“There are to be twelve stones, one for each of the names of the sons of Israel. . . .” — Exodus 28:21
Israel’s high priest was to wear special garments glittering with engraved precious stones. These garments gave Aaron dignity and honor, pointing to Jesus, our ultimate High Priest.
The breastpiece included 12 precious stones, each engraved with the name of one of the 12 tribes of Israel. The instructions for using the garments say, “Whenever Aaron enters the Holy Place, he will bear the names of the sons of Israel over his heart... as a continuing memorial before the LORD.”
The variety of hues and colors in the stones representing the whole people of God helps us recognize the diversity of all peoples who are now part of God’s family in Christ. We are all precious in his sight.
In Isaiah 54:11-13 God speaks of the redeemed this way: “Afflicted city... I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with lapis lazuli. I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones. All your children will be taught by the LORD, and great will be their peace.” And in a vision of heaven in Revelation 7:9 we see a multitude “from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne [of God] and before the Lamb.”
Will you be there too? God wants his people from all nations to live with him in peace and abundance forever!