To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass,
Jump to: Barnes • Benson • BI • Calvin • Cambridge • Clarke • Darby • Ellicott • Expositor's • Exp Dct • Gaebelein • GSB • Gill • Gray • Haydock • Hastings • Homiletics • JFB • KD • KJT • Lange • MacLaren • MHC • MHCW • Parker • Poole • Pulpit • Sermon • SCO • TTB • WES • TSK
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Cunning works . . . in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in cutting of stones
. . .—It is a characteristic of early art that it eschews specialism, and it is as nearly universal as possible. Theodore of Samos (ab. B.C. 600-560) was an architect, a worker in bronze, and an engraver of hard stones. Michael Angelo was an architect, painter, and sculptor. Giotto was the same, and also a worker in mosaic. It is some time before, in each particular people or country, the imitative arts become separated, and each artist aspires to eminence in one branch only. (Comp. the multiform artistic powers ascribed to Hiram of Tyre in chap. 214.)
In cutting of stones, to set them—i.e., in gem-engraving. This branch of art was needed for engraving the names of the tribes upon the two onyxes of the ephod (Exodus 28:9), and upon the twelve precious stones of the breastplate (Exodus 28:17-18). It was an art very early practised both in Chaldæa and in Egypt. (See Note 2 on Exodus 28:8.)
In carving of timber.—Rather, cutting of timber. The woodwork of the sanctuary was not “carved,” but plain.Exodus 26:1.Proverbs 8:12.
to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass; for it is not to be supposed there were either goldsmiths or brasiers among the Israelites; only masons and bricklayers, and brickmakers, and such sort of manufacturers; so that Bezaleel had need of immediate wisdom from the Spirit of God, not only to devise curious works in these several things as in others, but to teach men how to work in them, what tools to work with, and how to use them, how to melt these several metals, and into what forms and shapes to put them, and then to polish them; as there were some things in the temple to be made of gold, as the candlestick, others of silver, as the sockets of the tabernacle, and others of brass, as the altar of burnt offering, and its vessels, with other things.To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)4. devise cunning works] devise works of skill (Speaker’s Comm.); so Exodus 35:32; Exodus 35:35. Lit. devise (or design, Exodus 26:1) devices (Jeremiah 18:18); here of skill in contriving and executing works of art, as in 2 Chronicles 26:15 mechanical contrivances (Heb. devices [EVV. engines, i.e. ingenia, inventions], the device of the deviser).
4, 5. in gold, and in silver, and in bronze, &c.] such as would be needed for carrying out the preceding body of directions (Exodus 25:10 ff.; Exodus 26:15 ff.; Exodus 28:9-11; Exodus 28:21, &c.).Verses 4, 5. - The result of these gifts would be to enable him - 1. To devise cunning works - i.e., to design everything excellently; and 2. To work in all manner of workmanship - i.e., to carry out his designs with success. It has been said that "as everything that had to be done was prescribed in strict and precise detail, there was to be no exercise of original powers of invention nor of taste" (Cook); but this was scarcely so. The forms of the cherubim, the patterns to be woven into the stuffs, or embroidered on them, the shapes of the vessels, of the capitals of the pillars, and of the laver were not prescribed in the directions. Bezaleel and Aholiab would have had to design them after such a description as Moses could give of the "pattern" which he had seen in the mount. In doing this, there would be much room for the exercise of inventive power and taste. Exodus 30:6 and Leviticus 16:12). The remainder was of course to be kept elsewhere.
LinksExodus 31:4 Interlinear
Exodus 31:4 Parallel Texts
Exodus 31:4 NIV
Exodus 31:4 NLT
Exodus 31:4 ESV
Exodus 31:4 NASB
Exodus 31:4 KJV
Exodus 31:4 Bible Apps
Exodus 31:4 Parallel
Exodus 31:4 Biblia Paralela
Exodus 31:4 Chinese Bible
Exodus 31:4 French Bible
Exodus 31:4 German Bible