INTRODUCTION TO EXODUS 38
This chapter is a continuation of the account of the making of the things belonging to the tabernacle, particularly the altar of burnt offering, Exodus 38:1 the laver of brass, and the things it was made of, Exodus 38:8 the court and its hangings, pillars, sockets, hooks and pins, Exodus 38:9 then follows an account of the quantities of gold, silver, and brass, expended in the making of the several things appertaining to the sanctuary, Exodus 38:21.
And he made the altar of burnt offering,.... That is, Bezaleel made it, or it was made by his direction, he having the care and oversight of it, wherefore the making of it is ascribed to him, 2 Chronicles 1:5 the account of this, its horns, vessels, rings, and staves, is carried on to Exodus 38:2 of which See Gill on Exodus 27:1, Exodus 27:2, Exodus 27:3, Exodus 27:4, Exodus 27:5, Exodus 27:6, Exodus 27:7, Exodus 27:8.
And he made the laver of brass, and the foot of it of brass,.... Not of the brass of the offering, for of that were made the brazen altar, its grate and vessels, the sockets of the court and court gate, and the pins of the tabernacle, Exodus 38:29 but no mention is made there of the laver; for that was made, as here said:
of the looking glasses of the women assembling, which assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation; though these are called looking glasses, it is not to be supposed that they were made of glass as ours are; for of what use could such be in the making of a brazen laver? Some indeed choose to read the words "with the looking glasses"
And he made the court,.... The open court of the tabernacle, where the people met, of which, its pillars, sockets, hangings, hooks, and pins, an account is given, to Exodus 38:10 of which See Gill on Exodus 27:9, Exodus 27:10, Exodus 27:11, Exodus 27:12, Exodus 27:13, Exodus 27:14, Exodus 27:15, Exodus 27:16, Exodus 27:17, Exodus 27:18, Exodus 27:19.
This is the sum of the tabernacle,.... Not of the several parts of the tabernacle, and the several things belonging to it, before enumerated, as made and delivered to the care and custody of the Levites, but of the materials of which they were made, particularly the gold and silver, and the brass; the several sums and weight of which are given in the following verses:
even of the tabernacle of the testimony; in which the law, the testimony of the will of God, was put enclosed in the ark:
as it was counted, according to the commandment of Moses; when it was brought in to him by the people, and delivered by him to Bezaleel, Aholiab, and the artificers:
for the service of the Levites; or by means of their ministry, who were employed in taking this account:
by the hand of Ithamar, son to Aaron the priest; the youngest son of Aaron, who had the direction and oversight of this affair.
And Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah,.... Of whom and his descent see Exodus 31:2.
made all that the Lord commanded Moses; gave directions about them, and took care that the tabernacle and all things belonging to it were made, which the Lord commanded Moses, and in the exact manner in which they were ordered to be made.
And with him was Aholiab, son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan,.... Of him see Exodus 31:6.
an engraver; of precious stones, as those in the ephod and breastplate:
and a cunning workman; in devising and working curious figured works, either in weaving or with the needle:
and an embroiderer in blue, and purple, and in scarlet, and in fine linen; which were used in the curtains and hangings of the tabernacle, and in the priests' garments.
All the gold that was occupied for the work, in all the work of the place,.... That was expended in making the mercy seat and cherubim, and the candlestick, which were all of pure gold; besides other things belonging to the ark and shewbread table; and the plates, with which the ark and many other things were covered or glided:
even the gold of the offering; which the people brought and offered freely; as their bracelets, earrings, and jewels of gold, Exodus 35:22.
was twenty nine talents, and seven hundred and thirty shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary: now as it is clear from Exodus 38:25 that a talent is of the value of 3000 shekels, which, according to Brerewood, amount to three hundred and seventy five pounds of our money; and reckoning as he does the value of gold to be twelve times that of silver, a talent of gold, with him, is, of our money, 4500 pounds; so that twenty nine talents, seven hundred and thirty shekels, are reckoned by him at 131,595 pounds
And the silver of them that were numbered of the congregation,.... This was not the offering of silver, Exodus 35:24 but what was collected in numbering the people, where everyone of twenty years old and upwards paid half a shekel, Exodus 30:12 the sum
was an hundred talents, one thousand seven hundred and threescore fifteen shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary; which, according to Brerewood
A bekah for every man, that is, half a shekel, after the shekel of the sanctuary,.... A half shekel was called a "bekah", from בקע, "bakah", to divide; because it was a shekel divided into two parts:
for everyone that went to be numbered, from twenty years and upwards; in order to give a ransom, and make an atonement for their souls, as was ordered Exodus 30:12.
for six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty men; so that from the time of their coming out of Egypt, which was now about six months ago, there was an increase of 3550 of the above age; see Exodus 12:37.
And of the hundred talents of silver were cast the sockets of the sanctuary, and the sockets of the vail,.... The sockets for the boards of the tabernacle, into which they were put; and the sockets for the vail, which divided between the holy and the most holy place, in which the pillars were set the vail was hung upon, and which was the silver foundation of the whole fabric:
one hundred sockets of the one hundred talents, a talent for a socket; there were ninety six sockets for the sanctuary or tabernacle, and four for the vail; and on each of these a talent of silver was expended; which, according to Dr. Cumberland, was three hundred and fifty three pounds, eleven shillings, and some odd pence; so much every socket cost.
And of the thousand seven hundred seventy five shekels,.... Which remained of the sum collected, Exodus 38:25 after the silver sockets were cast:
he made hooks for the pillars: on each side of the court of the tabernacle on which the hangings were hung; these hooks, as Kimchi says
and overlaid their chapiters, and filleted them; that is, overlaid the heads, tops, or knobs of the pillars with silver plates, and filleted, girded, or hooped other parts of them with silver.
And the brass of the offering was seventy talents, and two thousand four hundred shekels. Which, according to Paris weight, were 6177 pounds, ten ounces, two drachms, and sixty four grains
And therewith he made the sockets to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation,.... Which were five; see Exodus 26:37.
and the brazen altar, and the brazen grate for it, and all the vessels of the altar; which were all made of brass; see Exodus 27:2.
And the sockets of the court round about, and the sockets of the court gate,.... These were also of brass, in all sixty:
and all the pins of the tabernacle, and all the pins of the court round about; the pins for the curtains of the tabernacle, and for the hangings of the court; see Exodus 27:19.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Exodus 38". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
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