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Exodus 19:1--31:18

Context
Israel at Sinai

19:1 1 In the third month after the Israelites went out 2  from the land of Egypt, on the very day, 3  they came to the Desert of Sinai. 19:2 After they journeyed 4  from Rephidim, they came to the Desert of Sinai, and they camped in the desert; Israel camped there in front of the mountain. 5 

19:3 Moses 6  went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, “Thus you will tell the house of Jacob, and declare to the people 7  of Israel: 19:4 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt and how I lifted you on eagles’ wings 8  and brought you to myself. 9  19:5 And now, if you will diligently listen to me 10  and keep 11  my covenant, then you will be my 12  special possession 13  out of all the nations, for all the earth is mine, 19:6 and you will be to me 14  a kingdom of priests 15  and a holy nation.’ 16  These are the words that you will speak to the Israelites.”

19:7 So Moses came and summoned the elders of Israel. He set before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him, 19:8 and all the people answered together, “All that the Lord has commanded we will do!” 17  So Moses brought the words of the people back to the Lord.

19:9 The Lord said to Moses, “I am going to come 18  to you in a dense cloud, 19  so that the people may hear when I speak with you and so that they will always believe in you.” 20  And Moses told the words of the people to the Lord.

19:10 The Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and sanctify them 21  today and tomorrow, and make them wash 22  their clothes 19:11 and be ready for the third day, for on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 19:12 You must set boundaries 23  for the people all around, saying, ‘Take heed 24  to yourselves not to go up on the mountain nor touch its edge. Whoever touches the mountain will surely be put to death! 19:13 No hand will touch him 25  – but he will surely be stoned or shot through, whether a beast or a human being; 26  he must not live.’ When the ram’s horn sounds a long blast they may 27  go up on the mountain.”

19:14 Then Moses went down from the mountain to the people and sanctified the people, and they washed their clothes. 19:15 He said to the people, “Be ready for the third day. Do not go near your wives.” 28 

19:16 On 29  the third day in the morning there was thunder and lightning and a dense 30  cloud on the mountain, and the sound of a very loud 31  horn; 32  all the people who were in the camp trembled. 19:17 Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their place at the foot of the mountain. 19:18 Now Mount Sinai was completely covered with smoke because the Lord had descended on it in fire, and its smoke went up like the smoke of a great furnace, 33  and the whole mountain shook 34  violently. 19:19 When the sound of the horn grew louder and louder, 35  Moses was speaking 36  and God was answering him with a voice. 37 

19:20 The Lord came down on Mount Sinai, on the top of the mountain, and the Lord summoned Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. 19:21 The Lord said to Moses, “Go down and solemnly warn 38  the people, lest they force their way through to the Lord to look, and many of them perish. 39  19:22 Let the priests also, who approach the Lord, sanctify themselves, lest the Lord break through 40  against them.”

19:23 Moses said to the Lord, “The people are not able to come up to Mount Sinai, because you solemnly warned us, 41  ‘Set boundaries for the mountain and set it apart.’” 42  19:24 The Lord said to him, “Go, get down, and come up, and Aaron with you, but do not let the priests and the people force their way through to come up to the Lord, lest he break through against them.” 19:25 So Moses went down to the people and spoke to them. 43 

The Decalogue

20:1 44 God spoke all these words: 45 

20:2 “I, 46  the Lord, am your God, 47  who brought you 48  from the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery. 49 

20:3 “You shall have no 50  other gods before me. 51 

20:4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image 52  or any likeness 53  of anything 54  that is in heaven above or that is on the earth beneath or that is in the water below. 55  20:5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, 56  for I, the Lord, your God, am a jealous 57  God, responding to 58  the transgression of fathers by dealing with children to the third and fourth generations 59  of those who reject me, 60  20:6 and showing covenant faithfulness 61  to a thousand generations 62  of those who love me and keep my commandments.

20:7 “You shall not take 63  the name of the Lord your God in vain, 64  for the Lord will not hold guiltless 65  anyone who takes his name in vain.

20:8 “Remember 66  the Sabbath 67  day to set it apart as holy. 68  20:9 For six days 69  you may labor 70  and do all your work, 71  20:10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; on it 72  you shall not do any work, you, 73  or your son, or your daughter, or your male servant, or your female servant, or your cattle, or the resident foreigner who is in your gates. 74  20:11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth and the sea and all that is in them, and he rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.

20:12 “Honor 75  your father and your mother, that you may live a long time 76  in the land 77  the Lord your God is giving to you.

20:13 “You shall not murder. 78 

20:14 “You shall not commit adultery. 79 

20:15 “You shall not steal. 80 

20:16 “You shall not give 81  false testimony 82  against your neighbor.

20:17 “You shall not covet 83  your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that belongs to your neighbor.” 84 

20:18 All the people were seeing 85  the thundering and the lightning, and heard 86  the sound of the horn, and saw 87  the mountain smoking – and when 88  the people saw it they trembled with fear 89  and kept their distance. 90  20:19 They said to Moses, “You speak 91  to us and we will listen, but do not let God speak with us, lest we die.” 20:20 Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, 92  that the fear of him 93  may be before you so that you do not 94  sin.” 20:21 The people kept 95  their distance, but Moses drew near the thick darkness 96  where God was. 97 

The Altar

20:22 98 The Lord said 99  to Moses: “Thus you will tell the Israelites: ‘You yourselves have seen that I have spoken with you from heaven. 20:23 You must not make gods of silver alongside me, 100  nor make gods of gold for yourselves. 101 

20:24 ‘You must make for me an altar made of earth, 102  and you will sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, 103  your sheep and your cattle. In every place 104  where I cause my name to be honored 105  I will come to you and I will bless you. 20:25 If you make me an altar of stone, you must not build it 106  of stones shaped with tools, 107  for if you use your tool on it you have defiled it. 108  20:26 And you must not go up by steps to my altar, so that your nakedness is not exposed.’ 109 

The Decisions

21:1 110 “These are the decisions that you will set before them:

Hebrew Servants

21:2 111 “If you buy 112  a Hebrew servant, 113  he is to serve you for six years, but in the seventh year he will go out free 114  without paying anything. 115  21:3 If he came 116  in by himself 117  he will go out by himself; if he had 118  a wife when he came in, then his wife will go out with him. 21:4 If his master gave 119  him a wife, and she bore sons or daughters, the wife and the children will belong to her master, and he will go out by himself. 21:5 But if the servant should declare, 120  ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out 121  free,’ 21:6 then his master must bring him to the judges, 122  and he will bring him to the door or the doorposts, and his master will pierce his ear with an awl, and he shall serve him forever. 123 

21:7 “If a man sells his daughter 124  as a female servant, 125  she will not go out as the male servants do. 21:8 If she does not please 126  her master, who has designated her 127  for himself, then he must let her be redeemed. 128  He has no right 129  to sell her to a foreign nation, because he has dealt deceitfully 130  with her. 21:9 If he designated her for his son, then he will deal with her according to the customary rights 131  of daughters. 21:10 If he takes another wife, 132  he must not diminish the first one’s food, 133  her clothing, or her marital rights. 134  21:11 If he does not provide her with these three things, then she will go out free, without paying money. 135 

Personal Injuries

21:12 136 “Whoever strikes someone 137  so that he dies 138  must surely be put to death. 139  21:13 But if he does not do it with premeditation, 140  but it happens by accident, 141  then I will appoint for you a place where he may flee. 21:14 But if a man willfully attacks his neighbor to kill him cunningly, 142  you will take him even from my altar that he may die.

21:15 “Whoever strikes 143  his father or his mother must surely be put to death.

21:16 “Whoever kidnaps someone 144  and sells him, 145  or is caught still holding him, 146  must surely be put to death.

21:17 “Whoever treats his father or his mother disgracefully 147  must surely be put to death.

21:18 “If men fight, and one strikes his neighbor with a stone or with his fist and he does not die, but must remain in bed, 148  21:19 and then 149  if he gets up and walks about 150  outside on his staff, then the one who struck him is innocent, except he must pay 151  for the injured person’s 152  loss of time 153  and see to it that he is fully healed.

21:20 “If a man strikes his male servant or his female servant with a staff so that he or she 154  dies as a result of the blow, 155  he will surely be punished. 156  21:21 However, if the injured servant 157  survives one or two days, the owner 158  will not be punished, for he has suffered the loss. 159 

21:22 “If men fight and hit a pregnant woman and her child is born prematurely, 160  but there is no serious injury, he will surely be punished in accordance with what the woman’s husband demands of him, and he will pay what the court decides. 161  21:23 But if there is serious injury, then you will give a life for a life, 21:24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 21:25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise. 162 

21:26 “If a man strikes the eye of his male servant or his female servant so that he destroys it, 163  he will let the servant 164  go free 165  as compensation for the eye. 21:27 If he knocks out the tooth of his male servant or his female servant, he will let the servant 166  go free as compensation for the tooth.

Laws about Animals

21:28 167 “If an ox 168  gores a man or a woman so that either dies, 169  then the ox must surely 170  be stoned and its flesh must not be eaten, but the owner of the ox will be acquitted. 21:29 But if the ox had the habit of goring, and its owner was warned, 171  and he did not take the necessary precautions, 172  and then it killed a man or a woman, the ox must be stoned and the man must be put to death. 21:30 If a ransom is set for him, 173  then he must pay the redemption for his life according to whatever amount was set for him. 21:31 If the ox 174  gores a son or a daughter, the owner 175  will be dealt with according to this rule. 176  21:32 If the ox gores a male servant or a female servant, the owner 177  must pay thirty shekels of silver, 178  and the ox must be stoned. 179 

21:33 “If a man opens a pit or if a man digs a pit and does not cover it, and an ox or a donkey falls into it, 21:34 the owner of the pit must repay 180  the loss. He must give money 181  to its owner, and the dead animal 182  will become his. 21:35 If the ox of one man injures the ox of his neighbor so that it dies, then they will sell the live ox and divide its proceeds, 183  and they will also divide the dead ox. 184  21:36 Or if it is known that the ox had the habit of goring, and its owner did not take the necessary precautions, he must surely pay 185  ox for ox, and the dead animal will become his. 186 

Laws about Property

22:1 187 (21:37) 188  “If a man steals an ox or a sheep and kills it or sells it, he must pay back 189  five head of cattle for the ox, and four sheep for the one sheep. 190 

22:2 “If a thief is caught 191  breaking in 192  and is struck so that he dies, there will be no blood guilt for him. 193  22:3 If the sun has risen on him, then there is blood guilt for him. A thief 194  must surely make full restitution; if he has nothing, then he will be sold for his theft. 22:4 If the stolen item should in fact be found 195  alive in his possession, 196  whether it be an ox or a donkey or a sheep, he must pay back double. 197 

22:5 “If a man grazes 198  his livestock 199  in a field or a vineyard, and he lets the livestock loose and they graze in the field of another man, he must make restitution from the best of his own field and the best of his own vineyard.

22:6 “If a fire breaks out and spreads 200  to thorn bushes, 201  so that stacked grain or standing grain or the whole field is consumed, the one who started 202  the fire must surely make restitution.

22:7 “If a man gives his neighbor money or articles 203  for safekeeping, 204  and it is stolen from the man’s house, if the thief is caught, 205  he must repay double. 22:8 If the thief is not caught, 206  then the owner of the house will be brought before the judges 207  to see 208  whether he has laid 209  his hand on his neighbor’s goods. 22:9 In all cases of illegal possessions, 210  whether for an ox, a donkey, a sheep, a garment, or any kind of lost item, about which someone says ‘This belongs to me,’ 211  the matter of the two of them will come before the judges, 212  and the one whom 213  the judges declare guilty 214  must repay double to his neighbor. 22:10 If a man gives his neighbor a donkey or an ox or a sheep or any beast to keep, and it dies or is hurt 215  or is carried away 216  without anyone seeing it, 217  22:11 then there will be an oath to the Lord 218  between the two of them, that he has not laid his hand on his neighbor’s goods, and its owner will accept this, and he will not have to pay. 22:12 But if it was stolen 219  from him, 220  he will pay its owner. 22:13 If it is torn in pieces, then he will bring it for evidence, 221  and he will not have to pay for what was torn.

22:14 “If a man borrows an animal 222  from his neighbor, and it is hurt or dies when its owner was not with it, the man who borrowed it 223  will surely pay. 22:15 If its owner was with it, he will not have to pay; if it was hired, what was paid for the hire covers it. 224 

Moral and Ceremonial Laws

22:16 225 “If a man seduces a virgin 226  who is not engaged 227  and has sexual relations with her, he must surely endow 228  her to be his wife. 22:17 If her father refuses to give her to him, he must pay money for the bride price of virgins.

22:18 “You must not allow a sorceress to live. 229 

22:19 “Whoever has sexual relations 230  with a beast must surely be put to death.

22:20 “Whoever sacrifices to a god other than the Lord 231  alone must be utterly destroyed. 232 

22:21 “You must not wrong 233  a foreigner 234  nor oppress him, for you were foreigners in the land of Egypt.

22:22 “You must not afflict 235  any widow or orphan. 22:23 If you afflict them 236  in any way 237  and they cry to me, I will surely hear 238  their cry, 22:24 and my anger will burn and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives will be widows and your children will be fatherless. 239 

22:25 “If you lend money to any of 240  my people who are needy among you, do not be like a moneylender 241  to him; do not charge 242  him interest. 243  22:26 If you do take 244  the garment of your neighbor in pledge, you must return it to him by the time the sun goes down, 245  22:27 for it is his only covering – it is his garment for his body. 246  What else can he sleep in? 247  And 248  when he cries out to me, I will hear, for I am gracious.

22:28 “You must not blaspheme 249  God 250  or curse the ruler of your people.

22:29 “Do not hold back offerings from your granaries or your vats. 251  You must give me the firstborn of your sons. 22:30 You must also do this for your oxen and for your sheep; seven days they may remain with their mothers, but give them to me on the eighth day.

22:31 “You will be holy 252  people to me; you must not eat any meat torn by animals in the field. 253  You must throw it to the dogs.

Justice

23:1 254 “You must not give 255  a false report. 256  Do not make common cause 257  with the wicked 258  to be a malicious 259  witness.

23:2 “You must not follow a crowd 260  in doing evil things; 261  in a lawsuit you must not offer testimony that agrees with a crowd so as to pervert justice, 262  23:3 and you must not show partiality 263  to a poor man in his lawsuit.

23:4 “If you encounter 264  your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering off, you must by all means return 265  it to him. 23:5 If you see the donkey of someone who hates you fallen under its load, you must not ignore him, 266  but be sure to help 267  him with it. 268 

23:6 “You must not turn away justice for your poor people in their lawsuits. 23:7 Keep your distance 269  from a false charge 270  – do not kill the innocent and the righteous, 271  for I will not justify the wicked. 272 

23:8 “You must not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds those who see 273  and subverts the words of the righteous.

23:9 “You must not oppress 274  a foreigner, since you know the life 275  of a foreigner, for you were foreigners in the land of Egypt.

Sabbaths and Feasts

23:10 276 “For six years 277  you are to sow your land and gather in its produce. 23:11 But in the seventh year 278  you must let it lie fallow and leave it alone so that the poor of your people may eat, and what they leave any animal in the field 279  may eat; you must do likewise with your vineyard and your olive grove. 23:12 For six days you are to do your work, but on the seventh day you must cease, in order that your ox and your donkey may rest and that your female servant’s son and any hired help 280  may refresh themselves. 281 

23:13 “Pay attention to do 282  everything I have told you, and do not even mention 283  the names of other gods – do not let them be heard on your lips. 284 

23:14 “Three times 285  in the year you must make a pilgrim feast 286  to me. 23:15 You are to observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread; seven days 287  you must eat bread made without yeast, as I commanded you, at the appointed time of the month of Abib, for at that time 288  you came out of Egypt. No one may appear before 289  me empty-handed.

23:16 “You are also to observe 290  the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labors that you have sown in the field, and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year 291  when you have gathered in 292  your harvest 293  out of the field. 23:17 At 294  three times in the year all your males will appear before the Lord God. 295 

23:18 “You must not offer 296  the blood of my sacrifice with bread containing yeast; the fat of my festal sacrifice must not remain until morning. 297  23:19 The first of the firstfruits of your soil you must bring to the house of the Lord your God.

“You must not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk. 298 

The Angel of the Presence

23:20 299 “I am going to send 300  an angel 301  before you to protect you as you journey 302  and to bring you into the place that I have prepared. 303  23:21 Take heed because of him, and obey his voice; do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgressions, for my name 304  is in him. 23:22 But if you diligently obey him 305  and do all that I command, then I will be an enemy to your enemies, and I will be an adversary to your adversaries. 23:23 For my angel will go before you and bring you to the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, and I will destroy them completely. 306 

23:24 “You must not bow down to their gods; you must not serve them or do according to their practices. Instead you must completely overthrow them and smash their standing stones 307  to pieces. 308  23:25 You must serve 309  the Lord your God, and he 310  will bless your bread and your water, 311  and I will remove sickness from your midst. 23:26 No woman will miscarry her young 312  or be barren in your land. I will fulfill 313  the number of your days.

23:27 “I will send my terror 314  before you, and I will destroy 315  all the people whom you encounter; I will make all your enemies turn their backs 316  to you. 23:28 I will send 317  hornets before you that will drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite before you. 23:29 I will not drive them out before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and the wild animals 318  multiply against you. 23:30 Little by little 319  I will drive them out before you, until you become fruitful and inherit the land. 23:31 I will set 320  your boundaries from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert to the River, 321  for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you will drive them out before you.

23:32 “You must make no covenant with them or with their gods. 23:33 They must not live in your land, lest they make you sin against me, for if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare 322  to you.”

The Lord Ratifies the Covenant

24:1 323 But to Moses the Lord 324  said, “Come up 325  to the Lord, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and worship from a distance. 326  24:2 Moses alone may come 327  near the Lord, but the others 328  must not come near, 329  nor may the people go up with him.”

24:3 Moses came 330  and told the people all the Lord’s words 331  and all the decisions. All the people answered together, 332  “We are willing to do 333  all the words that the Lord has said,” 24:4 and Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord. Early in the morning he built 334  an altar at the foot 335  of the mountain and arranged 336  twelve standing stones 337  – according to the twelve tribes of Israel. 24:5 He sent young Israelite men, 338  and they offered burnt offerings and sacrificed young bulls for peace offerings 339  to the Lord. 24:6 Moses took half of the blood and put it in bowls, and half of the blood he splashed on the altar. 340  24:7 He took the Book of the Covenant 341  and read it aloud 342  to the people, and they said, “We are willing to do and obey 343  all that the Lord has spoken.” 24:8 So Moses took the blood and splashed it on 344  the people and said, “This is the blood of the covenant 345  that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”

24:9 Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up, 346  24:10 and they saw 347  the God of Israel. Under his feet 348  there was something like a pavement 349  made of sapphire, clear like the sky itself. 350  24:11 But he did not lay a hand 351  on the leaders of the Israelites, so they saw God, 352  and they ate and they drank. 353 

24:12 354 The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me to the mountain and remain there, and I will give you the stone tablets 355  with 356  the law and the commandments that I have written, so that you may teach them.” 357  24:13 So Moses set out 358  with 359  Joshua his attendant, and Moses went up the mountain of God. 24:14 He told the elders, “Wait for us in this place until we return to you. Here are 360  Aaron and Hur with you. Whoever has any matters of dispute 361  can approach 362  them.”

24:15 Moses went up the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. 24:16 The glory of the Lord resided 363  on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days. 364  On the seventh day he called to Moses from within the cloud. 24:17 Now the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in plain view 365  of the people. 24:18 Moses went into the cloud when he went up 366  the mountain, and Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights. 367 

The Materials for the Sanctuary

25:1 368 The Lord spoke to Moses: 25:2 “Tell the Israelites to take 369  an offering 370  for me; from every person motivated by a willing 371  heart you 372  are to receive my offering. 25:3 This is the offering you 373  are to accept from them: gold, silver, bronze, 25:4 blue, 374  purple, 375  scarlet, 376  fine linen, 377  goat’s hair, 378  25:5 ram skins dyed red, 379  fine leather, 380  acacia 381  wood, 25:6 oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil and for fragrant incense, 25:7 onyx stones, and other gems to be set in the ephod and in the breastpiece. 25:8 Let them make 382  for me a sanctuary, 383  so that I may live among them. 25:9 According to all that I am showing you 384  – the pattern of the tabernacle 385  and the pattern of all its furnishings – you 386  must make it exactly so. 387 

The Ark of the Covenant

25:10 388 “They are to make an ark 389  of acacia wood – its length is to be three feet nine inches, its width two feet three inches, and its height two feet three inches. 390  25:11 You are to overlay 391  it with pure gold – both inside and outside you must overlay it, 392  and you are to make a surrounding border 393  of gold over it. 25:12 You are to cast four gold rings for it and put them on its four feet, with two rings on one side and two rings on the other side. 25:13 You are to make poles of acacia wood, overlay them with gold, 25:14 and put the poles into the rings at the sides of the ark in order to carry the ark with them. 25:15 The poles must remain in the rings of the ark; they must not be removed from it. 25:16 You are to put into the ark the testimony 394  that I will give to you.

25:17 “You are to make an atonement lid 395  of pure gold; 396  its length is to be three feet nine inches, and its width is to be two feet three inches. 25:18 You are to make two cherubim 397  of gold; you are to make them of hammered metal on the two ends of the atonement lid. 25:19 Make 398  one cherub on one end 399  and one cherub on the other end; from the atonement lid 400  you are to make the cherubim on the two ends. 25:20 The cherubim are to be spreading their wings upward, overshadowing 401  the atonement lid with their wings, and the cherubim are to face each other, 402  looking 403  toward the atonement lid. 25:21 You are to put the atonement lid on top of the ark, and in the ark you are to put the testimony I am giving you. 25:22 I will meet with you there, 404  and 405  from above the atonement lid, from between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you about all that I will command you for the Israelites.

The Table for the Bread of the Presence

25:23 406 “You are to make a table of acacia wood; its length is to be three feet, its width one foot six inches, and its height two feet three inches. 25:24 You are to overlay it with 407  pure gold, and you are to make a surrounding border of gold for it. 25:25 You are to make a surrounding frame 408  for it about three inches broad, and you are to make a surrounding border of gold for its frame. 25:26 You are to make four rings of gold for it and attach 409  the rings at the four corners where its four legs are. 410  25:27 The rings are to be close to the frame to provide places 411  for the poles to carry the table. 25:28 You are to make the poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold, so that the table may be carried with them. 412  25:29 You are to make its plates, 413  its ladles, 414  its pitchers, and its bowls, to be used in pouring out offerings; 415  you are to make them of pure gold. 25:30 You are to set the Bread of the Presence 416  on the table before me continually.

The Lampstand

25:31 417 “You are to make a lampstand 418  of pure gold. The lampstand is to be made of hammered metal; its base and its shaft, its cups, 419  its buds, and its blossoms are to be from the same piece. 420  25:32 Six branches are to extend from the sides of the lampstand, 421  three branches of the lampstand from one side of it and three branches of the lampstand from the other side of it. 422  25:33 Three cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms are to be on one branch, and three cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms are to be on the next 423  branch, and the same 424  for the six branches extending from the lampstand. 25:34 On the lampstand there are to be four cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms, 25:35 with a bud under the first 425  two branches from it, and a bud under the next 426  two branches from it, and a bud under the third 427  two branches from it, according to the six branches that extend from the lampstand. 25:36 Their buds and their branches will be one piece, 428  all of it one hammered piece of pure gold.

25:37 “You are to make its seven lamps, 429  and then set 430  its lamps up on it, so that it will give light 431  to the area in front of it. 25:38 Its trimmers and its trays 432  are to be 433  of pure gold. 25:39 About seventy-five pounds 434  of pure gold is to be used for it 435  and for all these utensils. 25:40 Now be sure to make 436  them according to the pattern you were shown 437  on the mountain. 438 

The Tabernacle

26:1 439 “The tabernacle itself 440  you are to make with 441  ten curtains of fine twisted linen and blue and purple and scarlet; 442  you are to make them with 443  cherubim that are the work of an artistic designer. 26:2 The length of each 444  curtain is to be forty-two feet, and the width of each curtain is to be six feet 445  – the same size for each of the curtains. 26:3 Five curtains are to be joined, 446  one to another, 447  and the other 448  five curtains are to be joined, one to another. 26:4 You are to make loops of blue material along the edge of the end curtain in one set, and in the same way you are to make loops 449  in the outer edge of the end curtain in the second set. 26:5 You are to make fifty loops on the one curtain, and you are to make fifty loops on the end curtain which is on the second set, so that the loops are opposite one to another. 450  26:6 You are to make fifty gold clasps and join the curtains together with the clasps, so that the tabernacle is a unit. 451 

26:7 “You are to make curtains of goats’ hair 452  for a tent over the tabernacle; 453  you are to make 454  eleven curtains. 26:8 The length of each 455  curtain is to be forty-five feet, and the width of each curtain is to be six feet – the same size for the eleven curtains. 26:9 You are to join five curtains by themselves and six curtains by themselves. You are to double over 456  the sixth curtain at the front of the tent. 26:10 You are to make fifty loops along the edge of the end curtain in one set and fifty loops along the edge of the curtain that joins the second set. 26:11 You are to make fifty bronze clasps and put the clasps into the loops and join the tent together so that it is a unit. 457  26:12 Now the part that remains of the curtains of the tent – the half curtain that remains will hang over at the back of the tabernacle. 458  26:13 The foot and a half 459  on the one side and the foot and a half on the other side of what remains in the length of the curtains of the tent will hang over the sides of the tabernacle, on one side and the other side, to cover it. 460 

26:14 “You are to make a covering 461  for the tent out of ram skins dyed red and over that a covering of fine leather. 462 

26:15 “You are to make the frames 463  for the tabernacle out of 464  acacia wood as uprights. 465  26:16 Each 466  frame is to be fifteen feet long, and each frame is to be two feet three inches wide, 26:17 with two projections 467  per frame parallel one to another. 468  You are to make all the frames of the tabernacle in this way. 26:18 So you are to make the frames for the tabernacle: twenty frames for the south side, 469  26:19 and you are to make forty silver bases to go under the twenty frames – two bases under the first frame for its two projections, and likewise 470  two bases under the next frame for its two projections; 26:20 and for the second side of the tabernacle, the north side, twenty frames, 26:21 and their forty silver bases, two bases under the first frame, and two bases under the next frame. 26:22 And for the back of the tabernacle on the west 471  you will make six frames. 26:23 You are to make two frames for the corners 472  of the tabernacle on the back. 26:24 At the two corners 473  they must be doubled at the lower end and finished together at the top in one ring. So it will be for both. 26:25 So there are to be eight frames and their silver bases, sixteen bases, two bases under the first frame, and two bases under the next frame.

