Reading Plan 
Daily Bible Reading (daily) January 27
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Exodus 38:1--40:38

Context
The Making of the Altar for the Burnt Offering

38:1 He made the altar for the burnt offering of acacia wood seven feet six inches long and seven feet six inches wide – it was square – and its height was four feet six inches. 38:2 He made its horns on its four corners; its horns were part of it, 1  and he overlaid it with bronze. 38:3 He made all the utensils of the altar – the pots, the shovels, the tossing bowls, the meat hooks, and the fire pans – he made all its utensils of bronze. 38:4 He made a grating for the altar, a network of bronze under its ledge, halfway up from the bottom. 38:5 He cast four rings for the four corners of the bronze grating, to provide places for the poles. 38:6 He made the poles of acacia wood and overlaid them with bronze. 38:7 He put the poles into the rings on the sides of the altar, with which to carry it. He made the altar 2  hollow, out of boards.

38:8 He made the large basin of bronze and its pedestal of bronze from the mirrors of the women who served 3  at the entrance of the tent of meeting.

The Construction of the Courtyard

38:9 He made the courtyard. For the south side 4  the hangings of the courtyard were of fine twisted linen, one hundred fifty feet long, 38:10 with 5  their twenty posts and their twenty bronze bases, with the hooks of the posts and their bands of silver. 38:11 For the north side the hangings were 6  one hundred fifty feet, with their twenty posts and their twenty bronze bases, with the hooks of the posts and their bands of silver. 38:12 For the west side there were 7  hangings seventy-five feet long, with 8  their ten posts and their ten bases, with the hooks of the posts and their bands of silver. 38:13 For the east side, toward the sunrise, it was seventy-five feet wide, 9  38:14 with hangings on one side 10  of the gate that were twenty-two and a half feet long, with their three posts and their three bases, 38:15 and for the second side of the gate of the courtyard, just like the other, 11  the hangings were twenty-two and a half feet long, with their three posts and their three bases. 38:16 All the hangings around the courtyard were of fine twisted linen. 38:17 The bases for the posts were bronze. The hooks of the posts and their bands were silver, their tops were overlaid with silver, and all the posts of the courtyard had silver bands. 12  38:18 The curtain 13  for the gate of the courtyard was of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn and fine twisted linen, the work of an embroiderer. It was thirty feet long, and like the hangings in the courtyard, it was seven and a half feet high, 38:19 with four posts and their four bronze bases. Their hooks and their bands were silver, and their tops were overlaid with silver. 38:20 All the tent pegs of the tabernacle and of the courtyard all around were bronze.

The Materials of the Construction

38:21 This is the inventory 14  of the tabernacle, the tabernacle of the testimony, which was counted 15  by the order 16  of Moses, being the work 17  of the Levites under the direction 18  of Ithamar, son of Aaron the priest. 38:22 Now Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, made everything that the Lord had commanded Moses; 38:23 and with him was Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, an artisan, a designer, and an embroiderer in blue, purple, and scarlet yarn and fine linen.

38:24 All the gold that was used for the work, in all the work of the sanctuary 19  (namely, 20  the gold of the wave offering) was twenty-nine talents and 730 shekels, 21  according to the sanctuary shekel.

38:25 The silver of those who were numbered of the community was one hundred talents and 1,775 shekels, 22  according to the sanctuary shekel, 38:26 one beka per person, that is, a half shekel, 23  according to the sanctuary shekel, for everyone who crossed over to those numbered, from twenty years old or older, 24  603,550 in all. 25  38:27 The one hundred talents of silver were used for casting the bases of the sanctuary and the bases of the special curtain – one hundred bases for one hundred talents, one talent per base. 38:28 From the remaining 1,775 shekels 26  he made hooks for the posts, overlaid their tops, and made bands for them.

38:29 The bronze of the wave offering was seventy talents and 2,400 shekels. 27  38:30 With it he made the bases for the door of the tent of meeting, the bronze altar, the bronze grating for it, and all the utensils of the altar, 38:31 the bases for the courtyard all around, the bases for the gate of the courtyard, all the tent pegs of the tabernacle, and all the tent pegs of the courtyard all around. 28 

The Making of the Priestly Garments

39:1 From the blue, purple, and scarlet yarn they made woven garments for serving in the sanctuary; they made holy garments that were for Aaron, just as the Lord had commanded Moses. 29 

The Ephod

39:2 He made the ephod of gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twisted linen. 39:3 They hammered the gold into thin sheets and cut it into narrow strips to weave 30  them into the blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and into the fine linen, the work of an artistic designer. 39:4 They made shoulder pieces for it, attached to two of its corners, so it could be joined together. 39:5 The artistically woven waistband of the ephod that was on it was like it, of one piece with it, 31  of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet yarn and fine twisted linen, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

39:6 They set the onyx stones in gold filigree settings, engraved as with the engravings of a seal 32  with the names of the sons of Israel. 33  39:7 He put 34  them on the shoulder pieces of the ephod as stones of memorial for the Israelites, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

The Breastpiece of Decision

39:8 He made the breastpiece, the work of an artistic designer, in the same fashion as the ephod, of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet, and fine twisted linen. 39:9 It was square – they made the breastpiece doubled, nine inches long and nine inches wide when doubled. 39:10 They set on it 35  four rows of stones: a row with a ruby, a topaz, and a beryl – the first row; 39:11 and the second row, a turquoise, a sapphire, and an emerald; 39:12 and the third row, a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; 39:13 and the fourth row, a chrysolite, an onyx, and a jasper. They were enclosed in gold filigree settings. 39:14 The stones were for the names of the sons of Israel, twelve, corresponding to the number of 36  their names. Each name corresponding to one of the twelve tribes was like the engravings of a seal.

39:15 They made for the breastpiece braided chains like cords of pure gold, 39:16 and they made two gold filigree settings and two gold rings, and they attached the two rings to the upper 37  two ends of the breastpiece. 39:17 They attached the two gold chains to the two rings at the ends of the breastpiece; 39:18 the other 38  two ends of the two chains they attached to the two settings, and they attached them to the shoulder pieces of the ephod at the front of it. 39:19 They made two rings of gold and put them on the other 39  two ends of the breastpiece on its edge, which is on the inner side of the ephod. 40  39:20 They made two more 41  gold rings and attached 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. 39:21 They tied the breastpiece by its rings to the rings of the ephod by blue cord, so that it was above the waistband of the ephod, so that the breastpiece would not be loose from the ephod, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

The Other Garments

39:22 He made the robe of the ephod completely blue, the work of a weaver. 39:23 There was an opening in the center of the robe, like the opening of a collar, with an edge all around the opening so that it could not be torn. 39:24 They made pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn and twisted linen 42  around the hem of the robe. 39:25 They made bells of pure gold and attached the bells between the pomegranates around the hem of the robe between the pomegranates. 39:26 There was 43  a bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate, all around the hem of the robe, to be used in ministering, 44  just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

39:27 They made tunics of fine linen – the work of a weaver, for Aaron and for his sons – 39:28 and the turban of fine linen, the headbands of fine linen, and the undergarments of fine twisted linen. 39:29 The sash was of fine twisted linen and blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, the work of an embroiderer, just as the Lord had commanded Moses. 39:30 They made a plate, the holy diadem, of pure gold and wrote on it an inscription, as on the engravings of a seal, “Holiness to the Lord.” 39:31 They attached to it a blue cord, to attach it to the turban above, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

Moses Inspects the Sanctuary

39:32 45 So all the work of the tabernacle, the tent of meeting, was completed, and the Israelites did according to all that the Lord had commanded Moses – they did it exactly so. 39:33 They brought the tabernacle to Moses, the tent and all its furnishings, clasps, frames, bars, posts, and bases; 39:34 and the coverings of ram skins dyed red, the covering of fine leather, 46  and the protecting 47  curtain; 39:35 the ark of the testimony and its poles, and the atonement lid; 39:36 the table, all its utensils, and the Bread of the Presence; 39:37 the pure 48  lampstand, its lamps, with the lamps set in order, and all its accessories, and oil for the light; 39:38 and the gold altar, and the anointing oil, and the fragrant incense; and the curtain for the entrance to the tent; 39:39 the bronze altar and its bronze grating, its poles, and all its utensils; the large basin with its pedestal; 39:40 the hangings of the courtyard, its posts and its bases, and the curtain for the gateway of the courtyard, its ropes and its tent pegs, and all the furnishings 49  for the service of the tabernacle, for the tent of meeting; 39:41 the woven garments for serving 50  in the sanctuary, the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments for his sons to minister as priests.

39:42 The Israelites did all the work according to all that the Lord had commanded Moses. 39:43 Moses inspected 51  all the work – and 52  they had done it just as the Lord had commanded – they had done it exactly – and Moses blessed them. 53 

Setting Up the Sanctuary

40:1 54 Then the Lord spoke to Moses: 55  40:2 “On the first day of the first month you are to set up 56  the tabernacle, the tent of meeting. 40:3 You are to place the ark of the testimony in it and shield the ark with the special curtain. 40:4 You are to bring in the table and set out the things that belong on it; 57  then you are to bring in the lampstand and set up its lamps. 40:5 You are to put 58  the gold altar for incense in front of the ark of the testimony and put the curtain at the entrance to the tabernacle. 40:6 You are to put the altar for the burnt offering in front of the entrance to the tabernacle, the tent of meeting. 40:7 You are to put the large basin between the tent of meeting and the altar and put water in it. 59  40:8 You are to set up the courtyard around it and put the curtain at the gate of the courtyard. 40:9 And take 60  the anointing oil, and anoint 61  the tabernacle and all that is in it, and sanctify 62  it and all its furnishings, and it will be holy. 40:10 Then you are to anoint the altar for the burnt offering with 63  all its utensils; you are to sanctify the altar, and it will be the most holy altar. 40:11 You must also anoint the large basin and its pedestal, and you are to sanctify it. 64 

40:12 “You are to bring 65  Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the tent of meeting and wash them with water. 40:13 Then you are to clothe Aaron with the holy garments and anoint him and sanctify him so that he may minister as my priest. 40:14 You are to bring 66  his sons and clothe them with tunics 40:15 and anoint them just as you anointed their father, so that they may minister as my priests; their anointing will make them a priesthood that will continue throughout their generations.” 40:16 This is what Moses did, according to all the Lord had commanded him – so he did.

40:17 So the tabernacle was set up on the first day of the first month, in the second year. 40:18 When Moses set up the tabernacle and put its bases in place, he set up its frames, attached its bars, and set up its posts. 40:19 Then he spread the tent over the tabernacle and put the covering of the tent over it, as the Lord had commanded Moses. 40:20 He took the testimony and put it in the ark, attached the poles to the ark, and then put the atonement lid on the ark. 40:21 And he brought the ark into the tabernacle, hung 67  the protecting curtain, 68  and shielded the ark of the testimony from view, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

40:22 And he put the table in the tent of meeting, on the north side of the tabernacle, outside the curtain. 40:23 And he set the bread in order on it 69  before the Lord, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

40:24 And he put the lampstand in the tent of meeting opposite the table, on the south side of the tabernacle. 40:25 Then he set up the lamps before the Lord, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

40:26 And he put the gold altar in the tent of meeting in front of the curtain, 40:27 and he burned fragrant incense on it, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

40:28 Then he put the curtain at the entrance to the tabernacle. 40:29 He also put the altar for the burnt offering by the entrance to the tabernacle, the tent of meeting, and offered on it the burnt offering and the meal offering, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

40:30 Then he put the large basin between the tent of meeting and the altar and put water in it 70  for washing. 40:31 Moses and Aaron and his sons would wash their hands and their feet from it. 40:32 Whenever they entered 71  the tent of meeting, and whenever they approached 72  the altar, they would wash, 73  just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

40:33 And he set up the courtyard around the tabernacle and the altar, and put the curtain at the gate of the courtyard. So Moses finished the work.

40:34 Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 40:35 Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 40:36 But when the cloud was lifted up 74  from the tabernacle, the Israelites would set out 75  on all their journeys; 40:37 but if the cloud was not lifted up, then they would not journey further until the day it was lifted up. 76  40:38 For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, but fire would be 77  on it at night, in plain view 78  of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.

1 tn Heb “its horns were from it,” meaning from the same piece.

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

3 sn The word for “serve” is not the ordinary one. It means “to serve in a host,” especially in a war. It appears that women were organized into bands and served at the tent of meeting. S. R. Driver thinks that this meant “no doubt” washing, cleaning, or repairing (Exodus, 391). But there is no hint of that (see 1 Sam 2:22; and see Ps 68:11 [12 Hebrew text]). They seem to have had more to do than what Driver said.

4 tn Heb “south side southward.”

5 tn While this verse could be translated as an independent sentence, it is probably to be subordinated as a circumstantial clause in line with Exod 27:10-12, as well as v. 12 of this passage.

6 tn Here the phrase “the hangings were” has been supplied.

7 tn The phrase “there were” has been supplied.

8 tn The text simply has “their posts ten and their bases ten”; this may be added here as a circumstantial clause with the main sentence in order to make sense out of the construction.

9 tn The text simply says “seventy-five feet.”

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

11 tn Heb “from this and from this” (cf, 17:12; 25:19; 26:13; 32:15; Josh 8:22, 33; 1 Kgs 10:19-20; Ezek 45:7).

12 tn Heb “they were banded with silver.”

13 tn This word is different from the word for hangings; it has more of the idea of a screen, shielding or securing the area.

14 tn The Hebrew word is פְּקוּדֵי (pÿqude), which in a slavishly literal way would be “visitations of” the tabernacle. But the word often has the idea of “numbering” or “appointing” as well. Here it is an accounting or enumeration of the materials that people brought, so the contemporary term “inventory” is a close approximation. By using this Hebrew word there is also the indication that whatever was given, i.e., appointed for the tabernacle, was changed forever in its use. This is consistent with this Hebrew root, which does have a sense of changing the destiny of someone (“God will surely visit you”). The list in this section will also be tied to the numbering of the people.

15 tn The same verb is used here, but now in the Pual perfect tense, third masculine singular. A translation “was numbered” or “was counted” works. The verb is singular because it refers to the tabernacle as a unit. This section will list what made up the tabernacle.

16 tn Heb “at/by the mouth of.”

17 tn The noun is “work” or “service.” S. R. Driver explains that the reckonings were not made for the Levites, but that they were the work of the Levites, done by them under the direction of Ithamar (Exodus, 393).

18 tn Heb “by the hand of.”

19 tn These words form the casus pendens, or independent nominative absolute, followed by the apodosis beginning with the vav (ו; see U. Cassuto, Exodus, 469).

20 tn Heb “and it was.”

21 sn There were 3000 shekels in a talent, and so the total weight here in shekels would be 87,730 shekels of gold. If the sanctuary shekel was 224 grs., then this was about 40,940 oz. troy. This is estimated to be a little over a ton (cf. NCV “over 2,000 pounds”; TEV “a thousand kilogrammes”; CEV “two thousand two hundred nine pounds”; NLT “about 2,200 pounds”), although other widely diverging estimates are also given.

22 sn This would be a total of 301,775 shekels (about 140,828 oz), being a half shekel exacted per person from 605,550 male Israelites 20 years old or more (Num 1:46). The amount is estimated to be around 3.75 tons.

23 sn The weight would be about half an ounce.

24 tn Heb “upward.”

25 tn The phrase “in all” has been supplied.

26 tn Here the word “shekels” is understood; about 45 pounds.

27 sn The total shekels would have been 212,400 shekels, which would be about 108,749 oz. This would make about 2.5 to 3 tons.

28 sn The bronze altar is the altar for the burnt offering; the large bronze basin is not included here in the list.

29 sn This chapter also will be almost identical to the instructions given earlier, with a few changes along the way.

30 tn The verb is the infinitive that means “to do, to work.” It could be given a literal rendering: “to work [them into] the blue….” Weaving or embroidering is probably what is intended.

