INTRODUCTION TO Exodus 39
In this chapter is continued the account of making the several things belonging to the sanctuary, particularly the clothes for the service of the tabernacle, and the garments of the priests, as the ephod and its curious girdle, Exodus 39:1 the breastplate and the putting of the stones in it, and the fastening of it to the ephod, Exodus 39:8 the robe of the ephod, with the bells and pomegranates to it, Exodus 39:21 and the coats, mitre, bonnets, breeches, and girdle of fine linen, for Aaron and his sons, Exodus 39:27 and the golden plate, Exodus 39:30 and all being finished, the tabernacle and everything belonging to it were brought to Moses, and viewed by him; who seeing that all was done exactly according to the commandment of the Lord, blessed the people, and particularly the artificers, Exodus 39:38.
And of the blue, and purple, and scarlet, they made cloths of service, to do service in the holy place, and made the holy garments for Aaron; as the LORD commanded Moses.And of the blue, and purple, and scarlet, they made cloths of service,.... Jarchi observes that there is no mention made of linen, because these were not the priestly garments in which there was linen; but these were they with which they covered the vessels of the sanctuary when they journeyed; and so says Aben Ezra; and those were covered with cloths of blue, purple, and scarlet, Numbers 4:5 though some think these were clothes wore by the priests:
to do service in the holy place: and which they only wore when in it, and employed in the service of it; and therefore what follows must be by way of explanation:
and made the holy garments for Aaron, as the Lord commanded Moses; the particulars of which are given in the following verses.
And he made the ephod of gold, blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen.And he made the ephod of gold,.... From hence to the end of verse thirty one we have a very particular account of the making of the priest's garments exactly according to the directions given to Moses; see Gill on Exodus 28:1 &c. to end of chapter twenty eight; only it may be observed, that here in Exodus 39:3 an account is given of the manner in which they made the gold fit to be worked along with the blue, purple, and scarlet yarn; they beat the gold into thin plates, and then cut them into wires, and then twisted them together with the yarn: the gold that was used in the weaving of the ephod and the breastplate, spoken of in the law, was wrought after this manner; the workman took one thread of pure gold, and put it with six threads of blue, and twisted the seven threads as one, and so he wrought a thread of gold with six of purple, and another thread with six of scarlet, and another with six of linen or flax, so that there were four threads of gold, and all the threads were twenty eight, as it is said; "they did beat" or spread out "the gold", &c. "to work in the midst of blue", &c. from whence is learnt that the thread of gold was twisted in the midst of them (y): and it may be further observed, that after the enumeration of the stones in the breastplate, Exodus 39:10 no mention is made of the Urim and Thummim, which seems to confirm the opinion of many, and which is my own, that they are the same with the stones: moreover, in Exodus 39:28, it may be observed, that what the coats for the common priests were made of is expressed, which is not before, which was linen; expressive of their purity and holiness, and in which they ought always to appear before God and man, and in which apparel they have been imitated among the Heathens: the priests of Hercules are said to be clothed with linen (z), and the Egyptian priests wore only a linen garment (a); hence the priests of Isis, with whom she is represented as surrounded by Juvenal (b), are called by him "grex liniger", and by Martial, "linigeri" (c).
(y) Maimon. Cele Hamikdash, c. 9. sect. 5. (z) Silius Ital. de Bell. Punic. l. 3.((a) Herodot. Euterpe sive, l. 2. c. 38. (b) Satyr. 6. (c) L. 12. Epigram. 26.
And they did beat the gold into thin plates, and cut it into wires, to work it in the blue, and in the purple, and in the scarlet, and in the fine linen, with cunning work.
They made shoulderpieces for it, to couple it together: by the two edges was it coupled together.
And the curious girdle of his ephod, that was upon it, was of the same, according to the work thereof; of gold, blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen; as the LORD commanded Moses.
And they wrought onyx stones inclosed in ouches of gold, graven, as signets are graven, with the names of the children of Israel.
And he put them on the shoulders of the ephod, that they should be stones for a memorial to the children of Israel; as the LORD commanded Moses.
And he made the breastplate of cunning work, like the work of the ephod; of gold, blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen.
It was foursquare; they made the breastplate double: a span was the length thereof, and a span the breadth thereof, being doubled.
And they set in it four rows of stones: the first row was a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this was the first row.
And the second row, an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond.
And the third row, a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst.
And the fourth row, a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper: they were inclosed in ouches of gold in their inclosings.
And the stones were according to the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet, every one with his name, according to the twelve tribes.
