And the rulers brought onyx stones, and stones to be set, for the ephod, and for the breastplate;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The rulers brought onyx stones, and stones to be set.—The “rulers” here intended are probably the “princes of the tribes” of Israel (Numbers 1:16; Numbers 3:3; Numbers 3:5, &c.). The twelve stones required for the breastplate would naturally be contributed by the twelve chiefs of the tribes whose names they were to bear (Exodus 28:21). The two onyx stones for the ephod (Exodus 28:9-12), may have been the further gift of two of the number, who happened to possess stones of the large size needed.Exodus 28:9 and spices were contributed by the rulers, who were more wealthy than the other Israelites.
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.
for the ephod, and for the breastplate; the onyx stones were for the shoulder pieces of the ephod; and the other stones were for the breastplate of judgment, and both to be borne by the high priest, for a memorial of the children of Israel before the Lord, whose names were engraven on these stones: the rulers are mentioned last, as bringing their offerings: the reason of which may not be, because they were backward to it, for they might offer earlier, though recorded last; or if they offered last, it might be because they brought things that others could not; namely, the precious stones here mentioned, and other things in the next verse, the common people had not; though some of the Jewish writers tax them with dilatoriness, and observe a letter wanting in the word for "rulers", it generally has; omitted to denote, as they think, that they were slow and backward in offering; so Jarchi notes from R. Nathan.And the rulers brought onyx stones, and stones to be set, for the ephod, and for the breastplate;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)27, 28. The contributions of the rulers (see on Exodus 16:22); precious stones, spices, and oil (vv. 9, 8 = Exodus 25:7; Exodus 25:6).Verses 27, 28. - The rulers are, no doubt, the "elders" of Exodus 3:16; Exodus 4:29; Exodus 24:9, etc. Moses had made them "rulers," or rather, "princes" (sarey), according to the advice of Jethro (Exodus 18:25). They brought onyx stones for the ephod (Exodus 28:9-12) and stones to be set, - i.e., gems for the breastplate (ibid. 17-20); oil of olive for the lamp (Exodus 27:20) and the holy ointment (Exodus 29:24), and spice for the same (ibid. 23, 24) and for the incense (ibid. 34).
CHAPTER 35:30-35 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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