INTRODUCTION TO Exodus 36
Bezaleel and Aholiab, with the artificers under them, having a call as well as qualifications for the service of the sanctuary, and having received from Moses the materials for it, set about it, Exodus 36:1 but the people bringing more than was necessary, they acquaint Moses with it, who by a proclamation restrained from it, Exodus 36:4 and next an account is given of the several things that were wrought by them, as first the curtains for the tabernacle, both of linen and goats' hair, and the coverings of them, Exodus 36:8 next the boards for the tabernacle, and the sockets they were set in, and the bars for the boards, Exodus 36:20 and then the vail which parted the most holy place from the holy place, and the hanging which divided between the holy place and the court, Exodus 36:35.
Then wrought Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whom the LORD put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that the LORD had commanded.Then wrought Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man,.... Or every ingenious artificer under them: when they began to work is not precisely said, but it is very probable they set about it directly, as soon as they were furnished with materials for it, nor is it said where they wrought; it is very likely there was a particular place, where they were ranged according to their respective manufactories, and where they did their work under the inspection, and by the direction of these two men:
in whom the Lord put wisdom and understanding, to know how to work all manner of work, for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that the Lord had commanded; for as all the wisdom and understanding, which Bezaleel and Aholiab had for the building of the tabernacle, and making everything appertaining to it, and for instructing others to do the same, were from the Lord; so all the wisdom, understanding, and capacity in the artificers to learn of them, and work according to their directions, were also from him; who in a very extraordinary manner enlarged their faculties, and increased their natural abilities, to take in what was suggested to them, and perform their work exactly agreeable thereunto.
And Moses called Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whose heart the LORD had put wisdom, even every one whose heart stirred him up to come unto the work to do it:And Moses called Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man,.... It was not enough that they had qualifications for this work, but they must have a call to it from Moses, to whom the whole affair was committed, to see that it was done according to the pattern shown him in the mount: so all that are concerned in the public work and service of the church of God should have a call unto it both from the Lord and from the church:
in whose heart the Lord had put wisdom, even everyone whose heart stirred him up to come unto the work to do it; who had not only abilities given him of God, but a mind disposed for it, a willingness of heart, a readiness of soul for such service, was even eager upon it, and in haste to be at it.
And they received of Moses all the offering, which the children of Israel had brought for the work of the service of the sanctuary, to make it withal. And they brought yet unto him free offerings every morning.And they received of Moses all the offering,.... That is, Bezaleel and Aholiab received it of him, who delivered it to the several workmen, as the nature of their work required, some one thing, and some another: to some gold, to others silver, to others brass, and to some they delivered out fine linen, and blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and to others shittim wood; Moses gave all out faithfully that he received, and kept back nothing for his own use or private advantage, even all the above things of which the offering consisted:
which the children of Israel had brought for the work of the service of the sanctuary, to make it withal; and which perhaps they went and fetched the same day they were called together, and acquainted with the mind of God concerning it; or at least they brought it in a very short space of time, and as soon as it possibly could be; it was delivered to the workmen, that the work might be begun, and carried on with the utmost expedition:
and they brought yet unto him free offerings every morning; they continued for a course of time afterwards to bring their freewill offerings of one thing or another to Moses, every morning, which perhaps was the most suitable time for him to receive them; and best expresses their readiness and diligence in bringing them, and which, as they brought, he sent to the workmen, as appears by what follows.
And all the wise men, that wrought all the work of the sanctuary, came every man from his work which they made;And all the wise men that wrought all the work of the sanctuary,.... The ingenious artificers who were employed, some in one thing, and some in another, either on the tabernacle itself, or the vessels of it, and things appertaining to it:
came every man from his work which they made; left off their work by mutual consent and agreement, and came in a body to Moses.
And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the LORD commanded to make.And they spake unto Moses, saying,.... One in the name of the rest:
the people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the Lord commanded to make; they had taken an estimate of what was to be done, and of what was necessary for the doing of it, and of what the people brought for this service; and they found there was a great deal more brought than would be wanted, and therefore they thought proper to advise Moses of it, that no more might be brought: it is hard to say which is most to be wondered at, the great liberality of the people in contributing so freely and bountifully, and continuing to do so without being urged, or even asked; or the honesty of the workmen, one and all, who might have gone on to have received the gifts of the people by the hands of Moses, and what was superfluous might have converted to their own use; but instead of this, they agree as one man to let Moses know how the state of things was, and prevent the people from making any more contributions.
