Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
And Moses gathered all the congregation of the children of Israel together, and said unto them, These are the words which the LORD hath commanded, that ye should do them.6. The Building of the Tabernacle
CHAPTER 35 The Commandments Concerning the Tabernacle Remembered and the Offerings
1. The Sabbath law emphasized (Exodus 35:1-3)
2. The offerings restated (Exodus 35:4-10)
3. The tabernacle and its furniture restated (Exodus 35:11-19)
4. The offerings given (Exodus 35:20-29)
5. The workmen and the teachers (Exodus 35:30-35)
It is interesting to review the events and steps which lead to this consummation in Exodus, the setting up of the tabernacle. After Jehovah had redeemed His people and led them through the wilderness to Mount Sinai , dealing with them in grace, the law covenant was made. It was broken by them in their rebellion and idolatry. Intercession and another covenant followed, mingled with grace. And now there is obedience and the tabernacle is put up. And when it was finished the glory filled the place, showing that God was well pleased. Jehovah dwelt there with His people. In New Testament times, the true church is His dwelling place, “an habitation of God through the Spirit.” When the age to come, the millennium is reached, He will again dwell in the midst of Israel and manifest His visible glory in Jerusalem and above the city. Then comes eternity when God is all in all. “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them” (Revelation 21:3).
The Sabbath rest is once more mentioned. This is not a vain repetition, nor is it the mark of imperfection, or the work of different writers, as the critical school has claimed. Rest precedes the work, not work precedes the rest. This is the blessed spiritual principle. This cannot be under the law, but it is blessedly so under grace. We rest in Him, and He gives us rest so that we can labor and give back to Him.
All the details commanded by Jehovah concerning the tabernacle are repeated and also the material to be furnished by the people in free will offerings. How needful was the repetition! He had made the specifications show what they were to bring, as He has shown in His Word the service and work He expects of His people. And then we behold their willing service. Men and women came and brought their gifts. How it must have refreshed His heart. The women are prominently mentioned. The willing heart and the cheerful giver are also seen in the New Testament. When in the future the day of Christ’s power dawns (His second coming) His earthly people, Israel , will be willing to bring their all to His feet: “Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power” (Psalm 110:3). Then they will build that great and glorious millennial temple, the house of prayer for all nations.
Once more the two leading workmen are mentioned by name and the fact is made known that the Spirit of God fitted them for the work. But something is added here which we do not find in chapter 31, “And He hath put in his heart that he may teach, both he and Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan.” Besides having the spirit of wisdom they also had the gift of teaching, to pass on to others what they had learned.