All the gold that was occupied for the work, in all the
work of the [place]
That was expended in making the mercy seat and cherubim, and the candlestick, which were all of pure gold; besides other things belonging to the ark and shewbread table; and the plates, with which the ark and many other things were covered or glided:
even the gold of the offering;
which the people brought and offered freely; as their bracelets, earrings, and jewels of gold, ( Exodus 35:22 )
was twenty nine talents, and seven hundred and thirty shekels,
after the shekel of the sanctuary:
now as it is clear from ( Exodus 38:25 Exodus 38:26 ) that a talent is of the value of 3000 shekels, which, according to Brerewood, amount to three hundred and seventy five pounds of our money; and reckoning as he does the value of gold to be twelve times that of silver, a talent of gold, with him, is, of our money, 4500 pounds; so that twenty nine talents, seven hundred and thirty shekels, are reckoned by him at 131,595 pounds F13; but according to Dr. Cumberland F14, who is more exact in his calculation, and who reckons a talent of silver at three hundred and fifty three pounds, eleven shillings, and ten pence halfpenny, and the value of gold to be fourteen times that of silver; so that a talent of gold is, with him, 5067 pounds, three shillings, and ten pence; wherefore this whole sum of gold expended in the tabernacle, according to him, amounted to 148,719 pounds sterling: and, according to Waserus F15, the amount of the whole is 350,920 Hungarian ducats, which make three tons and a half of gold, and nine hundred and twenty ducats: when one considers the distressed case of the Israelites in Egypt, their late deliverance from thence, and the desert in which they were, it may be wondered how they came by these riches, here and after mentioned; but when it is observed, the riches of their ancestors, particularly what Joseph got in Egypt, which descended to their posterity; the repayment of the labour of the Israelites at their departure, with what they borrowed of the Egyptians, and what they found upon their carcasses when cast up by the Red sea, it will in a good measure be accounted for; to which may be added, that, according to Jerom F16, there were, eleven miles from Mount Horeb in the wilderness, fruitful mountains of gold; called Catachrysea.
F13 De Ponder. & pretiis. Vet. Num. c. 4, 5.
F14 Of Scripture Weights and Measures, c. 4. p. 120, 121.
F15 De Antiqu. Numis. l. 2. c. 18.
F16 De locis Heb. fol. 90. A.