New English Translation
The Materials for the Tabernacle
25 [a] The Lord spoke to Moses, 2 “Tell the Israelites to take[b] an offering[c] for me; from every person motivated by a willing[d] heart you[e] are to receive my offering. 3 This is the offering you[f] are to accept from them: gold, silver, bronze, 4 blue,[g] purple,[h] scarlet,[i] fine linen,[j] goats’ hair,[k] 5 ram skins dyed red,[l] fine leather,[m] acacia[n] wood, 6 oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil and for fragrant incense, 7 onyx stones, and other gems to be set in the ephod and in the breastpiece. 8 Let them make[o] for me a sanctuary,[p] so that I may live among them. 9 According to all that I am showing you[q]—the pattern of the tabernacle[r] and the pattern of all its furnishings—you[s] must make it exactly so.[t]
The Ark of the Testimony
10 [u] “They are to make an ark[v] of acacia wood—its length is to be 45 inches, its width 27 inches, and its height 27 inches.[w] 11 You are to overlay[x] it with pure gold—both inside and outside you must overlay it,[y] and you are to make a surrounding border[z] of gold over it. 12 You are to cast four gold rings for it and put them on its four feet, with two rings on one side and two rings on the other side. 13 You are to make poles of acacia wood, overlay them with gold, 14 and put the poles into the rings at the sides of the ark in order to carry the ark with them. 15 The poles must remain in the rings of the ark; they must not be removed from it. 16 You are to put into the ark the testimony[aa] that I will give to you.
17 “You are to make an atonement lid[ab] of pure gold;[ac] its length is to be 45 inches, and its width is to be 27 inches. 18 You are to make two cherubim[ad] of gold; you are to make them of hammered metal on the two ends of the atonement lid. 19 Make[ae] one cherub on one end[af] and one cherub on the other end; from the atonement lid[ag] you are to make the cherubim on the two ends. 20 The cherubim are to be spreading their wings upward, overshadowing[ah] the atonement lid with their wings, and the cherubim are to face each other,[ai] looking[aj] toward the atonement lid. 21 You are to put the atonement lid on top of the ark, and in the ark you are to put the testimony I am giving you. 22 I will meet with you there,[ak] and[al] from above the atonement lid, from between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you about all that I will command you for the Israelites.
The Table for the Bread of the Presence
23 [am] “You are to make a table of acacia wood; its length is to be 36 inches, its width 18 inches, and its height 27 inches. 24 You are to overlay it with[an] pure gold, and you are to make a surrounding border of gold for it. 25 You are to make a surrounding frame[ao] for it about three inches broad, and you are to make a surrounding border of gold for its frame. 26 You are to make four rings of gold for it and attach[ap] the rings at the four corners where its four legs are.[aq] 27 The rings are to be close to the frame to provide places[ar] for the poles to carry the table. 28 You are to make the poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold, so that the table may be carried with them.[as] 29 You are to make its plates,[at] its ladles,[au] its pitchers, and its bowls, to be used in pouring out offerings;[av] you are to make them of pure gold. 30 You are to set the Bread of the Presence[aw] on the table before me continually.
31 [ax] “You are to make a lampstand[ay] of pure gold. The lampstand is to be made of hammered metal; its base and its shaft, its cups,[az] its buds, and its blossoms are to be from the same piece.[ba] 32 Six branches are to extend from the sides of the lampstand,[bb] three branches of the lampstand from one side of it and three branches of the lampstand from the other side of it.[bc] 33 Three cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms are to be on one branch, and three cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms are to be on the next[bd] branch, and the same[be] for the six branches extending from the lampstand. 34 On the lampstand there are to be four cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms, 35 with a bud under the first[bf] two branches from it, and a bud under the next[bg] two branches from it, and a bud under the third[bh] two branches from it, according to the six branches that extend from the lampstand. 36 Their buds and their branches will be one piece,[bi] all of it one hammered piece of pure gold.
37 “You are to make its seven lamps[bj] and then set[bk] its lamps up on it, so that it will give light[bl] to the area in front of it. 38 Its trimmers and its trays[bm] are to be[bn] of pure gold. 39 About seventy-five pounds[bo] of pure gold is to be used for it[bp] and for all these utensils. 40 Now be sure to make[bq] them according to the pattern you were shown[br] on the mountain.[bs]
26 [bt] “The tabernacle itself[bu] you are to make with[bv] ten curtains of fine twisted linen and blue and purple and scarlet;[bw] you are to make them with[bx] cherubim that are the work of an artistic designer. 2 The length of each[by] curtain is to be 42 feet, and the width of each curtain is to be 6 feet[bz]—the same size for each of the curtains. 3 Five curtains are to be joined,[ca] one to another,[cb] and the other[cc] five curtains are to be joined, one to another. 4 You are to make loops of blue material along the edge of the end curtain in one set, and in the same way you are to make loops[cd] in the outer edge of the end curtain in the second set. 5 You are to make fifty loops on the one curtain, and you are to make fifty loops on the end curtain which is on the second set, so that the loops are opposite one to another.[ce] 6 You are to make fifty gold clasps and join the curtains together with the clasps, so that the tabernacle is a unit.[cf]
7 “You are to make curtains of goats’ hair[cg] for a tent over the tabernacle;[ch] you are to make[ci] eleven curtains. 8 The length of each[cj] curtain is to be 45 feet, and the width of each curtain is to be 6 feet—the same size for the eleven curtains. 9 You are to join five curtains by themselves and six curtains by themselves. You are to double over[ck] the sixth curtain at the front of the tent. 10 You are to make fifty loops along the edge of the end curtain in one set and fifty loops along the edge of the curtain that joins the second set. 11 You are to make fifty bronze clasps and put the clasps into the loops and join the tent together so that it is a unit.[cl] 12 Now the part that remains of the curtains of the tent—the half curtain that remains will hang over at the back of the tabernacle.[cm] 13 The foot and a half[cn] on the one side and the foot and a half on the other side of what remains in the length of the curtains of the tent will hang over the sides of the tabernacle, on one side and the other side, to cover it.[co]
14 “You are to make a covering[cp] for the tent out of ram skins dyed red and over that a covering of fine leather.[cq]
15 “You are to make the frames[cr] for the tabernacle out of[cs] acacia wood as uprights.[ct] 16 Each[cu] frame is to be 15 feet long, and each frame is to be 27 inches wide, 17 with two projections[cv] per frame parallel one to another.[cw] You are to make all the frames of the tabernacle in this way. 18 So you are to make the frames for the tabernacle: twenty frames for the south side,[cx] 19 and you are to make forty silver bases to go under the twenty frames—two bases under the first frame for its two projections, and likewise[cy] two bases under the next frame for its two projections; 20 and for the second side of the tabernacle, the north side, twenty frames, 21 and their forty silver bases, two bases under the first frame, and two bases under the next frame. 22 And for the back of the tabernacle on the west[cz] you will make six frames. 23 You are to make two frames for the corners[da] of the tabernacle on the back. 24 At the two corners[db] they must be doubled at the lower end and finished together at the top in one ring. So it will be for both. 25 So there are to be eight frames and their silver bases, sixteen bases, two bases under the first frame, and two bases under the next frame.
26 “You are to make bars of acacia wood, five for the frames on one side of the tabernacle, 27 and five bars for the frames on the second side of the tabernacle, and five bars for the frames on the back of the tabernacle on the west. 28 The middle bar in the center of the frames will reach from end to end.[dc] 29 You are to overlay the frames with gold and make their rings of gold to provide places for the bars, and you are to overlay the bars with gold. 30 You are to set up the tabernacle according to the plan[dd] that you were shown on the mountain.
31 “You are to make a special curtain[de] of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn and fine twisted linen; it is to be made[df] with cherubim, the work of an artistic designer. 32 You are to hang it[dg] with gold hooks[dh] on four posts of acacia wood overlaid with gold, set in[di] four silver bases. 33 You are to hang this curtain under the clasps and bring the ark of the testimony in there behind the curtain.[dj] The curtain will make a division for you between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place.[dk] 34 You are to put the atonement lid on the ark of the testimony in the Most Holy Place. 35 You are to put the table outside the curtain and the lampstand on the south side of the tabernacle, opposite the table, and you are to place the table on the north side.
36 “You are to make a hanging[dl] for the entrance of the tent of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn and fine twisted linen, the work of an embroiderer.[dm] 37 You are to make for the hanging five posts of acacia wood and overlay them with gold, and their hooks will be[dn] gold, and you are to cast five bronze bases for them.[do]
27 “You are to make the[dp] altar of acacia wood, 7½ feet long,[dq] and 7½ feet wide; the altar is to be square,[dr] and its height is to be 4½ feet[ds] . 2 You are to make its four horns[dt] on its four corners; its horns will be part of it,[du] and you are to overlay it with bronze. 3 You are to make its pots for the ashes,[dv] its shovels, its tossing bowls,[dw] its meat hooks, and its fire pans—you are to make all[dx] its utensils of bronze. 4 You are to make a grating[dy] for it, a network of bronze, and you are to make on the network four bronze rings on its four corners. 5 You are to put it under the ledge of the altar below, so that the network will come[dz] halfway up the altar.[ea] 6 You are to make poles for the altar, poles of acacia wood, and you are to overlay them with bronze. 7 The poles are to be put[eb] into the rings so that the poles will be on two sides of the altar when carrying it.[ec] 8 You are to make the altar hollow, out of boards. Just as it was shown you[ed] on the mountain, so they must make it.[ee]
9 “You are to make the courtyard[ef] of the tabernacle. For the south side[eg] there are to be hangings[eh] for the courtyard of fine twisted linen, 150 feet long for one side,[ei] 10 with[ej] twenty posts and their twenty bronze bases, with the hooks of the posts and their bands of silver. 11 Likewise[ek] for its length on the north side, there are to be[el] hangings for 150 feet, with twenty posts and their twenty bronze bases, with silver hooks and bands[em] on the posts. 12 The width of the court on the west side is to be 75 feet with hangings, with their ten posts and their ten bases. 13 The width of the court on the east side, toward the sunrise, is to be 75 feet. 14 The hangings on one side[en] of the gate are to be[eo] 22½ feet long, with their three posts and their three bases. 15 On the second side[ep] there are to be[eq] hangings 22½ feet long, with their three posts and their three bases. 16 For the gate of the courtyard there is to be a curtain of 30 feet, of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn and fine twisted linen, the work of an embroiderer, with four posts and their four bases. 17 All the posts around the courtyard are to have silver bands;[er] their hooks are to be[es] silver, and their bases bronze. 18 The length of the courtyard is to be 150 feet[et] and the width 75 feet,[eu] and the height of the fine twisted linen hangings[ev] is to be[ew] 7½ feet, with their bronze bases. 19 All[ex] the utensils of the tabernacle used[ey] in all its service, all its tent pegs, and all the tent pegs of the courtyard are to be made of bronze.[ez]
Offering the Oil
20 “You are to command the Israelites that they bring[fa] to you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, so that the lamps[fb] will burn[fc] regularly.[fd] 21 In the tent of meeting[fe] outside the curtain that is before the testimony,[ff] Aaron and his sons are to arrange it from evening[fg] to morning before the Lord. This is to be a lasting ordinance among the Israelites for generations to come.[fh]
The Clothing of the Priests
28 [fi] “And you, bring near[fj] to you your brother Aaron and his sons with him from among the Israelites, so that they may minister as my priests[fk]—Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons. 2 You must make holy garments[fl] for your brother Aaron, for glory and for beauty.[fm] 3 You[fn] are to speak to all who are specially skilled,[fo] whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom,[fp] so that they may make[fq] Aaron’s garments to set him apart[fr] to minister as my priest. 4 Now these are the garments that they are to make: a breastpiece,[fs] an ephod,[ft] a robe, a fitted[fu] tunic, a turban, and a sash. They are to make holy garments for your brother Aaron and for his sons, that they may minister as my priests. 5 The artisans[fv] are to use[fw] the gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine linen.
6 “They are to make the ephod of gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twisted linen, the work of an artistic designer. 7 It is to have two shoulder pieces attached to two of its corners, so it can be joined together.[fx] 8 The artistically woven waistband[fy] of the ephod that is on it is to be like it, of one piece with the ephod,[fz] of gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twisted linen.
9 “You are to take two onyx stones and engrave on them the names of the sons of Israel,[ga] 10 six[gb] of their names on one stone, and the six remaining names on the second stone, according to the order of their birth.[gc] 11 You are to engrave the two stones with the names of the sons of Israel with the work of an engraver in stone, like the engravings of a seal;[gd] you are to have them set[ge] in gold filigree settings.[gf] 12 You are to put the two stones on the shoulders of the ephod, stones of memorial for the sons of Israel, and Aaron will bear their names before the Lord on his two shoulders for a memorial.[gg] 13 You are to make filigree settings of gold 14 and two braided chains of pure gold, like a cord, and attach the chains to the settings.
15 “You are to make a breastpiece for use in making decisions,[gh] the work of an artistic designer; you are to make it in the same fashion as the ephod; you are to make it of gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twisted linen. 16 It is to be square[gi] when[gj] doubled, nine inches[gk] long and nine inches wide. 17 You are to set in it a setting for stones, four rows of stones, a row with a ruby, a topaz, and a beryl—the first row; 18 and the second row, a turquoise, a sapphire, and an emerald; 19 and the third row, a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; 20 and the fourth row, a chrysolite, an onyx, and a jasper.[gl] They are to be enclosed in gold in their filigree settings. 21 The stones are to be for the names of the sons of Israel, twelve, according to the number of[gm] their names. Each name according to the twelve tribes is to be like[gn] the engravings of a seal.
22 “You are to make for the breastpiece braided chains like cords of pure gold, 23 and you are to make for the breastpiece two gold rings and attach[go] the two rings to the upper[gp] two ends of the breastpiece. 24 You are to attach the two gold chains to the two rings at the ends of the breastpiece; 25 the other[gq] two ends of the two chains you will attach to the two settings and then attach them[gr] to the shoulder pieces of the ephod at the front of it. 26 You are to make two rings of gold and put them on the other[gs] two ends of the breastpiece, on its edge that is on the inner side of the ephod. 27 You are to make two more[gt] gold rings and attach them to the bottom of the two shoulder pieces on the front of the ephod, close to the juncture above the waistband of the ephod. 28 They are to tie the breastpiece by its rings to the rings of the ephod by blue cord, so that it may be above the waistband of the ephod, and so that the breastpiece will not be loose from the ephod. 29 Aaron will bear the names of the sons of Israel in the breastpiece of decision over his heart[gu] when he goes into the Holy Place, for a memorial before the Lord continually.
30 “You are to put the Urim and the Thummim[gv] into the breastpiece of decision; and they are to be over Aaron’s heart when he goes in before the Lord. Aaron is to bear the decisions[gw] of the Israelites over his heart before the Lord continually.
31 “You are to make the robe[gx] of the ephod completely blue. 32 There is to be an opening[gy] in its top[gz] in the center of it, with an edge all around the opening, the work of a weaver,[ha] like the opening of a collar,[hb] so that it cannot be torn.[hc] 33 You are to make pomegranates[hd] of blue, purple, and scarlet all around its hem[he] and bells of gold between them all around. 34 The pattern is to be[hf] a gold bell and a pomegranate, a gold bell and a pomegranate, all around the hem of the robe. 35 The robe[hg] is to be on Aaron as he ministers,[hh] and his sound will be heard[hi] when he enters the Holy Place before the Lord and when he leaves, so that he does not die.