And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing.And Moses gave commandment,.... Orders to some proper person or persons about him:
and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, or "caused a voice to pass"; a crier or herald, as the Targums, who went through the camp and published in every quarter:
saying, let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary; as the men in cutting shittim wood, and planing it, and the women in spinning blue, purple, and scarlet yarn and goats' hair:
so the people were restrained from bringing; that is, any more: instead of a spur to liberality, which most want, a restraint was laid upon these to check it, and prevent an excess in it, of which there is rarely any danger; so eager, forward, and zealous were they in this good work.
For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much.For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it,.... The gold, silver, brass, and precious stones, the wood and yarn, which had been already brought in, were sufficient for everything they were ordered to make:
and too much; a great deal more than would be used; much would remain after all was wrought: what was done with this is not said, whether it was returned to the people, or laid up for the use of the tabernacle and service, as might hereafter be wanted; which latter seems most probable.
And every wise hearted man among them that wrought the work of the tabernacle made ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work made he them.And every wise hearted man among them that wrought the work of the tabernacle,.... Did the part assigned him, what he was fittest for, and most skilful in: particularly some
made ten curtains, &c. which were properly the tabernacle, and were made first, and then the several things appertaining to it; and from hence, to the end of the chapter Exodus 36:9, is only an account of the making of the tabernacle, its curtains, coverings, boards, sockets, and bars, the vail for the most holy place, and the hangings for the tabernacle, exactly as they are ordered to be made; see Gill on Exodus 26:1 &c. to end of chapter: and it may be observed, that throughout the account of the various articles, it is all along said "he" did this and the other; either referring to Moses, by whose orders they were done, or to Bezaleel, the chief director of the work, or to each and everyone of the artificers severally concerned.
The length of one curtain was twenty and eight cubits, and the breadth of one curtain four cubits: the curtains were all of one size.
And he coupled the five curtains one unto another: and the other five curtains he coupled one unto another.
And he made loops of blue on the edge of one curtain from the selvedge in the coupling: likewise he made in the uttermost side of another curtain, in the coupling of the second.
Fifty loops made he in one curtain, and fifty loops made he in the edge of the curtain which was in the coupling of the second: the loops held one curtain to another.
And he made fifty taches of gold, and coupled the curtains one unto another with the taches: so it became one tabernacle.
And he made curtains of goats' hair for the tent over the tabernacle: eleven curtains he made them.
The length of one curtain was thirty cubits, and four cubits was the breadth of one curtain: the eleven curtains were of one size.
And he coupled five curtains by themselves, and six curtains by themselves.
And he made fifty loops upon the uttermost edge of the curtain in the coupling, and fifty loops made he upon the edge of the curtain which coupleth the second.
And he made fifty taches of brass to couple the tent together, that it might be one.
And he made a covering for the tent of rams' skins dyed red, and a covering of badgers' skins above that.
And he made boards for the tabernacle of shittim wood, standing up.
The length of a board was ten cubits, and the breadth of a board one cubit and a half.
One board had two tenons, equally distant one from another: thus did he make for all the boards of the tabernacle.
And he made boards for the tabernacle; twenty boards for the south side southward:
And forty sockets of silver he made under the twenty boards; two sockets under one board for his two tenons, and two sockets under another board for his two tenons.
And for the other side of the tabernacle, which is toward the north corner, he made twenty boards,
And their forty sockets of silver; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board.
And for the sides of the tabernacle westward he made six boards.
And two boards made he for the corners of the tabernacle in the two sides.
And they were coupled beneath, and coupled together at the head thereof, to one ring: thus he did to both of them in both the corners.
And there were eight boards; and their sockets were sixteen sockets of silver, under every board two sockets.
And he made bars of shittim wood; five for the boards of the one side of the tabernacle,
And five bars for the boards of the other side of the tabernacle, and five bars for the boards of the tabernacle for the sides westward.
And he made the middle bar to shoot through the boards from the one end to the other.
And he overlaid the boards with gold, and made their rings of gold to be places for the bars, and overlaid the bars with gold.
And he made a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen: with cherubims made he it of cunning work.
And he made thereunto four pillars of shittim wood, and overlaid them with gold: their hooks were of gold; and he cast for them four sockets of silver.
And he made an hanging for the tabernacle door of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, of needlework;
And the five pillars of it with their hooks: and he overlaid their chapiters and their fillets with gold: but their five sockets were of brass.