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breastpiece

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A Dictionary of the Bible What is This? Contains accessibly written entries for topics covering the religious, historical, and social aspects of the Bible.

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    breastpiece

    ‘Breastplate’ in AV and sometimes in NRSV, REB, NJB. It was a dramatic part of the ceremonial garb worn by Aaron (Exod. 28: 15) when he ministered before the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle. Its four rows of three precious stones represented the twelve tribes which Aaron therefore symbolically brought before the Lord.

    A military breastplate was worn as protective armour (1 Kgs. 22: 34) and as such the word becomes a metaphor in the NT (e.g. Eph. 6: 14).

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