Sunday, April 8, 2012

Bible Commentary - Exodus 35

In this chapter, Moses relates the plans for the Tabernacle to the people.

The prior chapter contains the words of the LORD related to Moses, now we are hearing the words of Moses related to the people.  Moses begins by mentioning the Sabbath again, which was one of the ten commandments, so the people have actually heard this before when they agreed to the covenant the first time.

After that, Moses is relating the ordinances for the construction of the Tabernacle, which we read in Ex 25 through 31, but the people have not heard yet.  Everything is substantially the same between the prior version and here.

While I don't have much to say, considering I have already discussed the elements of the Tabernacle in detail, I did find it interesting how these sections are positioned directly after the idolatry.  In particular, there appears to be a parallelism between the offering that Aaron takes in Ex 32, gathering the gold rings to melt them down for an idol, and the offering that is taken here, also gathering gold from the people (v. 22), in addition to the many other required things.  In this chapter, the Israelites are presented as willing followers of the LORD: since it is a freewill offering, there is no compulsion to give.  Their generosity here is tainted by their equal willingness to make an idol in chapter 32.

The only other interesting thing I find about this chapter is how different groups of people are described as making different contributions.  For instance, verse 25 says that "the skilled women" wove the fine linen and the goat hair, while "the rulers" contributed the precious stones and spices, presumably because the rulers were wealthier and had access to these rare gemstones and spices, while commoners did not.  On the other hand, both men and women contributed gold, bronze and silver that had been looted from the Egyptians.

For anything else about the Tabernacle, I'm not going to repeat my prior commentary, so just read from Ex 25 to 31.

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