Stones of the Breastplate
Dr. Joe Temple

Introduction

Open your Bibles, please, to the book of Exodus, chapter 28, and we will read the paragraph which begins with verse 15:

Exodus 28

15And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work; after the work of the ephod thou shalt make it; of gold, of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen, shalt thou make it.
16Foursquare it shall be being doubled; a span shall be the length thereof, and a span shall be the breadth thereof.
17And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row.
18And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond.
19And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst.
20And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings.
21And the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet; every one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes.

This passage of Scripture describes the breastplate of the high priest which we have been studying. In our study of the tabernacle we have been studying the garments of the high priest, with the help of Moses, as described in chapter 8 of the book of Leviticus. When we began a study of the breastplate we found it to be a pocket-like garment something like ten square inches. It was made from the same material as the ephod–that is, of fine twined linen embroidered with blue, purple, and scarlet. It was fastened to the ephod by golden chains at the shoulders and by blue lace at the bottom, and it was intended to be a receptacle for the urim and thummim, which we pointed out to you were used by the high priest to determine the will of God when the individual leaders of Israel wanted to know exactly what God would have them do.

On the front of the breastplate were set individual stones–twelve of them, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. These stones were set in four rows of three stones each. On each stone was written the name of one of the twelve tribes of Israel–notice this distinction, please–according to the tribes and not according to their birth. That distinction has a spiritual significance.

When we studied the ephod we found that on the ephod were two onyx stones, one on each shoulder. On each onyx stone was engraved the names of six of the tribes of Israel, according to their birth. Regardless of what they may have done, regardless of how faithful or faithless they may have been, they were borne consistently upon the shoulders of the high priest.

When we come to the breastplate, we find the stones placed there not according to births, but according to their place of service or according to their responsibility. This is important in view of the fact that we are studying the significance of this from a spiritual standpoint. We have pointed out to you that when we are born again and made a member of the family of God, nothing ever changes that relationship. We are engraved upon the heart of God and we remain so; but our actions, our service, our lives, can change our position in God's estimate. That is the lesson to be learned from the stones on the breastplate.

We will study these stones on the breastplate from a threefold standpoint. We will study them first from the standpoint of the birth of each individual child of Jacob as it is revealed in chapter 29 of the book of Genesis. Then we will study them in relation to the patriarchal blessing as it was given by Jacob in chapter 49 of the book of Genesis. Then we will study them in relation to the Mosaic prophecy concerning each one of these boys as it was delivered in chapter 33 of the book of Deuteronomy. As we compare and contrast these passages of Scripture, I think some spiritual lessons will be evident.

The Order of the Stones

We said that these stones, if you will glance at chapter 28 of Exodus, were to be placed upon the breastplate according to their tribes, and yet nowhere in chapter 28 are the tribes of Israel mentioned. If you are not familiar with the Word of God, you would rightly ask how we know which stones represented which tribe or how we know which name was engraved upon which stone. Our answer will be found in chapter 10 of the book of Numbers.

Turn there with me for a moment. I want you to familiarize yourself with the location of this passage of Scripture and the reason for each particular name engraved upon the particular stone. In chapter 10 of the book of Numbers we find the order of the tribes of Israel. In verse 14 we read:

Numbers 10

14In the first place went the standard of the camp of the children of Judah according to their armies: and over his host was Nahshon the son of Amminadab.
15And over the host of the tribe of the children of Issachar was Nethaneel the son of Zuar.
16And over the host of the tribe of the children of Zebulun was Eliab the son of Helon.

These are the three names which were imprinted upon the three stones in the first row of the twelve stones on the breastplate of the high priest. Look again at chapter 28 of the book of Exodus and notice verse 17:

Exodus 28

17And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle:…

Those three stones, then, represent the first three tribes of the nation of Israel. Remembering what we read in chapter 10 of the book of Numbers, we realize that on the sardius stone was engraved the name of Judah, and we are interested in knowing why, because we know that Judah was not the first son of Jacob.

