Exodus 25-40 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
The Sacred Tent
25 The Lord said to Moses:
2 Tell everyone in Israel who wants to give gifts that they must bring them to you. 3 Here is a list of what you are to collect: Gold, silver, and bronze; 4 blue, purple, and red wool; fine linen; goat hair; 5 tanned ram skins; fine leather; acacia wood; 6 olive oil for the lamp; sweet-smelling spices to mix with the oil for dedicating the tent and ordaining the priests; 7 and onyx[a] stones for the sacred vest and the breastpiece. 8 I also want them to build a special place where I can live among my people. 9 Make it and its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you.
The Sacred Chest
The Lord said to Moses:
10 Tell the people to build a chest of acacia wood forty-five inches long, twenty-seven inches wide, and twenty-seven inches high. 11 Cover it inside and out with pure gold and put a gold edging around the lid. 12 Make four gold rings and fasten one of them to each of the four legs of the chest. 13 Make two poles of acacia wood. Cover them with gold 14 and put them through the rings, so the chest can be carried by the poles. 15 Don’t ever remove the poles from the rings. 16 When I give you the Ten Commandments written on two flat stones, put them inside the chest.
17 Cover the lid of the chest with pure gold. 18-19 Then hammer out two winged creatures of pure gold and fasten them to the lid at the ends of the chest. 20 The creatures must face each other with their wings spread over the chest. 21 Inside it place the two flat stones with the Ten Commandments and put the gold lid on top of the chest. 22 I will meet you there[b] between the two creatures and tell you what my people must do and what they must not do.
The Table for the Sacred Bread
The Lord said:
23 Make a table of acacia wood thirty-six inches long, eighteen inches wide, and twenty-seven inches high. 24-25 Cover it with pure gold and put a gold edging around it with a border three inches wide.[c] 26 Make four gold rings and attach one to each of the legs 27-28 near the edging. The poles for carrying the table are to be placed through these rings and are to be made of acacia wood covered with gold. 29-30 The table is to be kept in the holy place, and the sacred loaves of bread must always be put on it. All bowls, plates, jars, and cups for wine offerings are to be made of pure gold and set on this table.
The Lord said:
31 Make a lampstand of pure gold. The whole lampstand, including its decorative flowers, must be made from a single piece of hammered gold 32 with three branches on each of its two sides. 33 There are to be three decorative almond blossoms on each branch 34 and four on the stem. 35 There must also be a blossom where each pair of branches comes out from the stem. 36 The lampstand, including its branches and decorative flowers, must be made from a single piece of hammered pure gold. 37 The lamp on the top and those at the end of each of its six branches must be made so as to shine toward the front of the lampstand. 38 The tongs and trays for taking care of the lamps are to be made of pure gold. 39 The lampstand and its equipment will require seventy-five pounds of pure gold, 40 and they must be made according to the pattern I showed you on the mountain.
Curtains and Coverings for the Sacred Tent
The Lord said to Moses:
26 Furnish the sacred tent with curtains made from ten pieces of the finest linen. They must be woven with blue, purple, and red wool and embroidered with figures of winged creatures. 2 Make each piece fourteen yards long and two yards wide 3 and sew them together into two curtains with five sections each. 4-6 Put fifty loops of blue cloth along one of the wider sides of each curtain, then fasten the two curtains at the loops with fifty gold hooks.
7-8 As the material for the tent, use goat hair to weave eleven sections fifteen yards by two yards each. 9 Sew five of the sections together to make one panel. Then sew the other six together to make a second panel, and fold the sixth section double over the front of the tent. 10 Put fifty loops along one of the wider sides of each panel 11 and fasten the two panels at the loops with fifty bronze hooks. 12-13 The panel of goat hair will be a yard longer than the tent itself, so fold half a yard of the material behind the tent and on each side as a protective covering. 14 Make two more coverings—one with ram skins dyed red and the other with fine leather.
The Framework for the Sacred Tent
The Lord said:
15 Build a framework of acacia wood for the walls of the sacred tent. 16 Each frame is to be fifteen feet high and twenty-seven inches wide 17 with two wooden pegs near the bottom. 18-21 Place two silver stands under each frame with sockets for the pegs, so the frames can be joined together. Twenty of these frames are to be used along the south side and twenty more along the north. 22 For the back wall along the west side use six frames 23-24 with two more at the southwest and northwest corners. Make certain that these corner frames are joined from top to bottom. 25 Altogether, this back wall will have eight frames with two silver stands under each one.
26-27 Make five crossbars for each of the wooden frames, 28 with the center crossbar running the full length of the wall. 29 Cover the frames and the crossbars with gold and attach gold rings to the frames to run the crossbars through. 30 Then set up the tent in the way I showed you on the mountain.
The Curtain inside the Sacred Tent
The Lord said:
31-33 Make a curtain to separate the holy place from the most holy place. Use fine linen woven with blue, purple, and red wool, and embroidered with figures of winged creatures. Cover four acacia wood posts with gold and set them each on a silver stand. Then fasten gold hooks to the posts and hang the curtain there.
34 Inside the most holy place, you must put the sacred chest that has the place of mercy on its lid.[d] 35 Outside the curtain put the table for the sacred bread on the right side and the gold lampstand on the left.
36 For the entrance to the tent, use a piece of fine linen woven with blue, purple, and red wool and embroidered with fancy needlework. 37 Cover five acacia wood posts with gold and set them each on a bronze stand. Then put gold hooks on the posts and hang the curtain there.
The Altar for Offering Sacrifices
The Lord said to Moses:
27 Use acacia wood to build an altar seven and a half feet square and four and a half feet high, 2 and make each of the four top corners stick up like the horn of a bull. Then cover the whole altar with bronze, including the four horns. 3 All the equipment for the altar must also be made of bronze—the pans for the hot ashes, the shovels, the sprinkling bowls, the meat forks, and the fire pans. 4-5 Midway up the altar build a ledge around it, and cover the bottom half of the altar with a decorative bronze grating. Then attach a bronze ring beneath the ledge at the four corners of the altar. 6-7 Cover two acacia wood poles with bronze and put them through the rings for carrying the altar. 8 Construct the altar in the shape of an open box, just as you were shown on the mountain.
