The Carbuncle (Heb. Bareketh)

Exodus 28:17  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Exodus 28:17
This word is evidently derived from a Hebrew root, often used for lightning; and also translated glittering; and designates a stone of a flashing redness. Upon it, Zebulun was engraved. If we turn to Gen. 30:20, Leah says, on the birth of this child, " God hath endued me with a good dowry: now will my husband dwell with me, because I have borne him six sons:" and she called his name Zebulun (dwelling.)
Jacob thus prophesies respecting Zebulun:-" Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for an haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon." Gen. 49:13. And Moses blesses the tribe as follows, coupling them with Issachar:-" Rejoice, Zebulun, in thy going out; and Issachar, in thy tents. They shall call the people unto the mountain; there, they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness: for they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand." Deut. 33:18,19. Thus Zebulun, whilst possessing a permanent habitation, was to afford a place of safety for ships, was to go out in order to call peoples to the mount. Zion, where sacrifices of righteousness were to be offered. Probably their sucking of the abundance of the seas, and treasures hid in the sand, is an allusion also to their missionary efforts, spread over all the earth, when nations will be induced to bring their glory and honor to Jerusalem, and she shall suck the milk of the Gentiles, and the breast of kings.
On the breastplate of the high priest, Zebulun shot forth with lightning splendor; combining the two thoughts of our dwelling in the presence of God, and therefore shining out to give light to others.
This precious stone, with its engraved title, proclaims to us the truth, that our great High Priest is ever watchful to bear us on His heart, so that we may abide under the shadow of the Almighty. He ever dwelt in the secret place of the Most High, the only Begotten in the bosom of the Father. He knows the blessed security, peace, and joy of that place of rest, that safe abode. For a season He tasted on the cross, the anguish of being cast out and forsaken, whilst the heavy billows of God's wrath obscured for a while, the light of that countenance, in which He loved to dwell. He took that place of unutterable woe, in order that, as the great Shepherd of the sheep, He might enable us to say, "I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever." And surely from our place of rest, we can look out in safety upon the fearful floods that overwhelmed Him; upon the billows and waves that passed over Him: and we have to be ambassadors to a lost world; to seek to lead them to that same meek and lowly One, who can give them rest; and that they may offer sacrifices of righteousness, and rejoice in the presence of the Lord.