Exodus 36

1So Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled person
Heb “wise of [in] heart.”
in whom the Lord has put skill
Heb “wisdom.”
and ability
Heb “understanding, discernment.”
to know how
The relative clause includes this infinitive clause that expresses either the purpose or the result of God’s giving wisdom and understanding to these folk.
to do all the work for the service
This noun is usually given an interpretive translation. B. Jacob renders the bound relationship as “the holy task” or “the sacred task” (Exodus, 1019). The NIV makes it “constructing,” so read “the work of constructing the sanctuary.”
of the sanctuary are to do the work
The first word of the verse is a perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive; it is singular because it agrees with the first of the compound subject. The sentence is a little cumbersome because of the extended relative clause in the middle.
according to all that the Lord has commanded.”

2 Moses summoned
The verb קָרָא (qara’) plus the preposition “to” – “to call to” someone means “to summon” that person.
Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled person in whom
Here there is a slight change: “in whose heart Yahweh had put skill.”
the Lord had put skill – everyone whose heart stirred him
Or “whose heart was willing.”
to volunteer
The verb means more than “approach” or “draw near”; קָרַב (qarav) is the word used for drawing near the altar as in bringing an offering. Here they offer themselves, their talents and their time.
to do the work,
3and they received from Moses all the offerings the Israelites had brought to do
In the Hebrew text the infinitive “to do it” comes after “sanctuary”; it makes a smoother rendering in English to move it forward, rather than reading “brought for the work.”
the work for the service of the sanctuary, and they still continued to bring him a freewill offering each morning.
Heb “in the morning, in the morning.”
4So all the skilled people who were doing all the work on the sanctuary came from the work
Heb “a man, a man from his work”; or “each one from his work.”
they were doing
5and told Moses, “The people are bringing much more than
The construction uses the verbal hendiadys: מַרְבִּים לְהָבִיא (marbim lehavi’) is the Hiphil participle followed (after the subject) by the Hiphil infinitive construct. It would read, “they multiply…to bring,” meaning, “they bring more” than is needed.
is needed for the completion
Heb “for the service” (so KJV, ASV).
of the work which the Lord commanded us to do!”
The last clause is merely the infinitive with an object – “to do it.” It clearly means the skilled workers are to do it.

6 Moses instructed them to take
The verse simply reads, “and Moses commanded and they caused [a voice] to cross over in the camp.” The second preterite with the vav may be subordinated to the first clause, giving the intent (purpose or result).
his message
Heb “voice.”
throughout the camp, saying, “Let no man or woman do any more work for the offering for the sanctuary.” So the people were restrained from bringing any more.
The verse ends with the infinitive serving as the object of the preposition: “from bringing.”
7Now the materials were more than enough
This part of the sentence comes from the final verb, the Hiphil infinitive – leave over, meaning, have more than enough (see BDB 451 s.v. יָתַר).
for them to do all the work.
Heb “for all the work, to do it.”
This lengthy section (35:1–36:7) forms one of the most remarkable sections in the book. Here there is a mixture of God’s preparation of people to do the work and their willingness to give and to serve. It not only provides insight into this renewed community of believers, but it also provides a timeless message for the church. The point is clear enough: In response to God’s commission, and inspired by God’s Spirit, the faithful and willing people rally to support and participate in the Lord’s work.

The Building of the Tabernacle

8 All the skilled among those who were doing the work made the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twisted linen and blue and purple and scarlet; they were made with cherubim that were the work of an artistic designer. 9The length of one curtain was forty-two feet, and the width of one curtain was six feet – the same size for each of the curtains. 10He joined
The verb is singular since it probably is referring to Bezalel, but since he would not do all the work himself, it may be that the verbs could be given a plural subject: “they joined.”
five of the curtains to one another, and the other
The words “the other” have been supplied.
five curtains he joined to one another.
11He made loops of blue material along the edge of the end curtain in the first set; he did the same along the edge of the end curtain in the second set. 12He made fifty loops on the first curtain, and he made fifty loops on the end curtain that was in the second set, with the loops opposite one another. 13He made fifty gold clasps and joined the curtains together to one another with the clasps, so that the tabernacle was a unit.
Heb “one.”