26:26 “You are to make bars of acacia wood, five for the frames on one side of the tabernacle, 26:27 and five bars for the frames on the second side of the tabernacle, and five bars for the frames on the back of the tabernacle on the west. 26:28 The middle bar in the center of the frames will reach from end to end. 474  26:29 You are to overlay the frames with gold and make their rings of gold to provide places for the bars, and you are to overlay the bars with gold. 26:30 You are to set up the tabernacle according to the plan 475  that you were shown on the mountain.

26:31 “You are to make a special curtain 476  of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn and fine twisted linen; it is to be made 477  with cherubim, the work of an artistic designer. 26:32 You are to hang it 478  with gold hooks 479  on four posts of acacia wood overlaid with gold, set in 480  four silver bases. 26:33 You are to hang this curtain under the clasps and bring the ark of the testimony in there behind the curtain. 481  The curtain will make a division for you between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place. 482  26:34 You are to put the atonement lid on the ark of the testimony in the Most Holy Place. 26:35 You are to put the table outside the curtain and the lampstand on the south side of the tabernacle, opposite the table, and you are to place the table on the north side.

26:36 “You are to make a hanging 483  for the entrance of the tent of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn and fine twined linen, the work of an embroiderer. 484  26:37 You are to make for the hanging five posts of acacia wood and overlay them with gold, and their hooks will be 485  gold, and you are to cast five bronze bases for them. 486 

The Altar

27:1 “You are to make the 487  altar of acacia wood, seven feet six inches long, 488  and seven feet six inches wide; the altar is to be square, 489  and its height is to be 490  four feet six inches. 27:2 You are to make its four horns 491  on its four corners; its horns will be part of it, 492  and you are to overlay it with bronze. 27:3 You are to make its pots for the ashes, 493  its shovels, its tossing bowls, 494  its meat hooks, and its fire pans – you are to make all 495  its utensils of bronze. 27:4 You are to make a grating 496  for it, a network of bronze, and you are to make on the network four bronze rings on its four corners. 27:5 You are to put it under the ledge of the altar below, so that the network will come 497  halfway up the altar. 498  27:6 You are to make poles for the altar, poles of acacia wood, and you are to overlay them with bronze. 27:7 The poles are to be put 499  into the rings so that the poles will be on two sides of the altar when carrying it. 500  27:8 You are to make the altar hollow, out of boards. Just as it was shown you 501  on the mountain, so they must make it. 502 

The Courtyard

27:9 “You are to make the courtyard 503  of the tabernacle. For the south side 504  there are to be hangings 505  for the courtyard of fine twisted linen, one hundred fifty feet long for one side, 506  27:10 with 507  twenty posts and their twenty bronze bases, with the hooks of the posts and their bands of silver. 27:11 Likewise 508  for its length on the north side, there are to be 509  hangings for one hundred fifty feet, with twenty posts and their twenty bronze bases, with silver hooks and bands 510  on the posts. 27:12 The width of the court on the west side is to be seventy-five feet with hangings, with their ten posts and their ten bases. 27:13 The width of the court on the east side, toward the sunrise, is to be seventy-five feet. 27:14 The hangings on one side 511  of the gate are to be 512  twenty-two and a half feet long, with their three posts and their three bases. 27:15 On the second side 513  there are to be 514  hangings twenty-two and a half feet long, with their three posts and their three bases. 27:16 For the gate of the courtyard there is to be a curtain of thirty feet, of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn and fine twined linen, the work of an embroiderer, with four posts and their four bases. 27:17 All the posts around the courtyard are to have silver bands; 515  their hooks are to be 516  silver, and their bases bronze. 27:18 The length of the courtyard is to be one hundred fifty feet 517  and the width seventy-five feet, 518  and the height of the fine twisted linen hangings 519  is to be 520  seven and a half feet, with their bronze bases. 27:19 All 521  the utensils of the tabernacle used 522  in all its service, all its tent pegs, and all the tent pegs of the courtyard are to be made of bronze. 523 

Offering the Oil

27:20 “You are to command the Israelites that they bring 524  to you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, so that the lamps 525  will burn 526  regularly. 527  27:21 In the tent of meeting 528  outside the curtain that is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons are to arrange it from evening 529  to morning before the Lord. This is to be a lasting ordinance among the Israelites for generations to come. 530 

The Clothing of the Priests

28:1 531 “And you, bring near 532  to you your brother Aaron and his sons with him from among the Israelites, so that they may minister as my priests 533  – Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons. 28:2 You must make holy garments 534  for your brother Aaron, for glory and for beauty. 535  28:3 You 536  are to speak to all who are specially skilled, 537  whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, 538  so that they may make 539  Aaron’s garments to set him apart 540  to minister as my priest. 28:4 Now these are the garments that they are to make: a breastpiece, 541  an ephod, 542  a robe, a fitted 543  tunic, a turban, and a sash. They are to make holy garments for your brother Aaron and for his sons, that they may minister as my priests. 28:5 The artisans 544  are to use 545  the gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine linen.

28:6 “They are to make the ephod of gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twisted linen, the work of an artistic designer. 28:7 It is to have two shoulder pieces attached to two of its corners, so it can be joined together. 546  28:8 The artistically woven waistband 547  of the ephod that is on it is to be like it, of one piece with the ephod, 548  of gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twisted linen.

28:9 “You are to take two onyx stones and engrave on them the names of the sons of Israel, 549  28:10 six 550  of their names on one stone, and the six remaining names on the second stone, according to the order of their birth. 551  28:11 You are to engrave the two stones with the names of the sons of Israel with the work of an engraver in stone, like the engravings of a seal; 552  you are to have them set 553  in gold filigree 554  settings. 28:12 You are to put the two stones on the shoulders of the ephod, stones of memorial for the sons of Israel, and Aaron will bear their names before the Lord on his two shoulders for a memorial. 555  28:13 You are to make filigree settings of gold 28:14 and two braided chains of pure gold, like a cord, and attach the chains to the settings.

28:15 “You are to make a breastpiece for use in making decisions, 556  the work of an artistic designer; you are to make it in the same fashion as the ephod; you are to make it of gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twisted linen. 28:16 It is to be square 557  when 558  doubled, nine inches 559  long and nine inches wide. 28:17 You are to set in it a setting for stones, four rows of stones, a row with a ruby, a topaz, and a beryl – the first row; 28:18 and the second row, a turquoise, a sapphire, and an emerald; 28:19 and the third row, a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; 28:20 and the fourth row, a chrysolite, an onyx, and a jasper. 560  They are to be enclosed in gold in their filigree settings. 28:21 The stones are to be for the names of the sons of Israel, twelve, according to the number of 561  their names. Each name according to the twelve tribes is to be like 562  the engravings of a seal.

28:22 “You are to make for the breastpiece braided chains like cords of pure gold, 28:23 and you are to make for the breastpiece two gold rings and attach 563  the two rings to the upper 564  two ends of the breastpiece. 28:24 You are to attach the two gold chains to the two rings at the ends of the breastpiece; 28:25 the other 565  two ends of the two chains you will attach to the two settings and then attach them 566  to the shoulder pieces of the ephod at the front of it. 28:26 You are to make two rings of gold and put them on the other 567  two ends of the breastpiece, on its edge that is on the inner side of the ephod. 28:27 You are to make two more 568  gold rings and attach them to the bottom of the two shoulder pieces on the front of the ephod, close to the juncture above the waistband of the ephod. 28:28 They are to tie the breastpiece by its rings to the rings of the ephod by blue cord, so that it may be above the waistband of the ephod, and so that the breastpiece will not be loose from the ephod. 28:29 Aaron will bear the names of the sons of Israel in the breastpiece of decision over his heart 569  when he goes into the holy place, for a memorial before the Lord continually.

28:30 “You are to put the Urim and the Thummim 570  into the breastpiece of decision; and they are to be over Aaron’s heart when he goes in before the Lord. Aaron is to bear the decisions 571  of the Israelites over his heart before the Lord continually.

28:31 “You are to make the robe 572  of the ephod completely blue. 28:32 There is to be an opening 573  in its top 574  in the center of it, with an edge all around the opening, the work of a weaver, 575  like the opening of a collar, 576  so that it cannot be torn. 577  28:33 You are to make pomegranates 578  of blue, purple, and scarlet all around its hem 579  and bells of gold between them all around. 28:34 The pattern is to be 580  a gold bell and a pomegranate, a gold bell and a pomegranate, all around the hem of the robe. 28:35 The robe 581  is to be on Aaron as he ministers, 582  and his sound will be heard 583  when he enters the Holy Place before the Lord and when he leaves, so that he does not die.

28:36 “You are to make a plate 584  of pure gold and engrave on it the way a seal is engraved: 585  “Holiness to the Lord.” 586  28:37 You are to attach to it a blue cord so that it will be 587  on the turban; it is to be 588  on the front of the turban, 28:38 It will be on Aaron’s forehead, and Aaron will bear the iniquity of the holy things, 589  which the Israelites are to sanctify by all their holy gifts; 590  it will always be on his forehead, for their acceptance 591  before the Lord. 28:39 You are to weave 592  the tunic of fine linen and make the turban of fine linen, and make the sash the work of an embroiderer.

28:40 “For Aaron’s sons you are to make tunics, sashes, and headbands 593  for glory and for beauty.

28:41 “You are to clothe them – your brother Aaron and his sons with him – and anoint them 594  and ordain them 595  and set them apart as holy, 596  so that they may minister as my priests. 28:42 Make for them linen undergarments to cover their naked bodies; 597  they must cover 598  from the waist to the thighs. 28:43 These must be on Aaron and his sons when they enter 599  to the tent of meeting, or when they approach 600  the altar to minister in the Holy Place, so that they bear no iniquity and die. 601  It is to be a perpetual ordinance for him and for his descendants 602  after him. 603 

The Consecration of Aaron and His Sons

29:1 604 “Now this is what 605  you are to do for them to consecrate them so that they may minister as my priests. Take a young 606  bull and two rams without blemish; 607  29:2 and 608  bread made without yeast, and perforated cakes without yeast mixed with oil, and wafers without yeast spread 609  with oil – you are to make them using 610  fine wheat flour. 29:3 You are to put them in one basket and present 611  them in the basket, along with 612  the bull and the two rams.

29:4 “You are to present 613  Aaron and his sons at the entrance of the tent of meeting. You are to wash 614  them with water 29:5 and take the garments and clothe Aaron with the tunic, 615  the robe of the ephod, the ephod, and the breastpiece; you are to fasten the ephod on him by using the skillfully woven waistband. 616  29:6 You are to put the turban on his head and put the holy diadem 617  on the turban. 29:7 You are to take the anointing oil and pour it on his head and anoint him. 618  29:8 You are to present his sons and clothe them with tunics 29:9 and wrap the sashes around Aaron and his sons 619  and put headbands on them, and so the ministry of priesthood will belong to them by a perpetual ordinance. Thus you are to consecrate 620  Aaron and his sons.

29:10 “You are to present the bull at the front of the tent of meeting, and Aaron and his sons are to put 621  their hands on the head 622  of the bull. 29:11 You are to kill the bull before the Lord at the entrance to the tent of meeting 29:12 and take some of the blood of the bull and put it on the horns of the altar 623  with your finger; all the rest of 624  the blood you are to pour out at the base of the altar. 29:13 You are to take all the fat that covers the entrails, and the lobe 625  that is above the liver, and the two kidneys and the fat that is on them, and burn them 626  on the altar. 29:14 But the meat of the bull, its skin, and its dung you are to burn up 627  outside the camp. 628  It is the purification offering. 629 

29:15 “You are to take one ram, and Aaron and his sons are to lay their hands on the ram’s head, 29:16 and you are to kill the ram and take its blood and splash it all around on the altar. 29:17 Then you are to cut the ram into pieces and wash the entrails and its legs and put them on its pieces and on its head 29:18 and burn 630  the whole ram on the altar. It is a burnt offering 631  to the Lord, a soothing aroma; it is an offering made by fire 632  to the Lord. 633 

29:19 “You are to take the second ram, and Aaron and his sons are to lay their hands on the ram’s head, 29:20 and you are to kill the ram and take some of its blood and put it on the tip of the right ear of Aaron, on the tip of the right ear of his sons, on the thumb of their right hand, and on the big toe of their right foot, 634  and then splash the blood all around on the altar. 29:21 You are to take some of the blood that is on the altar and some of the anointing oil and sprinkle it 635  on Aaron, on his garments, on his sons, and on his sons’ garments with him, so that he may be holy, 636  he and his garments along with his sons and his sons’ garments.

29:22 “You are to take from the ram the fat, the fat tail, the fat that covers the entrails, the lobe 637  of the liver, the two kidneys and the fat that is on them, and the right thigh – for it is the ram for consecration 638 29:23 and one round flat cake of bread, one perforated cake of oiled bread, and one wafer from the basket of bread made without yeast that is before the Lord. 29:24 You are to put all these 639  in Aaron’s hands 640  and in his sons’ hands, and you are to wave them as a wave offering 641  before the Lord. 29:25 Then you are to take them from their hands and burn 642  them 643  on the altar for a burnt offering, for a soothing aroma before the Lord. It is an offering made by fire to the Lord. 29:26 You are to take the breast of the ram of Aaron’s consecration; you are to wave it as a wave offering before the Lord, and it is to be your share. 29:27 You are to sanctify the breast of the wave offering and the thigh of the contribution, 644  which were waved and lifted up as a contribution from the ram of consecration, from what belongs to Aaron and to his sons. 29:28 It is to belong to Aaron and to his sons from the Israelites, by a perpetual ordinance, for it is a contribution. It is to be a contribution from the Israelites from their peace offerings, their contribution to the Lord.

29:29 “The holy garments that belong to Aaron are to belong to his sons after him, so that they may be anointed 645  in them and consecrated 646  in them. 29:30 The priest who succeeds him 647  from his sons, when he first comes 648  to the tent of meeting to minister in the Holy Place, is to wear them for seven days. 649 

29:31 “You are to take the ram of the consecration and cook 650  its meat in a holy place. 651  29:32 Aaron and his sons are to eat the meat of the ram and the bread that was in the basket at the entrance of the tent of meeting. 29:33 They are to eat those things by which atonement was made 652  to consecrate and to set them apart, but no one else 653  may eat them, for they are holy. 29:34 If any of the meat from the consecration offerings 654  or any of the bread is left over 655  until morning, then you are to burn up 656  what is left over. It must not be eaten, 657  because it is holy.

29:35 “Thus you are to do for Aaron and for his sons, according to all that I have commanded you; you are to consecrate them 658  for 659  seven days. 29:36 Every day you are to prepare a bull for a purification offering 660  for atonement. 661  You are to purge 662  the altar by making atonement 663  for it, and you are to anoint it to set it apart as holy. 29:37 For seven days 664  you are to make atonement for the altar and set it apart as holy. Then the altar will be most holy. 665  Anything that touches the altar will be holy. 666 

29:38 “Now this is what you are to prepare 667  on the altar every day continually: two lambs a year old. 29:39 The first lamb you are to prepare in the morning, and the second lamb you are to prepare around sundown. 668  29:40 With the first lamb offer a tenth of an ephah 669  of fine flour mixed with a fourth of a hin 670  of oil from pressed olives, and a fourth of a hin of wine as a drink offering. 29:41 The second lamb you are to offer around sundown; you are to prepare for it the same meal offering as for the morning and the same drink offering, for a soothing aroma, an offering made by fire to the Lord.

29:42 “This will be a regular 671  burnt offering throughout your generations at the entrance of the tent of meeting before the Lord, where I will meet 672  with you to speak to you there. 29:43 There I will meet 673  with the Israelites, and it will be set apart as holy by my glory. 674 

29:44 “So I will set apart as holy 675  the tent of meeting and the altar, and I will set apart as holy Aaron and his sons, that they may minister as priests to me. 29:45 I will reside 676  among the Israelites, and I will be their God, 29:46 and they will know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out from the land of Egypt, so that I may reside among them. I am the Lord their God.

The Altar of Incense

30:1 677 “You are to make an altar for burning incense; 678  you are to make it of 679  acacia wood. 680  30:2 Its length is to be a foot and a half 681  and its width a foot and a half; it will be square. Its height is to be three feet, 682  with its horns of one piece with it. 683  30:3 You are to overlay it with pure gold – its top, 684  its four walls, 685  and its horns – and make a surrounding border of gold for it. 686  30:4 You are to make two gold rings for it under its border, on its two flanks; you are to make them on its two sides. 687  The rings 688  will be places 689  for poles to carry it with. 30:5 You are to make the poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold.

30:6 “You are to put it in front of the curtain that is before the ark of the testimony (before the atonement lid that is over the testimony), where I will meet you. 30:7 Aaron is to burn sweet incense 690  on it morning by morning; when he attends 691  to the lamps he is to burn incense. 692  30:8 When Aaron sets up the lamps around sundown he is to burn incense on it; it is to be a regular incense offering before the Lord throughout your generations. 30:9 You must not offer strange incense on it, nor burnt offering, nor meal offering, and you must not pour out a drink offering on it. 30:10 Aaron is to make atonement on its horns once in the year with some of the blood of the sin offering for atonement; 693  once in the year 694  he is to make atonement on it throughout your generations. It is most holy to the Lord.” 695 

The Ransom Money

30:11 696 The Lord spoke to Moses: 697  30:12 “When you take a census 698  of the Israelites according to their number, 699  then each man is to pay a ransom 700  for his life to the Lord when you number them, 701  so that there will be no plague among them when you number them. 30:13 Everyone who crosses over to those who are numbered 702  is to pay this: a half shekel 703  according to the shekel of the sanctuary 704  (a shekel weighs twenty gerahs). The half shekel is to be an offering 705  to the Lord. 30:14 Everyone who crosses over to those numbered, from twenty years old and up, is to pay an offering to the Lord. 30:15 The rich are not to increase it, 706  and the poor are not to pay less than the half shekel when giving 707  the offering of the Lord, to make atonement 708  for your lives. 30:16 You are to receive the atonement money 709  from the Israelites and give it for the service 710  of the tent of meeting. It will be a memorial 711  for the Israelites before the Lord, to make atonement 712  for your lives.”

The Bronze Laver

30:17 713 The Lord spoke to Moses: 714  30:18 “You are also to make a large bronze 715  basin with a bronze stand 716  for washing. You are to put it between the tent of meeting and the altar and put water in it, 717  30:19 and Aaron and his sons must wash their hands and their feet from it. 718  30:20 When they enter 719  the tent of meeting, they must wash with 720  water so that they do not die. 721  Also, when they approach 722  the altar to minister by burning incense 723  as an offering made by fire 724  to the Lord, 30:21 they must wash 725  their hands and their feet so that they do not die. And this 726  will be a perpetual ordinance for them and for their descendants 727  throughout their generations.” 728 

Oil and Incense

30:22 729 The Lord spoke to Moses: 730  30:23 “Take 731  choice spices: 732  twelve and a half pounds 733  of free-flowing myrrh, 734  half that – about six and a quarter pounds – of sweet-smelling cinnamon, six and a quarter pounds of sweet-smelling cane, 30:24 and twelve and a half pounds of cassia, all weighed 735  according to the sanctuary shekel, and four quarts 736  of olive oil. 30:25 You are to make this 737  into 738  a sacred anointing oil, a perfumed compound, 739  the work of a perfumer. It will be sacred anointing oil.

30:26 “With it you are to anoint the tent of meeting, the ark of the testimony, 30:27 the table and all its utensils, the lampstand and its utensils, the altar of incense, 30:28 the altar for the burnt offering and all its utensils, and the laver and its base. 30:29 So you are to sanctify them, 740  and they will be most holy; 741  anything that touches them will be holy. 742 

30:30 “You are to anoint Aaron and his sons and 743  sanctify them, so that they may minister as my priests. 30:31 And you are to tell the Israelites: ‘This is to be my sacred anointing oil throughout your generations. 30:32 It must not be applied 744  to people’s bodies, and you must not make any like it with the same recipe. It is holy, and it must be holy to you. 30:33 Whoever makes perfume like it and whoever puts any of it on someone not a priest 745  will be cut off 746  from his people.’”

30:34 The Lord said to Moses: “Take 747  spices, gum resin, 748  onycha, 749  galbanum, 750  and pure frankincense 751  of equal amounts 752  30:35 and make it into an incense, 753  a perfume, 754  the work of a perfumer. It is to be finely ground, 755  and pure and sacred. 30:36 You are to beat some of it very fine and put some of it before the ark of the testimony in the tent of meeting where I will meet with you; it is to be most holy to you. 30:37 And the incense that you are to make, you must not make for yourselves using the same recipe; it is to be most holy to you, belonging to the Lord. 30:38 Whoever makes anything like it, to use as perfume, 756  will be cut off from his people.”

Willing Artisans

31:1 757 The Lord spoke to Moses: 758  31:2 “See, I have chosen 759  Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 31:3 and I have filled him with the Spirit of God 760  in skill, 761  in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds 762  of craftsmanship, 31:4 to make artistic designs 763  for work with gold, with silver, and with bronze, 31:5 and with cutting and setting stone, and with cutting wood, to work in all kinds of craftsmanship. 31:6 Moreover, 764  I have also given him Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, and I have given ability to all the specially skilled, 765  that they may make 766  everything I have commanded you: 31:7 the tent of meeting, the ark of the testimony, the atonement lid that is on it, all the furnishings 767  of the tent, 31:8 the table with its utensils, the pure lampstand with all its utensils, the altar of incense, 31:9 the altar for the burnt offering with all its utensils, the large basin with its base, 31:10 the woven garments, the holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments for his sons, to minister as priests, 31:11 the anointing oil, and sweet incense for the Holy Place. They will make all these things just as I have commanded you.”

Sabbath Observance

31:12 768 The Lord said to Moses, 769  31:13 “Tell the Israelites, ‘Surely you must keep my Sabbaths, 770  for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you. 771  31:14 So you must keep the Sabbath, for it is holy for you. Everyone who defiles it 772  must surely be put to death; indeed, 773  if anyone does 774  any 775  work on it, then that person will be cut off from among his 776  people. 31:15 Six days 777  work may be done, 778  but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of complete rest, 779  holy to the Lord; anyone who does work on the Sabbath day must surely be put to death. 31:16 The Israelites must keep the Sabbath by observing the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. 31:17 It is a sign between me and the Israelites forever; for in six days 780  the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.’” 781 

31:18 He gave Moses two tablets of testimony when he had finished speaking with him on Mount Sinai, tablets of stone written by the finger of God. 782 

1 sn This chapter is essentially about mediation. The people are getting ready to meet with God, receive the Law from him, and enter into a covenant with him. All of this required mediation and preparation. Through it all, Israel will become God’s unique possession, a kingdom of priests on earth – if they comply with his Law. The chapter can be divided as follows: vv. 1-8 tell how God, Israel’s great deliverer promised to make them a kingdom of priests; this is followed by God’s declaration that Moses would be the mediator (v. 9); vv. 10-22 record instructions for Israel to prepare themselves to worship Yahweh and an account of the manifestation of Yahweh with all the phenomena; and the chapter closes with the mediation of Moses on behalf of the people (vv. 23-25). Having been redeemed from Egypt, the people will now be granted a covenant with God. See also R. E. Bee, “A Statistical Study of the Sinai Pericope,” Journal of the Royal Statistical Society 135 (1972): 406-21.

2 tn The construction uses the infinitive construct followed by the subjective genitive to form a temporal clause.

3 tn Heb “on this day.”

4 tn The form is a preterite with vav (ו) consecutive, “and they journeyed.” It is here subordinated to the next clause as a temporal clause. But since the action of this temporal clause preceded the actions recorded in v. 1, a translation of “after” will keep the sequence in order. Verse 2 adds details to the summary in v. 1.

5 sn The mountain is Mount Sinai, the mountain of God, the place where God had met and called Moses and had promised that they would be here to worship him. If this mountain is Jebel Musa, the traditional site of Sinai, then the plain in front of it would be Er-Rahah, about a mile and a half long by half a mile wide, fronting the mountain on the NW side (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 169). The plain itself is about 5000 feet above sea level. A mountain on the west side of the Arabian Peninsula has also been suggested as a possible site.

6 tn Heb “and Moses went up.”

7 tn This expression is normally translated as “Israelites” in this translation, but because in this place it is parallel to “the house of Jacob” it seemed better to offer a fuller rendering.

8 tn The figure compares the way a bird would teach its young to fly and leave the nest with the way Yahweh brought Israel out of Egypt. The bird referred to could be one of several species of eagles, but more likely is the griffin-vulture. The image is that of power and love.

9 sn The language here is the language of a bridegroom bringing the bride to the chamber. This may be a deliberate allusion to another metaphor for the covenant relationship.

10 tn Heb “listen to my voice.” The construction uses the imperfect tense in the conditional clause, preceded by the infinitive absolute from the same verb. The idiom “listen to the voice of” implies obedience, not just mental awareness of sound.

11 tn The verb is a perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive; it continues the idea in the protasis of the sentence: “and [if you will] keep.”

12 tn The lamed preposition expresses possession here: “to me” means “my.”

13 tn The noun is סְגֻלָּה (sÿgullah), which means a special possession. Israel was to be God’s special possession, but the prophets will later narrow it to the faithful remnant. All the nations belong to God, but Israel was to stand in a place of special privilege and enormous responsibility. See Deut 7:6; 14:2; 26:18; Ps 135:4; and Mal 3:17. See M. Greenburg, “Hebrew sÿgulla: Akkadian sikiltu,” JAOS 71 (1951): 172ff.

14 tn Or “for me” (NIV, NRSV), or, if the lamed (ל) preposition has a possessive use, “my kingdom” (so NCV).

15 tn The construction “a kingdom of priests” means that the kingdom is made up of priests. W. C. Kaiser (“Exodus,” EBC 2:417) offers four possible renderings of the expression: 1) apposition, viz., “kings, that is, priests; 2) as a construct with a genitive of specification, “royal priesthood”; 3) as a construct with the genitive being the attribute, “priestly kingdom”; and 4) reading with an unexpressed “and” – “kings and priests.” He takes the latter view that they were to be kings and priests. (Other references are R. B. Y. Scott, “A Kingdom of Priests (Exodus xix. 6),” OTS 8 [1950]: 213-19; William L. Moran, “A Kingdom of Priests,” The Bible in Current Catholic Thought, 7-20). However, due to the parallelism of the next description which uses an adjective, this is probably a construct relationship. This kingdom of God will be composed of a priestly people. All the Israelites would be living wholly in God’s service and enjoying the right of access to him. And, as priests, they would have the duty of representing God to the nations, following what they perceived to be the duties of priests – proclaiming God’s word, interceding for people, and making provision for people to find God through atonement (see Deut 33:9,10).

