“The High Priest Garments of Beauty”, Part 4

THE JEWELS OF THE BREASTPLATE, THEIR ORDER AND SIGNIFICANCE

“Rare indeed are those individuals who, with constancy, ponder upon God’s name and meditate upon the
precepts of His Holy Word, and who seek often the fellowship of kindred minds to converse one with
another about the great and holy deeds of Jehovah. Nor is the Lord unrighteous or unmindful to forget
the labor of love of His children and their compliance with His instructions. That He observes such behavior
is attested by His causing a “
book of remembrance” to be written “for them that feared the Lord,
and that thought upon his name
. And they shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in that day
when I make up my jewels
” (Mal 3:16, 17). If precious stones have been likened by some to flowers
among the more common stones of the mineral kingdom, it is no wonder that the Heavenly Father regards
this gem class amidst the teeming mass of humanity as His own crown jewels (
Isa 62:3).

The requirement of all members of this predestined class is that they must be conformed to the image of
God’s Son so that Jesus might be “
the firstborn among many brethren” (Rom 8:29). This standard of
conformity to be attained by the individuals comprising the glorified Church is a unity of fellowship, an
oneness of purpose and intent. All will be express images of the Father’s person and in thorough
agreement with the principles of divine government. They will be alike in the completeness of their
submission to the headship of Christ and to the will of God.

























However, in spite of this necessary conformity, the different jewels in the high priest’s
breastplate and their being set in sockets or pockets of gold indicate
there will be both variety
and beauty in the exalted Church of Christ
(Exod 28:15–30; 39:8–21). Perfection in the divine
likeness does not mean uniformity or conformity of character wherein unique personality traits will be
completely lost by a falsely imagined, fixed “clone” pattern of behavior. To the contrary, the individuality of
each will be preserved, as shown by the stones themselves.
The diversity of the stones symbolically
represents differences in personality traits . . . differences that are so important in the exercise
of the role of a sympathetic high priesthood
.” (The Keys of Revelation”, Page 575)

“There is no (direct) revelation on this subject, [therefore] it behooves us ‘
not to be wise above what is
written
’: but since the twelve tribes did have different standings, as shown in the prophesies made
respecting them, so there is seemingly quite a possibility that there will be different stations or ranks
among the saints (“
Even as star differ from star1 Cor 15:41)”. R 4654, col. 1 par. 2-4

Each one of the stones was inscribed with the name of one of the twelve tribes of Israel (Exod 28:21),
and placed upon the breastplate in its order of importance, starting from the top right hand corner
counting down 1-4, the middle top-down 5-8, and the far left top-down 9-12.

















“The overall specific dimensions of the folded breastplate, as well as the number of stones abreast
horizontally (three) and the number of such rows allocated (four), inferentially required each jewel to be
rectangular in shape. In further support of this hypothesis, a larger size and more readily discernible name
of a tribe of Israel could be inscribed or incised lengthwise on the front facet of each gem (
Exod 28:21).
That being the case, each of the twelve stones had to be cut or planed in such a fashion as to prepare a
flattened surface for an inscription.

“The fact that the names of the twelve tribes were inscribed (upon the stones) also strongly suggests
that each stone, though hard, was semiprecious rather than the extremely hard precious stone variety. In
the King James Version the naming of the fifth and sixth gems is obviously in error (Exod 28:18), for it
would be most unreasonable to conclude that the diamond and the sapphire, the two hardest stones in
nature, could be planed and incised in the desired legible manner. Moreover, the semiprecious variety not
only occurred more commonly in Moses’ day but was indigenous to Egypt and Sinai.  

Basically, the stones of the breastplate denote the sympathetic nature of that select company
who are called to be priests or physicians to heal the suffering world in need of forgiveness and
cleansing from sin
. The stones of the breastplate were most likely of a silicate or sand (grit) nature; that
is, for the most part, they were composed of different varieties of quartz. Though such stone is conducive
to engraving and quite common in nature, it is rarely found in the gem quality form seen in the
breastplate. And so the Church class—called of God out of all nations, peoples, and tongues—is prepared,
hardened, and polished above the ordinary for priestly duty.” (
The Keys of Revelation”, Pages 576,
577
)


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