Sabbath Regulations
1 Moses assembled the whole community of the Israelites and said to them, “These are the things that the Lord has commanded you to do.tn Heb “to do them”; this is somewhat redundant in English and has been simplified in the translation.
2 In six daystn This is an adverbial accusative of time. work may be done, but on the seventh day there must be a holy daytn The word is קֹדֶשׁ (qodesh, “holiness”). S. R. Driver suggests that the word was transposed, and the line should read: “a sabbath of entire rest, holy to Jehovah” (Exodus, 379). But the word may simply be taken as a substitution for “holy day.” for you, a Sabbath of complete rest to the Lord.sn See on this H. Routtenberg, “The Laws of the Sabbath: Biblical Sources,” Dor le Dor 6 (1977): 41-43, 99-101, 153-55, 204-6; G. Robinson, “The Idea of Rest in the Old Testament and the Search for the Basic Character of Sabbath,” ZAW 92 (1980): 32-43. Anyone who does work on it will be put to death.
3 You must not kindle a firesn Kindling a fire receives special attention here because the people thought that kindling a fire was not work, but only a preparation for some kind of work. The Law makes sure that this too was not done. But see also G. Robinson, “The Prohibition of Strange Fire in Ancient Israel: A Look at the Case of Gathering Wood and Kindling Fire on the Sabbath,” VT 28 (1978): 301-17. in any of your homestn Heb “dwelling places”; KJV, ASV “habitations.” on the Sabbath day.”sn The presence of these three verses in this place has raised all kinds of questions. It may be that after the renewal of the covenant the people needed a reminder to obey God, and obeying the sign of the covenant was the starting point. But there is more to it than this; it is part of the narrative design of the book. It is the artistic design that puts the filling of the Spirit section (31:1-11) prior to the Sabbath laws (31:12-18) before the idolatry section, and then after the renewal there is the Sabbath reminder (35:1-3) before the filling of the Spirit material (35:4-36:7).
Willing Workers
4sn The book now turns to record how all the work of the sanctuary was done. This next unit picks up on the ideas in Exod 31:1-11. But it adds several features. The first part is the instruction of God for all people to give willingly (35:4-19); the next section tells how the faithful brought an offering for the service of the tabernacle (35:20-29); the next section tells how God set some apart with special gifts (35:30-35), and finally, the narrative reports how the faithful people of God enthusiastically began the work (36:1-7). Moses spoke to the whole community of the Israelites, “This is the word that the Lord has commanded:
5 ‘Taketn Heb “from with you.” an offering for the Lord. Let everyone who has a willing hearttn “Heart” is a genitive of specification, clarifying in what way they might be “willing.” The heart refers to their will, their choices. bringtn The verb has a suffix that is the direct object, but the suffixed object is qualified by the second accusative: “let him bring it, an offering.” an offering to the Lord:tn The phrase is literally “the offering of Yahweh”; it could be a simple possessive, “Yahweh’s offering,” but a genitive that indicates the indirect object is more appropriate. gold, silver, bronze,
6 blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, fine linen, goat’s hair,
7 ram skins dyed red, fine leather,tn See the note on this phrase in Exod 25:5. acacia wood,
8 olive oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense,
9 onyx stones, and other gemstn Heb “and stones.” for mountingtn Heb “filling.” on the ephod and the breastpiece.
10 Every skilled persontn Heb “wise of heart”; here also “heart” would be a genitive of specification, showing that there were those who could make skillful decisions. among you is to come and make all that the Lord has commanded:
11 the tabernacle withtn In Hebrew style all these items are typically connected with a vav (ו) conjunction, but English typically uses commas except between the last two items in a series or between items in a series that are somehow related to one another. The present translation follows contemporary English style in lists such as this. its tent, its covering, its clasps, its frames, its crossbars, its posts, and its bases;
12 the ark, with its poles, the atonement lid, and the special curtain that conceals it;
13 the table with its poles and all its vessels, and the Bread of the Presence;
14 the lampstand fortn “for” has been supplied. the light and its accessories, its lamps, and oil for the light;
15 and the altar of incense with its poles, the anointing oil, and the fragrant incense; the hanging for the door at the entrance of the tabernacle;
16 the altar for the burnt offering with its bronze grating that is on it, its poles, and all its utensils; the large basin and its pedestal;
17 the hangings of the courtyard, its posts and its bases, and the curtain for the gateway to the courtyard;
18 tent pegs for the tabernacle and tent pegs for the courtyard and their ropes;
19 the woven garments for serving in the holy place, the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments for his sons to minister as priests.”
