38:21 This is the inventory 1 of the tabernacle, the tabernacle of the testimony, which was counted 2 by the order 3 of Moses, being the work 4 of the Levites under the direction 5 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 6 (namely, 7 the gold of the wave offering) was twenty-nine talents and 730 shekels, 8 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, 9 according to the sanctuary shekel, 38:26 one beka per person, that is, a half shekel, 10 according to the sanctuary shekel, for everyone who crossed over to those numbered, from twenty years old or older, 11 603,550 in all. 12 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 13 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. 14 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. 15
1 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.
2 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.
3 tn Heb “at/by the mouth of.”
4 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).
5 tn Heb “by the hand of.”
6 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).
7 tn Heb “and it was.”
8 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.
9 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.
10 sn The weight would be about half an ounce.
11 tn Heb “upward.”
12 tn The phrase “in all” has been supplied.
13 tn Here the word “shekels” is understood; about 45 pounds.
14 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.
15 sn The bronze altar is the altar for the burnt offering; the large bronze basin is not included here in the list.