14 He made curtains of goats’ hair for a tent over the tabernacle; he made eleven curtains.
Heb “eleven curtains he made them.”
15The length of one curtain was forty-five feet, and the width of one curtain was six feet – one size for all eleven curtains. 16He joined five curtains by themselves and six curtains by themselves. 17He made fifty loops along the edge of the end curtain in the first set and fifty loops along the edge of the curtain that joined the second set. 18He made fifty bronze clasps to join the tent together so that it might be a unit.
The construction uses the infinitive construct from the verb “to be” to express this purpose clause: “to be one,” or, “so that it might be a unit.”
19He made a covering for the tent out of ram skins dyed red and over that a covering of fine leather.
See the note on this phrase in Exod 25:5.

20 He made the frames
There is debate whether the word הַקְּרָשִׁים (haqqerashim) means “boards” or “frames” or “planks” (see Ezek 27:6) or “beams,” given the size of them. The literature on this includes M. Haran, “The Priestly Image of the Tabernacle,” HUCA 36 (1965): 192; B. A. Levine, “The Description of the Tabernacle Texts of the Pentateuch,” JAOS 85 (1965): 307-18; J. Morgenstern, “The Ark, the Ephod, and the Tent,” HUCA 17 (1942/43): 153-265; 18 (1943/44): 1-52.
for the tabernacle of acacia wood
“Wood” is an adverbial accusative.
as uprights.
The plural participle “standing” refers to how these items will be situated; they will be vertical rather than horizontal (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 354).
21The length of each
Heb “the frame.”
frame was fifteen feet, the width of each
Heb “the one.”
frame was two and a quarter feet,
Heb “two hands to the one frame.”
two projections per frame parallel one to another.
Heb “joined one to one.”
He made all the frames of the tabernacle in this way.
23So he made frames for the tabernacle: twenty frames for the south side. 24He made forty silver bases under the twenty frames – two bases under the first frame for its two projections, and likewise
The clause is repeated to show the distributive sense; it literally says, “and two bases under the one frame for its two projections.”
two bases under the next frame for its two projections,
25and for the second side of the tabernacle, the north side, he made twenty frames 26and their forty silver bases, two bases under the first frame and two bases under the next
Heb “under the one frame” again.
27And for the back of the tabernacle on the west he made six frames. 28He made two frames for the corners of the tabernacle on the back. 29At the two corners
This is the last phrase of the verse, moved forward for clarity.
they were doubled at the lower end and
This difficult verse uses the perfect tense at the beginning, and the second clause parallels it with יִהְיוּ (yihyu), which has to be taken here as a preterite without the consecutive vav (ו). The predicate “finished” or “completed” is the word תָּמִּים (tammim); it normally means “complete, sound, whole,” and related words describe the sacrifices as without blemish.
finished together at the top in one ring. So he did for both.
30So there were eight frames and their silver bases, sixteen bases, two bases under each frame.

31 He made bars of acacia wood, five for the frames on one side of the tabernacle 32and five bars for the frames on the second side of the tabernacle, and five bars for the frames of the tabernacle for the back side on the west. 33He made the middle bar to reach from end to end in the center of the frames. 34He overlaid the frames with gold and made their rings of gold to provide places
Literally “houses”; i.e., places to hold the bars.
for the bars, and he overlaid the bars with gold.

35 He made the special curtain of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn and fine twisted linen; he made
The verb is simply “he made” but as in Exod 26:31 it probably means that the cherubim were worked into the curtain with the yarn, and so embroidered on the curtain.
it with cherubim, the work of an artistic designer.
36He made for it four posts of acacia wood and overlaid them with gold, with gold hooks,
Heb “and their hooks gold.”
and he cast for them four silver bases.

37 He made a hanging for the entrance of the tent of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn and fine twisted linen, the work of an embroiderer, 38and its five posts and their hooks. He overlaid their tops
The word is “their heads”; technically it would be “their capitals” (so ASV, NAB, NRSV). The bands were bands of metal surrounding these capitals just beneath them. These are not mentioned in Exod 26:37, and it sounds like the posts are to be covered with gold. But the gradation of metals is what is intended: the posts at the entrance to the Most Holy Place are all of gold; the posts at the entrance to the tent are overlaid with gold at the top; and the posts at the entrance to the courtyard are overlaid with silver at the top (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 387, citing Dillmann without reference).
and their bands with gold, but their five bases were bronze.
For a good summary of the differences between the instruction section and the completion section, and the reasons for the changes and the omissions, see B. Jacob, Exodus, 1022–23.

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