36 “You are to make a plate[hj] of pure gold and engrave on it the way a seal is engraved:[hk] ‘Holiness to the Lord.’[hl] 37 You are to attach to it a blue cord so that it will be[hm] on the turban; it is to be[hn] on the front of the turban. 38 It will be on Aaron’s forehead, and Aaron will bear the iniquity of the holy things,[ho] which the Israelites are to sanctify by all their holy gifts;[hp] it will always be on his forehead, for their acceptance[hq] before the Lord. 39 You are to weave[hr] the tunic of fine linen and make the turban of fine linen, and make the sash the work of an embroiderer.
40 “For Aaron’s sons you are to make tunics, sashes, and headbands[hs] for glory and for beauty.
41 “You are to clothe them—your brother Aaron and his sons with him—and anoint them[ht] and ordain them[hu] and set them apart as holy,[hv] so that they may minister as my priests. 42 Make for them linen undergarments to cover their naked bodies;[hw] they must cover[hx] from the waist to the thighs. 43 These must be on Aaron and his sons when they enter[hy] the tent of meeting, or when they approach[hz] the altar to minister in the Holy Place, so that they bear no iniquity and die.[ia] It is to be a perpetual ordinance for him and for his descendants[ib] after him.[ic]
The Consecration of Aaron and His Sons
29 [id] “Now this is what[ie] you are to do for them to consecrate them so that they may minister as my priests. Take a young[if] bull and two rams without blemish;[ig] 2 and[ih] bread made without yeast, and perforated cakes without yeast mixed with oil, and wafers without yeast spread[ii] with oil—you are to make them using[ij] fine wheat flour. 3 You are to put them in one basket and present[ik] them in the basket, along with[il] the bull and the two rams.
4 “You are to present[im] Aaron and his sons at the entrance of the tent of meeting. You are to wash[in] them with water 5 and take the garments and clothe Aaron with the tunic,[io] the robe of the ephod, the ephod, and the breastpiece; you are to fasten the ephod on him by using the skillfully woven waistband.[ip] 6 You are to put the turban on his head and put the holy diadem[iq] on the turban. 7 You are to take the anointing oil and pour it on his head and anoint him.[ir] 8 You are to present his sons and clothe them with tunics 9 and wrap the sashes around Aaron and his sons[is] and put headbands on them, and so the ministry of priesthood will belong to them by a perpetual ordinance. Thus you are to consecrate[it] Aaron and his sons.
10 “You are to present the bull at the front of the tent of meeting, and Aaron and his sons are to put[iu] their hands on the head[iv] of the bull. 11 You are to kill the bull before the Lord at the entrance to the tent of meeting 12 and take some of the blood of the bull and put it on the horns of the altar[iw] with your finger; all the rest of[ix] the blood you are to pour out at the base of the altar. 13 You are to take all the fat that covers the entrails, and the lobe[iy] that is above the liver, and the two kidneys and the fat that is on them, and burn them[iz] on the altar. 14 But the meat of the bull, its skin, and its dung you are to burn up[ja] outside the camp.[jb] It is the purification offering.[jc]
15 “You are to take one ram, and Aaron and his sons are to lay their hands on the ram’s head, 16 and you are to kill the ram and take its blood and splash it all around on the altar. 17 Then you are to cut the ram into pieces and wash the entrails and its legs and put them on its pieces and on its head 18 and burn[jd] the whole ram on the altar. It is a burnt offering[je] to the Lord, a soothing aroma; it is an offering made by fire[jf] to the Lord.[jg]
19 “You are to take the second ram, and Aaron and his sons are to lay their hands on the ram’s head, 20 and you are to kill the ram and take some of its blood and put it on the tip of the right ear of Aaron, on the tip of the right ear of his sons, on the thumb of their right hand, and on the big toe of their right foot,[jh] and then splash the blood all around on the altar. 21 You are to take some of the blood that is on the altar and some of the anointing oil and sprinkle it[ji] on Aaron, on his garments, on his sons, and on his sons’ garments with him, so that he may be holy,[jj] he and his garments along with his sons and his sons’ garments.
22 “You are to take from the ram the fat, the fat tail, the fat that covers the entrails, the lobe[jk] of the liver, the two kidneys and the fat that is on them, and the right thigh—for it is the ram for consecration[jl]— 23 and one round flat cake of bread, one perforated cake of oiled bread, and one wafer from the basket of bread made without yeast that is before the Lord. 24 You are to put all these[jm] in Aaron’s hands[jn] and in his sons’ hands, and you are to wave them as a wave offering[jo] before the Lord. 25 Then you are to take them from their hands and burn[jp] them[jq] on the altar for a burnt offering, for a soothing aroma before the Lord. It is an offering made by fire to the Lord. 26 You are to take the breast of the ram of Aaron’s consecration; you are to wave it as a wave offering before the Lord, and it is to be your share. 27 You are to sanctify the breast of the wave offering and the thigh of the contribution,[jr] which were waved and lifted up as a contribution from the ram of consecration, from what belongs to Aaron and to his sons. 28 It is to belong to Aaron and to his sons from the Israelites, by a perpetual ordinance, for it is a contribution. It is to be a contribution from the Israelites from their peace offerings, their contribution to the Lord.
29 “The holy garments that belong to Aaron are to belong to his sons after him, so that they may be anointed[js] in them and consecrated[jt] in them. 30 The priest who succeeds him[ju] from his sons, when he first comes[jv] to the tent of meeting to minister in the Holy Place, is to wear them for seven days.[jw]
31 “You are to take the ram of the consecration and cook[jx] its meat in a holy place.[jy] 32 Aaron and his sons are to eat the meat of the ram and the bread that was in the basket at the entrance of the tent of meeting. 33 They are to eat those things by which atonement was made[jz] to consecrate and to set them apart, but no one else[ka] may eat them, for they are holy. 34 If any of the meat from the consecration offerings[kb] or any of the bread is left over[kc] until morning, then you are to burn up[kd] what is left over. It must not be eaten,[ke] because it is holy.
35 “Thus you are to do for Aaron and for his sons according to all that I have commanded you; you are to consecrate them[kf] for[kg] seven days. 36 Every day you are to prepare a bull for a purification offering[kh] for atonement.[ki] You are to purify[kj] the altar by[kk] making atonement for it, and you are to anoint it to set it apart as holy. 37 For seven days[kl] you are to make atonement for the altar and set it apart as holy. Then the altar will be most holy.[km] Anything that touches the altar will be holy.[kn]
38 “Now this is what you are to prepare[ko] on the altar every day continually: two lambs a year old. 39 The first lamb you are to prepare in the morning, and the second lamb you are to prepare around sundown.[kp] 40 With the first lamb offer a tenth of an ephah[kq] of fine flour mixed with a fourth of a hin[kr] of oil from pressed olives, and a fourth of a hin of wine as a drink offering. 41 The second lamb you are to offer around sundown; you are to prepare for it the same meal offering as for the morning and the same drink offering, for a soothing aroma, an offering made by fire to the Lord.
42 “This will be a regular[ks] burnt offering throughout your generations at the entrance of the tent of meeting before the Lord, where I will meet[kt] with you to speak to you there. 43 There I will meet[ku] with the Israelites, and it will be set apart as holy by my glory.[kv]
44 “So I will set apart as holy[kw] the tent of meeting and the altar, and I will set apart as holy Aaron and his sons that they may minister as priests to me. 45 I will reside[kx] among the Israelites, and I will be their God, 46 and they will know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out from the land of Egypt, so that I may reside among them. I am the Lord their God.
The Altar of Incense
30 [ky] “You are to make an altar for burning incense;[kz] you are to make it of[la] acacia wood.[lb] 2 Its length is to be 18 inches[lc] and its width 18 inches; it will be square. Its height is to be 36 inches,[ld] with its horns of one piece with it.[le] 3 You are to overlay it with pure gold—its top,[lf] its four walls,[lg] and its horns—and make a surrounding border of gold for it.[lh] 4 You are to make two gold rings for it under its border, on its two flanks; you are to make them on its two sides.[li] The rings[lj] will be places[lk] for poles to carry it with. 5 You are to make the poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold.
6 “You are to put it in front of the curtain that is before the ark of the testimony (before the atonement lid that is over the testimony), where I will meet you. 7 Aaron is to burn sweet incense[ll] on it morning by morning; when he attends to[lm] the lamps he is to burn incense.[ln] 8 When Aaron sets up the lamps around sundown he is to burn incense on it; it is to be a regular incense offering before the Lord throughout your generations. 9 You must not offer strange incense on it, nor burnt offering, nor meal offering, and you must not pour out a drink offering on it. 10 Aaron is to make atonement on its horns once in the year with some of the blood of the sin offering for atonement;[lo] once in the year[lp] he is to make atonement on it throughout your generations. It is most holy to the Lord.”[lq]
The Ransom Money
11 [lr] The Lord spoke to Moses,[ls] 12 “When you take a census[lt] of the Israelites according to their number,[lu] then each man is to pay a ransom[lv] for his life to the Lord when you number them,[lw] so that there will be no plague among them when you number them. 13 Everyone who crosses over to those who are numbered[lx] is to pay this: a half shekel[ly] according to the shekel of the sanctuary[lz] (a shekel weighs twenty gerahs). The half shekel is to be an offering[ma] to the Lord. 14 Everyone who crosses over to those numbered, from twenty years old and up, is to pay an offering to the Lord. 15 The rich are not to pay more and the poor are not to pay less than the half shekel when giving[mb] the offering of the Lord, to make atonement[mc] for your lives. 16 You are to receive the atonement money[md] from the Israelites and give it for the service[me] of the tent of meeting. It will be a memorial[mf] for the Israelites before the Lord, to make atonement[mg] for your lives.”
The Bronze Laver
17 [mh] The Lord spoke to Moses,[mi] 18 “You are also to make a large bronze[mj] basin with a bronze stand[mk] for washing. You are to put it between the tent of meeting and the altar and put water in it,[ml] 19 and Aaron and his sons must wash their hands and their feet from it.[mm] 20 When they enter[mn] the tent of meeting, they must wash with[mo] water so that they do not die.[mp] Also, when they approach[mq] the altar to minister by burning incense[mr] as an offering made by fire[ms] to the Lord, 21 they must wash[mt] their hands and their feet so that they do not die. And this[mu] will be a perpetual ordinance for them and for their descendants[mv] throughout their generations.”[mw]
Oil and Incense
22 [mx] The Lord spoke to Moses,[my] 23 “Take[mz] choice spices:[na] 12½ pounds[nb] of free-flowing myrrh,[nc] half that—about 6¼ pounds—of sweet-smelling cinnamon, 6¼ pounds of sweet-smelling cane, 24 and 12½ pounds of cassia, all weighed[nd] according to the sanctuary shekel, and four quarts[ne] of olive oil. 25 You are to make this[nf] into[ng] a sacred anointing oil, a perfumed compound,[nh] the work of a perfumer. It will be sacred anointing oil.
26 “With it you are to anoint the tent of meeting, the ark of the testimony, 27 the table and all its utensils, the lampstand and its utensils, the altar of incense, 28 the altar for the burnt offering and all its utensils, and the laver and its base. 29 So you are to sanctify them,[ni] and they will be most holy;[nj] anything that touches them will be holy.[nk]
30 “You are to anoint Aaron and his sons and[nl] sanctify them so that they may minister as my priests. 31 And you are to tell the Israelites: ‘This is to be my sacred anointing oil throughout your generations. 32 It must not be applied[nm] to people’s bodies, and you must not make any like it with the same recipe. It is holy, and it must be holy to you. 33 Whoever makes perfume like it and whoever puts any of it on someone not a priest[nn] will be cut off[no] from his people.’”
34 The Lord said to Moses, “Take[np] spices, gum resin,[nq] onycha,[nr] galbanum,[ns] and pure frankincense[nt] of equal amounts[nu] 35 and make it into an incense,[nv] a perfume,[nw] the work of a perfumer. It is to be finely ground,[nx] and pure and sacred. 36 You are to beat some of it very fine and put some of it before the ark of the testimony in the tent of meeting where I will meet with you; it is to be most holy to you. 37 And the incense that you are to make, you must not make for yourselves using the same recipe; it is to be most holy to you, belonging to the Lord. 38 Whoever makes anything like it, to use as perfume,[ny] will be cut off from his people.”
31 [nz] The Lord spoke to Moses,[oa] 2 “See, I have chosen[ob] Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 3 and I have filled him with the Spirit of God[oc] in skill,[od] in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of[oe] craftsmanship, 4 to make artistic designs[of] for work with gold, with silver, and with bronze, 5 and with cutting and setting stone, and with cutting wood, to work in all kinds of craftsmanship. 6 Moreover,[og] I have also given him Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, and I have given ability to all the specially skilled,[oh] that they may make[oi] everything I have commanded you: 7 the tent of meeting, the ark of the testimony, the atonement lid that is on it, all the furnishings[oj] of the tent, 8 the table with its utensils, the pure lampstand with all its utensils, the altar of incense, 9 the altar for the burnt offering with all its utensils, the large basin with its base, 10 the woven garments, the holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments for his sons, to minister as priests, 11 the anointing oil, and sweet incense for the Holy Place. They will make all these things just as I have commanded you.”
12 [ok] The Lord said to Moses,[ol] 13 “Tell the Israelites, ‘Surely you must keep my Sabbaths,[om] for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you.[on] 14 So you must keep the Sabbath, for it is holy for you. Everyone who defiles it[oo] must surely be put to death; indeed,[op] if anyone does[oq] any[or] work on it, then that person will be cut off from among his[os] people. 15 Six days[ot] work may be done,[ou] but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of complete rest,[ov] holy to the Lord; anyone who does work on the Sabbath day must surely be put to death. 16 The Israelites must keep the Sabbath by observing the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. 17 It is a sign between me and the Israelites forever; for in six days[ow] the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.’”[ox]
18 He gave Moses two tablets of testimony when he had finished speaking with him on Mount Sinai, tablets of stone written by the finger of God.[oy]
- Exodus 25:1 sn Now begin the detailed instructions for constructing the tabernacle of Yahweh, with all its furnishings. The first paragraph introduces the issue of the heavenly pattern for the construction, calls for the people to make willing offerings (vv. 2-7), and explains the purpose for these offerings (vv. 8-9). The message here is that God calls his people to offer of their substance willingly so that his sanctuary may be made.
- Exodus 25:2 tn The verb is וְיִקְחוּ (veyiqekhu), the Qal imperfect or jussive with vav; after the imperative “speak” this verb indicates the purpose or result: “speak…that they may take” and continues with the force of a command.
- Exodus 25:2 tn The “offering” (תְּרוּמָה, terumah) is perhaps better understood as a contribution since it was a freewill offering. There is some question about the etymology of the word. The traditional meaning of “heave-offering” derives from the idea of “elevation,” a root meaning “to be high” lying behind the word. B. Jacob says it is something sorted out of a mass of material and designated for a higher purpose (Exodus, 765). S. R. Driver (Exodus, 263) corrects the idea of “heave-offering” by relating the root to the Hiphil form of that root, herim, “to lift” or “take off.” He suggests the noun means “what is taken off” from a larger mass and so designated for sacred purposes. The LXX has “something taken off.”
