Some of the closing chapters of Exodus contain details that we have already looked at (Chapters 25-
35 Moses assembled the whole Israelite community and said to them, ‘These are the things the Lord has commanded you to do: 2 for six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a day of sabbath rest to the Lord. Whoever does any work on it is to be put to death. 3 Do not light a fire in any of your dwellings on the Sabbath day.’
It is worth pointing out again (Verse 2) that the Sabbath was to be a Holy day, not a holiday!
4 Moses said to the whole Israelite community, ‘This is what the Lord has commanded: 5 from what you have, take an offering for the Lord. Everyone who is willing is to bring to the Lord an offering
The Tabernacle and everything to do with it must be untainted from the start. So the offering of materials had to be given freely, and willingly.
an offering of gold, silver and bronze; 6 blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; 7 ram skins dyed red and another type of durable leather; acacia wood; 8 olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; 9 and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece.
10 ‘All who are skilled among you are to come and make everything the Lord has commanded:
Not only their material possessions but their time, skills and abilities could be offered to the lord for his service.
How did these people, who had been slaves in Egypt for many generations, acquire all this this equipment, gold, silver and precious stones?
Read Exodus 12:31-
10 ‘All who are skilled among you are to come and make everything the Lord has commanded: 11 the tabernacle with its tent and its covering, clasps, frames, crossbars, posts and bases; 12 the ark with its poles and the atonement cover and the curtain that shields it; 13 the table with its poles and all its articles and the bread of the Presence; 14 the lampstand that is for light with its accessories, lamps and oil for the light; 15 the altar of incense with its poles, the anointing oil and the fragrant incense; the curtain for the doorway at the entrance to the tabernacle; 16 the altar of burnt offering with its bronze grating, its poles and all its utensils; the bronze basin with its stand; 17 the curtains of the courtyard with its posts and bases, and the curtain for the entrance to the courtyard; 18 the tent pegs for the tabernacle and for the courtyard, and their ropes; 19 the woven garments worn for ministering in the sanctuary – both the sacred garments for Aaron the priest and the garments for his sons when they serve as priests.’
20 Then the whole Israelite community withdrew from Moses’ presence, 21 and everyone who was willing and whose heart moved them came and brought an offering to the Lord for the work on the tent of meeting, for all its service, and for the sacred garments. 22 All who were willing, men and women alike, came and brought gold jewellery of all kinds: brooches, earrings, rings and ornaments. They all presented their gold as a wave offering to the Lord. 23 Everyone who had blue, purple or scarlet yarn or fine linen, or goat hair, ram skins dyed red or other durable leather brought them. 24 Those presenting an offering of silver or bronze brought it as an offering to the Lord, and everyone who had acacia wood for any part of the work brought it. 25 Every skilled woman spun with her hands and brought what she had spun – blue, purple or scarlet yarn or fine linen. 26 And all the women who were willing and had the skill spun the goat hair. 27 The leaders brought onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece. 28 They also brought spices and olive oil for the light and for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense. 29 All the Israelite men and women who were willing brought to the Lord freewill offerings for all the work the Lord through Moses had commanded them to do.
This reminded me of the new church coming together in Acts 2:44-
30 Then Moses said to the Israelites, ‘See, the Lord has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 31 and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills – 32 to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, 33 to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic crafts. 34 And he has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach others. 35 He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers – all of them skilled workers and designers.
36 1 So Bezalel, Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord has given skill and ability to know how to carry out all the work of constructing the sanctuary are to do the work just as the Lord has commanded.’
2 Then Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord had given ability and who was willing to come and do the work.
Again, only willing volunteers could work on the Tabernacle.
3 They received from Moses all the offerings the Israelites had brought to carry out the work of constructing the sanctuary. And the people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning. 4 So all the skilled workers who were doing all the work on the sanctuary left what they were doing 5 and said to Moses, ‘The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the Lord commanded to be done.’
6 Then Moses gave an order and they sent this word throughout the camp: ‘No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.’ And so the people were restrained from bringing more, 7 because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work.
Their treasurer must have been overjoyed – to have people so willing to give to the Lord’s work that they had to be restrained, speaks volumes in many of our churches and Christian charities today!
8 All those who were skilled among the workers made the tabernacle with ten curtains of finely twisted linen and blue, purple and scarlet yarn, with cherubim woven into them by expert hands. 9 All the curtains were the same size – twenty-
14 They made curtains of goat hair for the tent over the tabernacle – eleven altogether. 15 All eleven curtains were the same size – thirty cubits long and four cubits wide. 16 They joined five of the curtains into one set and the other six into another set. 17 Then they made fifty loops along the edge of the end curtain in one set and also along the edge of the end curtain in the other set. 18 They made fifty bronze clasps to fasten the tent together as a unit. 19 Then they made for the tent a covering of ram skins dyed red, and over that a covering of other durable leather.
20 They made upright frames of acacia wood for the tabernacle. 21 Each frame was ten cubits long and a cubit and a half wide, 22 with two projections set parallel to each other. They made all the frames of the tabernacle in this way. 23 They made twenty frames for the south side of the tabernacle 24 and made forty silver bases to go under them – two bases for each frame, one under each projection. 25 For the other side, the north side of the tabernacle, they made twenty frames 26 and forty silver bases – two under each frame. 27 They made six frames for the far end, that is, the west end of the tabernacle, 28 and two frames were made for the corners of the tabernacle at the far end. 29 At these two corners the frames were double from the bottom all the way to the top and fitted into a single ring; both were made alike. 30 So there were eight frames and sixteen silver bases – two under each frame.
31 They also made crossbars of acacia wood: five for the frames on one side of the tabernacle, 32 five for those on the other side, and five for the frames on the west, at the far end of the tabernacle. 33 They made the centre crossbar so that it extended from end to end at the middle of the frames. 34 They overlaid the frames with gold and made gold rings to hold the crossbars. They also overlaid the crossbars with gold.
35 They made the curtain of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen, with cherubim woven into it by a skilled worker. 36 They made four posts of acacia wood for it and overlaid them with gold. They made gold hooks for them and cast their four silver bases. 37 For the entrance to the tent they made a curtain of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen – the work of an embroiderer; 38 and they made five posts with hooks for them. They overlaid the tops of the posts and their bands with gold and made their five bases of bronze.
1 Bezalel made the ark of acacia wood – two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. 2 He overlaid it with pure gold, both inside and out, and made a gold moulding around it. 3 He cast four gold rings for it and fastened them to its four feet, with two rings on one side and two rings on the other. 4 Then he made poles of acacia wood and overlaid them with gold. 5 And he inserted the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark to carry it.
6 He made the atonement cover of pure gold – two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. 7 Then he made two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover. 8 He made one cherub on one end and the second cherub on the other; at the two ends he made them of one piece with the cover. 9 The cherubim had their wings spread upwards, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim faced each other, looking towards the cover.
10 They made the table of acacia wood – two cubits long, a cubit wide and a cubit and a half high] 11 Then they overlaid it with pure gold and made a gold moulding around it. 12 They also made around it a rim a handbreadth wide and put a gold moulding on the rim. 13 They cast four gold rings for the table and fastened them to the four corners, where the four legs were. 14 The rings were put close to the rim to hold the poles used in carrying the table. 15 The poles for carrying the table were made of acacia wood and were overlaid with gold. 16 And they made from pure gold the articles for the table – its plates and dishes and bowls and its pitchers for the pouring out of drink offerings.
17 They made the lampstand of pure gold. They hammered out its base and shaft, and made its flowerlike cups, buds and blossoms of one piece with them. 18 Six branches extended from the sides of the lampstand – three on one side and three on the other. 19 Three cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms were on one branch, three on the next branch and the same for all six branches extending from the lampstand. 20 And on the lampstand were four cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms. 21 One bud was under the first pair of branches extending from the lampstand, a second bud under the second pair, and a third bud under the third pair – six branches in all. 22 The buds and the branches were all of one piece with the lampstand, hammered out of pure gold.
23 They made its seven lamps, as well as its wick trimmers and trays, of pure gold. 24 They made the lampstand and all its accessories from one talent of pure gold.
25 They made the altar of incense out of acacia wood. It was square, a cubit long and a cubit wide and two cubits high – its horns of one piece with it. 26 They overlaid the top and all the sides and the horns with pure gold, and made a gold moulding around it. 27 They made two gold rings below the moulding – two on each of the opposite sides – to hold the poles used to carry it. 28 They made the poles of acacia wood and overlaid them with gold.
29 They also made the sacred anointing oil and the pure, fragrant incense – the work of a perfumer.
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