Bible Commentaries
Exodus 35

Dr. Constable's Expository NotesConstable's Expository Notes


E. The construction and dedication of the objects used in Israel’s worship chs. 35-40

The renewal of the covenant made the erection of the tabernacle possible. Here begins what scholars refer to as the Code of the Priests (Exodus 35 -Leviticus 16). Having broken the covenant once, God proceeded to give His people more stringent requirements.

". . . the Code of the Priests sought to ensure Israel’s obedience through an elaborate system of priestly requirements. As the Sinai narrative [Exodus 19 -Numbers 10] unfolds, then, the simple ’everyman’s’ altar of the Covenant Code (Exodus 20:24-25) gives way to the singular and more elaborate bronze altar of the tabernacle (Exodus 27:1-8; Exodus 38:1-7), one that was to be used solely by the priests (Leviticus 1 ff.)." [Note: Ibid., pp. 58-59.]

"The similarities of Exodus 25-31, 35-40 may all be accounted for on the basis of their rootage in this all-encompassing theme: both sections, each in its own way, are preoccupied with Israel’s need to experience the reality of Yahweh’s Presence." [Note: Durham, p. 474.]

Verses 1-7

1. Preparations for construction 35:1-36:7

Following the restoration of the covenant, Moses announced God’s directions for the construction of the tabernacle. In building it the Israelites were to work only six days a week. They were to rest on the Sabbath (Exodus 35:2-3).

"Kindling a fire receives special attention here because the people thought that kindling a fire was not a work, but only a preparation for some kind of work. But the Law makes sure that this too was not done." [Note: The NET Bible note on 35:3.]

Moses invited the people to bring their contributions for the construction (Exodus 35:4-19; cf. Exodus 25:1-9). These materials would have been the Israelites’ own goods. Some were items the Egyptians had given them when they left Egypt and possessions they had obtained from traders they had met during their travels since leaving Egypt.

The people began to bring what the builders needed (Exodus 35:20-29). Moses again recognized Bezalel and Oholiab as skillful artisans whom God had gifted and appointed to lead the construction work (Exodus 35:30 to Exodus 36:2). This provision by God inspired the people to give even more, so much so that Moses had to tell the people to stop giving (Exodus 31:3-7). The people proved their commitment to the covenant and to Yahweh by their generous contributions to the project that He had ordered. [Note: See Dwayne H. Adams, "The Building Program that Works (Exodus 25:4-36:7 [31:1-11])," Exegesis and Exposition 1:1 (Fall 1986):82-92.]

Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Exodus 35". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". 2012.