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Bible Commentaries

Dr. Constable's Expository Notes

Exodus 39

Verses 8-43

2. Execution of the work 36:8-39:43

Moses described the directions for constructing the tabernacle and its furnishings earlier (chs. 25-31). I will simply give a breakdown of the individual items here with references and parallel references (cf. also Exodus 35:11-19).

Verses 1-31

The priests’ clothing 39:1-31

Moses described the preparation of the priests’ clothes at length, as is appropriate in view of their importance. [Note: See John E. Johnson, "The Old Testament Offices as Paradigm for Pastoral Identity," Bibliotheca Sacra 152:606 (April-June 1995):182-200.]

The ephod Exodus 39:2-7 (cf. Exodus 28:6-12)

The breastplate Exodus 39:8-21 (cf. Exodus 28:15-29)

The robe Exodus 39:22-26 (cf. Exodus 28:31-34)

The other accessories Exodus 39:27-31 (cf. Exodus 28:39-40; Exodus 28:42)

Note the repetition of the fact that the craftsmen followed the Lord’s instructions to Moses precisely (Exodus 39:1; Exodus 39:5; Exodus 39:7; Exodus 39:21; Exodus 39:26; Exodus 39:29; Exodus 39:31).

Verses 32-43

Presentation to Moses 39:32-43

The builders and craftsmen then presented the finished tabernacle items to Moses. The fact that he listed them again in the text reflects their importance. The statement that they did their work just as God had commanded Moses brackets the section (Exodus 39:32; Exodus 39:42). As in the Creation narrative (Genesis 1:28), a blessing concludes the tabernacle construction narrative (Exodus 39:43).

"The readiness and liberality with which the people had presented the gifts required for this work, and the zeal which they had shown in executing the whole of the work in rather less than half a year (see at Exodus 40:17), were most cheering signs of the willingness of the Israelites to serve the Lord, for which they could not fail to receive the blessing of God." [Note: Keil and Delitzsch, 2:255.]

The sections of Exodus dealing with the tabernacle are a fruitful field for study. [Note: See Paul F. Kiene, The Tabernacle of God in the Wilderness. This book contains many color pictures of a model as well as explanations of the furniture, priestly garments, etc.]

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Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Exodus 39". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcc/exodus-39.html. 2012.