Exodus 35:26
And all the women whose heart stirred them up in wisdom spun goats' hair.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(26) All the women whose heart stirred them up in wisdom spun goats’ hair.—It would seem to have been more difficult to produce a thread from goats’ hair than from flax. Only the most skilful undertook the more difficult task.

35:20-29 Without a willing mind, costly offerings would be abhorred; with it, the smallest will be accepted. Our hearts are willing, when we cheerfully assist in promoting the cause of God. Those who are diligent and contented in employments considered mean, are as much accepted of God as those engaged in splendid services. The women who spun the goats' hair were wise-hearted, because they did it heartily to the Lord. Thus the labourer, mechanic, or servant who attends to his work in the faith and fear of God, may be as wise, for his place, as the most useful minister, and he equally accepted of the Lord. Our wisdom and duty consist in giving God the glory and use of our talents, be they many or few.Bracelets - Rather, brooches.

Earrings - The Hebrew word signifies a ring, either for the nose (see Genesis 24:22) or for the ear Exodus 32:2; Genesis 35:4. That ear-rings, not nose-rings, are here meant is confirmed by what we know of early Hebrew and Egyptian customs.

Rings - Signet rings.

Tablets - More probably, armlets. It is most likely that all the articles mentioned in this verse were of gold. The indulgence of private luxury was thus given up for the honor of the Lord. Compare Exodus 30:18 note.

22. they came, both men and women, &c.—literally, "the men over and above the women"; a phraseology which implies that the women acted a prominent part, presented their offerings first, and then were followed by as many of their male companions as were similarly disposed.

brought bracelets, &c.—There was in that early age no money in the form of coins or bullion. What money passed current with the merchant consisted of rings which were weighed, and principally of ornaments for personal decoration. Astonishment at the abundance of their ornaments is at an end when we learn that costly and elegant ornaments abounded in proportion as clothing was simple and scarce among the Egyptians, and some, entirely divested of clothing, yet wore rich necklaces [Hengstenberg]. Among people with Oriental sentiments and tastes, scarcely any stronger proof could have been given of the power of religion than their willingness not only to lay aside, but to devote those much-valued trinkets to the house of God; and thus all, like the Eastern sages, laid the best they had at the service of God.

In wisdom: this word seems better to agree with the following than with the foregoing word, they spun with wisdom, i.e. with skill and art. And all the women whose heart stirred them up in wisdom,.... To be ingenious in their business, and to study to do it in a curious manner, and to do that which others could not:

spun goats' hair; some join the phrase, "in wisdom", in the preceding clause with this, neglecting the accent "Athnach", which divides them, thus, "in wisdom spun goats' hair"; and which, without being separated from the preceding clause, may be understood and repeated in this: for, as Aben Ezra says, to spin goats' hair was an art that required excellent wisdom; and so Jarchi: in the eastern countries there is a sort of goats' hair very bright and fine, and hangs to the ground, and the beauty of it is equal almost to that of silk, and is never sheared, but combed off, and the women of the country spin it; and at this day a great trade is driven with it at Angora and Aleppo (c).

(c) Calmet in the word "Hair".

And all the women {f} whose heart stirred them up in wisdom spun goats' hair.

(f) That is, who were good spinners.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 26. - All the women whose heart stirred them up in wisdom. This strong expression seems to imply that peculiar skill was required for spinning goats' hair. Preliminaries to the Work. - Exodus 35:1-29. After the restoration of the covenant, Moses announced to the people the divine commands with reference to the holy place of the tabernacle which was to be built. He repeated first of all (Exodus 35:1-3) the law of the Sabbath according to Exodus 31:13-17, and strengthened it by the announcement, that on the Sabbath no fire was to be kindled in their dwelling, because this rule was to be observed even in connection with the work to be done for the tabernacle. (For a fuller comment, see at Exodus 20:9.). Then, in accordance with the command of Jehovah, he first of all summoned the whole nation to present freewill-offerings for the holy things to be prepared (Exodus 35:4, Exodus 35:5), mentioning one by one all the materials that would be required (Exodus 35:5-9, as in Exodus 25:3-7); and after that he called upon those who were endowed with understanding to prepare the different articles, as prescribed in ch. 25-30, mentioning these also one by one (Exodus 35:11-19), even down to the pegs of the dwelling and court (Exodus 27:19), and "their cords," i.e., the cords required to fasten the tent and the hangings round the court to the pegs that were driven into the ground, which had not been mentioned before, being altogether subordinate things. (On the "cloths of service," Exodus 35:19, see at Exodus 31:10.) In Exodus 35:20-29 we have an account of the fulfilment of this command. The people went from Moses, i.e., from the place where they were assembled round Moses, away to their tents, and willingly offered the things required as a heave-offering for Jehovah; every one "whom his heart lifted up," i.e., who felt himself inclined and stirred up in his heart to do this. The men along with (על as in Genesis 32:12; see Ewald, 217) the women brought with a willing heart all kinds of golden rings and jewellery: chak, lit., hook, here a clasp or ring; nezem, an ear or nose-ring (Genesis 35:4; Genesis 24:47); tabbaath, a finger-ring; cumaz, globulus aureus, probably little golden balls strung together like beads, which were worn by the Israelites and Midianites (Numbers 31:50) as an ornament round the wrist and neck, as Diod. Sic. relates that they were by the Arabians (3, 44). "All kinds of golden jewellery, and every one who had waved (dedicated) a wave (offering) of gold to Jehovah," sc., offered it for the work of the tabernacle. The meaning is, that in addition to the many varieties of golden ornaments, which were willingly offered for the work to be performed, every one brought whatever gold he had set apart as a wave-offering (a sacrificial gift) for Jehovah. הניף to wave, lit., to swing or move to and fro, is used in connection with the sacrificial ritual to denote a peculiar ceremony, through which certain portions of a sacrifice, which were not intended for burning upon the altar, but for the maintenance of the priests (Numbers 18:11), were consecrated to the Lord, or given up to Him in a symbolical manner (see at Leviticus 7:30). Tenuphah, the wave-offering, accordingly denoted primarily those portions of the sacrificial animal which were allotted to the priests as their share of the sacrifices; and then, in a more general sense, every gift or offering that was consecrated to the Lord for the establishment and maintenance of the sanctuary and its worship. In this wider sense the term tenuphah (wave-offering) is applied both here and in Exodus 38:24, Exodus 38:29 to the gold and copper presented by the congregation for the building of the tabernacle. So that it does not really differ from terumah, a lift of heave-offering, as every gift intended for the erection and maintenance of the sanctuary was called, inasmuch as the offerer lifted it off from his own property, to dedicate it to the Lord for the purposes of His worship. Accordingly, in Exodus 35:24 the freewill-offerings of the people in silver and gold for the erection of the tabernacle are called terumah; and in Exodus 36:6, all the gifts of metal, wood, leather, and woven materials, presented by the people for the erection of the tabernacle, are called קדשׁ תּרוּמת. (On heaving and the heave-offering, see at Exodus 25:2 and Leviticus 2:9.)
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