Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, May 26th, 2024
Trinity Sunday
For 10¢ a day you can enjoy StudyLight.org ads
free while helping to build churches and support pastors in Uganda.
Click here to learn more!

Bible Commentaries
Exodus 31

Poole's English Annotations on the Holy BiblePoole's Annotations



Bezaleel and Aholiab are called for the work of the tabernacle, Exodus 31:1-7.

The table and candlestick, Exodus 31:8.

The altar, Exodus 31:9.

Hallowing of the sabbath is commanded again, Exodus 31:12-17.

Moses receiveth the two tables of the law, Exodus 31:18.

Verse 2

He seems to be the same mentioned 1 Chronicles 2:20

Verse 3

I have filled him with the spirit of God, which was now necessary, because the Israelites in Egypt wanted ingenious education to learn these things, and therefore needed inspiration.

In wisdom, or, with wisdom, the following clauses being explicatory of the former, showing what gifts of the Spirit God had filled him with, to wit, wisdom, &c.

Verse 6

All that are wise-hearted; that have wisdom and skill sufficient to do these things, under the inspection and direction of Bezaleel and Aholiab, the principal workmen.

Verse 8

The pure candlestick; so called by way of eminency, notonly because it was made of pure gold, and was not defiled with blood, for so some other things were, but especially to mind the priests of their duty in keeping it neat and clean, it being more subject to defilement than other things.

Verse 10

The cloths of service, wherein the ark and other sacred utensils were wrapped up when they were to be removed. See Exodus 35:19; Numbers 4:0.

Verse 13

My sabbaths ye shall keep: this precept is here repeated, either,

1. To show the chief use of the tabernacle, and all this cost and trouble about it, to wit, that they might there acceptably serve God, as in some measure upon every day, so especially upon the sabbath day. Or rather,

2. To restrain the time for the doing of the forementioned works: q.d. Though the work of the tabernacle and utensils be holy, and for a holy use, yet I will not have it done upon my holy day. The sabbath was not made for them, but they for it, and therefore they shall give place to it.

It is a sign between me and you. The sabbath is a fivefold sign:

1. Commemorative, of God’s creation of and dominion over them and all other things, to whom they do hereby profess their subjection.

2. Indicative, showing that they were made to be holy, and that their sanctification can be had from none but from God, as it here follows, and from the observation of God’s days and appointments.

3. Distinctive, whereby they owned themselves to be the Lord’s peculiar people, by a religious keeping of those sabbaths, which the rest of the world grossly neglected and profanely scoffed at.

4. Prefigurative, of that rest which Christ should purchase for them, to wit, a rest from the burden of the ceremonial, and from the curses and rigours of the moral law, as also from sin and the wrath of God for ever. See Hebrews 4:0.

5. Confirmative, both assuring them of God’s good will to them, and that as he blessed the sabbath for their sakes, so he would bless them in the holy use of it with temporal, spiritual, and everlasting blessings, as he declares in many places of Scripture; and assuring God of their standing to that covenant made between God and them. So that this was a mutual stipulation or ratification of the covenant of grace on both sides.

That doth sanctify you; that selecteth you out of all people, and consecrateth you to myself, and to my service and worship, a great part whereof is the observation of the sabbath. Or, that sanctifieth you by my word and ordinances, which are in more eminent and solemn manner dispensed upon the sabbath day, by the observation whereof you declare that you own me as your only Sanctifier; and so we may observe, the sabbath owns the Lord as our Creator, and as our Redeemer, and as our Sanctifier; and therefore it is no wonder God so severely enjoins the sanctification of the sabbath, and punisheth the neglect of it, it being a tacit renouncing or disowning of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

Verse 14

Shall surely be put to death; of which see an example, Numbers 15:32, &c. i.e. Servile work, as it is explained. Leviticus 23:7, &c.

Verse 15

The sabbath of rest, Heb. the sabbath of sabbaths, or, of sabbaths, i.e. the great and chief sabbath, as the song of songs is the most excellent song, the holy of holies is the most holy, &c. The Jews had many sabbaths or days of rest, but this is here preferred before them all, by this emphatical repetition of the same word; and by this argument the foregoing duty is pressed upon them.

Verse 16

Or, shall keep the sabbath by observing or celebrating the sabbath, i. e. by observing or celebrating it, the antecedent being put for the relative, as is frequently done. So here is another most emphatical repetition to oblige us to the greater caution and diligence in this great duty, and to show what stress God lays upon it, who hath therefore placed this in the midst of the commands of the decalogue, as the heart which gives life and rigour to all the rest. Or it may be rendered thus; shall observe the day of rest to celebrate the sabbath; and so the phrase is like that in the fourth command, Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy. So here, Observe the sabbath. i.e. watch its coming and approach, consider attentively the nature and use of it, and that not as a matter of idle speculation, but of serious practice; or, so that you may do or celebrate the sabbath, i.e. perform all the duties of it. Or thus, shall observe the sabbath, to make it a sabbath or day of rest, and that no idle or carnal rest, but a rest, holy to the Lord, as it is called in the foregoing verse.

For a perpetual covenant, or, by a perpetual covenant, or, it is a perpetual covenant, i. e. condition or part of that agreement made between me and them. They have solemnly covenanted or promised that they will do all that I commanded them, Exodus 24:7,Exodus 24:8, among which this is a chief branch; and I have covenanted to bless and sanctify them in so doing. And this word perpetual, as also the word for ever, being added to it in the next verse, may intimate that this hath a longer perpetuity than the ceremonies, to which this phrase is sometimes ascribed, the rather because the reason of this perpetuity given in the next verse is such as hath its force not only till Christ, but even till the end of the world, and it is fit and just that men should retain this monument or memorial of the world’s creation even till its dissolution.

Verse 17

It is a sign, a sign of the covenant between us, that I will be their God, and they will be my people; both which depends upon this amongst other duties, and upon this in an eminent degree.

Was refreshed; not as if he had been weary with working, which surely he could not be with speaking a few words, nor can God be weary with any thing, Isaiah 40:28; but it notes the pleasure or delight God took in reflecting upon his works, beholding that every thing he had made was very good, Genesis 1:31.

Verse 18

i.e. The tables of the law, which was the witness of God’s will and Israel’s duty. See Exodus 16:34.

Tables of stone; whereby was signified both the durable and perpetual obligation of the moral law, whereas the ceremonial law was to end with the Jewish polity at Christ’s coming; and the stoniness of men’s hearts by nature, in which the law of God could not be written but by a Divine and omnipotent hand.

Written with the finger of God, i.e. with the power or Spirit of God, by comparing Matthew 12:18; not by any art of man, but immediately by a Divine hand.

BC 1491

Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Exodus 31". Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/mpc/exodus-31.html. 1685.
Ads FreeProfile