Exodus 31:5
And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Exodus 31:5. In cutting of stones — That is, in cutting and setting the precious stones, and in graving on them what God commanded. In carving of timber — Rather in cutting of timber, as the same word is rendered in the beginning of the verse; for we do not read of any carved work about the tabernacle.31:1-11 The Israelites, who had been masons and bricklayers in Egypt, were not qualified for curious workmanship; but the Spirit who gave the apostles utterance in divers tongues, miraculously gave Bezaleel and Aholiab the skill that was wanting. The honour which comes from God, is always attended with a work to be done; to be employed for God is high honour. Those whom God calls to any service, he will find or make fit for it. The Lord gives different gifts to different persons; let each mind his proper work, diligently remembering that whatever wisdom any one possesses, the Lord put it in the heart, to do his commandments.To devise cunning works - Rather, to devise works of skill. The Hebrew phrase is not the same as that rendered "cunning work" in respect to textile fabrics in Exodus 26:1.3-5. I have filled him with the spirit of God—It is probable that he was naturally endowed with a mechanical genius, and had acquired in Egypt great knowledge and skill in the useful, as well as liberal, arts so as to be a first-class artisan, competent to take charge of both the plain and ornamental work, which the building of the sacred edifice required. When God has any special work to be accomplished, He always raises up instruments capable of doing it; and it is likely that He had given to the son of Uri that strong natural aptitude and those opportunities of gaining mechanical skill, with an ultimate view to this responsible office. Notwithstanding that his grand duty was to conform with scrupulous fidelity to the pattern furnished, there was still plenty of room for inventive talent and tasteful exactness in the execution; and his natural and acquired gifts were enlarged and invigorated for the important work. No text from Poole on this verse. And in cutting of stones to set them,.... Not of marble stones, or of any common stones used in building, and the cutting and hewing of them to be laid therein, for of those there was no use in the tabernacle; but of precious stones, and the cutting of them, and setting of them in their ouches or enclosures, as the onyx stones on the shoulders of the high priest, and the twelve precious stones in his breastplate: Bezaleel was taught by the Spirit of God the art of jewelling, and instructed others in it:

and in carving of timber; or rather, "in cutting timber" (o); for it is the same word as before, for we have no account of any carved work in the tabernacle; and therefore this must design the work of carpenters and joiners in cutting the shittim wood, making planks and boards of it, and of them the sides of the tabernacle, jointed into sockets; the ark of the testimony, the shewbread table, and altar of incense, which were of timber, and the workmanship of such persons:

to work in all manner of workmanship; in all other manufactories; as spinning, weaving, embroidery, dying various colours, compounding ointment, perfume, &c.

(o) "in fabrefactione ligni", Montanus; so Tigurine version.

And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
5. for setting] See Exodus 25:7, Exodus 28:17; Exodus 28:20.Verse 5. - In cutting of stones - i.e., "in Genesis-curling." The fabric of the tabernacle was entirely of metal, cloth, and wood. In carving of timber. Rather "cutting." The word is the same as that used of the stones. And no ornamental "carving" of the woodwork was prescribed. There is the same prohibition against imitating or applying it to a strange use as in the case of the anointing oil (Exodus 30:32, Exodus 30:33). "To smell thereto," i.e., to enjoy the perfume of it.
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