Exodus 35
Clarke's Commentary
Moses assembles the congregation to deliver to them the commandments of God, Exodus 35:1. Directions concerning the Sabbath, Exodus 35:2, Exodus 35:3. Free-will offerings of gold, silver, brass, etc., for the tabernacle, Exodus 35:4-7. Of oil and spices, Exodus 35:8. Of precious stones, Exodus 35:9. Proper artists to be employed, Exodus 35:10. The tabernacle and its tent, Exodus 35:11. The ark, Exodus 35:12. Table of the shew-bread, Exodus 35:13. Candlestick, Exodus 35:14. Altar of incense, Exodus 35:15. Altar of burnt-offering, Exodus 35:16. Hangings, pins, etc., Exodus 35:17, Exodus 35:18. Clothes of service, and holy vestments, Exodus 35:19. The people cheerfully bring their ornaments as offerings to the Lord, Exodus 35:20-22; together with blue, purple, scarlet, etc., etc., Exodus 35:23, Exodus 35:24. The women spin, and bring the produce of their skill and industry, Exodus 35:25, Exodus 35:26. The rulers bring precious stones, etc., Exodus 35:27, Exodus 35:28. All the people offer willingly, Exodus 35:29. Bezaleel and Aholiab appointed to conduct and superintend all the work of the tabernacle, for which they are qualified by the spirit of wisdom, Exodus 35:30-35.

And Moses gathered all the congregation of the children of Israel together, and said unto them, These are the words which the LORD hath commanded, that ye should do them.
And Moses gathered - The principal subjects in this chapter have been already largely considered in the notes on chapters 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, and 31, and to those the reader is particularly desired to refer, together with the parallel texts in the margin.

Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death.
Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day.
Ye shall kindle no fire - The Jews understand this precept as forbidding the kindling of fire only for the purpose of doing work or dressing victuals; but to give them light and heat, they judge it lawful to light a fire on the Sabbath day, though themselves rarely kindle it-they get Christians to do this work for them.

And Moses spake unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the LORD commanded, saying,
Take ye from among you an offering unto the LORD: whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the LORD; gold, and silver, and brass,
An offering - A terumah or heave-offering; see Leviticus 7:1, etc. , Exodus 35:6

See, on these metals and colors, Exodus 25:3 (note), Exodus 25:4 (note), etc.

And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair,
And rams' skins dyed red, and badgers' skins, and shittim wood,
Rams' skins, etc. - See Exodus 25:5.

And oil for the light, and spices for anointing oil, and for the sweet incense,
Oil for the light - See Exodus 25:6.

And onyx stones, and stones to be set for the ephod, and for the breastplate.
Onyx stones - See Exodus 25:7.

And every wise hearted among you shall come, and make all that the LORD hath commanded;
The tabernacle, his tent, and his covering, his taches, and his boards, his bars, his pillars, and his sockets,
The tabernacle - See Exodus 25:8.

The ark, and the staves thereof, with the mercy seat, and the vail of the covering,
The ark - See Exodus 25:10-17.

The table, and his staves, and all his vessels, and the shewbread,
The table - See Exodus 25:23-28.

The candlestick also for the light, and his furniture, and his lamps, with the oil for the light,
The candlestick - See Exodus 25:31-39.

And the incense altar, and his staves, and the anointing oil, and the sweet incense, and the hanging for the door at the entering in of the tabernacle,
The incense altar - The golden altar, see Exodus 30:1-10.

The altar of burnt offering, with his brasen grate, his staves, and all his vessels, the laver and his foot,
The altar of burnt-offering - The brazen altar, see Exodus 27:1-8.

The hangings of the court, his pillars, and their sockets, and the hanging for the door of the court,
The hangings of the court - See Exodus 27:9.

The pins of the tabernacle, and the pins of the court, and their cords,
The cloths of service, to do service in the holy place, the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons, to minister in the priest's office.
The clothes of service - Probably aprons, towels, and such like, used in the common service, and different from the vestments for Aaron and his sons. See these latter described Exodus 28:1, etc.

And all the congregation of the children of Israel departed from the presence of Moses.
And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the LORD'S offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments.
Every one whose heart stirred him up - Literally, whose heart was lifted up - whose affections were set on the work, being cordially engaged in the service of God.

And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing hearted, and brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings, and tablets, all jewels of gold: and every man that offered offered an offering of gold unto the LORD.
As many as were willing-hearted - For no one was forced to lend his help in this sacred work; all was a free-will offering to the Lord.

