Garments of the Priests
28 “Now bring your brother Aaron near, and his sons with him from among the sons of Israel, so that he may serve as priest to Me—Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons. 2 You are to make sacred garments [official clothing reserved for holy services] for Aaron your brother, for honor and for beauty (ornamentation). 3 Tell all the skilled and talented people whom I have endowed with a spirit of wisdom, that they are to make Aaron’s garments to sanctify him and set him apart to serve as a priest for Me. 4 These are the garments which they shall make: a breastpiece and an ephod [for the breastpiece] and a robe and a tunic of checkered work, a turban, and a sash. They shall make sacred garments for Aaron your brother and his sons, so that he may serve as a priest to Me. 5 They are to use the gold and the blue and the purple and the scarlet fabric and fine twisted linen [from the people],
6 and they shall make the ephod of gold and blue, purple, and scarlet fabric and fine twisted linen, skillfully woven and [beautifully] worked. 7 It is to have two shoulder pieces joined to its two [back and front] ends, so that it may be joined together. 8 And the skillfully woven sash, which is on the ephod shall be made of the same material: of gold, of blue, purple, and scarlet fabric and fine twisted linen. 9 You shall take two onyx stones and engrave on them the names of the [twelve] sons of Israel, 10 six of their names on one stone and the remaining six names on the other stone, arranged in the order of their births. 11 With the work of a jeweler, like the engravings of a signet, you shall engrave the two stones according to the names of the sons of Israel. You shall have them set in [a]filigree [settings] of gold. 12 You shall put the two stones on the [two] shoulder pieces of the ephod [of the high priest], as memorial stones for Israel; and Aaron shall bear their names on his two shoulders as a memorial before the Lord. 13 You shall make filigree [settings] of gold, 14 and you are to make two chains of pure gold like twisted cords, and fasten the corded chains to the settings.
15 “You are to make a breastpiece of judgment, the work of a skilled and talented craftsman; like the work of the ephod you shall make it: of gold, of blue, purple, and scarlet fabric and of fine twisted linen. 16 The breastpiece shall be square and folded double; a span [about nine inches] in length and a span in width. 17 You shall mount on it four rows of stones: the first row shall be a row of ruby, topaz, and emerald; 18 the second row a turquoise, a sapphire, and a diamond; 19 the third row a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; 20 and the fourth row a beryl and an onyx and a jasper; they shall be set in gold filigree. 21 The [engraved] stones shall be twelve, according to the names of [the twelve tribes of] the sons of Israel; they shall be like the engravings of a signet, each with its name for the twelve tribes. 22 You shall make for the breastpiece chains of pure gold twisted like cords. 23 You shall make on the breastpiece two rings of gold, and shall put the two rings on the two ends of the breastpiece. 24 You shall put the two twisted cords of gold in the two rings which are on the ends of the breastpiece. 25 The other two ends of the two cords you shall fasten in the two filigree settings in front, putting them on the shoulder pieces of the ephod. 26 You shall make two gold rings and put them at the two ends of the breastpiece, on its inside edge next to the ephod. 27 You are to make two gold rings and attach them to the lower part of the two shoulder pieces of the ephod in front, close to the place where it is joined, above the skillfully woven sash of the ephod. 28 They shall bind the breastpiece by its rings to the rings of the ephod with a blue cord, so that it will be above the skillfully woven sash of the ephod, so that the breastpiece will not come loose from the ephod. 29 So Aaron shall carry the names of the sons of Israel (Jacob) in the breastpiece of judgment over his heart when he enters the Holy Place, to bring them in continual remembrance before the Lord. 30 In the breastpiece of judgment you shall put the [b]Urim (Lights) and the Thummim (Perfections) [to be used for determining God’s will in a matter]. They shall be over Aaron’s heart whenever he goes before the Lord, and Aaron shall always carry the judgment (verdict, judicial decisions) of the sons of Israel over his heart before the Lord.
31 “And you shall make the [c]robe of the ephod all of blue. 32 There shall be an opening at its top in the center [for the head], with a binding of woven work around the opening, like the opening in a coat of armor, so that it will not tear or fray. 33 You shall make pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet fabric all around its hem, with gold bells between them; 34 a golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, all around the [bottom] hem of the robe. 35 Aaron shall wear the robe when he ministers, and its sound shall be heard when he goes [alone] into the Holy Place before the Lord, and when he comes out, so that he will not die there.
36 “You shall also make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it, like the engravings of a signet, ‘Holy to the Lord.’(A) 37 You shall fasten it on the front of the turban with a blue cord. 38 It shall be on Aaron’s forehead, and Aaron shall take away the guilt from the holy things which the sons of Israel dedicate, with regard to all their holy gifts. It shall always be on his forehead, so that they may be accepted before the Lord.(B)
39 “You shall weave the tunic of checkered work of fine linen, and make a turban of fine linen. You shall make a sash, the work of an embroiderer.