The Courtyard around the Sacred Tent
The Lord said:
9-15 Surround the sacred tent with a courtyard one hundred fifty feet long on the south and north and seventy-five feet wide on the east and west. Use twenty bronze posts on bronze stands for the south and north and ten for the west. Then hang a curtain of fine linen on the posts along each of these three sides by using silver hooks and rods.
Place three bronze posts on each side of the entrance at the east and hang a curtain seven and a half yards wide on each set of posts. 16 Use four more of these posts for the entrance way, then hang on them an embroidered curtain of fine linen ten yards long and woven with blue, purple, and red wool.
17-18 The curtains that surround the courtyard must be two and a half yards high and are to be hung from the bronze posts with silver hooks and rods. 19 The rest of the equipment for the sacred tent must be made of bronze, including the pegs for the tent and for the curtain surrounding the courtyard.
The Oil for the Lamp in the Holy Place
The Lord said to Moses:
20 Command the people of Israel to supply you with the purest olive oil. Do this so the lamp will keep burning 21 in front of the curtain that separates the holy place from the most holy place, where the sacred chest is kept. Aaron and his sons are responsible for keeping the lamp burning every night in the sacred tent. The Israelites must always obey this command.
The Clothes for the High Priest
The Lord said to Moses:
28 Send for your brother Aaron and his sons Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. They are the ones I have chosen from Israel to serve as my priests. 2 Make Aaron some beautiful clothes that are worthy of a high priest. 3 Aaron is to be dedicated as my high priest, and his clothes must be made only by persons who possess skills that I have given them. 4 Here are the items that need to be made: a breastpiece, a priestly vest, a robe, an embroidered shirt, a turban, and a sash. These sacred clothes are to be made for your brother Aaron and his sons who will be my priests. 5 Only gold and fine linen, woven with blue, purple, and red wool, are to be used for making these clothes.
The Vest for the High Priest
The Lord said:
6-8 The entire priestly vest must be made of fine linen skillfully woven with blue, purple, and red wool, and decorated with gold. It is to have two shoulder straps to support it and a sash that fastens around the waist.
9-12 Put two onyx[e] stones in gold settings, then attach one to each of the shoulder straps. On one of these stones engrave the names of Israel’s first six sons in the order of their birth. And do the same with his remaining six sons on the other stone. In this way Aaron will always carry the names of the tribes of Israel when he enters the holy place, and I will never forget my people.
13-14 Attach two gold settings to the shoulder straps and fasten them with two braided chains of pure gold.
The Breastpiece for the High Priest
The Lord said:
15 From the same costly material make a breastpiece for the high priest to use in learning what I want my people to do. 16 It is to be nine inches square and folded double 17 with four rows of three precious stones: In the first row put a carnelian, a chrysolite, and an emerald; 18 in the second row a turquoise, a sapphire, and a diamond; 19 in the third row a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; 20 and in the fourth row a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper.[f] Mount the stones in delicate gold settings 21 and engrave on each of them the name of one of the twelve tribes of Israel.
22-25 Attach two gold rings to the upper front corners of the breastpiece and fasten them with two braided gold chains to gold settings on the shoulder straps. 26 Attach two other gold rings to the lower inside corners next to the vest 27 and two more near the bottom of the shoulder straps right above the sash. 28 Then take a blue cord and tie the two lower rings on the breastpiece to those on the vest. This will keep the breastpiece in place.
29 In this way Aaron will have the names of the twelve tribes of Israel written on his heart each time he enters the holy place, and I will never forget my people. 30 He must also wear on his breastpiece the two small objects[g] that he uses to receive answers from me.
The Other High-Priestly Clothes
The Lord said:
31 Under his vest Aaron must wear a robe of blue wool 32 with an opening in the center for his head. Be sure to bind the material around the collar to keep it from raveling. 33-34 Along the hem of the robe weave pomegranates[h] of blue, purple, and red wool with a gold bell between each of them. 35 If Aaron wears these clothes when he enters the holy place as my high priest, the sound of the bells will be heard, and his life will not be in danger.
36 On a narrow strip of pure gold engrave the words: “Dedicated to the Lord.” 37 Fasten it to the front of Aaron’s turban with a blue cord, 38 so he can wear it on his forehead. This will show that he will take on himself the guilt for any sins the people of Israel commit in offering their gifts to me, and I will forgive them.
39 Make Aaron’s robe and turban of fine linen and decorate his sash with fancy needlework.
The Clothes for the Other Priests
40 Since Aaron’s sons are priests, they should also look dignified. So make robes, sashes, and special caps for them. 41 Then dress Aaron and his sons in these clothes, pour olive oil on their heads, and ordain them as my priests.
42 Make linen shorts for them that reach from the waist down to the thigh, so they won’t expose themselves. 43 Whenever they enter the sacred tent or serve at the altar or enter the holy place, they must wear these shorts, or else they will be guilty and die. This same rule applies to any of their descendants who serve as priests.
Instructions for Ordaining Priests
The Lord said to Moses:
29 When you ordain one of Aaron’s sons as my priest, choose a young bull and two rams that have nothing wrong with them. 2 Then from your finest flour make three batches of dough without yeast. Shape some of it into larger loaves, some into smaller loaves mixed with olive oil, and the rest into thin wafers brushed with oil. 3 Put all of this bread in a basket and bring it when you come to sacrifice the three animals to me.
4 Bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the sacred tent and have them wash themselves. 5 Dress Aaron in the priestly shirt, the robe that goes under the sacred vest, the vest itself, the breastpiece, and the sash. 6 Put on his turban with its narrow strip of engraved gold 7 and then ordain him by pouring olive oil on his head.