And they made upon the breastplate chains at the ends, of wreathen work of pure gold.
And they made two ouches of gold, and two gold rings; and put the two rings in the two ends of the breastplate.
And they put the two wreathen chains of gold in the two rings on the ends of the breastplate.
And the two ends of the two wreathen chains they fastened in the two ouches, and put them on the shoulderpieces of the ephod, before it.
And they made two rings of gold, and put them on the two ends of the breastplate, upon the border of it, which was on the side of the ephod inward.
And they made two other golden rings, and put them on the two sides of the ephod underneath, toward the forepart of it, over against the other coupling thereof, above the curious girdle of the ephod.
And they did bind the breastplate by his rings unto the rings of the ephod with a lace of blue, that it might be above the curious girdle of the ephod, and that the breastplate might not be loosed from the ephod; as the LORD commanded Moses.
And he made the robe of the ephod of woven work, all of blue.
And there was an hole in the midst of the robe, as the hole of an habergeon, with a band round about the hole, that it should not rend.
And they made upon the hems of the robe pomegranates of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and twined linen.
And they made bells of pure gold, and put the bells between the pomegranates upon the hem of the robe, round about between the pomegranates;
A bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate, round about the hem of the robe to minister in; as the LORD commanded Moses.
And they made coats of fine linen of woven work for Aaron, and for his sons,
And a mitre of fine linen, and goodly bonnets of fine linen, and linen breeches of fine twined linen,
And a girdle of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, of needlework; as the LORD commanded Moses.
And they made the plate of the holy crown of pure gold, and wrote upon it a writing, like to the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD.
And they tied unto it a lace of blue, to fasten it on high upon the mitre; as the LORD commanded Moses.
Thus was all the work of the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation finished: and the children of Israel did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so did they.Thus was all the work of the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation finished,.... Both the tabernacle, consisting of the court, the holy place, and the most holy place, and the tent or covering that was over it, with all things appertaining to the service of it, as before described:
and the children of Israel did according to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so did they: both the people in general, and the artificers in particular; the people brought gold, silver, and brass, &c. as was proposed to them; and the artificers wrought these and all other things, according to the directions and instructions they received.
And they brought the tabernacle unto Moses, the tent, and all his furniture, his taches, his boards, his bars, and his pillars, and his sockets,And they brought the tabernacle unto Moses,.... That is, the several parts of it before it was put together, with all its furniture, and everything appertaining to it; which are examined in the order in which they were directed to be made, from hence to the end of Exodus 39:42 and this was done, that Moses might inspect the whole, and see whether it was done according to the pattern shown him, and the instructions he had given to the workmen.
And the covering of rams' skins dyed red, and the covering of badgers' skins, and the vail of the covering,
The ark of the testimony, and the staves thereof, and the mercy seat,
The table, and all the vessels thereof, and the shewbread,
The pure candlestick, with the lamps thereof, even with the lamps to be set in order, and all the vessels thereof, and the oil for light,
And the golden altar, and the anointing oil, and the sweet incense, and the hanging for the tabernacle door,
The brasen altar, and his grate of brass, his staves, and all his vessels, the laver and his foot,
The hangings of the court, his pillars, and his sockets, and the hanging for the court gate, his cords, and his pins, and all the vessels of the service of the tabernacle, for the tent of the congregation,
The cloths of service to do service in the holy place, and the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and his sons' garments, to minister in the priest's office.
According to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so the children of Israel made all the work.
And Moses did look upon all the work, and, behold, they had done it as the LORD had commanded, even so had they done it: and Moses blessed them.And Moses did look upon all the work,.... Made a survey of it, and with great care and accuracy examined every particular thing, and the manner in which it was finished:
and, behold, they had done it as the Lord had commanded, even so had they done it; both as to matter and manner in every point, on all accounts, just as they were ordered and directed; they being throughout the whole filled by the Spirit of God with wisdom and understanding, to do everything just as it was the will and pleasure of God it should be done:
and Moses blessed them; commended them for what they had done, and implored the divine blessing upon them; and which may be understood both of the people who had so liberally and plentifully contributed to this good work, and of the artificers who had so carefully and punctually performed it. The form of blessing, as the Targum of Jonathan gives it, is,"may the Shechinah (or the divine Majesty) of the Lord dwell in the works of your hands;''or as Jarchi expresses it,"may it be the pleasure (of God) that the Shechinah may dwell in the works of your hands, and the beauty of the Lord our God may be upon us, &c.''which last words were part of the prayer of Moses, Psalm 90:17.