16 tn They are also to be “a holy nation.” They are to be a nation separate and distinct from the rest of the nations. Here is another aspect of their duty. It was one thing to be God’s special possession, but to be that they had to be priestly and holy. The duties of the covenant will specify what it would mean to be a holy nation. In short, they had to keep themselves free from everything that characterized pagan people (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 171). So it is a bilateral covenant: they received special privileges but they must provide special services by the special discipline. See also H. Kruse, “Exodus 19:5 and the Mission of Israel,” North East Asian Journal of Theology 24/25 (1980): 239-42.

17 tn The verb is an imperfect. The people are not being presumptuous in stating their compliance – there are several options open for the interpretation of this tense. It may be classified as having a desiderative nuance: “we are willing to do” or, “we will do.”

18 tn The construction uses the deictic particle and the participle to express the imminent future, what God was about to do. Here is the first announcement of the theophany.

19 tn Heb “the thickness of the cloud”; KJV, ASV, NASB, NCV, TEV, CEV, NLT “in a thick cloud.”

20 tn Since “and also in you” begins the clause, the emphasis must be that the people would also trust Moses. See Exod 4:1-9, 31; 14:31.

21 tn This verb is a Piel perfect with vav (ו) consecutive; it continues the force of the imperative preceding it. This sanctification would be accomplished by abstaining from things that would make them defiled or unclean, and then by ritual washings and ablutions.

22 tn The form is a perfect 3cpl with a vav (ו) consecutive. It is instructional as well, but now in the third person it is like a jussive, “let them wash, make them wash.”

23 tn The verb is a Hiphil perfect (“make borders”) with vav (ו) consecutive, following the sequence of instructions.

24 tn The Niphal imperative (“guard yourselves, take heed to yourselves”) is followed by two infinitives construct that provide the description of what is to be avoided – going up or touching the mountain.

25 sn There is some ambiguity here. The clause either means that no man will touch the mountain, so that if there is someone who is to be put to death he must be stoned or shot since they could not go into the mountain region to get him, or, it may mean no one is to touch the culprit who went in to the region of the mountain.

26 tn Heb “a man.”

27 tn The nuance here is permissive imperfect, “they may go up.” The ram’s horn would sound the blast to announce that the revelation period was over and it was permitted then to ascend the mountain.

28 tn Heb “do not go near a woman”; NIV “Abstain from sexual relations.”

sn B. Jacob (Exodus, 537) notes that as the people were to approach him they were not to lose themselves in earthly love. Such separations prepared the people for meeting God. Sinai was like a bride, forbidden to anyone else. Abstinence was the spiritual preparation for coming into the presence of the Holy One.

29 tn Heb “and it was on.”

30 tn Heb “heavy” (כָּבֵד, kaved).

31 tn Literally “strong” (חָזָק, khazaq).

32 tn The word here is שֹׁפָר (shofar), the normal word for “horn.” This word is used especially to announce something important in a public event (see 1 Kgs 1:34; 2 Sam 6:15). The previous word used in the context (v. 16) was יֹבֵל (yovel, “ram’s horn”).

33 sn The image is that of a large kiln, as in Gen 19:28.

34 tn This is the same word translated “trembled” above (v. 16).

35 tn The active participle הוֹלֵךְ (holekh) is used to add the idea of “continually” to the action of the sentence; here the trumpet became very loud – continually. See GKC 344 §113.u.

36 tn The two verbs here (“spoke” and “answered”) are imperfect tenses; they emphasize repeated action but in past time. The customary imperfect usually is translated “would” or “used to” do the action, but here continuous action in past time is meant. S. R. Driver translates it “kept speaking” and “kept answering” (Exodus, 172).

37 tn The text simply has בְּקוֹל (bÿqol); it could mean “with a voice” or it could mean “in thunder” since “voice” was used in v. 16 for thunder. In this context it would be natural to say that the repeated thunderings were the voice of God – but how is that an answer? Deut 4:12 says that the people heard the sound of words. U. Cassuto (Exodus, 232-33) rightly comments, “He was answering him with a loud voice so that it was possible for Moses to hear His words clearly in the midst of the storm.” He then draws a parallel from Ugaritic where it tells that one of the gods was speaking in a loud voice.

38 tn The imperative הָעֵד (haed) means “charge” them – put them under oath, or solemnly warn them. God wished to ensure that the people would not force their way past the barriers that had been set out.

39 tn Heb “and fall”; NAB “be struck down.”

40 tn The verb יִפְרֹץ (yifrots) is the imperfect tense from פָּרַץ (parats, “to make a breach, to break through”). The image of Yahweh breaking forth on them means “work destruction” (see 2 Sam 6:8; S. R. Driver, Exodus, 174).

41 tn The construction is emphatic: “because you – you solemnly warned us.” Moses’ response to God is to ask how they would break through when God had already charged them not to. God knew them better than Moses did.

42 tn Heb “sanctify it.”

43 sn The passage has many themes and emphases that could be developed in exposition. It could serve for meditation: the theology drawn from the three parts could be subordinated to the theme of holiness: God is holy, therefore adhere to his word for service, approach him through a mediator, and adore him in purity and fearful reverence. A developed outline for the exposition could be: I. If the people of God will obey him, they will be privileged to serve in a unique way (1-8); II. If the people of God are to obey, they must be convinced of the divine source of their commands (9); and finally, III. If the people of God are convinced of the divine approval of their mediator, and the divine source of their instructions, they must sanctify themselves before him (vv. 10-25). In sum, the manifestation of the holiness of Yahweh is the reason for sanctification and worship. The correlation is to be made through 1 Peter 2 to the church. The Church is a kingdom of priests; it is to obey the Word of God. What is the motivation for this? Their mediator is Jesus Christ; he has the approval of the Father and manifests the glory of God to his own; and he declares the purpose of their calling is to display his glory. God’s people are to abstain from sin so that pagans can see their good works and glorify God.

44 sn This chapter is the heart of the Law of Israel, and as such is well known throughout the world. There is so much literature on it that it is almost impossible to say anything briefly and do justice to the subject. But the exposition of the book must point out that this is the charter of the new nation of Israel. These ten commands (words) form the preamble; they will be followed by the decisions (judgments). And then in chap. 24 the covenant will be inaugurated. So when Israel entered into covenant with God, they entered into a theocracy by expressing their willingness to submit to his authority. The Law was the binding constitution for the nation of Israel under Yahweh their God. It was specifically given to them at a certain time and in a certain place. The Law legislated how Israel was to live in order to be blessed by God and used by him as a kingdom of priests. In the process of legislating their conduct and their ritual for worship, the Law revealed God. It revealed the holiness of Yahweh as the standard for all worship and service, and in revealing that it revealed or uncovered sin. But what the Law condemned, the Law (Leviticus) also made provision for in the laws of the sacrifice and the feasts intended for atonement. The NT teaches that the Law was good, and perfect, and holy. But it also teaches that Christ was the end (goal) of the Law, that it ultimately led to him. It was a pedagogue, Paul said, to bring people to Christ. And when the fulfillment of the promise came in him, believers were not to go back under the Law. What this means for Christians is that what the Law of Israel revealed about God and his will is timeless and still authoritative over faith and conduct, but what the Law regulated for Israel in their existence as the people of God has been done away with in Christ. The Ten Commandments reveal the essence of the Law; the ten for the most part are reiterated in the NT because they reflect the holy and righteous nature of God. The NT often raises them to a higher standard, to guard the spirit of the Law as well as the letter.

45 sn The Bible makes it clear that the Law was the revelation of God at Mount Sinai. And yet study has shown that the law code’s form follows the literary pattern of covenant codes in the Late Bronze Age, notably the Hittite codes. The point of such codes is that all the covenant stipulations are appropriate because of the wonderful things that the sovereign has done for the people. God, in using a well-known literary form, was both drawing on the people’s knowledge of such to impress their duties on them, as well as putting new wine into old wineskins. The whole nature of God’s code was on a much higher level. For this general structure, see M. G. Kline, Treaty of the Great King. For the Ten Commandments specifically, see J. J. Stamm and M. E. Andrew, The Ten Commandments in Recent Research (SBT). See also some of the general articles: M. Barrett, “God’s Moral Standard: An Examination of the Decalogue,” BV 12 (1978): 34-40; C. J. H. Wright, “The Israelite Household and the Decalogue: The Social Background and Significance of Some Commandments,” TynBul 30 (1979): 101-24; J. D. Levenson, “The Theologies of Commandment in Biblical Israel,” HTR 73 (1980): 17-33; M. B. Cohen and D. B. Friedman, “The Dual Accentuation of the Ten Commandments,” Masoretic Studies 1 (1974): 7-190; D. Skinner, “Some Major Themes of Exodus,” Mid-America Theological Journal 1 (1977): 31-42; M. Tate, “The Legal Traditions of the Book of Exodus,” RevExp 74 (1977): 483-509; E. C. Smith, “The Ten Commandments in Today’s Permissive Society: A Principleist Approach,” SwJT 20 (1977): 42-58; and D. W. Buck, “Exodus 20:1-17,” Lutheran Theological Journal 16 (1982): 65-75.

46 sn The revelation of Yahweh here begins with the personal pronoun. “I” – a person, a living personality, not an object or a mere thought. This enabled him to address “you” – Israel, and all his people, making the binding stipulations for them to conform to his will (B. Jacob, Exodus, 544).

47 tn Most English translations have “I am Yahweh your God.” But the preceding chapters have again and again demonstrated how he made himself known to them. Now, the emphasis is on “I am your God” – and what that would mean in their lives.

48 tn The suffix on the verb is second masculine singular. It is this person that will be used throughout the commandments for the whole nation. God addresses them all as his people, but he addresses them individually for their obedience. The masculine form is not, thereby, intended to exclude women.

49 tn Heb “the house of slaves” meaning “the land of slavery.”

sn By this announcement Yahweh declared what he had done for Israel by freeing them from slavery. Now they are free to serve him. He has a claim on them for gratitude and obedience. But this will not be a covenant of cruel slavery and oppression; it is a covenant of love, as God is saying “I am yours, and you are mine.” This was the sovereign Lord of creation and of history speaking, declaring that he was their savior.

50 tn The possession is expressed here by the use of the lamed (ל) preposition and the verb “to be”: לֹא־יִהְיֶה לְךָ (loyihyeh lÿkha, “there will not be to you”). The negative with the imperfect expresses the emphatic prohibition; it is best reflected with “you will not” and has the strongest expectation of obedience (see GKC 317 §107.o). As an additional way of looking at this line, U. Cassuto suggests that the verb is in the singular in order to say that they could not have even one other god, and the word “gods” is plural to include any gods (Exodus, 241).

51 tn The expression עַל־פָּנָי (’al-panay) has several possible interpretations. S. R. Driver suggests “in front of me,” meaning obliging me to behold them, and also giving a prominence above me (Exodus, 193-94). W. F. Albright rendered it “You shall not prefer other gods to me” (From the Stone Age to Christianity, 297, n. 29). B. Jacob (Exodus, 546) illustrates it with marriage: the wife could belong to only one man while every other man was “another man.” They continued to exist but were not available to her. The point is clear from the Law, regardless of the specific way the prepositional phrase is rendered. God demands absolute allegiance, to the exclusion of all other deities. The preposition may imply some antagonism, for false gods would be opposed to Yahweh. U. Cassuto adds that God was in effect saying that anytime Israel turned to a false god they had to know that the Lord was there – it is always in his presence, or before him (Exodus, 241).

52 tn A פֶּסֶל (pesel) is an image that was carved out of wood or stone. The Law was concerned with a statue that would be made for the purpose of worship, an idol to be venerated, and not any ordinary statue.

53 tn The word תְּמוּנָה (tÿmunah) refers to the mental pattern from which the פֶּסֶל (pesel) is constructed; it is a real or imagined resemblance. If this is to stand as a second object to the verb, then the verb itself takes a slightly different nuance here. It would convey “you shall not make an image, neither shall you conceive a form” for worship (B. Jacob, Exodus, 547). Some simply make the second word qualify the first: “you shall not make an idol in the form of…” (NIV).

54 tn Here the phrase “of anything” has been supplied.

55 tn Heb “under the earth” (so KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV).

56 tn The combination of these two verbs customarily refers to the worship of pagan deities (e.g., Deut 17:3: 30:17; Jer 8:2; see J. J. Stamm and M. E. Andrew, The Ten Commandments in Recent Research [SBT], 86). The first verb is לאֹ־תִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה (lotishtakhaveh), now to be classified as a hishtaphel imperfect from חָוָה (khavah; BDB 1005 s.v. שׁחה), “to cause oneself to be low to the ground.” It is used of the true worship of God as well. The second verb is וְלֹא תָעָבְדֵם (vÿlotoovdem). The two could be taken as a hendiadys: “you will not prostrate yourself to serve them.” In an interesting side comment U. Cassuto (Exodus, 242) offers an explanation of the spelling of the second verb: he suggests that it was spelled with the qamets khatuf vowel to show contempt for pagan worship, as if their conduct does not even warrant a correct spelling of the word “serve.” Gesenius says that the forms like this are anomalous, but he wonders if they were pointed as if the verb was a Hophal with the meaning “you shall not allow yourself to be brought to worship them” (GKC 161 §60.b). But this is unlikely.

57 sn The word “jealous” is the same word often translated “zeal” or “zealous.” The word describes a passionate intensity to protect or defend something that is jeopardized. The word can also have the sense of “envy,” but in that case the object is out of bounds. God’s zeal or jealousy is to protect his people or his institutions or his honor. Yahweh’s honor is bound up with the life of his people.

58 tn Verses 5 and 6 are very concise, and the word פָּקַד (paqad) is difficult to translate. Often rendered “visiting,” it might here be rendered “dealing with” in a negative sense or “punishing,” but it describes positive attention in 13:19. When used of God, it essentially means that God intervenes in the lives of people for blessing or for cursing. Some would simply translate the participle here as “punishing” the children for the sins of the fathers (cf. Lev 18:25; Isa 26:21; Jer 29:32; 36:31; Hos 1:4; Amos 3:2). That is workable, but may not say enough. The verse may indicate that those who hate Yahweh and do not keep his commandments will repeat the sins their fathers committed and suffer for them. Deut 24:16 says that individuals will die for their own sins and not their father’s sins (see also Deut 7:10 and Ezek 18). It may have more to do with patterns of sin being repeated from generation to generation; if the sin and the guilt were not fully developed in the one generation, then left unchecked they would develop and continue in the next. But it may also indicate that the effects of the sins of the fathers will be experienced in the following generations, especially in the case of Israel as a national entity (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 243). God is showing here that his ethical character is displayed in how he deals with sin and righteousness, all of which he describes as giving strong motivation for loyalty to him and for avoiding idolatry. There is a justice at work in the dealings of God that is not present in the pagan world.

59 tn The Hebrew word for “generations” is not found in v. 5 or 6. The numbers are short for a longer expression, which is understood as part of the description of the children already mentioned (see Deut 7:9, where “generation” [דּוֹר, dor] is present and more necessary, since “children” have not been mentioned).

60 tn This is an important qualification to the principle. The word rendered “reject” is often translated “hate” and carries with it the idea of defiantly rejecting and opposing God and his word. Such people are doomed to carry on the sins of their ancestors and bear guilt with them.

61 tn Literally “doing loyal love” (עֹשֶׂה חֶסֶד, ’oseh khesed). The noun refers to God’s covenant loyalty, his faithful love to those who belong to him. These are members of the covenant, recipients of grace, the people of God, whom God will preserve and protect from evil and its effects.

62 tn Heb “to thousands” or “to thousandth.” After “tenth,” Hebrew uses cardinal numbers for ordinals also. This statement is the antithesis of the preceding line. The “thousands” or “thousandth [generation]” are those who love Yahweh and keep his commands. These are descendants from the righteous, and even associates with them, who benefit from the mercy that God extends to his people. S. R. Driver (Exodus, 195) says that this passage teaches that God’s mercy transcends his wrath; in his providence the beneficial consequences of a life of goodness extend indefinitely further than the retribution that is the penalty for persisting in sin. To say that God’s loyal love extends to thousands of generations or the thousandth generation is parallel to saying that it endures forever (Ps. 118). See also Exod 34:7; Deut 5:10; 7:9; Ps 18:51; Jer 32:18.

63 tn Or “use” (NCV, TEV); NIV, CEV, NLT “misuse”; NRSV “make wrongful use of.”

64 tn שָׁוְא (shav’, “vain”) describes “unreality.” The command prohibits use of the name for any idle, frivolous, or insincere purpose (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 196). This would include perjury, pagan incantations, or idle talk. The name is to be treated with reverence and respect because it is the name of the holy God.

65 tn Or “leave unpunished.”

66 tn The text uses the infinitive absolute זָכוֹר (zakhor) for the commandment for the Sabbath day, which is the sign of the Sinaitic Covenant. The infinitive absolute functions in place of the emphatic imperative here (see GKC 346 §113.bb); the absolute stresses the basic verbal idea of the root – remembering. The verb includes the mental activity of recalling and pondering as well as the consequent actions for such remembering.

67 tn The word “Sabbath” is clearly connected to the verb שָׁבַת (shavat, “to cease, desist, rest”). There are all kinds of theories as to the origin of the day, most notably in the Babylonian world, but the differences are striking in so far as the pagan world had these days filled with magic. Nevertheless, the pagan world does bear witness to a tradition of a regular day set aside for special sacrifices. See, for example, H. W. Wolff, “The Day of Rest in the Old Testament,” LTQ 7 (1972): 65-76; H. Routtenberg, “The Laws of Sabbath: Biblical Sources,” Dor le Dor 6 (1977): 41-43, 99-101, 153-55, 204-6; G. Robinson, “The Idea of Rest in the OT and the Search for the Basic Character of Sabbath,” ZAW 92 (1980): 32-42; and M. Tsevat, “The Basic Meaning of the Biblical Sabbath,” ZAW 84 (1972): 447-59.

68 tn The Piel infinitive construct provides the purpose of remembering the Sabbath day – to set it apart, to make it distinct from the other days. Verses 9 and 10 explain in part how this was to be done. To set this day apart as holy taught Israel the difference between the holy and the profane, that there was something higher than daily life. If an Israelite bent down to the ground laboring all week, the Sabbath called his attention to the heavens, to pattern life after the Creator (B. Jacob, Exodus, 569-70).

69 tn The text has simply “six days,” but this is an adverbial accusative of time, answering how long they were to work (GKC 374 §118.k).

70 tn The imperfect tense has traditionally been rendered as a commandment, “you will labor.” But the point of this commandment is the prohibition of work on the seventh day. The permission nuance of the imperfect works well here.

71 tn This is the occupation, or business of the work week.

72 tn The phrase “on it” has been supplied for clarity.

73 sn The wife is omitted in the list, not that she was considered unimportant, nor that she was excluded from the rest, but rather in reflecting her high status. She was not man’s servant, not lesser than the man, but included with the man as an equal before God. The “you” of the commandments is addressed to the Israelites individually, male and female, just as God in the Garden of Eden held both the man and the woman responsible for their individual sins (see B. Jacob, Exodus, 567-68).

74 sn The Sabbath day was the sign of the Sinaitic Covenant. It required Israel to cease from ordinary labors and devote the day to God. It required Israel to enter into the life of God, to share his Sabbath. It gave them a chance to recall the work of the Creator. But in the NT the apostolic teaching for the Church does not make one day holier than another, but calls for the entire life to be sanctified to God. This teaching is an application of the meaning of entering into the Sabbath of God. The book of Hebrews declares that those who believe in Christ cease from their works and enter into his Sabbath rest. For a Christian keeping Saturday holy is not a requirement from the NT; it may be a good and valuable thing to have a day of rest and refreshment, but it is not a binding law for the Church. The principle of setting aside time to worship and serve the Lord has been carried forward, but the strict regulations have not.

75 tn The verb כַּבֵּד (kabbed) is a Piel imperative; it calls for people to give their parents the respect and honor that is appropriate for them. It could be paraphrased to say, give them the weight of authority that they deserve. Next to God, parents were to be highly valued, cared for, and respected.

76 tn Heb “that your days may be long.”

77 sn The promise here is national rather than individual, although it is certainly true that the blessing of life was promised for anyone who was obedient to God’s commands (Deut 4:1, 8:1, etc.). But as W. C. Kaiser (“Exodus,” EBC 2:424) summarizes, the land that was promised was the land of Canaan, and the duration of Israel in the land was to be based on morality and the fear of God as expressed in the home (Deut 4:26, 33, 40; 32:46-47). The captivity was in part caused by a breakdown in this area (Ezek 22:7, 15). Malachi would announce at the end of his book that Elijah would come at the end of the age to turn the hearts of the children and the parents toward each other again.

78 tn The verb רָצַח (ratsakh) refers to the premeditated or accidental taking of the life of another human being; it includes any unauthorized killing (it is used for the punishment of a murderer, but that would not be included in the prohibition). This commandment teaches the sanctity of all human life. See J. H. Yoder, “Exodus 20,13: ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill’,” Int 34 (1980): 394-99; and A. Phillips, “Another Look at Murder,” JJS 28 (1977): 105-26.

79 sn This is a sin against the marriage of a fellow citizen – it destroys the home. The Law distinguished between adultery (which had a death penalty) and sexual contact with a young woman (which carried a monetary fine and usually marriage if the father was willing). So it distinguished fornication and adultery. Both were sins, but the significance of each was different. In the ancient world this sin is often referred to as “the great sin.”

80 sn This law protected the property of the Israelite citizen. See D. Little, “Exodus 20,15: ‘Thou Shalt Not Steal’,” Int 34 (1980): 399-405.

81 tn Heb “answer” as in a court of law.

82 tn The expression עֵד שָׁקֶר (’ed shaqer) means “a lying witness” (B. S. Childs, Exodus [OTL], 388). In this verse the noun is an adverbial accusative, “you will not answer as a lying witness.” The prohibition is against perjury. While the precise reference would be to legal proceedings, the law probably had a broader application to lying about other people in general (see Lev 5:1; Hos 4:2).

83 tn The verb חָמַד (khamad) focuses not on an external act but on an internal mental activity behind the act, the motivation for it. The word can be used in a very good sense (Ps 19:10; 68:16), but it has a bad connotation in contexts where the object desired is off limits. This command is aimed at curtailing the greedy desire for something belonging to a neighbor, a desire that leads to the taking of it or the attempt to take it. It was used in the story of the Garden of Eden for the tree that was desired.

84 sn See further G. Wittenburg, “The Tenth Commandment in the Old Testament,” Journal for Theology in South Africa 21 (1978): 3-17: and E. W. Nicholson, “The Decalogue as the Direct Address of God,” VT 27 (1977): 422-33.

85 tn The participle is used here for durative action in the past time (GKC 359 §116.o).

86 tn The verb “to see” (רָאָה, raah) refers to seeing with all the senses, or perceiving. W. C. Kaiser suggests that this is an example of the figure of speech called zeugma because the verb “saw” yokes together two objects, one that suits the verb and the other that does not. So, the verb “heard” is inserted here to clarify (“Exodus,” EBC 2:427).

87 tn The verb “saw” is supplied here because it is expected in English (see the previous note on “heard”).

88 tn The preterite with vav (ו) consecutive is here subordinated as a temporal clause to the following clause, which receives the prominence.

89 tn The meaning of נוּעַ (nua’) is “to shake, sway to and fro” in fear. Compare Isa 7:2 – “and his heart shook…as the trees of the forest shake with the wind.”

90 tn Heb “and they stood from/at a distance.”

91 tn The verb is a Piel imperative. In this context it has more of the sense of a request than a command. The independent personal pronoun “you” emphasizes the subject and forms the contrast with God’s speaking.

92 tn נַסּוֹת (nassot) is the Piel infinitive construct; it forms the purpose of God’s coming with all the accompanying phenomena. The verb can mean “to try, test, prove.” The sense of “prove” fits this context best because the terrifying phenomena were intended to put the fear of God in their hearts so that they would obey. In other words, God was inspiring them to obey, not simply testing to see if they would.

93 tn The suffix on the noun is an objective genitive, referring to the fear that the people would have of God (GKC 439 §135.m).

94 tn The negative form לְבִלְתִּי (lÿvilti) is used here with the imperfect tense (see for other examples GKC 483 §152.x). This gives the imperfect the nuance of a final imperfect: that you might not sin. Others: to keep you from sin.

95 tn Heb “and they stood”; the referent (the people) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

96 sn The word עֲרָפֶל (’arafel) is used in poetry in Ps 18:9 and 1 Kgs 8:12; and it is used in Deut 4:11, 5:22 [19].

97 sn It will not be hard to expound the passage on the Ten Commandments once their place in scripture has been determined. They, for the most part, are reiterated in the NT, in one way or another, usually with a much higher standard that requires attention to the spirit of the laws. Thus, these laws reveal God’s standard of righteousness by revealing sin. No wonder the Israelites were afraid when they saw the manifestation of God and heard his laws. When the whole covenant is considered, preamble and all, then it becomes clear that the motivation for obeying the commands is the person and the work of the covenant God – the one who redeemed his people. Obedience then becomes a response of devotion and adoration to the Redeemer who set them free. It becomes loyal service, not enslavement to laws. The point could be worded this way: God requires that his covenant people, whom he has redeemed, and to whom he has revealed himself, give their absolute allegiance and obedience to him. This means they will worship and serve him and safeguard the well-being of each other.

98 sn Based on the revelation of the holy sovereign God, this pericope instructs Israel on the form of proper worship of such a God. It focuses on the altar, the centerpiece of worship. The point of the section is this: those who worship this holy God must preserve holiness in the way they worship – they worship where he permits, in the manner he prescribes, and with the blessings he promises. This paragraph is said to open the Book of the Covenant, which specifically rules on matters of life and worship.

99 tn Heb “and Yahweh said.”

100 tn The direct object of the verb must be “gods of silver.” The prepositional phrase modifies the whole verse to say that these gods would then be alongside the one true God.

101 tn Heb “neither will you make for you gods of gold.”

sn U. Cassuto explains that by the understanding of parallelism each of the halves apply to the whole verse, so that “with me” and “for you” concern gods of silver or gods of gold (Exodus, 255).

102 sn The instructions here call for the altar to be made of natural things, not things manufactured or shaped by man. The altar was either to be made of clumps of earth or natural, unhewn rocks.

