The Second Book of Moses, Called Exodus

Chapter 36

The offerings are delivered to the workmen, 1-3. The liberality of the people is restrained, 4-7. The curtains with cherubim, 8-13. The curtains of goats' hair, 14-18. The covering of skins, 19. The boards with their sockets, 20-30. The bars, 31-34. The veil, 35, 36. The hanging for the door, 37, 38.

1 "Then Bezaleel, Aholiab, and every wise-hearted man, in whom the LORD put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, shall do according to all that the LORD has commanded."

2 And Moses called Bezaleel, Aholiab, and every wise-hearted man, in whose heart the LORD had put wisdom, even everyone whose heart excited him to come to the work to do it, 3 And they received from Moses all the offering which the children of Israel had brought for the work of the service of the sanctuary to make it. And they brought yet to him voluntary-offerings every morning. 4 And all the wise men, who wrought all the work of the sanctuary, each came from his work which they made. 5 And they spoke to Moses, saying, "The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work which the LORD commanded to make." 6 And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, "Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary." So the people were restrained from bringing. 7 For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it and too much.

8 And every wise-hearted man among those who wrought the work of the tabernacle made ten curtains of fine twined linen, blue, purple, and scarlet. He made them with cherubim of skillful work. 9 The length of one curtain was twenty-eight cubits and the breadth of one curtain four cubits. The curtains were all of one size. 10 And he coupled the five curtains to one another and the other five curtains he coupled to one another. 11 And he made loops of blue on the edge of one curtain from the selvage in the coupling. He did likewise in the extremity of another curtain in the coupling of the second. 12 Fifty loops he made on one curtain and fifty loops he made on the edge of the curtain which was in the coupling of the second. The loops held one curtain to another. 13 And he made fifty buttons of gold and coupled the curtains to one another with the buttons. Thus it became one tabernacle.

14 And he made curtains of goats' hair for the tent over the tabernacle. He made them eleven curtains. 15 The length of one curtain was thirty cubits and four cubits was the breadth of one curtain. The eleven curtains were of one size. 16 And he coupled five curtains by themselves and six curtains by themselves. 17 And he made fifty loops upon the outermost edge of the curtain in the coupling and fifty loops he made upon the edge of the curtain which couples the second. 18 And he made fifty buttons of brass to couple the tent together so that it might be one. 19 And he made a covering for the tent of rams' skins dyed red and a covering of badgers' skins above that.

20 And he made boards for the tabernacle of shittim wood, standing up. 21 The length of a board was ten cubits and the breadth of a board one cubit and a half. 22 One board had two tenons, equally distant one from another. Thus he made for all the boards of the tabernacle. 23 And he made boards for the tabernacle, twenty boards for the south side southward. 24 And forty sockets of silver he made under the twenty boards, two sockets under one board for its two tenons and two sockets under another board for its two tenons. 25 And for the other side of the tabernacle which is toward the north corner, he made twenty boards. 26 And their forty sockets of silver, two sockets under one board and two sockets under another board. 27 And for the sides of the tabernacle westward he made six boards. 28 And he made two boards for the corners of the tabernacle in the rear. 29 And they were coupled beneath and coupled together at the head thereof to one ring. Thus he did to both of them for both the corners. 30 And there were eight boards and their sockets were sixteen sockets of silver, under every board two sockets.

31 And he made bars of shittim wood: five for the boards of one side of the tabernacle, 32 And five bars for the boards of the other side of the tabernacle, and five bars for the boards of the tabernacle for the sides westward. 33 And he made the middle bar to shoot through the boards from one end to the other. 34 And he overlaid the boards with gold, and made their rings of gold to be places for the bars, and overlaid the bars with gold.

35 And he made a veil of blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen. With cherubim he made it of skillful work. 36 And he made for it four pillars of shittim wood and overlaid them with gold. Their hooks were of gold and he cast for them four sockets of silver. 37 And he made a hanging for the tabernacle door of blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen, of needle-work, 38 And its five pillars with their hooks. And he overlaid their capitals and their fillets with gold, but their five sockets were of brass.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Exodus, Chapter 36[➚]


[v.5] - "The people bring much more than enough" - From John Gill's Exposition: "They had taken an estimate of what was to be done, and of what was necessary for the doing of [the work], and of what the people brought for this service; and they found there was a great deal more brought than would be wanted, and therefore they thought proper to advise Moses of it, that no more might be brought: it is hard to say which is most to be wondered at, the great liberality of the people in contributing so freely and bountifully, and continuing to do so without being urged, or even asked; or the honesty of the workmen, one and all, who might have gone on to have received the gifts of the people by the hands of Moses, and what was superfluous might have converted to their own use; but instead of this, they agree as one man to let Moses know how the state of things was, and prevent the people from making any more contributions."

[v.8-38] - These verses give an account of the doing of the work of the building of the tabernacle. For an explanation of the various parts of the tabernacle, see the notes for Exodus, ch. 26. In summary, this tabernacle was a representation of God's Church. It was constructed, not of stone, but of curtains to be a temporary establishment. The Church is not of this world and is properly established in a better, heavenly country (John 18:36; Hebrews 11:16; Revelation 21:2). From John Gill's Exposition: "It may be observed, that throughout the account of the various articles, it is all along said 'he' did this and the other; either referring to Moses, by whose orders they were done, or to Bezaleel, the chief director of the work, or to each and everyone of the artificers severally concerned."

[v.8] - "He made them with cherubim of skillful work" - In other words, he made the curtains with skillful designs of cherubim on them.