SynopsisIn this chapter, Moses begins the work of building the Tabernacle. (I’m not sure if I should be capitalizing the word “Tabernacle” or not. I am, for this post, but I might not have been consistent about it in the past.)
Before he begins, though, Moses reminds the Israelites about the rules for the Sabbath: It is a holy day, a day of rest to the LORD. Anyone doing work on that day is to be put to death. They are not even to light a fire on that day.
With that done, he tells the Israelites that they are to bring an offering to the LORD: “gold, silver and bronze; blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; ram skins dyed red and hides of sea cows; acacia wood; olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece” (verses 5–9). Interestingly, though, Moses keeps using the phrase “anyone who is willing”. There is no set amount for anyone to offer; it’s all for the people to decide for themselves what they’re willing to give for the Tabernacle. Moses also commands all of the skilled Israelites to come and build the Tabernacle.
The people then leave Moses, and come back with their offerings. It doesn’t give any figures, at least, not in this chapter, but I assume that they donated enough for the building of the Tabernacle.
Finally, Moses informs the people that the LORD has chosen Bezalel, and “filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts—to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic craftsmanship” (verses 31–33). God has also given Oholiab “the ability to teach others” (verse 34).