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Exodus: Chapter 25

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1The LORD said to Moses: 2Tell the Israelites to take for me an offering; from all whose hearts prompt them to give you shall receive the offering for me. 3This is the offering that you shall receive from them: gold, silver, and bronze, 4blue, purple, and crimson yarns and fine linen, goats‧ hair, 5tanned rams‧ skins, fine leather, a Or a cover acacia wood, 6oil for the lamps, spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense, 7onyx stones and gems to be set in the ephod and for the breastpiece. 8And have them make me a sanctuary, so that I may dwell among them. 9In accordance with all that I show you concerning the pattern of the tabernacle and of all its furniture, so you shall make it.

10They shall make an ark of acacia wood; it shall be two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. 11You shall overlay it with pure gold, inside and outside you shall overlay it, and you shall make a molding of gold upon it all around. 12You shall cast four rings of gold for it and put them on its four feet, two rings on the one side of it, and two rings on the other side. 13You shall make poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold. 14And you shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark, by which to carry the ark. 15The poles shall remain in the rings of the ark; they shall not be taken from it. 16You shall put into the ark the covenant a Or the cover that I shall give you.

17Then you shall make a mercy seat b Meaning of Heb uncertain of pure gold; two cubits and a half shall be its length, and a cubit and a half its width. 18You shall make two cherubim of gold; you shall make them of hammered work, at the two ends of the mercy seat. c Or treaty, or testimony; Heb eduth 19Make one cherub at the one end, and one cherub at the other; of one piece with the mercy seat c Or treaty, or testimony; Heb eduth you shall make the cherubim at its two ends. 20The cherubim shall spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat c Or treaty, or testimony; Heb eduth with their wings. They shall face one to another; the faces of the cherubim shall be turned toward the mercy seat. c Or treaty, or testimony; Heb eduth 21You shall put the mercy seat c Or treaty, or testimony; Heb eduth on the top of the ark; and in the ark you shall put the covenant a Or the cover that I shall give you. 22There I will meet with you, and from above the mercy seat, c Or treaty, or testimony; Heb eduth from between the two cherubim that are on the ark of the covenant, a Or the cover I will deliver to you all my commands for the Israelites.

23You shall make a table of acacia wood, two cubits long, one cubit wide, and a cubit and a half high. 24You shall overlay it with pure gold, and make a molding of gold around it. 25You shall make around it a rim a handbreadth wide, and a molding of gold around the rim. 26You shall make for it four rings of gold, and fasten the rings to the four corners at its four legs. 27The rings that hold the poles used for carrying the table shall be close to the rim. 28You shall make the poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold, and the table shall be carried with these. 29You shall make its plates and dishes for incense, and its flagons and bowls with which to pour drink offerings; you shall make them of pure gold. 30And you shall set the bread of the Presence on the table before me always.

31You shall make a lampstand of pure gold. The base and the shaft of the lampstand shall be made of hammered work; its cups, its calyxes, and its petals shall be of one piece with it; 32and there shall be six branches going out of its sides, three branches of the lampstand out of one side of it and three branches of the lampstand out of the other side of it; 33three cups shaped like almond blossoms, each with calyx and petals, on one branch, and three cups shaped like almond blossoms, each with calyx and petals, on the other branch—so for the six branches going out of the lampstand. 34On the lampstand itself there shall be four cups shaped like almond blossoms, each with its calyxes and petals. 35There shall be a calyx of one piece with it under the first pair of branches, a calyx of one piece with it under the next pair of branches, and a calyx of one piece with it under the last pair of branches—so for the six branches that go out of the lampstand. 36Their calyxes and their branches shall be of one piece with it, the whole of it one hammered piece of pure gold. 37You shall make the seven lamps for it; and the lamps shall be set up so as to give light on the space in front of it. 38Its snuffers and trays shall be of pure gold. 39It, and all these utensils, shall be made from a talent of pure gold. 40And see that you make them according to the pattern for them, which is being shown you on the mountain.

Notes:

b Or a cover

c Or the cover

a Meaning of Heb uncertain

a Or treaty, or testimony; Heb eduth

Text Commentary view alone
Commentary spanning earlier chapters

35.4–29 : The offering ( 25.1–9 ) and the skillful craftspeople ( 31.6 ).

This time women are explicitly included among those who contribute (vv. 22,29 ), and they also do the spinning (vv. 25–26 ). The jewelry and clothing given by the Egyptians ( 3.21–22n. ) are now used to obey rather than to break the covenant.

25.1–27.21 : The tabernacle and its furnishings

(See Diagram below). The Israelites are to build a portable shrine so that God can leave Mount Sinai to travel with them and live among them. Like Mount Sinai ( 19.20–25n. ), the shrine will have three carefully delimited zones of descending holiness. In these chapters the instructions move from the most holy place through the holy place to the surrounding court. The metals used will mark the level of holiness.

25.1–40 : The offering, the ark, the table, and the lampstand.

The three items described in this chapter, destined for the most holy place and the holy place, are made of or overlaid with gold.

25.1–9 : A voluntary offering

will supply the materials to make the tabernacle and its equipment ( 3.21–22n.; 35.4–29; 36.2–7 ).

7 :

Ephod and breastpiece, 28.6–30n.

8–9 :

The Israelites must make the sanctuary, or tabernacle, with its ritual equipment, as an exact replica of the pattern shown to Moses (v. 40; 26.30; 27.8 ) so that the God of heaven may reside on earth among them.

25.10–22 : The ark

( 37.1–9 ), the only item in the most holy place, is a portable wooden chest that will serve to guide Israel in the wilderness (Num 10.33 ), to lead in war (Num 10.35–36 ), and to be a medium for oracles (1 Sam 3 ). It is both a container for the covenant documents (v. 16 ) and a footstool above which God is invisibly enthroned (1 Sam 4.4; 2 Sam 6.2; 2 Kings 19.15 ). By means of the ark the God of Sinai will go with Israel on the journey to the promised land.

10 :

The dimensions are about 110 × 66 × 66 cm (44 × 26 × 26 in).

16 :

The covenant, that is, the tablets of the law ( 24.12; 32.15 ). The chest is called “the ark of the covenant” (v. 22 ) after its chief contents.

17–22 :

The mercy seat (Lev 16.2,13–15 ) is the cover of the ark. As the footstool of God's throne (1 Chr 28.2; Ps 132.7 ), it is the place where God meets Moses (v. 22 ). Winged cherubim ( 26.1; Gen 3.24 ) typically guard royal thrones.

25.23–30 : The table

for the sacred vessels and the holy bread, to stand in the holy place ( 26.35; 37.10–16; 1 Kings 7.48 ).

30 :

The bread of the Presence or “holy bread” (1 Sam 21.4,6 ), twelve loaves placed before God as a sacrificial offering every sabbath, to be eaten only by priests (Num 4.7; Lev 24.5–9; 1 Sam 21.4–6; 1 Chr 9.32 ).

25.31–40 : The seven‐branched lampstand,

depicted as a stylized tree of life, is to illuminate the interior of the holy place ( 26.35; 30.7–8; 37.17–24; 1 Kings 7.49 ).

40 :

Vv. 8–9n.

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