The Jewish High Priest had specific robes and vestments. God was very specific in how the priestly vestments were to be made. There are still some interpretation room so the drawings I found online will show some variations. I want to focus mostly on the breastplate. First you should read the scriptures that pertain to the High Priest vestments.
Exodus 28 (Modern King James Version - MKJV)
(Exo 28:1) And you shall take to yourself Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the sons of Israel, so that he may minister to Me in the priest's office: Aaron and Aaron's sons, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.
(Exo 28:2) And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty.
(Exo 28:3) And you shall speak to all the wise-hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they make Aaron's garments to consecrate him, so that he may minister to Me in the priest's office.
(Exo 28:4) And these are the garments which they shall make: a breast-pocket, and an ephod, and a robe, and an embroidered coat, a miter, and a girdle. And they shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, and his sons, so that he may minister to Me in the priest's office.
(Exo 28:5) And they shall take gold, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and bleached linen.
(Exo 28:6) And they shall make the ephod of gold, blue, and purple, scarlet, and fine twined bleached linen, skilled work.
(Exo 28:7) It shall have the two shoulder-pieces of it joined at the two edges of it. And so it shall be joined together.
(Exo 28:8) And the embroidered girdle of the ephod, which is upon it, shall be of the same, according to the work of it: of gold, blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined bleached linen.
(Exo 28:9) And you shall take two onyx stones, and you shall engrave on them the names of the sons of Israel.
(Exo 28:10) Six of their names shall be on one stone, and six of the remaining names on the other stone, according to their birth.
(Exo 28:11) With the work of an engraver in stone, like the engravings of a signet, you shall engrave the two stones with the names of the sons of Israel. You shall make them to be set in settings of gold.
(Exo 28:12) And you shall put the two stones upon the shoulders of the ephod for stones of memorial to the sons of Israel. And Aaron shall bear their names before Jehovah upon his two shoulders for a memorial.
(Exo 28:13) And you shall make plaited work of gold,
(Exo 28:14) and two chains of pure gold at the ends. You shall make them of woven work, a work of cord, and fasten the woven chains to the plaited work.
(Exo 28:15) And you shall make the breast-pocket (breastplate) of judgment with embroidered work. After the work of the ephod you shall make it; of gold, blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined bleached linen, you shall make it.
(Exo 28:16) It shall be square, doubled; a span the length of it, and a span the breadth of it.
(Exo 28:17) And you shall set in it settings of stones, four rows of stones. The first row shall be a ruby, topaz, and carbuncle in the row.
(Exo 28:18) And the second row: an emerald, a sapphire. and a diamond.
(Exo 28:19) And the third row: an jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst.
(Exo 28:20) And the fourth row: a chrysolite, and an onyx, and a jasper. They shall be set in gold in their fillings.
(Exo 28:21) And the stones shall be with the names of the sons of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet. They shall be each one with his name according to the twelve tribes.
(Exo 28:22) And you shall make chains upon the breast-pocket, work of cords, in pure gold.
(Exo 28:23) And you shall make upon the breast-pocket two rings of gold, and shall put the two rings on the two ends of the breast-pocket.
(Exo 28:24) And you shall put the two woven chains of gold in the two rings on the ends of the breast-pocket.
(Exo 28:25) And the two ends of the two cords you shall fasten on the two plaitings, and put them on the shoulder-pieces of the ephod before it.
(Exo 28:26) And you shall make two rings of gold, and you shall put them upon the two ends of the breast-pocket in the border of it, which is in the side of the ephod inward.
(Exo 28:27) And you shall make two rings of gold, and shall put them on the two sides of the ephod underneath, toward the front of it, near its joining, above the band of the ephod.
(Exo 28:28) And they shall bind the breast-pocket by its rings to the rings of the ephod with a lace of blue, that it may be above the band of the ephod, and so that the breast-pocket may not be loosed from the ephod.
(Exo 28:29) And Aaron shall bear the names of the sons of Israel in the breast-pocket of judgment upon his heart, when he goes in to the holy place, for a memorial before Jehovah continually.
(Exo 28:30) And you shall put in the breast-pocket of judgment the Urim and the Thummim. And they shall be upon Aaron's heart, when he goes in before Jehovah. And Aaron shall bear the judgment of the sons of Israel upon his heart before Jehovah continually. (Urim and Thummim*)
(Exo 28:31) And you shall make the robe of the ephod all of blue.
(Exo 28:32) And there shall be a hole in the top of it, in its middle; a binding shall be all around its mouth, of woven work. It shall be like the mouth of a corselet; it may not be torn.