- Exodus 25:2 tn The verb יִדְּבֶנּוּ (yiddevennu) is related to the word for the “freewill offering” (נְדָבָה, nedavah). The verb is used of volunteering for military campaigns (Judg 5:2, 9) and the willing offerings for both the first and second temples (see 1 Chr 29:5, 6, 9, 14, 17).
- Exodus 25:2 tn The pronoun is plural.
- Exodus 25:3 tn The pronoun is plural.
- Exodus 25:4 sn The blue refers to dye made from shellfish. It has a dark blue or purple-blue, almost violet color. No significance for the color is attached.
- Exodus 25:4 sn Likewise this color dye was imported from Phoenicia, where it was harvested from the shellfish or snail. It is a deep purple-red color.
- Exodus 25:4 sn This color is made from the eggs and bodies of the worm coccus ilicus, which is found with the holly plant—so Heb “worm of brilliance.” The powder made from the dried maggots produces a bright red-yellow color (W. C. Kaiser, Jr., “Exodus,” EBC 2:452). B. Jacob takes the view that these are not simply colors that are being introduced here, but fabrics dyed with these colors (Exodus, 765). At any rate, the sequence would then be metals, fabrics, and leathers (v. 5).
- Exodus 25:4 sn This is generally viewed as a fine Egyptian linen that had many more delicate strands than ordinary linen.
- Exodus 25:4 sn Goat’s hair was spun into yarn (35:26) and used to make the material for the first tent over the dwelling. It is ideal for tenting, since it is loosely woven and allows breezes to pass through, but with rain the fibers expand and prevent water from seeping through.
- Exodus 25:5 sn W. C. Kaiser compares this to morocco leather (“Exodus,” EBC 2:453); it was skin that had all the wool removed and then was prepared as leather and dyed red. N. M. Sarna, on the other hand, comments, “The technique of leather production is never described [in ancient Hebrew texts]. Hence, it is unclear whether Hebrew מְאָדָּמִים (meʾoddamim) literally ‘made red,’ refers to the tanning or dyeing process” (Exodus [JPSTC], 157).
- Exodus 25:5 tn The meaning of the word תְּחָשִׁים (tekhashim) is debated. The Arabic tuhas or duhas is a dolphin, and so some think a sea animal is meant—something like a dolphin or porpoise (cf. NASB; ASV “sealskins”; NIV “hides of sea cows”). Porpoises are common in the Red Sea; their skins are used for clothing by the bedouin. The word has also been connected to an Egyptian word for “leather” (ths); see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 265. Some variation of this is followed by NRSV (“fine leather”) and NLT (“fine goatskin leather”). Another suggestion connects this word to an Akkadian one that describes a precious stone that is yellow or orange and also leather dyed with the color of this stone (N. M. Sarna, Exodus [JPSTC], 157-58).
- Exodus 25:5 sn The wood of the acacia is darker and harder than oak, and so very durable.
- Exodus 25:8 tn The verb is a perfect with vav (ו) consecutive; it follows in the sequence initiated by the imperative in v. 2 and continues with the force of a command.
- Exodus 25:8 tn The word here is מִקְדּשׁ (miqdash), “a sanctuary” or “holy place”; cf. NLT “sacred residence.” The purpose of building it is to enable Yahweh to reside (וְשָׁכַנְתִּי, veshakhanti) in their midst. U. Cassuto reminds the reader that God did not need a place to dwell, but the Israelites needed a dwelling place for him, so that they would look to it and be reminded that he was in their midst (Exodus, 327).
- Exodus 25:9 tn The pronoun is singular.
- Exodus 25:9 sn The expression “the pattern of the tabernacle” (תַּבְנִית הַמִּשְׁכָּן, tavnit hammishkan) has been the source of much inquiry. The word rendered “pattern” is related to the verb “to build”; it suggests a model. S. R. Driver notes that in ancient literature there is the account of Gudea receiving in a dream a complete model of a temple he was to erect (Exodus, 267). In this passage Moses is being shown something on the mountain that should be the pattern of the earthly sanctuary. The most plausible explanation of what he was shown comes from a correlation with comments in the Letter to the Hebrews and the book of Revelation, which describe the heavenly sanctuary as the true sanctuary, and the earthly as the copy or shadow. One could say that Moses was allowed to see what John saw on the island of Patmos, a vision of the heavenly sanctuary. That still might not explain what it was, but it would mean he saw a revelation of the true tent, and that would imply that he learned of the spiritual and eternal significance of all of it. The fact that Israel’s sanctuary resembled those of other cultures does not nullify this act of revelation; rather, it raises the question of where the other nations got their ideas if it was not made known early in human history. One can conclude that in the beginning there was much more revealed to the parents in the garden than Scripture tells about (Cain and Abel did know how to make sacrifices before Leviticus legislated it). Likewise, one cannot but guess at the influence of the fallen Satan and his angels in the world of pagan religion. Whatever the source, at Sinai God shows the true, and instructs that it all be done without the pagan corruptions and additions. U. Cassuto notes that the existence of these ancient parallels shows that the section on the tabernacle need not be dated in the second temple period, but fits the earlier period well (Exodus, 324).
- Exodus 25:9 tn The pronoun is plural.
- Exodus 25:9 sn Among the many helpful studies on the tabernacle, include S. M. Fish, “And They Shall Build Me a Sanctuary,” Gratz College of Jewish Studies 2 (1973): 43-59; I. Hart, “Preaching on the Account of the Tabernacle,” EvQ 54 (1982): 111-16; D. Skinner, “Some Major Themes of Exodus,” Mid-America Theological Journal 1 (1977): 31-42; S. McEvenue, “The Style of Building Instructions,” Sem 4 (1974): 1-9; M. Ben-Uri, “The Mosaic Building Code,” Creation Research Society Quarterly 19 (1982): 36-39.
- Exodus 25:10 sn This section begins with the ark, the most sacred and important object of Israel’s worship. Verses 10-15 provide the instructions for it, v. 16 has the placement of the Law in it, vv. 17-21 cover the mercy lid, and v. 22 the meeting above it. The point of this item in the tabernacle is to underscore the focus: the covenant people must always have God’s holy standard before them as they draw near to worship. A study of this would focus on God’s nature (he is a God of order, precision, and perfection), on the usefulness of this item for worship, and on the typology intended.
- Exodus 25:10 tn The word “ark” has long been used by English translations to render אָרוֹן (ʾaron), the word used for the wooden “box,” or “chest,” made by Noah in which to escape the flood and by the Israelites to furnish the tabernacle.
- Exodus 25:10 tn The size is two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. The size is estimated on the assumption that the cubit is 18 inches (see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 267).
- Exodus 25:11 tn The verbs throughout here are perfect tenses with the vav (ו) consecutives. They are equal to the imperfect tense of instruction and/or injunction.
- Exodus 25:11 tn Here the verb is an imperfect tense; for the perfect sequence to work the verb would have to be at the front of the clause.
- Exodus 25:11 tn The word זֵר (zer) is used only in Exodus and seems to describe something on the order of a crown molding, an ornamental border running at the top of the chest on all four sides. There is no indication of its appearance or function.
- Exodus 25:16 sn The “testimony” is the Decalogue (Exod 24:12; 31:18; Deut 4:13; 9:9; 1 Kgs 8:9); the word identifies it as the witness or affirmation of God’s commandments belonging to his covenant with Israel. It expressed God’s will and man’s duty. In other cultures important documents were put at the feet of the gods in the temples.
- Exodus 25:17 tn The noun is כַּפֹּרֶת (kapporet), translated “atonement lid” or “atonement plate.” The traditional translation “mercy-seat” (so KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV) came from Tyndale in 1530 and was also used by Luther in 1523. The noun is formed from the word “to make atonement.” The item that the Israelites should make would be more than just a lid for the ark. It would be the place where atonement was signified. The translation of “covering” is probably incorrect, for it derives from a rare use of the verb, if the same verb at all (the evidence shows “cover” is from another root with the same letters as this). The value of this place was that Yahweh sat enthroned above it, and so the ark essentially was the “footstool.” Blood was applied to the lid of the box, for that was the place of atonement (see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 269-270).
- Exodus 25:17 tn After verbs of making or producing, the accusative (like “gold” here) may be used to express the material from which something is made (see GKC 371 §117.hh).
- Exodus 25:18 tn The evidence suggests that the cherubim were composite angelic creatures that always indicated the nearness of God. So here images of them were to be crafted and put on each end of the ark of the covenant to signify that they were there. Ezekiel 1 describes four cherubim as each having human faces, four wings, and parts of different animals for their bodies. Traditions of them appear in the other cultures as well. They serve to guard the holy places and to bear the throne of God. Here they were to be beaten out as part of the lid.
- Exodus 25:19 tn The text now shifts to use an imperative with the vav (ו) conjunction.
- Exodus 25:19 tn The use of זֶה (zeh) repeated here expresses the reciprocal ideas of “the one” and “the other” (see R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 26, §132).
- Exodus 25:19 sn The angels were to form one piece with the lid and not be separated. This could be translated “of one piece with” the lid, but it is likely the angels were simply fastened to it permanently.
- Exodus 25:20 tn The verb means “overshadowing, screening” in the sense of guarding (see 1 Kgs 8:7; 1 Chr 28:18; see also the account in Gen 3:24). The cherubim then signify two things here: by their outstretched wings they form the throne of God who sits above the ark (with the Law under his feet), and by their overshadowing and guarding they signify this as the place of atonement where people must find propitiation to commune with God. Until then they are barred from his presence. See U. Cassuto, Exodus, 330-35.
- Exodus 25:20 tn Heb “their faces a man to his brother.”
- Exodus 25:20 tn Heb “the faces of the cherubim will be” (“the cherubim” was moved to the preceding clause for smoother English).
- Exodus 25:22 sn Here then is the main point of the ark of the covenant, and the main point of all worship—meeting with God through atonement. The text makes it clear that here God would meet with Moses (“you” is singular) and then he would speak to the people—he is the mediator of the covenant. S. R. Driver (Exodus, 272) makes the point that the verb here is not the word that means “to meet by chance” (as in Exod 3:18), but “to meet” by appointment for a purpose (וְנוֹעַדְתִּי, venoʿadti). The parallel in the NT is Jesus Christ and his work. The theology is that the Law condemns people as guilty of sin, but the sacrifice of Christ makes atonement. So he is the “place of propitiation” (Rom 3:25) who gains communion with the Father for sinners. A major point that could be made from this section is this: At the center of worship must be the atoning work of Christ—a perpetual reminder of God’s righteous standard (the testimony in the ark) and God’s gracious provision (the atonement lid).
- Exodus 25:22 tn The verb is placed here in the text: “and I will speak”; it has been moved in this translation to be closer to the direct object clause.
- Exodus 25:23 sn The Table of the Bread of the Presence (Tyndale’s translation, “Shewbread,” was used in KJV and influenced ASV, NAB) was to be a standing acknowledgment that Yahweh was the giver of daily bread. It was called the “presence-bread” because it was set out in his presence. The theology of this is that God provides, and the practice of this is that the people must provide for constant thanks. So if the ark speaks of communion through atonement, the table speaks of dedicatory gratitude.
- Exodus 25:24 tn “Gold” is an adverbial accusative of material.
- Exodus 25:25 sn There is some debate as to the meaning of מִסְגֶּרֶת (misgeret). This does not seem to be a natural part of the table and its legs. The drawing on the Arch of Titus shows two cross-stays in the space between the legs, about halfway up. It might have been nearer the top, but the drawing of the table of presence-bread from the arch shows it half-way up. This frame was then decorated with the molding as well.
- Exodus 25:26 tn Heb “give.”
- Exodus 25:26 tn Heb “which [are] to four of its feet.”
- Exodus 25:27 tn Heb “houses”; NAB, NASB “holders.”
- Exodus 25:28 tn The verb is a Niphal perfect with vav consecutive, showing here the intended result: “so that [the table] might be lifted up [by them].” The noun “the table” is introduced by what looks like the sign of the accusative, but here it serves to introduce or emphasize the nominative (see GKC 365 §117.i).
- Exodus 25:29 tn Or “a deep gold dish.” The four nouns in this list are items associated with the table and its use.
- Exodus 25:29 tn Or “cups” (NAB, TEV).
- Exodus 25:29 tn The expression “for pouring out offerings” represents Hebrew אֲשֶׁר יֻסַּךְ בָּהֵן (ʾasher yussakh bahen). This literally says, “which it may be poured out with them,” or “with which [libations] may be poured out.”
- Exodus 25:30 sn The name basically means that the bread is to be set out in the presence of Yahweh. The custom of presenting bread on a table as a thank offering is common in other cultures as well. The bread here would be placed on the table as a symbol of the divine provision for the twelve tribes—continually, because they were to express their thanksgiving continually. Priests could eat the bread after certain times. Fresh bread would be put there regularly.
- Exodus 25:31 sn Clearly the point here is to provide light in the tent for access to God. He provided for his worshipers a light for the way to God, but he also wanted them to provide oil for the lamp to ensure that the light would not go out. Verses 31-36 describe the piece. It was essentially one central shaft, with three branches on either side turned out and upward. The stem and the branches were ornamented every so often with gold that was formed into the shape of the calyx and corolla of the almond flower. On top of the central shaft and the six branches were the lamps.
- Exodus 25:31 tn The word is מְנֹרָה (menorah)—here in construct to a following genitive of material. The main piece was one lampstand, but there were seven lamps on the shaft and its branches. See E. Goodenough, “The Menorah among the Jews of the Roman World,” HUCA 23 (1950/51): 449-92.
- Exodus 25:31 sn U. Cassuto (Exodus, 342-44) says that the description “the cups, knobs and flowers” is explained in vv. 32-36 as three decorations in the form of a cup, shaped like an almond blossom, to be made on one branch. Every cup will have two parts, (a) a knob, that is, the receptacle at the base of the blossom, and (b) a flower, which is called the corolla, so that each lamp rests on top of a flower.
- Exodus 25:31 tn Heb “will be from/of it”; the referent (“the same piece” of wrought metal) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Exodus 25:32 tn Heb “from the sides of it.”
- Exodus 25:32 tn Heb “from the second side.”
- Exodus 25:33 tn The text uses “one” again; “the one…the one” means “the one…and the next” in the distributive sense.
- Exodus 25:33 tn Heb “thus.”
- Exodus 25:35 tn For clarity the phrase “the first” has been supplied.
- Exodus 25:35 tn For clarity the phrase “the next” has been supplied.
- Exodus 25:35 tn For clarity the phrase “the third” has been supplied.
- Exodus 25:36 tn Heb “will be from it.”
- Exodus 25:37 tn The word for “lamps” is from the same root as the lampstand, of course. The word is נֵרוֹת (nerot). This probably refers to the small saucer-like pottery lamps that are made very simply with the rim pinched over to form a place to lay the wick. The bowl is then filled with olive oil as fuel.
