Speak unto the children of Israel
That is, when he should go down from the mountain to the camp:
that they bring me an offering;
the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan call it a "separation": something separated from their substance, and devoted to the service of God, and for the use of the sanctuary afterwards to be built:
of every man that giveth it willingly, with his heart, ye shall take my
or take what was offered to him, be it more or less, and of whatsoever person, high and low, rich and poor, so be it it is freely given from the heart; not grudgingly or through force, as the Targum of Jonathan adds; and in such manner did David and his people many hundreds of years after this offer towards building of the temple, and the vessels belonging to that, see ( 1 Chronicles 29:6-14 ) according to the Jewish writers, none but the children of Israel were to offer to this service, and only such who knew what they did; for thus they criticize on the words,
``speak unto the children of "Israel": this exempts an Heathen and an idolater; "of every man"; this excludes a little one; "that giveth it willingly with his heart"; this exempts a deaf and dumb man, and a fool, because they have no knowledge to offer freely F26''however, this we may learn from hence, that whatever we do for the worship and service of God, we should do it freely, cheerfully, and cordially; for God loves a cheerful giver; and if this was required under the legal dispensation, it is much more necessary and obligatory under the Gospel dispensation, and more suitable to it where all things are done and given freely of God, and such large blessings of grace are liberally bestowed by him on persons undeserving.
F26 Maimon. & Bartenora in Misn. Trumot, c. 1. sect. 1.