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Bible Commentaries

Matthew Poole's English Annotations
on the Holy Bible
Exodus 35

 

 

Verse 2

This command of the sabbath is repeated here, as also Exodus 31:13, together with the instructions for the building of the tabernacle, and its utensils, to show that they were made for no other use than the service of God, which was to be performed, as every day, so in an eminent and peculiar manner upon the sabbath day, and to teach them the absolute necessity of minding that precept in and above all their ceremonial observations.


Verse 3

This command seems to be only temporary and extraordinary during the present season and condition, and not extending to succeeding generations. For,

1. There are instances of temporary precepts both in the Old and New Testament, which yet are not in their places said to be so. Such were some of the precepts concerning the passover, Exodus 12:11, as is confessed. And such was that law of abstaining from things strangled, and blood, Ac 15.

2. This precept is nakedly proposed, and not called a perpetual statute, nor enjoined to be observed in their generations, as other precepts are, to whom those, or some like clauses, are frequently added.

3. The sabbath is rather a feast day than a fast day. And the Jews did make feasts, and invited guests upon the sabbath day, which could not probably be without kindling a fire. And, which is more considerable, Christ himself, who fulfilled all righteousness, and therefore would not have joined in the violation of the sabbath, went to one of those feasts, Lu 14. And the Corinthians, as they received the Lord’s supper upon that day, which none question, so they had their feasts, as is confessed and apparent from 1 Corinthians 11:21,22, &c.

4. The kindling of a fire was no greater hinderance to the religious observation of the sabbath, than other things which were allowed upon that day, such as the washing and dressing of themselves, eating and drinking, &c.

5. This prohibition doth not seem to concern the dressing of meat, as many understand it, by comparing this with Exodus 16:23, (which place I humbly conceive is misunderstood, as I have there intimated, for that was lawful to be done upon, their most solemn days, Exodus 12:16) but the service of the tabernacle, which is the subject of this chapter, and the occasion of these words; and the sense seems to be this, You shall kindle no fire for any handiwork throughout your habitation, no, not for the service of this tabernacle, for the heating of any tools, or the melting of any metals, or other things belonging to it, which being to be made for God’s service, and deserving and requiring all expedition, they might probably conceive that such work might be done upon that day. And here also, as oft elsewhere, under one kind, all the rest are comprehended and forbidden.


Verse 5

Whosoever is of a willing heart, for God values not forced or grudged services, 2 Corinthians 9:7.


Verse 10

i.e. Every skilful artist; for though God had prescribed the things, yet it required wisdom and skill to execute what God commanded.


Verse 11

The tabernacle, i.e. the boards or structure of the tabernacle, as it appears, because it is distinguished here from its tent and curtains; whereas elsewhere the tabernacle is put for all together.

His tent; the inward and finer curtains which covered the boards of it.

His covering; the outward and coarser coverings.


Verse 12

i.e. Which was hanged before the ark and mercy-seat.


Verse 13

But neither did God prescribe the making of the shewbread amongst the other utensils, Exo 25, nor was this made by the workmen here spoken of, but by others. How then comes this to be mentioned here?

Answ. 1.

The shew-bread may be here put for the vessels for the receiving the shew-bread, by a usual metonymy of the adjunct, the thing contained put for the thing containing; as treasures are put for the place where the treasures are put, Psalms 135:7 Matthew 2:11 12:35, and the gifts or offerings of God for the treasury where they were put, Luke 21:4. Hence Tremellius renders this place, and the vessels of the shew-bread.

Object. All the vessels of the table are mentioned before, of which this was one.

Answ. It is not unusual after a general expression comprehending all distinctly to name one eminent member of that kind, such as this unquestionably was, the table being made principally for this use. Thus Mark 16:7, Tell my disciples and Peter. Like examples are in 2 Samuel 2:30 1 Kings 11:1 Psalms 18:1 Acts 11:4, and in other authors. And for the particle vau, and, which may seem to imply that these were things of another kind, and not any vessels of the table, that is oft put for especially, as Joshua 2:1 Mark 16:7, and so only notes an eminent thing of the same kind, as hath been said.

Answ. 2. Though God did not prescribe the making of the shew-bread, yet he mentions it, together with the table, Exodus 25:30, and therefore it is conveniently mentioned with the table in this place also, where Moses, to show his exactness and fidelity, doth punctually repeat the same things to the people which he had received in command from God. In like manner the oil, which fed the light of the lamps, is mentioned here in the next verse, because the lighting of the lamps was prescribed, Exodus 25:37.


Verse 21

Whose heart stirred him up, i.e. whose heart being desirous and ready to serve God, engaged his hand to offer what he had to his service.


Verse 22

Earrings.

Object. Aaron had got these from them for the making of the calf, Exo 32.

Answ. Though the generality of the people did then part with their earrings, yet there was a considerable number who did not, as being unsatisfied with that idolatrous design; and it may seem that the women would not part with theirs, being more fond of their ornaments than of their idols. See Poole "Exodus 32:3".


Verse 26

In wisdom: this word seems better to agree with the following than with the foregoing word, they spun with wisdom, i.e. with skill and art.


Verse 34

That he may teach, to wit, others to work under him; for the work required many hands; and it is a peculiar gift of God to be apt to teach, which every skilful man hath not.

 


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Bibliography Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Exodus 35:4". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/exodus-35.html. 1685.

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