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Exodus 39:32--40:38

Context
Moses Inspects the Sanctuary

39:32 1 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, 2  and the protecting 3  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 4  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 5  for the service of the tabernacle, for the tent of meeting; 39:41 the woven garments for serving 6  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 7  all the work – and 8  they had done it just as the Lord had commanded – they had done it exactly – and Moses blessed them. 9 

Setting Up the Sanctuary

40:1 10 Then the Lord spoke to Moses: 11  40:2 “On the first day of the first month you are to set up 12  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; 13  then you are to bring in the lampstand and set up its lamps. 40:5 You are to put 14  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. 15  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 16  the anointing oil, and anoint 17  the tabernacle and all that is in it, and sanctify 18  it and all its furnishings, and it will be holy. 40:10 Then you are to anoint the altar for the burnt offering with 19  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. 20 

40:12 “You are to bring 21  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 22  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 23  the protecting curtain, 24  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 25  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 26  for washing. 40:31 Moses and Aaron and his sons would wash their hands and their feet from it. 40:32 Whenever they entered 27  the tent of meeting, and whenever they approached 28  the altar, they would wash, 29  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 30  from the tabernacle, the Israelites would set out 31  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. 32  40:38 For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, but fire would be 33  on it at night, in plain view 34  of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.

1 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.

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

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

4 tn Possibly meaning “pure gold lampstand.”

5 tn Heb “utensils, vessels.”

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

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

8 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…”

9 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.

10 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.

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

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

13 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.

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

15 tn Heb “there.”

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

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

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

19 tn Heb “and.”

20 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.

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

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

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

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

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

26 tn Heb “there.”

27 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

34 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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