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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Exodus 25

 

 

Verses 1-9

The Offerings for the Sanctuary - Exodus 25:1-9 records God's instructions to the children of Israel regarding the collection of the offering in order to gather the material for the construction of the Tabernacle.

Exodus 25:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

Exodus 25:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering.

Exodus 25:2"willing with his heart" - Comments- God loves a cheerful giver and he wants us to give our best ( 2 Corinthians 9:7). God did not force them to give, because the reward comes from giving with a willing heart. God could have commanded everyone to give a certain portion for the building of the Tabernacle, but God wanted a cheerful giver. God wanted them to give their best, not leftovers, but the most valuable possessions they had.

2 Corinthians 9:7, "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver."

Exodus 25:1-2Comments - The Principle of Giving and Receiving- God took the children of Israel out of bondage with silver and gold; for they had spoiled the Egyptians ( Exodus 12:35-36). A few months later, God asks them to give of a willing heart for the building of the Tabernacle. God blessed the children of Israel in order that they might also learn to give willingly and abundantly. This is an excellent example of the divine principles described by Paul the apostle in 2 Corinthians 9:10.

Exodus 12:35-36, "And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians."

2 Corinthians 9:10, "Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)"

Exodus 25:5 — "and badgers' skins" - Comments- The badger's skin was an expensive item to use. It was associated with beauty and wealth ( Ezekiel 16:10-14).

Ezekiel 16:10-14, "I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badgers" skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk. I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck. And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head. Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil: and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom. And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord GOD."

Exodus 25:5 — "shittim wood" - Comments- Many of the articles of the Tabernacle were made of acacia wood, also called shittim wood ( שִׁטָּה) (H 7848). The acacia tree was a thorny tree that grew in deserts of the Middle East. It was a perfect wood for such construction, growing up to twenty feet tall and having a trunk up to two feet in thickness. It has a close grain, which prohibits insect attack."


Verses 1-18

Instructions Concerning the Building of the Tabernacle- In Exodus 25:1 to Exodus 31:18 the Lord gives Moses instructions concerning the building of the Tabernacle and its articles, as well as the priestly garments. According to Hebrews 8:5, the Lord showed to Moses this pattern visually, probably while he was on the Mount, for God told Moses to make everything according to the pattern that He showed Moses on the mount. The Lord revealed it to him audibly as recorded in this section of the book of Exodus.

Hebrews 8:5, "Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith Hebrews , that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.'

It is important to note that God gave Moses general instructions on the building of this Tabernacle and of the making of the priestly garments. But God left it up to the creativity of the craftsmen, being inspired under their anointing, to design the details of each item they made. In the same way, God will give us instructions for our lives, but He often allows us to make the decisions about many of the details as we are inspired by the Holy Spirit each day.

Here is a proposed outline of Exodus 25:1 to Exodus 31:18 :

The Offerings for the Sanctuary

Exodus 25:1-9

The Furniture of the Tabernacle

Exodus 25:10-40

The Ark of the Covenant, Mercy Seat & Cherubim

Exodus 25:10-22

The Table of Shewbread & its Accessories

Exodus 25:23-30

The Candlestick

Exodus 25:31-39

Concluding Statement

Exodus 25:40

The Building to House the Articles of the Tabernacle

Exodus 26:1-37

The Altar of Burnt Offering

Exodus 27:1-8

The Court of the Tabernacle

Exodus 27:9-19

The Care of the Lampstand

Exodus 27:20-21

The Garments for the Priesthood

Exodus 28:1-43

Introduction

Exodus 28:1-4

The Ephod

Exodus 28:5-14

The Breastplate of Judgment

Exodus 28:15-30

The Robe, Mitre, Girdle & Linen Breeches

Exodus 28:31-42

Concluding Statement

Exodus 28:43

The Consecration of Aaron and His Sons

Exodus 29:1-35

The Consecration & Service of the Burnt Altar

Exodus 29:36-46

The Altar of Incense

Exodus 30:1-10

The Ransom Money

Exodus 30:11-16

The Bronze Laver

Exodus 30:17-21

The Holy Anointing Oil

Exodus 30:22-33

The Incense

Exodus 30:34-38

The Appointment of Craftsmen

Exodus 31:1-11


Verses 10-40

The Furniture of the Tabernacle- The specifications for the building of the Tabernacle begin with its most important articles, which are those contained within the inner sanctuary: the Ark of the Covenant, the mercy seat and the Cherubim, the table of shewbread and the candlestick.