8 Next, dress Aaron’s sons in their special shirts 9 and caps and their sashes,[i] then ordain them, because they and their descendants will always be priests.
10 Lead the bull to the entrance of the sacred tent, where Aaron and his sons will lay their hands on its head. 11 Kill the bull near my altar in front of the tent. 12 Use a finger to smear some of its blood on each of the four corners of the altar and pour out the rest of the blood on the ground next to the altar. 13 Then take the fat from the animal’s insides, as well as the lower part of the liver and the two kidneys with their fat, and send them up in smoke on the altar. 14 But the meat, the skin, and the food still in the bull’s stomach must be burned outside the camp as an offering to ask forgiveness for the sins of the priests.[j]
15 Bring one of the rams to Aaron and his sons and have them lay their hands on its head. 16 Kill the ram and splatter its blood against all four sides of the altar. 17 Cut up the ram, wash its insides and legs, and lay all of its parts on the altar, including the head. 18 Then make sure that the whole animal goes up in smoke with a smell that pleases me.
19 Bring the other ram to Aaron and his sons and have them lay their hands on its head. 20 Kill the ram and place some of its blood on Aaron’s right ear lobe, his right thumb, and the big toe of his right foot. Do the same for each of his sons and splatter the rest of the blood against the four sides of the altar. 21 Then take some of the blood from the altar, mix it with the oil used for ordination, and sprinkle it on Aaron and his clothes, and also on his sons and their clothes. This will show that they and their clothes have been dedicated to me.
22 This ram is part of the ordination service. So remove its right hind leg,[k] its fat tail, the fat on its insides, as well as the lower part of the liver and the two kidneys with their fat. 23 Take one loaf of each kind of bread[l] from the basket, 24 and put this bread, together with the meat, into the hands of Aaron and his sons. Then they will lift it all up[m] to show that it is dedicated to me. 25 After this, the meat and bread are to be placed on the altar and sent up in smoke with a smell that pleases me.
26 You may eat the choice ribs from this second ram, but you must first lift them up[n] to show that this meat is dedicated to me.
27-28 In the future, when anyone from Israel offers the ribs and a hind leg of a ram either to ordain a priest or to ask for my blessing, the meat belongs to me, but it may be eaten by the priests. This law will never change.
29-30 After Aaron’s death, his priestly clothes are to be handed down to each descendant who succeeds him as high priest, and these clothes must be worn during the seven-day ceremony of ordination.
31 Boil the meat of the ordination ram in a sacred place, 32 then have Aaron and his sons eat it together with the three kinds of bread [o] at the entrance to the sacred tent. 33 At their ordination, a ceremony of forgiveness was performed for them with this sacred food, and only they have the right to eat it. 34 If any of the sacred food is left until morning, it must be burned up.
35 Repeat this ordination ceremony for Aaron and his sons seven days in a row, just as I have instructed you. 36 Each day you must offer a bull as a sacrifice for sin and as a way of purifying the altar. In addition, you must smear the altar with olive oil to make it completely holy. 37 Do this for seven days, and the altar will become so holy that anyone who touches it will become holy.
The Lord said:
38 Each day you must sacrifice two lambs a year old, 39 one in the morning and one in the evening. 40-41 With each lamb offer two pounds of your finest flour mixed with a quart of pure olive oil, and also pour out a quart of wine as an offering. The smell of this sacrifice on the fires of the altar will be pleasing to me. 42-43 You and your descendants must always offer this sacrifice on the altar at the entrance to the sacred tent.
People of Israel, I will meet and speak with you there, and my shining glory will make the place holy. 44 Because of who I am, the tent will become sacred, and Aaron and his sons will become worthy to serve as my priests. 45 I will live among you as your God, 46 and you will know that I am the Lord your God, the one who rescued you from Egypt, so that I could live among you.
The Altar for Burning Incense
The Lord said to Moses:
30 Build an altar of acacia wood where you can burn incense. 2 Make it eighteen inches square and thirty-six inches high, and make each of its four corners stick up like the horn of a bull. 3 Cover it with pure gold and put a gold edging around it. 4 Then below the edging on opposite sides attach two gold rings through which you can put the poles for carrying the altar. 5 These poles are also to be made of acacia wood covered with gold.
6 Put the altar in front of the inside curtain of the sacred tent. The chest with the place of mercy[p] is kept behind that curtain, and I will talk with you there. 7-8 From now on, when Aaron tends the lamp each morning and evening, he must burn sweet-smelling incense to me on the altar. 9 Burn only the proper incense on the altar and never use it for grain sacrifices or animal sacrifices or drink offerings. 10 Once a year Aaron must purify the altar by smearing on its four corners[q] the blood of an animal sacrificed for sin, and this practice must always be followed. The altar is sacred because it is dedicated to me.
The Money for the Sacred Tent
11 The Lord said to Moses:
12 Find out how many grown men there are in Israel and require each of them to pay me to keep him safe from danger while you are counting them. 13-15 Each man over nineteen, whether rich or poor, must pay me the same amount of money, weighed according to the official standards. 16 This money is to be used for the upkeep of the sacred tent, and because of it, I will never forget my people.
The Large Bronze Bowl
17 The Lord said to Moses:
18-21 Make a large bronze bowl and a bronze stand for it. Then put them between the altar for sacrifice and the sacred tent, so the priests can wash their hands and feet before entering the tent or offering a sacrifice on the altar. Each priest in every generation must wash himself in this way, or else he will die right there.
The Oil for Dedication and Ordination
22 The Lord said to Moses:
23-25 Mix a gallon of olive oil with the following costly spices: twelve pounds of myrrh, six pounds of cinnamon, six pounds of cane, and twelve pounds of cassia. Measure these according to the official standards. Then use this sacred mixture 26 for dedicating the tent and chest, 27 the table with its equipment, the lampstand with its equipment, the incense altar with all its utensils, 28 the altar for sacrifices, and the large bowl with its stand. 29 By dedicating them in this way, you will make them so holy that anyone who even touches them will become holy.
