EXODUS ch. 32 – 40

 

Chapter 32

1 When the people became aware of Moses’ delay in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said to him, “Come, make us a god who will be our leader; as for the man Moses who brought us out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has happened to him.” 2 Aaron replied, “Have your wives and sons and daughters take off the golden earrings they are wearing, and bring them to me.” 3 So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron, 4 who accepted their offering, and fashioning this gold with a graving tool, made a molten calf.

 

Then they cried out, “This is your God, O Israel, who brought you out of the landof Egypt.” 5 On seeing this, Aaron built an altar before the calf and proclaimed, “Tomorrow is a feast of the LORD.” 6 Early the next day the people offered holocausts and brought peace offerings. Then they sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to revel. 7 With that, the LORD said to Moses, “Go down at once to your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt, for they have become depraved. 8 They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them, making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it, sacrificing to it and crying out, ‘This is your God, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt!’ 9

 

I see how stiff-necked this people is,” continued the LORD to Moses. 10 “Let me alone, then, that my wrath may blaze up against them to consume them. Then I will make of you a great nation.” 11 But Moses implored the LORD, his God, saying, “Why, O LORD, should your wrath blaze up against your own people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with such great power and with so strong a hand? 12 Why should the Egyptians say, ‘With evil intent he brought them out, that he might kill them in the mountains and exterminate them from the face of the earth’? Let your blazing wrath die down; relent in punishing your people. 13 Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, and how you swore to them by your own self, saying, ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky; and all this land that I promised, I will give your descendants as their perpetual heritage.'” 14

 

So the LORD relented in the punishment he had threatened to inflict on his people. 15 Moses then turned and came down the mountain with the two tablets of the commandments in his hands, tablets that were written on both sides, front and back; 16 tablets that were made by God, having inscriptions on them that were engraved by God himself. 17 Now, when Joshua heard the noise of the people shouting, he said to Moses, “That sounds like a battle in the camp.” 18 But Moses answered, “It does not sound like cries of victory, nor does it sound like cries of defeat; the sounds that I hear are cries of revelry.” 19

 

As he drew near the camp, he saw the calf and the dancing. With that, Moses’ wrath flared up, so that he threw the tablets down and broke them on the base of the mountain. 20 Taking the calf they had made, he fused it in the fire and then ground it down to powder, which he scattered on the water and made the Israelites drink. 21 Moses asked Aaron, “What did this people ever do to you that you should lead them into so grave a sin?” Aaron replied, “Let not my lord be angry. 22 You know well enough how prone the people are to evil. 23 They said to me, ‘Make us a god to be our leader; as for the man Moses who brought us out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has happened to him.’ 24 So I told them, ‘Let anyone who has gold jewelry take it off.’ They gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and this calf came out.” 25

 

When Moses realized that, to the scornful joy of their foes, Aaron had let the people run wild, 26 he stood at the gate of the camp and cried, “Whoever is for the LORD, let him come to me!” All the Levites then rallied to him, 27 and he told them, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Put your sword on your hip, every one of you! Now go up and down the camp, from gate to gate, and slay your own kinsmen, your friends and neighbors!” 28 The Levites carried out the command of Moses, and that day there fell about three thousand of the people. 29

 

Then Moses said, “Today you have been dedicated to the LORD, for you were against your own sons and kinsmen, to bring a blessing upon yourselves this day.” 30 On the next day Moses said to the people, “You have committed a grave sin. I will go up to the LORD, then; perhaps I may be able to make atonement for your sin.” 31 So Moses went back to the LORD and said, “Ah, this people has indeed committed a grave sin in making a god of gold for themselves! 32 If you would only forgive their sin! If you will not, then strike me out of the book that you have written.” 33 The LORD answered, “Him only who has sinned against me will I strike out of my book. 34 Now, go and lead the people whither I have told you. My angel will go before you. When it is time for me to punish, I will punish them for their sin.” 35 Thus the LORD smote the people for having had Aaron make the calf for them.

 

Chapter 33

1 The LORD told Moses, “You and the people whom you have brought up from the land of Egypt, are to go up from here to the land which I swore to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob I would give to their descendants. 2 Driving out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, I will send an angel before you 3 to the land flowing with milk and honey. But I myself will not go up in your company, because you are a stiff-necked people; otherwise I might exterminate you on the way.” 4 When the people heard this bad news, they went into mourning, and no one wore his ornaments. 5

 

The LORD said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites: You are a stiff-necked people. Were I to go up in your company even for a moment, I would exterminate you. Take off your ornaments, therefore; I will then see what I am to do with you.” 6 So, from Mount Horeb onward, the Israelites laid aside their ornaments. 7 The tent, which was called the meeting tent, Moses used to pitch at some distance away, outside the camp. Anyone who wished to consult the LORD would go to this meeting tent outside the camp. 8 Whenever Moses went out to the tent, the people would all rise and stand at the entrance of their own tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent. 9 As Moses entered the tent, the column of cloud would come down and stand at its entrance while the LORD spoke with Moses. 10 On seeing the column of cloud stand at the entrance of the tent, all the people would rise and worship at the entrance of their own tents. 11

