Exodus 35


Moses assembles the congregation to deliver to them the

commandments of God, 1.

Directions concerning the Sabbath, 2, 3.

Free-will offerings of gold, silver, brass, &c., for the

tabernacle, 4-7.

Of oil and spices, 8.

Of precious stones, 9.

Proper artists to be employed, 10.

The tabernacle and its tent, 11.

The ark, 12.

Table of the shew-bread, 13.

Candlestick, 14.

Altar of incense, 15.

Altar of burnt-offering, 16.

Hangings, pins, &c., 17, 18.

Clothes of service, and holy vestments, 19.

The people cheerfully bring their ornaments as offerings to

the Lord, 20-22;

together with blue, purple, scarlet, &c., &c., 23, 24.

The women spin, and bring the produce of their skill and

industry, 25, 26.

The rulers bring precious stones, &c., 27, 28.

All the people offer willingly, 29.

Bezaleel and Aholiab appointed to conduct and superintend all

the work of the tabernacle, for which they are qualified by the

spirit of wisdom, 30-35.


Verse 1. And Moses gathered] The principal subjects in this

chapter have been already largely considered in the notes on

chapters xxv., xxvi., xxvii., xxviii., xxix., xxx., and xxxi., and

to those the reader is particularly desired to refer, together

with the parallel texts in the margin.

Verse 3. Ye shall kindle no fire] The Jews understand this

precept as forbidding the kindling of fire only for the purpose of

doing work or dressing victuals; but to give them light and

heat, they judge it lawful to light a fire on the Sabbath day,

though themselves rarely kindle it-they get Christians to do this

work for them.

Verse 5. See, on these metals and colours, Ex 25:3,4. &c.

Verse 6. See Clarke on Ex 35:5.

Verse 7. Rams' skins, &c.] See Ex 25:5.

Verse 8. Oil for the light] See Ex 25:6.

Verse 9. Onyx stones] See Ex 25:7.

Verse 11. The tabernacle] See Ex 25:8.

Verse 12. The ark] See Ex 25:10-17.

Verse 13. The table] See Ex 25:23-28.

Verse 14. The candlestick] See Ex 25:31-39.

Verse 15. The incense altar] The golden altar, see Ex 30:1-10.

Verse 16. The altar of burnt-offering] The brazen altar, see

Ex 27:1-8.

Verse 17. The hangings of the court] See Ex 27:9.

Verse 19. The clothes of service] Probably aprons, towels, and

such like, used in the common service, and different from the

vestments for Aaron and his sons. See these latter described

Ex 28:1, &c.

Verse 21. Every one whose heart stirred him up] Literally, whose

heart was lifted up-whose affections were set on the work, being

cordially engaged in the service of God.

Verse 22. As many as were willing-hearted] For no one was

forced to lend his help in this sacred work; all was a free-will

offering to the Lord.

Bracelets] chach, whatever hooks together; ornaments

for the wrists, arms, legs, or neck.

Ear-rings] nezem, see this explained Ge 24:22.

Rings] tabbaath, from taba, to penetrate,

enter into; probably rings for the fingers.

Tablets] cumaz, a word only used here and in

Nu 31:50, supposed to be a

girdle to support the breasts.

Verse 25. All the women that were wise-hearted did spin] They

had before learned this art, they were wise-hearted; and now they

practise it, and God condescends to require and accept their

services. In building this house of God, all were ambitious to do

something by which they might testify their piety to God, and

their love for his worship. The spinning practised at this time

was simple, and required little apparatus. It was the plain

distaff or twirling pin, which might be easily made out of any

wood they met with in the wilderness.

Verse 27. The rulers brought onyx stones] These being persons

of consequence, might be naturally expected to furnish the more

scarce and costly articles. See how all join in this service!

The men worked and brought offerings, the women spun and brought

their ornaments, the rulers united with them, and delivered up

their jewels! and all the children of Israel brought a willing

offering unto the Lord, Ex 35:29.

Verse 30. The Lord hath called by name Bezaleel] See this

subject discussed at large in the note on Ex 28:3,

See Clarke on Ex 28:3, where the subject of superseding

the work of the hand by the extra use of machinery is particularly


1. FROM the nature of the offerings made for the service of the

tabernacle, we see of what sort the spoils were which the

Israelites brought out of Egypt: gold, silver, brass, blue,

purple, scarlet, fine linen, rams' skins dyed red, what we call

badgers' skins, oil, spices, incense, onyx stones, and other

stones, the names of which are not here mentioned. They must also

have brought looms, spinning wheels, instruments for cutting

precious stones, anvils, hammers, furnaces, melting-pots, with a

vast variety of tools for the different artists employed on the

work of the tabernacle, viz., smiths, joiners, carvers, gilders,


2. God could have erected his tabernacle without the help or

skill of man; but he condescended to employ him. As all are

interested in the worship of God, so all should bear a part in it;

here God employs the whole congregation: every male and female,

with even their sons and their daughters, and the very ornaments

of their persons, are given to raise and adorn the house of God.

The women who had not ornaments, and could neither give gold nor

silver, could spin goat's hair, and the Lord graciously employs

them in this work, and accepts what they can give and what they

can do, for they did it with a willing mind; they were wise of

heart-had learned a useful business, their hearts were lifted up

in the work, Ex 35:21, and all felt it a high privilege to be

able to put only a nail in the holy place. By the free-will

offerings of the people the tabernacle was erected, and all the

costly utensils belonging to it provided. This was the primitive

mode of providing proper places for Divine worship; and as it was

the primitive, so it is the most rational mode. Taxes levied by

law for building or repairing churches were not known in the

ancient times of religious simplicity. It is an honour to be

permitted to do any thing for the support of public worship; and

he must have a strange, unfeeling, and ungodly heart, who does not

esteem it a high privilege to have a stone of his own laying or

procuring in the house of God. How easily might all the buildings

necessary for the purpose of public worship be raised, if the

money that is spent in needless self-indulgence by ourselves, our

sons, and our daughters, were devoted to this purpose! By

sacrifices of this kind the house of the Lord would be soon built,

and the top-stone brought on with shouting, Grace, grace unto it!

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