Exodus Finale: Moses Guides the Building of the Tabernacle in Beautiful Detail

Here we are at the end of Exodus. You’re probably thinking, “Yay! This was boring!” Yeah, I know, but this is only the 2nd of the 5 Books of Moses. Don’t worry, I’m going to skip over a lot of the repetitive and dull passages, as I’m doing here. However, I do recommend that you read it all on your own. It is God’s Word and there are messages for us today. The app, Through The Word, explains everything, so it makes sense, and how it’s applicable to Jesus and salvation. Remember, the Old Testament is laying the foundation for Jesus. Any construction takes time, as well as good, quality materials as we’ll see here. The whole idea behind all of this is to GET TO KNOW GOD. Let’s dig in…

Exodus 35

First Moses reminds everyone again that they are to work 6 days and rest on the 7th day — keep the Sabbath holy.

Then Moses said to the whole community of Israel, “This is what the Lord has commanded: Take a sacred offering for the Lord. Let those with generous hearts present the following gifts to the Lord:

gold, silver, and bronze;
blue, purple, and scarlet thread;
fine linen and goat hair for cloth;
tanned ram skins and fine goatskin leather;
acacia wood;
olive oil for the lamps;
spices for the anointing oil and the fragrant incense;
onyx stones, and other gemstones to be set in the ephod and the priest’s chestpiece.

10 “Come, all of you who are gifted craftsmen. Construct everything that the Lord has commanded:

Exodus 35:4-10 NLT

Moses tells the people what God told him in exquisite detail. They gave with willing hearts, offering God the materials needed. God gave people the skills and talents needed, as well as, wisdom and ability. The people were eager to get to work. They gave and gave, until Moses said, “Enough! We’ve got enough!” So they built each section, each piece of furniture, each curtain… everything for the…

  • Tabernacle
  • Ark of the Covenant
  • Table for bread
  • Lampstand
  • Incense altar
  • Burnt offering altar
  • Washbasin
  • Courtyard

20 So the whole community of Israel left Moses and returned to their tents. 21 All whose hearts were stirred and whose spirits were moved came and brought their sacred offerings to the Lord. They brought all the materials needed for the Tabernacle, for the performance of its rituals, and for the sacred garments. 22 Both men and women came, all whose hearts were willing. They brought to the Lord their offerings of gold—brooches, earrings, rings from their fingers, and necklaces. They presented gold objects of every kind as a special offering to the Lord. 23 All those who owned the following items willingly brought them: blue, purple, and scarlet thread; fine linen and goat hair for cloth; and tanned ram skins and fine goatskin leather. 24 And all who had silver and bronze objects gave them as a sacred offering to the Lord. And those who had acacia wood brought it for use in the project.

25 All the women who were skilled in sewing and spinning prepared blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine linen cloth. 26 All the women who were willing used their skills to spin the goat hair into yarn. 27 The leaders brought onyx stones and the special gemstones to be set in the ephod and the priest’s chestpiece. 28 They also brought spices and olive oil for the light, the anointing oil, and the fragrant incense. 29 So the people of Israel—every man and woman who was eager to help in the work the Lord had given them through Moses—brought their gifts and gave them freely to the Lord.

30 Then Moses told the people of Israel, “The Lord has specifically chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. 31 The Lord has filled Bezalel with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts. 32 He is a master craftsman, expert in working with gold, silver, and bronze. 33 He is skilled in engraving and mounting gemstones and in carving wood. He is a master at every craft. 34 And the Lord has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach their skills to others. 35 The Lord has given them special skills as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple, and scarlet thread on fine linen cloth, and weavers. They excel as craftsmen and as designers.

Exodus 35:20-35 NLT

Points to Ponder

  • Everything is exactly as God designed it.
  • Nothing was left to human choice.
  • No expense was spared.
  • No adjustments needed.
  • Each element had a specific and unique purpose. (Like each of us humans.)

If you’d like to see what all this would have looked like, check out Free Bible Images…

Exodus 36-39

Moses is the foreman throughout the construction. All done with detailed craftsmanship and each item was an object of sheer beauty. Moses then inspected everything and took inventory.

42 So the people of Israel followed all of the Lord’s instructions to Moses. 43 Then Moses inspected all their work. When he found it had been done just as the Lord had commanded him, he blessed them.

Exodus 39:42-43 NLT

Exodus 40

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Set up the Tabernacle on the first day of the new year. Place the Ark of the Covenant inside, and install the inner curtain to enclose the Ark within the Most Holy Place. Then bring in the table, and arrange the utensils on it. And bring in the lampstand, and set up the lamps.

“Place the gold incense altar in front of the Ark of the Covenant. Then hang the curtain at the entrance of the Tabernacle. Place the altar of burnt offering in front of the Tabernacle entrance. Set the washbasin between the Tabernacle and the altar, and fill it with water. Then set up the courtyard around the outside of the tent, and hang the curtain for the courtyard entrance.

“Take the anointing oil and anoint the Tabernacle and all its furnishings to consecrate them and make them holy. 10 Anoint the altar of burnt offering and its utensils to consecrate them. Then the altar will become absolutely holy. 11 Next anoint the washbasin and its stand to consecrate them.

