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Exodus Chapter Thirty-six


Exodus 36

Chapter Contents

The making of the tabernacle The liberality of the people restrained.

The readiness and zeal with which these builders set about their work, the exactness with which they performed it, and the faithfulness with which they objected to receive more contributions, are worthy of our imitation. Thus should we serve God, and our superiors also, in all things lawful. Thus should all who are in public trusts abhor filthy lucre, and avoid all occasions and temptations to covetousness. Where have we the representation of God's love towards us, that we by love dwell in him and he in us, save in Emmanuel? Matthew 1:23. This is the sum of the ministry of reconciliation, 2 Corinthians 5:18,19. This was the design of the "tabernacle of witness," a visible testimony of the love of God to the race of men, however they were fallen from their first state. And this love was shown by Christ's taking up his abode on earth; by the Word being made flesh, John 1:14, wherein, as the original expresses it, he did tabernacle among us.

── Matthew HenryConcise Commentary on Exodus


Exodus 36

Verse 2

[2] And Moses called Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whose heart the LORD had put wisdom, even every one whose heart stirred him up to come unto the work to do it:

And Moses called Bezaleel — "Even those whom God has qualified for, and inclined to the service of the tabernacle, yet must wait for a call to it, either extraordinary, as that of preachers and apostles, or ordinary, as that of pastors and teachers. And observe who they were that Moses called; those in whose heart God had put wisdom for this purpose, beyond their natural capacity, and whose heart stirred him up to come to the work in good earnest." Those are to be called to the building of the gospel tabernacle, whom God has by his grace made in some measure fit for the work, and free to it: ability and willingness, with resolution, are the two things to be regarded in the call of ministers.

Verse 35

[35] And he made a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen: with cherubims made he it of cunning work.

The veil made for a partition between the holy place and the most holy, signified the darkness and distance of that dispensation compared with the New Testament, which shews us the glory of God more clearly, and invites us to draw near to it; and the darkness and distance of our present state in comparison with heaven, where we shall be ever with the Lord, and see him as he is|.

Verse 37

[37] And he made an hanging for the tabernacle door of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, of needlework;

An hanging — Which divided the holy place from the court.

── John WesleyExplanatory Notes on Exodus



36 Chapter 36


Verses 1-38

Exodus 36:1-38

Every wise-hearted man in whom the Lord put wisdom and understanding to know how to work.

Consecrated art

Dannecker, the German sculptor, occupied eight years upon a marble statue of Christ. He believed then, and ever afterward, that he had been inspired of God to do that thing. He thought that he had seen a vision of Christ in his solitary vigils. He had but transferred to the marble the image that the Lord had shown to him. His rising fame attracted the attention of Napoleon, and he was requested to make a statue of Venus similar to Ariadne, for the gallery of the Louvre. He refused, saying, “A man who has seen Christ would commit sacrilege if he should employ his art in the carving of a pagan goddess. My art is therefore a consecrated thing.” Is there not an experience of communion with God in Christ, not uncommon with mature believers, which is equivalent to a vision of the Lord, and which renders life and life work, even its humblest occupations, sacred? The lowliest not less than the loftiest life may have this element of an infinite dignity.

Indolence in the Church

A North American Indian convert, being catechised upon “original sin,” stated that he rather thought that in his case it was laziness. Original sin certainly seems to take this form in the case of many members of our Churches. What is the proportion of Christian workers in any Church? Are they not invariably a small minority? Why so? What exemption can the majority plead? It is said the working bees cast out the drones from the hive. Were we to proceed upon this principle, what terrible depletion would our Churches suffer! (J. Halsey.)

False estimates of Church-workers

We sometimes form a too favourable estimate of the number of workers in our Churches, erroneously judging from the number of departments of service, and imagining that each department has its own distinct staff; whereas, as a rule, it is the individuals who are active in one sphere who display the same activity in another. I believe that in dramatic exhibitions the impression of a large army is sometimes produced upon the spectators by the device of marching the same band of persons over and over again across the stage. We get our impressions of the noble army of Christian workers very much in the same way. (J. Halsey.)

See Exodus 25:10-40; Exodus 30:1-6; Exodus 30:23-38.

──The Biblical Illustrator