(Exo 28:33) And on its hem you shall make pomegranates of blue, and purple, and scarlet, all around its hem. And bells of gold shall be amidst them all around.
(Exo 28:34) There shall be a golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, upon the hem of the robe all around.
(Exo 28:35) And it shall be on Aaron to serve. And his sound shall be heard when he goes in to the holy place before Jehovah, and when he comes out, so that he will not die.
(Exo 28:36) And you shall make a plate of pure gold, and carve on it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO JEHOVAH.
(Exo 28:37) And you shall put a ribbon on it, and it shall be on the miter; to the front of the miter it shall be.
(Exo 28:38) And it shall be on Aaron's forehead, so that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things which will sanctify the sons of Israel in all their holy gifts. And it shall always be on his forehead, so that they may be accepted before Jehovah.
(Exo 28:39) And you shall weave the tunic of bleached linen, and you shall make the miter of bleached linen, and you shall make the girdle of needlework.
(Exo 28:40) And you shall make tunics for Aaron's sons, and you shall make for them girdles, and turbans you shall make for them, for glory and for beauty.
(Exo 28:41) And you shall clothe Aaron your brother with them, and his sons with him. And you shall anoint them, and you shall consecrate them, and you shall sanctify them, so that they may minister to Me in the priest's office.
(Exo 28:42) And you shall make them linen breeches to cover the naked flesh; from the loins even to the thighs they shall reach.
(Exo 28:43) And they shall be upon Aaron, and upon his sons, when they come in to the tabernacle of the congregation, or when they come near the altar to minister in the holy place; so that they do not bear iniquity, and die. It shall be a statute forever to him and his seed after him.
Now let's look at the same scripture in a more modern translation.
Exodus 28 (Contemporary English Version - CEV)
(Exo 28:1) Send for your brother Aaron and his sons Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. They are the ones I have chosen from Israel to serve as my priests.
(Exo 28:2) Make Aaron some beautiful clothes that are worthy of a high priest.
(Exo 28:3) Aaron is to be dedicated as my high priest, and his clothes must be made only by persons who possess skills that I have given them.
(Exo 28:4) Here are the items that need to be made: a breastpiece, a priestly vest, a robe, an embroidered shirt, a turban, and a sash. These sacred clothes are to be made for your brother Aaron and his sons who will be my priests.
(Exo 28:5) Only gold and fine linen, woven with blue, purple, and red wool, are to be used for making these clothes.
(Exo 28:6) The entire priestly vest must be made of fine linen skillfully woven with blue, purple, and red wool, and decorated with gold. It is to have two shoulder straps to support it and a sash that fastens around the waist.
(Exo 28:7) (SEE 28:6)
(Exo 28:8) (SEE 28:6)
(Exo 28:9) Put two onyx stones in gold settings, then attach one to each of the shoulder straps. On one of these stones engrave the names of Israel's first six sons in the order of their birth. And do the same with his remaining six sons on the other stone. In this way Aaron will always carry the names of the tribes of Israel when he enters the holy place, and I will never forget my people.
(Exo 28:10) (SEE 28:9)
(Exo 28:11) (SEE 28:9)
(Exo 28:12) (SEE 28:9)
(Exo 28:13) Attach two gold settings to the shoulder straps and fasten them with two braided chains of pure gold.
(Exo 28:14) (SEE 28:13)
(Exo 28:15) From the same costly material make a breastpiece for the high priest to use in learning what I want my people to do.
(Exo 28:16) It is to be nine inches square and folded double
(Exo 28:17) with four rows of three precious stones: In the first row put a carnelian, a chrysolite, and an emerald;
(Exo 28:18) In the second row a turquoise, a sapphire, and a diamond;
(Exo 28:19) in the third row a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst;
(Exo 28:20) and in the fourth row a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper. Mount the stones in delicate gold settings
(Exo 28:21) and engrave on each of them the name of one of the twelve tribes of Israel.
(Exo 28:22) Attach two gold rings to the upper front corners of the breastpiece and fasten them with two braided gold chains to gold settings on the shoulder straps.
(Exo 28:23) (SEE 28:22)
(Exo 28:24) (SEE 28:22)
(Exo 28:25) (SEE 28:22)
(Exo 28:26) Attach two other gold rings to the lower inside corners next to the vest
(Exo 28:27) and two more near the bottom of the shoulder straps right above the sash.
(Exo 28:28) Then take a blue cord and tie the two lower rings on the breastpiece to those on the vest. This will keep the breastpiece in place.
(Exo 28:29) In this way Aaron will have the names of the twelve tribes of Israel written on his heart each time he enters the holy place, and I will never forget my people.