30 When you ordain Aaron and his sons as my priests, sprinkle them with some of this oil, 31 and say to the people of Israel: “This oil must always be used in the ordination service of a priest. It is holy because it is dedicated to the Lord. 32 So treat it as holy! Don’t ever use it for everyday purposes or mix any for yourselves. 33 If you do, you will no longer belong to the Lord’s people.”
The Sweet-Smelling Incense
34-35 Mix equal amounts of the costly spices stacte, onycha, galbanum, and pure frankincense, then add salt to make the mixture pure and holy. 36 Pound some of it into powder and sprinkle it in front of the sacred chest, where I meet with you. Be sure to treat this incense as something very holy. 37 It is truly holy because it is dedicated to me, so don’t ever make any for yourselves. 38 If you ever make any of it to use as perfume, you will no longer belong to my people.
The Lord Chooses Bezalel and Oholiab
31 The Lord said to Moses:
2 I have chosen Bezalel[r] from the Judah tribe to make the sacred tent and its furnishings. 3-5 Not only have I filled him with my Spirit, but I have given him wisdom and made him a skilled craftsman who can create objects of art with gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood. 6 I have appointed Oholiab[s] from the tribe of Dan to work with him, and I have also given skills to those who will help them make everything exactly as I have commanded you: 7-11 the sacred tent with its furnishings, the sacred chest with its place of mercy, the table with all that is on it, the lamp with its equipment, the incense altar, the altar for sacrifices with its equipment, the bronze bowl with its stand, the beautiful priestly clothes for Aaron and his sons, the oil for dedication and ordination services, and the sweet-smelling incense for the holy place.
Laws for the Sabbath
12-13 Moses told the Israelites that the Lord had said:
The Sabbath belongs to me. Now I command you and your descendants to always obey the laws of the Sabbath. By doing this, you will know that I have chosen you as my own. 14-15 Keep the Sabbath holy. You have six days to do your work, but the Sabbath is mine, and it must remain a day of rest. If you work on the Sabbath, you will no longer be part of my people, and you will be put to death.
16 Every generation of Israelites must respect the Sabbath. 17 This day will always serve as a reminder, both to me and to the Israelites, that I made the heavens and the earth in six days, then on the seventh day I rested and relaxed.
18 When God had finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two flat stones on which he had written all of his laws with his own hand.
The People Make an Idol To Worship
32 After the people saw that Moses had been on the mountain for a long time, they went to Aaron and said, “Make us an image of a god who will lead and protect us. Moses brought us out of Egypt, but nobody knows what has happened to him.”
2 Aaron told them, “Bring me the gold earrings that your wives and sons and daughters are wearing.” 3 Everybody took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron, 4 then he melted them and made an idol in the shape of a young bull.
All the people said to one another, “This is the god who brought us out of Egypt!”
5 When Aaron saw what was happening, he built an altar in front of the idol and said, “Tomorrow we will celebrate in honor of the Lord.” 6 The people got up early the next morning and killed some animals to be used for sacrifices and others to be eaten. Then everyone ate and drank so much that they began to carry on like wild people.
7 The Lord said to Moses:
Hurry back down! Those people you led out of Egypt are acting like fools. 8 They have already stopped obeying me and have made themselves an idol in the shape of a young bull. They have bowed down to it, offered sacrifices, and said that it is the god who brought them out of Egypt. 9 Moses, I have seen how stubborn these people are, 10 and I’m angry enough to destroy them, so don’t try to stop me. But I will make your descendants into a great nation.
11 Moses tried to get the Lord God to change his mind:
Our Lord, you used your mighty power to bring these people out of Egypt. Now don’t become angry and destroy them. 12 If you do, the Egyptians will say that you brought your people out here into the mountains just to get rid of them. Please don’t be angry with your people. Don’t destroy them!
13 Remember the solemn promise you made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. You promised that someday they would have as many descendants as there are stars in the sky and that you would give them land.
14 So even though the Lord had threatened to destroy the people, he changed his mind and let them live.
15-16 Moses went back down the mountain with the two flat stones on which God had written all of his laws with his own hand, and he had used both sides of the stones.
17 When Joshua heard the noisy shouts of the people, he said to Moses, “A battle must be going on down in the camp.”
18 But Moses replied, “It doesn’t sound like they are shouting because they have won or lost a battle. They are singing wildly!”
19 As Moses got closer to the camp, he saw the idol, and he also saw the people dancing around. This made him so angry that he threw down the stones and broke them to pieces at the foot of the mountain. 20 He melted the idol the people had made, and he ground it into powder. He scattered it in their water and made them drink it. 21 Moses asked Aaron, “What did these people do to harm you? Why did you make them sin in this terrible way?”
22 Aaron answered:
Don’t be angry with me. You know as well as I do that they are determined to do evil. 23 They even told me, “That man Moses led us out of Egypt, but now we don’t know what has happened to him. Make us a god to lead us.” 24 Then I asked them to bring me their gold earrings. They took them off and gave them to me. I threw the gold into a fire, and out came this bull.
25 Moses knew that the people were out of control and that it was Aaron’s fault. And now they had made fools of themselves in front of their enemies. 26 So Moses stood at the gate of the camp and shouted, “Everyone who is on the Lord’s side come over here!”
Then the men of the Levi tribe gathered around Moses, 27 and he said to them, “The Lord God of Israel commands you to strap on your swords and go through the camp, killing your relatives, your friends, and your neighbors.”
28 The men of the Levi tribe followed his orders, and that day they killed about three thousand men. 29 Moses said to them, “You obeyed the Lord and did what was right, and so you will serve as his priests for the people of Israel. It was hard for you to kill your own sons and brothers, but the Lord has blessed you and made you his priests today.”