40 “For Aaron’s sons you shall make tunics and sashes and [ornamental] caps, for glory and honor and beauty. 41 You shall put the various articles of clothing on Aaron your brother and on his sons with him, and shall anoint them and ordain and sanctify them, so that they may serve Me as priests. 42 You shall make for them [white] linen undergarments to cover their bare flesh, reaching from the waist to the thighs. 43 The various articles of clothing shall be on Aaron and on his sons when they enter the Tent of Meeting, or when they approach the altar [of incense] to minister in the Holy Place, so that they do not incur guilt and die. It shall be a statute forever to Aaron and to his descendants after him.
31 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory and majesty and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.(A) 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him [for judgment]; and He will separate them from one another, as a shepherd separates his sheep from the goats;(B) 33 and He will put the sheep on His right [the place of honor], and the goats on His left [the place of rejection].
34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father [you favored of God, appointed to eternal salvation], inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 I was naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me [with help and ministering care]; I was in prison, and you came to Me [ignoring personal danger].’(C) 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You as a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘I assure you and most solemnly say to you, to the extent that you did it for one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it for Me.’(D)
41 “Then He will say to those on His left, ‘Leave Me, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels (demons); 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me [with help and ministering care].’ 44 Then they also [in their turn] will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or as a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will reply to them, ‘I assure you and most solemnly say to you, to the extent that you did not do it for one of the least of these [my followers], you did not do it for Me.’(E) 46 Then these [unbelieving people] will go away into eternal (unending) punishment, but those who are righteous and in right standing with God [will go, by His remarkable grace] into eternal (unending) life.”(F)
The Plot to Kill Jesus
3 Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the courtyard of the [elegant home of the Jewish] high priest, whose name was [b]Caiaphas, 4 and plotted together to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill Him. 5 But they said, “It must not be during the festival (Passover), otherwise there might be a riot among the people.”
The Anointing in Bethany
6 Now when Jesus was [back] in Bethany, at the home of [c]Simon the leper,(H) 7 a [d]woman came to Him with an alabaster vial of very expensive [e]perfume and she poured it on Jesus’ head as He reclined at the table. 8 But when the [f]disciples saw it they were indignant and angry, saying, “Why all this waste [of money]? 9 For this perfume might have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.” 10 But Jesus, aware [of the malice] of this [remark], said to them, “Why are you bothering the woman? She has done a good thing to Me. 11 For you always have the poor with you; but you will not always have Me.(I) 12 When she poured this perfume on My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial. 13 I assure you and most solemnly say to you, wherever this gospel [of salvation] is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told in memory of her [for her act of love and devotion].”
- Matthew 26:1 I.e. a formal, extended teaching about important matters.
- Matthew 26:3 Caiaphas served as high priest a.d. 18 to 36. His father-in-law, Annas, served as high priest a.d. 6-15. Annas was removed from the position by Rome, but continued to be extremely influential and was regarded by the Jews as de facto high priest even though others (his sons and son-in-law) officially held the office. In about 1990, in an ancient burial cave outside Jerusalem, Israeli archeologists found twelve limestone ossuaries (bone boxes). One of them was uniquely elaborate and decorated with a rare and intricate pattern of rosettes. According to its inscription, this ossuary contained the bones of Caiaphas.
- Matthew 26:6 Most likely a man previously healed by Jesus. Otherwise he would not be able to have a home among others in the city.
- Matthew 26:7 John the Apostle identifies this woman as Mary, sister of Martha and Lazarus (Mark 14:3-9; John 12:1-8). Jesus was anointed in a similar way by an unnamed woman when He was in Galilee dining at the home of Simon the Pharisee (Luke 7:36-40).
- Matthew 26:7 This was a thick, scented oil (nard) obtained from the root of a flowering plant grown in the Himalayas of Tibet.
- Matthew 26:8 Judas Iscariot, the betrayer, spoke first denouncing this act of devotion (John 12:4, 5).
Be gracious and compassionate to me, O Lord, for I am in trouble;
My eye is clouded and weakened by grief, my soul and my body also.
For my life is spent with sorrow
And my years with sighing;
My strength has failed because of my iniquity,
And even my body has wasted away.
Because of all my enemies I have become a reproach and disgrace,
Especially to my neighbors,
And an object of dread to my acquaintances;
Those who see me on the street run from me.
I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind;
I am like a broken vessel.
For I have heard the slander and whispering of many,
Terror is on every side;
While they schemed together against me,
They plotted to take away my life.(A)
But as for me, I trust [confidently] in You and Your greatness, O Lord;
I said, “You are my God.”
My times are in Your hands;
Rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from those who pursue and persecute me.
Make Your face shine upon Your servant;
Save me in Your lovingkindness.
Let me not be put to shame, O Lord, for I call on You;
Let the wicked (godless) be put to shame, let them be silent in Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead).
Let the lying lips be mute,
Which speak insolently and arrogantly against the [consistently] righteous
With pride and contempt.
“I, [godly] wisdom, reside with prudence [good judgment, moral courage and astute common sense],
And I find knowledge and discretion.(A)
“The [reverent] fear and worshipful awe of the Lord includes the hatred of evil;
Pride and arrogance and the evil way,
And the perverted mouth, I hate.