Exodus 35

1 Moses gathered together the whole Israelite community and said to them: These are the things that the LORD has commanded you to do:

Instructions for the Sabbath

2 Do your work for six days, but the seventh day should be holy to you, a Sabbath of complete rest for the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath will be put to death.
3 Don't start a fire in any of your homes on the Sabbath day.

Preparing to build the dwelling

4 Moses said to the whole Israelite community, This is what the LORD has commanded:
5 Collect gift offerings for the LORD from all of you. Whoever freely wants to give should bring the LORD's gift offerings: gold, silver, and copper;
6 blue, purple, and deep red yarns; fine linen; goats' hair;
7 rams' skins dyed red; beaded leather; acacia wood;
8 the oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet-smelling incense;
9 gemstones; and gems for setting in the priest's vest and in the priest's chest pendant.
10 All of you who are skilled in crafts should come forward and make everything that the LORD has commanded:
11 the dwelling, its tent and its covering, its clasps, its boards, its bars, its posts, and its bases,
12 the chest with its poles and its cover, the veil for a screen,
13 the table with its poles and all its equipment, the bread of the presence,
14 the lampstand for light with its equipment and its lamps, the oil for the light,
15 the incense altar with its poles, the anointing oil and the sweet-smelling incense, the entrance screen for the dwelling's entrance,
16 the altar for entirely burned offerings with its copper grate, its poles, and all its equipment, the washbasin with its stand,
17 the courtyard's drapes, its posts, and its bases, and the screen for the courtyard gate,
18 the dwelling's tent pegs and the courtyard's tent pegs, and their cords,
19 the woven clothing for ministering in the sanctuary, and the holy clothes for Aaron the priest and his sons for their service as priests.

Gifts for building the dwelling

20 The whole Israelite community left Moses.
21 Everyone who was excited and eager to participate brought the LORD's gift offerings to be used for building the meeting tent and all its furnishings and for the holy clothes.
22 Both men and women came forward. Everyone who was eager to participate brought pins, earrings, rings, and necklaces, all sorts of gold objects. Everyone raised an uplifted offering of gold to the LORD.
23 And everyone who had blue or purple or deep red yarn or fine linen or goats' hair or rams' skins dyed red or beaded leather brought them.
24 Everyone who could make a gift offering of silver or copper brought it as the LORD's gift offering. Everyone who had acacia wood that could be used in any kind of building work brought it.
25 All the skilled women spun cloth with their hands, and brought what they had spun in blue and purple and deep red yarns and fine linen.
26 All the women who were eager to use their skill spun the goats' hair.
27 The chiefs brought gemstones and gems to be set in the priest's vest and the chest pendant,
28 spices and oil for light and for the anointing oil, and for the sweet-smelling incense.
29 All the Israelite men and women who were eager to contribute something for the work that the LORD had commanded Moses to do brought it as a spontaneous gift to the LORD.

Moses introduces Bezalel and Oholiab

30 Then Moses said to the Israelites: “Look, the LORD has chosen Bezalel, Uri's son and Hur's grandson from the tribe of Judah.
31 The LORD has filled him with the divine spirit that will give him skill, ability, and knowledge for every kind of work.
32 He will be able to create designs, do metalwork in gold, silver, and copper,
33 cut stones for setting, carve wood, do every kind of creative work,
34 and have the ability to teach others. Both he and Oholiab, Ahisamach's son from the tribe of Dan,
35 have been given the skill to do every kind of work done by a gem cutter or a designer or a needleworker in blue, purple, and deep red yarns and in fine linen or a weaver or anyone else doing work or creating designs.

Exodus 35 Commentary

Chapter 35

The sabbath to be observed. (1-3) The free gifts for the tabernacle. (4-19) The readiness of the people in general. (20-29) Bezaleel and Aholiab called to the work. (30-35)

Verses 1-3 The mild and easy yoke of Christ has made our sabbath duties more delightful, and our sabbath restraints less irksome, than those of the Jews; but we are the more guilty by neglecting them. Surely God's wisdom in giving us the sabbath, with all the mercy of its purposes, are sinfully disregarded. Is it nothing to pour contempt upon the blessed day, which a bounteous God has given to us for our growth in grace with the church below, and to prepare us for happiness with the church above?

Verses 4-19 The tabernacle was to be dedicated to the honour of God, and used in his service; and therefore what was brought for it, was an offering to the Lord. The rule is, Whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring. All that were skilful must work. God dispenses his gifts; and as every man hath received, so he ( 1 Peter. 4:10 ) materials to work on; those that were skilful, must serve the tabernacle with their skill: as they needed one another, so the ( 1 Corinthians. 12:7-21 )

Verses 20-29 Without a willing mind, costly offerings would be abhorred; with it, the smallest will be accepted. Our hearts are willing, when we cheerfully assist in promoting the cause of God. Those who are diligent and contented in employments considered mean, are as much accepted of God as those engaged in splendid services. The women who spun the goats' hair were wise-hearted, because they did it heartily to the Lord. Thus the labourer, mechanic, or servant who attends to his work in the faith and fear of God, may be as wise, for his place, as the most useful minister, and he equally accepted of the Lord. Our wisdom and duty consist in giving God the glory and use of our talents, be they many or few.

Verses 30-35 Here is the Divine appointment of the master-workmen, that there might be no strife for the office, and that all who were employed in the work might take direction from, and give account to them. Those whom God called by name to his service, he filled with the Spirit of God. Skill, even in worldly employments, is God's gift, and comes from above. But many are ready enough in cutting out work for other people, and can tell what this man or that man should do; but the burdens they bind on others, they themselves will not touch with one of their fingers. Such will fall under the character of slothful servants. These men were not only to devise and to work themselves, but they were to teach others. Those that rule should teach; and those to whom God has given knowledge, should be willing to make it known for the benefit of others.

Footnotes 2

Chapter Summary


This chapter begins with a renewal of the command of the sabbath, Ex 35:1-3 and contains an order for a freewill offering to be brought for the service of the sanctuary, and specifies the things to be brought, and for what uses, Ex 35:4-19 to which there was a ready compliance, and men and women, princes and the common people, everyone according to what they had in possession, brought and offered it freely, Ex 35:20-29 and for their encouragement, that their offering would not be in vain, they were informed there were two persons divinely inspired, to do, and teach to be done, all manner of work for the tabernacle, towards which they had made such a liberal and plentiful contribution, Ex 35:30-35.

Exodus 35 Commentaries