Exodus: The *LORD with his people

A very wicked act, a new beginning and the construction of God’s special tent

An EasyEnglish Bible Version and Commentary (2800 word vocabulary) on

Exodus 32:1-40:38

www.easyenglish.bible

Ian Mackervoy

This commentary has been through Advanced Checking.

Words in boxes are from the Bible.

A word list at the end explains words with a *star by them.

 

Chapter 32

The young *bull that Aaron made with gold                  32:1-35

v1 The people saw that Moses stayed on the mountain for a long time. So they gathered round Aaron. ‘You must make gods for us and they will lead us. Then they will protect us’, they said to Aaron. ‘This man called Moses led us here from Egypt. But we do not know what has happened to him now.’

v2 Then Aaron answered them, ‘Take off the rings of gold that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing in their ears. Bring them all to me.’ v3 So all the people took off the rings from their ears and they brought them to Aaron. v4 He received the gold. Then he melted it, and he made an image with it. He shaped it with a tool so that it became like a young *bull. Then the people spoke to each other. ‘This is our god’, they said. ‘This god brought us here from Egypt.’

v5 Aaron saw what was happening. So he built an *altar in front of the image. Then he announced to the people, ‘Tomorrow will be a special day when we will give honour to the *LORD.’

v6 So the next day the people got up early. They killed animals to give as *sacrifices and gifts. They burnt some animals on the *altar. And they prepared the other animals for a special meal together. Then the people sat down to eat the meal. And they ate and they drank too much. That caused them to dance in a mad manner.

v7 Then the *LORD spoke to Moses again. ‘Go down’, he said. ‘You brought your people here from Egypt, but they are acting very wickedly. v8 They have not obeyed me. They have turned away from what I told them. They have made an image like a young *bull, and they are *worshipping it. They killed animals and they have *sacrificed them to the image. They have said to each other, “This is your god, *Israel. This god brought you out of Egypt.”

v9 I have seen these people’, the *LORD said to Moses. ‘They are proud, so they are like animals with stiff necks. v10 I am very angry with them. So do not try to stop me when I deal with them. I will kill them. Then I will make you yourself become a great nation instead.’

v11 But Moses asked the *LORD to show kindness to the people. ‘*LORD, please do not be so angry against your people’, he said to God. ‘You brought them away from Egypt by means of your great power. v12 If you kill them, the *Egyptians will hear about it. The *Egyptians will say, “Their God took them away from Egypt for a bad purpose. He wanted to kill them in the mountains. He wanted to remove them completely from the earth.” Please turn away from your fierce anger, and do not kill your people. v13 Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. You made a definite promise to them. You said, “I will make your children and their *descendants become as many as the stars in the sky. I will give to them all this country and it will belong to them always.” ’

v14 Then the *LORD changed his plans. So he did not kill his people as he had said.

v15 Moses went down the mountain and he was carrying the two stones of the *covenant in his hands. God had written on those stones. He had written on both sides of the stones. He had written on both the front and the back. v16 That was God’s work. God had written his *commandments on the flat stones.

v17 Then Joshua heard a lot of noise. The noise was coming from people who were shouting. So he spoke to Moses. ‘It sounds as if they are fighting in the camp’, Joshua said.

v18 Moses replied to him, ‘That is not the sound when people win a battle. And it is not the sound when people lose a battle. I hear sound from people who are singing loudly.’

v19 When Moses came near to the camp, he saw the image. And the people were dancing in front of it. Then Moses became very angry and he threw the flat stones out of his hands. So the stones broke into pieces there. v20 Then Moses took the image that they had made. He burned the image in the fire and then he made it into powder. He scattered the powder on the water. And then he forced the people to drink that water.

v21 Then Moses said to Aaron, ‘You should not have caused these people to do such a bad *sin. They do not deserve that you should do that to them.’