- Exodus 25:37 tn The translation “set up on” is from the Hebrew verb “bring up.” The construction is impersonal, “and he will bring up,” meaning “one will bring up.” It may mean that people were to fix the lamps on to the shaft and the branches, rather than cause the light to go up (see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 277).
- Exodus 25:37 tn This is a Hiphil perfect with vav consecutive, from אוֹר (ʾor, “light”), and in the causative, “to light, give light.”
- Exodus 25:38 sn The first word refers to something like small tongs or tweezers used to pull up and trim the wicks; the second word refers to fire-pans or censers.
- Exodus 25:38 tn “are to be” has been supplied.
- Exodus 25:39 tn Heb “a talent.”
- Exodus 25:39 tn The text has “he will make it” or “one will make it.” With no expressed subject it is given a passive translation.
- Exodus 25:40 tn The text uses two imperatives: “see and make.” This can be interpreted as a verbal hendiadys, calling for Moses and Israel to see to it that they make these things correctly.
- Exodus 25:40 tn The participle is passive, “caused to see,” or, “shown.”
- Exodus 25:40 sn The message of this section surely concerns access to God. To expound this correctly, though, since it is an instruction section for building the lampstand, the message would be: God requires that his people ensure that light will guide the way of access to God. The breakdown for exposition could be the instructions for preparation for light (one lamp, several branches), then instructions for the purpose and maintenance of the lamps, and then the last verse telling the divine source for the instructions. Naturally, the metaphorical value of light will come up in the study, especially from the NT. So in the NT there is the warning that if churches are unfaithful God will remove their lampstand, their ministry (Rev 2-3).
- Exodus 26:1 sn This chapter is given over to the details of the structure itself, the curtains, coverings, boards and walls and veil. The passage can be studied on one level for its function both practically and symbolically for Israel’s worship. On another level it can be studied for its typology, for the tabernacle and many of its parts speak of Christ. For this one should see the commentaries.
- Exodus 26:1 tn The word order in Hebrew thrusts the direct object to the front for particular emphasis. After the first couple of pieces of furniture are treated (chap. 25), attention turns to the tabernacle itself.
- Exodus 26:1 tn This is for the adverbial accusative explaining how the dwelling place is to be made.
- Exodus 26:1 sn S. R. Driver suggests that the curtains were made with threads dyed with these colors (Exodus, 280). Perhaps the colored threads were used for embroidering the cherubim in the curtains.
- Exodus 26:1 tn The construction is difficult in this line because of the word order. “Cherubim” is an adverbial accusative explaining how they were to make the curtains. And מַעֲשֵׂה חֹשֵׁב (maʿaseh khoshev) means literally “work of a designer”; it is in apposition to “cherubim.” The Hebrew participle means “designer” or “deviser” so that one could render this “of artistic designs in weaving” (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 280-81). B. Jacob says that it refers to “artistic weavers” (Exodus, 789).
- Exodus 26:2 tn Heb “one” (so KJV).
- Exodus 26:2 tn Heb “28 cubits” long and “4 cubits” wide.
- Exodus 26:3 tn This is the active participle, not the passive. It would normally be rendered “joining together.” The Bible uses the active because it has the result of the sewing in mind, namely, that every curtain accompanies another (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 348).
- Exodus 26:3 tn Heb “a woman to her sister,” this form of using nouns to express “one to another” is selected because “curtains” is a feminine noun (see GKC 448 §139.e).
- Exodus 26:3 tn The phrase “the other” has been supplied.
- Exodus 26:4 tn Here “loops” has been supplied.
- Exodus 26:5 tn Heb “a woman to her sister.”
- Exodus 26:6 tn Heb “one”; KJV “it shall be one tabernacle”; NRSV “that the tabernacle may be one whole”; NLT “a single unit.”
- Exodus 26:7 sn This chapter will show that there were two sets of curtains and two sets of coverings that went over the wood building to make the tabernacle or dwelling place. The curtains of fine linen described above could be seen only by the priests from inside. Above that was the curtain of goats’ hair. Then over that were the coverings, an inner covering of rams’ skins dyed red and an outer covering of hides of fine leather. The movement is from the inside to the outside because it is God’s dwelling place; the approach of the worshiper would be the opposite. The pure linen represented the righteousness of God, guarded by the embroidered cherubim; the curtain of goats’ hair was a reminder of sin through the daily sin offering of a goat; the covering of rams’ skins dyed red was a reminder of the sacrifice and the priestly ministry set apart by blood, and the outer covering marked the separation between God and the world. These are the interpretations set forth by Kaiser; others vary, but not greatly (see W. C. Kaiser, Jr., “Exodus,” EBC 2:459).
- Exodus 26:7 sn This curtain will serve “for a tent over the tabernacle,” as a dwelling place.
- Exodus 26:7 tn Heb “you will make them”
- Exodus 26:8 tn Heb “one”
- Exodus 26:9 sn The text seems to describe this part as being in front of the tabernacle, hanging down to form a valence at the entrance (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 284).
- Exodus 26:11 tn Heb “one”
- Exodus 26:12 sn U. Cassuto (Exodus, 353) cites b. Shabbat 98b which says, “What did the tabernacle resemble? A woman walking on the street with her train trailing behind her.” In the expression “the half of the curtain that remains,” the verb agrees in gender with the genitive near it.
- Exodus 26:13 tn Literally “cubit.”
- Exodus 26:13 sn U. Cassuto states the following: “To the north and to the south, since the tent curtains were 30 cubits long, there were 10 cubits left over on each side; these covered the 9 cubits of the curtains of the tabernacle and also the bottom cubit of the boards, which the tabernacle curtains did not suffice to cover. It is to this that v. 13 refers” (Exodus, 353).
- Exodus 26:14 sn Two outer coverings made of stronger materials will be put over the tent and the curtain, the two inner layers.
- Exodus 26:14 tn See the note on this phrase in Exod 25:5.
- Exodus 26:15 tn There is debate whether the word הַקְּרָשִׁים (haqqerashim) means “boards” (KJV, ASV, NAB, NASB) or “frames” (NIV, NCV, NRSV, TEV) or “planks” (see Ezek 27:6) or “beams,” given the size of them. The literature on this includes M. Haran, “The Priestly Image of the Tabernacle,” HUCA 36 (1965): 192; B. A. Levine, “The Description of the Tabernacle Texts of the Pentateuch,” JAOS 85 (1965): 307-18; J. Morgenstern, “The Ark, the Ephod, and the Tent,” HUCA 17 (1942/43): 153-265; 18 (1943/44): 1-52.
- Exodus 26:15 tn “Wood” is an adverbial accusative.
- Exodus 26:15 tn The plural participle “standing” refers to how these items will be situated; they will be vertical rather than horizontal (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 354).
- Exodus 26:16 tn Heb “the frame.”
- Exodus 26:17 sn Heb “hands,” the reference is probably to projections that served as stays or supports. They may have been tenons, or pegs, projecting from the bottom of the frames to hold the frames in their sockets (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 286).
- Exodus 26:17 tn Or “being joined each to the other.”
- Exodus 26:18 tn Heb “on the south side southward.”
- Exodus 26:19 tn The clause is repeated to show the distributive sense; it literally says, “and two bases under the one frame for its two projections.”
- Exodus 26:22 tn Or “westward” (toward the sea).
- Exodus 26:23 sn The term rendered “corners” is “an architectural term for some kind of special corner structure. Here it seems to involve two extra supports, one at each corner of the western wall” (N. M. Sarna, Exodus [JPSTC], 170).
- Exodus 26:24 tn Heb “they will be for the two corners.” This is the last clause of the verse, moved forward for clarity.
- Exodus 26:28 sn These bars served as reinforcements to hold the upright frames together. The Hebrew term for these bars is also used of crossbars on gates (Judg 16:3; Neh 3:3).
- Exodus 26:30 tn The noun is מִשְׁפָּט (mishpat), often translated “judgment” or “decision” in other contexts. In those settings it may reflect its basic idea of custom, which here would be reflected with a rendering of “prescribed norm” or “plan.”
- Exodus 26:31 tn Although translated “curtain” (traditionally “veil,” so ASV, NAB, NASB) this is a different word from the one used earlier of the tent curtains, so “special curtain” is used. The word פָּרֹכֶת (parokhet) seems to be connected with a verb that means “to shut off” and was used with a shrine. This curtain would form a barrier in the approach to God (see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 289).
- Exodus 26:31 tn The verb is the third masculine singular form, but no subject is expressed. It could be translated “one will make” or as a passive. The verb means “to make,” but probably has the sense of embroidering both here and in v. 1.
- Exodus 26:32 tn Heb “put it.”
- Exodus 26:32 tn This clause simply says “and their hooks gold,” but is taken as a circumstantial clause telling how the veil will be hung.
- Exodus 26:32 tn Heb “on four silver bases.”
- Exodus 26:33 tn The traditional expression is “within the veil,” literally “into the house (or area) of the (special) curtain.”
- Exodus 26:33 tn Or “the Holy of Holies.”
- Exodus 26:36 sn This was another curtain, serving as a screen in the entrance way. Since it was far away from the special curtain screening the Most Holy Place, it was less elaborate. It was not the work of the master designer, but of the “embroiderer,” and it did not have the cherubim on it.
- Exodus 26:36 tn The word רֹקֵם (roqem) refers to someone who made cloth with colors. It is not certain, however, whether the colors were woven into the fabric on the loom or applied with a needle; so “embroiderer” should be understood as an approximation (cf. HALOT 1290-91 s.v. רקם).
- Exodus 26:37 tn “will be” has been supplied.
- Exodus 26:37 sn In all the details of this chapter the expositor should pay attention to the overall message rather than engage in speculation concerning the symbolism of the details. It is, after all, the divine instruction for the preparation of the dwelling place for Yahweh. The point could be said this way: The dwelling place of Yahweh must be prepared in accordance with, and by the power of, his divine word. If God was to fellowship with his people, then the center of worship had to be made to his specifications, which were in harmony with his nature. Everything was functional for the approach to God through the ritual by divine provisions. But everything also reflected the nature of God, the symmetry, the order, the pure wood, the gold overlay, or (closer to God) the solid gold. And the symbolism of the light, the table, the veil, the cherubim—all of it was revelatory. All of it reflected the reality in heaven. Churches today do not retain the pattern and furnishings of the old tabernacle. However, they would do well to learn what God was requiring of Israel, so that their structures are planned in accordance with the theology of worship and the theology of access to God. Function is a big part, but symbolism and revelation instruct the planning of everything to be used. Christians live in the light of the fulfillment of Christ, and so they know the realities that the old foreshadowed. While a building is not necessary for worship (just as Israel worshiped in places other than the sanctuary), it is practical, and if there is going to be one, then the most should be made of it in the teaching and worshiping of the assembly. This chapter, then, provides an inspiration for believers on preparing a functional, symbolical, ordered place of worship that is in harmony with the word of God. And there is much to be said for making it as beautiful and uplifting as is possible—as a gift of freewill offering to God. Of course, the most important part of preparing a place of worship is the preparing of the heart. Worship, to be acceptable to God, must be in Christ. He said that when the temple was destroyed he would raise it up in three days. While he referred to his own body, he also alluded to the temple by the figure. When they put Jesus to death, they were destroying the temple; at his resurrection he would indeed begin a new form of worship. He is the tent, the curtain, the atonement, that the sanctuary foreshadowed. And then, believers also (when they receive Christ) become the temple of the Lord. So the NT will take the imagery and teaching of this chapter in a number of useful ways that call for more study. This does not, however, involve allegorization of the individual tabernacle parts.
- Exodus 27:1 tn The article on this word identifies this as the altar, meaning the main high altar on which the sacrifices would be made.
- Exodus 27:1 tn The dimensions are 5 cubits by 5 cubits by 3 cubits high.
- Exodus 27:1 tn Heb “four”; this refers to four sides. S. R. Driver says this is an archaism that means there were four equal sides (Exodus, 291).
- Exodus 27:1 tn Heb “and 3 cubits its height.”
- Exodus 27:2 sn The horns of the altar were indispensable—they were the most sacred part. Blood was put on them; fugitives could cling to them, and the priests would grab the horns of the little altar when making intercessory prayer. They signified power, as horns on an animal did in the wild (and so the word was used for kings as well). The horns may also represent the sacrificial animals killed on the altar.
- Exodus 27:2 sn The text, as before, uses the prepositional phrase “from it” or “part of it” to say that the horns will be part of the altar—of the same piece as the altar. They were not to be made separately and then attached, but made at the end of the boards used to build the altar (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 363).
- Exodus 27:3 sn The word is literally “its fat,” but sometimes it describes “fatty ashes” (TEV “the greasy ashes”). The fat would run down and mix with the ashes, and this had to be collected and removed.
- Exodus 27:3 sn This was the larger bowl used in tossing the blood at the side of the altar.
- Exodus 27:3 tn The text has “to all its vessels.” This is the lamed (ל) of inclusion according to Gesenius, meaning “all its utensils” (GKC 458 §143.e).
- Exodus 27:4 tn The noun מִכְבָּר (mikhbar) means “a grating”; it is related to the word that means a “sieve.” This formed a vertical support for the ledge, resting on the ground and supporting its outer edge (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 292).
- Exodus 27:5 tn The verb is the verb “to be,” here the perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive. It is “and it will be” or “that it may be,” or here “that it may come” halfway up.
- Exodus 27:5 tn Heb “to the half of the altar.”
- Exodus 27:7 tn The verb is a Hophal perfect with vav consecutive: וְהוּבָא (vehuvaʾ, “and it will be brought”). The particle אֶת (ʾet) here introduces the subject of the passive verb (see a similar use in 21:28, “and its flesh will not be eaten”).
- Exodus 27:7 tn The construction is the infinitive construct with the preposition ב (bet): “in carrying it.” Here the meaning must be that the poles are not left in the rings, but only put into the rings when they carried it.
- Exodus 27:8 tn The verb is used impersonally; it reads “just as he showed you.” This form then can be made a passive in the translation.
- Exodus 27:8 tn Heb “thus they will make.” Here too it could be given a passive translation since the subject is not expressed. But “they” would normally refer to the people who will be making this and so can be retained in the translation.sn Nothing is said about the top of the altar. Some commentators suggest, in view of the previous instruction for making an altar out of earth and stone, that when this one was to be used it would be filled up with dirt clods and the animal burnt on the top of that. If the animal was burnt inside it, the wood would quickly burn. A number of recent scholars think this was simply an imagined plan to make a portable altar after the pattern of Solomon’s—but that is an unsatisfactory suggestion. This construction must simply represent a portable frame for the altar in the courtyard, an improvement over the field altar. The purpose and function of the altar are not in question. Here worshipers would make their sacrifices to God in order to find forgiveness and atonement, and in order to celebrate in worship with him. No one could worship God apart from this; no one could approach God apart from this. So too the truths that this altar communicated form the basis and center of all Christian worship. One could word an applicable lesson this way: Believers must ensure that the foundation and center of their worship is the altar, i.e., the sacrificial atonement.
- Exodus 27:9 tn Or “enclosure” (TEV).
- Exodus 27:9 tn Heb “south side southward.”
- Exodus 27:9 tn Or “curtains.”
- Exodus 27:9 sn The entire courtyard of 150 feet by 75 feet was to be enclosed by a curtain wall held up with posts in bases. All these hangings were kept in place by a cord and tent pegs.
