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Daily Bible Reading (daily) January 24
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Exodus 28:1--31:17

Context
The Clothing of the Priests

28:1 1 “And you, bring near 2  to you your brother Aaron and his sons with him from among the Israelites, so that they may minister as my priests 3  – Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons. 28:2 You must make holy garments 4  for your brother Aaron, for glory and for beauty. 5  28:3 You 6  are to speak to all who are specially skilled, 7  whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, 8  so that they may make 9  Aaron’s garments to set him apart 10  to minister as my priest. 28:4 Now these are the garments that they are to make: a breastpiece, 11  an ephod, 12  a robe, a fitted 13  tunic, a turban, and a sash. They are to make holy garments for your brother Aaron and for his sons, that they may minister as my priests. 28:5 The artisans 14  are to use 15  the gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine linen.

28:6 “They are to make the ephod of gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twisted linen, the work of an artistic designer. 28:7 It is to have two shoulder pieces attached to two of its corners, so it can be joined together. 16  28:8 The artistically woven waistband 17  of the ephod that is on it is to be like it, of one piece with the ephod, 18  of gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twisted linen.

28:9 “You are to take two onyx stones and engrave on them the names of the sons of Israel, 19  28:10 six 20  of their names on one stone, and the six remaining names on the second stone, according to the order of their birth. 21  28:11 You are to engrave the two stones with the names of the sons of Israel with the work of an engraver in stone, like the engravings of a seal; 22  you are to have them set 23  in gold filigree 24  settings. 28:12 You are to put the two stones on the shoulders of the ephod, stones of memorial for the sons of Israel, and Aaron will bear their names before the Lord on his two shoulders for a memorial. 25  28:13 You are to make filigree settings of gold 28:14 and two braided chains of pure gold, like a cord, and attach the chains to the settings.

28:15 “You are to make a breastpiece for use in making decisions, 26  the work of an artistic designer; you are to make it in the same fashion as the ephod; you are to make it of gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twisted linen. 28:16 It is to be square 27  when 28  doubled, nine inches 29  long and nine inches wide. 28:17 You are to set in it a setting for stones, four rows of stones, a row with a ruby, a topaz, and a beryl – the first row; 28:18 and the second row, a turquoise, a sapphire, and an emerald; 28:19 and the third row, a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; 28:20 and the fourth row, a chrysolite, an onyx, and a jasper. 30  They are to be enclosed in gold in their filigree settings. 28:21 The stones are to be for the names of the sons of Israel, twelve, according to the number of 31  their names. Each name according to the twelve tribes is to be like 32  the engravings of a seal.

28:22 “You are to make for the breastpiece braided chains like cords of pure gold, 28:23 and you are to make for the breastpiece two gold rings and attach 33  the two rings to the upper 34  two ends of the breastpiece. 28:24 You are to attach the two gold chains to the two rings at the ends of the breastpiece; 28:25 the other 35  two ends of the two chains you will attach to the two settings and then attach them 36  to the shoulder pieces of the ephod at the front of it. 28:26 You are to make two rings of gold and put them on the other 37  two ends of the breastpiece, on its edge that is on the inner side of the ephod. 28:27 You are to make two more 38  gold rings and attach them to the bottom of the two shoulder pieces on the front of the ephod, close to the juncture above the waistband of the ephod. 28:28 They are to tie the breastpiece by its rings to the rings of the ephod by blue cord, so that it may be above the waistband of the ephod, and so that the breastpiece will not be loose from the ephod. 28:29 Aaron will bear the names of the sons of Israel in the breastpiece of decision over his heart 39  when he goes into the holy place, for a memorial before the Lord continually.

28:30 “You are to put the Urim and the Thummim 40  into the breastpiece of decision; and they are to be over Aaron’s heart when he goes in before the Lord. Aaron is to bear the decisions 41  of the Israelites over his heart before the Lord continually.

28:31 “You are to make the robe 42  of the ephod completely blue. 28:32 There is to be an opening 43  in its top 44  in the center of it, with an edge all around the opening, the work of a weaver, 45  like the opening of a collar, 46  so that it cannot be torn. 47  28:33 You are to make pomegranates 48  of blue, purple, and scarlet all around its hem 49  and bells of gold between them all around. 28:34 The pattern is to be 50  a gold bell and a pomegranate, a gold bell and a pomegranate, all around the hem of the robe. 28:35 The robe 51  is to be on Aaron as he ministers, 52  and his sound will be heard 53  when he enters the Holy Place before the Lord and when he leaves, so that he does not die.

28:36 “You are to make a plate 54  of pure gold and engrave on it the way a seal is engraved: 55  “Holiness to the Lord.” 56  28:37 You are to attach to it a blue cord so that it will be 57  on the turban; it is to be 58  on the front of the turban, 28:38 It will be on Aaron’s forehead, and Aaron will bear the iniquity of the holy things, 59  which the Israelites are to sanctify by all their holy gifts; 60  it will always be on his forehead, for their acceptance 61  before the Lord. 28:39 You are to weave 62  the tunic of fine linen and make the turban of fine linen, and make the sash the work of an embroiderer.

28:40 “For Aaron’s sons you are to make tunics, sashes, and headbands 63  for glory and for beauty.

28:41 “You are to clothe them – your brother Aaron and his sons with him – and anoint them 64  and ordain them 65  and set them apart as holy, 66  so that they may minister as my priests. 28:42 Make for them linen undergarments to cover their naked bodies; 67  they must cover 68  from the waist to the thighs. 28:43 These must be on Aaron and his sons when they enter 69  to the tent of meeting, or when they approach 70  the altar to minister in the Holy Place, so that they bear no iniquity and die. 71  It is to be a perpetual ordinance for him and for his descendants 72  after him. 73 

The Consecration of Aaron and His Sons

29:1 74 “Now this is what 75  you are to do for them to consecrate them so that they may minister as my priests. Take a young 76  bull and two rams without blemish; 77  29:2 and 78  bread made without yeast, and perforated cakes without yeast mixed with oil, and wafers without yeast spread 79  with oil – you are to make them using 80  fine wheat flour. 29:3 You are to put them in one basket and present 81  them in the basket, along with 82  the bull and the two rams.

29:4 “You are to present 83  Aaron and his sons at the entrance of the tent of meeting. You are to wash 84  them with water 29:5 and take the garments and clothe Aaron with the tunic, 85  the robe of the ephod, the ephod, and the breastpiece; you are to fasten the ephod on him by using the skillfully woven waistband. 86  29:6 You are to put the turban on his head and put the holy diadem 87  on the turban. 29:7 You are to take the anointing oil and pour it on his head and anoint him. 88  29:8 You are to present his sons and clothe them with tunics 29:9 and wrap the sashes around Aaron and his sons 89  and put headbands on them, and so the ministry of priesthood will belong to them by a perpetual ordinance. Thus you are to consecrate 90  Aaron and his sons.

29:10 “You are to present the bull at the front of the tent of meeting, and Aaron and his sons are to put 91  their hands on the head 92  of the bull. 29:11 You are to kill the bull before the Lord at the entrance to the tent of meeting 29:12 and take some of the blood of the bull and put it on the horns of the altar 93  with your finger; all the rest of 94  the blood you are to pour out at the base of the altar. 29:13 You are to take all the fat that covers the entrails, and the lobe 95  that is above the liver, and the two kidneys and the fat that is on them, and burn them 96  on the altar. 29:14 But the meat of the bull, its skin, and its dung you are to burn up 97  outside the camp. 98  It is the purification offering. 99 

29:15 “You are to take one ram, and Aaron and his sons are to lay their hands on the ram’s head, 29:16 and you are to kill the ram and take its blood and splash it all around on the altar. 29:17 Then you are to cut the ram into pieces and wash the entrails and its legs and put them on its pieces and on its head 29:18 and burn 100  the whole ram on the altar. It is a burnt offering 101  to the Lord, a soothing aroma; it is an offering made by fire 102  to the Lord. 103 

29:19 “You are to take the second ram, and Aaron and his sons are to lay their hands on the ram’s head, 29:20 and you are to kill the ram and take some of its blood and put it on the tip of the right ear of Aaron, on the tip of the right ear of his sons, on the thumb of their right hand, and on the big toe of their right foot, 104  and then splash the blood all around on the altar. 29:21 You are to take some of the blood that is on the altar and some of the anointing oil and sprinkle it 105  on Aaron, on his garments, on his sons, and on his sons’ garments with him, so that he may be holy, 106  he and his garments along with his sons and his sons’ garments.

