|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
40:1-15 When a new year begins, we should seek to serve God better than the year before. In half a year the tabernacle was completed. When the hearts of numbers are earnest in a good cause, much may be done in a short time; and when the commandments of God are continually attended to, as the rule of working, all will be done well. The high-priesthood was in the family of Aaron till Christ came, and in Him, the substance of all these shadows, it continues for ever.
Verse 2. - On the first day of the first month. The first of Abib, or Nisan, the "New Year's Day" of Israel, coinciding nearly with the opening of the vernal equinox, a very suitable day for the inauguration of a place of worship. The tabernacle was to be set up first of all; then the tent was to be placed over it. See vers. 18, 19.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
On the first day of the first month,.... Which was the month Nisan, as the Targum of Jonathan expresses it; which was the month the children of Israel came out of Egypt, out of which they had now been a whole year, excepting fourteen days:
shalt thou set up the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation; the tabernacle, which had a tent or covering over it, to which the people were gathered at times for religious service.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. On the first day of the first month—From a careful consideration of the incidents recorded to have happened after the exodus (Ex 12:2; 13:4; 19:1; 20:18; 34:28, &c.), it has been computed that the work of the tabernacle was commenced within six months after that emigration; and consequently, that other six months had been occupied in building it. So long a period spent in preparing the materials of a movable pavilion, it would be difficult to understand, were it not for what we are told of the vast dimensions of the tabernacle, as well as the immense variety of curious and elaborate workmanship which its different articles of furniture required.
the tabernacle—the entire edifice.
the tent—the covering that surmounted it (Ex 40:19).
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