30 The next day Moses told the people, “This is a terrible thing you have done. But I will go back to the Lord to see if I can do something to keep this sin from being held against you.”
31 Moses returned to the Lord and said, “The people have committed a terrible sin. They have made a gold idol to be their god. 32 But I beg you to forgive them. If you don’t, please wipe my name out of your book.”[t]
33 The Lord replied, “I will wipe out of my book the name of everyone who has sinned against me. 34 Now take my people to the place I told you about, and my angel will lead you. But when the time comes, I will punish them for this sin.”
35 So the Lord punished the people of Israel with a terrible disease for talking Aaron into making the gold idol.
The Lord Tells Israel To Leave Mount Sinai
33 The Lord said to Moses:
You led the people of Israel out of Egypt. Now get ready to lead them to the land I promised their ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 2-3 It is a land rich with milk and honey, and I will send an angel to force out those people who live there—the Canaanites, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. I would go with my people, but they are so rebellious that I would destroy them before they get there.
4-5 Even before the Lord said these harsh things, he had told Moses, “These people really are rebellious, and I would kill them at once, if I went with them. But tell them to take off their fancy jewelry, then I’ll decide what to do with them.” So the people started mourning, 6 and after leaving Mount Sinai,[u] they stopped wearing fancy jewelry.
The Lord Is with His People
7 Moses used to set up a tent far from camp. He called it the “meeting tent,” and whoever needed some message from the Lord would go there. 8 Each time Moses went out to the tent, everyone would stand at the entrance to their own tents and watch him enter. 9-11 Then they would bow down because a thick cloud would come down in front of the tent, and the Lord would speak to Moses face to face, just like a friend. Afterwards, Moses would return to camp, but his young assistant Joshua[v] would stay at the tent.
The Lord Promises To Be with His People
12 Moses said to the Lord, “I know that you have told me to lead these people to the land you promised them. But you have not told me who my assistant will be. You have said that you are my friend and that you are pleased with me. 13 If this is true, let me know what your plans are, then I can obey and continue to please you. And don’t forget that you have chosen this nation to be your own.”
14 The Lord said, “I will go with you and give you peace.”
15 Then Moses replied, “If you aren’t going with us, please don’t make us leave this place. 16 But if you do go with us, everyone will know that you are pleased with your people and with me. That way, we will be different from the rest of the people on earth.”
17 So the Lord told him, “I will do what you have asked, because I am your friend and I am pleased with you.”
18 Then Moses said, “I pray that you will let me see you in all of your glory.”
19 The Lord answered:
All right. I am the Lord, and I show mercy and kindness to anyone I choose. I will let you see my glory and hear my holy name, 20 but I won’t let you see my face, because anyone who sees my face will die. 21 There is a rock not far from me. Stand beside it, 22 and before I pass by in all of my shining glory, I will put you in a large crack in the rock. I will cover your eyes with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will take my hand away, and you will see my back. You will not see my face.
The Second Set of Commandments
34 One day the Lord said to Moses, “Cut two flat stones like the first ones I made, and I will write on them the same commandments that were on the two you broke. 2 Be ready tomorrow morning to come up Mount Sinai and meet me at the top. 3 No one is to come with you or to be on the mountain at all. Don’t even let the sheep and cattle graze at the foot of the mountain.” 4 So Moses cut two flat stones like the first ones, and early the next morning he carried them to the top of Mount Sinai, just as the Lord had commanded.
5 The Lord God came down in a cloud and stood beside Moses there on the mountain. God spoke his holy name, “the Lord.”[w] 6 Then he passed in front of Moses and called out, “I am the Lord God. I am merciful and very patient with my people. I show great love, and I can be trusted. 7 I keep my promises to my people forever, but I also punish anyone who sins. When people sin, I punish them and their children, and also their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”
8 Moses quickly bowed down to the ground and worshiped the Lord. 9 He prayed, “Lord, if you really are pleased with me, I pray that you will go with us. It is true that these people are sinful and rebellious, but forgive our sin and let us be your people.”
A Promise and Its Demands
10 The Lord said:
I promise to perform miracles for you that have never been seen anywhere on earth. Neighboring nations will stand in fear and know that I was the one who did these marvelous things. 11 I will force out the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, but you must do what I command you today. 12 Don’t make treaties with any of those people. If you do, it will be like falling into a trap. 13 Instead, you must destroy their altars and tear down the sacred poles[x] they use in the worship of the goddess Asherah. 14 I demand your complete loyalty—you must not worship any other god! 15 Don’t make treaties with the people there, or you will soon find yourselves worshiping their gods and taking part in their sacrificial meals. 16 Your men will even marry their women and be influenced to worship their gods.
17 Don’t make metal images of gods.
18 Don’t fail to observe the Festival of Thin Bread in the month of Abib.[y] Obey me and eat bread without yeast for seven days during Abib, because that is the month you left Egypt.
19 The first-born males of your families and of your flocks and herds belong to me.
20 You can save the life of a first-born donkey[z] by sacrificing a lamb; if you don’t, you must break the donkey’s neck. You must save every first-born son.
Bring an offering every time you come to worship.
21 Do your work in six days and rest on the seventh day, even during the seasons for plowing and harvesting. 22 Celebrate the Harvest Festival[aa] each spring when you start harvesting your wheat, and celebrate the Festival of Shelters[ab] each autumn when you pick your fruit.
23 Your men must come to worship me three times a year, because I am the Lord God of Israel. 24 I will force the nations out of your land and enlarge your borders. Then no one will try to take your property when you come to worship me these three times each year.
25 When you sacrifice an animal on the altar, don’t offer bread made with yeast. And don’t save any part of the Passover meal for the next day.
26 I am the Lord your God, and you must bring the first part of your harvest to the place of worship.
Don’t boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.