v22 ‘Do not be angry with me, my *lord’, Aaron answered. ‘You know that these people like to do evil things. v23 They said to me, “Make us a god who will lead us. This man, Moses, led us away from Egypt. But now, we do not know what has happened to him.” v24 So I told them to bring to me the rings of gold from their ears. “Anyone who is wearing rings of gold should take them off”, I said. Then they gave their rings of gold to me, and I threw them into the fire. And this image of gold, like a young *bull, came out of the fire!’

v25 Moses saw that the people were out of control. Aaron had let them become crazy. So then their enemies would laugh at them. v26 Then Moses stood at the entrance to the camp and he shouted to the people. ‘Anyone who is on the *LORD’s side, come to me’, he said. And all the male *descendants of Levi came to stand with him. v27 Then Moses said to them, ‘The *LORD, who is *Israel’s God, says this to you. “Each man must take his sword. Then you must go everywhere through the camp. You must go from one end of the camp to the other end. Each man must kill his relative, his friend or his neighbour.” ’

v28 The *Levites did what Moses had told them. And that day about 3000 people died. v29 Then Moses said to the *Levites, ‘You obeyed the *LORD today when you acted against your own sons and brothers. So the *LORD has chosen you to serve him. The *LORD will do good things for you after today.’

v30 The next day, Moses said to all the people, ‘You have done a terrible thing. But now I will go back up the mountain to the *LORD. Perhaps I can do something so that God will not continue to punish you because of your *sin.’

v31 So Moses went back to the *LORD. He said, ‘These people have done a terrible thing! They have made an image of gold. They made it as a false god for themselves to replace you. v32 But now, please forgive them. But if you will not forgive them, then remove my name from your book.’

v33 And the *LORD replied to Moses, ‘I will remove people’s names from my book. But I will remove only the names of those people who have *sinned against me. v34 Now go. I have spoken to you already about the place where you must lead the people. And my *angel will go in front of you. But the time will come when I will punish the people. Then I will punish them because of this *sin.’

v35 So the *LORD sent a terrible disease to punish the people. He punished them because they had *worshipped the young *bull. Aaron had made that image from the gold that they gave to him.

Verse 1: Moses had been away from his people for many days already. They did not know what had happened to Moses. He had been their leader but he was not still with them. Perhaps he would not come back. Perhaps, by this time, they had no hope that he would return. Moses had brought them from Egypt. And he had led them in the name of the *LORD. Without Moses, they could not see how the *LORD could lead them. They thought that they had no leader. Therefore, they told Aaron to make a god to lead them.

Verses 2-4: Aaron told the people to take off the rings of gold from their ears. They did that and they brought the rings to Aaron. Then he made something like a young *bull from the gold.

He may have made a hollow shape of a young *bull. Perhaps he melted the gold and he poured it into the shape. The result would be a solid young *bull of gold. But perhaps Aaron made the shape of a young *bull out of wood and then he covered it with gold. By either method, he had to use a tool to complete its shape. We do not know the size of the young *bull that Aaron made out of gold.

The people were happy with the young *bull as their god. They said that this god brought them out of Egypt. They had come out of Egypt before Aaron made this *bull out of gold. However, they would use the *bull in their *worship of the god. Maybe they regarded the *bull as an image of the *LORD.

Do not make images that are like anything in heaven. Do not make images that are like anything on the earth

The second *commandment said, ‘Do not make images that are like anything in heaven. Do not make images that are like anything on the earth, or like anything beneath the water.’ (See Exodus 20:4.) The people had not heard the ten *commandments at this time. But they should know that their actions would make the *LORD angry.

Verse 5: Because of the situation, Aaron built an *altar in front of the *bull of gold. We do not know why Aaron did that. Maybe he was afraid of the people. However, he said that the people would be *worshipping the *LORD. But he would know that this was not right. That was not the way to *worship the *LORD.

Verse 6: The next day the people brought their *sacrifices and their gifts to the *altar. They burned some animals as *sacrifices. They killed other animals as their *friendship-gifts. Then they had a *feast. They sat down. And they ate and they drank. Soon, they had drunk too much. Then they got up to play. Their play was wild and probably it included *sinful sex.

