The Onyx-Stones, Ouches, and Chains

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 8
" And thou shalt take two onyx stones, and grave on them the names of the children of Israel: " Six of their names on one stone, and the other six names of the rest on the other stone, according to their birth. " With the work of an engraver in stone, like the engravings of a signet, shalt thou engrave the two stones with the names of the children of Israel: thou shalt make them to be set in ouches of gold. " And thou shalt put the two stones upon the shoulders of the ephod for stones of memorial unto the children of Israel: and Aaron shall bear their names before the Lord upon his two shoulders for a memorial. " And thou shalt make ouches of gold; " And two chains of pure gold at the ends; of wreathen work shalt thou make them, and fasten the wreathen chains to the ouches. -Ex. 28:9-149And thou shalt take two onyx stones, and grave on them the names of the children of Israel: 10Six of their names on one stone, and the other six names of the rest on the other stone, according to their birth. 11With the work of an engraver in stone, like the engravings of a signet, shalt thou engrave the two stones with the names of the children of Israel: thou shalt make them to be set in ouches of gold. 12And thou shalt put the two stones upon the shoulders of the ephod for stones of memorial unto the children of Israel: and Aaron shall bear their names before the Lord upon his two shoulders for a memorial. 13And thou shalt make ouches of gold; 14And two chains of pure gold at the ends; of wreathen work shalt thou make them, and fasten the wreathen chains to the ouches. (Exodus 28:9‑14)
"And they wrought onyx- stones enclosed in ouches of gold, graven, as signets are graven, with the names of the children of Israel. " And he put them on the shoulders of the ephod, that they should be stones for a memorial to the children of Israel; as the Lord commanded Moses."-Ex. 39:6,76And they wrought onyx stones inclosed in ouches of gold, graven, as signets are graven, with the names of the children of Israel. 7And he put them on the shoulders of the ephod, that they should be stones for a memorial to the children of Israel; as the Lord commanded Moses. (Exodus 39:6‑7)
THE onyx-stones are especially mentioned in the list of things commanded to be brought, Ex. 25:77Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate. (Exodus 25:7). " Onyx-stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate." They were engraved with the names of the children of Israel, according to their birth; six on each stone. They were enclosed in ouches, or settings of gold: -for the word translated ouches is derived from a Hebrew verb, " to set." Ex. 28:2020And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings. (Exodus 28:20). " They shall be set in gold." These onyx-stones in their settings were fastened upon the shoulder-pieces of the ephod, so as to rest upon the shoulders of the high priest. " And thou shalt put the two stones upon the shoulders of the ephod, for stones of memorial unto the children of Israel: and Aaron shall bear their names before the Lord, upon his two shoulders, for a memorial."
The Hebrew word, translated onyx, is derived by Robertson (Clay: Pent:) from an unused root, signifying " to shine with the luster of fire." It was evidently a very precious stone. (See Job 28:1616It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire. (Job 28:16), " the precious onyx;") and not the onyx of modern times, which is neither precious nor brilliant.