27 The Lord told Moses to put these laws in writing, as part of his agreement with Israel. 28 Moses stayed on the mountain with the Lord for forty days and nights, without eating or drinking. And he wrote down the Ten Commandments, the most important part of God’s agreement with his people.
Moses Comes Down from Mount Sinai
29 Moses came down from Mount Sinai, carrying the Ten Commandments. His face was shining brightly because the Lord had been speaking to him. But Moses did not know at first that his face was shining. 30 When Aaron and the others looked at Moses, they saw that his face was shining, and they were afraid to go near him. 31 Moses called out for Aaron and the leaders to come to him, and he spoke with them. 32 Then the rest of the people of Israel gathered around Moses, and he gave them the laws that the Lord had given him on Mount Sinai.
33 The face of Moses kept shining, and after he had spoken with the people, he covered his face with a veil. 34 Moses would always remove the veil when he went into the sacred tent to speak with the Lord. And when he came out, he would tell the people everything the Lord had told him to say. 35 They could see that his face was still shining. So after he had spoken with them, he would put the veil back on and leave it on until the next time he went to speak with the Lord.
Laws for the Sabbath
35 Moses called together the people of Israel and told them that the Lord had said:
2 You have six days in which to do your work. But the seventh day must be dedicated to me, your Lord, as a day of rest. Whoever works on the Sabbath will be put to death. 3 Don’t even build a cooking fire at home on the Sabbath.
Offerings for the Sacred Tent
4 Moses told the people of Israel that the Lord had said:
5 I would welcome an offering from anyone who wants to give something. You may bring gold, silver, or bronze; 6 blue, purple, or red wool; fine linen; goat hair; 7 tanned ram skin or fine leather; acacia wood; 8 olive oil for the lamp; sweet-smelling spices for the oil of dedication and for the incense; or 9 onyx[ac] stones or other gems for the sacred vest and breastpiece.
10 If you have any skills, you should use them to help make what I have commanded: 11 the sacred tent with its covering and hooks, its framework and crossbars, and its post and stands; 12 the sacred chest with its carrying poles, its place of mercy, and the curtain in front of it; 13 the table with all that goes on it, including the sacred bread; 14 the lamp with its equipment and oil; 15 the incense altar with its carrying poles and sweet-smelling incense; the ordination oil; the curtain for the entrance to the sacred tent; 16 the altar for sacrifices with its bronze grating, its carrying poles, and its equipment; the large bronze bowl with its stand; 17 the curtains with the posts and stands that go around the courtyard; 18 the pegs and ropes for the tent and the courtyard; 19 and the finely woven priestly clothes for Aaron and his sons.
Gifts for the Lord
20 Moses finished speaking, and everyone left. 21 Then those who wanted to bring gifts to the Lord, brought them to be used for the sacred tent, the worship services, and the priestly clothes. 22 Men and women came willingly and gave all kinds of gold jewelry such as pins, earrings, rings, and necklaces. 23 Everyone brought their blue, purple, and red wool, their fine linen, and their cloth made of goat hair, as well as their ram skins dyed red and their fine leather. 24 Anyone who had silver or bronze or acacia wood brought it as a gift to the Lord.
25 The women who were good at weaving cloth brought the blue, purple, and red wool and the fine linen they had made. 26 And the women who knew how to make cloth from goat hair were glad to do so.
27 The leaders brought different kinds of jewels to be sewn on the special clothes and the breastpiece for the high priest. 28 They also brought sweet-smelling spices to be mixed with the incense and olive oil that were for the lamps and for ordaining the priests. 29 Moses had told the people what the Lord wanted them to do, and many of them decided to bring their gifts.
Bezalel and Oholiab
30 Moses said to the people of Israel:
The Lord has chosen Bezalel[ad] of the Judah tribe. 31-33 Not only has the Lord filled him with his Spirit, but he has given him wisdom and made him a skilled craftsman who can create objects of art with gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood. 34 The Lord is urging him and Oholiab[ae] from the tribe of Dan to teach others. 35 And he has given them all kinds of artistic skills, including the ability to design and embroider with blue, purple, and red wool and to weave fine linen.
36 The Lord has given to Bezalel, Oholiab, and others the skills needed for building a place of worship, and they will follow the Lord’s instructions.
2 Then Moses brought together these workers who were eager to work, 3 and he gave them the money that the people of Israel had donated for building the place of worship. In fact, so much money was being given each morning, 4 that finally everyone stopped working 5 and said, “Moses, there is already more money than we need for what the Lord has assigned us to do.” 6 So Moses sent word for the people to stop giving, and they did. 7 But there was already more than enough to do what needed to be done.
The Curtains and Coverings for the Sacred Tent
8-9 The skilled workers got together to make the sacred tent and its linen curtains woven with blue, purple, and red wool and embroidered with figures of winged creatures. Each of the ten panels was fourteen yards long and two yards wide, 10 and they were sewn together to make two curtains with five panels each. 11-13 Then fifty loops of blue cloth were put along one of the wider sides of each curtain, and the two curtains were fastened together at the loops with fifty gold hooks.
14-15 As the material for the tent, goat hair was used to weave eleven sections fifteen yards by two yards each. 16 These eleven sections were joined to make two panels, one with five and the other with six sections. 17 Fifty loops were put along one of the wider sides of each panel, 18 and the two panels were fastened at the loops with fifty bronze hooks. 19 Two other coverings were made—one with fine leather and the other with ram skins dyed red.
The Framework for the Sacred Tent
20 Acacia wood was used to build the framework for the walls of the sacred tent. 21 Each frame was fifteen feet high and twenty-seven inches wide 22-26 with two wooden pegs near the bottom. Then two silver stands were placed under each frame with sockets for the pegs, so they could be joined together. Twenty of these frames were used along the south side and twenty more along the north. 27 Six frames were used for the back wall along the west side 28-29 with two more at the southwest and northwest corners. These corner frames were joined from top to bottom. 30 Altogether, along the back wall there were eight frames with two silver stands under each of them.