Verses 7-8: The *LORD told Moses to go down from the mountain. He called the *Israelites ‘your people’. He said that Moses had brought them from Egypt. The *LORD would not call them his people. They had turned away from him so he had turned away from them. The people had become so *sinful. The *Israelites had not obeyed the *LORD. They had done what was evil. They had *sacrificed animals in front of an image. They had said that the god behind the image was their god. They had said that that god had brought them from Egypt. The *Israelites had not obeyed the *covenant that the *LORD had made with them.

Verses 9-10: God saw what the people were doing. They had turned away from their *LORD. They would not obey him although they had promised to obey. The *LORD was very angry with them. So, he said that he would kill them all. They had not obeyed the *covenant. So therefore they deserved to die.

God promised Abraham that he would make a great nation from his *descendants. (See Genesis 12:1-2.) This time, God was saying that he would make that nation from Moses only among the *Israelites. Moses and his *descendants would become that great nation.

Verse 11: The *LORD had said that Moses brought the *Israelites from Egypt. Moses did lead the people. He did it because he obeyed the *LORD. The *LORD had defeated *Pharaoh and the *Egyptian gods. And the *LORD had brought the *Israelites out of Egypt. Moses said that it had all happened by the *LORD’s power.

Verses 12-13: Moses gave to the *LORD reasons why he should not kill his people.

The *LORD had done so much to bring his people out of Egypt. If he killed them, that purpose would fail. The *Egyptians and other people knew that the *LORD had rescued his people. If he killed his people, they would think wrongly about that. They would think wrong things about God. But he had not brought the *Israelites from Egypt to kill them. In that situation, the *LORD should have pity on his people. Other people must not think wrong things about the *LORD.

The *LORD must remember his promise to their *ancestors. He promised that he would make their children as many as the stars. He promised that he would give *Canaan to them as their country. Moses did not believe that the *LORD should try to achieve that by means of his *descendants only.

Moses did not try pretend that the *Israelites had not been wicked. He knew that they deserved God’s punishment. However, Moses appealed to the *LORD to turn from his fierce anger. He asked the *LORD not to kill his people.

Verse 14: The *LORD did as Moses had prayed. The *LORD did not kill his people.

Verses 15-16: Then Moses started to go down from the mountain. He carried the two flat stones. God had written on both sides of the stones. The text does not tell us what God had written. It calls these stones the stones of the *covenant. Probably that means the main parts of the *covenant between the *LORD and his people. That would be the 10 *commandments.

We think that the stones were not either large or thick. Moses could carry them and they broke easily.

Verses 17-18: Joshua had gone up the mountain with Moses. (See Exodus 24:13.) Moses had left Joshua. And Moses had gone up higher to meet the *LORD. On his way down, Moses met Joshua. They could hear loud noises that were coming from the *Israelite camp. Joshua thought that it was the sound of a battle. However, Moses knew what the sound was. It was people who were singing loudly.

Verse 19: Moses approached the camp. He knew what to expect. The *LORD had told him about it. He saw the *bull of gold. He saw the people as they danced round the *bull. He had asked the *LORD not to kill them. But this time, he was very angry with them. He could understand why the *LORD was so angry. Moses threw the stones down so that they broke into pieces. The stones were like witnesses to the *covenant. And the people had not obeyed the *covenant.

Verse 20: Moses took the *bull of gold and he burned it in the fire. Then he made powder of the gold. He threw the powder into a stream. (See Deuteronomy 9:21.) And he forced the people to drink water from that stream.

Verse 21: Moses seemed to blame both Aaron and the people. But Aaron was the leader while Moses was away. Aaron told the people to bring the gold to him. And he made the young *bull of gold. Aaron led the people to do the awful *sin. Aaron as the leader was responsible for what happened.

Verses 22-24: Aaron tried to blame the people. He thought that it was not his fault. The people tended to do evil things. The people told him to make a god. They did not know what had happened to Moses.

