Exodus 31

1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying,
2 "See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah.
3 And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom and in understanding and in knowledge and in all manner of workmanship,
4 to devise skillful works: to work in gold and in silver and in brass,
5 and in cutting of stones to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship.
6 And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and in the hearts of all who are wisehearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee:
7 the tabernacle of the congregation, and the ark of the Testimony and the mercy seat that is thereupon, and all the furniture of the tabernacle,
8 and the table and his furniture, and the pure candlestick with all his furniture, and the altar of incense,
9 and the altar of burnt offering with all his furniture, and the laver and his foot,
10 and the clothes of service, and the holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments of his sons to minister in the priest's office,
11 and the anointing oil and sweet incense for the holy place. According to all that I have commanded thee shall they do."
12 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying,
13 "Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, `Verily My Sabbaths ye shall keep; for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that ye may know that I am the LORD who doth sanctify you.
14 Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore, for it is holy unto you. Every one who defileth it shall surely be put to death; for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
15 Six days may work be done, but on the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. Whosoever doeth any work on the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
16 Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations for a perpetual covenant.
17 It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel for ever; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.'"
18 And He gave unto Moses, when He had made an end of communing with him upon Mount Sinai, two tablets of testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God.

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Exodus 31 Commentary

Chapter 31

Bezaleel and Aholiab are appointed and qualified for the work of the tabernacle. (1-11) The observance of the sabbath. (12-17) Moses receives the tables of the law. (18)

Verses 1-11 The Israelites, who had been masons and bricklayers in Egypt, were not qualified for curious workmanship; but the Spirit who gave the apostles utterance in divers tongues, miraculously gave Bezaleel and Aholiab the skill that was wanting. The honour which comes from God, is always attended with a work to be done; to be employed for God is high honour. Those whom God calls to any service, he will find or make fit for it. The Lord gives different gifts to different persons; let each mind his proper work, diligently remembering that whatever wisdom any one possesses, the Lord put it in the heart, to do his commandments.

Verses 12-17 Orders were now given that a tabernacle should be set up for the service of God. But they must not think that the nature of the work, and the haste that was required, would justify them in working at it on sabbath days. The Hebrew word /shabath/ signifies rest, or ceasing from labour. The thing signified by the sabbath is that rest in glory which remains for the people of God; therefore the moral obligation of the sabbath must continue, till time is swallowed up in eternity.

Verse 18 The law was written in tables of stone, to show how lasting it is: to denote likewise the hardness of our hearts; one might more easily write on stone, than write any thing good on our corrupt natural hearts. It was written with the finger of God; by his will and power. God only can write his law in the heart: he gives a heart of flesh; then, by his Spirit, which is the ( 2 Corinthians. 3:3 )

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO EXODUS 31

In this chapter an account is given of the persons whom God had chosen, and qualified for the work of building the tabernacle, and all things relating to it, and for the direction and oversight thereof, Ex 31:1-6 and an enumeration is made of the several things that were to be wrought, some in one way, some in another, Ex 31:7-11 the law of the sabbath is repeated, and the violation of it made death, Ex 31:12-17 and the chapter is concluded with observing, that at the close of the above orders, two tables of stone, with the law written upon them by the finger of God, were given to Moses, Ex 31:18.

Exodus 31 Commentaries