Ephod (2)


(אֵפוֹד [rarely אֵפֹד], ephod', twice [Ex 28:8; Ex 39:5] in the fem. אֲפֻדָּה, aphuddah', something girt; ἐπωμίς, Ecclus. 45:8), a sacred vestmerit originally appropriate to the high-priest (Ex 28:4), but afterwards worn by ordinary priests (1Sa 22:18), and deemed characteristic of the office (1Sa 2:28; 1Sa 14:3; Ho 3:4). A kind of ephod was worn by Samuel (1Sa 2:18), and by David when he brought the ark to Jerusalem (2Sa 6:14; 1Ch 15:27); it differed from the priestly ephod in material, being made of ordinary linen (בִּד), whereas the other was of fine linen (שֵׁשׁ); it is noticeable that the Sept. does not give ἐπωμίς or Ε᾿φούς in the passages last quoted, but terms of more general import, στολὴ ἔξαλλος, στολὴ βυσσίνη. Attached to the ephod of the high-priest was the breast-plate with the Urim and Thummim; this was the ephod by eminence, which Abiathar carried off (1Sa 23:6) from the tabernacle at Nob (1Sa 21:9), and which David consulted (1Sa 23:9; 1Sa 30:7). The importance of the ephod as the receptacle of the breast-plate led to its adoption in the idolatrous forms of worship instituted in the time of the judges (Jg 8:27; Jg 17:5; Jg 18:14 sq.). The amount of gold used by Gideon in making his ephod (Jg 8:26) has led Gesenius (Thesaur. page 135), after Vatke (Bibl. Theol. 1:267), following the Peshito version, to give the word the meaning of an idol-image, as though that, and not the priest, was clothed with the ephod: but there is no evidence that the idol was so invested, nor does such an idea harmonize with the general use of the ephod. Idols of wood were often thus overlaid with plates of gold or silver, and are probably alluded to in Jg 17:5; Jg 18:17-20; Ho 3:4; Isa 30:22. The ephod itself, however, would require a considerable amount of gold (Ex 28:6 sq.; 39:2 sq.), but certainly not so large a sum as is stated to have been used by Gideon; may we not therefore assume that to make an ephod implied the introduction of a new system of worship with its various accessories, such as the graven image, which seems, from the prominence assigned to it in Jg 18:31, to represent the Urim and Thummim, the molten image, and the Teraphim (17:4, 5), and would require a large consumption of metal? The ephod was worn over the tunic and outer garment or pallium (Ex 28:31; Ex 29:5), without sleeves, and divided below the armpits into two parts or halves, of which one was in front, covering the breast and belly, and the other behind, covering the back. These were joined above on the shoulders by clasps or buckles of gold and precious stones, and reached down to the middle of the thighs; they were also made fast by a belt around the body (Ex 18:6-12). The ancient Egyptian priests appear to have been arrayed in white garments of the same materials. The hierogramnat, or sacred scribe, especially wore, over the kelt or apron (corresponding to the Jewish sacerdotal "6 breeches" or drawers) which constituted the universal nether undergarment, a loose upper robe with full sleeves, which in all cases was of the finest linen, and was secured by a girdle round the loins. Sometimes a priest who offered incense was clad in like manner. At other times the priests wore, in addition to the apron, a shirt with short tight sleeves, over which was thrown a loose robe, leaving the right arm exposed (Wilkinson, Ancient Egypt. 1:334). SEE HIGH-PRIEST.

Bible concordance for EPHOD.

Definition of ephod

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