31 tn Heb “from it” or the same.

32 tn Or “as seals are engraved.”

33 sn The twelve names were those of Israel’s sons. The idea was not the remembrance of the twelve sons as such, but the twelve tribes that bore their names.

34 tn Or “attached.”

35 tn That is, they set in mountings.

36 tn The phrase “the number of” has been supplied.

37 tn Here “upper” has been supplied.

38 tn Here “other” has been supplied.

39 tn Here “other” has been supplied.

40 tn Heb “homeward side.”

41 tn Here “more” has been supplied.

42 tn The word is simply “twined” or “twisted.” It may refer to the twisted linen that so frequently is found in these lists; or, it may refer to the yarn twisted. The LXX reads “fine twined linen.” This is not found in the text of Exod 28:33, except in Smr and LXX.

43 tn The words “there was” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

44 tn The infinitive “to minister” is present; “to be used” is supplied from the context.

45 sn The last sections of the book bring several themes together to a full conclusion. Not only is it the completion of the tabernacle, it is the fulfillment of God’s plan revealed at the beginning of the book, i.e., to reside with his people.

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

47 tn Or “shielding” (NIV); NASB “the screening veil.”

48 tn Possibly meaning “pure gold lampstand.”

49 tn Heb “utensils, vessels.”

50 tn The form is the infinitive construct; it means the clothes to be used “to minister” in the holy place.

51 tn Or “examined” (NASB, TEV); NCV “looked closely at.”

52 tn The deictic particle draws attention to what he saw in such a way as to give the reader Moses’ point of view and a sense of his pleasure: “and behold, they…”

53 sn The situation and wording in Exod 39:43 are reminiscent of Gen 1:28 and 31, with the motifs of blessing people and inspecting what has been made.

54 sn All of Exod 39:32-40:38 could be taken as a unit. The first section (39:32-43) shows that the Israelites had carefully and accurately completed the preparation and brought everything they had made to Moses: The work of the Lord builds on the faithful obedience of the people. In the second section are the instruction and the implementation (40:1-33): The work of the Lord progresses through the unifying of the work. The last part (40:34-38) may take the most attention: When the work was completed, the glory filled the tabernacle: By his glorious presence, the Lord blesses and directs his people in their worship.

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

56 tn Heb “you will raise,” an imperfect of instruction.

57 tn Heb “and you will set in order its setting” or “arrange its arrangement.” See 25:29-30 for items that belonged on the table.

58 tn Heb “give” (also four additional times in vv. 6-8).

59 tn Heb “there.”

60 tn Heb “you will take” (perfect with vav, ו).

61 tn Heb “and you will anoint” (perfect with vav, ו).

62 tn Heb “and you will sanctify” (perfect with vav, ו).

63 tn Heb “and.”

64 sn U. Cassuto (Exodus, 480) notes that the items inside the tent did not need to be enumerated since they were already holy, but items in the courtyard needed special attention. People needed to know that items outside the tent were just as holy.

65 tn The verb is “bring near,” or “present,” to Yahweh.

66 tn The verb is also “bring near” or “present.”

67 tn Heb “set up,” if it includes more than the curtain.

68 tn Or “shielding” (NIV); Heb “the veil of the covering” (cf. KJV).

69 tn Heb uses a cognate accusative construction, “he arranged the arrangement.”

70 tn Heb “there.”

71 tn The construction is the infinitive construct with the temporal preposition and the suffixed subjective genitive. This temporal clause indicates that the verb in the preceding verse was frequentative.

72 tn This is another infinitive construct in a temporal clause.

73 tn In this explanatory verse the verb is a customary imperfect.

74 tn The construction uses the Niphal infinitive construct to form the temporal clause.

75 tn The imperfect tense in this context describes a customary action.

76 tn The clause uses the Niphal infinitive construct in the temporal clause: “until the day of its being taken up.”

77 tn Here is another imperfect tense of the customary nuance.

78 tn Heb “to the eyes of all”; KJV, ASV, NASB “in the sight of all”; NRSV “before the eyes of all.”



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