And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Exodus 35:30-35. This solemn call of Bezaleel and Aholiab is full of instruction. Their work was to be only that of handicraftsmen. Still it was Yahweh Himself who called them by name to their tasks, and the powers which they were now called upon to exercise in their respective crafts, were declared to have been given them by the Holy Spirit. Thus is every effort of skill, every sort of well-ordered labor, when directed to a right end, brought into the very highest sphere of association.
There appears to be sufficient reason for identifying Hur, the grandfather of Bezaleel, with the Hur who assisted Aaron in supporting the hands of Moses during the battle with Amalek at Rephidim Exodus 17:10, and who was associated with Aaron in the charge of the people while Moses was on the mountain Exodus 24:14. Josephus says that he was the husband of Miriam. It is thus probable that Bezaleel was related to Moses. He was the chief artificer in metal, stone, and wood; he had also to perform the apothecary's work in the composition of the anointing oil and the incense Exodus 37:29. He had precedence of all the artificers, but Aholiab appears to have had the entire charge of the textile work Exodus 35:35; Exodus 38:23.
See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah:
And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship,
Wisdom, understanding, Knowledge - Or, that "right judgment in all things" for which we especially pray on Whitsunday; the perceptive faculty; and experience, a practical acquaintance with facts.
To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass,
To devise cunning works - Rather, to devise works of skill. The Hebrew phrase is not the same as that rendered "cunning work" in respect to textile fabrics in Exodus 26:1.
And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship.
And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee;
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,
And the table and his furniture, and the pure candlestick with all his furniture, and the altar of incense,
And the altar of burnt offering with all his furniture, and the laver and his foot,
And the cloths of service, and the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons, to minister in the priest's office,
And the cloths of service - Rather, And the garments of office; that is, the distinguishing official garments of the high priest. The three kinds of dress mentioned in this verse appear to be the only ones which were unique to the sanctuary. They were:
(3) the garments of white linen for all the priests, worn in their regular ministrations (see Exodus 28:40-41).
And the anointing oil, and sweet incense for the holy place: according to all that I have commanded thee shall they do.
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
The penal law of the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2-3. In the fourth commandment the injunction to observe the seventh day is addressed to the conscience of the people (see Exodus 20:8 note): in this place, the object is to declare an infraction of the commandment to be a capital offence. The two passages stand in a relation to each other similar to that between Leviticus 18, Leviticus 19, and Leviticus 20. It seems likely that the penal edict was especially introduced as a caution in reference to the construction of the tabernacle, lest the people, in their zeal to carry on the work, should be tempted to break the divine law for the observance of the day.
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 that doth sanctify you.
Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
See Numbers 15:32-36. The distinction between the meaning of the two expressions, "to be cut off from the people", and "to be put to death", is here indicated. He who was cut off from the people had, by his offence, put himself out of the terms of the covenant, and was an outlaw. On such, and on such alone, when the offence was one which affected the well-being of the nation, as it was in this case, death could be inflicted by the public authority.
Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.
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.
Was refreshed - Literally, "he took breath". Compare Exodus 23:12; 2 Samuel 16:14. The application of the word to the Creator, which occurs nowhere else, is remarkable.
And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.
Two tables of testimony - See Exodus 25:16; Exodus 32:15.
The tables of stone which represented the covenant between Yahweh and His people, and which, when covered with the mercy-seat were to give the sanctuary its significance, are now delivered to Moses in accordance with the promise in Exodus 24:12.
The history of what relates to the construction of the sanctuary is here interrupted, and is taken up again in Exodus 35:1.