The first collection. The Ark of the Covenant. The table for the Showbread. The lamp stand.
VERSE 1. The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
VERSE 2. “Speak to the children of Israel, that they take an offering for me. From everyone whose heart makes him willing you shall take my offering.
they take an offering. This is the first religiously-motivated collection.
From everyone whose heart makes him willing. They are not permitted to use coercion. Participation is completely voluntary.
This voluntary nature of giving is echoed in the New Testament:
2 Corinthians 9:7. Let each man give according as he has determined in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
However, many of today’s Christian leaders turn voluntary giving into an obligation:
- Some do it by clever argumentation
- Others require a “pledge” of monthly support
- Still others impose an outright fee
Any such thing is unbiblical. It transforms the pure wine of voluntary giving into the tepid water of obligation.
gold, silver, bronze. They are to offer things that are previous to them.
By doing so, they discover their key motives. Their “heart.”
Sirach 29:11. Bestow your treasure according to the commandments of the Most High; And it shall profit you more than gold.
Matthew 6:21. for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
VERSE 4. blue, purple, scarlet, fine linen, goats’ hair,
cow hides. Or “fine leather.”
VERSE 6. oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense,
VERSE 7. onyx stones, and stones to be set for the ephod and for the breastplate.
make me a sanctuary. This will be their first religiously-motivated structure.
VERSE 9. According to all that I show you, the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all of its furniture, even so you shall make it.
VERSE 10. “They shall make an ark of acacia wood. Its length shall be two and a half cubits, its width a cubit and a half, and a cubit and a half its height.
make an ark. What did this Ark of the Covenant look like? Perhaps the best interpretation was seen in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
two and a half cubits. A cubit is the length from the tip of the middle finger to the elbow on a man’s arm, or about 18 inches or 46 centimeters.
VERSE 11. You shall overlay it with pure gold. You shall overlay it inside and outside, and you shall make a gold molding around it.
VERSE 12. You shall cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in its four feet. Two rings shall be on the one side of it, and two rings on the other side of it.
VERSE 13. You shall make poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold.
VERSE 14. You shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark to carry the ark.
VERSE 15. The poles shall be in the rings of the ark. They shall not be taken from it.
put the covenant … into the ark. The commandments were stored in the Ark of the Covenant.
VERSE 17. You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold. Two and a half cubits shall be its length, and a cubit and a half its width.
VERSE 18. You shall make two cherubim of hammered gold. You shall make them at the two ends of the mercy seat.
VERSE 19. Make one cherub at the one end, and one cherub at the other end. You shall make the cherubim on its two ends of one piece with the mercy seat.
VERSE 20. The cherubim shall spread out their wings upward, covering the mercy seat with their wings, with their faces toward one another. The faces of the cherubim shall be toward the mercy seat.
VERSE 21. You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the covenant that I will give you.
VERSE 22. There I will meet with you, and I will tell you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the covenant, all that I command you for the children of Israel.
VERSE 23. “You shall make a table of acacia wood. Its length shall be two cubits, and its width a cubit, and its height one and a half cubits.
VERSE 24. You shall overlay it with pure gold, and make a gold molding around it.
VERSE 25. You shall make a rim of a hand width around it. You shall make a golden molding on its rim around it.
VERSE 26. You shall make four rings of gold for it, and put the rings in the four corners that are on its four feet.
VERSE 27. The rings shall be close to the rim, for places for the poles to carry the table.
VERSE 28. You shall make the poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold, that the table may be carried with them.
VERSE 29. You shall make its dishes, its spoons, its ladles, and its bowls with which to pour out offerings. You shall make them of pure gold.
bread of the presence. This is also called showbread. It was placed on the table every Sabbath as an offering to the LORD God.
Later, the priests would eat it.
VERSE 31. “You shall make a lamp stand of pure gold. The lamp stand shall be made of hammered work. Its base, its shaft, its cups, its buds, and its flowers shall be of one piece with it.
VERSE 32. There shall be six branches going out of its sides: three branches of the lamp stand out of its one side, and three branches of the lamp stand out of its other side;
VERSE 33. three cups made like almond blossoms in one branch, a bud and a flower; and three cups made like almond blossoms in the other branch, a bud and a flower, so for the six branches going out of the lamp stand;
VERSE 34. and in the lamp stand four cups made like almond blossoms, its buds and its flowers;
VERSE 35. and a bud under two branches of one piece with it, and a bud under two branches of one piece with it, and a bud under two branches of one piece with it, for the six branches going out of the lamp stand.
VERSE 36. Their buds and their branches shall be of one piece with it, all of it one beaten work of pure gold.
VERSE 37. You shall make its lamps seven, and they shall light its lamps to give light to the space in front of it.
VERSE 38. Its snuffers and its snuff dishes shall be of pure gold.
a talent of pure gold. That is, 75 pounds. That is a whole lot of gold!
See that you make them after their pattern. It was not enough for Moses to simply nod his head in agreement when being told these things by God Almighty.
Rather, Moses had to act on it. He needed to take concrete steps to put God’s instructions into action.
In our own lives, it is important for us to not only agree with what God is showing us, but also to put it into practice. We’re to do as God leads. We are called to have Action-Faith.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.