29:22 “You are to take from the ram the fat, the fat tail, the fat that covers the entrails, the lobe 107  of the liver, the two kidneys and the fat that is on them, and the right thigh – for it is the ram for consecration 108 29:23 and one round flat cake of bread, one perforated cake of oiled bread, and one wafer from the basket of bread made without yeast that is before the Lord. 29:24 You are to put all these 109  in Aaron’s hands 110  and in his sons’ hands, and you are to wave them as a wave offering 111  before the Lord. 29:25 Then you are to take them from their hands and burn 112  them 113  on the altar for a burnt offering, for a soothing aroma before the Lord. It is an offering made by fire to the Lord. 29:26 You are to take the breast of the ram of Aaron’s consecration; you are to wave it as a wave offering before the Lord, and it is to be your share. 29:27 You are to sanctify the breast of the wave offering and the thigh of the contribution, 114  which were waved and lifted up as a contribution from the ram of consecration, from what belongs to Aaron and to his sons. 29:28 It is to belong to Aaron and to his sons from the Israelites, by a perpetual ordinance, for it is a contribution. It is to be a contribution from the Israelites from their peace offerings, their contribution to the Lord.

29:29 “The holy garments that belong to Aaron are to belong to his sons after him, so that they may be anointed 115  in them and consecrated 116  in them. 29:30 The priest who succeeds him 117  from his sons, when he first comes 118  to the tent of meeting to minister in the Holy Place, is to wear them for seven days. 119 

29:31 “You are to take the ram of the consecration and cook 120  its meat in a holy place. 121  29:32 Aaron and his sons are to eat the meat of the ram and the bread that was in the basket at the entrance of the tent of meeting. 29:33 They are to eat those things by which atonement was made 122  to consecrate and to set them apart, but no one else 123  may eat them, for they are holy. 29:34 If any of the meat from the consecration offerings 124  or any of the bread is left over 125  until morning, then you are to burn up 126  what is left over. It must not be eaten, 127  because it is holy.

29:35 “Thus you are to do for Aaron and for his sons, according to all that I have commanded you; you are to consecrate them 128  for 129  seven days. 29:36 Every day you are to prepare a bull for a purification offering 130  for atonement. 131  You are to purge 132  the altar by making atonement 133  for it, and you are to anoint it to set it apart as holy. 29:37 For seven days 134  you are to make atonement for the altar and set it apart as holy. Then the altar will be most holy. 135  Anything that touches the altar will be holy. 136 

29:38 “Now this is what you are to prepare 137  on the altar every day continually: two lambs a year old. 29:39 The first lamb you are to prepare in the morning, and the second lamb you are to prepare around sundown. 138  29:40 With the first lamb offer a tenth of an ephah 139  of fine flour mixed with a fourth of a hin 140  of oil from pressed olives, and a fourth of a hin of wine as a drink offering. 29:41 The second lamb you are to offer around sundown; you are to prepare for it the same meal offering as for the morning and the same drink offering, for a soothing aroma, an offering made by fire to the Lord.

29:42 “This will be a regular 141  burnt offering throughout your generations at the entrance of the tent of meeting before the Lord, where I will meet 142  with you to speak to you there. 29:43 There I will meet 143  with the Israelites, and it will be set apart as holy by my glory. 144 

29:44 “So I will set apart as holy 145  the tent of meeting and the altar, and I will set apart as holy Aaron and his sons, that they may minister as priests to me. 29:45 I will reside 146  among the Israelites, and I will be their God, 29:46 and they will know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out from the land of Egypt, so that I may reside among them. I am the Lord their God.

The Altar of Incense

30:1 147 “You are to make an altar for burning incense; 148  you are to make it of 149  acacia wood. 150  30:2 Its length is to be a foot and a half 151  and its width a foot and a half; it will be square. Its height is to be three feet, 152  with its horns of one piece with it. 153  30:3 You are to overlay it with pure gold – its top, 154  its four walls, 155  and its horns – and make a surrounding border of gold for it. 156  30:4 You are to make two gold rings for it under its border, on its two flanks; you are to make them on its two sides. 157  The rings 158  will be places 159  for poles to carry it with. 30:5 You are to make the poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold.

30:6 “You are to put it in front of the curtain that is before the ark of the testimony (before the atonement lid that is over the testimony), where I will meet you. 30:7 Aaron is to burn sweet incense 160  on it morning by morning; when he attends 161  to the lamps he is to burn incense. 162  30:8 When Aaron sets up the lamps around sundown he is to burn incense on it; it is to be a regular incense offering before the Lord throughout your generations. 30:9 You must not offer strange incense on it, nor burnt offering, nor meal offering, and you must not pour out a drink offering on it. 30:10 Aaron is to make atonement on its horns once in the year with some of the blood of the sin offering for atonement; 163  once in the year 164  he is to make atonement on it throughout your generations. It is most holy to the Lord.” 165 

The Ransom Money

30:11 166 The Lord spoke to Moses: 167  30:12 “When you take a census 168  of the Israelites according to their number, 169  then each man is to pay a ransom 170  for his life to the Lord when you number them, 171  so that there will be no plague among them when you number them. 30:13 Everyone who crosses over to those who are numbered 172  is to pay this: a half shekel 173  according to the shekel of the sanctuary 174  (a shekel weighs twenty gerahs). The half shekel is to be an offering 175  to the Lord. 30:14 Everyone who crosses over to those numbered, from twenty years old and up, is to pay an offering to the Lord. 30:15 The rich are not to increase it, 176  and the poor are not to pay less than the half shekel when giving 177  the offering of the Lord, to make atonement 178  for your lives. 30:16 You are to receive the atonement money 179  from the Israelites and give it for the service 180  of the tent of meeting. It will be a memorial 181  for the Israelites before the Lord, to make atonement 182  for your lives.”

The Bronze Laver

30:17 183 The Lord spoke to Moses: 184  30:18 “You are also to make a large bronze 185  basin with a bronze stand 186  for washing. You are to put it between the tent of meeting and the altar and put water in it, 187  30:19 and Aaron and his sons must wash their hands and their feet from it. 188  30:20 When they enter 189  the tent of meeting, they must wash with 190  water so that they do not die. 191  Also, when they approach 192  the altar to minister by burning incense 193  as an offering made by fire 194  to the Lord, 30:21 they must wash 195  their hands and their feet so that they do not die. And this 196  will be a perpetual ordinance for them and for their descendants 197  throughout their generations.” 198 

Oil and Incense

30:22 199 The Lord spoke to Moses: 200  30:23 “Take 201  choice spices: 202  twelve and a half pounds 203  of free-flowing myrrh, 204  half that – about six and a quarter pounds – of sweet-smelling cinnamon, six and a quarter pounds of sweet-smelling cane, 30:24 and twelve and a half pounds of cassia, all weighed 205  according to the sanctuary shekel, and four quarts 206  of olive oil. 30:25 You are to make this 207  into 208  a sacred anointing oil, a perfumed compound, 209  the work of a perfumer. It will be sacred anointing oil.

30:26 “With it you are to anoint the tent of meeting, the ark of the testimony, 30:27 the table and all its utensils, the lampstand and its utensils, the altar of incense, 30:28 the altar for the burnt offering and all its utensils, and the laver and its base. 30:29 So you are to sanctify them, 210  and they will be most holy; 211  anything that touches them will be holy. 212 

30:30 “You are to anoint Aaron and his sons and 213  sanctify them, so that they may minister as my priests. 30:31 And you are to tell the Israelites: ‘This is to be my sacred anointing oil throughout your generations. 30:32 It must not be applied 214  to people’s bodies, and you must not make any like it with the same recipe. It is holy, and it must be holy to you. 30:33 Whoever makes perfume like it and whoever puts any of it on someone not a priest 215  will be cut off 216  from his people.’”

30:34 The Lord said to Moses: “Take 217  spices, gum resin, 218  onycha, 219  galbanum, 220  and pure frankincense 221  of equal amounts 222  30:35 and make it into an incense, 223  a perfume, 224  the work of a perfumer. It is to be finely ground, 225  and pure and sacred. 30:36 You are to beat some of it very fine and put some of it before the ark of the testimony in the tent of meeting where I will meet with you; it is to be most holy to you. 30:37 And the incense that you are to make, you must not make for yourselves using the same recipe; it is to be most holy to you, belonging to the Lord. 30:38 Whoever makes anything like it, to use as perfume, 226  will be cut off from his people.”

Willing Artisans

31:1 227 The Lord spoke to Moses: 228  31:2 “See, I have chosen 229  Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 31:3 and I have filled him with the Spirit of God 230  in skill, 231  in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds 232  of craftsmanship, 31:4 to make artistic designs 233  for work with gold, with silver, and with bronze, 31:5 and with cutting and setting stone, and with cutting wood, to work in all kinds of craftsmanship. 31:6 Moreover, 234  I have also given him Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, and I have given ability to all the specially skilled, 235  that they may make 236  everything I have commanded you: 31:7 the tent of meeting, the ark of the testimony, the atonement lid that is on it, all the furnishings 237  of the tent, 31:8 the table with its utensils, the pure lampstand with all its utensils, the altar of incense, 31:9 the altar for the burnt offering with all its utensils, the large basin with its base, 31:10 the woven garments, the holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments for his sons, to minister as priests, 31:11 the anointing oil, and sweet incense for the Holy Place. They will make all these things just as I have commanded you.”