103 sn The “burnt offering” is the offering prescribed in Lev 1. Everything of this animal went up in smoke as a sweet aroma to God. It signified complete surrender by the worshiper who brought the animal, and complete acceptance by God, thereby making atonement. The “peace offering” is legislated in Lev 3 and 7. This was a communal meal offering to celebrate being at peace with God. It was made usually for thanksgiving, for payment of vows, or as a freewill offering.

104 tn Gesenius lists this as one of the few places where the noun in construct seems to be indefinite in spite of the fact that the genitive has the article. He says בְּכָל־הַמָּקוֹם (bÿkhol-hammaqom) means “in all the place, sc. of the sanctuary, and is a dogmatic correction of “in every place” (כָּל־מָקוֹם, kol-maqom). See GKC 412 §127.e.

105 tn The verb is זָכַר (zakhar, “to remember”), but in the Hiphil especially it can mean more than remember or cause to remember (remind) – it has the sense of praise or honor. B. S. Childs says it has a denominative meaning, “to proclaim” (Exodus [OTL], 447). The point of the verse is that God will give Israel reason for praising and honoring him, and in every place that occurs he will make his presence known by blessing them.

106 tn Heb “them” referring to the stones.

107 tn Heb “of hewn stones.” Gesenius classifies this as an adverbial accusative – “you shall not build them (the stones of the altar) as hewn stones.” The remoter accusative is in apposition to the nearer (GKC 372 §117.kk).

108 tn The verb is a preterite with vav (ו) consecutive. It forms the apodosis in a conditional clause: “if you lift up your tool on it…you have defiled it.”

109 tn Heb “uncovered” (so ASV, NAB).

110 sn There follows now a series of rulings called “the decisions” or “the judgments” (הַמִּשְׁפָּטִים, hammishpatim). A precept is stated, and then various cases in which the law is applicable are examined. These rulings are all in harmony with the Decalogue that has just been given and can be grouped into three categories: civil or criminal laws, religious or cultic laws, and moral or humanitarian laws. The civil and criminal laws make up most of chap. 21; the next two chapters mix the other kinds of laws. Among the many studies of this section of the book are F. C. Fensham, “The Role of the Lord in the Legal Sections of the Covenant Code,” VT 26 (1976): 262-74; S. Paul, “Unrecognized Biblical Legal Idioms in Light of Comparative Akkadian Expressions,” RB 86 (1979): 231-39; M. Galston, “The Purpose of the Law According to Maimonides,” JQR 69 (1978): 27-51.

111 sn See H. L. Elleson, “The Hebrew Slave: A Study in Early Israelite Society,” EvQ 45 (1973): 30-35; N. P. Lemche, “The Manumission of Slaves – The Fallow Year – The Sabbatical Year – The Jobel Year,” VT 26 (1976): 38-59, and “The ‘Hebrew Slave,’ Comments on the Slave Law – Ex. 21:2-11,” VT 25 (1975): 129-44.

112 tn The verbs in both the conditional clause and the following ruling are imperfect tense: “If you buy…then he will serve.” The second imperfect tense (the ruling) could be taken either as a specific future or an obligatory imperfect. Gesenius explains how the verb works in the conditional clauses here (see GKC 497 §159.bb).

113 sn The interpretation of “Hebrew” in this verse is uncertain: (l) a gentilic ending, (2) a fellow Israelite, (3) or a class of mercenaries of the population (see W. C. Kaiser, Jr., “Exodus,” EBC 2:431). It seems likely that the term describes someone born a Hebrew, as opposed to a foreigner (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 210). The literature on this includes: M. P. Gray, “The Habiru-Hebrew Problem,” HUCA 29 (1958): 135-202.

114 sn The word חָפְשִׁי (khofshi) means “free.” It is possible that there is some connection between this word and a technical term used in other cultures for a social class of emancipated slaves who were freemen again (see I. Mendelsohn, “New Light on the Hupsu,” BASOR 139 [1955]: 9-11).

115 tn The adverb חִנָּם (hinnam) means “gratis, free”; it is related to the verb “to be gracious, show favor” and the noun “grace.”

116 tn The tense is imperfect, but in the conditional clause it clearly refers to action that is anterior to the action in the next clause. Heb “if he comes in single, he goes out single,” that is, “if he came in single, he will go out single.”

117 tn Heb “with his back” meaning “alone.”

118 tn The phrase says, “if he was the possessor of a wife”; the noun בַּעַל (baal) can mean “possessor” or “husband.” If there was a wife, she shared his fortunes or his servitude; if he entered with her, she would accompany him when he left.

119 sn The slave would not have the right or the means to acquire a wife. Thus, the idea of the master’s “giving” him a wife is clear – the master would have to pay the bride price and make the provision. In this case, the wife and the children are actually the possession of the master unless the slave were to pay the bride price – but he is a slave because he got into debt. The law assumes that the master was better able to provide for this woman than the freed slave and that it was most important to keep the children with the mother.

120 tn The imperfect with the infinitive absolute means that the declaration is unambiguous, that the servant will clearly affirm that he wants to stay with the master. Gesenius says that in a case like this the infinitive emphasizes the importance of the condition on which some consequence depends (GKC 342-43 §113.o).

121 tn Or taken as a desiderative imperfect, it would say, “I do not want to go out free.”

122 tn The word is הָאֱלֹהִים (haelohim). S. R. Driver (Exodus, 211) says the phrase means “to God,” namely the nearest sanctuary in order that the oath and the ritual might be made solemn, although he does say that it would be done by human judges. That the reference is to Yahweh God is the view also of F. C. Fensham, “New Light on Exodus 21:7 and 22:7 from the Laws of Eshnunna,” JBL 78 (1959): 160-61. Cf. also ASV, NAB, NASB, NCV, NRSV, NLT. Others have made a stronger case that it refers to judges who acted on behalf of God; see C. Gordon, “אלהים in its Reputed Meaning of Rulers, Judges,” JBL 54 (1935): 134-44; and A. E. Draffkorn, “Ilani/Elohim,” JBL 76 (1957): 216-24; cf. KJV, NIV.

123 tn Or “till his life’s end” (as in the idiom: “serve him for good”).

124 sn This paragraph is troubling to modern readers, but given the way that marriages were contracted and the way people lived in the ancient world, it was a good provision for people who might want to find a better life for their daughter. On the subject in general for this chapter, see W. M. Swartley, Slavery, Sabbath, War, and Women, 31-64.

125 tn The word אָמָה (’amah) refers to a female servant who would eventually become a concubine or wife; the sale price included the amount for the service as well as the bride price (see B. Jacob, Exodus, 621). The arrangement recognized her honor as an Israelite woman, one who could be a wife, even though she entered the household in service. The marriage was not automatic, as the conditions show, but her treatment was safeguarded come what may. The law was a way, then, for a poor man to provide a better life for a daughter.

126 tn Heb “and if unpleasant (רָעָה, raah) in the eyes of her master.”

127 tn The verb יָעַד (yaad) does not mean “betroth, espouse” as some of the earlier translations had it, but “to designate.” When he bought the girl, he designated her for himself, giving her and her family certain expectations.

128 tn The verb is a Hiphil perfect with vav (ו) consecutive from פָדָה (padah, “to redeem”). Here in the apodosis the form is equivalent to an imperfect: “let someone redeem her” – perhaps her father if he can, or another. U. Cassuto says it can also mean she can redeem herself and dissolve the relationship (Exodus, 268).

129 tn Heb “he has no authority/power,” for the verb means “rule, have dominion.”

130 sn The deceit is in not making her his wife or concubine as the arrangement had stipulated.

131 tn Or “after the manner of” (KJV, ASV); NRSV “shall deal with her as with a daughter.”

132 tn “wife” has been supplied.

133 tn The translation of “food” does not quite do justice to the Hebrew word. It is “flesh.” The issue here is that the family she was to marry into is wealthy, they ate meat. She was not just to be given the basic food the ordinary people ate, but the fine foods that this family ate.

134 sn See S. Paul, “Exodus 21:10, A Threefold Maintenance Clause,” JNES 28 (1969): 48-53. Paul suggests that the third element listed is not marital rights but ointments since Sumerian and Akkadian texts list food, clothing, and oil as the necessities of life. The translation of “marital rights” is far from certain, since the word occurs only here. The point is that the woman was to be cared for with all that was required for a woman in that situation.

135 sn The lessons of slavery and service are designed to bring justice to existing customs in antiquity. The message is: Those in slavery for one reason or another should have the hope of freedom and the choice of service (vv. 2-6). For the rulings on the daughter, the message could be: Women, who were often at the mercy of their husbands or masters, must not be trapped in an unfortunate situation, but be treated well by their masters or husbands (vv. 7-11). God is preventing people who have power over others from abusing it.

136 sn The underlying point of this section remains vital today: The people of God must treat all human life as sacred.

137 tn The construction uses a Hiphil participle in construct with the noun for “man” (or person as is understood in a law for the nation): “the one striking [of] a man.” This is a casus pendens (independent nominative absolute); it indicates the condition or action that involves further consequence (GKC 361 §116.w).

138 tn The Hebrew word וָמֵת (vamet) is a Qal perfect with vav consecutive; it means “and he dies” and not “and killed him” (which require another stem). Gesenius notes that this form after a participle is the equivalent of a sentence representing a contingent action (GKC 333 §112.n). The word shows the result of the action in the opening participle. It is therefore a case of murder or manslaughter.

139 sn See A. Phillips, “Another Look at Murder,” JJS 28 (1977): 105-26.

140 tn Heb “if he does not lie in wait” (NASB similar).

141 tn Heb “and God brought into his hand.” The death is unintended, its circumstances outside human control.

142 tn The word עָרְמָה (’ormah) is problematic. It could mean with prior intent, which would be connected with the word in Prov 8:5, 12 which means “understanding” (or “prudence” – fully aware of the way things are). It could be connected also to an Arabic word for “enemy” which would indicate this was done with malice or evil intentions (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 270). The use here seems parallel to the one in Josh 9:4, an instance involving intentionality and clever deception.

143 sn This is the same construction that was used in v. 12, but here there is no mention of the parents’ death. This attack, then, does not lead to their death – if he killed one of them then v. 12 would be the law. S. R. Driver says that the severity of the penalty was in accord with the high view of parents (Exodus, 216).

144 tn Heb “a stealer of a man,” thus “anyone stealing a man.”

145 sn The implication is that it would be an Israelite citizen who was kidnapped and sold to a foreign tribe or country (like Joseph). There was always a market for slaves. The crime would be in forcibly taking the individual away from his home and religion and putting him into bondage or death.

146 tn Literally “and he is found in his hand” (KJV and ASV both similar), being not yet sold.

147 tn The form is a Piel participle from קָלַל (qalal), meaning in Qal “be light,” in Piel “treat lightly, curse, revile, declare contemptible, treat shamefully.” (See its use in Lev 19:14; Josh 24:9; Judg 9:26-28; 1 Sam 3:13; 17:43; 2 Sam 16:5-13; Prov 30:10-11; Eccl 7:21-22; 10:20.) It is opposite of “honor” (כָּבֵד, kaved; Qal “be heavy”; Piel “honor,” as in 20:12) and of “bless.” This verse then could refer to any act contrary to the commandment to honor the parents. B. Jacob (Exodus, 640) cites parallels in Sumerian where people were severely punished for publicly disowning their parents. “21:15, 17 taken together evoke the picture of parents who, physically and verbally, are forcibly turned out of the house (cf. Prov. 19:26)” (C. Houtman, Exodus, 3:148).

148 tn Heb “falls to bed.”

149 tn “and then” has been supplied.

150 tn The verb is a Hitpael perfect with vav (ו) consecutive; it follows the sequence of the imperfect before it – “if he gets up and walks about.” This is proof of recovery.

151 tn The imperfect tense carries a nuance of obligatory imperfect because this is binding on the one who hit him.

152 tn Heb “his”; the referent (the injured person) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

153 tn The word appears to be the infinitive from the verb “to sit” with a meaning of “his sitting down”; some suggest it is from the verb “to rest” with a meaning “cease.” In either case the point in the context must mean compensation is due for the time he was down.

154 tn Heb “so that he”; the words “or she” have been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

155 tn Heb “under his hand.”

156 tn Heb “will be avenged” (how is not specified).

157 tn Heb “if he”; the referent (the servant struck and injured in the previous verse) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

158 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the owner of the injured servant) has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

159 tn This last clause is a free paraphrase of the Hebrew, “for he is his money” (so KJV, ASV); NASB “his property.” It seems that if the slave survives a couple of days, it is probable that the master was punishing him and not intending to kill him. If he then dies, there is no penalty other than that the owner loses the slave who is his property – he suffers the loss.

160 tn This line has occasioned a good deal of discussion. It may indicate that the child was killed, as in a miscarriage; or it may mean that there was a premature birth. The latter view is taken here because of the way the whole section is written: (1) “her children come out” reflects a birth and not the loss of children, (2) there is no serious damage, and (3) payment is to be set for any remuneration. The word אָסוֹן (’ason) is translated “serious damage.” The word was taken in Mekilta to mean “death.” U. Cassuto says the point of the phrase is that neither the woman or the children that are born die (Exodus, 275). But see among the literature on this: M. G. Kline, “Lex Talionis and the Human Fetus,” JETS 20 (1977): 193-201; W. House, “Miscarriage or Premature Birth: Additional Thoughts on Exodus 21:22-25,” WTJ 41 (1978): 108-23; S. E. Loewenstamm, “Exodus XXI 22-25,” VT 27 (1977): 352-60.

161 tn The word בִּפְלִלִים (biflilim) means “with arbitrators.” The point then seems to be that the amount of remuneration for damages that was fixed by the husband had to be approved by the courts. S. R. Driver mentions an alternative to this unusual reading presented by Budde, reading בנפלים as “untimely birth” (Exodus, 219). See also E. A. Speiser, “The Stem PLL in Hebrew,” JBL 82 (1963): 301-6.

162 sn The text now introduces the Lex Talionis with cases that were not likely to have applied to the situation of the pregnant woman. See K. Luke, “Eye for Eye, Tooth for Tooth,” Indian Theological Studies 16 (1979): 326-43.

163 tn The form וְשִׁחֲתָהּ (vÿshikhatah) is the Piel perfect with the vav (ל) consecutive, rendered “and destroys it.” The verb is a strong one, meaning “to ruin, completely destroy.”

164 tn Heb “him”; the referent (the male or female servant) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

165 sn Interestingly, the verb used here for “let him go” is the same verb throughout the first part of the book for “release” of the Israelites from slavery. Here, an Israelite will have to release the injured slave.

166 tn Heb “him”; the referent (the male or female servant) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

167 sn The point that this section of the laws makes is that one must ensure the safety of others by controlling the circumstances.

168 tn Traditionally “ox,” but “bull” would also be suitable. The term may refer to one of any variety of large cattle.

169 tn Heb “and he dies”; KJV “that they die”; NAB, NASB “to death.”

170 tn The text uses סָקוֹל יִסָּקֵל (saqol yissaqel), a Qal infinitive absolute with a Niphal imperfect. The infinitive intensifies the imperfect, which here has an obligatory nuance or is a future of instruction.

171 tn The Hophal perfect has the idea of “attested, testified against.”

172 tn Heb “he was not keeping it” or perhaps guarding or watching it (referring to the ox).

173 sn The family of the victim would set the amount for the ransom of the man guilty of criminal neglect. This practice was common in the ancient world, rare in Israel. If the family allowed the substitute price, then the man would be able to redeem his life.

174 tn Heb “it”; the referent (the ox) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

175 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the owner) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

176 tn Heb “according to this judgment it shall be done to him.”

177 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the owner) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

178 sn A shekel was a unit for measure by means of a scale. Both the weight and the value of a shekel of silver are hard to determine. “Though there is no certainty, the shekel is said to weigh about 11,5 grams” (C. Houtman, Exodus, 3:181). Over four hundred years earlier, Joseph was sold into Egypt for 20 shekels. The free Israelite citizen was worth about 50 shekels (Lev 27:3f.).

179 sn See further B. S. Jackson, “The Goring Ox Again [Ex. 21,28-36],” JJP 18 (1974): 55-94.

180 tn The verb is a Piel imperfect from שָׁלַם (shalam); it has the idea of making payment in full, making recompense, repaying. These imperfects could be given a future tense translation as imperfects of instruction, but in the property cases an obligatory imperfect fits better – this is what he is bound or obliged to do – what he must do.

181 tn Heb “silver.”

182 tn Here the term “animal” has been supplied.

183 tn Literally “its silver” or “silver for it.”

184 tn Heb “divide the dead.” The noun “ox” has been supplied.

185 tn The construction now uses the same Piel imperfect (v. 34) but adds the infinitive absolute to it for emphasis.

186 sn The point of this section (21:28-36) seems to be that one must ensure the safety of others by controlling one’s property and possessions. This section pertained to neglect with animals, but the message would have applied to similar situations. The people of God were to take heed to ensure the well-being of others, and if there was a problem, it had to be made right.

187 sn The next section of laws concerns property rights. These laws protected property from thieves and oppressors, but also set limits to retribution. The message could be: God’s laws demand that the guilty make restitution for their crimes against property and that the innocent be exonerated.

188 sn Beginning with 22:1, the verse numbers through 22:31 in the English Bible differ from the verse numbers in the Hebrew text (BHS), with 22:1 ET = 21:37 HT, 22:2 ET = 22:1 HT, etc., through 22:31 ET = 22:30 HT. Thus in the English Bible ch. 22 has 31 verses, while in the Hebrew Bible it has 30 verses, with the one extra verse attached to ch. 21 in the Hebrew Bible.

189 tn The imperfect tense here has the nuance of obligatory imperfect – he must pay back.

190 tn בָּקַר (baqar) and צֹאן (tson) are the categories to which the ox and the sheep belonged, so that the criminal had some latitude in paying back animals.

191 tn Heb “found” (so KJV, ASV, NRSV).

192 tn The word בַּמַּחְתֶּרֶת (bammakhteret) means “digging through” the walls of a house (usually made of mud bricks). The verb is used only a few times and has the meaning of dig in (as into houses) or row hard (as in Jonah 1:13).

193 tn The text has “there is not to him bloods.” When the word “blood” is put in the plural, it refers to bloodshed, or the price of blood that is shed, i.e., blood guiltiness.

sn This law focuses on what is reasonable defense against burglary. If someone killed a thief who was breaking in during the night, he was not charged because he would not have known it was just a thief, but if it happened during the day, he was guilty of a crime, on the assumption that in daylight the thief posed no threat to the homeowner’s life and could be stopped and made to pay restitution.

194 tn The words “a thief” have been added for clarification. S. R. Driver (Exodus, 224) thinks that these lines are out of order, since some of them deal with killing the thief and then others with the thief making restitution, but rearranging the clauses is not a necessary way to bring clarity to the paragraph. The idea here would be that any thief caught alive would pay restitution.

195 tn The construction uses a Niphal infinitive absolute and a Niphal imperfect: if it should indeed be found. Gesenius says that in such conditional clauses the infinitive absolute has less emphasis, but instead emphasizes the condition on which some consequence depends (see GKC 342-43 §113.o).

196 tn Heb “in his hand.”

197 sn He must pay back one for what he took, and then one for the penalty – his loss as he was inflicting a loss on someone else.

198 tn The verb בָּעַר (baar, “graze”) as a denominative from the word “livestock” is not well attested. So some have suggested that with slight changes this verse could be read: “If a man cause a field or a vineyard to be burnt, and let the burning spread, and it burnt in another man’s field” (see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 225).

199 tn The phrase “his livestock” is supplied from the next clause.

200 tn Heb “if a fire goes out and finds”; NLT “if a fire gets out of control.”

201 sn Thorn bushes were used for hedges between fields, but thorn bushes also burned easily, making the fire spread rapidly.

202 tn This is a Hiphil participle of the verb “to burn, kindle” used substantivally. This is the one who caused the fire, whether by accident or not.

203 tn The word usually means “vessels” but can have the sense of household goods and articles. It could be anything from jewels and ornaments to weapons or pottery.

204 tn Heb “to keep.” Here “safekeeping,” that is, to keep something secure on behalf of a third party, is intended.

205 tn Heb “found.”

206 tn Heb “found.”

207 tn Here again the word used is “the gods,” meaning the judges who made the assessments and decisions. In addition to other works, see J. R. Vannoy, “The Use of the Word ha’elohim in Exodus 21:6 and 22:7,8,” The Law and the Prophets, 225-41.

208 tn The phrase “to see” has been supplied.

209 tn The line says “if he has not stretched out his hand.” This could be the oath formula, but the construction here would be unusual, or it could be taken as “whether” (see W. C. Kaiser, Jr., “Exodus,” EBC 2:438). U. Cassuto (Exodus, 286) does not think the wording can possibly fit an oath; nevertheless, an oath would be involved before God (as he takes it instead of “judges”) – if the man swore, his word would be accepted, but if he would not swear, he would be guilty.

210 tn Heb “concerning every kind [thing] of trespass.”

211 tn The text simply has “this is it” (הוּא זֶה, huzeh).

212 tn Again, or “God.”

213 tn This kind of clause Gesenius calls an independent relative clause – it does not depend on a governing substantive but itself expresses a substantival idea (GKC 445-46 §138.e).

214 tn The verb means “to be guilty” in Qal; in Hiphil it would have a declarative sense, because a causative sense would not possibly fit.

215 tn The form is a Niphal participle from the verb “to break” – “is broken,” which means harmed, maimed, or hurt in any way.

216 tn This verb is frequently used with the meaning “to take captive.” The idea here then is that raiders or robbers have carried off the animal.

217 tn Heb “there is no one seeing.”

218 tn The construct relationship שְׁבֻעַת יְהוָה (shÿvuat yÿhvah, “the oath of Yahweh”) would require a genitive of indirect object, “an oath [to] Yahweh.” U. Cassuto suggests that it means “an oath by Yahweh” (Exodus, 287). The person to whom the animal was entrusted would take a solemn oath to Yahweh that he did not appropriate the animal for himself, and then his word would be accepted.

219 tn Both with this verb “stolen” and in the next clauses with “torn in pieces,” the text uses the infinitive absolute construction with less than normal emphasis; as Gesenius says, in conditional clauses, an infinitive absolute stresses the importance of the condition on which some consequence depends (GKC 342-43 §113.o).

220 sn The point is that the man should have taken better care of the animal.

221 tn The word עֵד (’ed) actually means “witness,” but the dead animal that is returned is a silent witness, i.e., evidence. The word is an adverbial accusative.

222 tn Heb “if a man asks [an animal] from his neighbor” (see also Exod 12:36). The ruling here implies an animal is borrowed, and if harm comes to it when the owner is not with it, the borrower is liable. The word “animal” is supplied in the translation for clarity.

223 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the man who borrowed the animal) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

224 tn Literally “it came with/for its hire,” this expression implies that the owner who hired it out and was present was prepared to take the risk, so there would be no compensation.

225 sn The second half of the chapter records various laws of purity and justice. Any of them could be treated in an expository way, but in the present array they offer a survey of God’s righteous standards: Maintain the sanctity of marriage (16-17); maintain the purity of religious institutions (18-20), maintain the rights of human beings (21-28), maintain the rights of Yahweh (29-31).

226 tn This is the word בְּתוּלָה (bÿtulah); it describes a young woman who is not married or a young woman engaged to be married; in any case, she is presumed to be a virgin.

227 tn Or “pledged” for marriage.

228 tn The verb מָהַר (mahar) means “pay the marriage price,” and the related noun is the bride price. B. Jacob says this was a proposal gift and not a purchase price (Exodus, 700). This is the price paid to her parents, which allowed for provision should there be a divorce. The amount was usually agreed on by the two families, but the price was higher for a pure bride from a noble family. Here, the one who seduces her must pay it, regardless of whether he marries her or not.

229 sn There still were many who wished to follow pagan beliefs and consort with the dead (see Deut 18:10-11). The sorceress was someone who dealt with drugs or herbs for occult purposes.

230 tn Heb “lies with.”

231 tn Heb “not to Yahweh.”

232 tn The verb חָרַם (kharam) means “to be devoted” to God or “to be banned.” The idea is that it would be God’s to do with as he liked. What was put under the ban was for God alone, either for his service or for his judgment. But it was out of human control. Here the verb is saying that the person will be utterly destroyed.

233 tn Or “oppress.”

234 tn Or “alien,” both here and in 23:9. This individual is a resident foreigner; he lives in the land but, aside from provisions such as this, might easily be without legal rights.

235 tn The verb “afflict” is a Piel imperfect from עָנָה (’anah); it has a wide range of meanings: “afflict, oppress, humiliate, rape.” These victims are at the mercy of the judges, businessmen, or villains. The righteous king and the righteous people will not mistreat them (see Isa 1:17; Job 31:16, 17, 21).

236 tn The accusative here is the masculine singular pronoun, which leads S. R. Driver to conclude that this line is out of place, even though the masculine singular can be used in places like this (Exodus, 232). U. Cassuto says its use is to refer to certain classes (Exodus, 292).

237 tn Here again and with “cry” the infinitive absolute functions with a diminished emphasis (GKC 342-43 §113.o).

238 tn Here is the normal use of the infinitive absolute with the imperfect tense to emphasize the verb: “I will surely hear,” implying, “I will surely respond.”

239 sn The punishment will follow the form of talionic justice, an eye for an eye, in which the punishment matches the crime. God will use invading armies (“sword” is a metonymy of adjunct here) to destroy them, making their wives widows and their children orphans.

240 tn “any of” has been supplied.

241 sn The moneylender will be demanding and exacting. In Ps 109:11 and 2 Kgs 4:1 the word is rendered as “extortioner.”

242 tn Heb “set.”

243 sn In ancient times money was lent primarily for poverty and not for commercial ventures (H. Gamoran, “The Biblical Law against Loans on Interest,” JNES 30 [1971]: 127-34). The lending to the poor was essentially a charity, and so not to be an opportunity to make money from another person’s misfortune. The word נֶשֶׁךְ (neshekh) may be derived from a verb that means “to bite,” and so the idea of usury or interest was that of putting out one’s money with a bite in it (See S. Stein, “The Laws on Interest in the Old Testament,” JTS 4 [1953]: 161-70; and E. Neufeld, “The Prohibition against Loans at Interest in the Old Testament,” HUCA 26 [1955]: 355-412).

244 tn The construction again uses the infinitive absolute with the verb in the conditional clause to stress the condition.

245 tn The clause uses the preposition, the infinitive construct, and the noun that is the subjective genitive – “at the going in of the sun.”

246 tn Heb “his skin.”

247 tn Literally the text reads, “In what can he lie down?” The cloak would be used for a covering at night to use when sleeping. The garment, then, was the property that could not be taken and not given back – it was the last possession. The modern idiom of “the shirt off his back” gets at the point being made here.

248 tn Heb “and it will be.”

