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Exodus 40:1-16

Setting Up the Sanctuary

40:1 1 Then the Lord spoke to Moses: 2  40:2 “On the first day of the first month you are to set up 3  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; 4  then you are to bring in the lampstand and set up its lamps. 40:5 You are to put 5  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. 6  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 7  the anointing oil, and anoint 8  the tabernacle and all that is in it, and sanctify 9  it and all its furnishings, and it will be holy. 40:10 Then you are to anoint the altar for the burnt offering with 10  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. 11 

40:12 “You are to bring 12  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 13  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.

1 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.

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

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

4 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.

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

6 tn Heb “there.”

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

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

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

10 tn Heb “and.”

11 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.

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

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

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