First English edition of the Nuremberg chronicle: being the Liber chronicarum of Dr. Hartmann Schedel…

And the Lord stood by Moses and told him to give the holy priesthood to his brother Aaron, and indicated how the priestly robes were to be made. There were four garments, common also to lesser priests, namely a linen shirt; a coat of white linen, double throughout; a girdle four fingers wide with various beautiful designs; and a mitre pointed at the top. Over these garments the high priest wore his own clothing. The first was a blue coat, the lower seams of which pomegranates and small bells were attached. The second was a shoulder dress (habergeon) without sleeves, and reaching down to the hips, and embroidered roundabout with various designs. The third, a breastplate, foursquare and doubled, and set with twelve precious stones. Fourth, a girdle of five colors. Fifth, a mitre made of white linen; and sixth, a golden plate, formed in the shape of a halfmoon, graven with the name of the great God, written Tetragrammaton[The groups of four letters representing the name of the Supreme Being in Hebrew texts, consisting of the four consonants JHVH, JHWH, YHVH, or YHWH. From reverence and for other reasons the word JHVH was almost never uttered in later Jewish traditions (predating the Christian era), the vowel sounds of ‘Elohim,’ or of ‘Adonai’ being used instead, accompanying the Tetragrammaton in the text. The true pronunciation of the word was in this way lost, though the form ‘Yahweh’ is that on which most scholars agree.] to be worn on the forehead and reaching from ear to ear.[]

And again the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, Thou shalt make a laver of brass, and his foot also of brass and it shall be put between the tabernacle and the altar; and with the water poured in it the priests shall wash their hands and feet when about to don the holy garments and to go in and out of the tabernacle, as did Aaron and his sons while carrying the blood of the sacrifices to atone for the sins of the people, and when they went to the altar and offered incense. The laver was made of the mirrors of the women who watched at the entrance to the tabernacle. These mirrors were placed about he upper rim of the laver so that the priests could look in it and ascertain whether their faces and garments were without blemish.

The Lord also commanded Moses to make a tabernacle in this form. The tabernacle was a house consecrated to God, four-cornered and rectangular, with three closed walls toward the north, south and west. The entrance from the east was open, so that it might be lighted by the rays of the rising sun. The length was thirty cubits, the width was ten cubits, and its height ten cubits. On the south side were twenty erect boards of shittim wood, each ten cubits in length, four fingers thick, and a cubit and a half wide. These boards were made to fit together and were gilded on both sides, and each was set upon two silver perforated posts. The north wall was made in the same manner. But to the west there were six boards, all


Of the Altar of the Burnt Offerings two versions are given: one according to the Latin (‘Altare holocasti secundum latinos’), the other according to the Hebrew (‘Altare holocasti secundum hebreos’). Between these two woodcuts a third is inserted, showing a landscape, no doubt to give the idea that these altars were used in the open. The composite extends across the page to a height of 2-3/4". The Latin altar follows the description in Genesis very closely. The Hebrew altar is more elaborate, probably according to specifications worked out by some Rabbi. The structure was also known as the "brazen altar," and it stood directly in front of the principal entrance. Translated into our own measurements, it was 7 feet and 6 inches square, and 4 feet and 6 inches high. The fire used on this altar is said to have been kindled miraculously and was perpetually maintained. The altar was a place of constant sacrifice.


The Vestments of the High Priest are illustrated by a woodcut 7-3/4" x 3-3/4". In order to fully demonstrate the various points of his apparel, the high priest is made to stand with his feet apart in sailor fashion and his hands uplifted, his arms being crooked at the elbows. He wears his pointed mitre with its crescent-shaped emblem, the Tetragrammaton, or group of four letters inscribed on it, referring to the Deity; his breastplate with its twelve jewels, emblematical of the twelve tribes of Israel; his embroidered girdle; his sleeveless habergeon extending to the hips and highly embroidered; his coat, ornamented on the lower seams with alternating bells and pomegranates, and below this his long white coat. The bells were designed to assure those out and about that their officiating minister was about his holy work, and when the sound was heard they knew that he was performing his duties in proper attire. The sound indicated both when he entered and when he came out of the holy place. A failure to wear this robe would have been a wanton contempt to the holy place and its service, and would have exposed him to the judgment of death. The breastplate was a piece of embroidered work about ten inches square and made double, with a front and lining so as to function as a pouch or bag.


The Laver is represented by a woodcut 5" x 4-3/4". Elevated above its rim are twelve circular mirrors. These were not of glass as in our day, but the brazen mirrors of the women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle court (Exodus 38:8). The use of these reflectors has already been explained in the text. The laver has been conceived as a circular bowl, supported by a pedestal, giving it the appearance of a squat chalice, and here the woodcutter has added four water spouts equidistantly placed about the rim of the laver and taking on the form of animal heads.