249 tn The two verbs in this verse are synonyms: קָלַל (qalal) means “to treat lightly, curse,” and אָרַר (’arar) means “to curse.”

250 tn The word אֱלֹהִים (’elohim) is “gods” or “God.” If taken as the simple plural, it could refer to the human judges, as it has in the section of laws; this would match the parallelism in the verse. If it was taken to refer to God, then the idea of cursing God would be more along the line of blasphemy. B. Jacob says that the word refers to functioning judges, and that would indirectly mean God, for they represented the religious authority, and the prince the civil authority (Exodus, 708).

251 tn The expressions are unusual. U. Cassuto renders them: “from the fullness of your harvest and from the outflow of your presses” (Exodus, 294). He adds the Hittite parallel material to show that the people were to bring the offerings on time and not let them overlap, because the firstfruits had to be eaten first by the priest.

252 sn The use of this word here has to do with the laws of the sanctuary and not some advanced view of holiness. The ritual holiness at the sanctuary would prohibit eating anything torn to pieces.

253 tn Or “by wild animals.”

254 sn People who claim to worship and serve the righteous judge of the universe must preserve equity and justice in their dealings with others. These verses teach that God’s people must be honest witnesses (1-3); God’s people must be righteous even with enemies (4-5); and God’s people must be fair in dispensing justice (6-9).

255 tn Heb “take up, lift, carry” (נָשָׂא, nasa’). This verb was also used in the prohibition against taking “the name of Yahweh in vain.” Sometimes the object of this verb is physical, as in Jonah 1:12 and 15. Used in this prohibition involving speech, it covers both originating and repeating a lie.

256 tn Or “a groundless report” (see Exod 20:7 for the word שָׁוְא, shav’).

257 tn Heb “do not put your hand” (cf. KJV, ASV); NASB “join your hand.”

258 tn The word “wicked” (רָשָׁע, rasha’) refers to the guilty criminal, the person who is doing something wrong. In the religious setting it describes the person who is not a member of the covenant and may be involved in all kinds of sin, even though there is the appearance of moral and spiritual stability.

259 tn The word חָמָס (khamas) often means “violence” in the sense of social injustices done to other people, usually the poor and needy. A “malicious” witness would do great harm to others. See J. W. McKay, “Exodus 23:1-43, 6-8: A Decalogue for Administration of Justice in the City Gate,” VT 21 (1971): 311-25.

260 tn The word רָבִּים (rabbim), here rendered “crowd,” is also used infrequently to refer to the “mighty,” people of importance in society (Job 35:9; cf. Lev 19:15).

261 tn For any individual to join a group that is bent on acting wickedly would be a violation of the Law and would incur personal responsibility.

262 tn Heb “you will not answer in a lawsuit to turn after the crowd to turn.” The form translated “agrees with” (Heb “to turn after”) is a Qal infinitive construct from נָטָה (natah); the same root is used at the end of the verse but as a Hiphil infinitive construct, “to pervert [justice].”

263 tn The point here is one of false sympathy and honor, the bad sense of the word הָדַר (hadar; see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 237).

264 tn Heb “meet” (so KJV, ASV, NASB).

265 tn The construction uses the imperfect tense (taken here as an obligatory imperfect) and the infinitive absolute for emphasis.

266 tn The line reads “you will cease to forsake him” – refrain from leaving your enemy without help.

267 tn The law is emphatic here as well, using the infinitive absolute and the imperfect of instruction (or possibly obligation). There is also a wordplay here: two words עָזַב (’azav) are used, one meaning “forsake” and the other possibly meaning “arrange” based on Arabic and Ugaritic evidence (see U. Cassuto, Exodus, 297-98).

268 sn See H. B. Huffmon, “Exodus 23:4-5: A Comparative Study,” A Light Unto My Path, 271-78.

269 tn Or “stay away from,” or “have nothing to do with.”

270 tn Heb “a false matter,” this expression in this context would have to be a case in law that was false or that could only be won by falsehood.

271 tn The two clauses probably should be related: the getting involved in the false charge could lead to the death of an innocent person (so, e.g., Naboth in 1 Kgs 21:10-13).

272 sn God will not declare right the one who is in the wrong. Society should also be consistent, but it cannot see the intents and motives, as God can.

273 tn Heb “blinds the open-eyed.”

274 tn The verb means “to crush.” S. R. Driver notes that in this context this would probably mean with an unfair judgment in the courts (Exodus, 239).

275 tn Heb “soul, life” – “you know what it feels like.”

276 sn This section concerns religious duties of the people of God as they worship by giving thanks to God for their blessings. The principles here are: God requires his people to allow the poor to share in their bounty (10-11); God requires his people to provide times of rest and refreshment for those who labor for them (12); God requires allegiance to himself (13); God requires his people to come before him in gratitude and share their bounty (14-17); God requires that his people safeguard proper worship forms (18-19).

277 tn Heb “and six years”; this is an adverbial accusative telling how long they can work their land. The following references to years and days in vv. 10-12 function similarly.

278 tn Heb “and the seventh year”; an adverbial accusative with a disjunctive vav (ו).

279 tn Heb “living thing/creature/beast of the field.” A general term for animals, usually wild animals, including predators (cf. v. 29; Gen 2:19-20; Lev 26:22; Deut 7:22; 1 Sam 17:46; Job 5:22-23; Ezek 29:5; 34:5).

280 tn Heb “alien,” or “resident foreigner.” Such an individual would have traveled out of need and depended on the goodwill of the people around him. The rendering “hired help” assumes that the foreigner is mentioned in this context because he is working for an Israelite and will benefit from the Sabbath rest, along with his employer.

281 tn The verb is וְיִּנָּפֵשׁ (vÿyyinnafesh); it is related to the word usually translated “soul” or “life.”

282 tn The phrase “to do” is added; in Hebrew word order the line says, “In all that I have said to you you will watch yourselves.” The verb for paying attention is a Niphal imperfect with an imperatival force.

283 tn Or “honor,” Hiphil of זָכַר (zakhar). See also Exod 20:25; Josh 23:7; Isa 26:13.

284 tn Heb “mouth.”

sn See also Ps 16:4, where David affirms his loyalty to God with this expression.

285 tn The expression rendered “three times” is really “three feet,” or “three foot-beats.” The expression occurs only a few times in the Law. The expressing is an adverbial accusative.

286 tn This is the word תָּחֹג (takhog) from the root חָגַג (khagag); it describes a feast that was accompanied by a pilgrimage. It was first used by Moses in his appeal that Israel go three days into the desert to hold such a feast.

287 tn This is an adverbial accusative of time.

288 tn Heb “in it.”

289 tn The verb is a Niphal imperfect; the nuance of permission works well here – no one is permitted to appear before God empty (Heb “and they will not appear before me empty”).

290 tn The words “you are also to observe” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

291 tn An infinitive construct with a preposition and a pronominal suffix is used to make a temporal clause: “in the going in of the year.” The word “year” is the subjective genitive, the subject of the clause.

292 tn An infinitive construct with a preposition and a pronominal suffix is used to make a temporal clause: “in the ingathering of you.”

293 tn Heb “gathered in your labors.” This is a metonymy of cause put for the effect. “Labors” are not gathered in, but what the labors produced – the harvest.

294 tn Adverbial accusative of time: “three times” becomes “at three times.”

295 tn Here the divine Name reads in Hebrew הָאָדֹן יְהוָה (haadon yÿhvah), which if rendered according to the traditional scheme of “Lord” for “Yahweh” would result in “Lord Lord.” A number of English versions therefore render this phrase “Lord God,” and that convention has been followed here.

296 tn The verb is תִּזְבַּח (tizbbakh), an imperfect tense from the same root as the genitive that qualifies the accusative “blood”: “you will not sacrifice the blood of my sacrifice.” The verb means “to slaughter”; since one cannot slaughter blood, a more general translation is required here. But if the genitive is explained as “my blood-sacrifice” (a genitive of specification; like “the evil of your doings” in Isa 1:16), then a translation of sacrifice would work (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 304).

297 sn See N. Snaith, “Exodus 23:18 and 34:25,” JTS 20 (1969): 533-34; see also M. Haran, “The Passover Sacrifice,” Studies in the Religion of Ancient Israel (VTSup), 86-116.

298 sn On this verse, see C. M. Carmichael, “On Separating Life and Death: An Explanation of Some Biblical Laws,” HTR 69 (1976): 1-7; J. Milgrom, “You Shall Not Boil a Kid in Its Mother’s Milk,” BRev 1 (1985): 48-55; R. J. Ratner and B. Zuckerman, “In Rereading the ‘Kid in Milk’ Inscriptions,” BRev 1 (1985): 56-58; and M. Haran, “Seething a Kid in Its Mother’s Milk,” JJS 30 (1979): 23-35. Here and at 34:26, where this command is repeated, it ends a series of instructions about procedures for worship.

299 sn This passage has some of the most interesting and perplexing expressions and constructions in the book. It is largely promise, but it is part of the Law and so demands compliance by faith. Its points are: God promises to send his angel to prepare the way before his obedient servants (20-23); God promises blessing for his loyal servants (24-33). So in the section one learns that God promises his protection (victory) and blessing (through his angel) for his obedient and loyal worshipers.

300 tn The particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) with the active participle indicates imminent future, something God is about to do.

301 sn The word is מַלְאָךְ (malakh, “messenger, angel”). This angel is to be treated with the same fear and respect as Yahweh, for Yahweh will be speaking in him. U. Cassuto (Exodus, 305-6) says that the words of the first clause do not imply a being distinct from God, for in the ancient world the line of demarcation between the sender and the sent is liable easily to be blurred. He then shows how the “Angel of Yahweh” in Genesis is Yahweh. He concludes that the words here mean “I will guide you.” Christian commentators tend to identify the Angel of Yahweh as the second person of the Trinity (W. C. Kaiser, Jr., “Exodus,” EBC 2:446). However, in addition to being a preincarnate appearance, the word could refer to Yahweh – some manifestation of Yahweh himself.

302 tn Heb “protect you in the way.”

303 tn The form is the Hiphil perfect of the verb כּוּן (kun, “to establish, prepare”).

304 sn This means “the manifestation of my being” is in him (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 247). Driver quotes McNeile as saying, “The ‘angel’ is Jehovah Himself ‘in a temporary descent to visibility for a special purpose.’” Others take the “name” to represent Yahweh’s “power” (NCV) or “authority” (NAB, CEV).

305 tn The infinitive absolute here does not add as great an emphasis as normal, but emphasizes the condition that is being set forth (see GKC 342-43 §113.o).

306 tn Heb “will cut them off” (so KJV, ASV).

307 tn The Hebrew is מַצֵּבֹתֵיהֶם (matsevotehem, “their standing stones”); these long stones were erected to represent the abode of the numen or deity. They were usually set up near the altar or the high place. To destroy these would be to destroy the centers of Canaanite worship in the land.

308 tn Both verbs are joined with their infinitive absolutes to provide the strongest sense to these instructions. The images of the false gods in Canaan were to be completely and utterly destroyed. This could not be said any more strongly.

309 tn The perfect tense, masculine plural, with vav (ו) consecutive is in sequence with the preceding: do not bow down to them, but serve Yahweh. It is then the equivalent of an imperfect of instruction or injunction.

310 tn The LXX reads “and I will bless” to make the verb conform with the speaker, Yahweh.

311 sn On this unusual clause B. Jacob says that it is the reversal of the curse in Genesis, because the “bread and water” represent the field work and ground suitability for abundant blessing of provisions (Exodus, 734).

312 tn Or “abort”; Heb “cast.”

313 sn No one will die prematurely; this applies to the individual or the nation. The plan of God to bless was extensive, if only the people would obey.

314 tn The word for “terror” is אֵימָתִי (’emati); the word has the thought of “panic” or “dread.” God would make the nations panic as they heard of the exploits and knew the Israelites were drawing near. U. Cassuto thinks the reference to “hornets” in v. 28 may be a reference to this fear, an unreasoning dread, rather than to another insect invasion (Exodus, 308). Others suggest it is symbolic of an invading army or a country like Egypt or literal insects (see E. Neufeld, “Insects as Warfare Agents in the Ancient Near East,” Or 49 [1980]: 30-57).

315 tn Heb “kill.”

316 tn The text has “and I will give all your enemies to you [as] a back.” The verb of making takes two accusatives, the second being the adverbial accusative of product (see GKC 371-72 §117.ii, n. 1).

317 tn Heb “and I will send.”

318 tn Heb “the beast of the field.”

319 tn The repetition expresses an exceptional or super-fine quality (see GKC 396 §123.e).

320 tn The form is a perfect tense with vav consecutive.

321 tn In the Hebrew Bible “the River” usually refers to the Euphrates (cf. NASB, NCV, NRSV, TEV, CEV, NLT). There is some thought that it refers to a river Nahr el Kebir between Lebanon and Syria. See further W. C. Kaiser, Jr., “Exodus,” EBC 2:447; and G. W. Buchanan, The Consequences of the Covenant (NovTSup), 91-100.

322 tn The idea of the “snare” is to lure them to judgment; God is apparently warning about contact with the Canaanites, either in worship or in business. They were very syncretistic, and so it would be dangerous to settle among them.

323 sn Exod 24 is the high point of the book in many ways, but most importantly, here Yahweh makes a covenant with the people – the Sinaitic Covenant. The unit not only serves to record the event in Israel’s becoming a nation, but it provides a paradigm of the worship of God’s covenant people – entering into the presence of the glory of Yahweh. See additionally W. A. Maier, “The Analysis of Exodus 24 According to Modern Literary, Form, and Redaction Critical Methodology,” Springfielder 37 (1973): 35-52. The passage may be divided into four parts for exposition: vv. 1-2, the call for worship; vv. 3-8, the consecration of the worshipers; vv. 9-11, the confirmation of the covenant; and vv. 12-18, the communication with Yahweh.

324 tn Heb “And he;” the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

325 sn They were to come up to the Lord after they had made the preparations that are found in vv. 3-8.

326 sn These seventy-four people were to go up the mountain to a certain point. Then they were to prostrate themselves and worship Yahweh as Moses went further up into the presence of Yahweh. Moses occupies the lofty position of mediator (as Christ in the NT), for he alone ascends “to Yahweh” while everyone waits for his return. The emphasis of “bowing down” and that from “far off” stresses again the ominous presence that was on the mountain. This was the holy God – only the designated mediator could draw near to him.

327 tn The verb is a perfect tense with a vav (ו) consecutive; it and the preceding perfect tense follow the imperative, and so have either a force of instruction, or, as taken here, are the equivalent of an imperfect tense (of permission).

328 tn Heb “they.”

329 tn Now the imperfect tense negated is used; here the prohibition would fit (“they will not come near”), or the obligatory (“they must not”) in which the subjects are obliged to act – or not act in this case.

330 sn The general consensus among commentators is that this refers to Moses’ coming from the mountain after he made the ascent in 20:21. Here he came and told them the laws (written in 20:22-23:33), and of the call to come up to Yahweh.

331 sn The Decalogue may not be included here because the people had heard those commands themselves earlier.

332 tn The text simply has “one voice” (קוֹל אֶחָד, qolekhad); this is an adverbial accusative of manner, telling how the people answered – “in one voice,” or unanimously (see GKC 375 §118.q).

333 tn The verb is the imperfect tense (נַעֲשֶׂה, naaseh), although the form could be classified as a cohortative. If the latter, they would be saying that they are resolved to do what God said. If it is an imperfect, then the desiderative would make the most sense: “we are willing to do.” They are not presumptuously saying they are going to do all these things.

334 tn The two preterites quite likely form a verbal hendiadys (the verb “to get up early” is frequently in such constructions). Literally it says, “and he got up early [in the morning] and he built”; this means “early [in the morning] he built.” The first verb becomes the adverb.

335 tn “under.”

336 tn The verb “arranged” is not in the Hebrew text but has been supplied to clarify exactly what Moses did with the twelve stones.

337 tn The thing numbered is found in the singular when the number is plural – “twelve standing-stone.” See GKC 433 §134.f. The “standing-stone” could be a small piece about a foot high, or a huge column higher than men. They served to commemorate treaties (Gen 32), or visions (Gen 28) or boundaries, or graves. Here it will function with the altar as a place of worship.

338 tn The construct has “young men of the Israelites,” and so “Israelite” is a genitive that describes them.

339 tn The verbs and their respective accusatives are cognates. First, they offered up burnt offerings (see Lev 1), which is וַיַּעֲלוּ עֹלֹת (vayyaaluolot); then they sacrificed young bulls as peace sacrifices (Lev 3), which is in Hebrew וַיִּזְבְּחוּ זְבָחִים (vayyizbÿkhu zÿvakhim). In the first case the cognate accusative is the direct object; in the second it is an adverbial accusative of product. See on this covenant ritual H. M. Kamsler, “The Blood Covenant in the Bible,” Dor le Dor 6 (1977): 94-98; E. W. Nicholson, “The Covenant Ritual in Exodus 24:3-8,” VT 32 (1982): 74-86.

340 sn The people and Yahweh through this will be united by blood, for half was spattered on the altar and the other half spattered on/toward the people (v. 8).

341 tn The noun “book” would be the scroll just written containing the laws of chaps. 20-23. On the basis of this scroll the covenant would be concluded here. The reading of this book would assure the people that it was the same that they had agreed to earlier. But now their statement of willingness to obey would be more binding, because their promise would be confirmed by a covenant of blood.

342 tn Heb “read it in the ears of.”

343 tn A second verb is now added to the people’s response, and it is clearly an imperfect and not a cohortative, lending support for the choice of desiderative imperfect in these commitments – “we want to obey.” This was their compliance with the covenant.

344 tn Given the size of the congregation, the preposition might be rendered here “toward the people” rather than on them (all).

345 sn The construct relationship “the blood of the covenant” means “the blood by which the covenant is ratified” (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 254). The parallel with the inauguration of the new covenant in the blood of Christ is striking (see, e.g., Matt 26:28, 1 Cor 11:25). When Jesus was inaugurating the new covenant, he was bringing to an end the old.

346 tn The verse begins with “and Moses went up, and Aaron….” This verse may supply the sequel to vv. 1-2. At any rate, God was now accepting them into his presence.

sn This next section is extremely interesting, but difficult to interpret. For some of the literature, see: E. W. Nicholson, “The Interpretation of Exodus 24:9-11,” VT 24 (1974): 77-97; “The Antiquity of the Tradition in Exodus 24:9-11,” VT 26 (1976): 148-60; and T. C. Vriezen, “The Exegesis of Exodus 24:9-11,” OTS 17 (1967): 24-53.

347 sn S. R. Driver (Exodus, 254) wishes to safeguard the traditional idea that God could not be seen by reading “they saw the place where the God of Israel stood” so as not to say they saw God. But according to U. Cassuto there is not a great deal of difference between “and they saw the God” and “the Lord God appeared” (Exodus, 314). He thinks that the word “God” is used instead of “Yahweh” to say that a divine phenomenon was seen. It is in the LXX that they add “the place where he stood.” In v. 11b the LXX has “and they appeared in the place of God.” See James Barr, “Theophany and Anthropomorphism in the Old Testament,” VTSup 7 (1959): 31-33. There is no detailed description here of what they saw (cf. Isa 6; Ezek 1). What is described amounts to what a person could see when prostrate.

348 sn S. R. Driver suggests that they saw the divine Glory, not directly, but as they looked up from below, through what appeared to be a transparent blue sapphire pavement (Exodus, 254).

349 tn Or “tiles.”

350 tn Heb “and like the body of heaven for clearness.” The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heaven” or “sky” depending on the context; here, where sapphire is mentioned (a blue stone) “sky” seems more appropriate, since the transparent blueness of the sapphire would appear like the blueness of the cloudless sky.

351 tn Heb “he did not stretch out his hand,” i.e., to destroy them.

352 tn The verb is חָזָה (khazah); it can mean “to see, perceive” or “see a vision” as the prophets did. The LXX safeguarded this by saying, “appeared in the place of God.” B. Jacob says they beheld – prophetically, religiously (Exodus, 746) – but the meaning of that is unclear. The fact that God did not lay a hand on them – to kill them – shows that they saw something that they never expected to see and live. Some Christian interpreters have taken this to refer to a glorious appearance of the preincarnate Christ, the second person of the Trinity. They saw the brilliance of this manifestation – but not the detail. Later, Moses will still ask to see God’s glory – the real presence behind the phenomena.

353 sn This is the covenant meal, the peace offering, that they are eating there on the mountain. To eat from the sacrifice meant that they were at peace with God, in covenant with him. Likewise, in the new covenant believers draw near to God on the basis of sacrifice, and eat of the sacrifice because they are at peace with him, and in Christ they see the Godhead revealed.

354 sn Now the last part is recorded in which Moses ascends to Yahweh to receive the tablets of stone. As Moses disappears into the clouds, the people are given a vision of the glory of Yahweh.

355 sn These are the stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments would be written. This is the first time they are mentioned. The commandments were apparently proclaimed by God first and then proclaimed to the people by Moses. Now that they have been formally agreed on and ratified, they will be written by God on stone for a perpetual covenant.

356 tn Or “namely”; or “that is to say.” The vav (ו) on the noun does not mean that this is in addition to the tablets of stone; the vav is explanatory. Gesenius has “to wit”; see GKC 484-85 §154.a, n. 1(b).

357 tn The last word of the verse is לְהוֹרֹתָם (lÿhorotam), the Hiphil infinitive construct of יָרָה (yarah). It serves as a purpose clause, “to teach them,” meaning “I am giving you this Law and these commands in order that you may teach them.” This duty to teach the Law will be passed especially to parents (Deut 6:6-9, 20-25) and to the tribe of Levi as a whole (Deut 33:9-10; Mal 2:1-9).

358 tn Heb “and he arose” meaning “started to go.”

359 tn Heb “and.”

360 tn The word הִנֵּה (hinneh) calls attention to the presence of Aaron and Hur to answer the difficult cases that might come up.

361 tn Or “issues to resolve.” The term is simply דְּבָרִים (dÿvarim, “words, things, matters”).

362 tn The imperfect tense here has the nuance of potential imperfect. In the absence of Moses and Joshua, Aaron and Hur will be available.

sn Attention to the preparation for Moses’ departure contributes to the weight of the guilt of the faithless Israelites (chap. 32) and of Aaron, to whom Moses had delegated an important duty.

363 sn The verb is וַיִּשְׁכֹּן (vayyishkon, “and dwelt, abode”). From this is derived the epithet “the Shekinah Glory,” the dwelling or abiding glory. The “glory of Yahweh” was a display visible at a distance, clearly in view of the Israelites. To them it was like a consuming fire in the midst of the cloud that covered the mountain. That fire indicated that Yahweh wished to accept their sacrifice, as if it were a pleasant aroma to him, as Leviticus would say. This “appearance” indicated that the phenomena represented a shimmer of the likeness of his glory (B. Jacob, Exodus, 749). The verb, according to U. Cassuto (Exodus, 316), also gives an inkling of the next section of the book, the building of the “tabernacle,” the dwelling place, the מִשְׁכָּן (mishkan). The vision of the glory of Yahweh confirmed the authority of the revelation of the Law given to Israel. This chapter is the climax of God’s bringing people into covenant with himself, the completion of his revelation to them, a completion that is authenticated with the miraculous. It ends with the mediator going up in the clouds to be with God, and the people down below eagerly awaiting his return. The message of the whole chapter could be worded this way: Those whom God sanctifies by the blood of the covenant and instructs by the book of the covenant may enjoy fellowship with him and anticipate a far more glorious fellowship. So too in the NT the commandments and teachings of Jesus are confirmed by his miraculous deeds and by his glorious manifestation on the Mount of the Transfiguration, where a few who represented the disciples would see his glory and be able to teach others. The people of the new covenant have been brought into fellowship with God through the blood of the covenant; they wait eagerly for his return from heaven in the clouds.

364 tn This is an adverbial accusative of time.

365 tn Heb “to the eyes of” which could mean in their opinion.

366 tn The verb is a preterite with vav (ו) consecutive; here, the second clause, is subordinated to the first preterite, because it seems that the entering into the cloud is the dominant point in this section of the chapter.

367 sn B. Jacob (Exodus, 750) offers this description of some of the mystery involved in Moses’ ascending into the cloud: Moses ascended into the presence of God, but remained on earth. He did not rise to heaven – the ground remained firmly under his feet. But he clearly was brought into God’s presence; he was like a heavenly servant before God’s throne, like the angels, and he consumed neither bread nor water. The purpose of his being there was to become familiar with all God’s demands and purposes. He would receive the tablets of stone and all the instructions for the tabernacle that was to be built (beginning in chap. 25). He would not descend until the sin of the golden calf.

368 sn Now begin the detailed instructions for constructing the tabernacle of Yahweh, with all its furnishings. The first paragraph introduces the issue of the heavenly pattern for the construction, calls for the people to make willing offerings (vv. 2-7), and explains the purpose for these offerings (vv. 8-9). The message here is that God calls his people to offer of their substance willingly so that his sanctuary may be made.

369 tn The verb is וְיִקְחוּ (vÿyiqkhu), the Qal imperfect or jussive with vav; after the imperative “speak” this verb indicates the purpose or result: “speak…that they may take” and continues with the force of a command.

370 tn The “offering” (תְּרוּמָה, tÿrumah) is perhaps better understood as a contribution since it was a freewill offering. There is some question about the etymology of the word. The traditional meaning of “heave-offering” derives from the idea of “elevation,” a root meaning “to be high” lying behind the word. B. Jacob says it is something sorted out of a mass of material and designated for a higher purpose (Exodus, 765). S. R. Driver (Exodus, 263) corrects the idea of “heave-offering” by relating the root to the Hiphil form of that root, herim, “to lift” or “take off.” He suggests the noun means “what is taken off” from a larger mass and so designated for sacred purposes. The LXX has “something taken off.”

371 tn The verb יִדְּבֶנּוּ (yiddÿvennu) is related to the word for the “freewill offering” (נְדָבָה, nÿdavah). The verb is used of volunteering for military campaigns (Judg 5:2, 9) and the willing offerings for both the first and second temples (see 1 Chr 29:5, 6, 9, 14, 17).

372 tn The pronoun is plural.

373 tn The pronoun is plural.

374 sn The blue refers to dye made from shellfish. It has a dark blue or purple-blue, almost violet color. No significance for the color is attached.

375 sn Likewise this color dye was imported from Phoenicia, where it was harvested from the shellfish or snail. It is a deep purple-red color.

376 sn This color is made from the eggs and bodies of the worm coccus ilicus, which is found with the holly plant – so Heb “worm of brilliance.” The powder made from the dried maggots produces a bright red-yellow color (W. C. Kaiser, Jr., “Exodus,” EBC 2:452). B. Jacob takes the view that these are not simply colors that are being introduced here, but fabrics dyed with these colors (Exodus, 765). At any rate, the sequence would then be metals, fabrics, and leathers (v. 5).