Aaron told them to take the rings of gold from their ears. Then Aaron threw the gold into the fire. As if by magic, he said, the image came out of the fire. Aaron lied in this way in an effort to excuse himself. However, Aaron had no excuse except that he was weak.

Verses 25-27: The people were out of control. Aaron had failed to control them. They became crazy. Because of this, their enemies would see their shame. Moses knew that he had to deal with the situation in a firm way.

Moses called for those people who were for the *LORD. He told them to come to him. These men did not approve of the *bull of gold. Men from the *tribe of Levi came to him at the entrance to the camp. These *Levites chose to follow God. Moses told them what the *LORD wanted them to do. They must go through the camp and they must kill many of the people. They must kill relatives, friends and neighbours.

Verses 28-29: The *Levites did as the *LORD had said. They killed about 3000 people that day. We do not know which people they killed. Perhaps those people were doing something that was evil. Maybe they were still *worshipping the *bull of gold. The *Levites even killed members of their own families.

The *Levites obeyed the *LORD. So he chose them to serve him. He appointed them to be responsible for God’s special tent and everything that was in it. Also, the *Levites would help the priests in everything that had a connection with *worship. (See Numbers 1:50-53.) Before this time, young men helped to make the *sacrifices. (See Exodus 24:5.)

Verse 30: The *sin of the people against the *LORD was very great. The *Levites had killed 3000 people. However, Moses knew that that alone would not take away the people’s *sin. He would go up the mountain again. They did deserve punishment. But perhaps he could persuade the *LORD to stop the punishment.

Verses 31-32: Moses went up the mountain again and he met the *LORD. On behalf of the people, he confessed that they had *sinned. They had made for themselves a god of gold. He asked the *LORD to forgive his people. If God would not do it, Moses asked him to remove his name from the book of life.

The idea is that God recorded the names of people in a book. Those people whose names were in the book would live with God. Those people whose names were not in the book would not live with God. In the book of Revelation, it says that God will throw those people into the lake of fire. (See Revelation 20:15.)

Verse 33: The *LORD refused to remove Moses’ name from his book. The *LORD would remove the names of those people who had *sinned against him.

Here is a rule. The person who *sins must die because of his own *sins. (See Deuteronomy 24:16.) But God told the people that they could offer a *sacrifice. Then he would forgive their *sin. Their *sacrifices had a meaning about the future time when Jesus Christ would come. The *LORD would send him. And he would die to pay for the *sins of all people. But they must turn from their *sins. Then the *LORD will forgive them.

Verse 34: Then the *LORD told Moses to lead the people to *Canaan. Moses would not go into *Canaan but he would lead the people to its border. The *LORD’s *angel would go in front of the *Israelites. The *LORD would help them and he would protect them. The *LORD would not kill all the people. However, because of this *sin about the image, the *LORD would punish the people at a time in the future.

Verse 35: The *LORD did punish the people because they had *worshipped the *bull of gold. He sent a terrible disease among them. The Bible does not tell us when and how that punishment happened.

Chapter 33

The command to leave Sinai               33:1-6

v1 Then the *LORD said to Moses, ‘You and the people whom you brought away from Egypt must leave this place. Go to the country that I promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob a long time ago. I gave a definite promise to them that I would give that country to their *descendants. v2 I will send an *angel in front of you. And I will force out the people who live there now. Those people are called the *Canaanites, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites. v3 Go to that country. There is plenty to eat there. And there is plenty to drink there. But I will not go with you because I might become angry with you. You are proud people and often you do not obey me. And I might kill you on the way.’

v4 When the people heard those sad words, they were very sorry. They did not put on their rings, their precious stones or their things of gold. v5 The *LORD had said to Moses, ‘Tell the *Israelites this. “You are proud people and often you do not obey me. If I went with you, even for a moment, I might kill you. Now take off the precious things that you wear. Then I will decide what I will do with you.” ’ v6 Therefore, the *Israelites stripped themselves of their rings, their precious stones and their things of gold at *Mount Horeb.

