Offerings of the Israelites requested. — V.1. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, v.2. Speak unto the children of Israel that they bring Me an offering; according to the Hebrew text, a gift which one lifts off, takes away from the rest of his property and reaches out and up to God; of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart, literally, “from the side of every man whom his heart impels,” ye shall take My offering; truly a fine description of the eager willingness which should characterize all the gifts of the believers in the interest of the kingdom of God on earth. V.3. And this is the offering which ye shall take of them: gold and silver and brass, iron not being included, probably on account of its tendency to rust, v.4. and blue, a hyacinth colored or dark-blue purple, and purple, that is, the purple proper, of a brilliant dark-red, and scarlet, or crimson purple, dyed with the color prepared from the coccus insect, and. fine linen, a silklike, snow-white muslin, and goats’ hair, v.5. and rams’ skins dyed red, and badgers’ skins, probably the skins of a marine animal found in the Red Sea, which were used both for sandal-leather and for tent coverings, and shittim wood, that of the Arabian acacia, which is very light and yet very strong and durable, v.6. oil for the light, as it was required to burn in the great candelabrum, spices, sweet-smelling ingredients, for anointing oil and for sweet incense, the odor of which was pleasant, v.7. onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, in rows or clusters on one of the ornamental garments of the high priest, and in the breastplate, chap. 28, 6 ff. V.8. And let them make Me a sanctuary, a tabernacle, or building, set apart or consecrated for holy uses, that I may dwell among them. V.9. According to all that I show thee, after the pattern of the Tabernacle, the tent of God’s dwelling, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it. The Lord laid before Moses sketches, plans, or models, which gave him an adequate and correct idea of the great tent with all its equipment, a type, or figure, of heavenly things, Acts 7, 44; Heb. 8, 5, as well as of the blessings of the New Testament, Heb. 9.
The Ark of the Tabernacle. — V.10. And they shall make an ark of shittim wood, a chest made of acacia wood; two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof (a cubit being between 18 and 21 inches), and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof. V.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, evidently an ornamental molding at the top. V.12. And thou shalt cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in the four corners thereof, on the four ornamental feet on which the cheat stood; and two rings shall be in the one side of it, and two rings in the other side of it, firmly fastened, in order to bear a strain. V.13. And thou shalt make staves of shittim wood, long poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold. V.14. And thou shalt put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, that the ark may be borne with them, lifted up and carried along readily. V.15. The staves shall be in the rings of the ark; they shall not be taken from it, for the bearers of the ark were not to touch the chest itself, Num. 4, 15. V.16. And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee, the tables of stone on which God intended to write the Ten Commandments, as the words through which He would permanently testify to His people. V.17. And thou shalt make a mercy-seat, a lid, or covering, of the ark, of pure gold; two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof. This mercy seat, or lid of expiation, received its name from the fact that the guilt of the people, by virtue of the blood sprinkled against it on the great Day of Atonement, was expiated, their sin was covered. V.18. And thou shalt make two cherubim of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, enchased and rounded with a hammer, the figures thus being not massive. but hollow, in the two ends of the mercy seat. V.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 cherubim on the two ends thereof, fastened to the solid gold of the ark’s lid in such a manner as to form a structural unit. V.20. And the cherubim shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy-seat with their wings, their wings overshadowing the entire lid, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy-seat shall the faces of the cherubim be. The figures, probably formed like those of men, with the wings added, and standing upright on the cover, were to face each other with outstretched wings, but with their eyes directed to the lid on which they stood. V.21. And thou shalt put the mercy-seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony, the two tables of stone with their engraving, that I shall give thee. V.22. And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy-seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the Ark of the Testimony, of all things which I give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel. According to this statement the mercy-seat became the throne of God in the midst of His people, the footstool of the Most High, the place where He not only bore witness to His people, but where He also dispensed His mercy, by virtue of the greater expiation by blood which was foreshadowed in the rites connected with the lid of expiation. For the covering of the ark was a type of Christ, who is the true Mercy-seat, Rom. 3, 25; Heb. 4, 16. Through His own blood Christ has wrought a perfect expiation and redemption for us, and He now stands as our Mediator between God, whose throne is above the cherubim, and sinful men. It is our privilege, by faith in Him, to come boldly unto the Throne of Grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need, Heb. 4, 16.
