Exodus 35:32
And to devise curious works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
35:30-35 Here is the Divine appointment of the master-workmen, that there might be no strife for the office, and that all who were employed in the work might take direction from, and give account to them. Those whom God called by name to his service, he filled with the Spirit of God. Skill, even in worldly employments, is God's gift, and comes from above. But many are ready enough in cutting out work for other people, and can tell what this man or that man should do; but the burdens they bind on others, they themselves will not touch with one of their fingers. Such will fall under the character of slothful servants. These men were not only to devise and to work themselves, but they were to teach others. Those that rule should teach; and those to whom God has given knowledge, should be willing to make it known for the benefit of others.Curious works, cunning work - Works of skill. Compare Exodus 30:4. 30. See, the Lord hath called by name Bezaleel, the son of Uri, &c.—Moses had made this communication before [see Ex 31:2-5; also see on [32]Ex 31:2]. But now that the collection had been made, the materials were contributed, and the operations of building about to be commenced, it was with the greatest propriety he reminded the people that the individuals entrusted with the application of their gold and silver had been nominated to the work by authority to which all would bow. No text from Poole on this verse. And he hath filled him with the Spirit of God,.... This and the two following verses contain the account of the qualifications of Bezaleel, which he had in an extraordinary manner from the Lord, and these are expressed in the same words as in Exodus 31:3; see Gill on Exodus 31:3, Exodus 31:4, Exodus 31:5. And to devise curious works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
32. cunning works] works of skill (Exodus 31:4).All the women who understood it (were wise-hearted, as in Exodus 28:3) spun with their hands, and presented what they spun, viz., the yarn required for the blue and red purple cloth, the crimson and the byssus; from which it is evident that the coloured cloths were dyed in the yarn or in the wool, as was the case in Egypt according to different specimens of old Egyptian cloths (see Hengstenberg, Egypt and the Books of Moses, p. 144). Other women spun goats' hair for the upper or outer covering of the tent (Exodus 26:7.). Spinning was done by the women in very early times (Plin. hist. n. 8, 48), particularly in Egypt, where women are represented on the monuments as busily engaged with the spindle (see Wilkinson, Manners ii. p. 60; iii. p. 133, 136), and at a later period among the Hebrews (Proverbs 31:19). At the present day the women in the peninsula of Sinai spin the materials for their tents from camels' and goats' hair, and prepare sheep's wool for their clothing (Rppell, Nubien, p. 202); and at Neswa, in the province of Omn, the preparation of cotton yarn is the principal employment of the women (Wellstedt, i. p. 90). Weaving also was, and still is to a great extent, a woman's work (cf. 2 Kings 23:7); it is so among the Arab tribes in the Wady Gharandel, for example (Russegger, iii. 24), and in Nubia (Burckhardt, Nub. p. 211); but at Neswa the weaving is done by the men (Wellstedt). The woven cloths for the tabernacle were prepared by men, partly perhaps because the weaving in Egypt was mostly done by the men (Herod. 2, 35; cf. Hengstenberg, p. 143), but chiefly for this reason, that the cloths for the hangings and curtains were artistic works, which the women did not understand, but which the men had learned in Egypt, where artistic weaving was carried out to a great extent (Wilkinson, iii. pp. 113ff.).

(Note: For drawings of the Egyptian weaving-stool, see Wilkinson, iii. p. 135; also Hartmann, die Hebrerinn am Putztisch i. Taf. 1.)

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