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Bible Commentaries
Exodus 35

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-3


Verses 1-3:

Before beginning the work on the tabernacle, Moses repeated the Divine command regarding the Sabbath, Ex 20:8-11; 23:12; 34:21. He added in this text a prohibition against kindling a fire on the Sabbath.

A reason for the repetition of this command may be that the people needed a warning, lest in their zeal to complete the tabernacle, and regarding it as a sacred task, they might be tempted to violate the Sabbath law.

The kindling of a fire required considerable labor. One method was by vigorously rubbing two sticks together, until the friction generated heat to ignite kindling. Another method was by rapidly twirling a stick between the palms of the hands, which one end of the stick in a depression on a board, until friction ignited a fire. Either method was slow and laborious.

Verses 4-19

Verses 4-19:

After warning against Sabbath violation, Moses instructed the people regarding the construction of the tabernacle. Plans for the tabernacle and its furnishings are found in chapters 25 through 28.

Verses 5-10: a list of materials to be used in the construction of the tabernacle, corresponding to Ex 25:2-7.

Verse 11: the tabernacle, Ex 26:1-6; the tent, Exodus 26:7-13; the covering, Ex 26:14; the boards, Ex 26:15-25; the bars, Ex 26:26-29; the pillars, Ex 26:32-37; and the sockets, Ex 26:19-25, 32, 37. These are the main parts of the tabernacle.

Verse 12: The ark and its staves, Ex 25:10-15; the mercy seat, Ex 25:17-22; the veil, Ex 26:31.

Verse 13: the table of showbread, and its appurtenances, see Ex 25:23-30.

Verse 14: The candlestick and its components, see Ex 25:31-39.

Verse 15: the altar of incense, see Ex 30:1-10; the anointing oil, Ex 30:23-25; the sweet incense, Ex 30:34, 35; and the door hangings,

Verse 16: the altar of burnt offering, and its appurtenances, see Ex 27:1-8; the laver, see Ex 30:18-21.

Verse 17: the hangings, pillars, and sockets, see Ex 27:9-18.

Verse 18: the pins of the tabernacle; likely the tent-pegs, which were not previously mentioned. These were required to keep the ropes taut which held the tabernacle covering in place, and to keep the pillars upright on which the court hangings were attached.

Verse 19: the clothes of services refer to the holy garments which Aaron and the priests wore, see Ex 31:10.

These materials were to be obtained from the offerings of the people, given freely to the service of Jehovah. The work was to be done by those skilled in the various arts and crafts.

Verses 20-29

Verses 20-29:

The people returned to their tents, and began to gather materials for the tabernacle, as Moses instructed.

The work of building and furnishing the tabernacle was completely voluntary. And it was not undertaken as Moses’ project, or in honor of the people. It was "the Lord’s offerings," 2Co 8:12.

This illustrates the manner of giving to sacred ministry today: it is the Lord’s work. One who gives either of money, materials, time, or talent, is to give as "unto the Lord," not to the church, or to the missionary, or to any specific project.

All classes of people were involved. Both men and women gave of their jewelry. The men gave of the materials they had at hand. The women gave of their skills to weave the fabric for the tabernacle. The wealthy (rulers) gave of their gem-stones for the sacred garments, and the expensive spices and oils for the incense and anointing ointment. ,

Verses 30-35

Verses 30-35:

Moses was Israel’s divinely appointed leader. He was learned in the arts and wisdom of the Egyptians. He likely had the skills to supervise the detailed work of constructing the tabernacle. But his many duties as Israel’s leader occupied his attention to the extent that he had not time for this project.

Others needed to become involved in the work. Hence, God appointed two men to the task of overseeing the tabernacle construction, see Ex 31:1-11. Bezaleel was the general superintendent. He was the grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. His chief assistant was a man of the tribe of Dan, Aholiab by name. The Lord gave special talents to these men to enable them to do the work He appointed them to do.

The appointment of these men teaches the wisdom of delegating work and responsibility to men of wisdom, technical skills, and spiritual understanding. No pastor is capable of doing everything in the church body, in addition to his primary calling of prayer and the ministry of the Word, Ac 6.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Exodus 35". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/exodus-35.html. 1985.
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