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THE BREASTPLATE AND EPHOD OF THE HIGH PRIEST

From: UCJ
Date: 6/19/02
Time: 8:16:57 PM
Remote Name: 66.38.184.29

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THE BREASTPLATE AND EPHOD OF THE HIGH PRIEST

AN IMPORTANT PART OF WORSHIP IN THE TEMPLE

The following text is a copy from the temple mount faithful

http//www.templemountfaithful.org/Newsletters/2001/5761-9.htm

After much research, the twelve types of stones in the breastplate have been found, each of which has special characteristics. In Exodus 28, G-d commanded Aaron to make the ephod and breastplate for the garments of the high priest and his descendants. G-d gave all the details connected to these two important items and named the twelve stones. This allowed our generation — the generation of the redemption of Israel — to find the stones. Each of the stones carried the name of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. The high priest wore the breastplate on the ephod. When the people of Israel enquired of G-d concerning an important issue, the high priest asked G-d the question. G-d answered through the twelve stones. For example, when they wanted to know whether they should go out to war, the high priest asked G-d and G-d answered through the breastplate in this way - the relevant letters of the name of the tribe shone and together they formed G-d's answer. It was in this special way that G-d spoke to Israel. The sages also found spiritual values and practical influences of the stones of the breastplate besides their holy task. Rabbi Bechai’ei said that each of the stones attracted heavenly strength and in the Midrash in Bereshit Raba 14 it is written that each of the stones receives strength from heaven. The Kabbala tells us that the twelve stones matched the attributes of the tribes. According to researchers the twelve stones also have healing values. The stone of Reuven, the Odem (ruby), is good for pregnant women, strengthens the heart and calms the mood; Shimon, the Piteda (topaz), cleanses the blood and teaches the benefit of the doubt; Levi, the Bareket (beryl), increases wisdom and aids learning; Judah, the Nofech (turquoise), calms the mood and removes worry; Isachar, the Sapir (sapphire), strengthens the eyes and brings peace; Zebulun, Yahalom (diamond), brings longevity, and helps in earning a livelihood; Dan, Leshem (jacinth), strengthens a weak heart, brings joy and success to the wearer; Naftali, Shvo (agate), brings peace and happiness and repels the “evil eye”; Gad, Ahlama (jasper), gives strength and removes worry and fear; Asher, Tarshish (emerald), increases wisdom, gives courage and the wearer finds favour in the eyes of fellow men, and it brings success in business; Joseph, Shoham (onyx), is a remedy for restoring memory and improving sight, enables the wearer to speak wisely; Benjamin, Yashfe (jade), prevents haemorrhaging, improves sight and aids in childbirth. As we see, the breastplate and the ephod had an important part in the Temple and in the life of the people of Israel. We hope that in the near future the reconstructed breastplate and ephod will be completed for the high priest for worship in the Third Temple. Other important projects include two silver trumpets and the solid gold seven-branched menorah. ............................

FIRST TEMPLE PERIOD ARCHEOLOGICAL DISCOVERIES SOUTH OF THE TEMPLE MOUNT

The following text is a copy from the temple mount faithful

http//www.templemountfaithful.org/Newsletters/2001/5761-10.htm

The archaeological diggings in the area south of the Temple Mount after the 1967 Six Day War have revealed exciting remains of the Kingdom of Israel from the time of King David. King David bought the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite on Mt. Moriah (II Samuel 2421-25). According to the Word of G-d, King David dedicated the holy hill and Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel. Through these two events, David showed complete obedience to G-d and laid the foundation for an eternal connection between the hill of the Temple and Jerusalem. David's son, King Solomon, built the Temple on Mt. Moriah. On the southern slope of Mt. Moriah he built his palace and the public administrative buildings, between the Temple Mount and the city of David. The area of the palace and public buildings was called the Ophel. The first Scriptural mention of the Ophel occurs during the reign of Jotham in the second half of the eighth century BCE (II Chronicles 273). Construction in this area by later generations, especially by King Herod, erased or damaged remains from the First Temple period. Despite this, very important remains have been discovered from this period. One exciting discovery was the “Water Gate” which is mentioned by Nehemiah, “And the temple servants living in Ophel, repaired to the place opposite the Water Gate towards the east, and the projecting tower” (Nehemiah 326). The gate discovered was typical of the period and was made up of three parts - the tower, the internal and the external gatehouse. Archaeologists calculated the date of construction as being during the tenth century BCE and that these were part of the walls of Jerusalem built by King Solomon. Forty jars used for storage and for drawing water from the cisterns were also discovered. The Water Gate had two major functions. Firstly, it was used as an entrance for those who came up from the City of David, the Kidron and the Gihon Spring. Secondly, it was used as the gate to the palace and the upper house of the king. Also discovered was the great projecting tower, “After them the Tekoites repaired another section, opposite the great projecting tower, as far as the wall of Ophel” (Nehemiah 327). Built of large hewn stones, the tower was added to the tower of the Water Gate, perhaps by King Uzziah. Other discoveries from the First Temple period include: the Royal Building, the western wall of the Ophel close to the Temple Mount; and ancient water cisterns which had been dug into the rocks. The late Prof. Benjamin Mazar decided that these cisterns were used as a burial place in the First Temple period when this hill was outside the city. Later, in the eighth century BCE when this western hill was included in the City of David, the burial place was moved. There is still a question regarding the existence of a burial place in this site because one of the cisterns had the place for a memorial stone and looked like a tomb. In one of the cisterns many clay utensils from the eighth century BCE were found. This suggests that the cistern may have been used as a geniza for holy utensils which had been used in the Temple and had been broken or were no longer usable. Because of their holiness they were buried in this place. It was very interesting to discover that two of the cisterns were later used in the Second Temple period as a mikveh for the pilgrims who came to the Temple. When the archaeologists found the mikveh and discovered that close by there was the cistern which had been used as a tomb they stopped digging and left the rest of the site untouched. A mikveh, which is used as a place of purification, cannot be close to an unclean place such as a tomb. In any case, if a burial place actually existed on this hill in the First Temple period, during the Second Temple period it was no longer used for this purpose. Its existence had been completely forgotten. Discoveries such as these offer proof that the G-d of Israel has again remade the connection between our forefathers and modern Israel.

Ends

Last changed: April 06, 2006