|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 7. - Onyx stones. On the need of onyx stones, see Exodus 28:9, 20. Stones to be set in the ephod, etc. Rather, "stones for setting, for the ephod and for the breastplate." The only stones required for the ephod were two large onyx stones; for the breastplate twelve jewels were needed (ibid. 17-20), one of them being an onyx. It has been proposed to translate the Hebrew shoham by "beryl" instead of "onyx;" but onyx, which is more suitable for engraving, is probably right.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Onyx stones,.... So called from their likeness to the nail of a man's finger: the Targum of Onkelos calls them stones of beryl; and the Targum of Jonathan gems of beryl; and the Septuagint version, stones of sardius; and some take them to be the sardonyx stones, which have a likeness both to the onyx and to the sardius:
and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate; two onyx stones were set in the ephod, one of the garments of the high priest, and an onyx stone, with eleven other precious stones, were set in the breastplate of the high priest: these stones were doubtless among the jewels set in gold and silver the Israelites had of the Egyptians, and brought with them out of Egypt.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. ephod—a square cloak, hanging down from the shoulders, and worn by priests.
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