Order Not Related to Birth

Turn back to chapter 29 of the book of Genesis where we will find the circumstances of the birth of each of the children of Israel. You will remember that Jacob fell in love with Rachel and worked seven years for her; her father, Laban, tricked him and gave him Leah for a wife, and he had to work another seven years for Rachel. For that reason there was an unhappy relationship between Leah and Rachel. Rachel was more beloved than Leah.

God has a way of evening up circumstances that we permit because of our fleshly existence. Because Rachel was more beloved than Leah, He permitted Rachel to be barren and He permitted Leah to bear Jacob a number of children. That becomes evident when we look at verse 31 of this chapter:

Genesis 29

31And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren.

Then look at verse 35, where we read:

Genesis 29

35And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, Now will I praise the LORD: therefore she called his name Judah; and left [off] bearing.

If you compare the Scriptures before this verse, you will realize that Judah, instead of being the first son of Jacob, was the fourth son; we find the son who was born fourth being put in first place. You may say, “Maybe it just happened that way; maybe there was no real reason for it.” Yes, there was a real reason for it. Turn with me to I Chronicles, chapter 5, that you may see why Judah took Reuben's place, that you may see why Reuben was displaced by Judah. Keep in mind that the names of the children of Israel on the two stones on the shoulders of the high priest remain ever the same. Reuben was first, then, because he was born first. But on the breastplate Reuben was not first; Judah was first. The reason is found in I Chronicles, chapter 5, verse 1:

I Chronicles 5

1Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but forasmuch as he defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright.
2For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler; but the birthright was Joseph's:)
3The sons, I say, of Reuben the firstborn of Israel were, Hanoch, and Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi.

You recognize that here in the Chronicles the writer was listing the sons of Reuben, and he interrupted the list to say that Reuben lost his first place because he defiled his father's bed. We will not go into detail about the sin of Judah; it is explained in the book of Genesis. We will say that because Reuben had not learned to control his fleshly appetite, he lost his first place in God's program of blessing. Notice that he was not disowned as the son of Jacob, but he lost the first place of blessing.

An Illustration of Loss of Blessing

If we are to learn some spiritual things from this, I would like to point out one or two New Testament passages of Scripture that we may use by way of comparison. Turn, please, to I Corinthians, chapter 9, for an illustration of how a child of God may retain his salvation but find himself disapproved of God because he has not learned to control the appetites of the flesh. The Apostle Paul is saying that the Christian life is similar to an athletic contest. He compares it to a race that is to be run; he compares it to a boxing match that is to be excelled in, and he says that if the individual does excel, certain rules must be observed. Notice verse 27:

I Corinthians 9

27But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

The word “castaway” is an unhappy translation, for it leads one to believe that God might forsake Paul. This word “castaway” elsewhere in the New Testament is translated “disavowed”, “disqualified”, “set aside”, “laid on the shelf”. The idea of all these is related to usefulness and to blessing. Reuben did not maintain a careful guard over his body, and in not doing so lost a special place of blessing, though he was still a son of Jacob.

Turn, please, to the second epistle of John and notice verse 8 for another illustration of this very thing:

II John

8Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.

This verse is addressed to Christians. Some of us, because we do not live as carefully as we might, may not receive all the reward that God has for us.

Reuben, as we will eventually see in our discussion, was not left off the breastplate; he did have a place of blessing, but it was not the place he might have had if he had lived a different kind of life. Judah was the fourth son, but was given first place, not because of anything Judah did, but because of something Reuben did. We are reminded in the book of Revelation of another exhortation: “Hold fast that thou hast, lest some man, some individual take thy crown” (Revelation 3:11). More literally it can be rendered, “…lest some individual receive thy crown.” Judah received Reuben's crown.

