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Exodus 30:17

The Bronze Laver

30:17 1 The Lord spoke to Moses: 2 

Exodus 30:22

Oil and Incense

30:22 3 The Lord spoke to Moses: 4 

Exodus 31:1

Willing Artisans

31:1 5 The Lord spoke to Moses: 6 

Exodus 40:1

Setting Up the Sanctuary

40:1 7 Then the Lord spoke to Moses: 8 

1 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.

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

3 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.

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

5 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.

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

7 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.

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

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