377 sn This is generally viewed as a fine Egyptian linen that had many more delicate strands than ordinary linen.

378 sn Goat’s hair was spun into yarn (35:26) and used to make the material for the first tent over the dwelling. It is ideal for tenting, since it is loosely woven and allows breezes to pass through, but with rain the fibers expand and prevent water from seeping through.

379 sn W. C. Kaiser compares this to morocco leather (“Exodus,” EBC 2:453); it was skin that had all the wool removed and then was prepared as leather and dyed red. N. M. Sarna, on the other hand, comments, “The technique of leather production is never described [in ancient Hebrew texts]. Hence, it is unclear whether Hebrew meoddamim (מְאָדָּמִים), literally ‘made red,’ refers to the tanning or dyeing process” (Exodus [JPSTC], 157).

380 tn The meaning of the word תְּחָשִׁים (tÿkhashim) is debated. The Arabic tuhas or duhas is a dolphin, and so some think a sea animal is meant – something like a dolphin or porpoise (cf. NASB; ASV “sealskins”; NIV “hides of sea cows”). Porpoises are common in the Red Sea; their skins are used for clothing by the bedouin. The word has also been connected to an Egyptian word for “leather” (ths); see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 265. Some variation of this is followed by NRSV (“fine leather”) and NLT (“fine goatskin leather”). Another suggestion connects this word to an Akkadian one that describes a precious stone that is yellow or ornge and also leather died with the color of this stone (N. M. Sarna, Exodus [JPSTC], 157-58).

381 sn The wood of the acacia is darker and harder than oak, and so very durable.

382 tn The verb is a perfect with vav (ו) consecutive; it follows in the sequence initiated by the imperative in v. 2 and continues with the force of a command.

383 tn The word here is מִקְדּשׁ (miqdash), “a sanctuary” or “holy place”; cf. NLT “sacred residence.” The purpose of building it is to enable Yahweh to reside (וְשָׁכַנְתִּי, vÿshakhanti) in their midst. U. Cassuto reminds the reader that God did not need a place to dwell, but the Israelites needed a dwelling place for him, so that they would look to it and be reminded that he was in their midst (Exodus, 327).

384 tn The pronoun is singular.

385 sn The expression “the pattern of the tabernacle” (תַּבְנִית הַמִּשְׁכָּן, tavnit hammiskan) has been the source of much inquiry. The word rendered “pattern” is related to the verb “to build”; it suggests a model. S. R. Driver notes that in ancient literature there is the account of Gudea receiving in a dream a complete model of a temple he was to erect (Exodus, 267). In this passage Moses is being shown something on the mountain that should be the pattern of the earthly sanctuary. The most plausible explanation of what he was shown comes from a correlation with comments in the Letter to the Hebrews and the book of Revelation, which describe the heavenly sanctuary as the true sanctuary, and the earthly as the copy or shadow. One could say that Moses was allowed to see what John saw on the island of Patmos, a vision of the heavenly sanctuary. That still might not explain what it was, but it would mean he saw a revelation of the true tent, and that would imply that he learned of the spiritual and eternal significance of all of it. The fact that Israel’s sanctuary resembled those of other cultures does not nullify this act of revelation; rather, it raises the question of where the other nations got their ideas if it was not made known early in human history. One can conclude that in the beginning there was much more revealed to the parents in the garden than Scripture tells about (Cain and Abel did know how to make sacrifices before Leviticus legislated it). Likewise, one cannot but guess at the influence of the fallen Satan and his angels in the world of pagan religion. Whatever the source, at Sinai God shows the true, and instructs that it all be done without the pagan corruptions and additions. U. Cassuto notes that the existence of these ancient parallels shows that the section on the tabernacle need not be dated in the second temple period, but fits the earlier period well (Exodus, 324).

386 tn The pronoun is plural.

387 sn Among the many helpful studies on the tabernacle, include S. M. Fish, “And They Shall Build Me a Sanctuary,” Gratz College of Jewish Studies 2 (1973): 43-59; I. Hart, “Preaching on the Account of the Tabernacle,” EvQ 54 (1982): 111-16; D. Skinner, “Some Major Themes of Exodus,” Mid-America Theological Journal 1 (1977): 31-42; S. McEvenue, “The Style of Building Instructions,” Sem 4 (1974): 1-9; M. Ben-Uri, “The Mosaic Building Code,” Creation Research Society Quarterly 19 (1982): 36-39.

388 sn This section begins with the ark, the most sacred and important object of Israel’s worship. Verses 10-15 provide the instructions for it, v. 16 has the placement of the Law in it, vv. 17-21 cover the mercy lid, and v. 22 the meeting above it. The point of this item in the tabernacle is to underscore the focus: the covenant people must always have God’s holy standard before them as they draw near to worship. A study of this would focus on God’s nature (he is a God of order, precision, and perfection), on the usefulness of this item for worship, and on the typology intended.

389 tn The word “ark” has long been used by English translations to render אָרוֹן (’aron), the word used for the wooden “box,” or “chest,” made by Noah in which to escape the flood and by the Israelites to furnish the tabernacle.

390 tn The size is two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. The size in feet and inches is estimated on the assumption that the cubit is 18 inches (see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 267).

391 tn The verbs throughout here are perfect tenses with the vav (ו) consecutives. They are equal to the imperfect tense of instruction and/or injunction.

392 tn Here the verb is an imperfect tense; for the perfect sequence to work the verb would have to be at the front of the clause.

393 tn The word זֵר (zer) is used only in Exodus and seems to describe something on the order of a crown molding, an ornamental border running at the top of the chest on all four sides. There is no indication of its appearance or function.

394 sn The “testimony” is the Decalogue (Exod 24:12; 31:18; Deut 4:13; 9:9; 1 Kgs 8:9); the word identifies it as the witness or affirmation of God’s commandments belonging to his covenant with Israel. It expressed God’s will and man’s duty. In other cultures important documents were put at the feet of the gods in the temples.

395 tn The noun is כַּפֹּרֶת (kapporet), translated “atonement lid” or “atonement plate.” The traditional translation “mercy-seat” (so KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV) came from Tyndale in 1530 and was also used by Luther in 1523. The noun is formed from the word “to make atonement.” The item that the Israelites should make would be more than just a lid for the ark. It would be the place where atonement was signified. The translation of “covering” is probably incorrect, for it derives from a rare use of the verb, if the same verb at all (the evidence shows “cover” is from another root with the same letters as this). The value of this place was that Yahweh sat enthroned above it, and so the ark essentially was the “footstool.” Blood was applied to the lid of the box, for that was the place of atonement (see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 269-270).

396 tn After verbs of making or producing, the accusative (like “gold” here) may be used to express the material from which something is made (see GKC 371 §117.hh).

397 tn The evidence suggests that the cherubim were composite angelic creatures that always indicated the nearness of God. So here images of them were to be crafted and put on each end of the ark of the covenant to signify that they were there. Ezekiel 1 describes four cherubim as each having human faces, four wings, and parts of different animals for their bodies. Traditions of them appear in the other cultures as well. They serve to guard the holy places and to bear the throne of God. Here they were to be beaten out as part of the lid.

398 tn The text now shifts to use an imperative with the vav (ו) conjunction.

399 tn The use of זֶה (zeh) repeated here expresses the reciprocal ideas of “the one” and “the other” (see R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 26, §132).

400 sn The angels were to form one piece with the lid and not be separated. This could be translated “of one piece with” the lid, but it is likely the angels were simply fastened to it permanently.

401 tn The verb means “overshadowing, screening” in the sense of guarding (see 1 Kgs 8:7; 1 Chr 28:18; see also the account in Gen 3:24). The cherubim then signify two things here: by their outstretched wings they form the throne of God who sits above the ark (with the Law under his feet), and by their overshadowing and guarding they signify this as the place of atonement where people must find propitiation to commune with God. Until then they are barred from his presence. See U. Cassuto, Exodus, 330-35.

402 tn Heb “their faces a man to his brother.”

403 tn Heb “the faces of the cherubim will be” (“the cherubim” was moved to the preceding clause for smoother English).

404 sn Here then is the main point of the ark of the covenant, and the main point of all worship – meeting with God through atonement. The text makes it clear that here God would meet with Moses (“you” is singular) and then he would speak to the people – he is the mediator of the covenant. S. R. Driver (Exodus, 272) makes the point that the verb here is not the word that means “to meet by chance” (as in Exod 3:18), but “to meet” by appointment for a purpose (וְנוֹעַדְתִּי, vÿnoadti). The parallel in the NT is Jesus Christ and his work. The theology is that the Law condemns people as guilty of sin, but the sacrifice of Christ makes atonement. So he is the “place of propitiation (Rom 3:25) who gains communion with the Father for sinners. A major point that could be made from this section is this: At the center of worship must be the atoning work of Christ – a perpetual reminder of God’s righteous standard (the testimony in the ark) and God’s gracious provision (the atonement lid).

405 tn The verb is placed here in the text: “and I will speak”; it has been moved in this translation to be closer to the direct object clause.

406 sn The Table of the Bread of the Presence (Tyndale’s translation, “Shewbread,” was used in KJV and influenced ASV, NAB) was to be a standing acknowledgment that Yahweh was the giver of daily bread. It was called the “presence-bread” because it was set out in his presence. The theology of this is that God provides, and the practice of this is that the people must provide for constant thanks. So if the ark speaks of communion through atonement, the table speaks of dedicatory gratitude.

407 tn “Gold” is an adverbial accusative of material.

408 sn There is some debate as to the meaning of מִסְגֶּרֶת (misgeret). This does not seem to be a natural part of the table and its legs. The drawing on the Arch of Titus shows two cross-stays in the space between the legs, about halfway up. It might have been nearer the top, but the drawing of the table of presence-bread from the arch shows it half-way up. This frame was then decorated with the molding as well.

409 tn Heb “give.”

410 tn Heb “which [are] to four of its feet.”

411 tn Heb “houses”; NAB, NASB “holders.”

412 tn The verb is a Niphal perfect with vav consecutive, showing here the intended result: “so that [the table] might be lifted up [by them].” The noun “the table” is introduced by what looks like the sign of the accusative, but here it serves to introduce or emphasize the nominative (see GKC 365 §117.i).

413 tn Or “a deep gold dish.” The four nouns in this list are items associated with the table and its use.

414 tn Or “cups” (NAB, TEV).

415 tn The expression “for pouring out offerings” represents Hebrew אֲשֶׁר יֻסַּךְ בָּהֵן (’asher yussakh bahen). This literally says, “which it may be poured out with them,” or “with which [libations] may be poured out.”

416 sn The name basically means that the bread is to be set out in the presence of Yahweh. The custom of presenting bread on a table as a thank offering is common in other cultures as well. The bread here would be placed on the table as a symbol of the divine provision for the twelve tribes – continually, because they were to express their thanksgiving continually. Priests could eat the bread after certain times. Fresh bread would be put there regularly.

417 sn Clearly the point here is to provide light in the tent for access to God. He provided for his worshipers a light for the way to God, but he also wanted them to provide oil for the lamp to ensure that the light would not go out. Verses 31-36 describe the piece. It was essentially one central shaft, with three branches on either side turned out and upward. The stem and the branches were ornamented every so often with gold that was formed into the shape of the calyx and corolla of the almond flower. On top of the central shaft and the six branches were the lamps.

418 tn The word is מְנֹרָה (mÿnorah) – here in construct to a following genitive of material. The main piece was one lampstand, but there were seven lamps on the shaft and its branches. See E. Goodenough, “The Menorah among the Jews of the Roman World,” HUCA 23 (1950/51): 449-92.

419 sn U. Cassuto (Exodus, 342-44) says that the description “the cups, knobs and flowers” is explained in vv. 32-36 as three decorations in the form of a cup, shaped like an almond blossom, to be made on one branch. Every cup will have two parts, (a) a knob, that is, the receptacle at the base of the blossom, and (b) a flower, which is called the corolla, so that each lamp rests on top of a flower.

420 tn Heb “will be from/of it”; the referent (“the same piece” of wrought metal) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

421 tn Heb “from the sides of it.”

422 tn Heb “from the second side.”

423 tn The text uses “one” again; “the one…the one” means “the one…and the next” in the distributive sense.

424 tn Heb “thus.”

425 tn For clarity the phrase “the first” has been supplied.

426 tn For clarity the phrase “the next” has been supplied.

427 tn For clarity the phrase “the third” has been supplied.

428 tn Heb “will be from it.”

429 tn The word for “lamps” is from the same root as the lampstand, of course. The word is נֵרוֹת (nerot). This probably refers to the small saucer-like pottery lamps that are made very simply with the rim pinched over to form a place to lay the wick. The bowl is then filled with olive oil as fuel.

430 tn The translation “set up on” is from the Hebrew verb “bring up.” The construction is impersonal, “and he will bring up,” meaning “one will bring up.” It may mean that people were to fix the lamps on to the shaft and the branches, rather than cause the light to go up (see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 277).

431 tn This is a Hiphil perfect with vav consecutive, from אוֹר (’or, “light”), and in the causative, “to light, give light.”

432 sn The first word refers to something like small tongs or tweezers used to pull up and trim the wicks; the second word refers to fire-pans or censers.

433 tn “are to be” has been supplied.

434 tn Heb “a talent.”

435 tn The text has “he will make it” or “one will make it.” With no expressed subject it is given a passive translation.

436 tn The text uses two imperatives: “see and make.” This can be interpreted as a verbal hendiadys, calling for Moses and Israel to see to it that they make these things correctly.

437 tn The participle is passive, “caused to see,” or, “shown.”

438 sn The message of this section surely concerns access to God. To expound this correctly, though, since it is an instruction section for building the lampstand, the message would be: God requires that his people ensure that light will guide the way of access to God. The breakdown for exposition could be the instructions for preparation for light (one lamp, several branches), then instructions for the purpose and maintenance of the lamps, and then the last verse telling the divine source for the instructions. Naturally, the metaphorical value of light will come up in the study, especially from the NT. So in the NT there is the warning that if churches are unfaithful God will remove their lampstand, their ministry (Rev 2-3).

439 sn This chapter is given over to the details of the structure itself, the curtains, coverings, boards and walls and veil. The passage can be studied on one level for its function both practically and symbolically for Israel’s worship. On another level it can be studied for its typology, for the tabernacle and many of its parts speak of Christ. For this one should see the commentaries.

440 tn The word order in Hebrew thrusts the direct object to the front for particular emphasis. After the first couple of pieces of furniture are treated (chap. 25), attention turns to the tabernacle itself.

441 tn This is for the adverbial accusative explaining how the dwelling place is to be made.

442 sn S. R. Driver suggests that the curtains were made with threads dyed with these colors (Exodus, 280). Perhaps the colored threads were used for embroidering the cherubim in the curtains.

443 tn The construction is difficult in this line because of the word order. “Cherubim” is an adverbial accusative explaining how they were to make the curtains. And מַעֲשֵׂה חֹשֵׁב (maaseh khoshev) means literally “work of a designer”; it is in apposition to “cherubim.” The Hebrew participle means “designer” or “deviser” so that one could render this “of artistic designs in weaving” (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 280-81). B. Jacob says that it refers to “artistic weavers” (Exodus, 789).

444 tn Heb “one” (so KJV).

445 tn Heb “twenty-eight cubits” long and “four cubits” wide.

446 tn This is the active participle, not the passive. It would normally be rendered “joining together.” The Bible uses the active because it has the result of the sewing in mind, namely, that every curtain accompanies another (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 348).

447 tn Heb “a woman to her sister,” this form of using nouns to express “one to another” is selected because “curtains” is a feminine noun (see GKC 448 §139.e).

448 tn The phrase “the other” has been supplied.

449 tn Here “loops” has been supplied.

450 tn Heb “a woman to her sister.”

451 tn Heb “one”; KJV “it shall be one tabernacle”; NRSV “that the tabernacle may be one whole”; NLT “a single unit.”

452 sn This chapter will show that there were two sets of curtains and two sets of coverings that went over the wood building to make the tabernacle or dwelling place. The curtains of fine linen described above could be seen only by the priests from inside. Above that was the curtain of goats’ hair. Then over that were the coverings, an inner covering of rams’ skins dyed red and an outer covering of hides of fine leather. The movement is from the inside to the outside because it is God’s dwelling place; the approach of the worshiper would be the opposite. The pure linen represented the righteousness of God, guarded by the embroidered cherubim; the curtain of goats’ hair was a reminder of sin through the daily sin offering of a goat; the covering of rams’ skins dyed red was a reminder of the sacrifice and the priestly ministry set apart by blood, and the outer covering marked the separation between God and the world. These are the interpretations set forth by Kaiser; others vary, but not greatly (see W. C. Kaiser, Jr., “Exodus,” EBC 2:459).

453 sn This curtain will serve “for a tent over the tabernacle,” as a dwelling place.

454 tn Heb “you will make them”

455 tn Heb “one”

456 sn The text seems to describe this part as being in front of the tabernacle, hanging down to form a valence at the entrance (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 284).

457 tn Heb “one”

458 sn U. Cassuto (Exodus, 353) cites b. Shabbat 98b which says, “What did the tabernacle resemble? A woman walking on the street with her train trailing behind her.” In the expression “the half of the curtain that remains,” the verb agrees in gender with the genitive near it.

459 tn Literally “cubit.”

460 sn U. Cassuto states the following: “To the north and to the south, since the tent curtains were thirty cubits long, there were ten cubits left over on each side; these covered the nine cubits of the curtains of the tabernacle and also the bottom cubit of the boards, which the tabernacle curtains did not suffice to cover. It is to this that v. 13 refers” (Exodus, 353).

461 sn Two outer coverings made of stronger materials will be put over the tent and the curtain, the two inner layers.

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

463 tn There is debate whether the word הַקְּרָשִׁים (haqqÿrashim) means “boards” (KJV, ASV, NAB, NASB) or “frames” (NIV, NCV, NRSV, TEV) or “planks” (see Ezek 27:6) or “beams,” given the size of them. The literature on this includes M. Haran, “The Priestly Image of the Tabernacle,” HUCA 36 (1965): 192; B. A. Levine, “The Description of the Tabernacle Texts of the Pentateuch,” JAOS 85 (1965): 307-18; J. Morgenstern, “The Ark, the Ephod, and the Tent,” HUCA 17 (1942/43): 153-265; 18 (1943/44): 1-52.

464 tn “Wood” is an adverbial accusative.

465 tn The plural participle “standing” refers to how these items will be situated; they will be vertical rather than horizontal (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 354).

466 tn Heb “the frame.”

467 sn Heb “hands,” the reference is probably to projections that served as stays or supports. They may have been tenons, or pegs, projecting from the bottom of the frames to hold the frames in their sockets (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 286).

468 tn Or “being joined each to the other.”

469 tn Heb “on the south side southward.”

470 tn The clause is repeated to show the distributive sense; it literally says, “and two bases under the one frame for its two projections.”

471 tn Or “westward” (toward the sea).

472 sn The term rendered “corners” is “an architectural term for some kind of special corner structure. Here it seems to involve two extra supports, one at each corner of the western wall” (N. M. Sarna, Exodus [JPSTC], 170).

473 tn Heb “they will be for the two corners.” This is the last clause of the verse, moved forward for clarity.

474 sn These bars served as reinforcements to hold the upright frames together. The Hebrew term for these bars is also used of crossbars on gates (Judg 16:3; Neh 3:3).

475 tn The noun is מִשְׁפָּט (mishpat), often translated “judgment” or “decision” in other contexts. In those settings it may reflect its basic idea of custom, which here would be reflected with a rendering of “prescribed norm” or “plan.”

476 tn Although translated “curtain” (traditionally “veil,” so ASV, NAB, NASB) this is a different word from the one used earlier of the tent curtains, so “special curtain” is used. The word פָרֹכֶת (farokhet) seems to be connected with a verb that means “to shut off” and was used with a shrine. This curtain would form a barrier in the approach to God (see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 289).

477 tn The verb is the third masculine singular form, but no subject is expressed. It could be translated “one will make” or as a passive. The verb means “to make,” but probably has the sense of embroidering both here and in v. 1.

478 tn Heb “put it.”

479 tn This clause simply says “and their hooks gold,” but is taken as a circumstantial clause telling how the veil will be hung.

480 tn Heb “on four silver bases.”

481 tn The traditional expression is “within the veil,” literally “into the house (or area) of the (special) curtain.”

482 tn Or “the Holy of Holies.”

483 sn This was another curtain, serving as a screen in the entrance way. Since it was far away from the special curtain screening the Most Holy Place, it was less elaborate. It was not the work of the master designer, but of the “embroiderer,” and it did not have the cherubim on it.

484 tn The word רֹקֵם (roqem) refers to someone who made cloth with colors. It is not certain, however, whether the colors were woven into the fabric on the loom or applied with a needle; so “embroiderer” should be understood as an approximation (cf. HALOT 1290-91 s.v. רקם).

485 tn “will be” has been supplied.

486 sn In all the details of this chapter the expositor should pay attention to the overall message rather than engage in speculation concerning the symbolism of the details. It is, after all, the divine instruction for the preparation of the dwelling place for Yahweh. The point could be said this way: The dwelling place of Yahweh must be prepared in accordance with, and by the power of, his divine word. If God was to fellowship with his people, then the center of worship had to be made to his specifications, which were in harmony with his nature. Everything was functional for the approach to God through the ritual by divine provisions. But everything also reflected the nature of God, the symmetry, the order, the pure wood, the gold overlay, or (closer to God) the solid gold. And the symbolism of the light, the table, the veil, the cherubim – all of it was revelatory. All of it reflected the reality in heaven. Churches today do not retain the pattern and furnishings of the old tabernacle. However, they would do well to learn what God was requiring of Israel, so that their structures are planned in accordance with the theology of worship and the theology of access to God. Function is a big part, but symbolism and revelation instruct the planning of everything to be used. Christians live in the light of the fulfillment of Christ, and so they know the realities that the old foreshadowed. While a building is not necessary for worship (just as Israel worshiped in places other than the sanctuary), it is practical, and if there is going to be one, then the most should be made of it in the teaching and worshiping of the assembly. This chapter, then, provides an inspiration for believers on preparing a functional, symbolical, ordered place of worship that is in harmony with the word of God. And there is much to be said for making it as beautiful and uplifting as is possible – as a gift of freewill offering to God. Of course, the most important part of preparing a place of worship is the preparing of the heart. Worship, to be acceptable to God, must be in Christ. He said that when the temple was destroyed he would raise it up in three days. While he referred to his own body, he also alluded to the temple by the figure. When they put Jesus to death, they were destroying the temple; at his resurrection he would indeed begin a new form of worship. He is the tent, the curtain, the atonement, that the sanctuary foreshadowed. And then, believers also (when they receive Christ) become the temple of the Lord. So the NT will take the imagery and teaching of this chapter in a number of useful ways that call for more study. This does not, however, involve allegorization of the individual tabernacle parts.

487 tn The article on this word identifies this as the altar, meaning the main high altar on which the sacrifices would be made.

488 tn The dimensions are five cubits by five cubits by three cubits high.

489 tn Heb “four”; this refers to four sides. S. R. Driver says this is an archaism that means there were four equal sides (Exodus, 291).

490 tn Heb “and three cubits its height.”

491 sn The horns of the altar were indispensable – they were the most sacred part. Blood was put on them; fugitives could cling to them, and the priests would grab the horns of the little altar when making intercessory prayer. They signified power, as horns on an animal did in the wild (and so the word was used for kings as well). The horns may also represent the sacrificial animals killed on the altar.

492 sn The text, as before, uses the prepositional phrase “from it” or “part of it” to say that the horns will be part of the altar – of the same piece as the altar. They were not to be made separately and then attached, but made at the end of the boards used to build the altar (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 363).

493 sn The word is literally “its fat,” but sometimes it describes “fatty ashes” (TEV “the greasy ashes”). The fat would run down and mix with the ashes, and this had to be collected and removed.

494 sn This was the larger bowl used in tossing the blood at the side of the altar.

495 tn The text has “to all its vessels.” This is the lamed (ל) of inclusion according to Gesenius, meaning “all its utensils” (GKC 458 §143.e).

496 tn The noun מִכְבָּר (mikhbar) means “a grating”; it is related to the word that means a “sieve.” This formed a vertical support for the ledge, resting on the ground and supporting its outer edge (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 292).

497 tn The verb is the verb “to be,” here the perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive. It is “and it will be” or “that it may be,” or here “that it may come” halfway up.

498 tn Heb “to the half of the altar.”

499 tn The verb is a Hophal perfect with vav consecutive: וְהוּבָא (vÿhuva’, “and it will be brought”). The particle אֶת (’et) here introduces the subject of the passive verb (see a similar use in 21:28, “and its flesh will not be eaten”).

500 tn The construction is the infinitive construct with bet (ב) preposition: “in carrying it.” Here the meaning must be that the poles are not left in the rings, but only put into the rings when they carried it.

501 tn The verb is used impersonally; it reads “just as he showed you.” This form then can be made a passive in the translation.

502 tn Heb “thus they will make.” Here too it could be given a passive translation since the subject is not expressed. But “they” would normally refer to the people who will be making this and so can be retained in the translation.

sn Nothing is said about the top of the altar. Some commentators suggest, in view of the previous instruction for making an altar out of earth and stone, that when this one was to be used it would be filled up with dirt clods and the animal burnt on the top of that. If the animal was burnt inside it, the wood would quickly burn. A number of recent scholars think this was simply an imagined plan to make a portable altar after the pattern of Solomon’s – but that is an unsatisfactory suggestion. This construction must simply represent a portable frame for the altar in the courtyard, an improvement over the field altar. The purpose and function of the altar are not in question. Here worshipers would make their sacrifices to God in order to find forgiveness and atonement, and in order to celebrate in worship with him. No one could worship God apart from this; no one could approach God apart from this. So too the truths that this altar communicated form the basis and center of all Christian worship. One could word an applicable lesson this way: Believers must ensure that the foundation and center of their worship is the altar, i.e., the sacrificial atonement.

503 tn Or “enclosure” (TEV).

504 tn Heb “south side southward.”

505 tn Or “curtains.”

506 sn The entire courtyard of 150 feet by 75 feet was to be enclosed by a curtain wall held up with posts in bases. All these hangings were kept in place by a cord and tent pegs.

507 tn Heb “and.”

508 tn Heb “and thus.”

509 tn Here the phrase “there will be” has been supplied.

510 sn These bands have been thought by some to refer to connecting rods joining the tops of the posts. But it is more likely that they are bands or bind rings surrounding the posts at the base of the capitals (see 38:17).