The Ark of the Covenant, Mercy Seat & Cherubim — Exodus 25:10-22

The Table of Shewbread and its Accessories — Exodus 25:23-30

The Candlestick — Exodus 25:31-39

Concluding Statement — Exodus 25:40

Exodus 25:10-22 — The Ark of the Covenant, Mercy Seat and the Cherubim - Exodus 25:10-22 gives a description of the building of the ark of the covenant with the mercy seat and the cherubim that are to be placed on top. While the Holy Place was lit by the candlestick, the Holy of Holies had no source of light but the glory of God above the mercy seat.

Exodus 25:10 And they shall make an ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof.

Exodus 25:10Word Study on "cubit" - Webster says a cubit is about 18 to 22inches. Originally, it was the length of a man"s arm from the elbow to the end of the middle finger. Holladay says a cubit is about 50 cm. (3048 cm = 1ft) which is about 1ft, 7 ½ inches.

Exodus 25:11 And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about.

Exodus 25:11Word Study on "crown" - Strong says the Hebrew word "crown" ( זֵר) (H 2213) is "a chaplet, i.e. (specifically) a border moulding." Holladay says it is "a moulding of gold." Webster says a chaplet is "a small molding, carved into beads, pearls, olives, etc."

Exodus 25:14Word Study on "staves" - Strong says the Hebrew word "staves" ( בַּר) (H 905) is a "bar for carrying."

Exodus 25:17Word Study on "mercy seat" - Strong says the Hebrew word "mercy seat" ( כַּפּׂרֶת) (H 3727) is a lid (used only for the covering of the sacred Ark). Holladay says it is "the gold covering-slab of the ark used as a base for the two cherubim."

Exodus 25:18 And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat.

Exodus 25:18Comments - One must wonder how Moses and the Jews knew the shape of these heavenly cherubims ( כְּרוּב) (H 3742). Perhaps Moses had seen them when God reveals to him the pattern of the heavenly tabernacle ( Exodus 25:9; Exodus 25:40, Acts 7:44, Hebrews 8:5).

Exodus 25:9, "According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it."

Exodus 25:40, "And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount."

Acts 7:44, "Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen."

Hebrews 8:5, "Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith Hebrews , that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount."

The Hebrew word כְּרוּב is first used in the Old Testament in Genesis 3:24. Its second use is found in Exodus 25:18.

Genesis 3:24, "So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life."

Exodus 25:19 And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof.

Exodus 25:19Scripture References- Note:

John 20:12, "And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain."

Exodus 25:20 And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be.

Exodus 25:21 And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee.

Exodus 25:22 And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.

Exodus 25:23-30 — The Table of Shewbread and Its Accessories - Exodus 25:23-30 gives a description of the building of the table of shewbread and its accessories.

Exodus 25:25Word Study on "border" - Strong says the Hebrew word "border" ( מִסְגֶּרֶת) (H 4526) means, "a margin." Holladay says it means, "a rim (of a table or base)."

Exodus 25:26 And thou shalt make for it four rings of gold, and put the rings in the four corners that are on the four feet thereof.

Exodus 25:29Word Study on "spoons"- Holladay says the Hebrew word "spoons" ( כַּף) (H 3709) means, "a metal basin." He says this same word is used for the "palm (the hollow, outspread hand)," the whole hand, or the sole (of the foot)."

Exodus 25:29Word Study on "covers" - Holladay says the Hebrew word "covers" ( קָשָׂה) or ( קַשְׂוָה) (H 7184) means, "jars." Note:

Numbers 4:7, "And upon the table of shewbread they shall spread a cloth of blue, and put thereon the dishes, and the spoons, and the bowls, and covers to cover withal: and the continual bread shall be thereon."

Exodus 25:30 And thou shalt set upon the table shewbread before me alway.

Exodus 25:31-39 — The Candlestick - Exodus 25:31-39 gives a description of the building of the candlestick.

Exodus 25:31 And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be made: his shaft, and his branches, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, shall be of the same.

