Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The ephod (pronounced either \ē´fod\ or \ef´od\) was one of eight ritual garments worn by the Israelite and later the Jewish High Priest while serving in the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. Though it is sometimes translated as "apron", the ephod was most likely a "skirt" with two shoulder straps, to which the golden breastplate was attached, and a belt to tie it in front. The high priest wore an azure robe, a tunic, and trousers beneath the ephod, and it is presumed that the garment was split in the front to enable him to move about freely.
A description of the ephod appears in Exodus [28: 6-14], which states that it was to be embroidered out of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet threads and of fine linen. On Yom Kippur, the one day that the High Priest was permitted to enter the Holy of Holies, he would don a pure white ephod, presumably made entirely of linen. Onyx stones, set in gold, were attached to the shoulder straps and worn as epaulettes: each stone was engraved with the names of six of the Tribes of Israel. The breastplate would then hang from these shoulderpieces by means of golden chains.
Though we can only conjecture the precise design of the ephod, it is assumed that the embroidery work depicted cherubs, much like the curtain in the Temple that separated the Holy of Holies from the Sanctuary.
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