511 tn The word literally means “shoulder.” The next words, “of the gate,” have been supplied here and in v. 15. The east end would contain the courtyard’s entry with a wall of curtains on each side of the entry (see v. 16).

512 tn Here “will be” has been supplied.

513 tn Heb “shoulder.”

514 tn Here the phrase “there will be” has been supplied.

515 tn The text uses the passive participle here: they are to “be filleted with silver” or “bound round” with silver.

516 tn Here the phrase “are to be” has been supplied.

517 tn Heb “a hundred cubits.”

518 tn Heb “fifty.” The text has “and the width fifty [cubits] with fifty.” This means that it is fifty cubits wide on the western end and fifty cubits wide on the eastern end.

519 tn Here “hangings” has been supplied.

520 tn Here the phrase “is to be” has been supplied.

521 tn Heb “to all”; for use of the preposition lamed (ל) to show inclusion (all belonging to) see GKC 458 §143.e.

522 tn Here “used” has been supplied.

523 sn The tabernacle is an important aspect of OT theology. The writer’s pattern so far has been: ark, table, lamp, and then their container (the tabernacle); then the altar and its container (the courtyard). The courtyard is the place of worship where the people could gather – they entered God’s courts. Though the courtyard may not seem of much interest to current readers, it did interest the Israelites. Here the sacrifices were made, the choirs sang, the believers offered their praises, they had their sins forgiven, they came to pray, they appeared on the holy days, and they heard from God. It was sacred because God met them there; they left the “world” (figuratively speaking) and came into the very presence of God.

524 tn The form is the imperfect tense with the vav showing a sequence with the first verb: “you will command…that they take.” The verb “take, receive” is used here as before for receiving an offering and bringing it to the sanctuary.

525 tn Heb “lamp,” which must be a collective singular here.

526 tn The verb is unusual; it is the Hiphil infinitive construct of עָלָה (’alah), with the sense here of “to set up” to burn, or “to fix on” as in Exod 25:37, or “to kindle” (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 370).

527 sn The word can mean “continually,” but in this context, as well as in the passages on the sacrifices, “regularly” is better, since each morning things were cleaned and restored.

528 tn The LXX has mistakenly rendered this name “the tent of the testimony.”

529 sn The lamps were to be removed in the morning so that the wicks could be trimmed and the oil replenished (30:7) and then lit every evening to burn through the night.

530 sn This is the first of several sections of priestly duties. The point is a simple one here: those who lead the worship use the offerings of the people to ensure that access to God is illumined regularly. The NT will make much of the symbolism of light.

531 sn Some modern scholars find this and the next chapter too elaborate for the wilderness experience. To most of them this reflects the later Zadokite priesthood of the writer’s (P’s) day that was referred to Mosaic legislation for authentication. But there is no compelling reason why this should be late; it is put late because it is assumed to be P, and that is assumed to be late. But both assumptions are unwarranted. This lengthy chapter could be divided this way: instructions for preparing the garments (1-5), details of the apparel (6-39), and a warning against deviating from these (40-43). The subject matter of the first part is that God requires that his chosen ministers reflect his holy nature; the point of the second part is that God requires his ministers to be prepared to fulfill the tasks of the ministry, and the subject matter of the third part is that God warns all his ministers to safeguard the holiness of their service.

532 tn The verb is the Hiphil imperative of the root קָרַב (qarav, “to draw near”). In the present stem the word has religious significance, namely, to present something to God, like an offering.

533 tn This entire clause is a translation of the Hebrew לְכַהֲנוֹ־לִי (lÿkhahano-li, “that he might be a priest to me”), but the form is unusual. The word means “to be a priest” or “to act as a priest.” The etymology of the word for priest, כֹּהֵן (kohen), is uncertain.

534 sn The genitive “holiness” is the attribute for “garments” – “garments of holiness.” The point of the word “holy” is that these garments would be distinctive from ordinary garments, for they set Aaron apart to sanctuary service and ministry.

535 tn The expression is לְכָבוֹד וּלְתִפְארֶת (lÿkhavod ulÿtifaret, “for glory and for beauty”). W. C. Kaiser (“Exodus,” EBC 2:465), quoting the NIV’s “to give him dignity and honor,” says that these clothes were to exalt the office of the high priest as well as beautify the worship of God (which explains more of what the text has than the NIV rendering). The meaning of the word “glory” has much to do with the importance of the office, to be sure, but in Exodus the word has been used also for the brilliance of the presence of Yahweh, and so the magnificence of these garments might indeed strike the worshiper with the sense of the exaltation of the service.

536 tn Heb “And you, you will speak to.”

537 tn Heb “wise of heart.” The word for “wise” (חַכְמֵי, khakhme, the plural construct form) is from the word group that is usually translated “wisdom, wise, be wise,” but it has as its basic meaning “skill” or “skillful.” This is the way it is used in 31:3, 6 and 35:10 etc. God gave these people “wisdom” so that they would know how to make these things. The “heart” for the Hebrews is the locus of understanding, the mind and the will. To be “wise of heart” or “wise in heart” means that they had the understanding to do skillful work, they were talented artisans and artists.

538 sn There is no necessity to take this as a reference to the Holy Spirit who produces wisdom in these people, although that is not totally impossible. A number of English versions (e.g., NAB, NIV, NCV, NRSV, TEV, CEV, NLT) do not even translate the word “spirit.” It probably refers to their attitude and ability. U. Cassuto has “to all the artisans skilled in the making of stately robes, in the heart [i.e., mind] of each of whom I have implanted sagacity in his craft so that he may do his craft successfully” (Exodus, 371).

539 tn The form is the perfect tense with the vav (ו) consecutive; after the instruction to speak to the wise, this verb, equal to an imperfect, will have the force of purpose.

540 tn Or “to sanctify him” (ASV) or “to consecrate him” (KJV, NASB, NRSV). It is the garments that will set Aaron apart, or sanctify him, not the workers. The expression could be taken to mean “for his consecration” (NIV) since the investiture is part of his being set apart for service.

541 sn The breastpiece seems to have been a pouch of sorts or to have had a pocket, since it was folded in some way (28:16; 39:9) and contained the Urim and Thummim (Exod 28:30; Lev 8:8).

542 sn The word “ephod” is taken over directly from Hebrew, because no one knows how to translate it, nor is there agreement about its design. It refers here to a garment worn by the priests, but the word can also refer to some kind of image for a god (Judg 8:27).

543 tn The word תָּשְׁבֵּץ (tashbets), which describes the tunic and which appears only in this verse, is related to a verb (also rare) of the same root in 28:39 that describes making the tunic. Their meaning is uncertain (see the extended discussion in C. Houtman, Exodus, 3:473-75). A related noun describes gold fasteners and the “settings,” or “mountings,” for precious stones (28:11, 13, 14, 20, 25; 36:18; 39:6, 13, 16, 18; cf. Ps 45:14). The word “fitted” in 28:4 reflects the possibility that “the tunic is to be shaped by sewing, … so that it will fit tightly around the body” (C. Houtman, Exodus, 3:475).

544 tn Heb “and they.” The word “artisans” is supplied as the referent of the pronoun, a connection that is clearer in Hebrew than in English.

545 tn Heb “receive” or “take.”

546 tn Here the Pual perfect with the vav (ו) consecutive provides the purpose clause (equal to a final imperfect); the form follows the use of the active participle, “attached” or more Heb “joining.”

547 tn This is the rendering of the word חֵשֶׁב (kheshev), cognate to the word translated “designer” in v. 6. Since the entire ephod was of the same material, and this was of the same piece, it is unclear why this is singled out as “artistically woven.” Perhaps the word is from another root that just describes the item as a “band.” Whatever the connection, this band was to be of the same material, and the same piece, as the ephod, but perhaps a different pattern (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 301). It is this sash that attaches the ephod to the priest’s body, that is, at the upper border of the ephod and clasped together at the back.

548 tn Heb “from it” but meaning “of one [the same] piece”; the phrase “the ephod” has been supplied.

549 tn Although this is normally translated “Israelites,” here a more literal translation is clearer because it refers to the names of the twelve tribes – the actual sons of Israel.

550 tn This is in apposition to the direct object of the verb “engrave.” It further defines how the names were to be engraved – six on one and the other six on the other.

551 tn Heb “according to their begettings” (the major word in the book of Genesis). What is meant is that the names would be listed in the order of their ages.

552 sn Expert stone or gem engravers were used to engrave designs and names in identification seals of various sizes. It was work that skilled artisans did.

553 tn Or “you will mount them” (NRSV similar).

554 tn Or “rosettes,” shield-like frames for the stones. The Hebrew word means “to plait, checker.”

555 sn This was to be a perpetual reminder that the priest ministers on behalf of the twelve tribes of Israel. Their names would always be borne by the priests.

556 tn Heb “a breastpiece of decision” (חֹשֶׁן מִשְׁפָּט, khoshen mishpat; so NAB). The first word, rendered “breastpiece,” is of uncertain etymology. This item was made of material similar to the ephod. It had four rows of three gems on it, bearing the names of the tribes. In it were the urim and thummim. J. P. Hyatt refers to a similar object found in the Egyptian reliefs, including even the twisted gold chains used to hang it from the priest (Exodus [NCBC], 282).

557 tn Heb “four.”

558 tn “when” is added for clarification (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 375).

559 tn The word זֶרֶת (zeret) is half a cubit; it is often translated “span.”

560 sn U. Cassuto (Exodus, 375-76) points out that these are the same precious stones mentioned in Ezek 28:13 that were to be found in Eden, the garden of God. So the priest, when making atonement, was to wear the precious gems that were there and symbolized the garden of Eden when man was free from sin.

561 tn For clarity the words “the number of” have been supplied.

562 tn The phrase translated “the engravings of a seal” is an adverbial accusative of manner here.

563 tn Heb “give, put.”

564 tn Here “upper” has been supplied.

565 tn Here “the other” has been supplied.

566 tn Here “them” has been supplied.

567 tn Here “other” has been supplied.

568 tn Here “more” has been supplied.

569 sn So Aaron will have the names of the tribes on his shoulders (v. 12) which bear the weight and symbol of office (see Isa 9:6; 22:22), and over his heart (implying that they have a constant place in his thoughts [Deut 6:6]). Thus he was to enter the presence of God as the nation’s representative, ever mindful of the nation’s interests, and ever bringing the remembrance of it before God (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 306).

570 sn The Urim and the Thummim were two objects intended for determining the divine will. There is no clear evidence of their size or shape or the material of which they were made, but they seem to have been familiar items to Moses and the people. The best example of their use comes from 1 Sam 14:36-42. Some have suggested from the etymologies that they were light and dark objects respectively, perhaps stones or sticks or some other object. They seem to have fallen out of use after the Davidic period when the prophetic oracles became popular. It may be that the title “breastpiece of judgment” indicates that these objects were used for making “decisions” (J. P. Hyatt, Exodus [NCBC], 283-84). U. Cassuto has the most thorough treatment of the subject (Exodus, 378-82); he lists several very clear rules for their uses gathered from their instances in the Bible, including that they were a form of sacred lot, that priests or leaders of the people only could use them, and that they were used for discovering the divine will in areas that were beyond human knowledge.

571 tn Or “judgment” (KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV). The term is מִשְׁפָּט (mishpat), the same word that describes the breastpiece that held the two objects. Here it is translated “decisions” since the Urim and Thummim contained in the breastpiece represented the means by which the Lord made decisions for the Israelites. The high priest bore the responsibility of discerning the divine will on matters of national importance.

572 tn The מְעִיל (mÿil), according to S. R. Driver (Exodus, 307), is a long robe worn over the ephod, perhaps open down the front, with sleeves. It is made of finer material than ordinary cloaks because it was to be worn by people in positions of rank.

573 tn Heb “mouth” or “opening” (פִּי, pi; in construct).

574 tn The “mouth of its head” probably means its neck; it may be rendered “the opening for the head,” except the pronominal suffix would have to refer to Aaron, and that is not immediately within the context.

575 tn Or “woven work” (KJV, ASV, NASB), that is, “the work of a weaver.” The expression suggests that the weaving was from the fabric edges itself and not something woven and then added to the robe. It was obviously intended to keep the opening from fraying.

576 tn The expression כְּפִי תַחְרָא (kÿfi takhra’) is difficult. It was early rendered “like the opening of a coat of mail.” It occurs only here and in the parallel 39:23. Tg. Onq. has “coat of mail.” S. R. Driver suggests “a linen corselet,” after the Greek (Exodus, 308). See J. Cohen, “A Samaritan Authentication of the Rabbinic Interpretation of kephi tahra’,” VT 24 (1974): 361-66.

577 tn The verb is the Niphal imperfect, here given the nuance of potential imperfect. Here it serves in a final clause (purpose/result), introduced only by the negative (see GKC 503-4 §165.a).

578 sn This must mean round balls of yarn that looked like pomegranates. The fruit was very common in the land, but there is no indication of the reason for its choice here. Pomegranates are found in decorative schemes in Ugarit, probably as signs of fertility. It may be that here they represent the blessing of God on Israel in the land. The bells that are between them possibly have the intent of drawing God’s attention as the priest moves and the bells jingle (anthropomorphic, to be sure), or that the people would know that the priest was still alive and moving inside. Some have suggested that the pomegranate may have recalled the forbidden fruit eaten in the garden (the gems already have referred to the garden), the reason for the priest entering for atonement, and the bells would divert the eye (of God) to remind him of the need. This is possible but far from supportable, since nothing is said of the reason, nor is the fruit in the garden identified.

579 tn The text repeats the idea: “you will make for its hem…all around its hem.”

580 tn The words “the pattern is to be” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied in the translation for clarity and for stylistic reasons.

581 tn Heb “it”; the referent (the robe) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

582 tn The form is a Piel infinitive construct with the lamed (ל) preposition: “to minister” or “to serve.” It may be taken epexegetically here, “while serving,” although S. R. Driver takes it as a purpose, “in order that he may minister” (Exodus, 308). The point then would be that he dare not enter into the Holy Place without wearing it.

583 sn God would hear the bells and be reminded that this priest was in his presence representing the nation and that the priest had followed the rules of the sanctuary by wearing the appropriate robes with their attachments.

584 tn The word צִּיץ (tsits) seems to mean “a shining thing” and so here a plate of metal. It originally meant “flower,” but they could not write on a flower. So it must have the sense of something worn openly, visible, and shining. The Rabbinic tradition says it was two fingers wide and stretched from ear to ear, but this is an attempt to give details that the Law does not give (see B. Jacob, Exodus, 818).

585 tn Heb “the engravings of a seal”; this phrase is an adverbial accusative of manner.

586 sn The engraving was a perpetual reminder of the holiness that was due the Lord (Heb “Yahweh”), that all the clothing, the furnishings, and the activities were to come under that description. This corresponded to the symbolism for the whole nation of binding the law between the eyes. It was to be a perpetual reminder of commitment.

587 tn The verb is the perfect tense with the vav (ו) consecutive; it follows the same at the beginning of the verse. Since the first verb is equal to the imperfect of instruction, this could be as well, but it is more likely to be subordinated to express the purpose of the former.

588 tn Heb “it will be,” an instruction imperfect.

589 tn The construction “the iniquity of the holy things” is difficult. “Holy things” is explained in the passage by all the gifts the people bring and consecrate to Yahweh. But there will inevitably be iniquity involved. U. Cassuto explains that Aaron “will atone for all the transgressions committed in connection with the order of the service, the purity of the consecrated things, or the use of the holy gifts, for the declaration engraved on the plate will prove that everything was intended to be holy to the Lord, and if aught was done irregularly, the intention at least was good” (Exodus, 385).

590 tn The clause reads: “according to/by all the gifts of their holiness.” The genitive is an attributive genitive, the suffix on it referring to the whole bound construction – “their holy gifts.” The idea of the line is that the people will consecrate as holy things gifts they bring to the sanctuary.

591 tn This clause is the infinitive construct with the lamed preposition, followed by the prepositional phrase: “for acceptance for them.” This infinitive provides the purpose or result of the act of wearing the dedicatory frontlet – that they will be acceptable.

592 tn It is difficult to know how to translate וְשִׁבַּצְּתָּ (vÿshibbatsta); it is a Piel perfect with the vav (ו) consecutive, and so equal to the imperfect of instruction. Some have thought that this verb describes a type of weaving and that the root may indicate that the cloth had something of a pattern to it by means of alternate weaving of the threads. It was the work of a weaver (39:27) and not so detailed as certain other fabrics (26:1), but it was more than plain weaving (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 310). Here, however, it may be that the fabric is assumed to be in existence and that the action has to do with sewing (C. Houtman, Exodus, 3:475, 517).

593 sn This refers to a band of linen wrapped around the head, forming something like a brimless convex cap, resembling something like a half egg. It refers to the headgear of ordinary priests only (see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 310-11).

594 sn The instructions in this verse anticipate chap. 29, as well as the ordination ceremony described in Lev 8 and 9. The anointing of Aaron is specifically required in the Law, for he is to be the High Priest. The expression “ordain them” might also be translated as “install them” or “consecrate them”; it literally reads “and fill their hands,” an expression for the consecration offering for priesthood in Lev 8:33. The final instruction to sanctify them will involve the ritual of the atoning sacrifices to make the priests acceptable in the sanctuary.

595 tn Heb “fill their hand.” As a result of this installation ceremony they will be officially designated for the work. It seems likely that the concept derives from the notion of putting the priestly responsibilities under their control (i.e., “filling their hands” with work). See note on the phrase “ordained seven days” in Lev 8:33.

596 tn Traditionally “sanctify them” (KJV, ASV).

597 tn Heb “naked flesh” (so NAB, NRSV); KJV “nakedness.”

598 tn Heb “be.”

599 tn The construction for this temporal clause is the infinitive construct with the temporal preposition bet (ב) and the suffixed subjective genitive.

600 tn This construction is also the temporal clause with the infinitive construct and the temporal preposition bet (ב) and the suffixed subjective genitive.

601 tn The text has וְלאֹ־יִשְׂאוּ עָוֹן וָמֵתוּ (vÿlo-yisuavon vametu). The imperfect tense here introduces a final clause, yielding a purpose or result translation (“in order that” or “so that”). The last verb is the perfect tense with the vav consecutive, and so it too is equal to a final imperfect – but it would show the result of bearing the iniquity. The idea is that if they approached the holy things with a lack of modesty, perhaps like the pagans who have nakedness and sexuality as part of the religious ritual, they would pollute the holy things, and it would be reckoned to them for iniquity and they would die.

602 tn Heb “seed.”

603 sn So the priests were to make intercession for the people, give decisions from God’s revealed will, enter his presence in purity, and represent holiness to Yahweh. The clothing of the priests provided for these functions, but in a way that brought honor and dignity. A priest was, therefore, to serve in purity, holiness, and fear (Malachi). There is much that can be derived from this chapter to form principles of spiritual leadership, but the overall point can be worded this way: Those whom God selects to minister to the congregation through intercessory prayer, divine counsel, and sacrificial worship, must always represent the holiness of Yahweh in their activities and demeanor.

604 sn Chap. 29 is a rather long, involved discussion of the consecration of Aaron the priest. It is similar to the ordination service in Lev 8. In fact, the execution of what is instructed here is narrated there. But these instructions must have been formulated after or in conjunction with Lev 1-7, for they presuppose a knowledge of the sacrifices. The bulk of the chapter is the consecration of the priests: 1-35. It has the preparation (1-3), washing (4), investiture and anointing (5-9), sin offering (10-14), burnt offering (15-18), installation peace offering (19-26, 31-34), other offerings’ rulings (27-30), and the duration of the ritual (35). Then there is the consecration of the altar (36-37), and the oblations (38-46). There are many possibilities for the study and exposition of this material. The whole chapter is the consecration of tabernacle, altar, people, and most of all the priests. God was beginning the holy operations with sacral ritual. So the overall message would be: Everyone who ministers, everyone who worships, and everything they use in the presence of Yahweh, must be set apart to God by the cleansing, enabling, and sanctifying work of God.

605 tn Heb “the thing.”

606 tn Literally: “take one bull, a ‘son’ of the herd.”

607 tn The word תָּמִים (tamim) means “perfect.” The animals could not have diseases or be crippled or blind (see Mal 1). The requirement was designed to ensure that the people would give the best they had to Yahweh. The typology pointed to the sinless Messiah who would fulfill all these sacrifices in his one sacrifice on the cross.

608 sn This will be for the minkhah (מִנְחָה) offering (Lev 2), which was to accompany the animal sacrifices.

609 tn Or “anointed” (KJV, ASV).

610 tn The “fine flour” is here an adverbial accusative, explaining the material from which these items were made. The flour is to be finely sifted, and from the wheat, not the barley, which was often the material used by the poor. Fine flour, no leaven, and perfect animals, without blemishes, were to be gathered for this service.

611 tn The verb קָרַב (qarav) in the Hiphil means to “bring near” to the altar, or, to offer something to God. These gifts will, therefore, be offered to him for the service of this ritual.

612 tn Heb “and with.”

613 tn Here too the verb is Hiphil (now imperfect) meaning “bring near” the altar. The choice of this verb indicates that they were not merely being brought near, but that they were being formally presented to Yahweh as the offerings were.

614 sn This is the washing referred to in Lev 8:6. This is a complete washing, not just of the hands and feet that would follow in the course of service. It had to serve as a symbolic ritual cleansing or purifying as the initial stage in the consecration. The imagery of washing will be used in the NT for regeneration (Titus 3:5).

615 tn The Hiphil of לָבַשׁ (lavash, “to clothe”) will take double accusatives; so the sign of the accusative is with Aaron, and then with the articles of clothing. The translation will have to treat Aaron as the direct object and the articles as indirect objects, because Aaron receives the prominence in the verse – you will clothe Aaron.

616 tn The verb used in this last clause is a denominative verb from the word for ephod. And so “ephod the ephod on him” means “fasten as an ephod the ephod on him” (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 316).

617 sn This term does not appear in chap. 28, but it can only refer to the plate with the inscription on it that was tied to the turban. Here it is called a “holy diadem,” a diadem that is distinctly set apart for this service. All the clothing was described as “holy garments,” and so they were all meant to mark the separation of the priests to this holy service. The items of clothing were each intended for different aspects of ministry, and so this step in the consecration was designed to symbolize being set apart for those duties, or, prepared (gifted) to perform the ministry.

618 sn The act of anointing was meant to set him apart for this holy service within the house of Yahweh. The psalms indicate that no oil was spared in this ritual, for it ran down his beard and to the hem of his garment. Oil of anointing was used for all major offices (giving the label with the passive adjective “mashiah” (or “messiah”) to anyone anointed. In the further revelation of Scripture, the oil came to signify the enablement as well as the setting apart, and often the Holy Spirit came on the person at the anointing with oil. The olive oil was a symbol of the Spirit in the OT as well (Zech 4:4-6). And in the NT “anointing” signifies empowerment by the Holy Spirit for service.

619 tc Hebrew has both the objective pronoun “them” and the names “Aaron and his sons.” Neither the LXX nor Leviticus 8:13 has “Aaron and his sons,” suggesting that this may have been a later gloss in the text.

620 tn Heb “and you will fill the hand” and so “consecrate” or “ordain.” The verb draws together the individual acts of the process.

621 tn The verb is singular, agreeing with the first of the compound subject – Aaron.

622 sn The details of these offerings have to be determined from a careful study of Leviticus. There is a good deal of debate over the meaning of laying hands on the animals. At the very least it identifies the animal formally as their sacrifice. But it may very well indicate that the animal is a substitute for them as well, given the nature and the effect of the sacrifices.

623 sn This act seems to have signified the efficacious nature of the blood, since the horns represented power. This is part of the ritual of the sin offering for laity, because before the priests become priests they are treated as laity. The offering is better described as a purification offering rather than a sin offering, because it was offered, according to Leviticus, for both sins and impurities. Moreover, it was offered primarily to purify the sanctuary so that the once-defiled or sinful person could enter (see J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB]).

624 tn The phrase “rest of” has been supplied in the translation for clarification.

625 tn S. R. Driver suggests that this is the appendix or an appendix, both here and in v. 22 (Exodus, 320). “The surplus, the appendage of liver, found with cow, sheep, or goat, but not with humans: Lobus caudatus” (HALOT 453 s.v. יֹתֶרֶת).

626 tn Heb “turn [them] into sweet smoke” since the word is used for burning incense.

sn The giving of the visceral organs and the fat has received various explanations. The fat represented the best, and the best was to go to God. If the animal is a substitute, then the visceral organs represent the will of the worshiper in an act of surrender to God.

627 tn Heb “burn with fire.”

628 sn This is to be done because there is no priesthood yet. Once they are installed, then the sin/purification offering is to be eaten by the officiating priests as a sign that the offering was received. But priests could not consume their own sin offering.

629 sn There were two kinds of “purification offering,” those made with confession for sin and those made without. The title needs to cover both of them, and if it is called in the traditional way “the sin offering,” that will convey that when people offered it for skin diseases, menstruation, or having babies, they had sinned. That was not the case. Moreover, it is usual to translate the names of the sacrifices by what they do more than what they cover – so peace offering, reparation offering, and purification offering.

630 tn Heb “turn to sweet smoke.”

631 sn According to Lev 1 the burnt offering (often called whole burnt offering, except that the skins were usually given to the priests for income) was an atoning sacrifice. By consuming the entire animal, God was indicating that he had completely accepted the worshiper, and as it was a sweet smelling fire sacrifice, he was indicating that he was pleased to accept it. By offering the entire animal, the worshiper was indicating on his part a complete surrender to God.

632 tn The word אִשֶּׁה (’isheh) has traditionally been translated “an offering made with fire” or the like, because it appears so obviously connected with fire. But further evidence from Ugaritic suggests that it might only mean “a gift” (see Milgrom, Leviticus 1-16, 161).

633 sn These sections show that the priest had to be purified or cleansed from defilement of sin and also be atoned for and accepted by the Lord through the blood of the sacrifice. The principles from these two sacrifices should be basic to anyone seeking to serve God.

634 sn By this ritual the priests were set apart completely to the service of God. The ear represented the organ of hearing (as in “ears you have dug” in Ps 40 or “awakens my ear” in Isa 50), and this had to be set apart to God so that they could hear the Word of God. The thumb and the hand represented the instrument to be used for all ministry, and so everything that they “put their hand to” had to be dedicated to God and appropriate for his service. The toe set the foot apart to God, meaning that the walk of the priest had to be consecrated – where he went, how he conducted himself, what life he lived, all belonged to God now.

635 tn Here “it” has been supplied.

