|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
25:1-9 God chose the people of Israel to be a peculiar people to himself, above all people, and he himself would be their King. He ordered a royal palace to be set up among them for himself, called a sanctuary, or holy place, or habitation. There he showed his presence among them. And because in the wilderness they dwelt in tents, this royal palace was ordered to be a tabernacle, that it might move with them. The people were to furnish Moses with the materials, by their own free will. The best use we can make of our worldly wealth, is to honour God with it in works of piety and charity. We should ask, not only, What must we do? but, What may we do for God? Whatever they gave, they must give it cheerfully, not grudgingly, for God loves a cheerful giver, 2Co 9:7. What is laid out in the service of God, we must reckon well bestowed; and whatsoever is done in God's service, must be done by his direction.
Verse 3. - This is the offering - gold and silver and brass. Gold was needed for the overlaying of the boards, whereof the ark was composed (ver. 11); for the "crown of gold," which surmounted it (ibid.); for the "rings" (ver. 12); the "mercy-seat" (ver. 17) - the cherubim (ver. 18); the dishes, the spoons, the covers, the bowls (ver. 29); the candlestick (ver. 31); the tongs and snuff dishes (ver. 28); the hooks and taches (Exodus 26:6, 32); for the covering of the table of shew bread (Exodus 25:24); and of the staves and pillars (ib, 28: Exodus 26:32, 37); and also for many parts of the dress of the High Priest (Exodus 28:6, 8, 11, 14, etc.). Silver was required for the sockets which supported the hoards of the Tabernacle (Exodus 26:19); and for the "hooks" and "fillets" of the pillars of the court (Exodus 27:10) Brass, or rather bronze, was wanted for the "taches" which coupled together the curtains of the tent (Exodus 26:11); for the "sockets" which received the pillars or tent-poles (ib, 37); for the external coating of the altar (Exodus 27:2); for the vessels and utensils of the altar (ib, 3); for the covering of its staves (ib, 6); for the sockets of the pillars of the Court (Exodus 27:10); for the "pins" of the Court (ib, 19); and generally for the vessels of the Tabernacle (ibid.). To understand how the Israelites could supply all that was wanted, we must remember,
1. That they had a certain amount of ancestral wealth, as that which Joseph had accumulated, and what Jacob and his sons had brought with them into Egypt.
2. That they had received large presents of gold and silver from the Egyptians just before their departure (Exodus 12:35); and
3. That they had recently defeated, and no doubt despoiled, the Amalekites (Exodus 16:8-13). Whether they had further made money by trade since they entered the Sinaitic peninsula, may be doubted. The supposition is not at all needed in order to account for their wealth.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And this is the offering which ye shall take of them,.... That is, some one or other of the following things were to be taken of each of them that had a heart, and it was in the power of their hands to give; it was not expected that something of each of these should be had of everyone, but every man was to give, and it was to be received of him, what of these would suit him best to bestow, some one thing, some another, as they were possessed of, and had a heart to give; and for which service many of them were abundantly supplied with what they had brought out of Egypt; and as it was the Lord that gave them favour in the eyes of the Egyptians to lend or give them the riches they had, they were under the greater obligation to part with somewhat of it freely for his service; and especially as it would be to the spiritual profit and advantage both of them and theirs:
gold and silver, and brass; "gold", for those things that were to he made of gold; as the mercy seat and cherubim, the candlestick, &c. or were covered with it, as the ark, the shewbread table, and other things; and silver, for those that were made of that, as the silver sockets to the boards of the tabernacle, the silver trumpets, &c. and "brass" for the altar of burnt offering, its pans, shovels, basins, rings, and staves, and other things: Aben Ezra rightly observes, that no mention is made of iron, there being no use of that for anything in the tabernacle to be made of it; as also there was not in the temple of Solomon, and where there was not so much as a tool of iron heard in it while it was building, 1 Kings 6:7 it may be, because instruments of war, slaughtering weapons, were made of iron; and to show that God is the God of peace in his sanctuary, and so in all the churches: gold and silver vessels the Israelites borrowed or begged of the Egyptians, and brought them with them when they came out of Egypt, Exodus 11:2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. this is the offering which ye shall take of them—the articles of which the offerings should consist.
brass—rather copper, brass being a composite metal.
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