31-33 Five crossbars were made for each of the wooden frames, with the center crossbar running the full length of the wall. 34 The frames and crossbars were covered with gold, and gold rings were attached to the frames to run the crossbars through.
The Inside Curtain for the Sacred Tent
35 They made the inside curtain[af] of fine linen woven with blue, purple, and red wool, and embroidered with figures of winged creatures. 36 They also made four acacia wood posts and covered them with gold. Then gold rings were fastened to the posts, which were set on silver stands.
37 For the entrance to the tent, they used a curtain of fine linen woven with blue, purple, and red wool and embroidered with fancy needlework. 38 They made five posts, covered them completely with gold, and set them each on a gold-covered bronze stand. Finally, they attached hooks for the curtain.
The Sacred Chest
37 Bezalel built a chest of acacia wood forty-five inches long, twenty-seven inches wide, and twenty-seven inches high. 2 He covered it inside and out with pure gold and put a gold edging around the top. 3 He made four gold rings and fastened one of them to each of the four legs of the chest. 4 Then he made two poles of acacia wood, covered them with gold, 5 and put them through the rings, so the chest could be carried by the poles.
6 The entire lid of the chest, which was also covered with pure gold, was the place of mercy.[ag] 7-9 On each of the two ends of the chest he made a winged creature of hammered gold. They faced each other, and their wings covered the place of mercy.
The Table for the Sacred Bread
10 Bezalel built a table of acacia wood thirty-six inches long, eighteen inches wide, and twenty-seven inches high. 11-12 He covered it with pure gold and put a gold edging around it with a border three inches wide.[ah] 13 He made four gold rings and attached one to each of the legs 14 near the edging. The poles for carrying the table were placed through these rings 15 and were made of acacia wood covered with gold. 16 Everything that was to be set on the table was made of pure gold—the bowls, plates, jars, and cups for wine offerings.
17 Bezalel made a lampstand of pure gold. The whole lampstand, including its decorative flowers, was made from a single piece of hammered gold, 18 with three branches on each of its two sides. 19 There were three decorative almond blossoms on each branch 20 and four on the stem. 21 There was also a blossom where each pair of branches came out from the stem. 22 The lampstand, including its branches and decorative flowers, was made from a single piece of hammered pure gold. 23-24 The lamp and its equipment, including the tongs and trays, were made of about seventy-five pounds of pure gold.
The Altar for Burning Incense
25 For burning incense, Bezalel made an altar of acacia wood. It was eighteen inches square and thirty-six inches high with each of its four corners sticking up like the horn of a bull. 26 He covered it with pure gold and put a gold edging around it. 27 Then below the edging on opposite sides he attached two gold rings through which he put the poles for carrying the altar. 28 These poles were also made of acacia wood and covered with gold.
The Oil for Dedication and the Incense
29 Bezalel mixed the oil for dedication and the sweet-smelling spices for the incense.
The Altar for Offering Sacrifices
38 Bezalel built an altar of acacia wood for offering sacrifices. It was seven and a half feet square and four and a half feet high 2 with each of its four corners sticking up like the horn of a bull, and it was completely covered with bronze. 3 The equipment for the altar was also made of bronze—the pans for the hot ashes, the shovels, the meat forks, and the fire pans. 4 Midway up the altar he built a ledge around it and covered the bottom half of the altar with a decorative bronze grating. 5 Then he attached a bronze ring beneath the ledge at the four corners to put the poles through. 6 He covered two acacia wood poles with bronze and 7 put them through the rings for carrying the altar, which was shaped like an open box.
The Large Bronze Bowl
8 Bezalel made a large bowl and a stand out of bronze from the mirrors of the women who helped at the entrance to the sacred tent.
The Courtyard around the Sacred Tent
9-17 Around the sacred tent Bezalel built a courtyard one hundred fifty feet long on the south and north and seventy-five feet wide on the east and west. He used twenty bronze posts on bronze stands for the south and north and ten for the west. Then he hung a curtain of fine linen on the posts along each of these three sides by using silver hooks and rods. He placed three bronze posts on each side of the entrance at the east and hung a curtain seven and a half yards wide on each set of posts.
18-19 For the entrance to the courtyard, Bezalel made a curtain ten yards long, which he hung on four bronze posts that were set on bronze stands. This curtain was the same height as the one for the rest of the courtyard and was made of fine linen embroidered and woven with blue, purple, and red wool. He hung the curtain on the four posts, using silver hooks and rods. 20 The pegs for the tent and for the curtain around the tent were made of bronze.
The Sacred Tent
21-23 Bezalel had worked closely with Oholiab,[ai] who was an expert at designing and engraving, and at embroidering blue, purple, and red wool. The two of them completed the work that the Lord had commanded.
Moses made Aaron’s son Ithamar responsible for keeping record of the metals used for the sacred tent. 24 According to the official weights, the amount of gold given was two thousand two hundred nine pounds, 25 and the silver that was collected when the people were counted[aj] came to seven thousand five hundred fifty pounds. 26 Everyone who was counted paid the required amount, and there was a total of 603,550 men who were twenty years old or older.
27 Seventy-five pounds of the silver were used to make each of the one hundred stands for the sacred tent and the curtain. 28 The remaining fifty pounds of silver were used for the hooks and rods and for covering the tops of the posts.
29 Five thousand three hundred pounds of bronze were given. 30 And it was used to make the stands for the entrance to the tent, the altar and its grating, the equipment for the altar, 31 the stands for the posts that surrounded the courtyard, including those at the entrance to the courtyard, and the pegs for the tent and the courtyard.
Making the Priestly Clothes
39 Beautiful priestly clothes were made of blue, purple, and red wool for Aaron to wear when he performed his duties in the holy place. This was done exactly as the Lord had commanded Moses.