Sabbath Observance

31:12 238 The Lord said to Moses, 239  31:13 “Tell the Israelites, ‘Surely you must keep my Sabbaths, 240  for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you. 241  31:14 So you must keep the Sabbath, for it is holy for you. Everyone who defiles it 242  must surely be put to death; indeed, 243  if anyone does 244  any 245  work on it, then that person will be cut off from among his 246  people. 31:15 Six days 247  work may be done, 248  but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of complete rest, 249  holy to the Lord; anyone who does work on the Sabbath day must surely be put to death. 31:16 The Israelites must keep the Sabbath by observing the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. 31:17 It is a sign between me and the Israelites forever; for in six days 250  the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.’” 251 

1 sn Some modern scholars find this and the next chapter too elaborate for the wilderness experience. To most of them this reflects the later Zadokite priesthood of the writer’s (P’s) day that was referred to Mosaic legislation for authentication. But there is no compelling reason why this should be late; it is put late because it is assumed to be P, and that is assumed to be late. But both assumptions are unwarranted. This lengthy chapter could be divided this way: instructions for preparing the garments (1-5), details of the apparel (6-39), and a warning against deviating from these (40-43). The subject matter of the first part is that God requires that his chosen ministers reflect his holy nature; the point of the second part is that God requires his ministers to be prepared to fulfill the tasks of the ministry, and the subject matter of the third part is that God warns all his ministers to safeguard the holiness of their service.

2 tn The verb is the Hiphil imperative of the root קָרַב (qarav, “to draw near”). In the present stem the word has religious significance, namely, to present something to God, like an offering.

3 tn This entire clause is a translation of the Hebrew לְכַהֲנוֹ־לִי (lÿkhahano-li, “that he might be a priest to me”), but the form is unusual. The word means “to be a priest” or “to act as a priest.” The etymology of the word for priest, כֹּהֵן (kohen), is uncertain.

4 sn The genitive “holiness” is the attribute for “garments” – “garments of holiness.” The point of the word “holy” is that these garments would be distinctive from ordinary garments, for they set Aaron apart to sanctuary service and ministry.

5 tn The expression is לְכָבוֹד וּלְתִפְארֶת (lÿkhavod ulÿtifaret, “for glory and for beauty”). W. C. Kaiser (“Exodus,” EBC 2:465), quoting the NIV’s “to give him dignity and honor,” says that these clothes were to exalt the office of the high priest as well as beautify the worship of God (which explains more of what the text has than the NIV rendering). The meaning of the word “glory” has much to do with the importance of the office, to be sure, but in Exodus the word has been used also for the brilliance of the presence of Yahweh, and so the magnificence of these garments might indeed strike the worshiper with the sense of the exaltation of the service.

6 tn Heb “And you, you will speak to.”

7 tn Heb “wise of heart.” The word for “wise” (חַכְמֵי, khakhme, the plural construct form) is from the word group that is usually translated “wisdom, wise, be wise,” but it has as its basic meaning “skill” or “skillful.” This is the way it is used in 31:3, 6 and 35:10 etc. God gave these people “wisdom” so that they would know how to make these things. The “heart” for the Hebrews is the locus of understanding, the mind and the will. To be “wise of heart” or “wise in heart” means that they had the understanding to do skillful work, they were talented artisans and artists.

8 sn There is no necessity to take this as a reference to the Holy Spirit who produces wisdom in these people, although that is not totally impossible. A number of English versions (e.g., NAB, NIV, NCV, NRSV, TEV, CEV, NLT) do not even translate the word “spirit.” It probably refers to their attitude and ability. U. Cassuto has “to all the artisans skilled in the making of stately robes, in the heart [i.e., mind] of each of whom I have implanted sagacity in his craft so that he may do his craft successfully” (Exodus, 371).

9 tn The form is the perfect tense with the vav (ו) consecutive; after the instruction to speak to the wise, this verb, equal to an imperfect, will have the force of purpose.

10 tn Or “to sanctify him” (ASV) or “to consecrate him” (KJV, NASB, NRSV). It is the garments that will set Aaron apart, or sanctify him, not the workers. The expression could be taken to mean “for his consecration” (NIV) since the investiture is part of his being set apart for service.

11 sn The breastpiece seems to have been a pouch of sorts or to have had a pocket, since it was folded in some way (28:16; 39:9) and contained the Urim and Thummim (Exod 28:30; Lev 8:8).

12 sn The word “ephod” is taken over directly from Hebrew, because no one knows how to translate it, nor is there agreement about its design. It refers here to a garment worn by the priests, but the word can also refer to some kind of image for a god (Judg 8:27).

13 tn The word תָּשְׁבֵּץ (tashbets), which describes the tunic and which appears only in this verse, is related to a verb (also rare) of the same root in 28:39 that describes making the tunic. Their meaning is uncertain (see the extended discussion in C. Houtman, Exodus, 3:473-75). A related noun describes gold fasteners and the “settings,” or “mountings,” for precious stones (28:11, 13, 14, 20, 25; 36:18; 39:6, 13, 16, 18; cf. Ps 45:14). The word “fitted” in 28:4 reflects the possibility that “the tunic is to be shaped by sewing, … so that it will fit tightly around the body” (C. Houtman, Exodus, 3:475).

14 tn Heb “and they.” The word “artisans” is supplied as the referent of the pronoun, a connection that is clearer in Hebrew than in English.

15 tn Heb “receive” or “take.”

16 tn Here the Pual perfect with the vav (ו) consecutive provides the purpose clause (equal to a final imperfect); the form follows the use of the active participle, “attached” or more Heb “joining.”

17 tn This is the rendering of the word חֵשֶׁב (kheshev), cognate to the word translated “designer” in v. 6. Since the entire ephod was of the same material, and this was of the same piece, it is unclear why this is singled out as “artistically woven.” Perhaps the word is from another root that just describes the item as a “band.” Whatever the connection, this band was to be of the same material, and the same piece, as the ephod, but perhaps a different pattern (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 301). It is this sash that attaches the ephod to the priest’s body, that is, at the upper border of the ephod and clasped together at the back.

18 tn Heb “from it” but meaning “of one [the same] piece”; the phrase “the ephod” has been supplied.

19 tn Although this is normally translated “Israelites,” here a more literal translation is clearer because it refers to the names of the twelve tribes – the actual sons of Israel.

20 tn This is in apposition to the direct object of the verb “engrave.” It further defines how the names were to be engraved – six on one and the other six on the other.

21 tn Heb “according to their begettings” (the major word in the book of Genesis). What is meant is that the names would be listed in the order of their ages.

22 sn Expert stone or gem engravers were used to engrave designs and names in identification seals of various sizes. It was work that skilled artisans did.

23 tn Or “you will mount them” (NRSV similar).

24 tn Or “rosettes,” shield-like frames for the stones. The Hebrew word means “to plait, checker.”

25 sn This was to be a perpetual reminder that the priest ministers on behalf of the twelve tribes of Israel. Their names would always be borne by the priests.

26 tn Heb “a breastpiece of decision” (חֹשֶׁן מִשְׁפָּט, khoshen mishpat; so NAB). The first word, rendered “breastpiece,” is of uncertain etymology. This item was made of material similar to the ephod. It had four rows of three gems on it, bearing the names of the tribes. In it were the urim and thummim. J. P. Hyatt refers to a similar object found in the Egyptian reliefs, including even the twisted gold chains used to hang it from the priest (Exodus [NCBC], 282).

27 tn Heb “four.”

28 tn “when” is added for clarification (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 375).

29 tn The word זֶרֶת (zeret) is half a cubit; it is often translated “span.”

30 sn U. Cassuto (Exodus, 375-76) points out that these are the same precious stones mentioned in Ezek 28:13 that were to be found in Eden, the garden of God. So the priest, when making atonement, was to wear the precious gems that were there and symbolized the garden of Eden when man was free from sin.

31 tn For clarity the words “the number of” have been supplied.

32 tn The phrase translated “the engravings of a seal” is an adverbial accusative of manner here.

33 tn Heb “give, put.”

34 tn Here “upper” has been supplied.

35 tn Here “the other” has been supplied.

36 tn Here “them” has been supplied.

37 tn Here “other” has been supplied.

38 tn Here “more” has been supplied.

39 sn So Aaron will have the names of the tribes on his shoulders (v. 12) which bear the weight and symbol of office (see Isa 9:6; 22:22), and over his heart (implying that they have a constant place in his thoughts [Deut 6:6]). Thus he was to enter the presence of God as the nation’s representative, ever mindful of the nation’s interests, and ever bringing the remembrance of it before God (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 306).