- Exodus 27:10 tn Heb “and.”
- Exodus 27:11 tn Heb “and thus.”
- Exodus 27:11 tn Here the phrase “there will be” has been supplied.
- Exodus 27:11 sn These bands have been thought by some to refer to connecting rods joining the tops of the posts. But it is more likely that they are bands or bind rings surrounding the posts at the base of the capitals (see 38:17).
- Exodus 27:14 tn The word literally means “shoulder.” The next words, “of the gate,” have been supplied here and in v. 15. The east end would contain the courtyard’s entry with a wall of curtains on each side of the entry (see v. 16).
- Exodus 27:14 tn Here “will be” has been supplied.
- Exodus 27:15 tn Heb “shoulder.”
- Exodus 27:15 tn Here the phrase “there will be” has been supplied.
- Exodus 27:17 tn The text uses the passive participle here: they are to “be filleted with silver” or “bound round” with silver.
- Exodus 27:17 tn Here the phrase “are to be” has been supplied.
- Exodus 27:18 tn Heb “100 cubits.”
- Exodus 27:18 tn Heb “fifty.” The text has “and the width 50 [cubits] with 50.” This means that it is 50 cubits wide on the western end and 50 cubits wide on the eastern end.
- Exodus 27:18 tn Here “hangings” has been supplied.
- Exodus 27:18 tn Here the phrase “is to be” has been supplied.
- Exodus 27:19 tn Heb “to all”; for use of the preposition ל (lamed) to show inclusion (“all belonging to”) see GKC 458 §143.e.
- Exodus 27:19 tn Here “used” has been supplied.
- Exodus 27:19 sn The tabernacle is an important aspect of OT theology. The writer’s pattern so far has been: ark, table, lamp, and then their container (the tabernacle); then the altar and its container (the courtyard). The courtyard is the place of worship where the people could gather—they entered God’s courts. Though the courtyard may not seem of much interest to current readers, it did interest the Israelites. Here the sacrifices were made, the choirs sang, the believers offered their praises, they had their sins forgiven, they came to pray, they appeared on the holy days, and they heard from God. It was sacred because God met them there; they left the “world” (figuratively speaking) and came into the very presence of God.
- Exodus 27:20 tn The form is the imperfect tense with the vav showing a sequence with the first verb: “you will command…that they take.” The verb “take, receive” is used here as before for receiving an offering and bringing it to the sanctuary.
- Exodus 27:20 tn Heb “lamp,” which must be a collective singular here.
- Exodus 27:20 tn The verb is unusual; it is the Hiphil infinitive construct of עָלָה (ʿalah), with the sense here of “to set up” to burn, or “to fix on” as in Exod 25:37, or “to kindle” (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 370).
- Exodus 27:20 sn The word can mean “continually,” but in this context, as well as in the passages on the sacrifices, “regularly” is better, since each morning things were cleaned and restored.
- Exodus 27:21 tn The LXX has mistakenly rendered this name “the tent of the testimony.”
- Exodus 27:21 tn Or “covenant,” or “treaty.”
- Exodus 27:21 sn The lamps were to be removed in the morning so that the wicks could be trimmed and the oil replenished (30:7) and then lit every evening to burn through the night.
- Exodus 27:21 sn This is the first of several sections of priestly duties. The point is a simple one here: those who lead the worship use the offerings of the people to ensure that access to God is illumined regularly. The NT will make much of the symbolism of light.
- Exodus 28:1 sn Some modern scholars find this and the next chapter too elaborate for the wilderness experience. To most of them this reflects the later Zadokite priesthood of the writer’s (P’s) day that was referred to Mosaic legislation for authentication. But there is no compelling reason why this should be late; it is put late because it is assumed to be P, and that is assumed to be late. But both assumptions are unwarranted. This lengthy chapter could be divided this way: instructions for preparing the garments (1-5), details of the apparel (6-39), and a warning against deviating from these (40-43). The subject matter of the first part is that God requires that his chosen ministers reflect his holy nature; the point of the second part is that God requires his ministers to be prepared to fulfill the tasks of the ministry, and the subject matter of the third part is that God warns all his ministers to safeguard the holiness of their service.
- Exodus 28:1 tn The verb is the Hiphil imperative of the root קָרַב (qarav, “to draw near”). In the present stem the word has religious significance, namely, to present something to God, like an offering.
- Exodus 28:1 tn This entire clause is a translation of the Hebrew לְכַהֲנוֹ־לִי (lekhahano li, “that he might be a priest to me”), but the form is unusual. The word means “to be a priest” or “to act as a priest.” The etymology of the word for priest, כֹּהֵן (kohen), is uncertain.
- Exodus 28:2 sn The genitive “holiness” is the attribute for “garments”—“garments of holiness.” The point of the word “holy” is that these garments would be distinctive from ordinary garments, for they set Aaron apart to sanctuary service and ministry.
- Exodus 28:2 tn The expression is לְכָבוֹד וּלְתִפְאָרֶת (lekhavod uletifʾaret, “for glory and for beauty”). W. C. Kaiser (“Exodus,” EBC 2:465), quoting the NIV’s “to give him dignity and honor,” says that these clothes were to exalt the office of the high priest as well as beautify the worship of God (which explains more of what the text has than the NIV rendering). The meaning of the word “glory” has much to do with the importance of the office, to be sure, but in Exodus the word has been used also for the brilliance of the presence of Yahweh, and so the magnificence of these garments might indeed strike the worshiper with the sense of the exaltation of the service.
- Exodus 28:3 tn Heb “And you, you will speak to.”
- Exodus 28:3 tn Heb “wise of heart.” The word for “wise” (חַכְמֵי, khakhme, the plural construct form) is from the word group that is usually translated “wisdom, wise, be wise,” but it has as its basic meaning “skill” or “skillful.” This is the way it is used in 31:3, 6 and 35:10 etc. God gave these people “wisdom” so that they would know how to make these things. The “heart” for the Hebrews is the locus of understanding, the mind and the will. To be “wise of heart” or “wise in heart” means that they had the understanding to do skillful work, they were talented artisans and artists.
- Exodus 28:3 sn There is no necessity to take this as a reference to the Holy Spirit who produces wisdom in these people, although that is not totally impossible. A number of English versions (e.g., NAB, NIV, NCV, NRSV, TEV, CEV, NLT) do not even translate the word “spirit.” It probably refers to their attitude and ability. U. Cassuto has “to all the artisans skilled in the making of stately robes, in the heart [i.e., mind] of each of whom I have implanted sagacity in his craft so that he may do his craft successfully” (Exodus, 371).
- Exodus 28:3 tn The form is the perfect tense with the vav (ו) consecutive; after the instruction to speak to the wise, this verb, equal to an imperfect, will have the force of purpose.
- Exodus 28:3 tn Or “to sanctify him” (ASV) or “to consecrate him” (KJV, NASB, NRSV). It is the garments that will set Aaron apart, or sanctify him, not the workers. The expression could be taken to mean “for his consecration” (NIV) since the investiture is part of his being set apart for service.
- Exodus 28:4 sn The breastpiece seems to have been a pouch of sorts or to have had a pocket, since it was folded in some way (28:16; 39:9) and contained the Urim and Thummim (Exod 28:30; Lev 8:8).
- Exodus 28:4 sn The word “ephod” is taken over directly from Hebrew, because no one knows how to translate it, nor is there agreement about its design. It refers here to a garment worn by the priests, but the word can also refer to some kind of image for a god (Judg 8:27).
- Exodus 28:4 tn The word תַּשְׁבֵּץ (tashbets), which describes the tunic and which appears only in this verse, is related to a verb (also rare) of the same root in 28:39 that describes making the tunic. Their meaning is uncertain (see the extended discussion in C. Houtman, Exodus, 3:473-75). A related noun describes gold fasteners and the “settings,” or “mountings,” for precious stones (28:11, 13, 14, 20, 25; 36:18; 39:6, 13, 16, 18; cf. Ps 45:14). The word “fitted” in 28:4 reflects the possibility that “the tunic is to be shaped by sewing,…so that it will fit tightly around the body” (C. Houtman, Exodus, 3:475).
- Exodus 28:5 tn Heb “and they.” The word “artisans” is supplied as the referent of the pronoun, a connection that is clearer in Hebrew than in English.
- Exodus 28:5 tn Heb “receive” or “take.”
- Exodus 28:7 tn Here the Pual perfect with the vav (ו) consecutive provides the purpose clause (equal to a final imperfect); the form follows the use of the active participle, “attached” or more Heb “joining.”
- Exodus 28:8 tn This is the rendering of the word חֵשֶׁב (kheshev), cognate to the word translated “designer” in v. 6. Since the entire ephod was of the same material, and this was of the same piece, it is unclear why this is singled out as “artistically woven.” Perhaps the word is from another root that just describes the item as a “band.” Whatever the connection, this band was to be of the same material, and the same piece, as the ephod, but perhaps a different pattern (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 301). It is this sash that attaches the ephod to the priest’s body, that is, at the upper border of the ephod and clasped together at the back.
- Exodus 28:8 tn Heb “from it” but meaning “of one [the same] piece”; the phrase “the ephod” has been supplied.
- Exodus 28:9 tn Although this is normally translated “Israelites,” here a more literal translation is clearer because it refers to the names of the twelve tribes—the actual sons of Israel.
- Exodus 28:10 tn This is in apposition to the direct object of the verb “engrave.” It further defines how the names were to be engraved—six on one and the other six on the other.
- Exodus 28:10 tn Heb “according to their begettings” (the major word in the book of Genesis). What is meant is that the names would be listed in the order of their ages.
- Exodus 28:11 sn Expert stone or gem engravers were used to engrave designs and names in identification seals of various sizes. It was work that skilled artisans did.
- Exodus 28:11 tn Or “you will mount them” (NRSV similar).
- Exodus 28:11 tn Or “rosettes,” shield-like frames for the stones. The Hebrew word means “to plait, checker.”
- Exodus 28:12 sn This was to be a perpetual reminder that the priest ministers on behalf of the twelve tribes of Israel. Their names would always be borne by the priests.
- Exodus 28:15 tn Heb “a breastpiece of decision” (חֹשֶׁן מִשְׁפָּט, khoshen mishpat; so NAB). The first word, rendered “breastpiece,” is of uncertain etymology. This item was made of material similar to the ephod. It had four rows of three gems on it, bearing the names of the tribes. In it were the urim and thummim. J. P. Hyatt refers to a similar object found in the Egyptian reliefs, including even the twisted gold chains used to hang it from the priest (Exodus [NCBC], 282).
- Exodus 28:16 tn Heb “four.”
- Exodus 28:16 tn “when” is added for clarification (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 375).
- Exodus 28:16 tn The word זֶרֶת (zeret) is half a cubit; it is often translated “span.”
- Exodus 28:20 sn U. Cassuto (Exodus, 375-76) points out that these are the same precious stones mentioned in Ezek 28:13 that were to be found in Eden, the garden of God. So the priest, when making atonement, was to wear the precious gems that were there and symbolized the garden of Eden when man was free from sin.
- Exodus 28:21 tn For clarity the words “the number of” have been supplied.
- Exodus 28:21 tn The phrase translated “the engravings of a seal” is an adverbial accusative of manner here.
- Exodus 28:23 tn Heb “give, put.”
- Exodus 28:23 tn Here “upper” has been supplied.
- Exodus 28:25 tn Here “the other” has been supplied.
- Exodus 28:25 tn Here “them” has been supplied.
- Exodus 28:26 tn Here “other” has been supplied.
- Exodus 28:27 tn Here “more” has been supplied.
- Exodus 28:29 sn So Aaron will have the names of the tribes on his shoulders (v. 12) which bear the weight and symbol of office (see Isa 9:6; 22:22), and over his heart (implying that they have a constant place in his thoughts [Deut 6:6]). Thus he was to enter the presence of God as the nation’s representative, ever mindful of the nation’s interests, and ever bringing the remembrance of it before God (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 306).
- Exodus 28:30 sn The Urim and the Thummim were two objects intended for determining the divine will. There is no clear evidence of their size or shape or the material of which they were made, but they seem to have been familiar items to Moses and the people. The best example of their use comes from 1 Sam 14:36-42. Some have suggested from the etymologies that they were light and dark objects respectively, perhaps stones or sticks or some other object. They seem to have fallen out of use after the Davidic period when the prophetic oracles became popular. It may be that the title “breastpiece of judgment” indicates that these objects were used for making “decisions” (J. P. Hyatt, Exodus [NCBC], 283-84). U. Cassuto has the most thorough treatment of the subject (Exodus, 378-82); he lists several very clear rules for their uses gathered from their instances in the Bible, including that they were a form of sacred lot, that priests or leaders of the people only could use them, and that they were used for discovering the divine will in areas that were beyond human knowledge.
- Exodus 28:30 tn Or “judgment” (KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV). The term is מִשְׁפָּט (mishpat), the same word that describes the breastpiece that held the two objects. Here it is translated “decisions” since the Urim and Thummim contained in the breastpiece represented the means by which the Lord made decisions for the Israelites. The high priest bore the responsibility of discerning the divine will on matters of national importance.
- Exodus 28:31 tn The מְעִיל (meʿil), according to S. R. Driver (Exodus, 307), is a long robe worn over the ephod, perhaps open down the front, with sleeves. It is made of finer material than ordinary cloaks because it was to be worn by people in positions of rank.
- Exodus 28:32 tn Heb “mouth” or “opening” (פִּי, pi; in construct).
- Exodus 28:32 tn The “mouth of its head” probably means its neck; it may be rendered “the opening for the head,” except the pronominal suffix would have to refer to Aaron, and that is not immediately within the context.
- Exodus 28:32 tn Or “woven work” (KJV, ASV, NASB), that is, “the work of a weaver.” The expression suggests that the weaving was from the fabric edges itself and not something woven and then added to the robe. It was obviously intended to keep the opening from fraying.
- Exodus 28:32 tn The expression כְּפִי תַחְרָא (kefi takhraʾ) is difficult. It was early rendered “like the opening of a coat of mail.” It occurs only here and in the parallel 39:23. Tg. Onq. has “coat of mail.” S. R. Driver suggests “a linen corselet,” after the Greek (Exodus, 308). See J. Cohen, “A Samaritan Authentication of the Rabbinic Interpretation of kephi tahraʾ,” VT 24 (1974): 361-66.
- Exodus 28:32 tn The verb is the Niphal imperfect, here given the nuance of potential imperfect. Here it serves in a final clause (purpose/result), introduced only by the negative (see GKC 503-4 §165.a).
- Exodus 28:33 sn This must mean round balls of yarn that looked like pomegranates. The fruit was very common in the land, but there is no indication of the reason for its choice here. Pomegranates are found in decorative schemes in Ugarit, probably as signs of fertility. It may be that here they represent the blessing of God on Israel in the land. The bells that are between them possibly have the intent of drawing God’s attention as the priest moves and the bells jingle (anthropomorphic, to be sure), or that the people would know that the priest was still alive and moving inside. Some have suggested that the pomegranate may have recalled the forbidden fruit eaten in the garden (the gems already have referred to the garden), the reason for the priest entering for atonement, and the bells would divert the eye (of God) to remind him of the need. This is possible but far from supportable, since nothing is said of the reason, nor is the fruit in the garden identified.
