Exodus 40:2
On the first day of the first month shall you set up the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(2) On the first day of the first month.—The Israelites had quitted Egypt on the fourteenth day of the first month, Abib (Exodus 12:6). They had reached the wilderness of Sinai in the course of the third month, Sivan, and encamped in front of Sinai shortly after (Exodus 19:1-2). The two long absences of Moses in the Mount had occupied nearly three months, and were separated by an interval probably of several days. It must have been the sixth or seventh month before the work was commenced, and very late in the year—the eleventh or twelfth month—before it was accomplished. Hence, the new year was now approaching, and, as it was approaching, its first day was naturally chosen as most fit for the inauguration of the new structure.

The tabernacle of the tent of the congregation.—Rather, the tabernacle, the tent of meeting. The words mishhan and ‘ohel are in apposition, not in regimen. (So also in Exodus 40:6.)

Exodus 40:2. Thou shalt set up the tabernacle — The time for doing this was, On the first day of the first month — This wanted but fourteen days of a year since they came out of Egypt. Probably the work was made ready just at the end of the year, so that the appointing this day gave no delay. In Hezekiah’s time they began to sanctify the temple on the first day of the first month, 2 Chronicles 29:17. The new moon (which, by their computation, was the first day of every month) was observed by them with some solemnity; and therefore this first new moon of the year was thus made remarkable.40:1-15 When a new year begins, we should seek to serve God better than the year before. In half a year the tabernacle was completed. When the hearts of numbers are earnest in a good cause, much may be done in a short time; and when the commandments of God are continually attended to, as the rule of working, all will be done well. The high-priesthood was in the family of Aaron till Christ came, and in Him, the substance of all these shadows, it continues for ever.See Exodus 40:17. 2. On the first day of the first month—From a careful consideration of the incidents recorded to have happened after the exodus (Ex 12:2; 13:4; 19:1; 20:18; 34:28, &c.), it has been computed that the work of the tabernacle was commenced within six months after that emigration; and consequently, that other six months had been occupied in building it. So long a period spent in preparing the materials of a movable pavilion, it would be difficult to understand, were it not for what we are told of the vast dimensions of the tabernacle, as well as the immense variety of curious and elaborate workmanship which its different articles of furniture required.

the tabernacle—the entire edifice.

the tent—the covering that surmounted it (Ex 40:19).

To wit, of the second year after their coming out of Egypt, as is evident. On the first day of the first month,.... Which was the month Nisan, as the Targum of Jonathan expresses it; which was the month the children of Israel came out of Egypt, out of which they had now been a whole year, excepting fourteen days:

shalt thou set up the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation; the tabernacle, which had a tent or covering over it, to which the people were gathered at times for religious service.

On the {a} first day of the first month shalt thou set up the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation.

(a) After that Moses had been 40 days and 40 nights in the mountain, that is, from the beginning of August to the tenth of September, he came down, and caused this work to be done: which when finished, was set up in Abib, half March and half April.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2. the first day of the first month] viz. (v. 17) of the second year of the Exodus, nine months since the arrival at Sinai (Exodus 19:1).

the Dwelling of the tent of meeting] as Exodus 39:32.Verse 2. - On the first day of the first month. The first of Abib, or Nisan, the "New Year's Day" of Israel, coinciding nearly with the opening of the vernal equinox, a very suitable day for the inauguration of a place of worship. The tabernacle was to be set up first of all; then the tent was to be placed over it. See vers. 18, 19. "The lamps of the order," i.e., the lamps set in order upon the candlestick. In addition to all the vessels of the sanctuary, shew-bread (Exodus 39:36), holy oil for the candlestick and for anointing, and fragrant incense (Exodus 39:38), were also prepared and delivered to Moses, - everything, therefore, that was required for the institution of the daily worship, as soon as the tabernacle was set up.
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