40 sn The Urim and the Thummim were two objects intended for determining the divine will. There is no clear evidence of their size or shape or the material of which they were made, but they seem to have been familiar items to Moses and the people. The best example of their use comes from 1 Sam 14:36-42. Some have suggested from the etymologies that they were light and dark objects respectively, perhaps stones or sticks or some other object. They seem to have fallen out of use after the Davidic period when the prophetic oracles became popular. It may be that the title “breastpiece of judgment” indicates that these objects were used for making “decisions” (J. P. Hyatt, Exodus [NCBC], 283-84). U. Cassuto has the most thorough treatment of the subject (Exodus, 378-82); he lists several very clear rules for their uses gathered from their instances in the Bible, including that they were a form of sacred lot, that priests or leaders of the people only could use them, and that they were used for discovering the divine will in areas that were beyond human knowledge.

41 tn Or “judgment” (KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV). The term is מִשְׁפָּט (mishpat), the same word that describes the breastpiece that held the two objects. Here it is translated “decisions” since the Urim and Thummim contained in the breastpiece represented the means by which the Lord made decisions for the Israelites. The high priest bore the responsibility of discerning the divine will on matters of national importance.

42 tn The מְעִיל (mÿil), according to S. R. Driver (Exodus, 307), is a long robe worn over the ephod, perhaps open down the front, with sleeves. It is made of finer material than ordinary cloaks because it was to be worn by people in positions of rank.

43 tn Heb “mouth” or “opening” (פִּי, pi; in construct).

44 tn The “mouth of its head” probably means its neck; it may be rendered “the opening for the head,” except the pronominal suffix would have to refer to Aaron, and that is not immediately within the context.

45 tn Or “woven work” (KJV, ASV, NASB), that is, “the work of a weaver.” The expression suggests that the weaving was from the fabric edges itself and not something woven and then added to the robe. It was obviously intended to keep the opening from fraying.

46 tn The expression כְּפִי תַחְרָא (kÿfi takhra’) is difficult. It was early rendered “like the opening of a coat of mail.” It occurs only here and in the parallel 39:23. Tg. Onq. has “coat of mail.” S. R. Driver suggests “a linen corselet,” after the Greek (Exodus, 308). See J. Cohen, “A Samaritan Authentication of the Rabbinic Interpretation of kephi tahra’,” VT 24 (1974): 361-66.

47 tn The verb is the Niphal imperfect, here given the nuance of potential imperfect. Here it serves in a final clause (purpose/result), introduced only by the negative (see GKC 503-4 §165.a).

48 sn This must mean round balls of yarn that looked like pomegranates. The fruit was very common in the land, but there is no indication of the reason for its choice here. Pomegranates are found in decorative schemes in Ugarit, probably as signs of fertility. It may be that here they represent the blessing of God on Israel in the land. The bells that are between them possibly have the intent of drawing God’s attention as the priest moves and the bells jingle (anthropomorphic, to be sure), or that the people would know that the priest was still alive and moving inside. Some have suggested that the pomegranate may have recalled the forbidden fruit eaten in the garden (the gems already have referred to the garden), the reason for the priest entering for atonement, and the bells would divert the eye (of God) to remind him of the need. This is possible but far from supportable, since nothing is said of the reason, nor is the fruit in the garden identified.

49 tn The text repeats the idea: “you will make for its hem…all around its hem.”

50 tn The words “the pattern is to be” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied in the translation for clarity and for stylistic reasons.

51 tn Heb “it”; the referent (the robe) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

52 tn The form is a Piel infinitive construct with the lamed (ל) preposition: “to minister” or “to serve.” It may be taken epexegetically here, “while serving,” although S. R. Driver takes it as a purpose, “in order that he may minister” (Exodus, 308). The point then would be that he dare not enter into the Holy Place without wearing it.

53 sn God would hear the bells and be reminded that this priest was in his presence representing the nation and that the priest had followed the rules of the sanctuary by wearing the appropriate robes with their attachments.

54 tn The word צִּיץ (tsits) seems to mean “a shining thing” and so here a plate of metal. It originally meant “flower,” but they could not write on a flower. So it must have the sense of something worn openly, visible, and shining. The Rabbinic tradition says it was two fingers wide and stretched from ear to ear, but this is an attempt to give details that the Law does not give (see B. Jacob, Exodus, 818).

55 tn Heb “the engravings of a seal”; this phrase is an adverbial accusative of manner.

56 sn The engraving was a perpetual reminder of the holiness that was due the Lord (Heb “Yahweh”), that all the clothing, the furnishings, and the activities were to come under that description. This corresponded to the symbolism for the whole nation of binding the law between the eyes. It was to be a perpetual reminder of commitment.

57 tn The verb is the perfect tense with the vav (ו) consecutive; it follows the same at the beginning of the verse. Since the first verb is equal to the imperfect of instruction, this could be as well, but it is more likely to be subordinated to express the purpose of the former.

58 tn Heb “it will be,” an instruction imperfect.

59 tn The construction “the iniquity of the holy things” is difficult. “Holy things” is explained in the passage by all the gifts the people bring and consecrate to Yahweh. But there will inevitably be iniquity involved. U. Cassuto explains that Aaron “will atone for all the transgressions committed in connection with the order of the service, the purity of the consecrated things, or the use of the holy gifts, for the declaration engraved on the plate will prove that everything was intended to be holy to the Lord, and if aught was done irregularly, the intention at least was good” (Exodus, 385).

60 tn The clause reads: “according to/by all the gifts of their holiness.” The genitive is an attributive genitive, the suffix on it referring to the whole bound construction – “their holy gifts.” The idea of the line is that the people will consecrate as holy things gifts they bring to the sanctuary.

61 tn This clause is the infinitive construct with the lamed preposition, followed by the prepositional phrase: “for acceptance for them.” This infinitive provides the purpose or result of the act of wearing the dedicatory frontlet – that they will be acceptable.

62 tn It is difficult to know how to translate וְשִׁבַּצְּתָּ (vÿshibbatsta); it is a Piel perfect with the vav (ו) consecutive, and so equal to the imperfect of instruction. Some have thought that this verb describes a type of weaving and that the root may indicate that the cloth had something of a pattern to it by means of alternate weaving of the threads. It was the work of a weaver (39:27) and not so detailed as certain other fabrics (26:1), but it was more than plain weaving (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 310). Here, however, it may be that the fabric is assumed to be in existence and that the action has to do with sewing (C. Houtman, Exodus, 3:475, 517).

63 sn This refers to a band of linen wrapped around the head, forming something like a brimless convex cap, resembling something like a half egg. It refers to the headgear of ordinary priests only (see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 310-11).

64 sn The instructions in this verse anticipate chap. 29, as well as the ordination ceremony described in Lev 8 and 9. The anointing of Aaron is specifically required in the Law, for he is to be the High Priest. The expression “ordain them” might also be translated as “install them” or “consecrate them”; it literally reads “and fill their hands,” an expression for the consecration offering for priesthood in Lev 8:33. The final instruction to sanctify them will involve the ritual of the atoning sacrifices to make the priests acceptable in the sanctuary.

65 tn Heb “fill their hand.” As a result of this installation ceremony they will be officially designated for the work. It seems likely that the concept derives from the notion of putting the priestly responsibilities under their control (i.e., “filling their hands” with work). See note on the phrase “ordained seven days” in Lev 8:33.

66 tn Traditionally “sanctify them” (KJV, ASV).

67 tn Heb “naked flesh” (so NAB, NRSV); KJV “nakedness.”

68 tn Heb “be.”

69 tn The construction for this temporal clause is the infinitive construct with the temporal preposition bet (ב) and the suffixed subjective genitive.

70 tn This construction is also the temporal clause with the infinitive construct and the temporal preposition bet (ב) and the suffixed subjective genitive.

71 tn The text has וְלאֹ־יִשְׂאוּ עָוֹן וָמֵתוּ (vÿlo-yisuavon vametu). The imperfect tense here introduces a final clause, yielding a purpose or result translation (“in order that” or “so that”). The last verb is the perfect tense with the vav consecutive, and so it too is equal to a final imperfect – but it would show the result of bearing the iniquity. The idea is that if they approached the holy things with a lack of modesty, perhaps like the pagans who have nakedness and sexuality as part of the religious ritual, they would pollute the holy things, and it would be reckoned to them for iniquity and they would die.

72 tn Heb “seed.”

73 sn So the priests were to make intercession for the people, give decisions from God’s revealed will, enter his presence in purity, and represent holiness to Yahweh. The clothing of the priests provided for these functions, but in a way that brought honor and dignity. A priest was, therefore, to serve in purity, holiness, and fear (Malachi). There is much that can be derived from this chapter to form principles of spiritual leadership, but the overall point can be worded this way: Those whom God selects to minister to the congregation through intercessory prayer, divine counsel, and sacrificial worship, must always represent the holiness of Yahweh in their activities and demeanor.

