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Exodus 35:4--36:7

Context
Willing Workers

35:4 1 Moses spoke to the whole community of the Israelites, “This is the word that the Lord has commanded: 35:5 ‘Take 2  an offering for the Lord. Let everyone who has a willing heart 3  bring 4  an offering to the Lord: 5  gold, silver, bronze, 35:6 blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, fine linen, goat’s hair, 35:7 ram skins dyed red, fine leather, 6  acacia wood, 35:8 olive oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense, 35:9 onyx stones, and other gems 7  for mounting 8  on the ephod and the breastpiece. 35:10 Every skilled person 9  among you is to come and make all that the Lord has commanded: 35:11 the tabernacle with 10  its tent, its covering, its clasps, its frames, its crossbars, its posts, and its bases; 35:12 the ark, with its poles, the atonement lid, and the special curtain that conceals it; 35:13 the table with its poles and all its vessels, and the Bread of the Presence; 35:14 the lampstand for 11  the light and its accessories, its lamps, and oil for the light; 35:15 and the altar of incense with its poles, the anointing oil, and the fragrant incense; the hanging for the door at the entrance of the tabernacle; 35:16 the altar for the burnt offering with its bronze grating that is on it, its poles, and all its utensils; the large basin and its pedestal; 35:17 the hangings of the courtyard, its posts and its bases, and the curtain for the gateway to the courtyard; 35:18 tent pegs for the tabernacle and tent pegs for the courtyard and their ropes; 35:19 the woven garments for serving in the holy place, the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments for his sons to minister as priests.”

35:20 So the whole community of the Israelites went out from the presence of Moses. 35:21 Everyone 12  whose heart stirred him to action 13  and everyone whose spirit was willing 14  came and brought the offering for the Lord for the work of the tent of meeting, for all its service, and for the holy garments. 15  35:22 They came, men and women alike, 16  all who had willing hearts. They brought brooches, earrings, rings and ornaments, all kinds of gold jewelry, 17  and everyone came who waved 18  a wave offering of gold to the Lord.

35:23 Everyone who had 19  blue, purple, or 20  scarlet yarn, fine linen, goats’ hair, ram skins dyed red, or fine leather 21  brought them. 22  35:24 Everyone making an offering of silver or bronze brought it as 23  an offering to the Lord, and everyone who had acacia wood 24  for any work of the service brought it. 25  35:25 Every woman who was skilled 26  spun with her hands and brought what she had spun, blue, purple, or scarlet yarn, or fine linen, 35:26 and all the women whose heart stirred them to action and who were skilled 27  spun goats’ hair.

35:27 The leaders brought onyx stones and other gems to be mounted 28  for the ephod and the breastpiece, 35:28 and spices and olive oil for the light, for the anointing oil, and for the fragrant incense.

35:29 The Israelites brought a freewill offering to the Lord, every man and woman whose heart was willing to bring materials for all the work that the Lord through 29  Moses had commanded them 30  to do.

35:30 Moses said to the Israelites, “See, the Lord has chosen 31  Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. 35:31 He has filled him with the Spirit of God – with skill, with understanding, with knowledge, and in all kinds of work, 35:32 to design artistic designs, to work in gold, in silver, and in bronze, 35:33 and in cutting stones for their setting, 32  and in cutting wood, to do work in every artistic craft. 33  35:34 And he has put it in his heart 34  to teach, he and Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. 35:35 He has filled them with skill 35  to do all kinds of work 36  as craftsmen, as designers, as embroiderers in blue, purple, and scarlet yarn and in fine linen, and as weavers. They are 37  craftsmen in all the work 38  and artistic designers. 39  36:1 So Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled person 40  in whom the Lord has put skill 41  and ability 42  to know how 43  to do all the work for the service 44  of the sanctuary are to do the work 45  according to all that the Lord has commanded.”

36:2 Moses summoned 46  Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled person in whom 47  the Lord had put skill – everyone whose heart stirred him 48  to volunteer 49  to do the work, 36:3 and they received from Moses all the offerings the Israelites had brought to do 50  the work for the service of the sanctuary, and they still continued to bring him a freewill offering each morning. 51  36:4 So all the skilled people who were doing all the work on the sanctuary came from the work 52  they were doing 36:5 and told Moses, “The people are bringing much more than 53  is needed for the completion 54  of the work which the Lord commanded us to do!” 55 

36:6 Moses instructed them to take 56  his message 57  throughout the camp, saying, “Let no man or woman do any more work for the offering for the sanctuary.” So the people were restrained from bringing any more. 58  36:7 Now the materials were more than enough 59  for them to do all the work. 60 

1 sn The book now turns to record how all the work of the sanctuary was done. This next unit picks up on the ideas in Exod 31:1-11. But it adds several features. The first part is the instruction of God for all people to give willingly (35:4-19); the next section tells how the faithful brought an offering for the service of the tabernacle (35:20-29); the next section tells how God set some apart with special gifts (35:30-35), and finally, the narrative reports how the faithful people of God enthusiastically began the work (36:1-7).

2 tn Heb “from with you.”

3 tn “Heart” is a genitive of specification, clarifying in what way they might be “willing.” The heart refers to their will, their choices.

4 tn The verb has a suffix that is the direct object, but the suffixed object is qualified by the second accusative: “let him bring it, an offering.”

5 tn The phrase is literally “the offering of Yahweh”; it could be a simple possessive, “Yahweh’s offering,” but a genitive that indicates the indirect object is more appropriate.

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

7 tn Heb “and stones.”

8 tn Heb “filling.”