12 “Present Aaron and his sons at the entrance of the Tabernacle, and wash them with water. 13 Dress Aaron with the sacred garments and anoint him, consecrating him to serve me as a priest. 14 Then present his sons and dress them in their tunics. 15 Anoint them as you did their father, so they may also serve me as priests. With their anointing, Aaron’s descendants are set apart for the priesthood forever, from generation to generation.”

16 Moses proceeded to do everything just as the Lord had commanded him.

17 So the Tabernacle was set up on the first day of the first month of the second year. 18 Moses erected the Tabernacle by setting down its bases, inserting the frames, attaching the crossbars, and setting up the posts. 19 Then he spread the coverings over the Tabernacle framework and put on the protective layers, just as the Lord had commanded him.

20 He took the stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant and placed them inside the Ark. Then he attached the carrying poles to the Ark, and he set the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement—on top of it. 21 Then he brought the Ark of the Covenant into the Tabernacle and hung the inner curtain to shield it from view, just as the Lord had commanded him.

22 Next Moses placed the table in the Tabernacle, along the north side of the Holy Place, just outside the inner curtain. 23 And he arranged the Bread of the Presence on the table before the Lord, just as the Lord had commanded him.

24 He set the lampstand in the Tabernacle across from the table on the south side of the Holy Place. 25 Then he lit the lamps in the Lord’s presence, just as the Lord had commanded him. 26 He also placed the gold incense altar in the Tabernacle, in the Holy Place in front of the inner curtain. 27 On it he burned the fragrant incense, just as the Lord had commanded him.

28 He hung the curtain at the entrance of the Tabernacle, 29 and he placed the altar of burnt offering near the Tabernacle entrance. On it he offered a burnt offering and a grain offering, just as the Lord had commanded him.

30 Next Moses placed the washbasin between the Tabernacle and the altar. He filled it with water so the priests could wash themselves. 31 Moses and Aaron and Aaron’s sons used water from it to wash their hands and feet. 32 Whenever they approached the altar and entered the Tabernacle, they washed themselves, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

33 Then he hung the curtains forming the courtyard around the Tabernacle and the altar. And he set up the curtain at the entrance of the courtyard. So at last Moses finished the work.

The Lord’s Glory Fills the Tabernacle

34 Then the cloud covered the Tabernacle, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle. 35 Moses could no longer enter the Tabernacle because the cloud had settled down over it, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle.

36 Now whenever the cloud lifted from the Tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out on their journey, following it. 37 But if the cloud did not rise, they remained where they were until it lifted. 38 The cloud of the Lord hovered over the Tabernacle during the day, and at night fire glowed inside the cloud so the whole family of Israel could see it. This continued throughout all their journeys.

Exodus 40 NLT

Everything as God Designed it and Commanded

That is a tough act to follow. Besides that, we’re left with a bit of a cliffhanger! However, next is the Book of Leviticus which covers in exquisite detail…

With this we’ll see how His people can approach God and be accepted. But before we get into that, I want to bring up an important point here. God designed everything in exquisite detail. Unfortunately, humans have managed to do what the Israelites didn’t do — they made adjustments to suit their personal needs, rather than depend on God and His perfect creation. With human free will — which God did give us — we’ve managed to go against the way God designed everything and what God Commanded. For instance…

  • Gender — God created man and woman — that’s it.
  • Marriage is between one man and one woman — that’s it.
  • Fornication is sex outside of marriage.
  • No-fault divorce
  • Working 7 days a week
  • Stolen and bastardizing God’s rainbow.
  • Refusing to acknowledge His existence.
  • Evil
  • Idolatry — putting anything or anyone living or dead before God. It’s like a wife cheating on her spouse. How have you cheated on God? What idols have you chosen over Him?
    • Mary
    • Saints
    • Dead relatives
    • Inanimate objects
    • Pride, vanity — that’s putting oneself before God.

Paul wrote in Romans…

23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.

27 Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. 28 So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law.

Romans 3:23-28 NLT

John wrote…

If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth.

1 John 1:8 NLT

The Holy One in all His Glory is unapproachable!

How have YOU cheated on God?

Are you clean enough to enter His Glory?

No, you’re not!

The Good News is that Jesus cleared the way!

What are you waiting for?

Invite Jesus into Your Heart and Receive the Gift and Confident Hope of Eternal Life…


Soli Deo Gloria! To God Alone Be the Glory!

Top image by Sweet Publishing from FreeBibleImages.org, (CC BY-SA 3.0)

One comment

  1. […] We left Moses at the end of Exodus unable to enter the Tabernacle because God’s Presence was t…Besides that, Moses, Aaron and the priests were unworthy. So, the next book in the 5 Books of Moses, is Leviticus — or for the Levites — the priests. It is God giving Moses specific instructions on the sacrifices and offerings the people were to bring to the Tabernacle. In these first 3 chapters, we see what types of offerings were acceptable. First there was the male bull, then a sheep or a goat and then a dove — depending on what the people could afford. I’ll skip over some of the gory parts and let you read them for yourself, here. […]

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