Exodus 31:6
And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee;
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(6) Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach.—It has been observed above (see the first Note on the chapter) that Bezaleel’s work was general, Aholiab’s, special. Our version, indeed, styles the latter “an engraver, and a cunning workman, and an embroiderer” (Exodus 38:23), from which it might be supposed that, like Bezaleel, he cultivated various branches of art. In the original, however, nothing is said of engraving, and the true meaning seems to be that Aholiab had the charge of the textile fabrics needed for the sanctuary, and directed both the weaving and the embroidery, but did not intermeddle in other matters. (See Note on Exodus 38:23).

Of the tribe of Dan.—The tribe of Dan is among the most undistinguished; but it produced two great artists—Aholiab, the skilful maker of the textile fabrics of the tabernacle, and Hiram, the master workman employed in the ornamentation of Solomon’s temple (2Chronicles 2:14).

All that are wise hearted.—On the expression “wise hearted,” see Note 1 on Exodus 28:3.

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 26:1.6. I have given with him Aholiab—He belonged to the tribe of Dan, one of the least influential and honorable in Israel; and here, too, we can trace the evidence of wise and paternal design, in choosing the colleague or assistant of Bezaleel from an inferior tribe (compare 1Co 12:14-25; also Mr 6:7).

all that are wise-hearted I have put wisdom—At that period, when one spirit pervaded all Israel, it was not the man full of heavenly genius who presided over the work; but all who contributed their skill, experience, and labor, in rendering the smallest assistance, showed their piety and devotedness to the divine service. In like manner, it was at the commencement of the Christian Church (Ac 6:5; 18:2).

All that are wise-hearted; that have wisdom and skill sufficient to do these things, under the inspection and direction of Bezaleel and Aholiab, the principal workmen.

And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan,.... To be a partner with him, and to assist in the direction and oversight of the work of the tabernacle; which was done that there might appear to be a sufficiency in the direction, and that too much honour might not be given to one tribe; and it is observable, that as Solomon of the tribe of Judah was the builder of the temple, one of the tribe of Dan also was a principal artificer in it, 2 Chronicles 2:14 and it is no unusual thing for two persons to be joined together in matters of moment and importance, as Moses and Aaron, who were sent to Pharaoh for Israel's dismission out of the land of Egypt; the apostles of Christ, and seventy disciples, who were sent out two by two; the two witnesses prophesying in sackcloth, the two anointed ones standing before the Lord of the whole earth; and Joshua and Zerubbabel in the rebuilding of the temple: nor is it unusual for both such persons to be types of Christ, as Moses and Aaron, Joshua and Zerubbabel, were; and here Bezaleel, as before, and now Aholiab, whose name signifies "the Father's tent" or "tabernacle"; he being concerned in the oversight of the tabernacle of God and the building of it, and his father's name Ahisamach, according to Hillerus (p), signifies, "one supports", i.e. God; and may be a figure of Christ, whose human nature is the true tabernacle God pitched, and not man, and who, as Mediator, is Jehovah's servant, whom he upholds:

and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted; men of ingenuity, that had good natural parts and abilities, and minds disposed to curious works, and able to perform them, under the guidance and direction of others:

I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee; in the preceding chapters; these persons were to work under Bezaleel and Aholiab, and to do as they were ordered and directed by them; and having good natural abilities, mechanical heads and hearts, and divine wisdom in a large measure communicated to them, they were greatly qualified for the service of the tabernacle, and making all things appertaining to it: thus Christ, the architect and master builder of his church, has wise builders under him, that work in his house, being qualified with the gifts and graces of his Spirit from him, see Zechariah 6:12.

(p) Onomast. Sacr. p. 735.

And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts of all that are {c} wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee;

(c) I have instructed them, and increased their knowledge.

6. Oholiab to be Bĕẓal’çl’s associate. The name ‘Oholiab’ is peculiar, and perhaps not genuinely Hebrew (Gray, Heb. Pr. Names, p. 246): it means apparently The father (God) is my tent; cf. Phoen. אהלבעל, אהלמלך, Baal, or the King, is a tent; Sabaean אהלעתתר, אהלאל, ‘Athtar is a tent, God is a tent; and the Edomitish Oholibamah (‘My tent is the high place’?), Genesis 36:2; Genesis 36:41.

and in the hearts, &c.] i.e. those who are already wise-hearted, i.e. (cf. on Exodus 28:3) possess artistic aptitudes, are to be further endowed by God with wisdom, i.e. with the requisite skill to assist Bĕẓal’çl and Oholiab in their work.

Verse 6. - Aholiab appears to have had the entire charge of the textile fabrics, both woven and embroidered (Exodus 38:23). Of the tribe of Ban. It is remarkable that Hiram, the chief artist employed by Solomon for the ornamental work of the temple, was also a descendant of Dan (2 Chronicles 2:14). Yet the Danites were in general rather warlike and rude than artistic (Genesis 49:17; Deuteronomy 33:22; Judges 13:2; Judges 18:11, 27). In the hearts of all that are wise hearted have I put wisdom. "Unto him that hath shall be given. Those who were already "wise hearted - possessed, that is, of artistic power - were selected by God to receive extraordinary gifts of the same kind. Exodus 31:6There were associated with Bezaleel as assistants, Oholiab, the son of Achisamach, of the tribe of Dan, and other men endowed with understanding, whom God had filled with wisdom for the execution of His work. According to Exodus 38:23, Oholiab was both faber, a master in metal, stone, and wood work, and also an artistic weaver of colours. In Exodus 38:7-11, the words to be executed, which have been minutely described in ch. 24-30, are mentioned singly once more; and, in addition to these, we find in Exodus 31:10 השּׂרד בּגדי mentioned, along with, or rather before, the holy dress of Aaron. This is the case also in Exodus 35:19 and Exodus 39:41, where there is also the additional clause, "to serve (שׁרת ministrare) in the sanctuary." They were composed, according to Exodus 39:1, of blue and red purple, and crimson. The meaning of the word serad, which only occurs in these passages, is quite uncertain. The Rabbins understand by the bigde hasserad the wrappers in which the vessels of the sanctuary were enclosed when the camp was broken up, as these are called begadim of blue and red purple, and crimson, in Numbers 4:6. But this rendering is opposed to the words which follow, and which indicate their use in the holy service, i.e., in the performance of worship, and therefore are quite inapplicable to the wrappers referred to. There is even less ground for referring them, as Gesenius and others do, to the inner curtains of the tabernacle, or the inner hangings of the dwelling-place. For, apart from the uncertainty of the rendering given to serad, viz., netted cloth, filet, it is overthrown by the fact that these curtains of the dwelling-place were not of net-work; and still more decisively by the order in which the bigde hasserad occur in Exodus 39:41, viz., not till the dwelling-place and tent, and everything belonging to them, have been mentioned, even down to the hangings of the court and the pegs of the tent, and all that remains to be noticed is the clothing of the priests. From the definition "to serve in the sanctuary," it is obvious that the bigde serad were clothes used in the worship, στολαὶ λειτουργικαί, as the lxx have rendered it in agreement with the rest of the ancient versions-that they were, in fact, the rich robes which constituted the official dress of the high priest, whilst "the holy garments for Aaron" were the holy clothes which were worn by him in common with the priests.
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