Skip to content

Light a FREE Virtual Prayer Candle

Light a FREE Virtual Prayer Candle These candles are perfect for loved ones, as memorials, and for those in need who are far away.

Light Your FREE Candle Now >

Pectoral

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

("Pectoral of judgment").

The original meaning of the Hebrew term has been lost, and little light is thrown upon it by the early translations. The prevailing equivalent in the Sept. is logion ; the Vulgate has rationale , whence the literal "rational" of the Douai version ; the rendering in the Authorized Version is "breastplate".

In the minute directions given for the distinctive official dress of the high priest in Exodus, xxviii, a section belonging to the priestly code (cf. also Exodus 39:8-21 ), special prominence is given to the breastplate or pectoral. The divergent description of the same recorded by Josephus ("Antiq.", III, vii, 5 and "Bell." V, v, 7) is considered less reliable. The main reason of the importance attached to the construction of the pectoral seems to be the fact that it was the receptacle of the sacred oracular lot, the mysterious Urim and Thummim, a consideration which renders probable the tentative etymological signification of the original term proposed by Ewald ("Antiquities of Israel", 294), viz., "the pouch of the Oracle ". From Exodus we learn that the material employed was the same substantially as for the ephod, viz., gold, blue, purple, and scarlet on a ground of fine twined linen, which are the finest and most artistic textile fabrics (cf. also Ecclus., xlv). The form of the pectoral was a square made by the folding in two of the material measuring a cubit in length and half a cubit in breadth. Into this square were fitted by means of gold settings four rows of precious stones, three in a row. On each jewel was inscribed the name of one of the twelve tribes of Israel, whose memory was thus borne continually before the Lord by the high priest in his official functions (see Exodus 28:29 ).



Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Free Online Catholic Classes for Anyone, Anywhere - Click Here

To all our readers, Please don't scroll past this.

Deacon Keith Fournier Today, we humbly ask you to defend Catholic Online's independence. 98% of our readers don't give; they simply look the other way. If you donate just $5.00, or whatever you can, Catholic Online could keep thriving for years. Most people donate because Catholic Online is useful. If Catholic Online has given you $5.00 worth of knowledge this year, take a minute to donate. Show the volunteers who bring you reliable, Catholic information that their work matters. If you are one of our rare donors, you have our gratitude and we warmly thank you. Help Now >

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2021 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2021 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter!