Reading Plan 
Daily Bible Reading (daily) January 23
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Exodus 25:1--27:21

Context
The Materials for the Sanctuary

25:1 1 The Lord spoke to Moses: 25:2 “Tell the Israelites to take 2  an offering 3  for me; from every person motivated by a willing 4  heart you 5  are to receive my offering. 25:3 This is the offering you 6  are to accept from them: gold, silver, bronze, 25:4 blue, 7  purple, 8  scarlet, 9  fine linen, 10  goat’s hair, 11  25:5 ram skins dyed red, 12  fine leather, 13  acacia 14  wood, 25:6 oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil and for fragrant incense, 25:7 onyx stones, and other gems to be set in the ephod and in the breastpiece. 25:8 Let them make 15  for me a sanctuary, 16  so that I may live among them. 25:9 According to all that I am showing you 17  – the pattern of the tabernacle 18  and the pattern of all its furnishings – you 19  must make it exactly so. 20 

The Ark of the Covenant

25:10 21 “They are to make an ark 22  of acacia wood – its length is to be three feet nine inches, its width two feet three inches, and its height two feet three inches. 23  25:11 You are to overlay 24  it with pure gold – both inside and outside you must overlay it, 25  and you are to make a surrounding border 26  of gold over it. 25:12 You are to cast four gold rings for it and put them on its four feet, with two rings on one side and two rings on the other side. 25:13 You are to make poles of acacia wood, overlay them with gold, 25:14 and put the poles into the rings at the sides of the ark in order to carry the ark with them. 25:15 The poles must remain in the rings of the ark; they must not be removed from it. 25:16 You are to put into the ark the testimony 27  that I will give to you.

25:17 “You are to make an atonement lid 28  of pure gold; 29  its length is to be three feet nine inches, and its width is to be two feet three inches. 25:18 You are to make two cherubim 30  of gold; you are to make them of hammered metal on the two ends of the atonement lid. 25:19 Make 31  one cherub on one end 32  and one cherub on the other end; from the atonement lid 33  you are to make the cherubim on the two ends. 25:20 The cherubim are to be spreading their wings upward, overshadowing 34  the atonement lid with their wings, and the cherubim are to face each other, 35  looking 36  toward the atonement lid. 25:21 You are to put the atonement lid on top of the ark, and in the ark you are to put the testimony I am giving you. 25:22 I will meet with you there, 37  and 38  from above the atonement lid, from between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you about all that I will command you for the Israelites.

The Table for the Bread of the Presence

25:23 39 “You are to make a table of acacia wood; its length is to be three feet, its width one foot six inches, and its height two feet three inches. 25:24 You are to overlay it with 40  pure gold, and you are to make a surrounding border of gold for it. 25:25 You are to make a surrounding frame 41  for it about three inches broad, and you are to make a surrounding border of gold for its frame. 25:26 You are to make four rings of gold for it and attach 42  the rings at the four corners where its four legs are. 43  25:27 The rings are to be close to the frame to provide places 44  for the poles to carry the table. 25:28 You are to make the poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold, so that the table may be carried with them. 45  25:29 You are to make its plates, 46  its ladles, 47  its pitchers, and its bowls, to be used in pouring out offerings; 48  you are to make them of pure gold. 25:30 You are to set the Bread of the Presence 49  on the table before me continually.

The Lampstand

25:31 50 “You are to make a lampstand 51  of pure gold. The lampstand is to be made of hammered metal; its base and its shaft, its cups, 52  its buds, and its blossoms are to be from the same piece. 53  25:32 Six branches are to extend from the sides of the lampstand, 54  three branches of the lampstand from one side of it and three branches of the lampstand from the other side of it. 55  25:33 Three cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms are to be on one branch, and three cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms are to be on the next 56  branch, and the same 57  for the six branches extending from the lampstand. 25:34 On the lampstand there are to be four cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms, 25:35 with a bud under the first 58  two branches from it, and a bud under the next 59  two branches from it, and a bud under the third 60  two branches from it, according to the six branches that extend from the lampstand. 25:36 Their buds and their branches will be one piece, 61  all of it one hammered piece of pure gold.

25:37 “You are to make its seven lamps, 62  and then set 63  its lamps up on it, so that it will give light 64  to the area in front of it. 25:38 Its trimmers and its trays 65  are to be 66  of pure gold. 25:39 About seventy-five pounds 67  of pure gold is to be used for it 68  and for all these utensils. 25:40 Now be sure to make 69  them according to the pattern you were shown 70  on the mountain. 71 

The Tabernacle

26:1 72 “The tabernacle itself 73  you are to make with 74  ten curtains of fine twisted linen and blue and purple and scarlet; 75  you are to make them with 76  cherubim that are the work of an artistic designer. 26:2 The length of each 77  curtain is to be forty-two feet, and the width of each curtain is to be six feet 78  – the same size for each of the curtains. 26:3 Five curtains are to be joined, 79  one to another, 80  and the other 81  five curtains are to be joined, one to another. 26:4 You are to make loops of blue material along the edge of the end curtain in one set, and in the same way you are to make loops 82  in the outer edge of the end curtain in the second set. 26:5 You are to make fifty loops on the one curtain, and you are to make fifty loops on the end curtain which is on the second set, so that the loops are opposite one to another. 83  26:6 You are to make fifty gold clasps and join the curtains together with the clasps, so that the tabernacle is a unit. 84 

26:7 “You are to make curtains of goats’ hair 85  for a tent over the tabernacle; 86  you are to make 87  eleven curtains. 26:8 The length of each 88  curtain is to be forty-five feet, and the width of each curtain is to be six feet – the same size for the eleven curtains. 26:9 You are to join five curtains by themselves and six curtains by themselves. You are to double over 89  the sixth curtain at the front of the tent. 26:10 You are to make fifty loops along the edge of the end curtain in one set and fifty loops along the edge of the curtain that joins the second set. 26:11 You are to make fifty bronze clasps and put the clasps into the loops and join the tent together so that it is a unit. 90  26:12 Now the part that remains of the curtains of the tent – the half curtain that remains will hang over at the back of the tabernacle. 91  26:13 The foot and a half 92  on the one side and the foot and a half on the other side of what remains in the length of the curtains of the tent will hang over the sides of the tabernacle, on one side and the other side, to cover it. 93 

26:14 “You are to make a covering 94  for the tent out of ram skins dyed red and over that a covering of fine leather. 95 

26:15 “You are to make the frames 96  for the tabernacle out of 97  acacia wood as uprights. 98  26:16 Each 99  frame is to be fifteen feet long, and each frame is to be two feet three inches wide, 26:17 with two projections 100  per frame parallel one to another. 101  You are to make all the frames of the tabernacle in this way. 26:18 So you are to make the frames for the tabernacle: twenty frames for the south side, 102  26:19 and you are to make forty silver bases to go under the twenty frames – two bases under the first frame for its two projections, and likewise 103  two bases under the next frame for its two projections; 26:20 and for the second side of the tabernacle, the north side, twenty frames, 26:21 and their forty silver bases, two bases under the first frame, and two bases under the next frame. 26:22 And for the back of the tabernacle on the west 104  you will make six frames. 26:23 You are to make two frames for the corners 105  of the tabernacle on the back. 26:24 At the two corners 106  they must be doubled at the lower end and finished together at the top in one ring. So it will be for both. 26:25 So there are to be eight frames and their silver bases, sixteen bases, two bases under the first frame, and two bases under the next frame.

26:26 “You are to make bars of acacia wood, five for the frames on one side of the tabernacle, 26:27 and five bars for the frames on the second side of the tabernacle, and five bars for the frames on the back of the tabernacle on the west. 26:28 The middle bar in the center of the frames will reach from end to end. 107  26:29 You are to overlay the frames with gold and make their rings of gold to provide places for the bars, and you are to overlay the bars with gold. 26:30 You are to set up the tabernacle according to the plan 108  that you were shown on the mountain.

26:31 “You are to make a special curtain 109  of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn and fine twisted linen; it is to be made 110  with cherubim, the work of an artistic designer. 26:32 You are to hang it 111  with gold hooks 112  on four posts of acacia wood overlaid with gold, set in 113  four silver bases. 26:33 You are to hang this curtain under the clasps and bring the ark of the testimony in there behind the curtain. 114  The curtain will make a division for you between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place. 115  26:34 You are to put the atonement lid on the ark of the testimony in the Most Holy Place. 26:35 You are to put the table outside the curtain and the lampstand on the south side of the tabernacle, opposite the table, and you are to place the table on the north side.

26:36 “You are to make a hanging 116  for the entrance of the tent of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn and fine twined linen, the work of an embroiderer. 117  26:37 You are to make for the hanging five posts of acacia wood and overlay them with gold, and their hooks will be 118  gold, and you are to cast five bronze bases for them. 119 

The Altar

27:1 “You are to make the 120  altar of acacia wood, seven feet six inches long, 121  and seven feet six inches wide; the altar is to be square, 122  and its height is to be 123  four feet six inches. 27:2 You are to make its four horns 124  on its four corners; its horns will be part of it, 125  and you are to overlay it with bronze. 27:3 You are to make its pots for the ashes, 126  its shovels, its tossing bowls, 127  its meat hooks, and its fire pans – you are to make all 128  its utensils of bronze. 27:4 You are to make a grating 129  for it, a network of bronze, and you are to make on the network four bronze rings on its four corners. 27:5 You are to put it under the ledge of the altar below, so that the network will come 130  halfway up the altar. 131  27:6 You are to make poles for the altar, poles of acacia wood, and you are to overlay them with bronze. 27:7 The poles are to be put 132  into the rings so that the poles will be on two sides of the altar when carrying it. 133  27:8 You are to make the altar hollow, out of boards. Just as it was shown you 134  on the mountain, so they must make it. 135 

The Courtyard

27:9 “You are to make the courtyard 136  of the tabernacle. For the south side 137  there are to be hangings 138  for the courtyard of fine twisted linen, one hundred fifty feet long for one side, 139  27:10 with 140  twenty posts and their twenty bronze bases, with the hooks of the posts and their bands of silver. 27:11 Likewise 141  for its length on the north side, there are to be 142  hangings for one hundred fifty feet, with twenty posts and their twenty bronze bases, with silver hooks and bands 143  on the posts. 27:12 The width of the court on the west side is to be seventy-five feet with hangings, with their ten posts and their ten bases. 27:13 The width of the court on the east side, toward the sunrise, is to be seventy-five feet. 27:14 The hangings on one side 144  of the gate are to be 145  twenty-two and a half feet long, with their three posts and their three bases. 27:15 On the second side 146  there are to be 147  hangings twenty-two and a half feet long, with their three posts and their three bases. 27:16 For the gate of the courtyard there is to be a curtain of thirty feet, of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn and fine twined linen, the work of an embroiderer, with four posts and their four bases. 27:17 All the posts around the courtyard are to have silver bands; 148  their hooks are to be 149  silver, and their bases bronze. 27:18 The length of the courtyard is to be one hundred fifty feet 150  and the width seventy-five feet, 151  and the height of the fine twisted linen hangings 152  is to be 153  seven and a half feet, with their bronze bases. 27:19 All 154  the utensils of the tabernacle used 155  in all its service, all its tent pegs, and all the tent pegs of the courtyard are to be made of bronze. 156 

Offering the Oil

27:20 “You are to command the Israelites that they bring 157  to you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, so that the lamps 158  will burn 159  regularly. 160  27:21 In the tent of meeting 161  outside the curtain that is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons are to arrange it from evening 162  to morning before the Lord. This is to be a lasting ordinance among the Israelites for generations to come. 163 

1 sn Now begin the detailed instructions for constructing the tabernacle of Yahweh, with all its furnishings. The first paragraph introduces the issue of the heavenly pattern for the construction, calls for the people to make willing offerings (vv. 2-7), and explains the purpose for these offerings (vv. 8-9). The message here is that God calls his people to offer of their substance willingly so that his sanctuary may be made.

2 tn The verb is וְיִקְחוּ (vÿyiqkhu), the Qal imperfect or jussive with vav; after the imperative “speak” this verb indicates the purpose or result: “speak…that they may take” and continues with the force of a command.

3 tn The “offering” (תְּרוּמָה, tÿrumah) is perhaps better understood as a contribution since it was a freewill offering. There is some question about the etymology of the word. The traditional meaning of “heave-offering” derives from the idea of “elevation,” a root meaning “to be high” lying behind the word. B. Jacob says it is something sorted out of a mass of material and designated for a higher purpose (Exodus, 765). S. R. Driver (Exodus, 263) corrects the idea of “heave-offering” by relating the root to the Hiphil form of that root, herim, “to lift” or “take off.” He suggests the noun means “what is taken off” from a larger mass and so designated for sacred purposes. The LXX has “something taken off.”

4 tn The verb יִדְּבֶנּוּ (yiddÿvennu) is related to the word for the “freewill offering” (נְדָבָה, nÿdavah). The verb is used of volunteering for military campaigns (Judg 5:2, 9) and the willing offerings for both the first and second temples (see 1 Chr 29:5, 6, 9, 14, 17).

5 tn The pronoun is plural.

6 tn The pronoun is plural.

7 sn The blue refers to dye made from shellfish. It has a dark blue or purple-blue, almost violet color. No significance for the color is attached.

8 sn Likewise this color dye was imported from Phoenicia, where it was harvested from the shellfish or snail. It is a deep purple-red color.

9 sn This color is made from the eggs and bodies of the worm coccus ilicus, which is found with the holly plant – so Heb “worm of brilliance.” The powder made from the dried maggots produces a bright red-yellow color (W. C. Kaiser, Jr., “Exodus,” EBC 2:452). B. Jacob takes the view that these are not simply colors that are being introduced here, but fabrics dyed with these colors (Exodus, 765). At any rate, the sequence would then be metals, fabrics, and leathers (v. 5).

10 sn This is generally viewed as a fine Egyptian linen that had many more delicate strands than ordinary linen.

11 sn Goat’s hair was spun into yarn (35:26) and used to make the material for the first tent over the dwelling. It is ideal for tenting, since it is loosely woven and allows breezes to pass through, but with rain the fibers expand and prevent water from seeping through.

12 sn W. C. Kaiser compares this to morocco leather (“Exodus,” EBC 2:453); it was skin that had all the wool removed and then was prepared as leather and dyed red. N. M. Sarna, on the other hand, comments, “The technique of leather production is never described [in ancient Hebrew texts]. Hence, it is unclear whether Hebrew meoddamim (מְאָדָּמִים), literally ‘made red,’ refers to the tanning or dyeing process” (Exodus [JPSTC], 157).

13 tn The meaning of the word תְּחָשִׁים (tÿkhashim) is debated. The Arabic tuhas or duhas is a dolphin, and so some think a sea animal is meant – something like a dolphin or porpoise (cf. NASB; ASV “sealskins”; NIV “hides of sea cows”). Porpoises are common in the Red Sea; their skins are used for clothing by the bedouin. The word has also been connected to an Egyptian word for “leather” (ths); see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 265. Some variation of this is followed by NRSV (“fine leather”) and NLT (“fine goatskin leather”). Another suggestion connects this word to an Akkadian one that describes a precious stone that is yellow or ornge and also leather died with the color of this stone (N. M. Sarna, Exodus [JPSTC], 157-58).

14 sn The wood of the acacia is darker and harder than oak, and so very durable.

15 tn The verb is a perfect with vav (ו) consecutive; it follows in the sequence initiated by the imperative in v. 2 and continues with the force of a command.

16 tn The word here is מִקְדּשׁ (miqdash), “a sanctuary” or “holy place”; cf. NLT “sacred residence.” The purpose of building it is to enable Yahweh to reside (וְשָׁכַנְתִּי, vÿshakhanti) in their midst. U. Cassuto reminds the reader that God did not need a place to dwell, but the Israelites needed a dwelling place for him, so that they would look to it and be reminded that he was in their midst (Exodus, 327).

17 tn The pronoun is singular.

18 sn The expression “the pattern of the tabernacle” (תַּבְנִית הַמִּשְׁכָּן, tavnit hammiskan) has been the source of much inquiry. The word rendered “pattern” is related to the verb “to build”; it suggests a model. S. R. Driver notes that in ancient literature there is the account of Gudea receiving in a dream a complete model of a temple he was to erect (Exodus, 267). In this passage Moses is being shown something on the mountain that should be the pattern of the earthly sanctuary. The most plausible explanation of what he was shown comes from a correlation with comments in the Letter to the Hebrews and the book of Revelation, which describe the heavenly sanctuary as the true sanctuary, and the earthly as the copy or shadow. One could say that Moses was allowed to see what John saw on the island of Patmos, a vision of the heavenly sanctuary. That still might not explain what it was, but it would mean he saw a revelation of the true tent, and that would imply that he learned of the spiritual and eternal significance of all of it. The fact that Israel’s sanctuary resembled those of other cultures does not nullify this act of revelation; rather, it raises the question of where the other nations got their ideas if it was not made known early in human history. One can conclude that in the beginning there was much more revealed to the parents in the garden than Scripture tells about (Cain and Abel did know how to make sacrifices before Leviticus legislated it). Likewise, one cannot but guess at the influence of the fallen Satan and his angels in the world of pagan religion. Whatever the source, at Sinai God shows the true, and instructs that it all be done without the pagan corruptions and additions. U. Cassuto notes that the existence of these ancient parallels shows that the section on the tabernacle need not be dated in the second temple period, but fits the earlier period well (Exodus, 324).

19 tn The pronoun is plural.

20 sn Among the many helpful studies on the tabernacle, include S. M. Fish, “And They Shall Build Me a Sanctuary,” Gratz College of Jewish Studies 2 (1973): 43-59; I. Hart, “Preaching on the Account of the Tabernacle,” EvQ 54 (1982): 111-16; D. Skinner, “Some Major Themes of Exodus,” Mid-America Theological Journal 1 (1977): 31-42; S. McEvenue, “The Style of Building Instructions,” Sem 4 (1974): 1-9; M. Ben-Uri, “The Mosaic Building Code,” Creation Research Society Quarterly 19 (1982): 36-39.

21 sn This section begins with the ark, the most sacred and important object of Israel’s worship. Verses 10-15 provide the instructions for it, v. 16 has the placement of the Law in it, vv. 17-21 cover the mercy lid, and v. 22 the meeting above it. The point of this item in the tabernacle is to underscore the focus: the covenant people must always have God’s holy standard before them as they draw near to worship. A study of this would focus on God’s nature (he is a God of order, precision, and perfection), on the usefulness of this item for worship, and on the typology intended.

22 tn The word “ark” has long been used by English translations to render אָרוֹן (’aron), the word used for the wooden “box,” or “chest,” made by Noah in which to escape the flood and by the Israelites to furnish the tabernacle.

23 tn The size is two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. The size in feet and inches is estimated on the assumption that the cubit is 18 inches (see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 267).

24 tn The verbs throughout here are perfect tenses with the vav (ו) consecutives. They are equal to the imperfect tense of instruction and/or injunction.

25 tn Here the verb is an imperfect tense; for the perfect sequence to work the verb would have to be at the front of the clause.

26 tn The word זֵר (zer) is used only in Exodus and seems to describe something on the order of a crown molding, an ornamental border running at the top of the chest on all four sides. There is no indication of its appearance or function.

27 sn The “testimony” is the Decalogue (Exod 24:12; 31:18; Deut 4:13; 9:9; 1 Kgs 8:9); the word identifies it as the witness or affirmation of God’s commandments belonging to his covenant with Israel. It expressed God’s will and man’s duty. In other cultures important documents were put at the feet of the gods in the temples.

28 tn The noun is כַּפֹּרֶת (kapporet), translated “atonement lid” or “atonement plate.” The traditional translation “mercy-seat” (so KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV) came from Tyndale in 1530 and was also used by Luther in 1523. The noun is formed from the word “to make atonement.” The item that the Israelites should make would be more than just a lid for the ark. It would be the place where atonement was signified. The translation of “covering” is probably incorrect, for it derives from a rare use of the verb, if the same verb at all (the evidence shows “cover” is from another root with the same letters as this). The value of this place was that Yahweh sat enthroned above it, and so the ark essentially was the “footstool.” Blood was applied to the lid of the box, for that was the place of atonement (see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 269-270).

29 tn After verbs of making or producing, the accusative (like “gold” here) may be used to express the material from which something is made (see GKC 371 §117.hh).

30 tn The evidence suggests that the cherubim were composite angelic creatures that always indicated the nearness of God. So here images of them were to be crafted and put on each end of the ark of the covenant to signify that they were there. Ezekiel 1 describes four cherubim as each having human faces, four wings, and parts of different animals for their bodies. Traditions of them appear in the other cultures as well. They serve to guard the holy places and to bear the throne of God. Here they were to be beaten out as part of the lid.

31 tn The text now shifts to use an imperative with the vav (ו) conjunction.

32 tn The use of זֶה (zeh) repeated here expresses the reciprocal ideas of “the one” and “the other” (see R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 26, §132).

33 sn The angels were to form one piece with the lid and not be separated. This could be translated “of one piece with” the lid, but it is likely the angels were simply fastened to it permanently.

34 tn The verb means “overshadowing, screening” in the sense of guarding (see 1 Kgs 8:7; 1 Chr 28:18; see also the account in Gen 3:24). The cherubim then signify two things here: by their outstretched wings they form the throne of God who sits above the ark (with the Law under his feet), and by their overshadowing and guarding they signify this as the place of atonement where people must find propitiation to commune with God. Until then they are barred from his presence. See U. Cassuto, Exodus, 330-35.

35 tn Heb “their faces a man to his brother.”

36 tn Heb “the faces of the cherubim will be” (“the cherubim” was moved to the preceding clause for smoother English).

37 sn Here then is the main point of the ark of the covenant, and the main point of all worship – meeting with God through atonement. The text makes it clear that here God would meet with Moses (“you” is singular) and then he would speak to the people – he is the mediator of the covenant. S. R. Driver (Exodus, 272) makes the point that the verb here is not the word that means “to meet by chance” (as in Exod 3:18), but “to meet” by appointment for a purpose (וְנוֹעַדְתִּי, vÿnoadti). The parallel in the NT is Jesus Christ and his work. The theology is that the Law condemns people as guilty of sin, but the sacrifice of Christ makes atonement. So he is the “place of propitiation (Rom 3:25) who gains communion with the Father for sinners. A major point that could be made from this section is this: At the center of worship must be the atoning work of Christ – a perpetual reminder of God’s righteous standard (the testimony in the ark) and God’s gracious provision (the atonement lid).

38 tn The verb is placed here in the text: “and I will speak”; it has been moved in this translation to be closer to the direct object clause.

39 sn The Table of the Bread of the Presence (Tyndale’s translation, “Shewbread,” was used in KJV and influenced ASV, NAB) was to be a standing acknowledgment that Yahweh was the giver of daily bread. It was called the “presence-bread” because it was set out in his presence. The theology of this is that God provides, and the practice of this is that the people must provide for constant thanks. So if the ark speaks of communion through atonement, the table speaks of dedicatory gratitude.

40 tn “Gold” is an adverbial accusative of material.

41 sn There is some debate as to the meaning of מִסְגֶּרֶת (misgeret). This does not seem to be a natural part of the table and its legs. The drawing on the Arch of Titus shows two cross-stays in the space between the legs, about halfway up. It might have been nearer the top, but the drawing of the table of presence-bread from the arch shows it half-way up. This frame was then decorated with the molding as well.

42 tn Heb “give.”

43 tn Heb “which [are] to four of its feet.”

44 tn Heb “houses”; NAB, NASB “holders.”

45 tn The verb is a Niphal perfect with vav consecutive, showing here the intended result: “so that [the table] might be lifted up [by them].” The noun “the table” is introduced by what looks like the sign of the accusative, but here it serves to introduce or emphasize the nominative (see GKC 365 §117.i).

46 tn Or “a deep gold dish.” The four nouns in this list are items associated with the table and its use.

47 tn Or “cups” (NAB, TEV).

48 tn The expression “for pouring out offerings” represents Hebrew אֲשֶׁר יֻסַּךְ בָּהֵן (’asher yussakh bahen). This literally says, “which it may be poured out with them,” or “with which [libations] may be poured out.”

49 sn The name basically means that the bread is to be set out in the presence of Yahweh. The custom of presenting bread on a table as a thank offering is common in other cultures as well. The bread here would be placed on the table as a symbol of the divine provision for the twelve tribes – continually, because they were to express their thanksgiving continually. Priests could eat the bread after certain times. Fresh bread would be put there regularly.

50 sn Clearly the point here is to provide light in the tent for access to God. He provided for his worshipers a light for the way to God, but he also wanted them to provide oil for the lamp to ensure that the light would not go out. Verses 31-36 describe the piece. It was essentially one central shaft, with three branches on either side turned out and upward. The stem and the branches were ornamented every so often with gold that was formed into the shape of the calyx and corolla of the almond flower. On top of the central shaft and the six branches were the lamps.

51 tn The word is מְנֹרָה (mÿnorah) – here in construct to a following genitive of material. The main piece was one lampstand, but there were seven lamps on the shaft and its branches. See E. Goodenough, “The Menorah among the Jews of the Roman World,” HUCA 23 (1950/51): 449-92.

52 sn U. Cassuto (Exodus, 342-44) says that the description “the cups, knobs and flowers” is explained in vv. 32-36 as three decorations in the form of a cup, shaped like an almond blossom, to be made on one branch. Every cup will have two parts, (a) a knob, that is, the receptacle at the base of the blossom, and (b) a flower, which is called the corolla, so that each lamp rests on top of a flower.

53 tn Heb “will be from/of it”; the referent (“the same piece” of wrought metal) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

54 tn Heb “from the sides of it.”

55 tn Heb “from the second side.”

56 tn The text uses “one” again; “the one…the one” means “the one…and the next” in the distributive sense.

57 tn Heb “thus.”

58 tn For clarity the phrase “the first” has been supplied.

59 tn For clarity the phrase “the next” has been supplied.

60 tn For clarity the phrase “the third” has been supplied.

61 tn Heb “will be from it.”

62 tn The word for “lamps” is from the same root as the lampstand, of course. The word is נֵרוֹת (nerot). This probably refers to the small saucer-like pottery lamps that are made very simply with the rim pinched over to form a place to lay the wick. The bowl is then filled with olive oil as fuel.

63 tn The translation “set up on” is from the Hebrew verb “bring up.” The construction is impersonal, “and he will bring up,” meaning “one will bring up.” It may mean that people were to fix the lamps on to the shaft and the branches, rather than cause the light to go up (see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 277).

64 tn This is a Hiphil perfect with vav consecutive, from אוֹר (’or, “light”), and in the causative, “to light, give light.”

65 sn The first word refers to something like small tongs or tweezers used to pull up and trim the wicks; the second word refers to fire-pans or censers.

66 tn “are to be” has been supplied.

67 tn Heb “a talent.”

68 tn The text has “he will make it” or “one will make it.” With no expressed subject it is given a passive translation.

69 tn The text uses two imperatives: “see and make.” This can be interpreted as a verbal hendiadys, calling for Moses and Israel to see to it that they make these things correctly.

70 tn The participle is passive, “caused to see,” or, “shown.”

71 sn The message of this section surely concerns access to God. To expound this correctly, though, since it is an instruction section for building the lampstand, the message would be: God requires that his people ensure that light will guide the way of access to God. The breakdown for exposition could be the instructions for preparation for light (one lamp, several branches), then instructions for the purpose and maintenance of the lamps, and then the last verse telling the divine source for the instructions. Naturally, the metaphorical value of light will come up in the study, especially from the NT. So in the NT there is the warning that if churches are unfaithful God will remove their lampstand, their ministry (Rev 2-3).

72 sn This chapter is given over to the details of the structure itself, the curtains, coverings, boards and walls and veil. The passage can be studied on one level for its function both practically and symbolically for Israel’s worship. On another level it can be studied for its typology, for the tabernacle and many of its parts speak of Christ. For this one should see the commentaries.

73 tn The word order in Hebrew thrusts the direct object to the front for particular emphasis. After the first couple of pieces of furniture are treated (chap. 25), attention turns to the tabernacle itself.

74 tn This is for the adverbial accusative explaining how the dwelling place is to be made.

75 sn S. R. Driver suggests that the curtains were made with threads dyed with these colors (Exodus, 280). Perhaps the colored threads were used for embroidering the cherubim in the curtains.

76 tn The construction is difficult in this line because of the word order. “Cherubim” is an adverbial accusative explaining how they were to make the curtains. And מַעֲשֵׂה חֹשֵׁב (maaseh khoshev) means literally “work of a designer”; it is in apposition to “cherubim.” The Hebrew participle means “designer” or “deviser” so that one could render this “of artistic designs in weaving” (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 280-81). B. Jacob says that it refers to “artistic weavers” (Exodus, 789).

77 tn Heb “one” (so KJV).

78 tn Heb “twenty-eight cubits” long and “four cubits” wide.

79 tn This is the active participle, not the passive. It would normally be rendered “joining together.” The Bible uses the active because it has the result of the sewing in mind, namely, that every curtain accompanies another (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 348).

80 tn Heb “a woman to her sister,” this form of using nouns to express “one to another” is selected because “curtains” is a feminine noun (see GKC 448 §139.e).

81 tn The phrase “the other” has been supplied.

82 tn Here “loops” has been supplied.

83 tn Heb “a woman to her sister.”

84 tn Heb “one”; KJV “it shall be one tabernacle”; NRSV “that the tabernacle may be one whole”; NLT “a single unit.”

85 sn This chapter will show that there were two sets of curtains and two sets of coverings that went over the wood building to make the tabernacle or dwelling place. The curtains of fine linen described above could be seen only by the priests from inside. Above that was the curtain of goats’ hair. Then over that were the coverings, an inner covering of rams’ skins dyed red and an outer covering of hides of fine leather. The movement is from the inside to the outside because it is God’s dwelling place; the approach of the worshiper would be the opposite. The pure linen represented the righteousness of God, guarded by the embroidered cherubim; the curtain of goats’ hair was a reminder of sin through the daily sin offering of a goat; the covering of rams’ skins dyed red was a reminder of the sacrifice and the priestly ministry set apart by blood, and the outer covering marked the separation between God and the world. These are the interpretations set forth by Kaiser; others vary, but not greatly (see W. C. Kaiser, Jr., “Exodus,” EBC 2:459).

86 sn This curtain will serve “for a tent over the tabernacle,” as a dwelling place.

87 tn Heb “you will make them”

88 tn Heb “one”

89 sn The text seems to describe this part as being in front of the tabernacle, hanging down to form a valence at the entrance (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 284).

90 tn Heb “one”

91 sn U. Cassuto (Exodus, 353) cites b. Shabbat 98b which says, “What did the tabernacle resemble? A woman walking on the street with her train trailing behind her.” In the expression “the half of the curtain that remains,” the verb agrees in gender with the genitive near it.

92 tn Literally “cubit.”

93 sn U. Cassuto states the following: “To the north and to the south, since the tent curtains were thirty cubits long, there were ten cubits left over on each side; these covered the nine cubits of the curtains of the tabernacle and also the bottom cubit of the boards, which the tabernacle curtains did not suffice to cover. It is to this that v. 13 refers” (Exodus, 353).

94 sn Two outer coverings made of stronger materials will be put over the tent and the curtain, the two inner layers.

95 tn See the note on this phrase in Exod 25:5.

96 tn There is debate whether the word הַקְּרָשִׁים (haqqÿrashim) means “boards” (KJV, ASV, NAB, NASB) or “frames” (NIV, NCV, NRSV, TEV) or “planks” (see Ezek 27:6) or “beams,” given the size of them. The literature on this includes M. Haran, “The Priestly Image of the Tabernacle,” HUCA 36 (1965): 192; B. A. Levine, “The Description of the Tabernacle Texts of the Pentateuch,” JAOS 85 (1965): 307-18; J. Morgenstern, “The Ark, the Ephod, and the Tent,” HUCA 17 (1942/43): 153-265; 18 (1943/44): 1-52.

97 tn “Wood” is an adverbial accusative.

98 tn The plural participle “standing” refers to how these items will be situated; they will be vertical rather than horizontal (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 354).

99 tn Heb “the frame.”

100 sn Heb “hands,” the reference is probably to projections that served as stays or supports. They may have been tenons, or pegs, projecting from the bottom of the frames to hold the frames in their sockets (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 286).

101 tn Or “being joined each to the other.”

102 tn Heb “on the south side southward.”

103 tn The clause is repeated to show the distributive sense; it literally says, “and two bases under the one frame for its two projections.”

104 tn Or “westward” (toward the sea).

105 sn The term rendered “corners” is “an architectural term for some kind of special corner structure. Here it seems to involve two extra supports, one at each corner of the western wall” (N. M. Sarna, Exodus [JPSTC], 170).

106 tn Heb “they will be for the two corners.” This is the last clause of the verse, moved forward for clarity.

107 sn These bars served as reinforcements to hold the upright frames together. The Hebrew term for these bars is also used of crossbars on gates (Judg 16:3; Neh 3:3).

108 tn The noun is מִשְׁפָּט (mishpat), often translated “judgment” or “decision” in other contexts. In those settings it may reflect its basic idea of custom, which here would be reflected with a rendering of “prescribed norm” or “plan.”

109 tn Although translated “curtain” (traditionally “veil,” so ASV, NAB, NASB) this is a different word from the one used earlier of the tent curtains, so “special curtain” is used. The word פָרֹכֶת (farokhet) seems to be connected with a verb that means “to shut off” and was used with a shrine. This curtain would form a barrier in the approach to God (see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 289).

110 tn The verb is the third masculine singular form, but no subject is expressed. It could be translated “one will make” or as a passive. The verb means “to make,” but probably has the sense of embroidering both here and in v. 1.

111 tn Heb “put it.”

112 tn This clause simply says “and their hooks gold,” but is taken as a circumstantial clause telling how the veil will be hung.

113 tn Heb “on four silver bases.”

114 tn The traditional expression is “within the veil,” literally “into the house (or area) of the (special) curtain.”

115 tn Or “the Holy of Holies.”

116 sn This was another curtain, serving as a screen in the entrance way. Since it was far away from the special curtain screening the Most Holy Place, it was less elaborate. It was not the work of the master designer, but of the “embroiderer,” and it did not have the cherubim on it.

117 tn The word רֹקֵם (roqem) refers to someone who made cloth with colors. It is not certain, however, whether the colors were woven into the fabric on the loom or applied with a needle; so “embroiderer” should be understood as an approximation (cf. HALOT 1290-91 s.v. רקם).

118 tn “will be” has been supplied.

119 sn In all the details of this chapter the expositor should pay attention to the overall message rather than engage in speculation concerning the symbolism of the details. It is, after all, the divine instruction for the preparation of the dwelling place for Yahweh. The point could be said this way: The dwelling place of Yahweh must be prepared in accordance with, and by the power of, his divine word. If God was to fellowship with his people, then the center of worship had to be made to his specifications, which were in harmony with his nature. Everything was functional for the approach to God through the ritual by divine provisions. But everything also reflected the nature of God, the symmetry, the order, the pure wood, the gold overlay, or (closer to God) the solid gold. And the symbolism of the light, the table, the veil, the cherubim – all of it was revelatory. All of it reflected the reality in heaven. Churches today do not retain the pattern and furnishings of the old tabernacle. However, they would do well to learn what God was requiring of Israel, so that their structures are planned in accordance with the theology of worship and the theology of access to God. Function is a big part, but symbolism and revelation instruct the planning of everything to be used. Christians live in the light of the fulfillment of Christ, and so they know the realities that the old foreshadowed. While a building is not necessary for worship (just as Israel worshiped in places other than the sanctuary), it is practical, and if there is going to be one, then the most should be made of it in the teaching and worshiping of the assembly. This chapter, then, provides an inspiration for believers on preparing a functional, symbolical, ordered place of worship that is in harmony with the word of God. And there is much to be said for making it as beautiful and uplifting as is possible – as a gift of freewill offering to God. Of course, the most important part of preparing a place of worship is the preparing of the heart. Worship, to be acceptable to God, must be in Christ. He said that when the temple was destroyed he would raise it up in three days. While he referred to his own body, he also alluded to the temple by the figure. When they put Jesus to death, they were destroying the temple; at his resurrection he would indeed begin a new form of worship. He is the tent, the curtain, the atonement, that the sanctuary foreshadowed. And then, believers also (when they receive Christ) become the temple of the Lord. So the NT will take the imagery and teaching of this chapter in a number of useful ways that call for more study. This does not, however, involve allegorization of the individual tabernacle parts.

120 tn The article on this word identifies this as the altar, meaning the main high altar on which the sacrifices would be made.

121 tn The dimensions are five cubits by five cubits by three cubits high.

122 tn Heb “four”; this refers to four sides. S. R. Driver says this is an archaism that means there were four equal sides (Exodus, 291).

123 tn Heb “and three cubits its height.”

124 sn The horns of the altar were indispensable – they were the most sacred part. Blood was put on them; fugitives could cling to them, and the priests would grab the horns of the little altar when making intercessory prayer. They signified power, as horns on an animal did in the wild (and so the word was used for kings as well). The horns may also represent the sacrificial animals killed on the altar.

125 sn The text, as before, uses the prepositional phrase “from it” or “part of it” to say that the horns will be part of the altar – of the same piece as the altar. They were not to be made separately and then attached, but made at the end of the boards used to build the altar (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 363).

126 sn The word is literally “its fat,” but sometimes it describes “fatty ashes” (TEV “the greasy ashes”). The fat would run down and mix with the ashes, and this had to be collected and removed.

127 sn This was the larger bowl used in tossing the blood at the side of the altar.

128 tn The text has “to all its vessels.” This is the lamed (ל) of inclusion according to Gesenius, meaning “all its utensils” (GKC 458 §143.e).

129 tn The noun מִכְבָּר (mikhbar) means “a grating”; it is related to the word that means a “sieve.” This formed a vertical support for the ledge, resting on the ground and supporting its outer edge (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 292).

130 tn The verb is the verb “to be,” here the perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive. It is “and it will be” or “that it may be,” or here “that it may come” halfway up.

131 tn Heb “to the half of the altar.”

132 tn The verb is a Hophal perfect with vav consecutive: וְהוּבָא (vÿhuva’, “and it will be brought”). The particle אֶת (’et) here introduces the subject of the passive verb (see a similar use in 21:28, “and its flesh will not be eaten”).

133 tn The construction is the infinitive construct with bet (ב) preposition: “in carrying it.” Here the meaning must be that the poles are not left in the rings, but only put into the rings when they carried it.

134 tn The verb is used impersonally; it reads “just as he showed you.” This form then can be made a passive in the translation.

135 tn Heb “thus they will make.” Here too it could be given a passive translation since the subject is not expressed. But “they” would normally refer to the people who will be making this and so can be retained in the translation.

sn Nothing is said about the top of the altar. Some commentators suggest, in view of the previous instruction for making an altar out of earth and stone, that when this one was to be used it would be filled up with dirt clods and the animal burnt on the top of that. If the animal was burnt inside it, the wood would quickly burn. A number of recent scholars think this was simply an imagined plan to make a portable altar after the pattern of Solomon’s – but that is an unsatisfactory suggestion. This construction must simply represent a portable frame for the altar in the courtyard, an improvement over the field altar. The purpose and function of the altar are not in question. Here worshipers would make their sacrifices to God in order to find forgiveness and atonement, and in order to celebrate in worship with him. No one could worship God apart from this; no one could approach God apart from this. So too the truths that this altar communicated form the basis and center of all Christian worship. One could word an applicable lesson this way: Believers must ensure that the foundation and center of their worship is the altar, i.e., the sacrificial atonement.

136 tn Or “enclosure” (TEV).

137 tn Heb “south side southward.”

138 tn Or “curtains.”

139 sn The entire courtyard of 150 feet by 75 feet was to be enclosed by a curtain wall held up with posts in bases. All these hangings were kept in place by a cord and tent pegs.

140 tn Heb “and.”

141 tn Heb “and thus.”

142 tn Here the phrase “there will be” has been supplied.

143 sn These bands have been thought by some to refer to connecting rods joining the tops of the posts. But it is more likely that they are bands or bind rings surrounding the posts at the base of the capitals (see 38:17).

144 tn The word literally means “shoulder.” The next words, “of the gate,” have been supplied here and in v. 15. The east end would contain the courtyard’s entry with a wall of curtains on each side of the entry (see v. 16).

145 tn Here “will be” has been supplied.

146 tn Heb “shoulder.”

147 tn Here the phrase “there will be” has been supplied.

148 tn The text uses the passive participle here: they are to “be filleted with silver” or “bound round” with silver.

149 tn Here the phrase “are to be” has been supplied.

150 tn Heb “a hundred cubits.”

151 tn Heb “fifty.” The text has “and the width fifty [cubits] with fifty.” This means that it is fifty cubits wide on the western end and fifty cubits wide on the eastern end.

152 tn Here “hangings” has been supplied.

153 tn Here the phrase “is to be” has been supplied.

154 tn Heb “to all”; for use of the preposition lamed (ל) to show inclusion (all belonging to) see GKC 458 §143.e.

155 tn Here “used” has been supplied.

156 sn The tabernacle is an important aspect of OT theology. The writer’s pattern so far has been: ark, table, lamp, and then their container (the tabernacle); then the altar and its container (the courtyard). The courtyard is the place of worship where the people could gather – they entered God’s courts. Though the courtyard may not seem of much interest to current readers, it did interest the Israelites. Here the sacrifices were made, the choirs sang, the believers offered their praises, they had their sins forgiven, they came to pray, they appeared on the holy days, and they heard from God. It was sacred because God met them there; they left the “world” (figuratively speaking) and came into the very presence of God.

157 tn The form is the imperfect tense with the vav showing a sequence with the first verb: “you will command…that they take.” The verb “take, receive” is used here as before for receiving an offering and bringing it to the sanctuary.

158 tn Heb “lamp,” which must be a collective singular here.

159 tn The verb is unusual; it is the Hiphil infinitive construct of עָלָה (’alah), with the sense here of “to set up” to burn, or “to fix on” as in Exod 25:37, or “to kindle” (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 370).

160 sn The word can mean “continually,” but in this context, as well as in the passages on the sacrifices, “regularly” is better, since each morning things were cleaned and restored.

161 tn The LXX has mistakenly rendered this name “the tent of the testimony.”

162 sn The lamps were to be removed in the morning so that the wicks could be trimmed and the oil replenished (30:7) and then lit every evening to burn through the night.

163 sn This is the first of several sections of priestly duties. The point is a simple one here: those who lead the worship use the offerings of the people to ensure that access to God is illumined regularly. The NT will make much of the symbolism of light.



TIP #08: Use the Strong Number links to learn about the original Hebrew and Greek text. [ALL]
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