Exodus 25:31Word Study on "candlestick" - Strong says the Hebrew word "candlestick" ( מְנוֹרָה) (H 4501) means, "a chandelier, candlestick." Holladay says it means, "a lampstand (not candlestick."

Exodus 25:31Word Study on "knop" - Strong says the Hebrew word "knop" ( כַּפְתּׂר) (H 3730) means, "a wreath-like button or disk on the candelabrum (a large, branched candlestick)." Holladay says it means, "a knob of a lampstand (shaped like the knobby fruit of a tree). Webster says a knob is "A knoblike ornament or handle." The NIV reads, "buds." The RSV reads, "capital," which is the top part of a column.

Exodus 25:32 And six branches shall come out of the sides of it; three branches of the candlestick out of the one side, and three branches of the candlestick out of the other side:

Exodus 25:33 Three bowls made like unto almonds, with a knop and a flower in one branch; and three bowls made like almonds in the other branch, with a knop and a flower: so in the six branches that come out of the candlestick.

Exodus 25:33Word Study on "almonds" - Strong says the Hebrew word "almonds" ( שָׁקַר) (H 8246) means, "the almond tree or nut." Holladay says it means, "the almond-tree, plural- almonds." The ASV, NIV read, "almond blossom or flower." The KJV, RSV reads, "almond."

Exodus 25:33Scripture References- Note:

Numbers 17:9, "And Moses brought out all the rods from before the LORD unto all the children of Israel: and they looked, and took every man his rod."

Exodus 25:34 And in the candlestick shall be four bowls made like unto almonds, with their knops and their flowers.

Exodus 25:35 And there shall be a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, according to the six branches that proceed out of the candlestick.

Exodus 25:36 Their knops and their branches shall be of the same: all it shall be one beaten work of pure gold.

Exodus 25:37 And thou shalt make the seven lamps thereof: and they shall light the lamps thereof, that they may give light over against it.

Exodus 25:37Word Study on "lamps" - Strong says the Hebrew word "lamps" ( נִיר) (H 5216) means, "a lamp, i.e, the burner, or light." Holladay says it means, "a light, lamp."

Exodus 25:37"over against it" - The NIV, and RSV read, "in front of it."

Exodus 25:38 And the tongs thereof, and the snuffdishes thereof, shall be of pure gold.

Exodus 25:38Word Study on "tongs" - Strong says the Hebrew word "tongs" ( מֶלְקָח) (H 4457) means, "tweezers, tongs, snuffers." Holladay says it means, "snuffers to cut wick." The RSV reads, "snuffer." The NIV reads, "wick trimmer." Webster says a snuffer is "a device with a cone on the end of a handle, for extinguishing a burning candle." Note:

Numbers 4:9, "And they shall take a cloth of blue, and cover the candlestick of the light, and his lamps, and his tongs, and his snuffdishes, and all the oil vessels thereof, wherewith they minister unto it."

Exodus 25:38Word Study on "snuff dishes" - Strong says the Hebrew word "snuff dishes" ( מַחְתָּה) (H 4289) means, "a pan for live coals, container with incense burnt, censer, fire pan, snuff dish." Holladay says it means, "a small pan as an accessory of lamp stand." The NIV, and RSV read, "trays."

Exodus 25:39 Of a talent of pure gold shall he make it, with all these vessels.

Exodus 25:40 — Concluding Statement - Exodus 25:40 serves as a conclusion to the description of the building of the articles of the Tabernacle described in Exodus 25:10-39

Exodus 25:40 And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount.

Exodus 25:40Comments- The Lord also showed David the pattern of the Temple:

1 Chronicles 28:11-13, "Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, and of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the upper chambers thereof, and of the inner parlours thereof, and of the place of the mercy seat, And the pattern of all that he had by the spirit, of the courts of the house of the LORD, and of all the chambers round about, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries of the dedicated things: Also for the courses of the priests and the Levites, and for all the work of the service of the house of the LORD, and for all the vessels of service in the house of the LORD."

1 Chronicles 28:19, "All this, said David, the LORD made me understand in writing by his hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern."

2 Chronicles 3:1, "Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the LORD appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite."

Scripture References- Note:

Acts 7:44, "Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen."

Hebrews 8:5, "Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith Hebrews , that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount."

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Exodus 25:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/exodus-25.html. 2013.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, September 16th, 2019
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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