74 sn Chap. 29 is a rather long, involved discussion of the consecration of Aaron the priest. It is similar to the ordination service in Lev 8. In fact, the execution of what is instructed here is narrated there. But these instructions must have been formulated after or in conjunction with Lev 1-7, for they presuppose a knowledge of the sacrifices. The bulk of the chapter is the consecration of the priests: 1-35. It has the preparation (1-3), washing (4), investiture and anointing (5-9), sin offering (10-14), burnt offering (15-18), installation peace offering (19-26, 31-34), other offerings’ rulings (27-30), and the duration of the ritual (35). Then there is the consecration of the altar (36-37), and the oblations (38-46). There are many possibilities for the study and exposition of this material. The whole chapter is the consecration of tabernacle, altar, people, and most of all the priests. God was beginning the holy operations with sacral ritual. So the overall message would be: Everyone who ministers, everyone who worships, and everything they use in the presence of Yahweh, must be set apart to God by the cleansing, enabling, and sanctifying work of God.

75 tn Heb “the thing.”

76 tn Literally: “take one bull, a ‘son’ of the herd.”

77 tn The word תָּמִים (tamim) means “perfect.” The animals could not have diseases or be crippled or blind (see Mal 1). The requirement was designed to ensure that the people would give the best they had to Yahweh. The typology pointed to the sinless Messiah who would fulfill all these sacrifices in his one sacrifice on the cross.

78 sn This will be for the minkhah (מִנְחָה) offering (Lev 2), which was to accompany the animal sacrifices.

79 tn Or “anointed” (KJV, ASV).

80 tn The “fine flour” is here an adverbial accusative, explaining the material from which these items were made. The flour is to be finely sifted, and from the wheat, not the barley, which was often the material used by the poor. Fine flour, no leaven, and perfect animals, without blemishes, were to be gathered for this service.

81 tn The verb קָרַב (qarav) in the Hiphil means to “bring near” to the altar, or, to offer something to God. These gifts will, therefore, be offered to him for the service of this ritual.

82 tn Heb “and with.”

83 tn Here too the verb is Hiphil (now imperfect) meaning “bring near” the altar. The choice of this verb indicates that they were not merely being brought near, but that they were being formally presented to Yahweh as the offerings were.

84 sn This is the washing referred to in Lev 8:6. This is a complete washing, not just of the hands and feet that would follow in the course of service. It had to serve as a symbolic ritual cleansing or purifying as the initial stage in the consecration. The imagery of washing will be used in the NT for regeneration (Titus 3:5).

85 tn The Hiphil of לָבַשׁ (lavash, “to clothe”) will take double accusatives; so the sign of the accusative is with Aaron, and then with the articles of clothing. The translation will have to treat Aaron as the direct object and the articles as indirect objects, because Aaron receives the prominence in the verse – you will clothe Aaron.

86 tn The verb used in this last clause is a denominative verb from the word for ephod. And so “ephod the ephod on him” means “fasten as an ephod the ephod on him” (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 316).

87 sn This term does not appear in chap. 28, but it can only refer to the plate with the inscription on it that was tied to the turban. Here it is called a “holy diadem,” a diadem that is distinctly set apart for this service. All the clothing was described as “holy garments,” and so they were all meant to mark the separation of the priests to this holy service. The items of clothing were each intended for different aspects of ministry, and so this step in the consecration was designed to symbolize being set apart for those duties, or, prepared (gifted) to perform the ministry.

88 sn The act of anointing was meant to set him apart for this holy service within the house of Yahweh. The psalms indicate that no oil was spared in this ritual, for it ran down his beard and to the hem of his garment. Oil of anointing was used for all major offices (giving the label with the passive adjective “mashiah” (or “messiah”) to anyone anointed. In the further revelation of Scripture, the oil came to signify the enablement as well as the setting apart, and often the Holy Spirit came on the person at the anointing with oil. The olive oil was a symbol of the Spirit in the OT as well (Zech 4:4-6). And in the NT “anointing” signifies empowerment by the Holy Spirit for service.

89 tc Hebrew has both the objective pronoun “them” and the names “Aaron and his sons.” Neither the LXX nor Leviticus 8:13 has “Aaron and his sons,” suggesting that this may have been a later gloss in the text.

90 tn Heb “and you will fill the hand” and so “consecrate” or “ordain.” The verb draws together the individual acts of the process.

91 tn The verb is singular, agreeing with the first of the compound subject – Aaron.

92 sn The details of these offerings have to be determined from a careful study of Leviticus. There is a good deal of debate over the meaning of laying hands on the animals. At the very least it identifies the animal formally as their sacrifice. But it may very well indicate that the animal is a substitute for them as well, given the nature and the effect of the sacrifices.

93 sn This act seems to have signified the efficacious nature of the blood, since the horns represented power. This is part of the ritual of the sin offering for laity, because before the priests become priests they are treated as laity. The offering is better described as a purification offering rather than a sin offering, because it was offered, according to Leviticus, for both sins and impurities. Moreover, it was offered primarily to purify the sanctuary so that the once-defiled or sinful person could enter (see J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB]).

94 tn The phrase “rest of” has been supplied in the translation for clarification.

95 tn S. R. Driver suggests that this is the appendix or an appendix, both here and in v. 22 (Exodus, 320). “The surplus, the appendage of liver, found with cow, sheep, or goat, but not with humans: Lobus caudatus” (HALOT 453 s.v. יֹתֶרֶת).

96 tn Heb “turn [them] into sweet smoke” since the word is used for burning incense.

sn The giving of the visceral organs and the fat has received various explanations. The fat represented the best, and the best was to go to God. If the animal is a substitute, then the visceral organs represent the will of the worshiper in an act of surrender to God.

97 tn Heb “burn with fire.”

98 sn This is to be done because there is no priesthood yet. Once they are installed, then the sin/purification offering is to be eaten by the officiating priests as a sign that the offering was received. But priests could not consume their own sin offering.

99 sn There were two kinds of “purification offering,” those made with confession for sin and those made without. The title needs to cover both of them, and if it is called in the traditional way “the sin offering,” that will convey that when people offered it for skin diseases, menstruation, or having babies, they had sinned. That was not the case. Moreover, it is usual to translate the names of the sacrifices by what they do more than what they cover – so peace offering, reparation offering, and purification offering.

100 tn Heb “turn to sweet smoke.”

101 sn According to Lev 1 the burnt offering (often called whole burnt offering, except that the skins were usually given to the priests for income) was an atoning sacrifice. By consuming the entire animal, God was indicating that he had completely accepted the worshiper, and as it was a sweet smelling fire sacrifice, he was indicating that he was pleased to accept it. By offering the entire animal, the worshiper was indicating on his part a complete surrender to God.

102 tn The word אִשֶּׁה (’isheh) has traditionally been translated “an offering made with fire” or the like, because it appears so obviously connected with fire. But further evidence from Ugaritic suggests that it might only mean “a gift” (see Milgrom, Leviticus 1-16, 161).

103 sn These sections show that the priest had to be purified or cleansed from defilement of sin and also be atoned for and accepted by the Lord through the blood of the sacrifice. The principles from these two sacrifices should be basic to anyone seeking to serve God.

104 sn By this ritual the priests were set apart completely to the service of God. The ear represented the organ of hearing (as in “ears you have dug” in Ps 40 or “awakens my ear” in Isa 50), and this had to be set apart to God so that they could hear the Word of God. The thumb and the hand represented the instrument to be used for all ministry, and so everything that they “put their hand to” had to be dedicated to God and appropriate for his service. The toe set the foot apart to God, meaning that the walk of the priest had to be consecrated – where he went, how he conducted himself, what life he lived, all belonged to God now.

105 tn Here “it” has been supplied.

106 tn The verb in this instance is Qal and not Piel, “to be holy” rather than “sanctify.” The result of all this ritual is that Aaron and his sons will be set aside and distinct in their life and their service.

107 tn S. R. Driver suggests that this is the appendix or an appendix, both here and in v. 13 (Exodus, 320). “The surplus, the appendage of liver, found with cow, sheep, or goat, but not with humans: Lobus caudatus” (HALOT 453 s.v. יֹתֶרֶת).

108 tn Heb “filling.”

109 tn Heb “the whole” or “the all.”

110 tn Heb “palms.”

111 tn The “wave offering” is תְּנוּפָה (tÿnufah); it is, of course, cognate with the verb, but an adverbial accusative rather than the direct object. In Lev 23 this seems to be a sacrificial gesture of things that are for the priests – but they present them first to Yahweh and then receive them back from him. So the waving is not side to side, but forward to Yahweh and then back to the priest. Here it is just an induction into that routine, since this is the ordination of the priests and the gifts are not yet theirs. So this will all be burned on the altar.

112 tn “turn to sweet smoke.”

113 tn “them” has been supplied.

114 sn These are the two special priestly offerings: the wave offering (from the verb “to wave”) and the “presentation offering” (older English: heave offering; from a verb “to be high,” in Hiphil meaning “to lift up,” an item separated from the offering, a contribution). The two are then clarified with two corresponding relative clauses containing two Hophals: “which was waved and which was presented.” In making sacrifices, the breast and the thigh belong to the priests.