Blessing Related to Service

Going back to chapter 29 of the book of Genesis, we find in verse 35 that when he was born, his mother said:

Genesis 29

35…Now will I praise the LORD: therefore she called his name Judah;…

“Judah” means “praise”. The reason she called him “Judah was,” she said, “I must praise the Lord for His faithfulness to me.”

Already I think you can see that the general lesson of the breastplate and its stones will be related to the kind of service we render to the Lord. One of the natural incentives to service is that of praise. We should so live as to have the praise of God.

Seek Praise of God

Turn, please, to I Corinthians, chapter 4, where you will find another illustration of what I am speaking about when I say that spiritual blessing in these Old Testament truths is found by comparing Scripture with Scripture:

I Corinthians 4

1Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.
2Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
3But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.
4For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.
5Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: [notice this phrase] and then shall every man have praise of God.

This verse of Scripture has always been a great encouragement to my own heart because it emphasizes the fact that I, as well as you, regardless of our failures or our shortcomings, regardless of our imperfect services, can expect God to praise us when we stand in His presence; He will find something for which He can praise us. If you look at my life, you might find it difficult to find something for which to praise me, but God will not find it so. God will find something for which to praise each one of us in that day when we stand in His presence.

I said a moment ago that praise is one of the incentives to service. I have been speaking of praise from God. Turn with me now to the book of Genesis, chapter 49. A consideration of these stones would not be complete without considering not only the circumstances of birth, but the patriarchal blessing of each of the sons of Jacob as well. The patriarchal blessing was in the form of a prophecy–that is, it was a prophecy. Jacob prophesied about his sons by the inspiration of the Spirit of God; these things were to come true:

Genesis 49

1And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days.
2Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father.

Then he begins to pronounce a blessing upon his various sons, but since we are studying the sardius stone upon which was engraved the name of Judah, we look at verse 8:

Genesis 49

8Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee.
9Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?
10The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
11Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:
12His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.

Live Honestly Before Men

As we read this paragraph, we recognize that it is full of symbolism, for Jacob was speaking in a figurative way of the prosperity of his son, Judah. The first thing he mentioned was that not only would Judah have praise of God, but Judah would also have praise of his brethren. It is something for us to consider in regard to our service for the Lord that not only must we seek the praise of God, but we must be conscious as well of our brethren.

The Bible teaches us that we should provide things honest in the sight of all men (Romans 12:17), and only as we live without offense to men can our testimony be what it should be (II Corinthians 6:3). Even in relation to our service we must be sure that our good is not evil spoken of (Romans 14:16). In verses 8-10, we are told that Judah was to be the ruling family of Israel, and for all practical purposes you will remember that was exactly what happened. The Lord Jesus Christ came from the tribe of Judah, as did David before Him. Judah, though he was not the firstborn, turned out to be the ruling family of Israel because God raises up and God sets down as it seems good to Him.

In verse 11, we have figurative language that speaks a spiritual message of our hearts if we take the time to consider it:

Genesis 49

11Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he [Judah] washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:

Now the ass, the foal–the words are the same–is a humble beast of burden, a commonplace animal, and yet we find it bound to a very choice thing, the vine, which speaks of fruitfulness and abundance. I believe that the relationship God would have us notice in this passage of Scripture is that because of Judah's faithfulness to the Lord, he was able to take the commonplace things of life and make of them something unusual and wonderful because of the purpose and intent.

Service In Commonplace Things

Turn to chapter 6 of the book of Ephesians, you will see a New Testament parallel of this same thing. Here again is an address to servants, and that address becomes an address to the servants of the Lord as well. We read in verse 5:

Ephesians 6

5Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;

The emphasis is upon service in the flesh–ordinary, everyday, practical things. You can change the everyday, ordinary, practical things into something glamorous if you keep your eyes upon Christ. Paul continues in verse 6:

Ephesians 6

6Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
7With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:
8Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.

When Judah was spoken of symbolically as tying his foal to the choice vine, we believe he was saying that commonplace things can become exciting if we do the service we do as unto the Lord and not unto men.