Verse 1: The *LORD told Moses that he must lead the people from that place. He must lead them to *Canaan. *Canaan was the country that God promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God promised that he would give that country to their *descendants.

Verse 2: However, Moses would not have to lead the people alone. God would send his *angel in front of Moses. And God would force out the nations who were in *Canaan. In this verse, there is a list of 6 nations who were in *Canaan.

Verse 3: God said that he would not go with the *Israelites. They had promised to obey the *covenant. But they had not obeyed it. And God knew that they would not obey him in the future. He would be so angry with them that he might kill them.

Later, Moses spoke to the *LORD about this. In answer to Moses’ prayer, the *LORD agreed to go with him. (See Exodus 33:14-17.)

Verse 4: Moses told the people what the *LORD had said. Then they were sorry for their *sin. As a *sign that they were sorry, they did not put on their precious things. When someone died, the *Israelites would take off their precious things. That showed that they were sad at the death. They did the same at this time because they were sorry for their *sin.

Verses 5-6: The people had taken off their precious things. Moses had told them to do that. The *LORD had previously told him. They often refused to obey the *LORD. If the *LORD went with them, they might be in terrible danger. When they refused to obey him, the *LORD might kill them. But they could not go without the *LORD. So, they did obey the *LORD and they took off their precious things. The *LORD would decide what to do with them.

They took off their precious things at *Mount Horeb. Probably that means that they did not wear those things again for the rest of their journey.

The tent where Moses met the *LORD                  33:7-11

v7 Moses used to take a tent with him. And he placed it outside the camp, a long way away from the camp. He called it the ‘tent where we meet God’. Anyone who wanted to ask the *LORD for advice went to that tent outside the camp. v8 When Moses went out to the tent, all the people stood at the entrance to their own tents. Then they watched Moses until he went into the tent. That was where he met God. v9 As Moses went into the tent, the tall cloud came down from the sky. It stayed at the entrance to the tent while the *LORD spoke to Moses. v10 The people saw the tall cloud as it stayed at the entrance to the tent. Then they all *worshipped God as they stood at the entrance to their tents. v11 The *LORD spoke directly to Moses. It was like a man when he speaks to his friend. Afterwards, Moses returned to the camp, but his young helper did not leave the tent. His helper was Joshua, who was Nun’s son.

Verses 7-9: Moses had a tent that he erected a long way away from the camp. He went to that tent to meet the *LORD. Also, other *Israelites could go there to ask the *LORD for advice. Probably they would get their answers from Moses. They would not hear directly from the *LORD. When Moses went to the tent the people would watch from their own tents. When Moses went into the tent, the tall cloud would come down to the entrance of the tent. It would stay there while God spoke to Moses. This was the tall cloud that was leading the *Israelites through the desert.

Verses 10-11: On this occasion, the people saw Moses and Joshua go into the tent. The people stood by their own tents and they *worshipped the *LORD. The *LORD spoke to Moses as a man speaks to his friend. Then Moses came out and he went back into the camp. Joshua stayed in the tent. As Moses’ assistant, Joshua may have stayed to guard the tent. But, if that were so, the text would probably not have mentioned it. Probably he stayed there for a more important reason. Perhaps he felt closer to God there.

Moses and the *LORD’s *glory            33:12-23

v12 Moses said to the *LORD, ‘You told me to lead these people. But you have not told me whom you will send with me. “I know your name and you please me”, you have said to me. v13 If I please you, teach me more about you. Then I can know you, and I can continue to please you. Remember that this nation is your own people.’

v14 And then the *LORD replied, ‘I will go with you. And I will give rest to you, Moses.’

v15 Then Moses said to God, ‘If you do not go with us, do not send us away from this place. v16 Nobody will know that I and your people please you. But if you go with us, then they will know. People will see us. And they will see that I and your people are different from all the other people on the earth.’

v17 So the *LORD replied to Moses, ‘I will do what you have asked. You please me and I know your name.’

v18 Then Moses said, ‘Please show your *glory to me.’

v19 And the *LORD replied to him, ‘I will make all my goodness pass in front of you. I will announce my own name, the *LORD, in front of you. I will pity anyone whom I choose. And I will be kind to them. I will love anyone whom I choose. v20 But you cannot see my face. Nobody can see me and continue to live’, the *LORD told Moses.

v21 Then the *LORD said, ‘There is a place near me where you can stand on a rock. v22 When I pass by, I will put you in a crack in the rock. I will cover you with my hand until I have passed you. v23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back. But you must not see my face.’

