I have always given thought to the relationship that Moses and Aaron had. Aaron was the High Priest, the one person to stand before the Lord on behalf of the people – one can’t get “higher” than that. How does this compare with Moses? Davis answers this way: Moses was the mediator of the law and covenant, Aaron and his sons were the mediator of the blood sacrifices (p. 278). Perhaps “higher” is not the proper descriptive word, but a better term would be “different roles.”
This chapter pertains to the garments that God’s priests were to wear. Additionally, this chapter makes plain that the family of Aaron would be the priestly family. The garments to be made standout in two areas: glory and beauty. This elevates the standing of the position and, by association, the men who serve. In one verse (28:4), we are told what will be made, with the detail surrounding the fabrication going through the end of the chapter.
Application: The stones of remembrance (28:12), Aaron bearing the names of the sons of Israel before the Lord (28:29), and that Aaron shall bear guilt (28:38) are worth brief mention. Aaron had borne the “stones of remembrance” (two onyx stones) before the Lord in order for him to not lose sight to not only who he presented himself, but for whom – this was the ephod he wore (a sleeveless outer garment). Not only did he have the ephod on, but he also had the breast-piece of judgment (over top of the ephod; Davis identifies this as a “sort of a pouch, open at top”), this time with twelve stones on it; each stone representing each tribe. The ephod and the breast-plate of judgment worn, and as Aaron served in capacity of High Priest, he carried the guilt of the nation with him into the Tabernacle. “Aaron was, as the high priest of the Jews, the type or representative of our blessed Redeemer; and as he offered the sacrifices prescribed by the law to make an atonement for sin, and was thereby represented as bearing their sins because he was bound to make an atonement for them” (Clarke, E-sword).