20 So the whole community of the Israelites went out from the presence of Moses.
21 Everyonetn Heb “man.” whose heart stirred him to actiontn The verb means “lift up, bear, carry.” Here the subject is “heart” or will, and so the expression describes one moved within to act. and everyone whose spirit was willingtn Heb “his spirit made him willing.” The verb is used in Scripture for the freewill offering that people brought (Lev 7). came and brought the offering for the Lord for the work of the tent of meeting, for all its service, and for the holy garments.tn Literally “the garments of holiness,” the genitive is the attributive genitive, marking out what type of garments these were.
22 They came, men and women alike,tn The expression in Hebrew is “men on/after the women,” meaning men with women, to ensure that it was clear that the preceding verse did not mean only men. B. Jacob takes it further, saying that the men came after the women because the latter had taken the initiative (Exodus, 1017). all who had willing hearts. They brought brooches, earrings, rings and ornaments, all kinds of gold jewelry,tn Heb “all gold utensils.” and everyone came who wavedtn The verb could be translated “offered,” but it is cognate with the following noun that is the wave offering. This sentence underscores the freewill nature of the offerings people made. The word “came” is supplied from v. 21 and v. 22. a wave offering of gold to the Lord.
23 Everyone who hadtn The text uses a relative clause with a resumptive pronoun for this: “who was found with him,” meaning “with whom was found.” blue, purple, ortn The conjunction in this verse is translated “or” because the sentence does not intend to say that each person had all these things. They brought what they had. scarlet yarn, fine linen, goats’ hair, ram skins dyed red, or fine leathertn See the note on this phrase in Exod 25:5. brought them.tn Here “them” has been supplied.
24 Everyone making an offering of silver or bronze brought it astn This translation takes “offering” as an adverbial accusative explaining the form or purpose of their bringing things. It could also be rendered as the direct object, but that would seem to repeat without much difference what had just been said. an offering to the Lord, and everyone who had acacia woodsn U. Cassuto notes that the expression “with whom was found” does not rule out the idea that these folks went out and cut down acacia trees (Exodus, 458). It is unlikely that they had much wood in their tents. for any work of the service brought it.tn Here “it” has been supplied.
25 Every woman who was skilledtn Heb “wisdom of heart,” which means that they were skilled and could make all the right choices about the work. spun with her hands and brought what she had spun, blue, purple, or scarlet yarn, or fine linen,
26 and all the women whose heart stirred them to action and who were skilledtn The text simply uses a prepositional phrase, “with/in wisdom.” It seems to be qualifying “the women” as the relative clause is. spun goats’ hair.
27 The leaders brought onyx stones and other gems to be mountedtn Heb “and stones of the filling.” for the ephod and the breastpiece,
28 and spices and olive oil for the light, for the anointing oil, and for the fragrant incense.
29 The Israelites brought a freewill offering to the Lord, every man and woman whose heart was willing to bring materials for all the work that the Lord throughtn Heb “by the hand of.” Moses had commanded themtn Here “them” has been supplied. to do.
30 Moses said to the Israelites, “See, the Lord has chosentn Heb “called by name” (so KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV). This expression means that the person was specifically chosen for some important task (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 342). See the expression with Cyrus in Isa 45:3-4. Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah.
31 He has filled him with the Spirit of God – with skill, with understanding, with knowledge, and in all kinds of work,
32 to design artistic designs, to work in gold, in silver, and in bronze,
33 and in cutting stones for their setting,tn Heb “to set.” and in cutting wood, to do work in every artistic craft.tn Heb “in every work of thought,” meaning, every work that required the implementation of design or plan.
34 And he has put it in his heartsn The expression means that God has given them the ability and the desire to teach others how to do the work. The infinitive construct “to teach” is related to the word Torah, “instruction, guide, law.” They will be able to direct others in the work. to teach, he and Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan.
35 He has filled them with skilltn The expression “wisdom of heart,” or “wisdom in heart,” means artistic skill. The decisions and plans they make are skilled. The expression forms a second accusative after the verb of filling. to do all kinds of worktn The expression “all the work” means “all kinds of work.” as craftsmen, as designers, as embroiderers in blue, purple, and scarlet yarn and in fine linen, and as weavers. They aretn Here “They are” has been supplied. craftsmen in all the worktn Heb “doers of all work.” and artistic designers.tn Heb “designers of designs.”