9 tn Heb “wise of heart”; here also “heart” would be a genitive of specification, showing that there were those who could make skillful decisions.

10 tn In Hebrew style all these items are typically connected with a vav (ו) conjunction, but English typically uses commas except between the last two items in a series or between items in a series that are somehow related to one another. The present translation follows contemporary English style in lists such as this.

11 tn “for” has been supplied.

12 tn Heb “man.”

13 tn The verb means “lift up, bear, carry.” Here the subject is “heart” or will, and so the expression describes one moved within to act.

14 tn Heb “his spirit made him willing.” The verb is used in Scripture for the freewill offering that people brought (Lev 7).

15 tn Literally “the garments of holiness,” the genitive is the attributive genitive, marking out what type of garments these were.

16 tn The expression in Hebrew is “men on/after the women,” meaning men with women, to ensure that it was clear that the preceding verse did not mean only men. B. Jacob takes it further, saying that the men came after the women because the latter had taken the initiative (Exodus, 1017).

17 tn Heb “all gold utensils.”

18 tn The verb could be translated “offered,” but it is cognate with the following noun that is the wave offering. This sentence underscores the freewill nature of the offerings people made. The word “came” is supplied from v. 21 and v. 22.

19 tn The text uses a relative clause with a resumptive pronoun for this: “who was found with him,” meaning “with whom was found.”

20 tn The conjunction in this verse is translated “or” because the sentence does not intend to say that each person had all these things. They brought what they had.

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

22 tn Here “them” has been supplied.

23 tn This translation takes “offering” as an adverbial accusative explaining the form or purpose of their bringing things. It could also be rendered as the direct object, but that would seem to repeat without much difference what had just been said.

24 sn U. Cassuto notes that the expression “with whom was found” does not rule out the idea that these folks went out and cut down acacia trees (Exodus, 458). It is unlikely that they had much wood in their tents.

25 tn Here “it” has been supplied.

26 tn Heb “wisdom of heart,” which means that they were skilled and could make all the right choices about the work.

27 tn The text simply uses a prepositional phrase, “with/in wisdom.” It seems to be qualifying “the women” as the relative clause is.

28 tn Heb “and stones of the filling.”

29 tn Heb “by the hand of.”

30 tn Here “them” has been supplied.

31 tn Heb “called by name” (so KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV). 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.

32 tn Heb “to set.”

33 tn Heb “in every work of thought,” meaning, every work that required the implementation of design or plan.

34 sn The expression means that God has given them the ability and the desire to teach others how to do the work. The infinitive construct “to teach” is related to the word Torah, “instruction, guide, law.” They will be able to direct others in the work.

35 tn The expression “wisdom of heart,” or “wisdom in heart,” means artistic skill. The decisions and plans they make are skilled. The expression forms a second accusative after the verb of filling.

36 tn The expression “all the work” means “all kinds of work.”

37 tn Here “They are” has been supplied.

38 tn Heb “doers of all work.”

39 tn Heb “designers of designs.”

40 tn Heb “wise of [in] heart.”

41 tn Heb “wisdom.”

42 tn Heb “understanding, discernment.”

43 tn The relative clause includes this infinitive clause that expresses either the purpose or the result of God’s giving wisdom and understanding to these folk.

44 tn This noun is usually given an interpretive translation. B. Jacob renders the bound relationship as “the holy task” or “the sacred task” (Exodus, 1019). The NIV makes it “constructing,” so read “the work of constructing the sanctuary.”

45 tn The first word of the verse is a perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive; it is singular because it agrees with the first of the compound subject. The sentence is a little cumbersome because of the extended relative clause in the middle.

46 tn The verb קָרָא (qara’) plus the preposition “to” – “to call to” someone means “to summon” that person.

47 tn Here there is a slight change: “in whose heart Yahweh had put skill.”

48 tn Or “whose heart was willing.”

49 sn The verb means more than “approach” or “draw near”; קָרַב (qarav) is the word used for drawing near the altar as in bringing an offering. Here they offer themselves, their talents and their time.

50 tn In the Hebrew text the infinitive “to do it” comes after “sanctuary”; it makes a smoother rendering in English to move it forward, rather than reading “brought for the work.”

51 tn Heb “in the morning, in the morning.”

52 tn Heb “a man, a man from his work”; or “each one from his work.”

53 tn The construction uses the verbal hendiadys: מַרְבִּים לְהָבִיא (marbim lÿhavi’) is the Hiphil participle followed (after the subject) by the Hiphil infinitive construct. It would read, “they multiply…to bring,” meaning, “they bring more” than is needed.

54 tn Heb “for the service” (so KJV, ASV).

55 tn The last clause is merely the infinitive with an object – “to do it.” It clearly means the skilled workers are to do it.

56 tn The verse simply reads, “and Moses commanded and they caused [a voice] to cross over in the camp.” The second preterite with the vav may be subordinated to the first clause, giving the intent (purpose or result).

57 tn Heb “voice.”

58 tn The verse ends with the infinitive serving as the object of the preposition: “from bringing.”

59 tn This part of the sentence comes from the final verb, the Hiphil infinitive – leave over, meaning, have more than enough (see BDB 451 s.v. יָתַר).

60 tn Heb “for all the work, to do it.”

sn This lengthy section (35:1-36:7) forms one of the most remarkable sections in the book. Here there is a mixture of God’s preparation of people to do the work and their willingness to give and to serve. It not only provides insight into this renewed community of believers, but it also provides a timeless message for the church. The point is clear enough: In response to God’s commission, and inspired by God’s Spirit, the faithful and willing people rally to support and participate in the Lord’s work.



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