115 tn The construction is an infinitive construct with a lamed (ל) preposition. The form simply means “for anointing,” but it serves to express the purpose or result of their inheriting the sacred garments.

116 tn This form is a Piel infinitive construct with a lamed (ל) preposition. It literally reads “for filling the hands,” the idiom used throughout this chapter for ordination or installation. Here too it has a parallel use of purpose or result.

117 tn Heb “after him”; NCV, NLT “after Aaron.”

118 tn The text just has the relative pronoun and the imperfect tense. It could be translated “who comes/enters.” But the context seems to indicate that this would be when he first comes to the tent to begin his tenure as High Priest, and so a temporal clause makes this clear. “First” has been supplied.

119 tn “Seven days” is an adverbial accusative of time. The ritual of ordination is to be repeated for seven days, and so they are to remain there in the court in full dress.

120 tn Or “boil” (see Lev 8:31).

121 sn The “holy place” must be in the courtyard of the sanctuary. Lev 8:31 says it is to be cooked at the entrance of the tent of meeting. Here it says it will be eaten there as well. This, then, becomes a communion sacrifice, a peace offering which was a shared meal. Eating a communal meal in a holy place was meant to signify that the worshipers and the priests were at peace with God.

122 tn The clause is a relative clause modifying “those things,” the direct object of the verb “eat.” The relative clause has a resumptive pronoun: “which atonement was made by them” becomes “by which atonement was made.” The verb is a Pual perfect of כִּפֵּר (kipper, “to expiate, atone, pacify”).

123 tn The Hebrew word is “stranger, alien” (זָר, zar). But in this context it means anyone who is not a priest (see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 324).

124 tn Or “ordination offerings” (Heb “fillings”).

125 tn The verb in the conditional clause is a Niphal imperfect of יָתַר (yatar); this verb is repeated in the next clause (as a Niphal participle) as the direct object of the verb “you will burn” (a Qal perfect with a vav [ו] consecutive to form the instruction).

126 tn Heb “burn with fire.”

127 tn The verb is a Niphal imperfect negated. It expresses the prohibition against eating this, but in the passive voice: “it will not be eaten,” or stronger, “it must not be eaten.”

128 tn Heb “you will fill their hand.”

129 tn The “seven days” is the adverbial accusative explaining that the ritual of the filling should continue daily for a week. Leviticus makes it clear that they are not to leave the sanctuary.

130 tn The construction uses a genitive: “a bull of the sin offering,” which means, a bull that is designated for a sin (or better, purification) offering.

131 sn It is difficult to understand how this verse is to be harmonized with the other passages. The ceremony in the earlier passages deals with atonement made for the priests, for people. But here it is the altar that is being sanctified. The “sin [purification] offering” seems to be for purification of the sanctuary and altar to receive people in their worship.

132 tn The verb is וְחִטֵּאתָ (vÿhitteta), a Piel perfect of the word usually translated “to sin.” Here it may be interpreted as a privative Piel (as in Ps 51:7 [9]), with the sense of “un-sin” or “remove sin.” It could also be interpreted as related to the word for “sin offering,” and so be a denominative verb. It means “to purify, cleanse.” The Hebrews understood that sin and contamination could corrupt and pollute even things, and so they had to be purged.

133 tn The construction is a Piel infinitive construct in an adverbial clause. The preposition bet (ב) that begins the clause could be taken as a temporal preposition, but in this context it seems to express the means by which the altar was purged of contamination – “in your making atonement” is “by [your] making atonement.”

134 tn Once again this is an adverbial accusative of time. Each day for seven days the ritual at the altar is to be followed.

135 tn The construction is the superlative genitive: “holy of holies,” or “most holy.”

136 sn This line states an unusual principle, meant to preserve the sanctity of the altar. S. R. Driver explains it this way (Exodus, 325): If anything comes in contact with the altar, it becomes holy and must remain in the sanctuary for Yahweh’s use. If a person touches the altar, he likewise becomes holy and cannot return to the profane regions. He will be given over to God to be dealt with as God pleases. Anyone who was not qualified to touch the altar did not dare approach it, for contact would have meant that he was no longer free to leave but was God’s holy possession – and might pay for it with his life (see Exod 30:29; Lev 6:18b, 27; and Ezek 46:20).

137 tn The verb is “you will do,” “you will make.” It clearly refers to offering the animals on the altar, but may emphasize all the preparation that was involved in the process.

138 tn Heb “between the two evenings” or “between the two settings” (בֵּין הָעַרְבָּיִם, ben haarbayim). This expression has had a good deal of discussion. (1) Tg. Onq. says “between the two suns,” which the Talmud explains as the time between the sunset and the time the stars become visible. More technically, the first “evening” would be the time between sunset and the appearance of the crescent moon, and the second “evening” the next hour, or from the appearance of the crescent moon to full darkness (see Deut 16:6 – “at the going down of the sun”). (2) Saadia, Rashi, and Kimchi say the first evening is when the sun begins to decline in the west and cast its shadows, and the second evening is the beginning of night. (3) The view adopted by the Pharisees and the Talmudists (b. Pesahim 61a) is that the first evening is when the heat of the sun begins to decrease, and the second evening begins at sunset, or, roughly from 3-5 p.m. The Mishnah (m. Pesahim 5:1) indicates the lamb was killed about 2:30 p.m. – anything before noon was not valid. S. R. Driver concludes from this survey that the first view is probably the best, although the last view was the traditionally accepted one (Exodus, 89-90). Late afternoon or early evening seems to be intended, the time of twilight perhaps.

139 tn The phrase “of an ephah” has been supplied for clarity (cf. Num 28:5). The ephah was a commonly used dry measure whose capacity is now uncertain: “Quotations given for the ephah vary from ca. 45 to 20 liters” (C. Houtman, Exodus, 2:340-41).

140 tn “Hin” is a transliterated Hebrew word that seems to have an Egyptian derivation. The amount of liquid measured by a hin is uncertain: “Its presumed capacity varies from about 3,5 liters to 7,5 liters” (C. Houtman, Exodus, 3:550).

141 tn The translation has “regular” instead of “continually,” because they will be preparing this twice a day.

142 tn The relative clause identifies the place in front of the Tent as the place that Yahweh would meet Moses. The main verb of the clause is אִוָּעֵד (’ivvaed), a Niphal imperfect of the verb יָעַד (yaad), the verb that is cognate to the name “tent of meeting” – hence the name. This clause leads into the next four verses.

143 tn The verb now is a Niphal perfect from the same root, with a vav (ו) consecutive. It simply continues the preceding verb, announcing now that he would meet the people.

144 tn Or “will be sanctified by my glory” (KJV and ASV both similar).

sn The tabernacle, as well as the priests and the altar, will be sanctified by the power of Yahweh’s presence. The reference here is to when Yahweh enters the sanctuary in all his glory (see Exod 40:34f.).

145 tn This verse affirms the same point as the last, but now with an active verb: “I will set apart as holy” (or “I will sanctify”). This verse, then, probably introduces the conclusion of the chapter: “So I will….”

146 tn The verb has the root שָׁכַן (shakan), from which came the word for the dwelling place, or sanctuary, itself (מִשְׁכָּן, mishkan). It is also used for the description of “the Shekinah glory.” God is affirming that he will reside in the midst of his people.

147 sn Why this section has been held until now is a mystery. One would have expected to find it with the instructions for the other furnishings. The widespread contemporary view that it was composed later does not answer the question, it merely moves the issue to the work of an editor rather than the author. N. M. Sarna notes concerning the items in chapter 30 that “all the materials for these final items were anticipated in the list of invited donations in 25:3-6” and that they were not needed for installing Aaron and his sons (Exodus [JPSTC], 193). Verses 1-10 can be divided into three sections: the instructions for building the incense altar (1-5), its placement (6), and its proper use (7-10).

148 tn The expression is מִזְבֵּחַ מִקְטַר קְטֹרֶת (mizbeakh miqtar qÿtoret), either “an altar, namely an altar of incense,” or “an altar, [for] burning incense.” The second noun is “altar of incense,” although some suggest it is an active noun meaning “burning.” If the former, then it is in apposition to the word for “altar” (which is not in construct). The last noun is “incense” or “sweet smoke.” It either qualifies the “altar of incense” or serves as the object of the active noun. B. Jacob says that in order to designate that this altar be used only for incense, the Torah prepared the second word for this passage alone. It specifies the kind of altar this is (Exodus, 828).

149 tn This is an adverbial accusative explaining the material used in building the altar.

150 sn See M. Haran, “The Uses of Incense in Ancient Israel Ritual,” VT 10 (1960): 113-15; N. Glueck, “Incense Altars,” Translating and Understanding the Old Testament, 325-29.

151 tn Heb “a cubit.”

152 tn Heb “two cubits.”

153 tn Heb “its horns from it.”

154 tn Heb “roof.”

155 tn Heb “its walls around.”

156 tn Heb “and make for it border gold around.” The verb is a consecutive perfect. See Exod 25:11, where the ark also has such a molding.

157 sn Since it was a small altar, it needed only two rings, one on either side, in order to be carried. The second clause clarifies that the rings should be on the sides, the right and the left, as you approach the altar.

158 tn Heb “And it”; this refers to the rings collectively in their placement on the box, and so the word “rings” has been used to clarify the referent for the modern reader.

159 tn Heb “for houses.”

160 tn The text uses a cognate accusative (“incense”) with the verb “to burn” or “to make into incense/sweet smoke.” Then, the noun “sweet spices” is added in apposition to clarify the incense as sweet.

161 tn The Hebrew is בְּהֵיטִיבוֹ (bÿhetivo), a Hiphil infinitive construct serving in a temporal clause. The Hebrew verb means “to make good” and so in this context “to fix” or “to dress.” This refers to cleansing and trimming the lamps.

162 sn The point of the little golden altar of incense is normally for intercessory prayer, and then at the Day of Atonement for blood applied atonement. The instructions for making it show that God wanted his people to make a place for prayer. The instructions for its use show that God expects that the requests of his people will be pleasing to him.

163 tn The word “atonements” (plural in Hebrew) is a genitive showing the result or product of the sacrifice made.

164 sn This ruling presupposes that the instruction for the Day of Atonement has been given, or at the very least, is to be given shortly. That is the one day of the year that all sin and all ritual impurity would be removed.

165 sn The phrase “most holy to the Lord” means that the altar cannot be used for any other purpose than what is stated here.

166 sn This brief section has been interpreted a number of ways by biblical scholars (for a good survey and discussion, see B. Jacob, Exodus, 829-35). In this context the danger of erecting and caring for a sanctuary may have been in view. A census would be taken to count the losses and to cover the danger of coming into such proximity with the holy place; payment was made to ransom the lives of the people numbered so that they would not die. The money collected would then be used for the care of the sanctuary. The principle was fairly straightforward: Those numbered among the redeemed of the Lord were to support the work of the Lord to maintain their fellowship with the covenant. The passage is fairly easy to outline: I. Every covenant member must give a ransom for his life to avoid death (11-12); II. The ransom is the same for all, whether rich or poor (13-15); and III. The ransom money supports the sanctuary as a memorial for the ransomed (16).

167 tn Heb “and Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying.” This full means for introducing a quotation from the Lord is used again in 30:17, 22; 31:1; and 40:1. It appears first in 6:10. Cynthia L. Miller discusses its use in detail (The Representation of Speech in Biblical Hebrew Narrative, 373-86).

168 tn The expression is “when you take [lift up] the sum [head] of the Israelites.”

169 tn The form is לִפְקֻדֵיהֶם (lifqudehem, “according to those that are numbered of/by them”) from the verb פָּקַד (paqad, “to visit”). But the idea of this word seems more to be that of changing or determining the destiny, and so “appoint” and “number” become clear categories of meaning for the word. Here it simply refers to the census, but when this word is used for a census it often involves mustering an army for a military purpose. Here there is no indication of a war, but it may be laying down the principle that when they should do this, here is the price. B. Jacob (Exodus, 835) uses Num 31 as a good illustration, showing that the warrior was essentially a murderer, if he killed anyone in battle. For this reason his blood was forfeit; if he survived he must pay a כֹּפֶר (kofer) because every human life possesses value and must be atoned for. The payment during the census represented a “presumptive ransom” so that they could not be faulted for what they might do in war.

170 tn The “ransom” is כֹּפֶר (kofer), a word related to words translated “atone” and “atonement.” Here the noun refers to what is paid for the life. The idea is that of delivering or redeeming by a substitute – here the substitute is the money. If they paid the amount, their lives would be safe (W. C. Kaiser, Jr., “Exodus,” EBC 2:473).

171 tn The temporal clause uses a preposition, an infinitive construct, and then an accusative. The subject is supplied: “in numbering them” means “when [you] number them.” The verb could also be rendered “when you muster them.”

172 sn Each man was to pass in front of the counting officer and join those already counted on the other side.

173 sn The half shekel weight of silver would be about one-fifth of an ounce (6 grams).

174 sn It appears that some standard is in view for the amount of a shekel weight. The sanctuary shekel is sometimes considered to be twice the value of the ordinary shekel. The “gerah,” also of uncertain meaning, was mentioned as a reference point for the ancient reader to understand the value of the required payment. It may also be that the expression meant “a sacred shekel” and looked at the purpose more – a shekel for sanctuary dues. This would mean that the standard of the shekel weight was set because it was the traditional amount of sacred dues (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 333). “Though there is no certainty, the shekel is said to weigh about 11,5 grams…Whether an official standard is meant [by ‘sanctuary shekel’] or whether the sanctuary shekel had a different weight than the ‘ordinary’ shekel is not known” (C. Houtman, Exodus, 3:181).

175 tn Or “contribution” (תְּרוּמָה, tÿrumah).

176 tn Or “pay more.”

177 tn The form is לָתֵת (latet), the Qal infinitive construct with the lamed preposition. The infinitive here is explaining the preceding verbs. They are not to increase or diminish the amount “in paying the offering.” The construction approximates a temporal clause.

178 tn This infinitive construct (לְכַפֵּר, lÿkhapper) provides the purpose of the giving the offering – to atone.

179 tn Heb “the silver of the atonements.” The genitive here is the result (as in “sheep of slaughter”) telling what the money will be used for (see R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 11, §44).

180 sn The idea of “service” is maintenance and care of the sanctuary and its service, meaning the morning and evening sacrifices and the other elements to be used.

181 sn S. R. Driver says this is “to keep Jehovah in continual remembrance of the ransom which had been paid for their lives” (Exodus, 334).

182 tn The infinitive could be taken in a couple of ways here. It could be an epexegetical infinitive: “making atonement.” Or it could be the infinitive expressing result: “so that atonement will be made for your lives.”

183 sn Another piece of furniture is now introduced, the laver, or washing basin. It was a round (the root means to be round) basin for holding water, but it had to be up on a pedestal or base to let water run out (through taps of some kind) for the priests to wash – they could not simply dip dirty hands into the basin. This was for the priests primarily to wash their hands and feet before entering the tent. It stood in the courtyard between the altar and the tent. No dimensions are given. The passage can be divided into three sections: the instructions (17-18), the rules for washing (19-20), and the reminder that this is a perpetual statute.

184 tn Heb “and Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying.”

185 sn The metal for this object was obtained from the women from their mirrors (see Exod 38:8).

186 tn Heb “and its stand bronze.”

187 tn The form is the adverb “there” with the directive qamets-he ( ָה).

188 tn That is, from water from it.

189 tn The form is an infinitive construct with the temporal preposition bet (ב), and a suffixed subjective genitive: “in their going in,” or, whenever they enter.

190 tn “Water” is an adverbial accusative of means, and so is translated “with water.” Gesenius classifies this with verbs of “covering with something.” But he prefers to emend the text with a preposition (see GKC 369 §117.y, n. 1).

191 tn The verb is a Qal imperfect with a nuance of final imperfect. The purpose/result clause here is indicated only with the conjunction: “and they do not die.” But clearly from the context this is the intended result of their washing – it is in order that they not die.

192 tn Here, too, the infinitive is used in a temporal clause construction. The verb נָגַשׁ (nagash) is the common verb used for drawing near to the altar to make offerings – the official duties of the priest.

193 tn The text uses two infinitives construct: “to minister to burn incense”; the first is the general term and expresses the purpose of the drawing near, and the second infinitive is epexegetical, explaining the first infinitive.

194 tn The translation “as an offering made by fire” is a standard rendering of the one word in the text that appears to refer to “fire.” Milgrom and others contend that it simply means a “gift” (Leviticus 1-16, 161).

195 tn Heb “and [then] they will wash.”

196 tn The verb is “it will be.”

197 tn Heb “for his seed.”

198 tn Or “for generations to come”; it literally is “to their generations.”

sn The symbolic meaning of washing has been taught throughout the ages. This was a practical matter of cleaning hands and feet, but it was also symbolic of purification before Yahweh. It was an outward sign of inner spiritual cleansing, or forgiveness. Jesus washed the disciples feet (Jn 13) to show this same teaching; he asked the disciples if they knew what he had done (so it was more than washing feet). In this passage the theological points for the outline would be these: I. God provides the means of cleansing; II. Cleansing is a prerequisite for participating in the worship, and III. (Believers) priests must regularly appropriate God’s provision of cleansing.

199 sn The chapter ends with these two sections. The oil (22-33) is the mark of consecration, and the incense (34-38) is a mark of pleasing service, especially in prayer. So the essence of the message of the chapter is that the servants of God must be set apart by the Spirit for ministry and must be pleasing to God in the ministry.

200 tn Heb “and Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying.”

201 tn The construction uses the imperative “take,” but before it is the independent pronoun to add emphasis to it. After the imperative is the ethical dative (lit. “to you”) to stress the task to Moses as a personal responsibility: “and you, take to yourself.”

202 tn Heb “spices head.” This must mean the chief spices, or perhaps the top spice, meaning fine spices or choice spices. See Song 4:14; Ezek 27:22.

203 tn Or “500 shekels.” Verse 24 specifies that the sanctuary shekel was the unit for weighing the spices. The total of 1500 shekels for the four spices is estimated at between 77 and 100 pounds, or 17 to 22 kilograms, depending on how much a shekel weighed (C. Houtman, Exodus, 3:576).

204 sn Myrrh is an aromatic substance that flows from the bark of certain trees in Arabia and Africa and then hardens. “The hardened globules of the gum appear also to have been ground into a powder that would have been easy to store and would have been poured from a container” (J. Durham, Exodus [WBC], 3:406).

205 tn The words “all weighed” are added for clarity in English.

206 tn Or “a hin.” A hin of oil is estimated at around one gallon (J. Durham, Exodus [WBC], 3:406).

207 tn Heb “it.”

208 tn The word “oil” is an adverbial accusative, indicating the product that results from the verb (R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, §52).

209 tn The somewhat rare words rendered “a perfumed compound” are both associated with a verbal root having to do with mixing spices and other ingredients to make fragrant ointments. They are used with the next phrase, “the work of a perfumer,” to describe the finished oil as a special mixture of aromatic spices and one requiring the knowledge and skills of an experienced maker.

210 tn The verb is a Piel perfect with vav (ו) consecutive; in this verse it is summarizing or explaining what the anointing has accomplished. This is the effect of the anointing (see Exod 29:36).

211 tn This is the superlative genitive again, Heb “holy of holies.”

212 tn See Exod 29:37; as before, this could refer to anything or anyone touching the sanctified items.

213 tn The perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive follows the imperfect of instruction; it may be equal to the instruction, but more likely shows the purpose or result of the act.

214 tn Without an expressed subject, the verb may be treated as a passive. Any common use, as in personal hygiene, would be a complete desecration.

215 tn Heb “a stranger,” meaning someone not ordained a priest.

216 sn The rabbinic interpretation of this is that it is a penalty imposed by heaven, that the life will be cut short and the person could die childless.

217 tn The construction is “take to you,” which could be left in that literal sense, but more likely the suffix is an ethical dative, stressing the subject of the imperative.

218 sn This is from a word that means “to drip”; the spice is a balsam that drips from a resinous tree.

219 sn This may be a plant, or it may be from a species of mollusks; it is mentioned in Ugaritic and Akkadian; it gives a pungent odor when burnt.

220 sn This is a gum from plants of the genus Ferula; it has an unpleasant odor, but when mixed with others is pleasant.

221 tn The word “spice is repeated here, suggesting that the first three formed half of the ingredient and this spice the other half – but this is conjecture (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 400).

222 tn Heb “of each part there will be an equal part.”

223 tn This is an accusative of result or product.

224 tn The word is in apposition to “incense,” further defining the kind of incense that is to be made.

225 tn The word מְמֻלָּח (mÿmullakh), a passive participle, is usually taken to mean “salted.” Since there is no meaning like that for the Pual form, the word probably should be taken as “mixed,” as in Rashi and Tg. Onq. Seasoning with salt would work if it were food, but since it is not food, if it means “salted” it would be a symbol of what was sound and whole for the covenant. Some have thought that it would have helped the incense burn quickly with more smoke.

226 tn Or to smell it, to use for the maker’s own pleasure.

227 sn The next unit describes the preparation of skilled workers to build all that has been listed now for several chapters. This chapter would have been the bridge to the building of the sanctuary (35-39) if it were not for the idolatrous interlude. God called individuals and prepared them by his Spirit to be skilled to do the work for the tabernacle. If this were the substance of an exposition, it would clearly be a message on gifted people doing the work – close to the spiritual lesson of Ephesians 4. There would be two levels of meaning: the physical, which looks at the skilled artisans providing for a place to worship Yahweh, and the spiritual, which would bring in the Spirit-filled servants of God participating in building up his kingdom.

228 tn Heb “and Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying.”

229 tn Heb “called by name.” This expression means that the person was specifically chosen for some important task (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 342). See the expression with Cyrus in Isa 45:3-4.

230 sn The expression in the Bible means that the individual was given special, supernatural enablement to do what God wanted done. It usually is said of someone with exceptional power or ability. The image of “filling” usually means under the control of the Spirit, so that the Spirit is the dominant force in the life.

231 sn The following qualities are the ways in which the Spirit’s enablement will be displayed. “Skill” is the ability to produce something valuable to God and the community, “understanding” is the ability to distinguish between things, to perceive the best way to follow, and “knowledge” is the experiential awareness of how things are done.

232 tn Heb “and in all work”; “all” means “all kinds of” here.

233 tn The expression is לַחְשֹׁב מַחֲשָׁבֹת (lakhshov makhashavot, “to devise devices”). The infinitive emphasizes that Bezalel will be able to design or plan works that are artistic or skillful. He will think thoughts or devise the plans, and then he will execute them in silver or stone or whatever other material he uses.

234 tn The expression uses the independent personal pronoun (“and I”) with the deictic particle (“behold”) to enforce the subject of the verb – “and I, indeed I have given.”

235 tn Heb “and in the heart of all that are wise-hearted I have put wisdom.”

sn The verse means that there were a good number of very skilled and trained artisans that could come to do the work that God wanted done. But God’s Spirit further endowed them with additional wisdom and skill for the work that had to be done.

236 tn The form is a perfect with vav (ו) consecutive. The form at this place shows the purpose or the result of what has gone before, and so it is rendered “that they may make.”

237 tn Heb “all the vessels of the tent.”

238 sn There are some questions about the arrangement of the book. The placement of this section here, however, should come as no surprise. After the instructions and preparation for work, a Sabbath day when work could not be done had to be legislated. In all that they were going to do, they must not violate the Sabbath,

239 tn Heb “and Yahweh said (אָמַר, ’amar) to Moses, saying.”

240 sn The instruction for the Sabbath at this point seems rather abrupt, but it follows logically the extended plans of building the sanctuary. B. Jacob, following some of the earlier treatments, suggests that these are specific rules given for the duration of the building of the sanctuary (Exodus, 844). The Sabbath day is a day of complete cessation; no labor or work could be done. The point here is that God’s covenant people must faithfully keep the sign of the covenant as a living commemoration of the finished work of Yahweh, and as an active part in their sanctification. See also H. Routtenberg, “The Laws of Sabbath: Biblical Sources,” Dor le Dor 6 (1977): 41-43, 99-101, 153-55, 204-6; G. Robinson, “The Idea of Rest in the OT and the Search for the Basic Character of Sabbath,” ZAW 92 (1980): 32-42; M. Tsevat, “The Basic Meaning of the Biblical Sabbath, ZAW 84 (1972): 447-59; M. T. Willshaw, “A Joyous Sign,” ExpTim 89 (1978): 179-80.

241 tn Or “your sanctifier.”

242 tn This clause is all from one word, a Piel plural participle with a third, feminine suffix: מְחַלְלֶיהָ (mÿkhalleha, “defilers of it”). This form serves as the subject of the sentence. The word חָלַל (khalal) is the antonym of קָדַשׁ (qadash, “to be holy”). It means “common, profane,” and in the Piel stem “make common, profane” or “defile.” Treating the Sabbath like an ordinary day would profane it, make it common.

243 tn This is the asseverative use of כִּי (ki) meaning “surely, indeed,” for it restates the point just made (see R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 73, §449).

244 tn Heb “the one who does.”

245 tn “any” has been supplied.

246 tn Literally “her” (a feminine pronoun agreeing with “soul/life,” which is grammatically feminine).

247 tn This is an adverbial accusative of time, indicating that work may be done for six days out of the week.

248 tn The form is a Niphal imperfect; it has the nuance of permission in this sentence, for the sentence is simply saying that the six days are work days – that is when work may be done.

249 tn The expression is שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן (shabbat shabbaton), “a Sabbath of entire rest,” or better, “a sabbath of complete desisting” (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 404). The second noun, the modifying genitive, is an abstract noun. The repetition provides the superlative idea that complete rest is the order of the day.

250 tn The expression again forms an adverbial accusative of time.

251 sn The word “rest” essentially means “to cease, stop.” So describing God as “resting” on the seventh day does not indicate that he was tired – he simply finished creation and then ceased or stopped. But in this verse is a very bold anthropomorphism in the form of the verb וַיִּנָּפַשׁ (vayyinnafash), a Niphal preterite from the root נָפַשׁ (nafash), the word that is related to “life, soul” or more specifically “breath, throat.” The verb is usually translated here as “he was refreshed,” offering a very human picture. It could also be rendered “he took breath” (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 345). Elsewhere the verb is used of people and animals. The anthropomorphism is clearly intended to teach people to stop and refresh themselves physically, spiritually, and emotionally on this day of rest.



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