(Exo 28:30) He must also wear on his breastpiece the two small objects that he uses to receive answers from me. (Urim and Thummim*)
(Exo 28:31) Under his vest Aaron must wear a robe of blue wool
(Exo 28:32) with an opening in the center for his head. Be sure to bind the material around the collar to keep it from raveling.
(Exo 28:33) Along the hem of the robe weave pomegranates of blue, purple, and red wool with a gold bell between each of them.
(Exo 28:34) (SEE 28:33)
(Exo 28:35) If Aaron wears these clothes when he enters the holy place as my high priest, the sound of the bells will be heard, and his life will not be in danger.
(Exo 28:36) On a narrow strip of pure gold engrave the words: "Dedicated to the LORD."
(Exo 28:37) Fasten it to the front of Aaron's turban with a blue cord,
(Exo 28:38) so he can wear it on his forehead. This will show that he will take on himself the guilt for any sins the people of Israel commit in offering their gifts to me, and I will forgive them.
(Exo 28:39) Make Aaron's robe and turban of fine linen and decorate his sash with fancy needlework.
(Exo 28:40) Since Aaron's sons are priests, they should also look dignified. So make robes, sashes, and special caps for them.
(Exo 28:41) Then dress Aaron and his sons in these clothes, pour olive oil on their heads, and ordain them as my priests.
(Exo 28:42) Make linen shorts for them that reach from the waist down to the thigh, so they won't expose themselves.
(Exo 28:43) Whenever they enter the sacred tent or serve at the altar or enter the holy place, they must wear these shorts, or else they will be guilty and die. This same rule applies to any of their descendants who serve as priests.
*There is no description of the Urim and Thummim in the passage describing the high priest's vestments but since they were tucked into the breastplate, they must have been small and flat. There was a pouch or pocket for them in the breastplate. The Urim and Thummim were lost probably when Jerusalem was sacked by the Babylonians. They were used as a kind of divine oracle. The Urim and Thummim "were intended as a means of divine guidance for Israel. They involved gems or stones that were either attached to or carried inside the breastplate worn by the high priest when he consulted with God. In the days before much of the scriptures were written or collected, there was a need a way to discern divine guidance.
Isaiah 49:15-16 (KJV) Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. (16) Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.
Exodus 35:1-35 (Easy To Read Version - ERV)Moses gathered all the Israelites together and said to them, "I will tell you what the LORD has commanded you to do: (2) "There are six days for working, but the seventh day will be a very special day of rest for you. You will honor the LORD by resting on that special day. Anyone who works on the seventh day must be killed. (3) On the Sabbath you should not even light a fire in any of the places where you live." (4) Moses said to all the Israelites, "This is what the LORD commanded: (5) Gather special gifts for the LORD. Each of you should decide in your heart what you will give. And then you should bring that gift to the LORD. Bring gold, silver, and bronze; (6) blue, purple, and red yarn and fine linen; goat hair; (7) ram skins dyed red and fine leather; acacia wood; (8) oil for the lamps; spices for the anointing oil and spices for the sweet-smelling incense. (9) Also, bring onyx stones and other jewels to be put on the ephod and the judgment pouch. (breast piece or breastplate) (10) "All of you who are skilled workers should make all the things the LORD commanded: (11) ;the Holy Tent, its outer tent, and its covering; the hooks, boards, braces, posts, and bases; (12) the Holy Box, its poles, the mercy-cover, and the curtain that covers the area where the Box stays; (13) ;the table and its poles, all the things on the table, and the special bread on the table; (14) the lampstand that is used for light and the things used with the lampstand, the lamps, and oil for the light; (15) the altar for burning incense and its poles; the anointing oil and the sweet-smelling incense; the curtain that covers the door at the entrance to the Holy Tent; (16) the altar for burning offerings and its bronze grating, the poles, and all the things used at the altar; the bronze bowl and its base; (17) the curtains around the yard, their posts and bases, and the curtain that covers the entrance to the yard; (18) the pegs used to support the Tent and the wall of curtains around the courtyard, and the ropes that tie to the pegs; (19) and the special woven clothes for the priest to wear in the Holy Place. These are the special clothes for Aaron the priest and his sons to wear when they serve as priests." (20) Then all the Israelites went away from Moses. (21) All the people who wanted to give came and brought a gift to the LORD. These gifts were used for making the Meeting Tent, everything in the Tent, and the special clothes. (22) All the men and women who wanted to give brought gold jewelry of all kinds. They brought pins, earrings, rings, and other jewelry. They all gave their jewelry as a special offering to the LORD. (23) Everyone who had fine linen and blue, purple, and red yarn brought it to the Lord. Anyone who had goat hair or ram skins dyed red or fine leather brought it to the Lord. (24) Everyone who wanted to give silver or bronze brought that as a gift to the LORD. Everyone who had acacia wood came and gave it to the Lord. (25) Every skilled woman made fine linen and blue, purple, and red yarn. (26) And all the women who