Exodus 36
Clarke's Commentary
Moses appoints Bezaleel, Aholiab, and their associates, to the work, and delivers to them the free-will offerings of the people, Exodus 36:1-3. The people bring offerings more than are needed for the work, and are only restrained by the proclamation of Moses, Exodus 36:4-7. The curtains, their loops, taches, etc., for the tabernacle, Exodus 36:8-18. The covering for the tent, Exodus 36:19. The boards, Exodus 36:20-30. The bars, Exodus 36:31-34. The veil and its pillars, Exodus 36:35, Exodus 36:36. The hangings and their pillars, Exodus 36:37, Exodus 36:38.

Then wrought Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whom the LORD put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that the LORD had commanded.
Then wrought, etc. - The first verse of this chapter should end the preceding chapter, and this should begin with verse the second; as it now stands, it does not make a very consistent sense. By reading the first word ועשה veasah, then wrought, in the future tense instead of the past, the proper connection will be preserved: for all grammarians know that the conjunction ו vau is often conversive, i.e., it turns the preterite tense of those verbs to which it is prefixed into the future, and the future into the preterite: this power it evidently has here; and joined with the last verse of the preceding chapter the connection will appear thus, Exodus 36:30-35, etc.: The Lord hath called by name Bezaleel and Aholiab; them hath he filled with wisdom of heart to work all manner of work. Exodus 36:1 : And Bezaleel and Aholiab Shall Work, and every wise-hearted man, in whom the Lord put wisdom.

And Moses called Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whose heart the LORD had put wisdom, even every one whose heart stirred him up to come unto the work to do it:
And they received of Moses all the offering, which the children of Israel had brought for the work of the service of the sanctuary, to make it withal. And they brought yet unto him free offerings every morning.
And all the wise men, that wrought all the work of the sanctuary, came every man from his work which they made;
And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the LORD commanded to make.
The people bring much more than enough - With what a liberal spirit do these people bring their free-will offerings unto the Lords! Moses is obliged to make a proclamation to prevent them from bringing any more, as there was at present more than enough! Had Moses been intent upon gain, and had he not been perfectly disinterested, he would have encouraged them to continue their contributions, as thereby he might have multiplied to himself gold, silver, and precious stones. But he was doing the Lord's work, under the inspiration of the Divine Spirit, and therefore he sought no secular gain. Indeed, this one circumstance is an ample proof of it. Every thing necessary for the worship of God will be cheerfully provided by a people whose hearts are in that worship. In a state where all forms of religion and modes of worship are tolerated by the laws, it would be well to find out some less exceptionable way of providing for the national clergy than by tithes. Let them by all means have the provision allowed them by the law; but let them not be needlessly exposed to the resentment of the people by the mode in which this provision is made, as this often alienates the affections of their flocks from them, and exceedingly injures their usefulness. See Clarke's note on Genesis 28:22, in fine, where the subject is viewed on all sides.

And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing.
For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much.
And every wise hearted man among them that wrought the work of the tabernacle made ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work made he them.
Cherubims of cunning work - See on Exodus 25:18 (note). Probably the word means no more than figures of any kind wrought in the diaper fashion in the loom, or by the needle in embroidery, or by the chisel or graving tool in wood, stone, or metal; see Clarke on Exodus 25:18 (note). This meaning Houbigant and other excellent critics contend for. In some places the word seems to be restricted to express a particular figure then well known; but in many other places it seems to imply any kind of figure commonly formed by sculpture on stone, by carving on wood, by engraving upon brass, and by weaving in the loom, etc.

The length of one curtain was twenty and eight cubits, and the breadth of one curtain four cubits: the curtains were all of one size.
The length of one curtain - Concerning these curtains, see Clarke on Exodus 26:1 (note), etc.

And he coupled the five curtains one unto another: and the other five curtains he coupled one unto another.
And he made loops of blue on the edge of one curtain from the selvedge in the coupling: likewise he made in the uttermost side of another curtain, in the coupling of the second.
Fifty loops made he in one curtain, and fifty loops made he in the edge of the curtain which was in the coupling of the second: the loops held one curtain to another.
And he made fifty taches of gold, and coupled the curtains one unto another with the taches: so it became one tabernacle.
And he made curtains of goats' hair for the tent over the tabernacle: eleven curtains he made them.
The length of one curtain was thirty cubits, and four cubits was the breadth of one curtain: the eleven curtains were of one size.
And he coupled five curtains by themselves, and six curtains by themselves.
And he made fifty loops upon the uttermost edge of the curtain in the coupling, and fifty loops made he upon the edge of the curtain which coupleth the second.
And he made fifty taches of brass to couple the tent together, that it might be one.
And he made a covering for the tent of rams' skins dyed red, and a covering of badgers' skins above that.
And he made boards for the tabernacle of shittim wood, standing up.
And he made boards - See Clarke's note on Exodus 26:15, etc.

The length of a board was ten cubits, and the breadth of a board one cubit and a half.
One board had two tenons, equally distant one from another: thus did he make for all the boards of the tabernacle.
And he made boards for the tabernacle; twenty boards for the south side southward:
And forty sockets of silver he made under the twenty boards; two sockets under one board for his two tenons, and two sockets under another board for his two tenons.
And for the other side of the tabernacle, which is toward the north corner, he made twenty boards,
And their forty sockets of silver; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board.
And for the sides of the tabernacle westward he made six boards.
And two boards made he for the corners of the tabernacle in the two sides.
And they were coupled beneath, and coupled together at the head thereof, to one ring: thus he did to both of them in both the corners.
And there were eight boards; and their sockets were sixteen sockets of silver, under every board two sockets.
And he made bars of shittim wood; five for the boards of the one side of the tabernacle,
He made bars - See on Exodus 26:26 (note), etc.

And five bars for the boards of the other side of the tabernacle, and five bars for the boards of the tabernacle for the sides westward.
And he made the middle bar to shoot through the boards from the one end to the other.
And he overlaid the boards with gold, and made their rings of gold to be places for the bars, and overlaid the bars with gold.
And he made a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen: with cherubims made he it of cunning work.
He made a veil - See Clarke on Exodus 26:31 (note), etc.

And he made thereunto four pillars of shittim wood, and overlaid them with gold: their hooks were of gold; and he cast for them four sockets of silver.
And he made an hanging for the tabernacle door of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, of needlework;
Hanging for the - door - See Clarke on Exodus 26:36 (note), etc.

And the five pillars of it with their hooks: and he overlaid their chapiters and their fillets with gold: but their five sockets were of brass.
The five pillars of it with their hooks - Their capitals. See Clarke on Exodus 26:32 (note), etc.

There is scarcely any thing particular in this chapter that has not been touched on before; both it and the following to the end of the book being in general a repetition of what we have already met in detail in the preceding chapters from Exodus 25 to 31 inclusive, and to those the reader is requested to refer. God had before commanded this work to be done, and it was necessary to record the execution of it to show that all was done according to the pattern shown to Moses; without this detailed account we should not have known whether the work had ever been executed according to the directions given.

At the commencement of this chapter the reader will observe that I have advanced the dates a. m. and b.c. one year, without altering the year of the exodus, which at first view may appear an error; the reason is, that the above dates commenced at Tisri, but the years of the exodus are dated from Abib.

Commentary on the Bible, by Adam Clarke [1831].
Text Courtesy of Internet Sacred Texts Archive.

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