- Exodus 28:33 tn The text repeats the idea: “you will make for its hem…all around its hem.”
- Exodus 28:34 tn The words “the pattern is to be” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied in the translation for clarity and for stylistic reasons.
- Exodus 28:35 tn Heb “it”; the referent (the robe) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Exodus 28:35 tn The form is a Piel infinitive construct with the preposition ל (lamed): “to minister” or “to serve.” It may be taken epexegetically here, “while serving,” although S. R. Driver takes it as a purpose, “in order that he may minister” (Exodus, 308). The point then would be that he dare not enter into the Holy Place without wearing it.
- Exodus 28:35 sn God would hear the bells and be reminded that this priest was in his presence representing the nation and that the priest had followed the rules of the sanctuary by wearing the appropriate robes with their attachments.
- Exodus 28:36 tn The word צִּיץ (tsits) seems to mean “a shining thing” and so here a plate of metal. It originally meant “flower,” but they could not write on a flower. So it must have the sense of something worn openly, visible, and shining. The Rabbinic tradition says it was two fingers wide and stretched from ear to ear, but this is an attempt to give details that the Law does not give (see B. Jacob, Exodus, 818).
- Exodus 28:36 tn Heb “the engravings of a seal”; this phrase is an adverbial accusative of manner.
- Exodus 28:36 sn The engraving was a perpetual reminder of the holiness that was due the Lord (Heb “Yahweh”), that all the clothing, the furnishings, and the activities were to come under that description. This corresponded to the symbolism for the whole nation of binding the law between the eyes. It was to be a perpetual reminder of commitment.
- Exodus 28:37 tn The verb is the perfect tense with the vav (ו) consecutive; it follows the same at the beginning of the verse. Since the first verb is equal to the imperfect of instruction, this could be as well, but it is more likely to be subordinated to express the purpose of the former.
- Exodus 28:37 tn Heb “it will be,” an instruction imperfect.
- Exodus 28:38 tn The construction “the iniquity of the holy things” is difficult. “Holy things” is explained in the passage by all the gifts the people bring and consecrate to Yahweh. But there will inevitably be iniquity involved. U. Cassuto explains that Aaron “will atone for all the transgressions committed in connection with the order of the service, the purity of the consecrated things, or the use of the holy gifts, for the declaration engraved on the plate will prove that everything was intended to be holy to the Lord, and if aught was done irregularly, the intention at least was good” (Exodus, 385).
- Exodus 28:38 tn The clause reads: “according to/by all the gifts of their holiness.” The genitive is an attributive genitive, the suffix on it referring to the whole bound construction—“their holy gifts.” The idea of the line is that the people will consecrate as holy things gifts they bring to the sanctuary.
- Exodus 28:38 tn This clause is the infinitive construct with the preposition ל (lamed), followed by the prepositional phrase: “for acceptance for them.” This infinitive provides the purpose or result of the act of wearing the dedicatory frontlet—that they will be acceptable.
- Exodus 28:39 tn It is difficult to know how to translate וְשִׁבַּצְתָּ (veshibbatsta); it is a Piel perfect with the vav (ו) consecutive, and so equal to the imperfect of instruction. Some have thought that this verb describes a type of weaving and that the root may indicate that the cloth had something of a pattern to it by means of alternate weaving of the threads. It was the work of a weaver (39:27) and not so detailed as certain other fabrics (26:1), but it was more than plain weaving (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 310). Here, however, it may be that the fabric is assumed to be in existence and that the action has to do with sewing (C. Houtman, Exodus, 3:475, 517).
- Exodus 28:40 sn This refers to a band of linen wrapped around the head, forming something like a brimless convex cap, resembling something like a half egg. It refers to the headgear of ordinary priests only (see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 310-11).
- Exodus 28:41 sn The instructions in this verse anticipate chap. 29, as well as the ordination ceremony described in Lev 8 and 9. The anointing of Aaron is specifically required in the Law, for he is to be the High Priest. The expression “ordain them” might also be translated as “install them” or “consecrate them”; it literally reads “and fill their hands,” an expression for the consecration offering for priesthood in Lev 8:33. The final instruction to sanctify them will involve the ritual of the atoning sacrifices to make the priests acceptable in the sanctuary.
- Exodus 28:41 tn Heb “fill their hand.” As a result of this installation ceremony they will be officially designated for the work. It seems likely that the concept derives from the notion of putting the priestly responsibilities under their control (i.e., “filling their hands” with work). See note on the phrase “ordained seven days” in Lev 8:33.
- Exodus 28:41 tn Traditionally “sanctify them” (KJV, ASV).
- Exodus 28:42 tn Heb “naked flesh” (so NAB, NRSV); KJV “nakedness.”
- Exodus 28:42 tn Heb “be.”
- Exodus 28:43 tn The construction for this temporal clause is the infinitive construct with the temporal preposition ב (bet) and the suffixed subjective genitive.
- Exodus 28:43 tn This construction is also the temporal clause with the infinitive construct and the temporal preposition ב (bet) and the suffixed subjective genitive.
- Exodus 28:43 tn The text has וְלאֹ־יִשְׂאוּ עָוֹן וָמֵתוּ (veloʾ yiseʾu ʿavon vametu). The imperfect tense here introduces a final clause, yielding a purpose or result translation (“in order that” or “so that”). The last verb is the perfect tense with the vav consecutive, and so it too is equal to a final imperfect—but it would show the result of bearing the iniquity. The idea is that if they approached the holy things with a lack of modesty, perhaps like the pagans who have nakedness and sexuality as part of the religious ritual, they would pollute the holy things, and it would be reckoned to them for iniquity and they would die.
- Exodus 28:43 tn Heb “seed.”
- Exodus 28:43 sn So the priests were to make intercession for the people, give decisions from God’s revealed will, enter his presence in purity, and represent holiness to Yahweh. The clothing of the priests provided for these functions, but in a way that brought honor and dignity. A priest was, therefore, to serve in purity, holiness, and fear (Malachi). There is much that can be derived from this chapter to form principles of spiritual leadership, but the overall point can be worded this way: Those whom God selects to minister to the congregation through intercessory prayer, divine counsel, and sacrificial worship, must always represent the holiness of Yahweh in their activities and demeanor.
- Exodus 29:1 sn Chap. 29 is a rather long, involved discussion of the consecration of Aaron the priest. It is similar to the ordination service in Lev 8. In fact, the execution of what is instructed here is narrated there. But these instructions must have been formulated after or in conjunction with Lev 1-7, for they presuppose a knowledge of the sacrifices. The bulk of the chapter is the consecration of the priests: 1-35. It has the preparation (1-3), washing (4), investiture and anointing (5-9), sin offering (10-14), burnt offering (15-18), installation peace offering (19-26, 31-34), other offerings’ rulings (27-30), and the duration of the ritual (35). Then there is the consecration of the altar (36-37), and the oblations (38-46). There are many possibilities for the study and exposition of this material. The whole chapter is the consecration of tabernacle, altar, people, and most of all the priests. God was beginning the holy operations with sacral ritual. So the overall message would be: Everyone who ministers, everyone who worships, and everything they use in the presence of Yahweh, must be set apart to God by the cleansing, enabling, and sanctifying work of God.
- Exodus 29:1 tn Heb “the thing.”
- Exodus 29:1 tn Literally: “take one bull, a ‘son’ of the herd.”
- Exodus 29:1 tn The word תָּמִים (tamim) means “perfect.” The animals could not have diseases or be crippled or blind (see Mal 1). The requirement was designed to ensure that the people would give the best they had to Yahweh. The typology pointed to the sinless Messiah who would fulfill all these sacrifices in his one sacrifice on the cross.
- Exodus 29:2 sn This will be for the minkhah (מִנְחָה) offering (Lev 2), which was to accompany the animal sacrifices.
- Exodus 29:2 tn Or “anointed” (KJV, ASV).
- Exodus 29:2 tn The “fine flour” is here an adverbial accusative, explaining the material from which these items were made. The flour is to be finely sifted, and from the wheat, not the barley, which was often the material used by the poor. Fine flour, no leaven, and perfect animals, without blemishes, were to be gathered for this service.
- Exodus 29:3 tn The verb קָרַב (qarav) in the Hiphil means to “bring near” to the altar, or, to offer something to God. These gifts will, therefore, be offered to him for the service of this ritual.
- Exodus 29:3 tn Heb “and with.”
- Exodus 29:4 tn Here too the verb is Hiphil (now imperfect) meaning “bring near” the altar. The choice of this verb indicates that they were not merely being brought near, but that they were being formally presented to Yahweh as the offerings were.
- Exodus 29:4 sn This is the washing referred to in Lev 8:6. This is a complete washing, not just of the hands and feet that would follow in the course of service. It had to serve as a symbolic ritual cleansing or purifying as the initial stage in the consecration. The imagery of washing will be used in the NT for regeneration (Titus 3:5).
- Exodus 29:5 tn The Hiphil of לָבַשׁ (lavash, “to clothe”) will take double accusatives; so the sign of the accusative is with Aaron, and then with the articles of clothing. The translation will have to treat Aaron as the direct object and the articles as indirect objects, because Aaron receives the prominence in the verse—you will clothe Aaron.
- Exodus 29:5 tn The verb used in this last clause is a denominative verb from the word for ephod. And so “ephod the ephod on him” means “fasten as an ephod the ephod on him” (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 316).
- Exodus 29:6 sn This term does not appear in chap. 28, but it can only refer to the plate with the inscription on it that was tied to the turban. Here it is called a “holy diadem,” a diadem that is distinctly set apart for this service. All the clothing was described as “holy garments,” and so they were all meant to mark the separation of the priests to this holy service. The items of clothing were each intended for different aspects of ministry, and so this step in the consecration was designed to symbolize being set apart for those duties, or, prepared (gifted) to perform the ministry.
- Exodus 29:7 sn The act of anointing was meant to set him apart for this holy service within the house of Yahweh. The psalms indicate that no oil was spared in this ritual, for it ran down his beard and to the hem of his garment. Oil of anointing was used for all major offices (giving the label with the passive adjective “mashiakh” (or “messiah”) to anyone anointed. In the further revelation of Scripture, the oil came to signify the enablement as well as the setting apart, and often the Holy Spirit came on the person at the anointing with oil. The olive oil was a symbol of the Spirit in the OT as well (Zech 4:4-6). And in the NT “anointing” signifies empowerment by the Holy Spirit for service.
- Exodus 29:9 tc Hebrew has both the objective pronoun “them” and the names “Aaron and his sons.” Neither the LXX nor Leviticus 8:13 has “Aaron and his sons,” suggesting that this may have been a later gloss in the text.
- Exodus 29:9 tn Heb “and you will fill the hand” and so “consecrate” or “ordain.” The verb draws together the individual acts of the process.
- Exodus 29:10 tn The verb is singular, agreeing with the first of the compound subject—Aaron.
- Exodus 29:10 sn The details of these offerings have to be determined from a careful study of Leviticus. There is a good deal of debate over the meaning of laying hands on the animals. At the very least it identifies the animal formally as their sacrifice. But it may very well indicate that the animal is a substitute for them as well, given the nature and the effect of the sacrifices.
- Exodus 29:12 sn This act seems to have signified the efficacious nature of the blood, since the horns represented power. This is part of the ritual of the sin offering for laity, because before the priests become priests they are treated as laity. The offering is better described as a purification offering rather than a sin offering, because it was offered, according to Leviticus, for both sins and impurities. Moreover, it was offered primarily to purify the sanctuary so that the once-defiled or sinful person could enter (see J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB]).
- Exodus 29:12 tn The phrase “rest of” has been supplied in the translation for clarification.
- Exodus 29:13 tn S. R. Driver suggests that this is the appendix or an appendix, both here and in v. 22 (Exodus, 320). “The surplus, the appendage of liver, found with cow, sheep, or goat, but not with humans: Lobus caudatus” (HALOT 453 s.v. יֹתֶרֶת).
- Exodus 29:13 tn Heb “turn [them] into sweet smoke” since the word is used for burning incense.sn The giving of the visceral organs and the fat has received various explanations. The fat represented the best, and the best was to go to God. If the animal is a substitute, then the visceral organs represent the will of the worshiper in an act of surrender to God.
- Exodus 29:14 tn Heb “burn with fire.”
- Exodus 29:14 sn This is to be done because there is no priesthood yet. Once they are installed, then the sin/purification offering is to be eaten by the officiating priests as a sign that the offering was received. But priests could not consume their own sin offering.
- Exodus 29:14 sn There were two kinds of “purification offering,” those made with confession for sin and those made without. The title needs to cover both of them, and if it is called in the traditional way “the sin offering,” that will convey that when people offered it for skin diseases, menstruation, or having babies, they had sinned. That was not the case. Moreover, it is usual to translate the names of the sacrifices by what they do more than what they cover—so peace offering, reparation offering, and purification offering.
- Exodus 29:18 tn Heb “turn to sweet smoke.”
- Exodus 29:18 sn According to Lev 1 the burnt offering (often called whole burnt offering, except that the skins were usually given to the priests for income) was an atoning sacrifice. By consuming the entire animal, God was indicating that he had completely accepted the worshiper, and as it was a sweet smelling fire sacrifice, he was indicating that he was pleased to accept it. By offering the entire animal, the worshiper was indicating on his part a complete surrender to God.
- Exodus 29:18 tn The word אִשֶּׁה (ʾisheh) has traditionally been translated “an offering made with fire” or the like, because it appears so obviously connected with fire. But further evidence from Ugaritic suggests that it might only mean “a gift” (see Milgrom, Leviticus 1-16, 161).
- Exodus 29:18 sn These sections show that the priest had to be purified or cleansed from defilement of sin and also be atoned for and accepted by the Lord through the blood of the sacrifice. The principles from these two sacrifices should be basic to anyone seeking to serve God.
- Exodus 29:20 sn By this ritual the priests were set apart completely to the service of God. The ear represented the organ of hearing (as in “ears you have dug” in Ps 40 or “awakens my ear” in Isa 50), and this had to be set apart to God so that they could hear the Word of God. The thumb and the hand represented the instrument to be used for all ministry, and so everything that they “put their hand to” had to be dedicated to God and appropriate for his service. The toe set the foot apart to God, meaning that the walk of the priest had to be consecrated—where he went, how he conducted himself, what life he lived, all belonged to God now.
- Exodus 29:21 tn Here “it” has been supplied.
- Exodus 29:21 tn The verb in this instance is Qal and not Piel, “to be holy” rather than “sanctify.” The result of all this ritual is that Aaron and his sons will be set aside and distinct in their life and their service.
- Exodus 29:22 tn S. R. Driver suggests that this is the appendix or an appendix, both here and in v. 13 (Exodus, 320). “The surplus, the appendage of liver, found with cow, sheep, or goat, but not with humans: Lobus caudatus” (HALOT 453 s.v. יֹתֶרֶת).
- Exodus 29:22 tn Heb “filling.”
- Exodus 29:24 tn Heb “the whole” or “the all.”
- Exodus 29:24 tn Heb “palms.”