were skilled and wanted to help made cloth from the goat hair. (27) The leaders brought onyx stones and other jewels. These stones and jewels were put on the ephod and judgment pouch of the priest. (28) The people also brought spices and olive oil. These things were used for the sweet-smelling incense, the anointing oil, and the oil for the lamps. (29) All the Israelites who wanted to help brought gifts to the LORD. They gave these gifts freely, because they wanted to. These gifts were used to make everything the LORD had commanded Moses and the people to make. (30) Then Moses said to the Israelites, "Look, the LORD has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, from the tribe of Judah. (Uri was the son of Hur.) (31) And he has filled Bezalel with the Spirit of God--he gave Bezalel special skill and knowledge to do all kinds of things. (32) He can design and make things with gold, silver, and bronze. (33) He can cut and set stones and jewels. He can work with wood and make all kinds of things. (34) The Lord has given Bezalel and Oholiab special skills to teach other people. (Oholiab was the son of Ahisamach from the tribe of Dan.) (35) He has given both of these men special skills to do all kinds of work. They are able to do the work of carpenters and metalworkers. They can weave cloth with designs in it from blue, purple, and red yarn and fine linen. And they are able to weave things with wool.
Exodus 39:4-33 (ERV) They made the shoulder pieces for the ephod. They tied these shoulder pieces to the two corners of the ephod. (5) They wove the cloth belt and fastened it to the ephod. It was made the same way as the ephod--they used gold thread, fine linen, and blue, purple, and red yarn, just as the LORD commanded Moses. (6) The workers put the onyx stones for the ephod in gold settings. They wrote the names of the sons of Israel on these stones. (7) Then they put these jewels on the shoulder pieces of the ephod. These jewels were to help God to remember the Israelites. This was done as the LORD commanded Moses. (8) Then they made the judgment pouch. It was the work of a skilled person, just like the ephod. It was made from gold threads, fine linen, and blue, purple, and red yarn. (9) The judgment pouch was folded in half to make a square pocket. It was 1 span long and 1 span wide. (10) Then the workers put four rows of beautiful jewels on the judgment pouch. The first row had a ruby, a topaz, and a beryl. (11) The second row had a turquoise, a sapphire, and an emerald. (12) The third row had a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst. (13) The fourth row had a chrysolite, an onyx, and a jasper. All these jewels were set in gold.(14) There were twelve jewels on the judgment pouch--one jewel for each of the sons of Israel. Each stone had the name of one of the sons of Israel carved onto it, like a seal. (15) The workers made two chains from pure gold for the judgment pouch. The chains were braided like a rope. (16) he workers made two gold rings and fastened them to two corners of the judgment pouch. Then they made two gold settings for the shoulder pieces. (17) hey fastened the gold chains to the rings at the corners of the judgment pouch. (18) They fastened the other ends of the gold chains to the settings on the shoulder pieces. They fastened these to the front of the ephod. (19) Then they made two more gold rings and put them on the other two corners of the judgment pouch. This was on the inside edge of the judgment pouch next to the ephod. (20) They also put two gold rings on the bottom of the shoulder pieces on the front of the ephod. These rings were near the fastener, just above the cloth belt. (21) Then they used a blue ribbon and tied the rings of the judgment pouch to the rings of the ephod. In this way the judgment pouch would rest close to the cloth belt and would be held tight against the ephod. They did everything just as the LORD commanded. (22) Then they made the robe for the ephod from blue cloth. It was woven by a skilled worker. (23) They made a hole in the center of the robe and sewed a piece of cloth around the edge of this hole. This cloth kept the hole from tearing. (24) Then they used fine linen and blue, purple, and red yarn to make the cloth pomegranates. They hung these pomegranates around the bottom edge of the robe. (25) Then they made bells from pure gold. They hung these bells around the bottom edge of the robe between the pomegranates. (26) Around the bottom edge of the robe there were bells and pomegranates. There was a bell following each pomegranate. This robe was for the priest to wear when he served the Lord. It was made just as the LORD commanded Moses. (27) Skilled workers wove shirts for Aaron and his sons. These shirts were made from fine linen. (28) And the workers made a turban from fine linen. They also used fine linen to make cloth caps and underclothes. (29) Then they made the cloth belt from fine linen and blue, purple, and red yarn. Designs were sewn into the cloth. These things were made as the LORD had commanded Moses. (30) Then they made a strip of pure gold for the holy crown. They carved these words into the gold like the writing on a seal: HOLY TO THE LORD. (31) They fastened the gold strip to a blue ribbon. Then they tied the blue ribbon around the turban like the LORD had commanded Moses. (32) So all the work on the Holy Tent, that is, the Meeting Tent, was finished. The Israelites did everything just as the LORD had commanded Moses. (33) Then they showed the Holy Tent and everything in it to Moses. They showed him the rings, the frames, the braces, the posts, and the bases.
