May 27, 2014

High Priest Breastplate: Part 1

The breastplate and clothing of the High Priest (image from the Temple Institute)
The next portion of the High Priest clothing that I have completed is the breastplate. The Bible teaches that the breastplate was to be made of a similar fabric as the ephod, being made of purple, blue and red wool with white linen and gold threads (see Exodus 28:15). It is one of the few pieces of clothing that actually has a dimension, "Foursquare it shall be being doubled; a span shall be the length thereof, and a span shall be the breadth thereof" (Exodus 28:16). A span is about 9" long, so it was about 9" square doubled over (so actually 9" x 18" folded in half to make 9" x 9"). The folded portion created a pocket where the urim and thummim could be stored (more pictures to follow).

Looming the breastplate fabric
The end of the fabric just before I cut it off the loom
Closeup of the fabric showing the purple, red, blue, white and gold thread
The 9" x 18" piece of fabric before finishing and tying off the ends
The breastplate fabric folded in half with the un-set 12 stones
The Bible teaches that the breastplate was to be attached by two chains (at the top) which were hooked to two straps that ran down the back, and two blue ties, which were tied to the ephod. The chains were to be of  "wreathen work" or braided, and attached to golden rings (see Exodus 28:22-25).

Gold chains of "wreathen work" or braided
The bottom of the breastplate was attached by tieing the blue straps to the ephod. This was so that the breastplate would not swing up or out while the high priest was working. This blue strap was to be the same color as the blue strap of the crown. (See Exodus 28:26-29).

The blue strap on the bottom of the breastplate