- Exodus 29:24 tn The “wave offering” is תְּנוּפָה (tenufah); it is, of course, cognate with the verb, but an adverbial accusative rather than the direct object. In Lev 23 this seems to be a sacrificial gesture of things that are for the priests—but they present them first to Yahweh and then receive them back from him. So the waving is not side to side, but forward to Yahweh and then back to the priest. Here it is just an induction into that routine, since this is the ordination of the priests and the gifts are not yet theirs. So this will all be burned on the altar.
- Exodus 29:25 tn “turn to sweet smoke.”
- Exodus 29:25 tn “them” has been supplied.
- Exodus 29:27 sn These are the two special priestly offerings: the wave offering (from the verb “to wave”) and the “presentation offering” (older English: heave offering; from a verb “to be high,” in Hiphil meaning “to lift up,” an item separated from the offering, a contribution). The two are then clarified with two corresponding relative clauses containing two Hophals: “which was waved and which was presented.” In making sacrifices, the breast and the thigh belong to the priests.
- Exodus 29:29 tn The construction is an infinitive construct with the preposition ל (lamed). The form simply means “for anointing,” but it serves to express the purpose or result of their inheriting the sacred garments.
- Exodus 29:29 tn This form is a Piel infinitive construct with the preposition ל (lamed). It literally reads “for filling the hands,” the idiom used throughout this chapter for ordination or installation. Here too it has a parallel use of purpose or result.
- Exodus 29:30 tn Heb “after him”; NCV, NLT “after Aaron.”
- Exodus 29:30 tn The text just has the relative pronoun and the imperfect tense. It could be translated “who comes/enters.” But the context seems to indicate that this would be when he first comes to the tent to begin his tenure as High Priest, and so a temporal clause makes this clear. “First” has been supplied.
- Exodus 29:30 tn “Seven days” is an adverbial accusative of time. The ritual of ordination is to be repeated for seven days, and so they are to remain there in the court in full dress.
- Exodus 29:31 tn Or “boil” (see Lev 8:31).
- Exodus 29:31 sn The “holy place” must be in the courtyard of the sanctuary. Lev 8:31 says it is to be cooked at the entrance of the tent of meeting. Here it says it will be eaten there as well. This, then, becomes a communion sacrifice, a peace offering which was a shared meal. Eating a communal meal in a holy place was meant to signify that the worshipers and the priests were at peace with God.
- Exodus 29:33 tn The clause is a relative clause modifying “those things,” the direct object of the verb “eat.” The relative clause has a resumptive pronoun: “which atonement was made by them” becomes “by which atonement was made.” The verb is a Pual perfect of כִּפֵּר (kipper, “to expiate, atone, pacify”).
- Exodus 29:33 tn The Hebrew word is “stranger, alien” (זָר, zar). But in this context it means anyone who is not a priest (see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 324).
- Exodus 29:34 tn Or “ordination offerings” (Heb “fillings”).
- Exodus 29:34 tn The verb in the conditional clause is a Niphal imperfect of יָתַר (yatar); this verb is repeated in the next clause (as a Niphal participle) as the direct object of the verb “you will burn” (a Qal perfect with a vav [ו] consecutive to form the instruction).
- Exodus 29:34 tn Heb “burn with fire.”
- Exodus 29:34 tn The verb is a Niphal imperfect negated. It expresses the prohibition against eating this, but in the passive voice: “it will not be eaten,” or stronger, “it must not be eaten.”
- Exodus 29:35 tn Heb “you will fill their hand.”
- Exodus 29:35 tn The “seven days” is the adverbial accusative explaining that the ritual of the filling should continue daily for a week. Leviticus makes it clear that they are not to leave the sanctuary.
- Exodus 29:36 tn The construction uses a genitive: “a bull of the sin offering,” which means, a bull that is designated for a sin (or better, purification) offering.
- Exodus 29:36 sn It is difficult to understand how this verse is to be harmonized with the other passages. The ceremony in the earlier passages deals with atonement made for the priests, for people. But here it is the altar that is being sanctified. The “sin [purification] offering” seems to be for purification of the sanctuary and altar to receive people in their worship.
- Exodus 29:36 tn The verb is וְחִטֵּאתָ (vehitteʾta), a Piel perfect of the word usually translated “to sin.” Here it may be interpreted as a privative Piel (as in Ps 51:7 ), with the sense of “un-sin” or “remove sin.” It could also be interpreted as related to the word for “sin offering,” and so be a denominative verb. It means “to purify, cleanse.” The Hebrews understood that sin and contamination could corrupt and pollute even nonliving things, and so they had to be purified.
- Exodus 29:36 tn The preposition ב (bet) on the infinitive is understood as instrumental here (NIV, NLT), though the construction is frequently temporal (KJV, NRSV, NASB, ESV). If it were temporal without being instrumental, then it would imply that some other action is performed to purge the altar when making atonement for it.
- Exodus 29:37 tn Once again this is an adverbial accusative of time. Each day for seven days the ritual at the altar is to be followed.
- Exodus 29:37 tn The construction is the superlative genitive: “holy of holies,” or “most holy.”
- Exodus 29:37 sn This line states an unusual principle, meant to preserve the sanctity of the altar. S. R. Driver explains it this way (Exodus, 325): If anything comes in contact with the altar, it becomes holy and must remain in the sanctuary for Yahweh’s use. If a person touches the altar, he likewise becomes holy and cannot return to the profane regions. He will be given over to God to be dealt with as God pleases. Anyone who was not qualified to touch the altar did not dare approach it, for contact would have meant that he was no longer free to leave but was God’s holy possession—and might pay for it with his life (see Exod 30:29; Lev 6:18b, 27; Ezek 46:20).
- Exodus 29:38 tn The verb is “you will do,” “you will make.” It clearly refers to offering the animals on the altar, but may emphasize all the preparation that was involved in the process.
- Exodus 29:39 tn Heb “between the two evenings” or “between the two settings” (בֵּין הָעַרְבָּיִם, ben haʿarbayim). This expression has had a good deal of discussion. (1) Tg. Onq. says “between the two suns,” which the Talmud explains as the time between the sunset and the time the stars become visible. More technically, the first “evening” would be the time between sunset and the appearance of the crescent moon, and the second “evening” the next hour, or from the appearance of the crescent moon to full darkness (see Deut 16:6 “at the going down of the sun”). (2) Saadia, Rashi, and Kimchi say the first evening is when the sun begins to decline in the west and cast its shadows, and the second evening is the beginning of night. (3) The view adopted by the Pharisees and the Talmudists (b. Pesahim 61a) is that the first evening is when the heat of the sun begins to decrease, and the second evening begins at sunset, or, roughly from 3-5 p.m. The Mishnah (m. Pesahim 5:1) indicates the lamb was killed about 2:30 p.m.—anything before noon was not valid. S. R. Driver concludes from this survey that the first view is probably the best, although the last view was the traditionally accepted one (Exodus, 89-90). Late afternoon or early evening seems to be intended, the time of twilight perhaps.
- Exodus 29:40 tn The phrase “of an ephah” has been supplied for clarity (cf. Num 28:5). The ephah was a commonly used dry measure whose capacity is now uncertain: “Quotations given for the ephah vary from ca. 45 to 20 liters” (C. Houtman, Exodus, 2:340-41).
- Exodus 29:40 tn “Hin” is a transliterated Hebrew word that seems to have an Egyptian derivation. The amount of liquid measured by a hin is uncertain: “Its presumed capacity varies from about 3,5 liters to 7,5 liters” (C. Houtman, Exodus, 3:550).
- Exodus 29:42 tn The translation has “regular” instead of “continually,” because they will be preparing this twice a day.
- Exodus 29:42 tn The relative clause identifies the place in front of the Tent as the place that Yahweh would meet Moses. The main verb of the clause is אִוָּעֵד (ʾivvaʿed), a Niphal imperfect of the verb יָעַד (yaʿad), the verb that is cognate to the name “tent of meeting”—hence the name. This clause leads into the next four verses.
- Exodus 29:43 tn The verb now is a Niphal perfect from the same root, with a vav (ו) consecutive. It simply continues the preceding verb, announcing now that he would meet the people.
- Exodus 29:43 tn Or “will be sanctified by my glory” (KJV and ASV both similar).sn The tabernacle, as well as the priests and the altar, will be sanctified by the power of Yahweh’s presence. The reference here is to when Yahweh enters the sanctuary in all his glory (see Exod 40:34f.).
- Exodus 29:44 tn This verse affirms the same point as the last, but now with an active verb: “I will set apart as holy” (or “I will sanctify”). This verse, then, probably introduces the conclusion of the chapter: “So I will….”
- Exodus 29:45 tn The verb has the root שָׁכַן (shakan), from which came the word for the dwelling place, or sanctuary, itself (מִשְׁכָּן, mishkan). It is also used for the description of “the Shekinah glory.” God is affirming that he will reside in the midst of his people.
- Exodus 30:1 sn Why this section has been held until now is a mystery. One would have expected to find it with the instructions for the other furnishings. The widespread contemporary view that it was composed later does not answer the question, it merely moves the issue to the work of an editor rather than the author. N. M. Sarna notes concerning the items in chapter 30 that “all the materials for these final items were anticipated in the list of invited donations in 25:3-6” and that they were not needed for installing Aaron and his sons (Exodus [JPSTC], 193). Verses 1-10 can be divided into three sections: the instructions for building the incense altar (1-5), its placement (6), and its proper use (7-10).
- Exodus 30:1 tn The expression is מִזְבֵּחַ מִקְטַר קְטֹרֶת (mizbeakh miqtar qetoret), either “an altar, namely an altar of incense,” or “an altar, [for] burning incense.” The second noun is “altar of incense,” although some suggest it is an active noun meaning “burning.” If the former, then it is in apposition to the word for “altar” (which is not in construct). The last noun is “incense” or “sweet smoke.” It either qualifies the “altar of incense” or serves as the object of the active noun. B. Jacob says that in order to designate that this altar be used only for incense, the Torah prepared the second word for this passage alone. It specifies the kind of altar this is (Exodus, 828).
- Exodus 30:1 tn This is an adverbial accusative explaining the material used in building the altar.
- Exodus 30:1 sn See M. Haran, “The Uses of Incense in Ancient Israel Ritual,” VT 10 (1960): 113-15; N. Glueck, “Incense Altars,” Translating and Understanding the Old Testament, 325-29.
- Exodus 30:2 tn Heb “a cubit.”
- Exodus 30:2 tn Heb “2 cubits.”
- Exodus 30:2 tn Heb “its horns from it.”
- Exodus 30:3 tn Heb “roof.”
- Exodus 30:3 tn Heb “its walls around.”
- Exodus 30:3 tn Heb “and make for it border gold around.” The verb is a consecutive perfect. See Exod 25:11, where the ark also has such a molding.
- Exodus 30:4 sn Since it was a small altar, it needed only two rings, one on either side, in order to be carried. The second clause clarifies that the rings should be on the sides, the right and the left, as you approach the altar.
- Exodus 30:4 tn Heb “And it”; this refers to the rings collectively in their placement on the box, and so the word “rings” has been used to clarify the referent for the modern reader.
- Exodus 30:4 tn Heb “for houses.”
- Exodus 30:7 tn The text uses a cognate accusative (“incense”) with the verb “to burn” or “to make into incense/sweet smoke.” Then, the noun “sweet spices” is added in apposition to clarify the incense as sweet.
- Exodus 30:7 tn The Hebrew is בְּהֵיטִיבוֹ (behetivo), a Hiphil infinitive construct serving in a temporal clause. The Hebrew verb means “to make good” and so in this context “to fix” or “to dress.” This refers to cleansing and trimming the lamps.
- Exodus 30:7 sn The point of the little golden altar of incense is normally for intercessory prayer, and then at the Day of Atonement for blood applied atonement. The instructions for making it show that God wanted his people to make a place for prayer. The instructions for its use show that God expects that the requests of his people will be pleasing to him.
- Exodus 30:10 tn The word “atonements” (plural in Hebrew) is a genitive showing the result or product of the sacrifice made.
- Exodus 30:10 sn This ruling presupposes that the instruction for the Day of Atonement has been given, or at the very least, are to be given shortly. That is the one day of the year that all sin and all ritual impurity would be removed.
- Exodus 30:10 sn The phrase “most holy to the Lord” means that the altar cannot be used for any other purpose than what is stated here.
- Exodus 30:11 sn This brief section has been interpreted a number of ways by biblical scholars (for a good survey and discussion, see B. Jacob, Exodus, 829-35). In this context the danger of erecting and caring for a sanctuary may have been in view. A census would be taken to count the losses and to cover the danger of coming into such proximity with the holy place; payment was made to ransom the lives of the people numbered so that they would not die. The money collected would then be used for the care of the sanctuary. The principle was fairly straightforward: Those numbered among the redeemed of the Lord were to support the work of the Lord to maintain their fellowship with the covenant. The passage is fairly easy to outline: I. Every covenant member must give a ransom for his life to avoid death (11-12); II. The ransom is the same for all, whether rich or poor (13-15); and III. The ransom money supports the sanctuary as a memorial for the ransomed (16).
- Exodus 30:11 tn Heb “and Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying.” This full means for introducing a quotation from the Lord is used again in 30:17, 22; 31:1; and 40:1. It appears first in 6:10. Cynthia L. Miller discusses its use in detail (The Representation of Speech in Biblical Hebrew Narrative, 373-86).
- Exodus 30:12 tn The expression is “when you take [lift up] the sum [head] of the Israelites.”
- Exodus 30:12 tn The form is לִפְקֻדֵיהֶם (lifqudehem, “according to those that are numbered of/by them”) from the verb פָּקַד (paqad, “to visit”). But the idea of this word seems more to be that of changing or determining the destiny, and so “appoint” and “number” become clear categories of meaning for the word. Here it simply refers to the census, but when this word is used for a census it often involves mustering an army for a military purpose. Here there is no indication of a war, but it may be laying down the principle that when they should do this, here is the price. B. Jacob (Exodus, 835) uses Num 31 as a good illustration, showing that the warrior was essentially a murderer, if he killed anyone in battle. For this reason his blood was forfeit; if he survived he must pay a כֹּפֶר (kofer) because every human life possesses value and must be atoned for. The payment during the census represented a “presumptive ransom” so that they could not be faulted for what they might do in war.
- Exodus 30:12 tn The “ransom” is כֹּפֶר (kofer), a word related to words translated “atone” and “atonement.” Here the noun refers to what is paid for the life. The idea is that of delivering or redeeming by a substitute—here the substitute is the money. If they paid the amount, their lives would be safe (W. C. Kaiser, Jr., “Exodus,” EBC 2:473).
- Exodus 30:12 tn The temporal clause uses a preposition, an infinitive construct, and then an accusative. The subject is supplied: “in numbering them” means “when [you] number them.” The verb could also be rendered “when you muster them.”
- Exodus 30:13 sn Each man was to pass in front of the counting officer and join those already counted on the other side.
- Exodus 30:13 sn The half shekel weight of silver would be about one-fifth of an ounce (6 grams).