Exodus 28:15-20 (CEV) From the same costly material make a breastpiece for the high priest to use in learning what I want my people to do. It is to be nine inches square and folded double with four rows of three precious stones: In the first row put a carnelian, a chrysolite, and an emerald; In the second row a turquoise, a sapphire, and a diamond; in the third row a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; and in the fourth row a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper. Mount the stones in delicate gold settings.
Exodus 39: 10 (CEV) Then the workers put four rows of beautiful jewels on the judgment pouch. The first row had a ruby, a topaz, and a beryl. (11) The second row had a turquoise, a sapphire, and an emerald. (12) The third row had a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst. (13) The fourth row had a chrysolite, an onyx, and a jasper. All these jewels were set in gold.
Leviticus 8:4-9 (CEV) Moses obeyed the LORD, and when everyone had come together, (5) he said, "We are here to follow the LORD's instructions." (6) After Moses told Aaron and his sons to step forward, he had them wash themselves. (7) He put the priestly shirt and robe on Aaron and wrapped the sash around his waist. Then he put the sacred vest on Aaron and fastened it with the finely woven belt. (8) Next, he put on Aaron the sacred breastpiece that was used in learning what the LORD wanted his people to do. (9) He placed the turban on Aaron's head, and on the front of the turban was the narrow strip of thin gold as a sign of his dedication to the LORD.
The Hebrew words for the stones in the breastplate can be translated differently therefore there are some differences in interpretation. There also is no specific order to the names engraved on the stones. It could be in birth order or some other way. Perhaps by wife and then birth order.
|Birth Order||Tribe||Majority Stone||Stones (and according to different Bible translations)|
|1||Reuben||Red||Ruby (NASB95, NIV, NET), Carnelian (NRSV, TNK), Sardius (a red Jasper normally called Carnelian or Ruby)|
|2||Simeon||Green/Yellow||Chrysolite (NRSV, TNK), Peridot|
|3||Levi||Green||Emerald (DBY, NASB95, NKJV, NRSV, TNK), |
Beryl (NET, NIV)
|4||Judah||Color?||Turquoise (NASB95, NET, NKJV, NRSV, TNK), Carbuncle (DBY), Malachite|
|5||Dan||Blue||Sapphire, Lapis Lazuli|
|6||Naphtali||Pale gold?||Emerald (NET, NIV), Moonstone (NRSV), Amethyst (TNK), Diamond, Imperial Zircon, Citrene, Hessonite Garnet|
|7||Gad||Gold or black?||Opal (DBY, MKJV, YLT), Ligure (KJV), Jacinth, Amber, Onyx|
|9||Issachar||Purple||Crystal (TNK), Amethyst|
|10||Zebulun||Color?||Chrysolite (DBY, NET, NIV, MKJV), Lapis Lazuli, Topaz, Jasper, Serpentine, Flint, Jacinth|
|11||Joseph||Color?||Lapis Lazuli (TNK), Beryl, Onyx, Crystal, Heliodore, Malachite, Tiger Eye|
|12||Benjamin||Color?||Jasper, Ruby, Jacinth, Emerald, Beryl|
The biblical description states that the breastplate was to be made from embroidered linen just as the Ephod. It was to be a square, two layers thick, and with four rows of three engraved gems framed in gold with a pouch inside to contain the Urim and Thummim. It was about ten inches square. The term for the breastplate, hoshen, appears to be connected either to its function or to its appearance; some scholars think that it is probably derived from Hebrew hasuna, meaning "beautiful," while others think that it is more likely to derive from Hebrew sinus, meaning "a fold for containing something. The two upper corners were fastened to the ephod by blue ribbons. It was not to be “loosed from the ephod” (Exodus 28: 28). The lower corners were fastened to the girdle of the priest. As it reminded the priest of his representative character, it was called the memorial. It was also called the breastplate of judgment or decision. The breastplate of twelve stones includes all of God's people. The twelve names engraved upon the onyx stones were also engraved upon the stones of the breastplate. The onyx stones on the shoulders symbolize the priest who carries the spiritual burden on his shoulders. The stones on the breastplate are worn over the heart symbolizing God's love for humanity, they are His Heart! With Jesus, the Jews are no longer the only ones called "God's people". We, who believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior, Jewish or Gentile, can be saved and become God's people. We are His children and we are engraved upon the palms of His Hands. He will never forget us!
