The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Exodus
Chapter 28
And now, that I may have priests to serve me among the sons of Israel, summon thy brother Aaron, with his sons, Nadab, Abiu, Eleazar and Ithamar, to thy presence.
Thou shalt have sacred vestments made for thy brother Aaron, to his honour and adornment,
bidding all those cunning workmen, whose art is the gift of my spirit, so clothe him as to set him apart for my service.
And these are the vestments they shall make; a burse, a mantle, a tunic, a pleated robe, a mitre, and a girdle. Such sacred vestments must be made for thy brother Aaron and his sons, before they can minister as my priests.

The workmen must provide themselves with gold, with threads of blue and purple and scarlet twice-dyed, and with linen thread.
Of gold, of blue and purple and scarlet twice-dyed, and of twisted linen thread, the mantle is to be made, all embroidered work.
At the top, on either side, it shall have the two shoulder-pieces joined together so as to make one garment.
The whole of its embroidered texture shall be of gold, blue, purple, scarlet twice-dyed, and twisted linen thread.
Then thou shalt take two onyx-stones, and inscribe them with the names of Israel’s twelve sons,
six on one stone and six on the other, in the order of their birth;
and these stones, graven with all the skill of the gem-carver, and set in clasps of gold,
thou shalt let into the mantle, one on either side, to perpetuate the memory of Israel’s sons. Aaron shall carry those names on his two shoulders, when he goes into the Lord’s presence, and so remind him of them.

Then make two golden hooks,
and two chains of pure gold, with closely fitted links, which thou wilt fasten to the hooks.
And make a burse, from which thou wilt take counsel; it is to be of the same texture as the mantle itself, embroidered work of gold, and threads of blue and purple and scarlet twice-dyed, and twisted linen threads.
It is to be made double, and either part of it square, a palm’s length by a palm’s breadth.
And thou shalt set in it four rows of stones; in the first row will be a sardius, a topaz, and an emerald;
in the second, a carbuncle, a sapphire, and a jasper-stone;
in the third, a jacynth, an agate, and an amethyst;
in the fourth, a chrysolite, an onyx-stone, and a beryl; each row is to be set in gold.
And they will contain the names of the sons of Israel, each stone being engraved with the name of one of the twelve tribes, in their order.

The burse, then, must have two chains of pure gold, their links closely fitted,
and two rings of gold, attached to its two edges;
with these two rings at the edges thou wilt couple the two chains,
making fast the other ends of the chains to the two hooks, which will be fixed on either side of the mantle, where it faces towards the burse.
Then make two gold rings, which must be attached to the edges of the burse, to that part of its lining which looks towards the mantle, that is, inwards;
and two other gold rings, which must be attached to either side of the mantle underneath, facing the lower point where burse meets mantle, so that the two can be tied together.
Thou shalt use blue cords to make the rings of the burse fast to the rings of the mantle; thus the two will be joined in a workmanlike fashion, and will never come apart.
And whenever Aaron goes into the sanctuary, he will carry on his breast, on the burse that gives counsel, the names of Israel’s sons, putting the Lord in mind of them eternally.

And within the burse that gives counsel thou wilt put the touchstones of wisdom and of truth. These shall be on Aaron’s breast, when he enters the Lord’s presence; as long as he is there, he will be carrying on his breast the arbitrament of the sons of Israel.

The tunic that goes with the mantle is to be made all of blue,
and in the middle of it there is to be an opening for the head, with a woven border round it, such as is commonly put round the edges of garments, to prevent tearing.
Underneath, round the skirt of this tunic, thou shalt hang ornaments of blue thread and purple, and of scarlet twice-dyed, pomegranate-shaped, with bells between them;
a golden bell, then a pomegranate, then another golden bell, then another pomegranate.
In this Aaron shall ever be clothed when he performs his priestly office; with the ringing of bells he must announce his comings and goings in the sanctuary, there in the Lord’s presence, on pain of death.

And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, inscribed with all the engraver’s skill, with the words, Set apart for the Lord.
This is to be bound with a blue cord on to the mitre,
and will hang over the priest’s forehead. Whatever fault is found in offering and gift, by Israel’s sons dedicated and hallowed, Aaron must charge himself with it; and the Lord will overlook it, so long as the plate hangs ever on Aaron’s forehead.

The robe must be of pleated linen, the mitre also of linen, and the girdle of embroidered work.
For Aaron’s sons, too, thou shalt make linen robes and girdles and mitres; to their honour and adornment;
in all these vestments Aaron thy brother shall be clad, and his sons with him. And thou shalt consecrate their hands, and set them apart to serve me in the priestly office.
Breeches of linen, too, shall be made for them, to cover all that must not be seen naked, from loin to thigh;
these Aaron and his sons shall wear whenever they enter the tabernacle that bears record of me, or draw near the altar to do me service in the sanctuary, on pain of death. Such observance Aaron, and his sons after him, shall maintain perpetually.