The table for the showbread. — V.23. Thou shalt also make a table of shittim wood; two cubits shall be the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof, that being the size of the plate, and a cubit and a half the height thereof. V.24. And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, and make thereto a crown of gold round about, heavy cross-pieces, or molding, connecting the legs of the table. V.25. And thou shalt make unto it a border of an handbreadth round about, a heavy molding at the edge of the plate, and thou shalt make a golden crown to the border thereof round about, a special rim which stood up above the plate of the table, to prevent the objects on the table from rolling or sliding off. V.26. And thou shalt make for it four rings of gold, doubtless cast like those of the ark, and put the rings in the four corners that are on the four feet thereof. V.27. Over against the border, next to the heavy molding at the top, shall the rings be for places of the staves to bear the table, containers for the poles which were used in moving the table. V.28. And thou shalt make the staves of shittim wood, the same material from which those of the ark were made, and overlay them with gold, that the table may be borne with them. V.29. And thou shalt make the dishes thereof, the large plates for the showbread, and spoons thereof, the small vessels for the incense, Num. 7, 14, and covers thereof, and bowls thereof, pitchers and goblets for the drink-offering, to cover withal, that is, formed so as to make pouring possible; of pure gold shalt thou make them. V.30. And thou shalt set upon the table showbread before Me alway, the bread of the face of the Lord, twelve cakes made of fine flour, set forth in two heaps of six each. These vessels and sacrifices were to remind Israel of the fruits of good works which all believers were to work always. The covenant people of the New Testament will also offer the sacrifices of heart, lips, and hands as a sweet savor unto the Lord.
The candlestick and the holy vessels. — V.31. And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold; of beaten work shall the candlestick be made, of chased work, rounded with the hammer, apparently not solid, but hollow inside; his shaft, the base with its feet, and his branches, the heavy middle trunk of the candlestick, his bowls, the calyxshaped burners, his knops, the knobs, or apple. like ornaments beneath the calyces; and his flowers, the blossom-shaped ornaments on the branches, shall be of the same, of pure gold. V.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, the hollow central shaft thus being the trunk, and the three branches on either side, standing in a horizontal line, lifting their burners at even distances, forming a luminous tree. V.33. Three bowls made like unto almonds, like the blossoms of the almond-tree, with a knop and a flower in one branch, in each individual 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. v.34. And in the candlestick, in the central shaft, shall be four bowls made like unto almonds, with their knops and their flowers, one apparently at each whorl of branches, and one at the top. V.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, the branches thus extending out from the middle shaft immediately above each set of knobs, according to the six branches that proceed out of the candlestick. V.36. Their knops and their branches shall be of the same, shall be a continuation of the main shaft, form a unit with the trunk, not merely be attached on the outside; all it shall be one beaten work of pure gold. V.37. And thou shalt make the seven lamps thereof; and they shall light the lamps thereof, set them in place in the bowls, that they may give light over against it, that is, toward the east and north from the Most Holy Place, especially in the neighborhood of the altar of incense and the table of the showbread. V.38. And the tongs thereof, the snuffers, and the snu1f-dishes thereof, the shears, or pincers, for trimming the wicks, or the small dishes for holding the trimmings, shall be of pure gold. V.39. Of a talent of pure gold shall he make it, the artisan entrusted with the work, with all these vessels. It was a costly and heavy candlestick, for a talent is about 118 pounds Troy. V.40. And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was showed thee in the mount. Moses had seen the picture, or model, and he was to have an exact copy made. The golden candlestick, which is here described in such detail, was to remind Israel of the high calling which the believers have in this world. And in the same way the Christians are never to lose sight of the fact that the Lord expects them to be the light of the world, that they should let their light shine before men in word and work.