2-3 The entire priestly vest was made of fine linen, woven with blue, purple, and red wool. Thin sheets of gold were hammered out and cut into threads that were skillfully woven into the vest. 4-5 It had two shoulder straps to support it and a sash that fastened around the waist. 6 Onyx[ak] stones were placed in gold settings, and each one was engraved with the name of one of Israel’s sons. 7 Then these were attached to the shoulder straps of the vest, so the Lord would never forget his people. Everything was done exactly as the Lord had commanded Moses.
8 The breastpiece was made with the same materials and designs as the priestly vest. 9 It was nine inches square and folded double 10 with four rows of three precious stones: A carnelian, a chrysolite, and an emerald were in the first row; 11 a turquoise, a sapphire, and a diamond were in the second row; 12 a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst were in the third row; 13 and a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper[al] were in the fourth row. They were mounted in a delicate gold setting, 14 and on each of them was engraved the name of one of the twelve tribes of Israel.
15-18 Two gold rings were attached to the upper front corners of the breastpiece and fastened with two braided gold chains to gold settings on the shoulder straps. 19 Two other gold rings were attached to the lower inside corners next to the vest, 20 and two more near the bottom of the shoulder straps right above the sash. 21 To keep the breastpiece in place, a blue cord was used to tie the two lower rings on the breastpiece to those on the vest. These things were done exactly as the Lord had commanded Moses.
The Clothes for the Priests
22 The priestly robe was made of blue wool 23 with an opening in the center for the head. The material around the collar was bound so as to keep it from raveling. 24-26 Along the hem of the robe were woven pomegranates[am] of blue, purple, and red wool with a bell of pure gold between each of them. This robe was to be worn by Aaron when he performed his duties.
27-29 Everything that Aaron and his sons wore was made of fine linen woven with blue, purple, and red wool, including their robes and turbans, their fancy caps and underwear, and even their sashes that were embroidered with needlework.
30 “Dedicated to the Lord” was engraved on a narrow strip of pure gold, 31 which was fastened to Aaron’s turban. These things were done exactly as the Lord had commanded Moses.
The Work Is Completed
32 So the people of Israel finished making everything the Lord had told Moses to make. 33 Then they brought it all to Moses: the sacred tent and its equipment, including the hooks, the framework and crossbars, and its posts and stands; 34 the covering of tanned ram skins and fine leather; the inside curtain; 35 the sacred chest with its carrying poles and the place of mercy; 36 the table with all that goes on it, including the sacred bread; 37 the lampstand of pure gold, together with its equipment and oil; 38 the gold-covered incense altar; the ordination oil and the sweet-smelling incense; the curtain for the entrance to the tent; 39 the bronze altar for sacrifices with its bronze grating, its carrying poles, and its equipment; the large bronze bowl with its stand; 40 the curtain with its posts and cords, and its pegs and stands that go around the courtyard; everything needed for the sacred tent; 41 and the finely woven priestly clothes for Aaron and his sons.
42-43 When Moses saw that the people had done everything exactly as the Lord had commanded, he gave them his blessing.
The Lord’s Tent Is Set Up
40 The Lord said to Moses:
2 Set up my tent on the first day of the year[an] 3 and put the chest with the Ten Commandments behind the inside curtain[ao] of the tent. 4 Bring in the table and set on it those things that are made for it. Also bring in the lampstand and attach the lamps to it. 5 Then place the gold altar of incense in front of the sacred chest and hang a curtain at the entrance to the tent. 6 Set the altar for burning sacrifices in front of the entrance to my tent. 7 Put the large bronze bowl between the tent and the altar and fill the bowl with water. 8 Surround the tent and the altar with the wall of curtains and hang the curtain that was made for the entrance.
9 Use the sacred olive oil to dedicate the tent and everything in it to me. 10 Do the same thing with the altar for offering sacrifices and its equipment 11 and with the bowl and its stand. 12 Bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the tent and have them wash themselves. 13 Dress Aaron in the priestly clothes, then use the sacred olive oil to ordain him and dedicate him to me as my priest. 14 Put the priestly robes on Aaron’s sons 15 and ordain them in the same way, so they and their descendants will always be my priests.
16 Moses followed the Lord’s instructions. 17 And on the first day of the first month[ap] of the second year, the sacred tent was set up. 18 The posts, stands, and framework were put in place, 19 then the two layers of coverings were hung over them. 20 The stones with the Ten Commandments written on them were stored in the sacred chest, the place of mercy[aq] was put on top of it, and the carrying poles were attached. 21 The chest was brought into the tent and set behind the curtain in the most holy place. These things were done exactly as the Lord had commanded Moses.
22 The table for the sacred bread was put along the north wall of the holy place, 23 after which the bread was set on the table. 24 The lampstand was put along the south wall, 25 then the lamps were attached to it there in the presence of the Lord. 26 The gold incense altar was set up in front of the curtain, 27 and sweet-smelling incense was burned on it. These things were done exactly as the Lord had commanded Moses.
28 The curtain was hung at the entrance to the sacred tent. 29 Then the altar for offering sacrifices was put in front of the tent, and animal sacrifices and gifts of grain were offered there. 30 The large bronze bowl was placed between the altar and the entrance to the tent. It was filled with water, 31 then Moses and Aaron, together with Aaron’s sons, washed their hands and feet. 32 In fact, they washed each time before entering the tent or offering sacrifices at the altar. These things were done exactly as the Lord had commanded Moses.
33 Finally, Moses had the curtain hung around the courtyard.
The Glory of the Lord
34 Suddenly the sacred tent was covered by a thick cloud and filled with the glory of the Lord. 35 And so, Moses could not enter the tent. 36 Whenever the cloud moved from the tent, the people would break camp and follow; 37 then they would set up camp and stay there, until it moved again. 38 No matter where the people traveled, the Lord was with them. Each day his cloud was over the tent, and each night a fire could be seen in the cloud.
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