Joy In Faithful Service

Go back to Genesis, chapter 49, and notice verse 11 again. You will find that Judah washed his garments in wine and his clothes in the blood of grapes. Obviously this is symbolic; it was not intended to be literal. Wine, in the Bible, speaks of abundance and particularly the abundance of joy. The suggestion is that there is such abundance of wine that it was of no more value than water. You could even afford to wash your clothes in it. We are reminded that when the child of God is faithful in his service to the Lord, then indeed the joy of the Lord is abounding and abundant. You will be able to do as Peter suggested we all do in I Peter, chapter 1, verse 8: “Rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” because of our relationship to the Lord.

In verse 12 we find that Jacob prophesied that Judah's eyes should be “red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.” The symbolism has already been set. When a man of the world has his eyes red with wine, he has imbibed too much intoxicating beverage, but since the symbolism has been set, we know that this is not talking about Judah's imbibing of intoxicating beverages; it is symbolic. We find the meaning of the symbols in the book of Ephesians, chapter 5, where the very same comparison is made as was made in Genesis, chapter 49. You are familiar with this verse in Ephesians, chapter 5, verse 18:

Ephesians 5

18And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
19Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

In this verse we find a comparison of the drunken man and the Spirit-controlled man. That comparison is used throughout the Word of God. Why? Because a man who is drunk on wine is not himself; he is doing what the wine bids him to do. A man who is controlled by the Holy Spirit is not himself; he is doing what the Holy Spirit bids him do. So if you want the first place on God's breastplate, figuratively speaking, if you want an exalted place of service, learn what it is to have a Spirit-controlled life.

One other thing we would say concerning Jacob's prophecy; it is found in the last part of verse 12:

Genesis 49

12His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.

Wine and milk are often associated together in the Scriptures as symbolic of fruitfulness. For example, in Isaiah, chapter 55, verse 1:

Isaiah 55

1…come ye…that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, [let him] buy wine and milk without money and without price.

Where wine is symbolic of the strength of the Spirit, milk is symbolic of the strength of the Word. The first place in Christian service can be maintained only as these two things are true: the fullness of the Spirit and the strength of the Word.

Moses' Prophecy Concerning Judah

We said that if we are to understand these stones properly, we must also consider the Mosaic prophecy in regard to the sons of Jacob. Remember that we are looking at the circumstances surrounding each man's birth in Genesis, chapter 29, the patriarchal blessing in Genesis, chapter 49, and the Mosaic prophecy in Deuteronomy, chapter 33. Just before Moses was ready to depart from this life, he made a prophecy concerning each of the sons of Jacob. The sons had by then grown into tribes with a great many descendants, but the prophecies were none the less true. Let us see what Moses had to say about Judah:

Deuteronomy 33

7And this is the blessing of Judah: and he said, Hear, LORD, the voice of Judah, and bring him unto his people: let his hands be sufficient for him; and be thou an help to him from his enemies.

He made a threefold prophecy concerning Judah which came true, and the truthfulness of that prophecy should be something that all real Spirit- controlled Christians desire for themselves. The first thing was that God would answer the prayers of Judah in a very special way. This is what Moses said: “Hear, LORD, the voice of Judah, and bring him unto his people.” It would be interesting, if you had time to do it, to go through the Old Testament and see how many prayers are recorded. Notice that with very few exceptions those prayers were prayed by men who were the descendants of Judah: David, Solomon, Manasseh, Asa, Jehosaphat, and eventually, the Son of David, the Lord Jesus Christ.

If our service is to be what it should be, if we are to have first place in God's plan as far as our service is concerned, then we, too, must learn the secret and power of prayer. Let me emphasize that I do not believe that God will measure your service by what you do outwardly where men can see it. I believe the greatest service you can render to the Lord is the service of intercession. I believe that in your praying for others a greater service is rendered than by anything else you could possibly do.

