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You must not kindle a fire[a] in any of your homes[b] on the Sabbath day.”[c]

Willing Workers

[d] Moses spoke to the whole community of the Israelites, “This is the word that the Lord has commanded: ‘Take[e] an offering for the Lord. Let everyone who has a willing heart[f] bring[g] an offering to the Lord:[h] gold, silver, bronze;

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  1. Exodus 35:3 sn Kindling a fire receives special attention here because the people thought that kindling a fire was not work, but only a preparation for some kind of work. The Law makes sure that this too was not done. But see also G. Robinson, “The Prohibition of Strange Fire in Ancient Israel: A Look at the Case of Gathering Wood and Kindling Fire on the Sabbath,” VT 28 (1978): 301-17.
  2. Exodus 35:3 tn Heb “dwelling places”; KJV, ASV “habitations.”
  3. Exodus 35:3 sn The presence of these three verses in this place has raised all kinds of questions. It may be that after the renewal of the covenant the people needed a reminder to obey God, and obeying the sign of the covenant was the starting point. But there is more to it than this; it is part of the narrative design of the book. It is the artistic design that puts the filling of the Spirit section (31:1-11) prior to the Sabbath laws (31:12-18) before the idolatry section, and then after the renewal there is the Sabbath reminder (35:1-3) before the filling of the Spirit material (35:4-36:7).
  4. Exodus 35:4 sn The book now turns to record how all the work of the sanctuary was done. This next unit picks up on the ideas in Exod 31:1-11. But it adds several features. The first part is the instruction of God for all people to give willingly (35:4-19); the next section tells how the faithful brought an offering for the service of the tabernacle (35:20-29); the next section tells how God set some apart with special gifts (35:30-35), and finally, the narrative reports how the faithful people of God enthusiastically began the work (36:1-7).
  5. Exodus 35:5 tn Heb “from with you.”
  6. Exodus 35:5 tn “Heart” is a genitive of specification, clarifying in what way they might be “willing.” The heart refers to their will, their choices.
  7. Exodus 35:5 tn The verb has a suffix that is the direct object, but the suffixed object is qualified by the second accusative: “let him bring it, an offering.”
  8. Exodus 35:5 tn The phrase is literally “the offering of Yahweh”; it could be a simple possessive, “Yahweh’s offering,” but a genitive that indicates the indirect object is more appropriate.