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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Ephod \Eph"od\, n. [Heb. '[=e]ph[=o]d, fr. '[=a]phad to put on.] (Jew. Antiq.) A part of the sacerdotal habit among Jews, being a covering for the back and breast, held together on the shoulders by two clasps or brooches of onyx stones set in gold, and fastened by a girdle of the same stuff as the ephod. The ephod for the priests was of plain linen; that for the high priest was richly embroidered in colors. The breastplate of the high priest was worn upon the ephod in front.
--Exodus xxviii. 6-12.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

Jewish priestly vestment, late 14c., from Hebrew ephod, from aphad "to put on."


n. (context biblical Judaism English) A priestly apron, or breastplate, described in the Bible in [ Exodus 28: vi - xxx], which only the chief priest of ancient Israel was allowed to wear.


An ephod ( ’êp̄ōḏ; or ) was an artifact and an object to be revered in ancient Israelite culture, and was closely connected with oracular practices and priestly ritual.

In the Books of Samuel, David is described as wearing an ephod when dancing in the presence of the Ark of the Covenant (2 Samuel 6:14) and one is described as standing in the sanctuary at Nob, with a sword behind it (1 Samuel 21:9). In the book of Exodus and in Leviticus one is described as being created for the Jewish High Priest to wear as part of his official vestments (Exodus 28:4+, 29:5, 39:2+; Leviticus 8:7).

In the Book of Judges, Gideon and Micah each cast one from a metal, and Gideon's was revered (Judges 8:26-27, Judges 17:5).

Usage examples of "ephod".

Upon his chest he wore a circular ephod emblazoned with Bane's sigil, a clenched fist emitting green rays of power, and in his right hand he bore a long, ornate staff topped with a fist carved in obsidian.