Bracelets - חח chach, whatever hooks together; ornaments for the wrists, arms, legs, or neck.

Ear-rings - נזם nezem, see this explained Genesis 24:22 (note).

Rings - טבעת tabbaath, from טבי taba, to penetrate, enter into; probably rings for the fingers.

Tablets - כומז cumaz, a word only used here and in Numbers 31:50, supposed to be a girdle to support the breasts.

And every man, with whom was found blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair, and red skins of rams, and badgers' skins, brought them.
Every one that did offer an offering of silver and brass brought the LORD'S offering: and every man, with whom was found shittim wood for any work of the service, brought it.
And all the women that were wise hearted did spin with their hands, and brought that which they had spun, both of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine linen.
All the women that were wise-hearted did spin - They had before learned this art, they were wise-hearted; and now they practice it, and God condescends to require and accept their services. In building this house of God, all were ambitious to do something by which they might testify their piety to God, and their love for his worship. The spinning practiced at this time was simple, and required little apparatus. It was the plain distaff or twirling pin, which might be easily made out of any wood they met with in the wilderness.

And all the women whose heart stirred them up in wisdom spun goats' hair.
And the rulers brought onyx stones, and stones to be set, for the ephod, and for the breastplate;
The rulers brought onyx stones - These being persons of consequence, might be naturally expected to furnish the more scarce and costly articles. See how all join in this service! The men worked and brought offerings, the women spun and brought their ornaments, the rulers united with them, and delivered up their jewels! and all the children of Israel brought a willing offering unto the Lord, Exodus 36:29.

And spice, and oil for the light, and for the anointing oil, and for the sweet incense.
The children of Israel brought a willing offering unto the LORD, every man and woman, whose heart made them willing to bring for all manner of work, which the LORD had commanded to be made by the hand of Moses.
And Moses said unto the children of Israel, See, the LORD hath called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah;
The Lord hath called by name Bezaleel - See this subject discussed at large in the note on Exodus 28:3 (note), where the subject of superseding the work of the hand by the extra use of machinery is particularly considered.

1. From the nature of the offerings made for the service of the tabernacle, we see of what sort the spoils were which the Israelites brought out of Egypt: gold, silver, brass, blue, purple, scarlet, fine linen, rams' skins dyed red, what we call badgers' skins, oil, spices, incense, onyx stones, and other stones, the names of which are not here mentioned. They must also have brought looms, spinning wheels, instruments for cutting precious stones, anvils, hammers, furnaces, melting-pots, with a vast variety of tools for the different artists employed on the work of the tabernacle, viz., smiths, joiners, carvers, gilders, etc.

2. God could have erected his tabernacle without the help or skill of man; but he condescended to employ him. As all are interested in the worship of God, so all should bear a part in it; here God employs the whole congregation: every male and female, with even their sons and their daughters, and the very ornaments of their persons, are given to raise and adorn the house of God. The women who had not ornaments, and could neither give gold nor silver, could spin goat's hair, and the Lord graciously employs them in this work, and accepts what they can give and what they can do, for they did it with a willing mind; they were wise of heart - had learned a useful business, their hearts were lifted up in the work, Exodus 36:21, and all felt it a high privilege to be able to put only a nail in the holy place. By the free-will offerings of the people the tabernacle was erected, and all the costly utensils belonging to it provided. This was the primitive mode of providing proper places for Divine worship; and as it was the primitive, so it is the most rational mode. Taxes levied by law for building or repairing churches were not known in the ancient times of religious simplicity. It is an honor to be permitted to do any thing for the support of public worship; and he must have a strange, unfeeling, and ungodly heart, who does not esteem it a high privilege to have a stone of his own laying or procuring in the house of God. How easily might all the buildings necessary for the purpose of public worship be raised, if the money that is spent in needless self-indulgence by ourselves, our sons, and our daughters, were devoted to this purpose! By sacrifices of this kind the house of the Lord would be soon built, and the top-stone brought on with shouting, Grace, grace unto it!

And he hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship;
And to devise curious works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass,
And in the cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of wood, to make any manner of cunning work.
And he hath put in his heart that he may teach, both he, and Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan.
Them hath he filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work, of the engraver, and of the cunning workman, and of the embroiderer, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of them that do any work, and of those that devise cunning work.
Commentary on the Bible, by Adam Clarke [1831].
Text Courtesy of Internet Sacred Texts Archive.

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