Notice the second prophecy Moses made concerning Judah in the form of a prayer, yet a prophetic prayer: “Let his hands be sufficient for him.” Let him have sufficient hands. Think about that for a moment. All about you the world is in need. You need hands that are sufficient to meet the need. This prophecy was fulfilled in its entirety in the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ. You remember that when anything was placed in His hands, it became sufficient. The loaves of bread that belonged to a little boy, the few fishes that belonged to a little boy, when they were placed in the hands of Christ became sufficient for a multitude of five thousand or more. His hands were sufficient. We can claim this promise and ask God that in our service for Him, our hands may be sufficient.

The third thing we need to claim constantly is in Moses' prayer: “Be thou an help to him from his enemies; God protect him from his enemies.” We are not primarily concerned with enemies in the plural because we do not know how many we have and we do not know that we can do anything about it anyway. But there is one enemy that all of us have, and we need to recognize that he is the enemy of our souls; we need to recognize that he goes about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (I Peter 5:8). Here is a prayer we can pray: “Be thou a help to me from my enemy.” God will not deny that prayer.

Significance of the Particular Stones

We have considered the three passages of Scripture in relation to the sons of Jacob. We have yet to consider the stone upon which the name of Judah was engraved. It was a sardius stone. The word “sardius” comes from a Hebrew word which means “red like wine”. If you will think back over what I have said, you will remember that the thing that was emphasized more than anything else in connection with Judah was wine. It seems marvelous to me in regard to the inspiration of the Scriptures that God should choose as a stone upon which the name of Judah would be engraved a stone that was red like wine, a stone whose very root meaning meant the same thing. You see, the breastplate was not just something that Moses dreamed up; God gave the pattern for it and it was to have a definite blessing.

The second stone in the breastplate was a topaz. In Numbers, chapter 10, we find that the name engraved upon the topaz was Issachar. In Genesis, chapter 30, we find that Issachar was the fifth son of Jacob, yet he was second on the breastplate. You see how God lifts up and puts down. You see how God takes away that which a man has and gives that which he has not.

Circumstances of Issachar's Birth

The circumstances concerning Issachar's birth and name are interesting. Reuben, who was the son of Leah, went out into the fields and gathered some mandrakes and brought them home and gave them to his mother. Rachel saw them, and right away she said, “Let me have those mandrakes and you may enjoy the favors of Jacob tonight.” Keep in mind that Rachel was the beloved wife; she was the head-wife, so to speak. Leah at first was repulsed by the idea. “Why should you–you who have already taken my husband–take my son's mandrakes?”, she asked. But Rachel persuaded her.

Perhaps there is a question in your mind. Why were these mandrakes so important? They were only a plant. Someone may say, “Well, those people were superstitious, and they believed the mandrakes had a magical quality about them that would produce fertility in place of barrenness.” It was not that they had a magical quality about them; they had a medicinal quality that could change barrenness into fertility.

If you think that is strange, just remember what you read in your newspapers today. Just this week we read that the birth of quintuplets was attributed to the fact that certain medicines had been given to the mother to insure fertility, so do not dismiss the Bible and say, “Oh, it's full of superstition. They even thought some flowers could bring children.” They did not think that. The plants did have some medicinal qualities, and Rachel, because she longed for children and had none, wanted the mandrakes. Leah gave the mandrakes to Rachel and Leah spent the night with Jacob. As a result of that union, Issachar was born. So when Leah thought of a name for her son, she said, “We will call him 'Issachar' because 'Issachar' means 'hire'; it means 'work for something'; it means 'to earn', and I have earned this son by hiring out my mandrakes.”

Rewards Related to Service

Here again we have another word that reminds us of the importance of Christian service. First we had the word “praise” and now we have the word “hire” or “reward.” Someone may ask, “Is it wrong to work for rewards? Should we not just work for the love of our Lord?” Well, certainly we should work because we love Him, but the Bible emphasizes the fact that we should work for rewards. We should be interested in piling up rewards in Heaven because of the service we have rendered. The Apostle Paul taught that truth in I Thessalonians, chapter 2, and again in Philippians, chapter 2.