It is obvious that precious stones were important in the Bible. Therefore I have no problem studying the stones. As a Christian, I'm interested in why God chose the importance of semi precious and precious stones. I believe He had a reason for using gemstones. They are not only beautiful but there had to be a reason why He specified stones in some of the most important descriptions in the Bible. But I do warn you that we are NOT to use stones as amulets or in magical, mystical ways. There are many who want to use stones in occultic practices and this is strictly forbidden to Christians.
Deuteronomy 18:9-12 (KJV) When you come to the land which Jehovah your God gives you, you shall not learn to do according to the abominations of those nations. (10) There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, an observer of clouds, or a fortune-teller, or a witch, (11) or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or one who calls to the dead. (12) For all that do these things are an abomination to Jehovah. And because of these abominations Jehovah your God drives them out from before you.
The use of 'sacred stones' as magical amulets was common among pagan peoples. These magical charms were made in the form of small pendants attached to a necklace or bracelet. They were worn to protect a person from negative energies, evil and injury, and also to bring good luck.
Ezekiel 13:18-23 (CEV) Tell them they're doomed! They wear magic charms on their wrists and scarves on their heads, then trick others into believing they can predict the future. They won't get away with telling those lies. (19) They charge my people a few handfuls of barley and a couple pieces of bread, and then give messages that are insulting to me. They use lies to sentence the innocent to death and to help the guilty go free. And my people believe them! (20) I hate the magic charms they use to trick people into believing their lies. I will rip those charms from their wrists and set free the people they have trapped like birds. (21) I will tear the scarves from their heads and rescue my people from their power once and for all. Then they will know that I am the LORD God. (22) They do things I would never do. They lie to good people and encourage them to do wrong, and they convince the wicked to keep sinning and ruin their lives. (23) I will no longer let these women give false messages and use magic, and I will free my people from their control. Then they will know that I, the LORD, have done these things.
Galations 5:19-21 (Cev) People's desires make them give in to immoral ways, filthy thoughts, and shameful deeds. (20) They worship idols, practice witchcraft, hate others, and are hard to get along with. People become jealous, angry, and selfish. They not only argue and cause trouble, but they are (21) envious. They get drunk, carry on at wild parties, and do other evil things as well. I told you before, and I am telling you again: No one who does these things will share in the blessings of God's kingdom.
Acts 8:9-13 (CEV) For some time a man named Simon had lived in the city of Samaria and had amazed the people. He practiced witchcraft and claimed to be somebody great. (10) Everyone, rich and poor, crowded around him. They said, "This man is the power of God called 'The Great Power.' " (11) For a long time, Simon had used witchcraft to amaze the people, and they kept crowding around him. (12) But when they believed what Philip was saying about God's kingdom and about the name of Jesus Christ, they were all baptized. (13) Even Simon believed and was baptized. He stayed close to Philip, because he marveled at all the miracles and wonders.
Revelation 22:14-15 (Easy To Read Version - ERV) "Great blessings belong to those who have washed their robes. They will have the right to eat the food from the tree of life. They can go through the gates into the city. (15) Outside the city are all those who live like dogs--those who do evil magic, those who sin sexually, those who murder, those who worship idols, and those who love to lie and pretend to be good.
As you can see, the occult is forbidden and for good reason. So many people will believe a lump of rock can heal them instead of believing the God who lovingly created them can heal them. They begin to worship the creation rather than the Creator. I have no desire to get involved in anything other than studying God's creation and His reason for uses. Are there certain rocks or stones that had special meaning or uses or reasons for why He chose them? And can these stones be used in a beneficial way? Not in greed. I'm not seeking buried treasure. Greed is just as sinful and and dangerous as the occult. But did God create certain stones that can benefit us? For instance, God created the chicken and the egg. We know now that the egg is one of God's perfect foods. It has it's own packaging and is full of energy producing protein. God had a reason for creating the chicken and the egg and it's healthy for us. Same with many plants that God created. They have certain properties that can be used to make medicine, to give us nutrition, to keep us well. Is it possible that God created these stones with certain properties that could benefit us? I can't know without studying it a little more.
Let's look a little more deeply at the different stones:
Chalcedony - A microcrystalline type of quartz occurring in several different forms, including onyx, agate, and jasper.
