In the days of Saul and David) it was the priest with the ephod or image of Yahweh who gave answers to those who consulted him.
This same narrative dwells upon the graven images, ephod and teraphim, as forming the apparatus of religious ceremonial in Micah's household.
In other words the function of the priest was not merely sacrificial (a duty which Kautzsch unnecessarily detaches from the services which he originally rendered), nor did he merely bear the ark of the covenant and take charge of God's house; but he was also and mainly (as the Arabic name kahin shows) the soothsayer who consulted the ephod and gave the answers required on the field of battle (see 1 Sam.
For the prophet's function became in an increasing degree a function of mind, and not merely of traditional routine or mechanical technique, like that of the diviner with his arrows or his lots which he cast in the presence of the ephod or plated Yahweh image.
In addition to a tunic (kuttoneth) and a seamless mantle or robe (meil), he wore the breastplate (hoshen), the ephod, and a rich outer girdle.
The " ephod of prophecy " (so Test.
A carved image was made and set up in his private temple together with an ephod-idol and teraphim (objects used in divination, cf.
5.; Goliath's sword lying behind the "ephod " or plated image at Nob, I Sam.
41, Sept.), which could only be drawn where there was an " ephod " and a priest (I Sam.
In the divided state of the nation, indeed, this sanctuary was hardly visited from beyond Mt Ephraim; and every man or tribe that cared to provide the necessary apparatus (ephod, teraphim, &c.) and hire a priest might have a temple and oracle of his own at which to consult Jehovah (Judges xvii., xviii.); but there was hardly another sanctuary of equal dignity.
EPHOD, a Hebrew word (ephod) of uncertain meaning, retained by the translators of the Old Testament.
In the post-exilic priestly writings (5th century B.C. and later) the ephod forms part of the gorgeous ceremonial dress of the high-priest (see Ex.
1 But from other passages it seems that the ephod had been a familiar object whose use was by no means so restricted.
2 Nevertheless, while the propheticral teaching came to regard the ephod as contrary to the true worship of Yahweh, the priestly doctrine of the post-exilic age (when worship was withdrawn from the community at large to the recognized priesthood of Jerusalem) has retained it along with other remains of earlier usage, legalizing it, as it were, by confining it exclusively to the Aaronites.
An intricate historical problem is involved at the outset in the famous ephod, which the priest Abiathar brought in his hand when he fled to David after the massacre of the priests of Nob.
It is possible that the writer (or writers) desired to trace the earlier history of the ephod through the line of Eli and Abiathar to the time when the Zadokite priests gained the supremacy (see Levites); but elsewhere Abiathar is said to have borne the ark (1 Kings ii.
The phrase "ephod of prophecy" (Testament of Levi, viii.
Z The ordinary interpretation "linen ephod" (i Sam.
18,23), and it is far from certain that the later records of the ark (which was too heavy to be borne by one), like those of the ephod, are valid for earlier times.
For the form of the earlier ephod the classic passage is 2 Sam.
14, where David girt in (or with) a linen ephod dances before the ark at its entry into Jerusalem and incurs the unqualified contempt of his wife Michal, the daughter of Saul.
Relying upon the known custom of performing certain observances in a practically, or even entirely, nude condition, it seems plausible to infer that the ephod was a scanty wrapping, perhaps a loincloth, and this view has found weighty support.
The favourite view that the ephod was also an image rests partly upon 1 Sam.
2-4 corresponding to the ephod and teraphim of ver.
But the combination of ephod and teraphim (as in Hos.
27, Gideon made an ephod of gold, about 70 lb in weight, and "put" it in Ophrah.
Calf, Golden), and the term "ephod" may be due to a later hand under the influence of the prophetical teaching referred to above.
The present passage is the only one which appears to prove that the ephod was an image, and several writers, including Lotz (Realencyk.
447 sq.), and parallels from the Oriental area, can be readily cited in support of any of the explanations of the ephod which have been offered, but naturally cannot prove the form which it actually took in Palestine.
If the ephod was a loin-cloth, its use as a receptacle and the known evolution of the article find useful analogies (Foote, p. 43 sq., and Ency.
Vi.), all that can safely be said is that 1 It is not stated that the linen ephod was David's sole covering, and it is difficult to account for the text in the parallel passage 1 Chron.
It was certainly used in divination and presumably did not differ radically from the ephod of the post-exilic age.
The only one of the priests to escape from Saul's massacre, he fled to David at Keilah, taking with him the ephod (I Sam.
For example, the ephod, an object of divination, is still retained, but it is now restricted to the high-priest; and his position as head of a theocratic state, and his ceremonial dress with its heathenish associations presuppose a past monarchy.
Finally, the condemnation of the ephod as part of the worship of Yahweh (viii.
(See Ephod; Gideon.) Chapter ix.