 

The LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as one man speaks to another. Moses would then return to the camp, but his young assistant, Joshua, son of Nun, would not move out of the tent. 12 Moses said to the LORD, “You, indeed, are telling me to lead this people on; but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, ‘You are my intimate friend,’ and also, ‘You have found favor with me.’ 13 Now, if I have found favor with you, do let me know your ways so that, in knowing you, I may continue to find favor with you. Then, too, this nation is, after all, your own people.” 14 “I myself,” the LORD answered, “will go along, to give you rest.” 15 Moses replied, “If you are not going yourself, do not make us go up from here. 16 For how can it be known that we, your people and I, have found favor with you, except by your going with us? Then we, your people and I, will be singled out from every other people on the earth.” 17

 

The LORD said to Moses, “This request, too, which you have just made, I will carry out, because you have found favor with me and you are my intimate friend.” 18 Then Moses said, “Do let me see your glory!” 19 He answered, “I will make all my beauty pass before you, and in your presence I will pronounce my name, ‘LORD’; I who show favors to whom I will, I who grant mercy to whom I will. 20 But my face you cannot see, for no man sees me and still lives. 21 Here,” continued the LORD, “is a place near me where you shall station yourself on the rock. 22 When my glory passes I will set you in the hollow of the rock and will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand, so that you may see my back; but my face is not to be seen.”

 

Chapter 34

1 The LORD said to Moses, “Cut two stone tablets like the former, that I may write on them the commandments which were on the former tablets that you broke. 2 Get ready for tomorrow morning, when you are to go up Mount Sinai and there present yourself to me on the top of the mountain. 3 No one shall come up with you, and no one is even to be seen on any part of the mountain; even the flocks and the herds are not to go grazing toward this mountain.” 4 Moses then cut two stone tablets like the former, and early the next morning he went up Mount Sinai as the LORD had commanded him, taking along the two stone tablets. 5

 

Having come down in a cloud, the LORD stood with him there and proclaimed his name, “LORD.” 6 Thus the LORD passed before him and cried out, “The LORD, the LORD, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity, 7 continuing his kindness for a thousand generations, and forgiving wickedness and crime and sin; yet not declaring the guilty guiltless, but punishing children and grandchildren to the third and fourth generation for their fathers’ wickedness!” 8 Moses at once bowed down to the ground in worship. 9

 

Then he said, “If I find favor with you, O Lord, do come along in our company. This is indeed a stiff-necked people; yet pardon our wickedness and sins, and receive us as your own.” 10 “Here, then,” said the LORD, “is the covenant I will make. Before the eyes of all your people I will work such marvels as have never been wrought in any nation anywhere on earth, so that this people among whom you live may see how awe-inspiring are the deeds which I, the LORD, will do at your side. 11 But you, on your part, must keep the commandments I am giving you today.

 

“I will drive out before you the Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 12 Take care, therefore, not to make a covenant with these inhabitants of the land that you are to enter; else they will become a snare among you. 13 Tear down their altars; smash their sacred pillars, and cut down their sacred poles. 14 You shall not worship any other god, for the LORD is ‘the Jealous One’; a jealous God is he. 15 Do not make a covenant with the inhabitants of that land; else, when they render their wanton worship to their gods and sacrifice to them, one of them may invite you and you may partake of his sacrifice. 16

 

Neither shall you take their daughters as wives for your sons; otherwise, when their daughters render their wanton worship to their gods, they will make your sons do the same. 17 “You shall not make for yourselves molten gods. 18 “You shall keep the feast of Unleavened Bread. For seven days at the prescribed time in the month of Abib you are to eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you; for in the month of Abib you came out of Egypt. 19 “To me belongs every first-born male that opens the womb among all your livestock, whether in the herd or in the flock. 20 The firstling of an ass you shall redeem with one of the flock; if you do not redeem it, you must break its neck. The first-born among your sons you shall redeem. “No one shall appear before me empty-handed. 21

 

“For six days you may work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; on that day you must rest even during the seasons of plowing and harvesting. 22 “You shall keep the feast of Weeks with the first of the wheat harvest; likewise, the feast at the fruit harvest at the close of the year. 23 Three times a year all your men shall appear before the Lord, the LORD God of Israel. 24 Since I will drive out the nations before you to give you a large territory, there will be no one to covet your land when you go up three times a year to appear before the LORD, your God. 25 “You shall not offer me the blood of sacrifice with leavened bread, nor shall the sacrifice of the Passover feast be kept overnight for the next day. 26 “The choicest first fruits of your soil you shall bring to the house of the LORD, your God. “You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk.” 27

 

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write down these words, for in accordance with them I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.” 28 So Moses stayed there with the LORD for forty days and forty nights, without eating any food or drinking any water, and he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the ten commandments. 29 As Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the commandments in his hands, he did not know that the skin of his face had become radiant while he conversed with the LORD. 30 When Aaron, then, and the other Israelites saw Moses and noticed how radiant the skin of his face had become, they were afraid to come near him. 31

 

Only after Moses called to them did Aaron and all the rulers of the community come back to him. Moses then spoke to them. 32 Later on, all the Israelites came up to him, and he enjoined on them all that the LORD had told him on Mount Sinai. 33 When he finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face. 34 Whenever Moses entered the presence of the LORD to converse with him, he removed the veil until he came out again. On coming out, he would tell the Israelites all that had been commanded. 35 Then the Israelites would see that the skin of Moses’ face was radiant; so he would again put the veil over his face until he went in to converse with the LORD.

 

Chapter 35

1 Moses assembled the whole Israelite community and said to them, “This is what the LORD has commanded to be done. 2 On six days work may be done, but the seventh day shall be sacred to you as the sabbath of complete rest to the LORD. Anyone who does work on that day shall be put to death. 3 You shall not even light a fire in any of your dwellings on the sabbath day.” 4

 

Moses told the whole Israelite community, “This is what the LORD has commanded: 5 Take up among you a collection for the LORD. Everyone, as his heart prompts him, shall bring, as a contribution to the LORD, gold, silver and bronze; 6 violet, purple and scarlet yarn; fine linen and goat hair; 7 rams’ skins dyed red, and tahash skins; acacia wood; 8 oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; 9 onyx stones and other gems for mounting on the ephod and on the breastpiece. 10

 

“Let every expert among you come and make all that the LORD has commanded: the Dwelling, 11 with its tent, its covering, its clasps, its boards, its bars, its columns and its pedestals; 12 the ark, with its poles, the propitiatory, and the curtain veil; 13 the table, with its poles and all its appurtenances, and the showbread; 14 the lampstand, with its appurtenances, the lamps, and the oil for the light; 15 the altar of incense, with its poles; the anointing oil, and the fragrant incense; the entrance curtain for the entrance of the Dwelling; 16 the altar of holocausts, with its bronze grating, its poles, and all its appurtenances; the laver, with its base; 17 the hangings of the court, with their columns and pedestals; the curtain for the entrance of the court; 18 the tent pegs for the Dwelling and for the court, with their ropes; 19 the service cloths for use in the sanctuary; the sacred vestments for Aaron, the priest, and the vestments worn by his sons in their ministry.” 20 When the whole Israelite community left Moses’ presence, 21 everyone, as his heart suggested and his spirit prompted, brought a contribution to the LORD for the construction of the meeting tent, for all its services, and for the sacred vestments. 22

 

Both the men and the women, all as their heart prompted them, brought brooches, earrings, rings, necklaces and various other gold articles. Everyone who could presented an offering of gold to the LORD. 23 Everyone who happened to have violet, purple or scarlet yarn, fine linen or goat hair, rams’ skins dyed red or tahash skins, brought them. 24 Whoever could make a contribution of silver or bronze offered it to the LORD; and everyone who happened to have acacia wood for any part of the work, brought it. 25 All the women who were expert spinners brought hand-spun violet, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen thread. 26 All the women who possessed the skill, spun goat hair. 27 The princes brought onyx stones and other gems for mounting on the ephod and on the breastpiece; 28 as well as spices, and oil for the light, anointing oil, and fragrant incense. 29 Every Israelite man and woman brought to the LORD such voluntary offerings as they thought best, for the various kinds of work which the LORD had commanded Moses to have done. 30 Moses said to the Israelites, “See, the LORD has chosen Bezalel, son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 31 and has filled him with a divine spirit of skill and understanding and knowledge in every craft: 32 in the production of embroidery, in making things of gold, silver or bronze, 33 in cutting and mounting precious stones, in carving wood, and in every other craft. 34 He has also given both him and Oholiab, son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach others. 35 He has endowed them with skill to execute all types of work: engraving, embroidering, the making of variegated cloth of violet, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen thread, weaving, and all other arts and crafts. 36:1 “Bezalel, therefore, will set to work with Oholiab and with all the experts whom the LORD has endowed with skill and understanding in knowing how to execute all the work for the service of the sanctuary, just as the LORD has commanded.” 2 Moses then called Bezalel and Oholiab and all the other experts whom the LORD had endowed with skill, men whose hearts moved them to come and take part in the work. 3 They received from Moses all the contributions which the Israelites had brought for establishing the service of the sanctuary. Still, morning after morning the people continued to bring their voluntary offerings to Moses. 4 Thereupon the experts who were executing the various kinds of work for the sanctuary, all left the work they were doing, 5 and told Moses, “The people are bringing much more than is needed to carry out the work which the LORD has commanded us to do.” 6

 

Moses, therefore, ordered a proclamation to be made throughout the camp: “Let neither man nor woman make any more contributions for the sanctuary.” So the people stopped bringing their offerings; 7 there was already enough at hand, in fact, more than enough, to complete the work to be done. 8

 

The various experts who were executing the work, made the Dwelling with its ten sheets woven of fine linen twined, having cherubim embroidered on them with violet, purple and scarlet yarn. 9 The length of each sheet was twenty-eight cubits, and the width four cubits; all the sheets were of the same size. 10 Five of the sheets were sewed together, edge to edge; and the same for the other five. 11 Loops of violet yarn were made along the edge of the end sheet in the first set, and the same along the edge of the end sheet in the second set. 12 Fifty loops were thus put on one inner sheet, and fifty loops on the inner sheet in the other set, with the loops directly opposite each other. 13 Then fifty clasps of gold were made, with which the sheets were joined so that the Dwelling formed one whole. 14 Sheets of goat hair were also woven as a tent over the Dwelling. Eleven such sheets were made. 15 The length of each sheet was thirty cubits and the width four cubits; all eleven sheets were the same size. 16 Five of these sheets were sewed edge to edge into one set; and the other six sheets into another set. 17 Fifty loops were made along the edge of the end sheet in one set, and fifty loops along the edge of the corresponding sheet in the other set. 18 Fifty bronze clasps were made with which the tent was joined so that it formed one whole. 19 A covering for the tent was made of rams’ skins dyed red, and above that, a covering of tahash skins. 20 Boards of acacia wood were made as walls for the Dwelling. 21 The length of each board was ten cubits, and the width one and a half cubits. 22 Each board had two arms, fastening them in line. In this way all the boards of the Dwelling were made. 23 They were set up as follows: twenty boards on the south side, 24 with forty silver pedestals under the twenty boards, so that there were two pedestals under each board, at its two arms; 25 twenty boards on the other side of the Dwelling, the north side, 26 with their forty silver pedestals, two under each board; 27 six boards at the rear of the Dwelling, to the west; 28 and two boards at the corners in the rear of the Dwelling. 29 These were double at the bottom, and likewise double at the top, to the first ring. That is how both boards in the corners were made. 30 Thus, there were in the rear eight boards, with their sixteen silver pedestals, two pedestals under each board. 31 Bars of acacia wood were also made, five for the boards on one side of the Dwelling, 32 five for those on the other side, and five for those at the rear, to the west. 33 The center bar, at the middle of the boards, was made to reach across from end to end. 34 The boards were plated with gold, and gold rings were made on them as holders for the bars, which were also plated with gold. 35 The veil was woven of violet, purple and scarlet yarn, and of fine linen twined, with cherubim embroidered on it. 36 Four gold-plated columns of acacia wood, with gold hooks, were made for it, and four silver pedestals were cast for them. 37 The curtain for the entrance of the tent was made of violet, purple and scarlet yarn, and of fine linen twined, woven in a variegated manner. 38 Its five columns, with their hooks as well as their capitals and bands, were plated with gold; their five pedestals were of bronze.

Chapter 37

1 Bezalel made the ark of acacia wood, two and a half cubits long, one and a half cubits wide, and one and a half cubits high. 2 The inside and outside were plated with gold, and a molding of gold was put around it. 3 Four gold rings were cast and put on its four supports, two rings for one side and two for the opposite side. 4 Poles of acacia wood were made and plated with gold; 5 these were put through the rings on the sides of the ark, for carrying it. 6 The propitiatory was made of pure gold, two and a half cubits long and one and a half cubits wide. 7 Two cherubim of beaten gold were made for the two ends of the propitiatory, 8 one cherub fastened at one end, the other at the other end, springing directly from the propitiatory at its two ends. 9 The cherubim had their wings spread out above, covering the propitiatory with them. They were turned toward each other, but with their faces looking toward the propitiatory. 10 The table was made of acacia wood, two cubits long, one cubit wide, and one and a half cubits high. 11 It was plated with pure gold, and a molding of gold was put around it. 12 A frame a handbreadth high was also put around it, with a molding of gold around the frame. 13 Four rings of gold were cast for it and fastened, one at each of the four corners. 14 The rings were alongside the frame as holders for the poles to carry the table. 15 These poles were made of acacia wood and plated with gold. 16 The vessels that were set on the table, its plates and cups, as well as its pitchers and bowls for pouring libations, were of pure gold. 17 The lampstand was made of pure beaten gold– its shaft and branches as well as its cups and knobs and petals springing directly from it. 18 Six branches extended from its sides, three branches on one side and three on the other. 19 On one branch there were three cups, shaped like almond blossoms, each with its knob and petals; on the opposite branch there were three cups, shaped like almond blossoms, each with its knob and petals; and so for the six branches that extended from the lampstand. 20 On the shaft there were four cups, shaped like almond blossoms, with their knobs and petals, 21 including a knob below each of the three pairs of branches that extended from the lampstand. 22 The knobs and branches sprang so directly from it that the whole formed but a single piece of pure beaten gold. 23 Its seven lamps, as well as its trimming shears and trays, were made of pure gold. 24 A talent of pure gold was used for the lampstand and its various appurtenances. 25 The altar of incense was made of acacia wood, on a square, a cubit long, a cubit wide, and two cubits high, having horns that sprang directly from it. 26 Its grate on top, its walls on all four sides, and its horns were plated with pure gold; and a molding of gold was put around it. 27 Underneath the molding gold rings were placed, two on one side and two on the opposite side, as holders for the poles to carry it. 28 The poles, too, were made of acacia wood and plated with gold. 29 The sacred anointing oil and the fragrant incense were prepared in their pure form by a perfumer.

Chapter 38

1 The altar of holocausts was made of acacia wood, on a square, five cubits long and five cubits wide; its height was three cubits. 2 At the four corners horns were made that sprang directly from the altar. The whole was plated with bronze. 3 All the utensils of the altar, the pots, shovels, basins, forks and fire pans, were likewise made of bronze. 4 A grating of bronze network was made for the altar and placed round it, on the ground, half as high as the altar itself. 5 Four rings were cast for the four corners of the bronze grating, as holders for the poles, 6 which were made of acacia wood and plated with bronze. 7 The poles were put through the rings on the sides of the altar for carrying it. The altar was made in the form of a hollow box. 8 The bronze laver, with its bronze base, was made from the mirrors of the women who served at the entrance of the meeting tent. 9 The court was made as follows. On the south side of the court there were hangings, woven of fine linen twined, a hundred cubits long, 10 with twenty columns and twenty pedestals of bronze, the hooks and bands of the columns being of silver. 11 On the north side there were similar hangings, one hundred cubits long, with twenty columns and twenty pedestals of bronze, the hooks and bands of the columns being of silver. 12 On the west side there were hangings, fifty cubits long, with ten columns and ten pedestals, the hooks and bands of the columns being of silver. 13 On the east side the court was fifty cubits long. 14 Toward one side there were hangings to the extent of fifteen cubits, with three columns and three pedestals; toward the other side, 15 beyond the entrance of the court, there were likewise hangings to the extent of fifteen cubits, with three columns and three pedestals. 16 The hangings on all sides of the court were woven of fine linen twined. 17 The pedestals of the columns were of bronze, while the hooks and bands of the columns were of silver; the capitals were silver-plated, and all the columns of the court were banded with silver. 18 At the entrance of the court there was a variegated curtain, woven of violet, purple and scarlet yarn and of fine linen twined, twenty cubits long and five cubits wide, in keeping with the hangings of the court. 19 There were four columns and four pedestals of bronze for it, while their hooks were of silver. 20 All the tent pegs for the Dwelling and for the court around it were of bronze. 21 The following is an account of the various amounts used on the Dwelling, the Dwelling of the commandments, drawn up at the command of Moses by the Levites under the direction of Ithamar, son of Aaron the priest. 22 However, it was Bezalel, son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, who made all that the Lord commanded Moses, 23 and he was assisted by Oholiab, son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, who was an engraver, an embroiderer, and a weaver of variegated cloth of violet, purple and scarlet yarn and of fine linen. 24 All the gold used in the entire construction of the sanctuary, having previously been given as an offering, amounted to twenty-nine talents and seven hundred and thirty shekels, according to the standard of the sanctuary shekel. 25 The amount of the silver received from the community was one hundred talents and one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five shekels, according to the standard of the sanctuary shekel; 26 one bekah apiece, that is, a half-shekel apiece, according to the standard of the sanctuary shekel, was received from every man of twenty years or more who entered the registered group; the number of these was six hundred and three thousand five hundred and fifty men. 27 One hundred talents of silver were used for casting the pedestals of the sanctuary and the pedestals of the veil, one talent for each pedestal, or one hundred talents for the one hundred pedestals. 28 The remaining one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five shekels were used for making the hooks on the columns, for plating the capitals, and for banding them with silver. 29 The bronze, given as an offering, amounted to seventy talents and two thousand four hundred shekels. 30 With this were made the pedestals at the entrance of the meeting tent, the bronze altar with its bronze gratings and all the appurtenances of the altar, 31 the pedestals around the court, the pedestals at the entrance of the court, and all the tent pegs for the Dwelling and for the court around it.

Chapter 39

1 With violet, purple and scarlet yarn were woven the service cloths for use in the sanctuary, as well as the sacred vestments for Aaron, as the LORD had commanded Moses. 2 The ephod was woven of gold thread and of violet, purple and scarlet yarn and of fine linen twined. 3 Gold was first hammered into gold leaf and then cut up into threads, which were woven with the violet, purple and scarlet yarn into an embroidered pattern on the fine linen. 4 Shoulder straps were made for it and joined to its two upper ends. 5 The embroidered belt on the ephod extended out from it, and like it, was made of gold thread, of violet, purple and scarlet yarn, and of fine linen twined, as the LORD had commanded Moses. 6 The onyx stones were prepared and mounted in gold filigree work; they were engraved like seal engravings with the names of the sons of Israel. 7 These stones were set on the shoulder straps of the ephod as memorial stones of the sons of Israel, just as the LORD had commanded Moses. 8 The breastpiece was embroidered like the ephod, with gold thread and violet, purple and scarlet yarn on cloth of fine linen twined. 9 It was square and folded double, a span high and a span wide in its folded form. 10 Four rows of precious stones were mounted on it: in the first row a carnelian, a topaz and an emerald; 11 in the second row, a garnet, a sapphire and a beryl; 12 in the third row a jacinth, an agate and an amethyst; 13 in the fourth row a chrysolite, an onyx and a jasper. They were mounted in gold filigree work. 14 These stones were twelve, to match the names of the sons of Israel, and each stone was engraved like a seal with the name of one of the twelve tribes. 15 Chains of pure gold, twisted like cords, were made for the breastpiece, 16 together with two gold filigree rosettes and two gold rings. The two rings were fastened to the two upper ends of the breastpiece. 17 The two gold chains were then fastened to the two rings at the ends of the breastpiece. 18 The other two ends of the two chains were fastened in front to the two filigree rosettes, which were attached to the shoulder straps of the ephod. 19 Two other gold rings were made and put on the two lower ends of the breastpiece, on the edge facing the ephod. 20 Two more gold rings were made and fastened to the bottom of the two shoulder straps next to where they joined the ephod in front, just above its embroidered belt. 21 Violet ribbons bound the rings of the breastpiece to the rings of the ephod, so that the breastpiece stayed right above the embroidered belt of the ephod and did not swing loose from it. All this was just as the LORD had commanded Moses. 22 The robe of the ephod was woven entirely of violet yarn, 23 with an opening in its center like the opening of a shirt, with selvage around the opening to keep it from being torn. 24 At the hem of the robe pomegranates were made of violet, purple and scarlet yarn and of fine linen twined; 25 bells of pure gold were also made and put between the pomegranates all around the hem of the robe: 26 first a bell, then a pomegranate, and thus alternating all around the hem of the robe which was to be worn in performing the ministry– all this, just as the LORD had commanded Moses. 27 For Aaron and his sons there were also woven tunics of fine linen; 28 the miter of fine linen; the ornate turbans of fine linen; drawers of linen (of fine linen twined); 29 and sashes of variegated work made of fine linen twined and of violet, purple and scarlet yarn, as the LORD had commanded Moses. 30 The plate of the sacred diadem was made of pure gold and inscribed, as on a seal engraving: “Sacred to the LORD.” 31 It was tied over the miter with a violet ribbon, as the LORD had commanded Moses. 32 Thus the entire work of the Dwelling of the meeting tent was completed. The Israelites did the work just as the LORD had commanded Moses. 33 They then brought to Moses the Dwelling, the tent with all its appurtenances, the clasps, the boards, the bars, the columns, the pedestals, 34 the covering of rams’ skins dyed red, the covering of tahash skins, the curtain veil; 35 the ark of the commandments with its poles, the propitiatory, 36 the table with all its appurtenances and the showbread, 37 the pure gold lampstand with its lamps set up on it and with all its appurtenances, the oil for the light, 38 the golden altar, the anointing oil, the fragrant incense; the curtain for the entrance of the tent, 39 the altar of bronze with its bronze grating, its poles and all its appurtenances, the laver with its base, 40 the hangings of the court with their columns and pedestals, the curtain for the entrance of the court with its ropes and tent pegs, all the equipment for the service of the Dwelling of the meeting tent; 41 the service cloths for use in the sanctuary, the sacred vestments for Aaron the priest, and the vestments to be worn by his sons in their ministry.

 

The Israelites had carried out all the work just as the LORD had commanded Moses. 43 So when Moses saw that all the work was done just as the LORD had commanded, he blessed them.  

 

Chapter 40

1 Then the LORD said to Moses, 2 “On the first day of the first month you shall erect the Dwelling of the meeting tent. 3 Put the ark of the commandments in it, and screen off the ark with the veil. 4 Bring in the table and set it. Then bring in the lampstand and set up the lamps on it. 5 Put the golden altar of incense in front of the ark of the commandments, and hang the curtain at the entrance of the Dwelling. 6 Put the altar of holocausts in front of the entrance of the Dwelling of the meeting tent. 7 Place the laver between the meeting tent and the altar, and put water in it. 8 Set up the court round about, and put the curtain at the entrance of the court. 9 “Take the anointing oil and anoint the Dwelling and everything in it, consecrating it and all its furnishings, so that it will be sacred. 10  Anoint the altar of holocausts and all its appurtenances, consecrating it, so that it will be most sacred. 11 Likewise, anoint the laver with its base, and thus consecrate it.

 

12 “Then bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the meeting tent, and there wash them with water. 13 Clothe Aaron with the sacred vestments and anoint him, thus consecrating him as my priest. 14 Bring forward his sons also, and clothe them with the tunics. 15 As you have anointed their father, anoint them also as my priests. Thus, by being anointed, shall they receive a perpetual priesthood throughout all future generations.” 16  Moses did exactly as the LORD had commanded him. 17

 

On the first day of the first month of the second year the Dwelling was erected. 18 It was Moses who erected the Dwelling. He placed its pedestals, set up its boards, put in its bars, and set up its columns. 19 He spread the tent over the Dwelling and put the covering on top of the tent, as the LORD had commanded him. 20 He took the commandments and put them in the ark; he placed poles alongside the ark and set the propitiatory upon it. 21 He brought the ark into the Dwelling and hung the curtain veil, thus screening off the ark of the commandments, as the LORD had commanded him. 22  He put the table in the meeting tent, on the north side of the Dwelling, outside the veil, 23 and arranged the bread on it before the LORD, as the LORD had commanded him. 24 He placed the lampstand in the meeting tent, opposite the table, on the south side of the Dwelling, 25 and he set up the lamps before the LORD, as the LORD had commanded him. 26 He placed the golden altar in the meeting tent, in front of the veil, 27 and on it he burned fragrant incense, as the LORD had commanded him. 2

 

8 He hung the curtain at the entrance of the Dwelling. 29 He put the altar of holocausts in front of the entrance of the Dwelling of the meeting tent, and offered holocausts and cereal offerings on it, as the LORD had commanded him. 30   He placed the laver between the meeting tent and the altar, and put water in it for washing. 31 Moses and Aaron and his sons used to wash their hands and feet there, 32 for they washed themselves whenever they went into the meeting tent or approached the altar, as the LORD had commanded Moses. 33 Finally, he set up the court around the Dwelling and the altar and hung the curtain at the entrance of the court. Thus Moses finished all the work. 34

 

Then the cloud covered the meeting tent, and the glory of the LORD filled the Dwelling. 35 Moses could not enter the meeting tent, because the cloud settled down upon it and the glory of the LORD filled the Dwelling. 36 Whenever the cloud rose from the Dwelling, the Israelites would set out on their journey. 37 But if the cloud did not lift, they would not go forward; only when it lifted did they go forward. 38 In the daytime the cloud of the LORD was seen over the Dwelling; whereas at night, fire was seen in the cloud by the whole house ofIsrael in all the stages of their journey.

 

 

 

 

VIDEO NOTES

 

This talk is by Clifford Yeary.

 

God’s word transforms the chaos.

 

Torah: Old Testament Law (narrow meaning).

Torah: Five books of Moses, Pentateuch   (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy)

Torah: all of Scripture and Jewish tradition and wisdom (broadest meaning)

life-giving instruction

Jesus = word of God made incarnate, Jesus as Torah made flesh

 

Parallels between Creation story and Exodus:  worship of golden calf to sin of Adam and Eve.  Both sins of disobedience, a rejection of God’s creative intentions

 

God gave the Law to Israel because of his great love for Israel and its purpose was to bring them as a people into a very special relationship with God.

 

In the nature religions of the surrounding peoples there were many pantheons of more limited gods.  (rain, fertility, war …)  Worship for these other peoples was dedicated to keeping these gods happy.  They needed physical representations of these gods to be assured that these gods were present to them.

 

The LORD was not accessible in this way.  Up to then – only through Moses.  Humans unable to experience this God directly / fully.  In the absence of Moses (up on the mountain) they ask Aaron to provide an image to worship.

 

Aaron was attempting to give the Israelites an image of the LORD.  Unfortunately – no matter his intent, this proves to be an abomination.

 

Exodus 20:2-5

I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.  You shall not have other gods beside me.  You shall not make for yourself an idol or a likeness of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth; you shall not bow down before them or serve them.

 

Disaster comes quickly.

Exodus 32:7-10

Then the LORD said to Moses: God down at once because your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt, have acted corruptly.  They have quickly turned aside from the way I commanded them, making for themselves a molten calf and bowing down to it, sacrificing to it and crying out, “These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!”  I have seen this people, how stiff-necked they are, continued the LORD to Moses.  Let me alone, then, that my anger may burn against them to consume them.  Then I will make of you’re a great nation.”

 

 

Complete destruction in store for them?  Or perhaps some would be allowed to live, but only to be abandoned by the LORD?  Moses refuses these two options.

 

Exodus is Israel’s memory of how God delivered Israel and sealed a covenant with Israel that is crowned by the Ten Words, the core moral teaching of the entire Bible.  (Lawrence Boadt)

 

A timeless covenant is one that is continuously communicated to the people of the covenant in every time and in any place they find themselves.

 

Despite the eternal nature of the covenant there ARE consequences to idolatry – at Sinai and in the Promised Land later.  The Babylonian exile is woven into this story in Exodus.

 

3,000 died by the sword, but God relents, the covenant is renewed.

 

Exodus 32:31-32

So Moses returned to the LORD and said, “Ah, this people has committed a grave sin in making a god of gold for themselves!  Now if you would only forgive their sin!  But if you will not, then blot me out of the book that you have written.”

 

Exodus 33:2-3

I will send an angel before you to a land flowing with milk and honey.  But I myself will not go up in your company, because you are a stiff-necked people; otherwise I might consume you on the way.

 

Exodus 33:5

You are a stiff-necked people!  Were I go up in your company even for a moment, I would destroy you.  Now off with your ornaments.  Let me think what to do with you.

 

Moses intercedes again for the people, using his own relationship with the LORD to appease Him.

 

Exodus 34:6-7

The LORD passed before him and proclaimed:  The LORD, the LORD, a God gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in love and fidelity, continuing his love for a thousand generations, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion, and sin; yet not declaring the guilty guiltless.

 

Exodus 34:9

“If I find favor with you, LORD, please, LORD, come along in our company.  This is indeed a stiff-necked people; yet pardon our wickedness and sins, and claim us as your own.”

 

For Christians, for today:   we can see parallels between Moses and Jesus.  Both willing to sacrifice their lives on the behalf of others.

 

How might we respond to the reality that our Christian culture has become a secular culture?

 

Punishment might not be famine or flood but that we miss knowing the life-giving presence of God.

 

 

 

 

ADDITIONAL NOTES

Chapter 32

Fretheim p. 281, 282 believes that Aaron constructed the calf as an image of the messenger of the LORD, not of the LORD himself.  The LORD finds that this distinction does not work, in the minds of the people it is leading to confusion about who delivers Israel, who is worthy of worship.

Fretheim p. 283: God being ironic:  “These are ‘your’ people whom ‘you’ brought out from Egypt.”

Fretheim p. 284:  Moses responds to God with the following arguments:

  1. He appeals to God’s reasonableness.
  2. An appeal to God’s reputation
  3. A reminder of God’s own promise.

Having made a covenant between God and Israel, Israel proceeds to immediately break it – symbolized and summarized by the breaking of the tablets.

Fretheim p. 288:  Moses confronts the leaders and the people and then eliminates the statue by turning it into powder and having the people drink it.  He calls the leaders to account and Aaron gets the majority of the blame.  The people are forced to choose between the LORD and Baal.

Radical sin calls for radical punishment.  Not for the calf but for refusing to choose the LORD.

 

Chapter 33

Fretheim p. 293: “In spite of all that has happened God will remain true to three recalled promises: God will give the people the land; will drive out its inhabitants; and will send a ‘messenger’ to guide Israel on the way.”  God is the messenger.

Fretheim p. 294: “It is best for both God and Israel for God to keep distance.  A future for the people as those among whom God had chosen to dwell (and all that that means in terms of election) is on the verge of being lost.”

 

In the past Israel HAS been faithful to the LORD and has worshipped properly.  This is in their favor.

God then relents, somewhat.  Moses asks for a sign that things will return to prior state of grace by asking for God to ‘show his glory’.   Fretheim p. 299: “In effect, this is a request for a sign that God himself will truly dwell among them without judgment.

 

Chapter 34

Exodus 34:6,7

6 Thus the LORD passed before him and cried out, “The LORD, the LORD, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity, 7 continuing his kindness for a thousand generations, and forgiving wickedness and crime and sin; yet not declaring the guilty guiltless, but punishing children and grandchildren to the third and fourth generation for their fathers’ wickedness!

An unconditional love.

Chapters 35 through 40

Fretheim p. 313: the construction of the Tabernacle by the logic of construction.  God WILL dwell with them, therefore it is needed.   P. 314: “Given the apostasy, such obedience is an external demonstration of loyalty to the LORD.”

 

 

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