Ruby - A precious stone consisting of corundum in color varieties varying from deep crimson or purple to pale rose.
Beryl - A transparent pale green, blue, or yellow mineral consisting of a silicate of beryllium and aluminum, sometimes used as a gemstone.
Emerald - A bright green precious stone consisting of a chromium-rich variety of beryl.
Citrene - a glassy greenish-yellow variety of quartz.
Carnelian - A semiprecious stone consisting of an orange or orange-red variety of chalcedony.
Jasper - An opaque reddish-brown variety of chalcedony.
Opal - A usually amorphous mineral that is a hydrated silica softer and less dense than quartz and typically with definite iridescent colors
Amethyst - A precious stone consisting of a violet or purple variety of quartz.
"Courtesy of The Arkenstone, www.iRocks.com, Joe Budd Photo
Onyx - Is a banded variety of chalcedony. The colors of its bands range from white to almost every color (save some shades, such as purple or blue). It is made of straight parallel bands of alternating colors. Especially used in cameos and intaglios
Jacinth - A reddish-orange gem variety of zircon, a red zircon. Also called Hyacinth. Ligure is a traditional precious stone that is probably the jacinth.
Tuquoise - A blue to blue-green mineral of aluminum and copper. A semiprecious stone, typically opaque and of a greenish-blue or sky-blue color, consisting of a hydrated hydroxyl phosphate of copper and aluminum
Chrysolite - A yellow-green olivine found in igneous and metamorphic rocks and used as a gemstone. An olivine - a mineral consisting of magnesium iron silicate; a source of magnesium.
Peridot - A pale green transparent variety of the olivine chrysolite, used as a gemstone.
Chrysoprase - An apple-green variety of chalcedony containing nickel, used as a gemstone.
Serpentine - A dark green mineral consisting of hydrated magnesium silicate, sometimes mottled or spotted like a snake's skin
Lapis Lazuli - Semiprecious stone valued for its deep-blue colour caused by the presence of the mineral lazurite, which is the source of the pigment ultramarine. Lapis lazuli is not a single mineral but an intergrowth lazurite with calcite, pyroxene, and commonly small grains of pyrite.
Exodus 24:9-10 (King James Version - KJV) Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: (10) And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.
Sapphire - The sapphire is one of the three gem-varieties of corundum, the other two being ruby – defined as corundum in a shade of red—and padparadscha—a pinkish orange variety. Although blue is their most well-known color, sapphires may also be colorless and they are found in many colors including shades of gray and black. Although the word is often translated as sapphire it may mean Lapis Lazuli. Blue is considered a holy color in Israel. It is a direct reminder of the throne of God and the Ten Commandments. Blue is the color that makes you think of Heaven.
Moonstone - A transparent or translucent feldspar of pearly or opaline luster used as a gem. Also called precious moonstone. a semitransparent or translucent, opalescent, pearly-blue variety of adularia, used as a gem.
Hessonite Garnet - An orange-brown variety of grossularite garnet. Also called Essonite or Cinnamon stone.
Imperial Zircon - A mineral occurring as prismatic crystals, typically brown but sometimes in translucent varieties of gem quality. It consists of zirconium silicate and is the chief ore of zirconium. A red/peach/orange to pastel pink/peach in color.
Malachite - A bright green mineral consisting of copper hydroxyl carbonate. It typically occurs in masses and fibrous aggregates with azurite and is capable of taking a high polish.
Carbuncle - A bright red gem, in particular a garnet cut en cabochon.
Tiger's Eye - Is a chatoyant gemstone that is usually a metamorphic rock that is a golden to red-brown color, with a silky luster. A member of the quartz group, it is a classic example of pseudomorphous replacement by silica of fibrous crocidolite.
Obsidian - Is a naturally occurring volcanic glass formed as an extrusive igneous rock.
Amber - Hard translucent fossilized resin produced by extinct coniferous trees.
Every gemstone would have to be soft enough to engrave by the usual engraving techniques known in ancient times; found in Egypt (because the Israelites would have brought them from Egypt, given to them by the Egyptians); and, large enough for engraving the tribe name.
