Wesley's Notes on the Bible
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
On the first day of the first month shalt thou set up the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation.
40:2 The time for doing this is, 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, 2Chr 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.
And thou shalt put therein the ark of the testimony, and cover the ark with the vail.
And thou shalt bring in the table, and set in order the things that are to be set in order upon it; and thou shalt bring in the candlestick, and light the lamps thereof.
And thou shalt set the altar of gold for the incense before the ark of the testimony, and put the hanging of the door to the tabernacle.
And thou shalt set the altar of the burnt offering before the door of the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation.
And thou shalt set the laver between the tent of the congregation and the altar, and shalt put water therein.
And thou shalt set up the court round about, and hang up the hanging at the court gate.
And thou shalt take the anointing oil, and anoint the tabernacle, and all that is therein, and shalt hallow it, and all the vessels thereof: and it shall be holy.
And thou shalt anoint the altar of the burnt offering, and all his vessels, and sanctify the altar: and it shall be an altar most holy.
And thou shalt anoint the laver and his foot, and sanctify it.
And thou shalt bring Aaron and his sons unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and wash them with water.
And thou shalt put upon Aaron the holy garments, and anoint him, and sanctify him; that he may minister unto me in the priest's office.
And thou shalt bring his sons, and clothe them with coats:
And thou shalt anoint them, as thou didst anoint their father, that they may minister unto me in the priest's office: for their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations.
40:15 Their anointing shall be an everlasting priesthood - A seal that their priesthood shall continue as long as the Jewish polity lasts. He signifies that this unction should be sufficient for all succeeding priests. None were afterwards anointed but the high - priests.
Thus did Moses: according to all that the LORD commanded him, so did he.
And it came to pass in the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month, that the tabernacle was reared up.
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.
And he spread abroad the tent over the tabernacle, and put the covering of the tent above upon it; as the LORD commanded Moses.
And he took and put the testimony into the ark, and set the staves on the ark, and put the mercy seat above upon the ark:
And he brought the ark into the tabernacle, and set up the vail of the covering, and covered the ark of the testimony; as the LORD commanded Moses.
And he put the table in the tent of the congregation, upon the side of the tabernacle northward, without the vail.
And he set the bread in order upon it before the LORD; as the LORD had commanded Moses.
And he put the candlestick in the tent of the congregation, over against the table, on the side of the tabernacle southward.
And he lighted the lamps before the LORD; as the LORD commanded Moses.
And he put the golden altar in the tent of the congregation before the vail:
And he burnt sweet incense thereon; as the LORD commanded Moses.
And he set up the hanging at the door of the tabernacle.
And he put the altar of burnt offering by the door of the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation, and offered upon it the burnt offering and the meat offering; as the LORD commanded Moses.
And he set the laver between the tent of the congregation and the altar, and put water there, to wash withal.
And Moses and Aaron and his sons washed their hands and their feet thereat:
When they went into the tent of the congregation, and when they came near unto the altar, they washed; as the LORD commanded Moses.
And he reared up the court round about the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the hanging of the court gate. So Moses finished the work.
Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
40:34 As when God had finished this earth, which he designed for man's habitation, he made man, and put him in possession of it; so when Moses had finished the tabernacle, which was designed for God's dwelling - place among men, God came and took possession of it. By these visible tokens of his coming among them, he testified both the return of his favour, which they had forfeited by the golden calf, and his gracious acceptance of their care and pains about the tabernacle. Thus God shewed himself well - pleased with what they had done, and abundantly rewarded them. A cloud covered the tent - The same cloud which, as the chariot or pavilion of the Shechinah, had come up before them out of Egypt, now settled upon the tabernacle, and hovered over it, even in the hottest and clearest day; for it was none of those clouds which the sun scatters. This cloud was intended to be a token of God's presence, constantly visible day and night to all Israel. A protection of the tabernacle: they had sheltered it with one covering upon another, but after all, the cloud that covered it was its best guard: And a guide to the camp of Israel in their march through the wilderness. While the cloud continued on the tabernacle, they rested; when it removed, they removed and followed it, as being purely under a divine conduct. And the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle - The Shechinah now made an awful entry into the tabernacle, passing through the outer part of it into the most holy place, and there seating itself between the cherubim. It was in light and fire, and, for ought we know, no other - wise, that the Shechinah made itself visible. With these the tabernacle was now filled; yet as before the bush, so now the curtains were not consumed, for, to those that have received the anointing, the majesty of God is not destroying. Yet now so dazzling was the light, and so dreadful was the fire, that Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, at the door of which he attended, till the splendor was a little abated, and the glory of the Lord retired within the veil. But what Moses could not do, our Lord Jesus has done, whom God caused to draw near and approach, and as the fore - runner he is for us entered, and has invited us to come boldly even to the mercy - seat. He was able to enter into the holy place not made with hands; he is himself the true tabernacle, filled with the glory of God, even with that divine grace and truth which were figured by this fire and light. In him the Shechinah took up its rest for ever, for in him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys:
But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up.
For the cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.