Exodus 40:18
And Moses reared up the tabernacle, and fastened his sockets, and set up the boards thereof, and put in the bars thereof, and reared up his pillars.
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(18) Moses . . . fastened his sockets.—The stability of the Tabernacle must have depended almost entirely upon the sockets. These were of some considerable weight (Exodus 38:27), but they cannot by their mere weight have sustained the fabric in an upright position. It is reasonable to suppose that they were let into the ground to a depth of some feet. The erection necessarily commenced with this operation.

Set up the boards.—When the sockets had been firmly fixed, the upright boards and tiie pillars were inserted into them by means of the “tenons” in which they terminated, and so stood erect. The coupling by “bars” rivetted the three walls into one firm and compact structure.

40:16-33 When the tabernacle and the furniture of it were prepared, they did not put off rearing it till they came to Canaan; but, in obedience to the will of God, they set it up in the midst of their camp. Those who are unsettled in the world, must not think that this will excuse want of religion; as if it were enough to begin to serve God when they begin to be settled in the world. No; a tabernacle for God is very needful, even in a wilderness, especially as we may be in another world before we come to fix in this. And we may justly fear lest we should deceive ourselves with a form of godliness. The thought that so few entered Canaan, should warn young persons especially, not to put off the care of their souls.On the first day of the month - That is, on the first of the month Nisan Exodus 12:2; Exodus 13:4, one year, wanting fourteen days, after the departure of the Israelites from Egypt. They had been nearly three months in reaching the foot of Mount Sinai Exodus 19:1; Moses had spent eighty days on the mountain Exodus 24:18; Exodus 34:28, and some time must be allowed for what is related in Exodus 24, as well as for the interval between the two periods which Moses spent on the mountain Exodus 33:1-23. The construction of the tabernacle and its furniture would thus appear to have occupied something less than half a year. 16. Thus did Moses: according to all that the Lord commanded him—On his part, the same scrupulous fidelity was shown in conforming to the "pattern" in the disposition of the furniture, as had been displayed by the workmen in the erection of the edifice. No text from Poole on this verse. And Moses reared up the tabernacle,.... Not of himself, but with the help of others:

and fastened the sockets, and set up the boards thereof; fixed the silver sockets all around, which were the foundation of the building, and placed and established the shittim boards in them:

and put in the bars thereof; to keep the boards close and tight:

and reared up his pillars; the pillars that supported the vail between the holy and holy of holies, and those on which the hanging for the door of the tabernacle was put, as well as the several pillars all around the court of the tabernacle for the hangings of that.

And Moses reared up the tabernacle, and fastened his sockets, and set up the boards thereof, and put in the bars thereof, and reared up his pillars.
18. See v. 2b, Exodus 26:30.Verse 18. - Fastened his sockets. Rather, "placed its sockets." The "sockets" or "bases" appear to have been simply laid on the flat sand of the desert, not "fastened" to it in any way. They were heavy masses of metal and would remain where they were placed. His pillars. The pillars that supported the "veil," and also those at the east end, where the entrance was. After the completion of all the works, the command was given by God to Moses to set up the dwelling of the tabernacle on the first day of the first month (see at Exodus 19:1), sc., in the second year of the Exodus (see Exodus 40:17), and to put all the vessels, both of the dwelling and court, in the places appointed by God; also to furnish the table of shew-bread with its fitting out (ערכּו equals לחם ערך Exodus 40:23), i.e., to arrange the bread upon it in the manner prescribed (Exodus 40:4 cf. Leviticus 24:6-7), and to put water in the laver of the court (Exodus 40:7). After that he was to anoint the dwelling and everything in it, also the altar of burnt-offering and laver, with the anointing oil, and to sanctify them (Exodus 40:9-11); and to consecrate Aaron and his sons before the door of the tabernacle, and clothe them, anoint them, and sanctify them as priests (Exodus 40:12-15). When we read here, however, that the dwelling and the vessels therein would be rendered "holy" through the anointing, but the altar of burnt-offering "most holy," we are not to understand this as attributing a higher degree of holiness to the altar of burnt-offering than to the dwelling and its furniture; but the former is called "most holy" merely in the sense ascribed to it in Exodus 30:10 namely, that every one who touched it was to become holy; in other words, the distinction has reference to the fact, that, standing as it did in the court, it was more exposed to contact from the people than the vessels in the dwelling, which no layman was allowed to enter. In this relative sense we find the same statement in Exodus 30:29, with reference to the tabernacle and all the vessels therein, the dwelling as well as the court, that they would become most holy in consequence of the anointing (see the remarks on Exodus 30:10). It is stated provisionally, in Exodus 40:16, that this command was fulfilled by Moses. But from the further history we find that the consecration of the priests did not take place contemporaneously with the erection of the tabernacle, but somewhat later, or not till after the promulgation of the laws of sacrifice (cf. Leviticus 8 and Leviticus 1:1.).
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