When you have time, you might read those passages of Scripture. He said to the Thessalonican believers, “You are my joy and rejoicing in the day of Christ.” He said to the Philippians, “I want you to live out your Christian experience because when I stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ, I want to have a full reward for all my efforts and labors in your behalf.”

If we were to turn to chapter 49 of the book of Genesis and read the patriarchal blessing in symbolic terms, we would discover that Issachar was an individual who was known for his habit of working in order to rest. He is pictured as an “all lying down.” The King James version says “between the burdens”. The suggestion is that he is just too lazy to get up and down. But if you were to read that in the original text, you would find that he was lying down between the cribs; his work was done and he was resting. He was looking forward to another day of service after his well earned rest.

The Bible reminds us that we should constantly labor to enter into rest, ceasing from self-effort, reminding our hearts that the Word of God is that which will accomplish God's purpose in our lives.

When you have time, read chapter 33 of the book of Deuteronomy, where you will find the Mosaic blessing upon Issachar. We will not go into that at the moment because Issachar and Zebulun are tied together in Moses' prophecy, and the lesson comes more significantly, I think, in a comparison and a contrast between the two.

What was the stone upon which the name of Issachar was engraved? It was a topaz, was it not? What is a topaz? It is a golden yellow stone which emits a soft glow of light. May I interrupt myself to remind you that the stones mentioned in the Bible are not necessarily the stones which bear the same names today. Some are the same, but not all, so do not be confused about the meaning of the stone that you may find in use today. It can be determined either from the word from which it is translated or from the definition you find in a good Bible dictionary.

Zebulun's Place In Prophecy

The third stone was a carbuncle, and on the carbuncle was engraved the name of Zebulun. If you were to turn to Genesis, chapter 30, where the circumstances of the births are recorded, you would find that Zebulun received his name because by that time Leah had borne six sons. This was the sixth one, but here he is in the third place. You see, nothing could interrupt the order on the shoulder, but something could interrupt the order on the breastplate. Zebulun received his name because Leah said, “I have borne my husband six sons. Rachel has not borne him any. Surely he will be content to dwell with me.” So “Zebulun” means “dwell”.

When Jacob gave his patriarchal blessing and apportioned the land where the children of Israel were to abide, he located Zebulun on the coastline. The territory of Zebulun reached from the Sea of Galilee to the coast of the land of Palestine. With that thought in mind, Jacob said by way of prophecy that Zebulun should be a haven for ships; Zebulun would be a harbor which would be able to guide lost ships back home. When Moses made his prophecy in chapter 33 of the book of Deuteronomy, he took up that thought, but compared Zebulun to Issachar. He said Issachar should dwell in his tents, but Zebulun should be a haven for ships. Yea, he will go out into the sea and he will suck the treasures out of the sea and out of the sand and make possible the loading and unloading of boats.

Surely if you are following the suggestion I made at the beginning of our discussion, you are making application for your own spiritual benefit. We should be a haven for ships. We should be a lighthouse to guide men safely to the harbor. We should be a place where people can unburden their own lives and all their problems and all their needs.

Looking at the stone upon which the name of Zebulun was engraved, keeping in mind that he was to be a haven for ships, that he was to be a harbor, we notice that it was engraved on a carbuncle. The word “carbuncle” comes from a Hebrew word which means “something that is vivid and flashing”. The name was given to this precious jewel because every time the rays of light fell upon it, it flashed back rays of light from the heart of the stone itself.

Here again is a wonderful illustration of the watchcare of the Holy Spirit over the Word of God. When the stone was chosen upon which the name of Zebulun was to be engraved, since Zebulun was to be a haven for ships, God chose a stone that could well typify the flashing rays of a lighthouse that guided ships safely home. I hope you are able to make your own spiritual application for your own spiritual benefit.

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