Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
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.
Ex 35:1-35. Contributions to the Tabernacle.
1. Moses gathered all the congregation of the children of Israel, &c.—On the occasion referred to in the opening of this chapter, the Israelites were specially reminded of the design to erect a magnificent tabernacle for the regular worship of God, as well as of the leading articles that were required to furnish that sacred edifice [Ex 35:11-19]. (See on Ex 25:1-40; Ex 27:1-21; Ex 30:1-31:18).
Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death.
Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day.
And Moses spake unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the LORD commanded, saying,
Take ye from among you an offering unto the LORD: whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the LORD; gold, and silver, and brass,
And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair,
And rams' skins dyed red, and badgers' skins, and shittim wood,
And oil for the light, and spices for anointing oil, and for the sweet incense,
And onyx stones, and stones to be set for the ephod, and for the breastplate.
And every wise hearted among you shall come, and make all that the LORD hath commanded;
The tabernacle, his tent, and his covering, his taches, and his boards, his bars, his pillars, and his sockets,
The ark, and the staves thereof, with the mercy seat, and the vail of the covering,
The table, and his staves, and all his vessels, and the shewbread,
The candlestick also for the light, and his furniture, and his lamps, with the oil for the light,
And the incense altar, and his staves, and the anointing oil, and the sweet incense, and the hanging for the door at the entering in of the tabernacle,
The altar of burnt offering, with his brasen grate, his staves, and all his vessels, the laver and his foot,
The hangings of the court, his pillars, and their sockets, and the hanging for the door of the court,
The pins of the tabernacle, and the pins of the court, and their cords,
The cloths of service, to do service in the holy place, the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons, to minister in the priest's office.
And all the congregation of the children of Israel departed from the presence of Moses.
20, 21. all the congregation of Israel departed from the presence of Moses—No exciting harangues were made, nor had the people Bibles at home in which they could compare the requirements of their leader and see if these things were so. But they had no doubt as to his bearing to them the will of God, and they were impressed with so strong a sense of its being their duty, that they made a spontaneous offer of the best and most valuable treasures they possessed.
And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the LORD'S offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments.
21. they came, every one whose heart stirred him up—One powerful element doubtless of this extraordinary open-hearted liberality was the remembrance of their recent transgression, which made them "zealous of good works" (compare 2Co 7:11). But along with this motive, there were others of a higher and nobler kind—a principle of love to God and devotedness to His service, an anxious desire to secure the benefit of His presence, and gratitude for the tokens of His divine favor: it was under the combined influence of these considerations that the people were so willing and ready to pour their contributions into that exchequer of the sanctuary.
every one whom his spirit made willing—Human nature is always the same, and it is implied that while an extraordinary spirit of pious liberality reigned in the bosoms of the people at large, there were exceptions—some who were too fond of the world, who loved their possessions more than their God, and who could not part with these; no, not for the service of the tabernacle.
And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing hearted, and brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings, and tablets, all jewels of gold: and every man that offered offered an offering of gold unto the LORD.
22. they came, both men and women, &c.—literally, "the men over and above the women"; a phraseology which implies that the women acted a prominent part, presented their offerings first, and then were followed by as many of their male companions as were similarly disposed.
brought bracelets, &c.—There was in that early age no money in the form of coins or bullion. What money passed current with the merchant consisted of rings which were weighed, and principally of ornaments for personal decoration. Astonishment at the abundance of their ornaments is at an end when we learn that costly and elegant ornaments abounded in proportion as clothing was simple and scarce among the Egyptians, and some, entirely divested of clothing, yet wore rich necklaces [Hengstenberg]. Among people with Oriental sentiments and tastes, scarcely any stronger proof could have been given of the power of religion than their willingness not only to lay aside, but to devote those much-valued trinkets to the house of God; and thus all, like the Eastern sages, laid the best they had at the service of God.
And every man, with whom was found blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair, and red skins of rams, and badgers' skins, brought them.
Every one that did offer an offering of silver and brass brought the LORD'S offering: and every man, with whom was found shittim wood for any work of the service, brought it.
And all the women that were wise hearted did spin with their hands, and brought that which they had spun, both of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine linen.
And all the women whose heart stirred them up in wisdom spun goats' hair.
And the rulers brought onyx stones, and stones to be set, for the ephod, and for the breastplate;
And spice, and oil for the light, and for the anointing oil, and for the sweet incense.
The children of Israel brought a willing offering unto the LORD, every man and woman, whose heart made them willing to bring for all manner of work, which the LORD had commanded to be made by the hand of Moses.
And Moses said unto the children of Israel, See, the LORD hath called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah;
30. See, the Lord hath called by name Bezaleel, the son of Uri, &c.—Moses had made this communication before [see Ex 31:2-5; also see on Ex 31:2]. But now that the collection had been made, the materials were contributed, and the operations of building about to be commenced, it was with the greatest propriety he reminded the people that the individuals entrusted with the application of their gold and silver had been nominated to the work by authority to which all would bow.
And he hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship;
And to devise curious works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass,
And in the cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of wood, to make any manner of cunning work.
And he hath put in his heart that he may teach, both he, and Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan.
Them hath he filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work, of the engraver, and of the cunning workman, and of the embroiderer, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of them that do any work, and of those that devise cunning work.
35. Them hath he filled with wisdom of heart—A statement which not only testifies that skill in art and science is a direct gift from God, but that weaving was especially the business of men in Egypt (see Ex 38:22; 39:22, 27). And in perfect harmony with the testimony of the monuments is the account given by Moses to the artists who were divinely taught the arts necessary for the embellishment of the tabernacle. Others, whose limited means did not admit of these expensive contributions, offered their gratuitous services in fabricating such articles of tapestry as were needed; arts which the Israelitish females learned as bondwomen, in the houses of Egyptian princes.