- Exodus 30:13 sn It appears that some standard is in view for the amount of a shekel weight. The sanctuary shekel is sometimes considered to be twice the value of the ordinary shekel. The “gerah,” also of uncertain meaning, was mentioned as a reference point for the ancient reader to understand the value of the required payment. It may also be that the expression meant “a sacred shekel” and looked at the purpose more—a shekel for sanctuary dues. This would mean that the standard of the shekel weight was set because it was the traditional amount of sacred dues (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 333). “Though there is no certainty, the shekel is said to weigh about 11,5 grams…. Whether an official standard is meant [by ‘sanctuary shekel’] or whether the sanctuary shekel had a different weight than the ‘ordinary’ shekel is not known” (C. Houtman, Exodus, 3:181).
- Exodus 30:13 tn Or “contribution” (תְּרוּמָה, terumah).
- Exodus 30:15 tn The form is לָתֵת (latet), the Qal infinitive construct with the lamed preposition. The infinitive here is explaining the preceding verbs. They are not to increase or diminish the amount “in paying the offering.” The construction approximates a temporal clause.
- Exodus 30:15 tn This infinitive construct (לְכַפֵּר, lekhapper) provides the purpose of giving the offering—to atone.
- Exodus 30:16 tn Heb “the silver of the atonements.” The genitive here is the result (as in “sheep of slaughter”) telling what the money will be used for (see R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 11, §44).
- Exodus 30:16 sn The idea of “service” is maintenance and care of the sanctuary and its service, meaning the morning and evening sacrifices and the other elements to be used.
- Exodus 30:16 sn S. R. Driver says this is “to keep Jehovah in continual remembrance of the ransom which had been paid for their lives” (Exodus, 334).
- Exodus 30:16 tn The infinitive could be taken in a couple of ways here. It could be an epexegetical infinitive: “making atonement.” Or it could be the infinitive expressing result: “so that atonement will be made for your lives.”
- Exodus 30:17 sn Another piece of furniture is now introduced, the laver, or washing basin. It was a round (the root means to be round) basin for holding water, but it had to be up on a pedestal or base to let water run out (through taps of some kind) for the priests to wash—they could not simply dip dirty hands into the basin. This was for the priests primarily to wash their hands and feet before entering the tent. It stood in the courtyard between the altar and the tent. No dimensions are given. The passage can be divided into three sections: the instructions (17-18), the rules for washing (19-20), and the reminder that this is a perpetual statute.
- Exodus 30:17 tn Heb “and Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying.”
- Exodus 30:18 sn The metal for this object was obtained from the women from their mirrors (see Exod 38:8).
- Exodus 30:18 tn Heb “and its stand bronze.”
- Exodus 30:18 tn The form is the adverb “there” with the directive qamets-he.
- Exodus 30:19 tn That is, from water from it.
- Exodus 30:20 tn The form is an infinitive construct with the temporal preposition ב (bet), and a suffixed subjective genitive: “in their going in,” or, whenever they enter.
- Exodus 30:20 tn “Water” is an adverbial accusative of means, and so is translated “with water.” Gesenius classifies this with verbs of “covering with something.” But he prefers to emend the text with a preposition (see GKC 369 §117.y, n. 1).
- Exodus 30:20 tn The verb is a Qal imperfect with a nuance of final imperfect. The purpose/result clause here is indicated only with the conjunction: “and they do not die.” But clearly from the context this is the intended result of their washing—it is in order that they not die.
- Exodus 30:20 tn Here, too, the infinitive is used in a temporal clause construction. The verb נָגַשׁ (nagash) is the common verb used for drawing near to the altar to make offerings—the official duties of the priest.
- Exodus 30:20 tn The text uses two infinitives construct: “to minister to burn incense”; the first is the general term and expresses the purpose of the drawing near, and the second infinitive is epexegetical, explaining the first infinitive.
- Exodus 30:20 tn The translation “as an offering made by fire” is a standard rendering of the one word in the text that appears to refer to “fire.” Milgrom and others contend that it simply means a “gift” (Leviticus 1-16, 161).
- Exodus 30:21 tn Heb “and [then] they will wash.”
- Exodus 30:21 tn The verb is “it will be.”
- Exodus 30:21 tn Heb “for his seed.”
- Exodus 30:21 tn Or “for generations to come”; it literally is “to their generations.”sn The symbolic meaning of washing has been taught throughout the ages. This was a practical matter of cleaning hands and feet, but it was also symbolic of purification before Yahweh. It was an outward sign of inner spiritual cleansing, or forgiveness. Jesus washed the disciples feet (Jn 13) to show this same teaching; he asked the disciples if they knew what he had done (so it was more than washing feet). In this passage the theological points for the outline would be these: I. God provides the means of cleansing; II. Cleansing is a prerequisite for participating in the worship, and III. (Believers) priests must regularly appropriate God’s provision of cleansing.
- Exodus 30:22 sn The chapter ends with these two sections. The oil (22-33) is the mark of consecration, and the incense (34-38) is a mark of pleasing service, especially in prayer. So the essence of the message of the chapter is that the servants of God must be set apart by the Spirit for ministry and must be pleasing to God in the ministry.
- Exodus 30:22 tn Heb “and Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying.”
- Exodus 30:23 tn The construction uses the imperative “take,” but before it is the independent pronoun to add emphasis to it. After the imperative is the ethical dative (lit. “to you”) to stress the task to Moses as a personal responsibility: “and you, take to yourself.”
- Exodus 30:23 tn Heb “spices head.” This must mean the chief spices, or perhaps the top spice, meaning fine spices or choice spices. See Song 4:14; Ezek 27:22.
- Exodus 30:23 tn Or “500 shekels.” Verse 24 specifies that the sanctuary shekel was the unit for weighing the spices. The total of 1500 shekels for the four spices is estimated at between 77 and 100 pounds, or 17 to 22 kilograms, depending on how much a shekel weighed (C. Houtman, Exodus, 3:576).
- Exodus 30:23 sn Myrrh is an aromatic substance that flows from the bark of certain trees in Arabia and Africa and then hardens. “The hardened globules of the gum appear also to have been ground into a powder that would have been easy to store and would have been poured from a container” (J. Durham, Exodus [WBC], 3:406).
- Exodus 30:24 tn The words “all weighed” are added for clarity in English.
- Exodus 30:24 tn Or “a hin.” A hin of oil is estimated at around one gallon (J. Durham, Exodus [WBC], 3:406).
- Exodus 30:25 tn Heb “it.”
- Exodus 30:25 tn The word “oil” is an adverbial accusative, indicating the product that results from the verb (R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, §52).
- Exodus 30:25 tn The somewhat rare words rendered “a perfumed compound” are both associated with a verbal root having to do with mixing spices and other ingredients to make fragrant ointments. They are used with the next phrase, “the work of a perfumer,” to describe the finished oil as a special mixture of aromatic spices and one requiring the knowledge and skills of an experienced maker.
- Exodus 30:29 tn The verb is a Piel perfect with vav (ו) consecutive; in this verse it is summarizing or explaining what the anointing has accomplished. This is the effect of the anointing (see Exod 29:36).
- Exodus 30:29 tn This is the superlative genitive again, Heb “holy of holies.”
- Exodus 30:29 tn See Exod 29:37; as before, this could refer to anything or anyone touching the sanctified items.
- Exodus 30:30 tn The perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive follows the imperfect of instruction; it may be equal to the instruction, but more likely shows the purpose or result of the act.
- Exodus 30:32 tn Without an expressed subject, the verb may be treated as a passive. Any common use, as in personal hygiene, would be a complete desecration.
- Exodus 30:33 tn Heb “a stranger,” meaning someone not ordained a priest.
- Exodus 30:33 sn The rabbinic interpretation of this is that it is a penalty imposed by heaven, that the life will be cut short and the person could die childless.
- Exodus 30:34 tn The construction is “take to you,” which could be left in that literal sense, but more likely the suffix is an ethical dative, stressing the subject of the imperative.
- Exodus 30:34 sn This is from a word that means “to drip”; the spice is a balsam that drips from a resinous tree.
- Exodus 30:34 sn This may be a plant, or it may be from a species of mollusks; it is mentioned in Ugaritic and Akkadian; it gives a pungent odor when burnt.
- Exodus 30:34 sn This is a gum from plants of the genus Ferula; it has an unpleasant odor, but when mixed with others is pleasant.
- Exodus 30:34 tn The word “spice” is repeated here, suggesting that the first three formed half of the ingredients and this spice the other half—but this is conjecture (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 400).
- Exodus 30:34 tn Heb “of each part there will be an equal part.”
- Exodus 30:35 tn This is an accusative of result or product.
- Exodus 30:35 tn The word is in apposition to “incense,” further defining the kind of incense that is to be made.
- Exodus 30:35 tn The word מְמֻלָּח (memullakh), a passive participle, is usually taken to mean “salted.” Since there is no meaning like that for the Pual form, the word probably should be taken as “mixed,” as in Rashi and Tg. Onq. Seasoning with salt would work if it were food, but since it is not food, if it means “salted” it would be a symbol of what was sound and whole for the covenant. Some have thought that it would have helped the incense burn quickly with more smoke.
- Exodus 30:38 tn Or to smell it, to use for the maker’s own pleasure.
- Exodus 31:1 sn The next unit describes the preparation of skilled workers to build all that has been listed now for several chapters. This chapter would have been the bridge to the building of the sanctuary (35-39) if it were not for the idolatrous interlude. God called individuals and prepared them by his Spirit to be skilled to do the work for the tabernacle. If this were the substance of an exposition, it would clearly be a message on gifted people doing the work—close to the spiritual lesson of Ephesians 4. There would be two levels of meaning: the physical, which looks at the skilled artisans providing for a place to worship Yahweh, and the spiritual, which would bring in the Spirit-filled servants of God participating in building up his kingdom.
- Exodus 31:1 tn Heb “and Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying.”
- Exodus 31:2 tn Heb “called by name.” This expression means that the person was specifically chosen for some important task (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 342). See the expression with Cyrus in Isa 45:3-4.
- Exodus 31:3 sn The expression in the Bible means that the individual was given special, supernatural enablement to do what God wanted done. It usually is said of someone with exceptional power or ability. The image of “filling” usually means under the control of the Spirit, so that the Spirit is the dominant force in the life.
- Exodus 31:3 sn The following qualities are the ways in which the Spirit’s enablement will be displayed. “Skill” is the ability to produce something valuable to God and the community, “understanding” is the ability to distinguish between things, to perceive the best way to follow, and “knowledge” is the experiential awareness of how things are done.
- Exodus 31:3 tn Heb “and in all work”; “all” means “all kinds of” here.
- Exodus 31:4 tn The expression is לַחְשֹׁב מַחֲשָׁבֹת (lakhshov makhashavot, “to devise devices”). The infinitive emphasizes that Bezalel will be able to design or plan works that are artistic or skillful. He will think thoughts or devise the plans, and then he will execute them in silver or stone or whatever other material he uses.
- Exodus 31:6 tn The expression uses the independent personal pronoun (“and I”) with the deictic particle (“behold”) to enforce the subject of the verb—“and I, indeed I have given.”
- Exodus 31:6 tn Heb “and in the heart of all that are wise-hearted I have put wisdom.”sn The verse means that there were a good number of very skilled and trained artisans that could come to do the work that God wanted done. But God’s Spirit further endowed them with additional wisdom and skill for the work that had to be done.
- Exodus 31:6 tn The form is a perfect with vav (ו) consecutive. The form at this place shows the purpose or the result of what has gone before, and so it is rendered “that they may make.”
- Exodus 31:7 tn Heb “all the vessels of the tent.”
- Exodus 31:12 sn There are some questions about the arrangement of the book. The placement of this section here, however, should come as no surprise. After the instructions and preparation for work, a Sabbath day when work could not be done had to be legislated. In all that they were going to do, they must not violate the Sabbath.
- Exodus 31:12 tn Heb “and Yahweh said (אָמַר, ʾamar) to Moses, saying.”
- Exodus 31:13 sn The instruction for the Sabbath at this point seems rather abrupt, but it follows logically the extended plans of building the sanctuary. B. Jacob, following some of the earlier treatments, suggests that these are specific rules given for the duration of the building of the sanctuary (Exodus, 844). The Sabbath day is a day of complete cessation; no labor or work could be done. The point here is that God’s covenant people must faithfully keep the sign of the covenant as a living commemoration of the finished work of Yahweh, and as an active part in their sanctification. See also H. Routtenberg, “The Laws of Sabbath: Biblical Sources,” Dor le Dor 6 (1977): 41-43, 99-101, 153-55, 204-6; G. Robinson, “The Idea of Rest in the OT and the Search for the Basic Character of Sabbath,” ZAW 92 (1980): 32-42; M. Tsevat, “The Basic Meaning of the Biblical Sabbath, ZAW 84 (1972): 447-59; M. T. Willshaw, “A Joyous Sign,” ExpTim 89 (1978): 179-80.
- Exodus 31:13 tn Or “your sanctifier.”
- Exodus 31:14 tn This clause is all from one word, a Piel plural participle with a third, feminine suffix: מְחַלְלֶיהָ (mekhaleleha, “defilers of it”). This form serves as the subject of the sentence. The word חָלַל (khalal) is the antonym of קָדַשׁ (qadash, “to be holy”). It means “common, profane,” and in the Piel stem “make common, profane” or “defile.” Treating the Sabbath like an ordinary day would profane it, make it common.
- Exodus 31:14 tn This is the asseverative use of כִּי (ki) meaning “surely, indeed,” for it restates the point just made (see R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 73, §449).
- Exodus 31:14 tn Heb “the one who does.”
- Exodus 31:14 tn “any” has been supplied.
- Exodus 31:14 tn Literally “her” (a feminine pronoun agreeing with “soul/life,” which is grammatically feminine).
- Exodus 31:15 tn This is an adverbial accusative of time, indicating that work may be done for six days out of the week.
- Exodus 31:15 tn The form is a Niphal imperfect; it has the nuance of permission in this sentence, for the sentence is simply saying that the six days are work days—that is when work may be done.
- Exodus 31:15 tn The expression is שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן (shabbat shabbaton), “a Sabbath of entire rest,” or better, “a sabbath of complete desisting” (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 404). The second noun, the modifying genitive, is an abstract noun. The repetition provides the superlative idea that complete rest is the order of the day.
- Exodus 31:17 tn The expression again forms an adverbial accusative of time.
- Exodus 31:17 sn The word “rest” essentially means “to cease, stop.” So describing God as “resting” on the seventh day does not indicate that he was tired—he simply finished creation and then ceased or stopped. But in this verse is a very bold anthropomorphism in the form of the verb וַיִּנָּפַשׁ (vayyinnafash), a Niphal preterite from the root נָפַשׁ (nafash), the word that is related to “life, soul” or more specifically “breath, throat.” The verb is usually translated here as “he was refreshed,” offering a very human picture. It could also be rendered “he took breath” (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 345). Elsewhere the verb is used of people and animals. The anthropomorphism is clearly intended to teach people to stop and refresh themselves physically, spiritually, and emotionally on this day of rest.
- Exodus 31:18 sn The expression “the finger of God” has come up before in the book, in the plagues (Exod 8:19) to express that it was a demonstration of the power and authority of God. So here too the commandments given to Moses on stone tablets came from God. It too is a bold anthropomorphism; to attribute such a material action to Yahweh would have been thought provoking to say the least. But by using “God” and by stating it in an obviously figurative way, balance is maintained. Since no one writes with one finger, the expression simply says that the Law came directly from God.
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