Gideon’s Last Battle
They were mounted in gold filigree settings. There were twelve stones, one for each of the names of the sons of Israel, each engraved like a seal with the name of one of the 12 tribes. The 12 stones symbolize God's family and His leadership as a loving father, writes Steven Fuson in his book Temple Treasures: Explore the Tabernacle of Moses in the Light of the Son: "The number twelve often indicates governmental perfection or complete divine governance. We can conclude that the breastplate of twelve stones symbolizes the complete family of God -- a spiritual Israel of all who has been born from above.
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The twelve names engraved upon the onyx stones were also engraved upon the stones of the breastplate. Surely this portrays a spiritual burden upon both the shoulders and the heart -- a sincere care and love for humanity. Consider that the number twelve points to the ultimate good news destined for all nations of mankind.
God gave the gemstone breastplate to the high priest, Aaron, to help him spiritually discern answers to the people's questions that he asked God while praying in the tabernacle. Thus Aaron will always bear the means of making decisions for the Israelites over his heart before the Lord. 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.
For this reason, the breastplate is often called the breastplate of judgment or decision. However, while we know that this decision-making system existed, no one knows for sure how it worked. Thus, there is a great deal of speculation about the how the Urim and Thummim delivered a verdict [including making various stones light up to represent answers to prayer].
However, it is easy to see that in the days before much of the scriptures were written or collected, there was a need for some kind of divine guidance.
Interestingly, the gemstones listed as part of the priest's breastplate are similar to the 12 stones that the Bible describes in the Book of Revelation as comprising the 12 gates to the wall of the holy city that God will create at the end of the world, when God makes a "new heaven" and a "new earth. Just like each stone in the breastplate is inscribed with the names of ancient Israel's 12 tribes, the gates of the city walls are inscribed with those same names of Israel's 12 tribes.
Revelation chapter 21 describes an angel giving a tour of the city, and verse 12 says: "It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. The city wall's 12 foundations "were decorated with every kind of precious stone," verse 19 says, and those foundations were also inscribed with 12 names: the names of Jesus Christ's 12 apostles. Verse 14 says, "The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. Before the battle began, the Philistine commanders rejected David and his men.
They explained to Achish that David might turn against them and fight for Israel instead. Upon that advice, David was asked to return to Ziklag. They arrived at Ziklag two days later.
To their horror, they found out that the Amalekites had attacked and burnt down their town. All their women and children were taken into captivity. The men began to weep bitterly. And they turned their anger against David and contemplated to stone him. But David encouraged himself in the Lord.
It was there and then that he requested the priest to bring him the ephod 1 Samuel 29 - Bringing the ephod is putting on the garment of praise to worship God. It is time to seek God again, face to face. Looking up, and not anywhere else! Through this move of David, everyone and everything lost were recovered and restored.
On the top of these, David was made the king of Judah upon the death of King Saul. Seven and a half years later, he became the king in Jerusalem over all Israel and Judah. The ephod is a vest worn by the high priest, reaching to the thighs, when he ministered at the altar Exodus ; Worn over a blue robe Exodus , the ephod was made of fine linen interwoven with pure gold, blue, purple and scarlet threads.
The ephod was fastened with a beautifully woven girdle Exodus , and had shoulder straps set in two onyx stones, on which were engraved the names of the twelve tribes. Over the chest of the high priest was the breastplate, containing twelve stones engraved with the tribal names of Israel. Rings was used to attach the breastplate to the ephod.
The Urim and Thummin were also joined to the breastplate.
1 Samuel 14 ERV - Jonathan Attacks the Philistines - That - Bible Gateway
In the later years of the Levitical priesthood, ephods were worn by associate priests as well as the high priest 1 Sam. But their ephods were less elaborate, made of linen. Even the boy Samuel, dedicated to serve in the Shiloh temple, wore a linen ephod 1 Sam.