636 tn The verb in this instance is Qal and not Piel, “to be holy” rather than “sanctify.” The result of all this ritual is that Aaron and his sons will be set aside and distinct in their life and their service.

637 tn S. R. Driver suggests that this is the appendix or an appendix, both here and in v. 13 (Exodus, 320). “The surplus, the appendage of liver, found with cow, sheep, or goat, but not with humans: Lobus caudatus” (HALOT 453 s.v. יֹתֶרֶת).

638 tn Heb “filling.”

639 tn Heb “the whole” or “the all.”

640 tn Heb “palms.”

641 tn The “wave offering” is תְּנוּפָה (tÿnufah); it is, of course, cognate with the verb, but an adverbial accusative rather than the direct object. In Lev 23 this seems to be a sacrificial gesture of things that are for the priests – but they present them first to Yahweh and then receive them back from him. So the waving is not side to side, but forward to Yahweh and then back to the priest. Here it is just an induction into that routine, since this is the ordination of the priests and the gifts are not yet theirs. So this will all be burned on the altar.

642 tn “turn to sweet smoke.”

643 tn “them” has been supplied.

644 sn These are the two special priestly offerings: the wave offering (from the verb “to wave”) and the “presentation offering” (older English: heave offering; from a verb “to be high,” in Hiphil meaning “to lift up,” an item separated from the offering, a contribution). The two are then clarified with two corresponding relative clauses containing two Hophals: “which was waved and which was presented.” In making sacrifices, the breast and the thigh belong to the priests.

645 tn The construction is an infinitive construct with a lamed (ל) preposition. The form simply means “for anointing,” but it serves to express the purpose or result of their inheriting the sacred garments.

646 tn This form is a Piel infinitive construct with a lamed (ל) preposition. It literally reads “for filling the hands,” the idiom used throughout this chapter for ordination or installation. Here too it has a parallel use of purpose or result.

647 tn Heb “after him”; NCV, NLT “after Aaron.”

648 tn The text just has the relative pronoun and the imperfect tense. It could be translated “who comes/enters.” But the context seems to indicate that this would be when he first comes to the tent to begin his tenure as High Priest, and so a temporal clause makes this clear. “First” has been supplied.

649 tn “Seven days” is an adverbial accusative of time. The ritual of ordination is to be repeated for seven days, and so they are to remain there in the court in full dress.

650 tn Or “boil” (see Lev 8:31).

651 sn The “holy place” must be in the courtyard of the sanctuary. Lev 8:31 says it is to be cooked at the entrance of the tent of meeting. Here it says it will be eaten there as well. This, then, becomes a communion sacrifice, a peace offering which was a shared meal. Eating a communal meal in a holy place was meant to signify that the worshipers and the priests were at peace with God.

652 tn The clause is a relative clause modifying “those things,” the direct object of the verb “eat.” The relative clause has a resumptive pronoun: “which atonement was made by them” becomes “by which atonement was made.” The verb is a Pual perfect of כִּפֵּר (kipper, “to expiate, atone, pacify”).

653 tn The Hebrew word is “stranger, alien” (זָר, zar). But in this context it means anyone who is not a priest (see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 324).

654 tn Or “ordination offerings” (Heb “fillings”).

655 tn The verb in the conditional clause is a Niphal imperfect of יָתַר (yatar); this verb is repeated in the next clause (as a Niphal participle) as the direct object of the verb “you will burn” (a Qal perfect with a vav [ו] consecutive to form the instruction).

656 tn Heb “burn with fire.”

657 tn The verb is a Niphal imperfect negated. It expresses the prohibition against eating this, but in the passive voice: “it will not be eaten,” or stronger, “it must not be eaten.”

658 tn Heb “you will fill their hand.”

659 tn The “seven days” is the adverbial accusative explaining that the ritual of the filling should continue daily for a week. Leviticus makes it clear that they are not to leave the sanctuary.

660 tn The construction uses a genitive: “a bull of the sin offering,” which means, a bull that is designated for a sin (or better, purification) offering.

661 sn It is difficult to understand how this verse is to be harmonized with the other passages. The ceremony in the earlier passages deals with atonement made for the priests, for people. But here it is the altar that is being sanctified. The “sin [purification] offering” seems to be for purification of the sanctuary and altar to receive people in their worship.

662 tn The verb is וְחִטֵּאתָ (vÿhitteta), a Piel perfect of the word usually translated “to sin.” Here it may be interpreted as a privative Piel (as in Ps 51:7 [9]), with the sense of “un-sin” or “remove sin.” It could also be interpreted as related to the word for “sin offering,” and so be a denominative verb. It means “to purify, cleanse.” The Hebrews understood that sin and contamination could corrupt and pollute even things, and so they had to be purged.

663 tn The construction is a Piel infinitive construct in an adverbial clause. The preposition bet (ב) that begins the clause could be taken as a temporal preposition, but in this context it seems to express the means by which the altar was purged of contamination – “in your making atonement” is “by [your] making atonement.”

664 tn Once again this is an adverbial accusative of time. Each day for seven days the ritual at the altar is to be followed.

665 tn The construction is the superlative genitive: “holy of holies,” or “most holy.”

666 sn This line states an unusual principle, meant to preserve the sanctity of the altar. S. R. Driver explains it this way (Exodus, 325): If anything comes in contact with the altar, it becomes holy and must remain in the sanctuary for Yahweh’s use. If a person touches the altar, he likewise becomes holy and cannot return to the profane regions. He will be given over to God to be dealt with as God pleases. Anyone who was not qualified to touch the altar did not dare approach it, for contact would have meant that he was no longer free to leave but was God’s holy possession – and might pay for it with his life (see Exod 30:29; Lev 6:18b, 27; and Ezek 46:20).

667 tn The verb is “you will do,” “you will make.” It clearly refers to offering the animals on the altar, but may emphasize all the preparation that was involved in the process.

668 tn Heb “between the two evenings” or “between the two settings” (בֵּין הָעַרְבָּיִם, ben haarbayim). This expression has had a good deal of discussion. (1) Tg. Onq. says “between the two suns,” which the Talmud explains as the time between the sunset and the time the stars become visible. More technically, the first “evening” would be the time between sunset and the appearance of the crescent moon, and the second “evening” the next hour, or from the appearance of the crescent moon to full darkness (see Deut 16:6 – “at the going down of the sun”). (2) Saadia, Rashi, and Kimchi say the first evening is when the sun begins to decline in the west and cast its shadows, and the second evening is the beginning of night. (3) The view adopted by the Pharisees and the Talmudists (b. Pesahim 61a) is that the first evening is when the heat of the sun begins to decrease, and the second evening begins at sunset, or, roughly from 3-5 p.m. The Mishnah (m. Pesahim 5:1) indicates the lamb was killed about 2:30 p.m. – anything before noon was not valid. S. R. Driver concludes from this survey that the first view is probably the best, although the last view was the traditionally accepted one (Exodus, 89-90). Late afternoon or early evening seems to be intended, the time of twilight perhaps.

669 tn The phrase “of an ephah” has been supplied for clarity (cf. Num 28:5). The ephah was a commonly used dry measure whose capacity is now uncertain: “Quotations given for the ephah vary from ca. 45 to 20 liters” (C. Houtman, Exodus, 2:340-41).

670 tn “Hin” is a transliterated Hebrew word that seems to have an Egyptian derivation. The amount of liquid measured by a hin is uncertain: “Its presumed capacity varies from about 3,5 liters to 7,5 liters” (C. Houtman, Exodus, 3:550).

671 tn The translation has “regular” instead of “continually,” because they will be preparing this twice a day.

672 tn The relative clause identifies the place in front of the Tent as the place that Yahweh would meet Moses. The main verb of the clause is אִוָּעֵד (’ivvaed), a Niphal imperfect of the verb יָעַד (yaad), the verb that is cognate to the name “tent of meeting” – hence the name. This clause leads into the next four verses.

673 tn The verb now is a Niphal perfect from the same root, with a vav (ו) consecutive. It simply continues the preceding verb, announcing now that he would meet the people.

674 tn Or “will be sanctified by my glory” (KJV and ASV both similar).

sn The tabernacle, as well as the priests and the altar, will be sanctified by the power of Yahweh’s presence. The reference here is to when Yahweh enters the sanctuary in all his glory (see Exod 40:34f.).

675 tn This verse affirms the same point as the last, but now with an active verb: “I will set apart as holy” (or “I will sanctify”). This verse, then, probably introduces the conclusion of the chapter: “So I will….”

676 tn The verb has the root שָׁכַן (shakan), from which came the word for the dwelling place, or sanctuary, itself (מִשְׁכָּן, mishkan). It is also used for the description of “the Shekinah glory.” God is affirming that he will reside in the midst of his people.

677 sn Why this section has been held until now is a mystery. One would have expected to find it with the instructions for the other furnishings. The widespread contemporary view that it was composed later does not answer the question, it merely moves the issue to the work of an editor rather than the author. N. M. Sarna notes concerning the items in chapter 30 that “all the materials for these final items were anticipated in the list of invited donations in 25:3-6” and that they were not needed for installing Aaron and his sons (Exodus [JPSTC], 193). Verses 1-10 can be divided into three sections: the instructions for building the incense altar (1-5), its placement (6), and its proper use (7-10).

678 tn The expression is מִזְבֵּחַ מִקְטַר קְטֹרֶת (mizbeakh miqtar qÿtoret), either “an altar, namely an altar of incense,” or “an altar, [for] burning incense.” The second noun is “altar of incense,” although some suggest it is an active noun meaning “burning.” If the former, then it is in apposition to the word for “altar” (which is not in construct). The last noun is “incense” or “sweet smoke.” It either qualifies the “altar of incense” or serves as the object of the active noun. B. Jacob says that in order to designate that this altar be used only for incense, the Torah prepared the second word for this passage alone. It specifies the kind of altar this is (Exodus, 828).

679 tn This is an adverbial accusative explaining the material used in building the altar.

680 sn See M. Haran, “The Uses of Incense in Ancient Israel Ritual,” VT 10 (1960): 113-15; N. Glueck, “Incense Altars,” Translating and Understanding the Old Testament, 325-29.

681 tn Heb “a cubit.”

682 tn Heb “two cubits.”

683 tn Heb “its horns from it.”

684 tn Heb “roof.”

685 tn Heb “its walls around.”

686 tn Heb “and make for it border gold around.” The verb is a consecutive perfect. See Exod 25:11, where the ark also has such a molding.

687 sn Since it was a small altar, it needed only two rings, one on either side, in order to be carried. The second clause clarifies that the rings should be on the sides, the right and the left, as you approach the altar.

688 tn Heb “And it”; this refers to the rings collectively in their placement on the box, and so the word “rings” has been used to clarify the referent for the modern reader.

689 tn Heb “for houses.”

690 tn The text uses a cognate accusative (“incense”) with the verb “to burn” or “to make into incense/sweet smoke.” Then, the noun “sweet spices” is added in apposition to clarify the incense as sweet.

691 tn The Hebrew is בְּהֵיטִיבוֹ (bÿhetivo), a Hiphil infinitive construct serving in a temporal clause. The Hebrew verb means “to make good” and so in this context “to fix” or “to dress.” This refers to cleansing and trimming the lamps.

692 sn The point of the little golden altar of incense is normally for intercessory prayer, and then at the Day of Atonement for blood applied atonement. The instructions for making it show that God wanted his people to make a place for prayer. The instructions for its use show that God expects that the requests of his people will be pleasing to him.

693 tn The word “atonements” (plural in Hebrew) is a genitive showing the result or product of the sacrifice made.

694 sn This ruling presupposes that the instruction for the Day of Atonement has been given, or at the very least, is to be given shortly. That is the one day of the year that all sin and all ritual impurity would be removed.

695 sn The phrase “most holy to the Lord” means that the altar cannot be used for any other purpose than what is stated here.

696 sn This brief section has been interpreted a number of ways by biblical scholars (for a good survey and discussion, see B. Jacob, Exodus, 829-35). In this context the danger of erecting and caring for a sanctuary may have been in view. A census would be taken to count the losses and to cover the danger of coming into such proximity with the holy place; payment was made to ransom the lives of the people numbered so that they would not die. The money collected would then be used for the care of the sanctuary. The principle was fairly straightforward: Those numbered among the redeemed of the Lord were to support the work of the Lord to maintain their fellowship with the covenant. The passage is fairly easy to outline: I. Every covenant member must give a ransom for his life to avoid death (11-12); II. The ransom is the same for all, whether rich or poor (13-15); and III. The ransom money supports the sanctuary as a memorial for the ransomed (16).

697 tn Heb “and Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying.” This full means for introducing a quotation from the Lord is used again in 30:17, 22; 31:1; and 40:1. It appears first in 6:10. Cynthia L. Miller discusses its use in detail (The Representation of Speech in Biblical Hebrew Narrative, 373-86).

698 tn The expression is “when you take [lift up] the sum [head] of the Israelites.”

699 tn The form is לִפְקֻדֵיהֶם (lifqudehem, “according to those that are numbered of/by them”) from the verb פָּקַד (paqad, “to visit”). But the idea of this word seems more to be that of changing or determining the destiny, and so “appoint” and “number” become clear categories of meaning for the word. Here it simply refers to the census, but when this word is used for a census it often involves mustering an army for a military purpose. Here there is no indication of a war, but it may be laying down the principle that when they should do this, here is the price. B. Jacob (Exodus, 835) uses Num 31 as a good illustration, showing that the warrior was essentially a murderer, if he killed anyone in battle. For this reason his blood was forfeit; if he survived he must pay a כֹּפֶר (kofer) because every human life possesses value and must be atoned for. The payment during the census represented a “presumptive ransom” so that they could not be faulted for what they might do in war.

700 tn The “ransom” is כֹּפֶר (kofer), a word related to words translated “atone” and “atonement.” Here the noun refers to what is paid for the life. The idea is that of delivering or redeeming by a substitute – here the substitute is the money. If they paid the amount, their lives would be safe (W. C. Kaiser, Jr., “Exodus,” EBC 2:473).

701 tn The temporal clause uses a preposition, an infinitive construct, and then an accusative. The subject is supplied: “in numbering them” means “when [you] number them.” The verb could also be rendered “when you muster them.”

702 sn Each man was to pass in front of the counting officer and join those already counted on the other side.

703 sn The half shekel weight of silver would be about one-fifth of an ounce (6 grams).

704 sn It appears that some standard is in view for the amount of a shekel weight. The sanctuary shekel is sometimes considered to be twice the value of the ordinary shekel. The “gerah,” also of uncertain meaning, was mentioned as a reference point for the ancient reader to understand the value of the required payment. It may also be that the expression meant “a sacred shekel” and looked at the purpose more – a shekel for sanctuary dues. This would mean that the standard of the shekel weight was set because it was the traditional amount of sacred dues (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 333). “Though there is no certainty, the shekel is said to weigh about 11,5 grams…Whether an official standard is meant [by ‘sanctuary shekel’] or whether the sanctuary shekel had a different weight than the ‘ordinary’ shekel is not known” (C. Houtman, Exodus, 3:181).

705 tn Or “contribution” (תְּרוּמָה, tÿrumah).

706 tn Or “pay more.”

707 tn The form is לָתֵת (latet), the Qal infinitive construct with the lamed preposition. The infinitive here is explaining the preceding verbs. They are not to increase or diminish the amount “in paying the offering.” The construction approximates a temporal clause.

708 tn This infinitive construct (לְכַפֵּר, lÿkhapper) provides the purpose of the giving the offering – to atone.

709 tn Heb “the silver of the atonements.” The genitive here is the result (as in “sheep of slaughter”) telling what the money will be used for (see R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 11, §44).

710 sn The idea of “service” is maintenance and care of the sanctuary and its service, meaning the morning and evening sacrifices and the other elements to be used.

711 sn S. R. Driver says this is “to keep Jehovah in continual remembrance of the ransom which had been paid for their lives” (Exodus, 334).

712 tn The infinitive could be taken in a couple of ways here. It could be an epexegetical infinitive: “making atonement.” Or it could be the infinitive expressing result: “so that atonement will be made for your lives.”

713 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.

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

715 sn The metal for this object was obtained from the women from their mirrors (see Exod 38:8).

716 tn Heb “and its stand bronze.”

717 tn The form is the adverb “there” with the directive qamets-he ( ָה).

718 tn That is, from water from it.

719 tn The form is an infinitive construct with the temporal preposition bet (ב), and a suffixed subjective genitive: “in their going in,” or, whenever they enter.

720 tn “Water” is an adverbial accusative of means, and so is translated “with water.” Gesenius classifies this with verbs of “covering with something.” But he prefers to emend the text with a preposition (see GKC 369 §117.y, n. 1).

721 tn The verb is a Qal imperfect with a nuance of final imperfect. The purpose/result clause here is indicated only with the conjunction: “and they do not die.” But clearly from the context this is the intended result of their washing – it is in order that they not die.

722 tn Here, too, the infinitive is used in a temporal clause construction. The verb נָגַשׁ (nagash) is the common verb used for drawing near to the altar to make offerings – the official duties of the priest.

723 tn The text uses two infinitives construct: “to minister to burn incense”; the first is the general term and expresses the purpose of the drawing near, and the second infinitive is epexegetical, explaining the first infinitive.

724 tn The translation “as an offering made by fire” is a standard rendering of the one word in the text that appears to refer to “fire.” Milgrom and others contend that it simply means a “gift” (Leviticus 1-16, 161).

725 tn Heb “and [then] they will wash.”

726 tn The verb is “it will be.”

727 tn Heb “for his seed.”

728 tn Or “for generations to come”; it literally is “to their generations.”

sn The symbolic meaning of washing has been taught throughout the ages. This was a practical matter of cleaning hands and feet, but it was also symbolic of purification before Yahweh. It was an outward sign of inner spiritual cleansing, or forgiveness. Jesus washed the disciples feet (Jn 13) to show this same teaching; he asked the disciples if they knew what he had done (so it was more than washing feet). In this passage the theological points for the outline would be these: I. God provides the means of cleansing; II. Cleansing is a prerequisite for participating in the worship, and III. (Believers) priests must regularly appropriate God’s provision of cleansing.

729 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.

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

731 tn The construction uses the imperative “take,” but before it is the independent pronoun to add emphasis to it. After the imperative is the ethical dative (lit. “to you”) to stress the task to Moses as a personal responsibility: “and you, take to yourself.”

732 tn Heb “spices head.” This must mean the chief spices, or perhaps the top spice, meaning fine spices or choice spices. See Song 4:14; Ezek 27:22.

733 tn Or “500 shekels.” Verse 24 specifies that the sanctuary shekel was the unit for weighing the spices. The total of 1500 shekels for the four spices is estimated at between 77 and 100 pounds, or 17 to 22 kilograms, depending on how much a shekel weighed (C. Houtman, Exodus, 3:576).

734 sn Myrrh is an aromatic substance that flows from the bark of certain trees in Arabia and Africa and then hardens. “The hardened globules of the gum appear also to have been ground into a powder that would have been easy to store and would have been poured from a container” (J. Durham, Exodus [WBC], 3:406).

735 tn The words “all weighed” are added for clarity in English.

736 tn Or “a hin.” A hin of oil is estimated at around one gallon (J. Durham, Exodus [WBC], 3:406).

737 tn Heb “it.”

738 tn The word “oil” is an adverbial accusative, indicating the product that results from the verb (R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, §52).

739 tn The somewhat rare words rendered “a perfumed compound” are both associated with a verbal root having to do with mixing spices and other ingredients to make fragrant ointments. They are used with the next phrase, “the work of a perfumer,” to describe the finished oil as a special mixture of aromatic spices and one requiring the knowledge and skills of an experienced maker.

740 tn The verb is a Piel perfect with vav (ו) consecutive; in this verse it is summarizing or explaining what the anointing has accomplished. This is the effect of the anointing (see Exod 29:36).

741 tn This is the superlative genitive again, Heb “holy of holies.”

742 tn See Exod 29:37; as before, this could refer to anything or anyone touching the sanctified items.

743 tn The perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive follows the imperfect of instruction; it may be equal to the instruction, but more likely shows the purpose or result of the act.

744 tn Without an expressed subject, the verb may be treated as a passive. Any common use, as in personal hygiene, would be a complete desecration.

745 tn Heb “a stranger,” meaning someone not ordained a priest.

746 sn The rabbinic interpretation of this is that it is a penalty imposed by heaven, that the life will be cut short and the person could die childless.

747 tn The construction is “take to you,” which could be left in that literal sense, but more likely the suffix is an ethical dative, stressing the subject of the imperative.

748 sn This is from a word that means “to drip”; the spice is a balsam that drips from a resinous tree.

749 sn This may be a plant, or it may be from a species of mollusks; it is mentioned in Ugaritic and Akkadian; it gives a pungent odor when burnt.

750 sn This is a gum from plants of the genus Ferula; it has an unpleasant odor, but when mixed with others is pleasant.

751 tn The word “spice is repeated here, suggesting that the first three formed half of the ingredient and this spice the other half – but this is conjecture (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 400).

752 tn Heb “of each part there will be an equal part.”

753 tn This is an accusative of result or product.

754 tn The word is in apposition to “incense,” further defining the kind of incense that is to be made.

755 tn The word מְמֻלָּח (mÿmullakh), a passive participle, is usually taken to mean “salted.” Since there is no meaning like that for the Pual form, the word probably should be taken as “mixed,” as in Rashi and Tg. Onq. Seasoning with salt would work if it were food, but since it is not food, if it means “salted” it would be a symbol of what was sound and whole for the covenant. Some have thought that it would have helped the incense burn quickly with more smoke.

756 tn Or to smell it, to use for the maker’s own pleasure.

757 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.

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

759 tn Heb “called by name.” 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.

760 sn The expression in the Bible means that the individual was given special, supernatural enablement to do what God wanted done. It usually is said of someone with exceptional power or ability. The image of “filling” usually means under the control of the Spirit, so that the Spirit is the dominant force in the life.

761 sn The following qualities are the ways in which the Spirit’s enablement will be displayed. “Skill” is the ability to produce something valuable to God and the community, “understanding” is the ability to distinguish between things, to perceive the best way to follow, and “knowledge” is the experiential awareness of how things are done.

762 tn Heb “and in all work”; “all” means “all kinds of” here.

763 tn The expression is לַחְשֹׁב מַחֲשָׁבֹת (lakhshov makhashavot, “to devise devices”). The infinitive emphasizes that Bezalel will be able to design or plan works that are artistic or skillful. He will think thoughts or devise the plans, and then he will execute them in silver or stone or whatever other material he uses.

764 tn The expression uses the independent personal pronoun (“and I”) with the deictic particle (“behold”) to enforce the subject of the verb – “and I, indeed I have given.”

765 tn Heb “and in the heart of all that are wise-hearted I have put wisdom.”

sn The verse means that there were a good number of very skilled and trained artisans that could come to do the work that God wanted done. But God’s Spirit further endowed them with additional wisdom and skill for the work that had to be done.

766 tn The form is a perfect with vav (ו) consecutive. The form at this place shows the purpose or the result of what has gone before, and so it is rendered “that they may make.”

767 tn Heb “all the vessels of the tent.”

768 sn There are some questions about the arrangement of the book. The placement of this section here, however, should come as no surprise. After the instructions and preparation for work, a Sabbath day when work could not be done had to be legislated. In all that they were going to do, they must not violate the Sabbath,

769 tn Heb “and Yahweh said (אָמַר, ’amar) to Moses, saying.”

770 sn The instruction for the Sabbath at this point seems rather abrupt, but it follows logically the extended plans of building the sanctuary. B. Jacob, following some of the earlier treatments, suggests that these are specific rules given for the duration of the building of the sanctuary (Exodus, 844). The Sabbath day is a day of complete cessation; no labor or work could be done. The point here is that God’s covenant people must faithfully keep the sign of the covenant as a living commemoration of the finished work of Yahweh, and as an active part in their sanctification. See also H. Routtenberg, “The Laws of Sabbath: Biblical Sources,” Dor le Dor 6 (1977): 41-43, 99-101, 153-55, 204-6; G. Robinson, “The Idea of Rest in the OT and the Search for the Basic Character of Sabbath,” ZAW 92 (1980): 32-42; M. Tsevat, “The Basic Meaning of the Biblical Sabbath, ZAW 84 (1972): 447-59; M. T. Willshaw, “A Joyous Sign,” ExpTim 89 (1978): 179-80.

771 tn Or “your sanctifier.”

772 tn This clause is all from one word, a Piel plural participle with a third, feminine suffix: מְחַלְלֶיהָ (mÿkhalleha, “defilers of it”). This form serves as the subject of the sentence. The word חָלַל (khalal) is the antonym of קָדַשׁ (qadash, “to be holy”). It means “common, profane,” and in the Piel stem “make common, profane” or “defile.” Treating the Sabbath like an ordinary day would profane it, make it common.

773 tn This is the asseverative use of כִּי (ki) meaning “surely, indeed,” for it restates the point just made (see R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 73, §449).

774 tn Heb “the one who does.”

775 tn “any” has been supplied.

776 tn Literally “her” (a feminine pronoun agreeing with “soul/life,” which is grammatically feminine).

777 tn This is an adverbial accusative of time, indicating that work may be done for six days out of the week.

778 tn The form is a Niphal imperfect; it has the nuance of permission in this sentence, for the sentence is simply saying that the six days are work days – that is when work may be done.

779 tn The expression is שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן (shabbat shabbaton), “a Sabbath of entire rest,” or better, “a sabbath of complete desisting” (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 404). The second noun, the modifying genitive, is an abstract noun. The repetition provides the superlative idea that complete rest is the order of the day.

780 tn The expression again forms an adverbial accusative of time.

781 sn The word “rest” essentially means “to cease, stop.” So describing God as “resting” on the seventh day does not indicate that he was tired – he simply finished creation and then ceased or stopped. But in this verse is a very bold anthropomorphism in the form of the verb וַיִּנָּפַשׁ (vayyinnafash), a Niphal preterite from the root נָפַשׁ (nafash), the word that is related to “life, soul” or more specifically “breath, throat.” The verb is usually translated here as “he was refreshed,” offering a very human picture. It could also be rendered “he took breath” (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 345). Elsewhere the verb is used of people and animals. The anthropomorphism is clearly intended to teach people to stop and refresh themselves physically, spiritually, and emotionally on this day of rest.

782 sn The expression “the finger of God” has come up before in the book, in the plagues (Exod 8:15) to express that it was a demonstration of the power and authority of God. So here too the commandments given to Moses on stone tablets came from God. It too is a bold anthropomorphism; to attribute such a material action to Yahweh would have been thought provoking to say the least. But by using “God” and by stating it in an obviously figurative way, balance is maintained. Since no one writes with one finger, the expression simply says that the Law came directly from God.



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