Lectionary Calendar
Monday, June 17th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Exodus 31

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-11


Verses 1-11:

God had given precise instructions and specifications regarding the construction of the tabernacle and its furnishings, the patterns for the holy garments, and the formulas for the incense and anointing oil. Someone must be designated to carry out these plans.

God chose a man named Bezaleel, whose name means "in the shadow of God." He was of the tribe of Judah, son of a man named Uri, and grandson of Hur (Ex 17:10; 24:14). He was a man of wisdom, knowledge and understanding, and was talented in "all manner of workmanship," possessing manual dexterity and the power of artistic execution. He was skilled in metallurgy, gemology, and woodworking. Bezaleel was placed in charge of the tabernacle construction.

The chief assistant of Bezaleel was Aholiab, whose name means "tent of my father." He was of the tribe of Da Like Bezaleel, he was Divinely endowed with wisdom and skill. The text implies that his expertise was in the field of textiles, and was in charge of making the "holy garments," and perhaps of the curtains, tent, and coverings of the tabernacle.

The text teaches that the talents and skills which men possess are in reality gifts from God, 2Co 8:12.

The text further teaches that God uses many people with varying gifts and talents to carry out His work, see 1Co 12:4-27.

Verses 12-17

Verses 12-17:

The commandments God gave to Moses on Sinai did not initiate the various moral provisions of law. These provisions were the embodiment of eternal righteous principles which apply in every age. For example: it was a violation of God’s law to commit murder long before the law was given on Mount Sinai. In the same way, the law of the Sabbath was evidently observed long before Israel arrived in Sinai. The law given on Sinai set forth and regulated God’s eternal righteous principles as they applied to Israel, see Ro 2:13-15.

The text is an expansion of the Law of the Sabbath, given earlier, Ex 20:8-11; 23:12. Two points are given here which apply to that law:

1. The Sabbath was a "sign," a distinguishing mark, between God and Israel, a sign unique among the world’s nations. It was to be a perpetual observance, continuing throughout Israel’s history as a nation.

2. The death penalty was added, for violation of the rule forbidding any work on the Sabbath. An example of the enforcement of this provision is Nu 15:32-36 (q.v.).

The underlying principle involved is man’s need to rest one day out of seven. But there appears to be more involved than this. It is

to give man the opportunity to reflect upon the Person and performance of God, and to devote himself to praise and worship.

Verse 18

Verse 18:

God Himself wrote the law upon "two tables," luach, "tablets, boards" of stone. The size, shape, and composition of these tablets are unknown. Tradition says they were sapphire, but there is no evidence to support this belief. God had promised this, when Moses ascended the mount, Ex 24:12. The tablets were evidently smaller in size than 36 x 27 inches, because they were to be placed in the ark of the covenant, Anything beyond this is mere speculation.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Exodus 31". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/exodus-31.html. 1985.
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