham was, though it is generally supposed to be either the onyx (LXX. in Job; Vulg.) or (RVm.) the beryl (LXX. in Ex.; Targ., Pesh.): see further on Exodus 28:20. For the use made of these stones, see Exodus 28:17; Exodus 28:20.

stones to be set] Cf. 1 Chronicles 29:2; and see on Exodus 28:17; Exodus 28:20.

for the ephod, and for the pouch] Exodus 28:6 ff., Exodus 28:13 ff.

Verse 7. - Onyx stones. On the need of onyx stones, see Exodus 28:9, 20. Stones to be set in the ephod, etc. Rather, "stones for setting, for the ephod and for the breastplate." The only stones required for the ephod were two large onyx stones; for the breastplate twelve jewels were needed (ibid. 17-20), one of them being an onyx. It has been proposed to translate the Hebrew shoham by "beryl" instead of "onyx;" but onyx, which is more suitable for engraving, is probably right.

CHAPTER 25:8-9 Exodus 25:7Lastly, precious stones, שׁהם אבני probably beryls (see at Genesis 2:12), for the ephod (Exodus 28:9), and מלּאים אבני, lit., stones of filling, i.e., jewels that are set (see Exodus 28:16.). On ephod (אפד), see at Exodus 28:6; and on חשׁן, at Exodus 28:15. The precious stones were presented by the princes of the congregation (Exodus 35:27).
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