The Breast Plate of Aaron
The Brother of Moses
In Exodus 28:15-21, the breastplate of Aaron is described in great detail. In the Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible, a different gemstone is listed for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. They are, in the 1st row, carnelian, chrysolite, and emerald; in the 2nd row, turquoise, sapphire, and amethyst; in the 3rd row, jacinth, agate, and crystal; in the 4th row, beryl, lapis lazuli, and jasper. I figure that chrysolite is chrysoberyl, the crystal is clear quartz, and the beryl is probably aquamarine. These gems were familiar to people in this region at that time. In the King James Version, however, different gems are listed. Any thoughts on what these stones might be?
“And Aaron shall bear the names of the Children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the Holy Place.” — EXODUS xxviii.12,29.
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