Exodus 37-40: Preparing and building the tabernacle.

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June 8, 2015.

Daily Reading: Exodus 37-40.

Background: Exodus 32-36.

Concepts and Connections.

Chapter 37

The ark, table, lamp stand and altar of incense: The last few chapters of Exodus are records of creating the structures and materials for the tabernacle, as well as the tabernacle itself, just as the Lord had commanded Moses to do. This chapter records the construction of four of the necessary structures for the tabernacle, and the designer in charge seems to be Bezalel (along with Oholiab), who was specifically called to do the work in the previous chapter. The ark was made first, according to the plans given to moses in Exodus 25:10-20. Then the table for the bread according to the plans given in Exodus 25:23-29. Following the table, there was a lamp stand that was made according to the instructions given in Exodus 25:31-39. Finally, the altar for incense is made according to the instructions given in Exodus 30:1-7. Each of these would play a crucial role in temple worship for the children of Israel.

Chapter 38

The alter of burnt offering, basin and the court: This chapter is a continuation of the previous chapter, outlining the construction of the structures and materials for the tabernacle. Bezalel and Oholiab are still in charge of the construction and design just as in the previous chapter. The altar for burnt offering is recorded here, according to the plans given to Moses in Exodus 27:1-8. Then the bronze basin was made according to the plans given in Exodus 30:18. Thet offn the court of the tabernacle was made according to the plans given in Exodus 27:9-19. Each of these records were recorded at the command of Moses, and credit is given to Bezalel and Oholiab for overseeing the construction. Then the records are given for the amount of materials that were used in the construction of each of the structures for the tabernacle. It should be noted that a cubit was about 18 inches, a talent about 75 pounds, a shekel about 2/5 of an ounce and a beka about 1/5 of an ounce.

Chapter 39

The priestly garments: Having the structures for the tabernacle recorded in the previous three chapters, this chapter is dedicated to the making of the priestly garments that Aaron and his sons were to wear (throughout their generations) when ministering in the tabernacle. They used the blue, purple and scarlet yarns that were given and spun in Exodus 35:23-25 to weave the garments. An ephod was made according to the plans given Moses in Exodus 28:6-12. A breast plate was made according to the plans given in Exodus 28:15-28. The robe of the ephod made according to the plans given in Exodus 28:31-34. The coats, turban, caps, undergarments and sash of fine linen were made according to plans given in Exodus 28:39-42. The plate of the crown was made according to the plans given in Exodus 28:36-37. With this, the work of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting was finished, all according to the plans given to Moses from the Lord.

Chapter 40

Erecting the tabernacle: In the previous few chapters we read of the construction of the materials that were needed for the tabernacle of the tent of meeting. Now it was time to erect the tabernacle, at the command of the Lord, on the first day of the first month. Thus, on the first day of the first month in the second year from the exodus from Egypt, the tabernacle was erected and all the materials for the tabernacle were arranged inside just as the Lord had commanded the people to do. Notice the emphasis in these past few chapters on how Moses and the people did everything according to all that the Lord had commanded them. Thus the work of the tabernacle was complete. When the tabernacle was erected, the pillar of cloud (see Exodus 13:21) rested over it and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle, and Moses could not even enter the tabernacle because of the glory of the Lord that filled it. The Lord was with the tabernacle as a pillar of cloud by day, and fire by night, and the children of Israel would only set out on their journey when the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle, as a sign that the Lord was telling them it was time to move.

Tomorrow’s Reading: I Kings 5-9.

Stand strong in the Lord.

-Walter

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