Tyre, a rock, was an ancient Phoenician city. Sidon was the oldest Phoenician city but Tyre was well known. Tyrian merchants were the first who ventured to navigate the Mediterranean waters. Tyre consisted of two distinct parts, a rocky fortress on the mainland, called “Old Tyre,” and the city, built on a small, rocky island about 1/2 mile distant from the shore. It was a a great stronghold. The purple dye of Tyre was famous worldwide. Hiram, as friend of King David's, supplied David with timber and workmen for his palace (2 Samuel_5:11), and Solomon with cedars of Lebanon conveyed by floats to Joppa (1 Kings 5:6). The Tyrian skill in copper work appears in the lilies, palms, oxen, lions, and cherubim which they executed for Solomon. Both Tyre and Sidon “were crowded with glass-shops, dyeing and weaving establishments; and among their cunning workmen not the least important class were those who were celebrated for the engraving of precious stones.” (2 Chronicles 2:13-14 CEV "I am sending Huram Abi to you. He is very bright. His mother was from the Israelite tribe of Dan, and his father was from Tyre. Not only is Huram an expert at working with gold, silver, bronze, iron, stone, and wood, but he can also make colored cloth and fine linen. And he can carve anything if you give him a pattern to follow. He can help your workers and those hired by your father King David.") The wickedness and idolatry of this city was denounced by prophets in the Old Testament (Amos 1:9-10 CEV The LORD said: I will punish Phoenicia for countless crimes, and I won't change my mind. They broke their treaty and dragged off my people from town after town to sell them as slaves to the Edomites. (10) That's why I will send flames to burn down the city of Tyre along with its fortresses.) Tyre was a monarchy and was on friendly terms with Israel. But her idolatry, selfishness, greed, pride and ambition was her downfall. Over centuries of history, Tyre was on top but fell when God "cast her down". Tyre typifies satan and his fall. I have covered the fall of satan and 1/3 of the angels who followed him. I won't go over it again. But there is an association with satan and gemstones. Remember that the "King of Tyre" is an actual king but he also symbolized satan. Satan was an Angel of Light, a leader in worship before the Throne of God until the sin of pride made him desire to BE God. Here is a description of him and you will see that he was covered with precious stones:
Ezekiel 28:11-15 (MKJV) And the Word of Jehovah came to me, saying, (12) Son of man, lift up a lament over the king of Tyre, and say to him, So says the Lord Jehovah: You seal the measure, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. (13) You have been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, the ruby, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the turquoise, and the emerald, and gold. The workmanship of your tambourines and of your flutes was prepared in you in the day that you were created. (14) You were the anointed cherub that covers, and I had put you in the holy height of God where you were; you have walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. (15) You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created, until iniquity was found in you.
The gemstones listed in the priest's breastplate are similar to the 12 stones, in the Book of Revelation, integral to the New Jerusalem. The foundation of the New Jerusalem are precious stones with the names of the Twelve Apostles on them. The gates to the city are made of pearls and have the Twelve Tribes etched over the gate.
Revelation 21:1-27 (MKJV) And I saw a new heaven and a new earth. For the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. And the sea no longer is. (2) And I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of Heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her Husband. (3) And I heard a great voice out of Heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. (4) And God will wipe away all tears from their eyes. And there will be no more death, nor mourning, nor crying out, nor will there be any more pain; for the first things passed away. (5) And He sitting on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said to me, Write, for these words are true and faithful. (6) And He said to me, It is done. I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who thirsts I will give of the fountain of the Water of Life freely. (7) He who overcomes will inherit all things, and I will be his God, and he will be My son. (8) But the fearful, and the unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, will have their part in the Lake burning with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. (9) And one of the seven angels who had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, Come here, I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife. (10) And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of Heaven from God, (11) having the glory of God. And its light was like a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. (12) And it had a great and high wall, with twelve gates. And on the gates were twelve angels, and having names inscribed, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel: (13) From the east three gates, from the north three gates, from the south three gates, and from the west three gates. (14) And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. (15) And he who talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city and its gates and its wall. (16) And the city lies four-square, and the length is as large as the breadth (cube shaped). And he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand stadia. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. (17) And he measured its wall, a hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. (18) And the foundation of its wall was jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. (19) And the foundations of the wall of the city had been adorned with every precious stone. The first foundation, jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; (20) the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprasus; the eleventh, hyacinth; the twelfth, amethyst. (21) And the twelve gates were twelve pearls. Respectively, each one of the gates was one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, as transparent glass. (22) And I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty is its temple, even the Lamb. (23) And the city had no need of the sun, nor of the moon, that they might shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it, and its lamp is the Lamb. (24) And the nations of those who are saved will walk in the light of it; and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. (25) And its gates may not be shut at all by day, for there shall be no night there. (26) And they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it. (27) And there shall in no way enter into it anything that defiles, or any making an abomination or a lie; but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life.
Foundations and gates of pearl.
Or foundation columns.
John Pratt's Twelve Sons, Twelve Stones
Check out this blog post that further dwells on the gemstones in the breastplate.