Verses 12-13: The *LORD had told Moses to lead his people from *Mount Horeb (Sinai). He promised Moses that the *LORD’s *angel would go in front of him. (See Exodus 33:1-2.) However, the *LORD would not go with them. Moses wanted to know whom the *LORD would send with him.

The *LORD had chosen Moses. Moses had pleased the *LORD. Therefore, Moses asked the *LORD to show him more. He wanted to know the *LORD better. Moses wanted to please the *LORD always.

The *LORD had said that the *Israelites were Moses’ people. Moses had led them out of Egypt. However, Moses said that these were the *LORD’s people. The *LORD had brought them out of Egypt. And they belonged to him.

Verses 14-15: The *LORD answered Moses. He would go with Moses. But Moses was not satisfied with that. He insisted that the *LORD should go with his people. They could not go from that place without the *LORD.

Verse 16: It was essential for God to go with them. If he did not do that, they would be no different from other nations. The purpose was that they should be God’s special people. That should make Moses and the *Israelites different. And that would show to the world something about God.

Verse 17: Then the *LORD agreed that he would go with his people. He answered Moses’ prayer because Moses pleased him.

Verses 18-19: Moses spoke again. He wanted to see God’s *glory. The *LORD said that he would show his goodness to Moses. By his goodness, he means his character and what he is like. Also, he would declare his name ‘the *LORD’ in front of Moses. The name tells you what a person is like. The *LORD would show himself to Moses. However, Moses would not see the *LORD as people see a man. But the *LORD would tell him something about what he is like.

Perhaps Moses knew some things about what God is like. He wanted to know more. But he could not know what God will do. God will do what he will do. The *LORD would choose those people that he would pity. He would be kind to them. And he would love those people that he chose.

Verse 20: Moses would not see God’s face. Anybody who saw God would not continue to live.

Verses 21-23: To see God’s *glory, Moses must stand on a rock at the top of the mountain. When the *glory passed by, God would put Moses in a gap in the rock. And God would cover Moses and he would not be able to see. After the *glory had passed, the *LORD would allow Moses to look. Moses would see something of the *glory that had passed. The *LORD spoke to Moses in human language. The use of the words hand and back are descriptions rather than reality. And Moses cannot see God’s face.

Chapter 34

Moses takes new stones up to the *LORD          34:1-9

v1 Then the *LORD said to Moses, ‘Cut two flat stones like the first stones that I gave to you. You broke the first flat stones. But I will write the same words on the new stones. I will write the same words that were on the first flat stones. v2 Be ready tomorrow morning. Then come up *Mount Sinai. Show yourself to me on the top of the mountain. v3 I will not permit anyone to come with you. Nobody must come onto any part of the mountain. And you must not let the sheep or the cows eat the grass at the edge of the mountain.’

v4 So Moses cut two flat stones like the former stones. Then he went up *Mount Sinai early in the morning. He did exactly what the *LORD had ordered. And Moses carried the two flat stones in his hands. v5 Then the *LORD came down in a cloud. He stood there with Moses and he announced his name, ‘the *LORD’. v6 Then he passed in front of Moses. ‘I am the *LORD. I am the *LORD, your God’, he announced. ‘I am kind. I love people who do not deserve it. And I do not become angry quickly. I am a very loving God. And you can trust me to do the right thing. v7 The *LORD shows his love to thousands of people. He forgives their wicked deeds. He forgives them when they have turned away from him. He forgives their *sin. However, he does punish the guilty people. He punishes the children and their children for the *sin of their fathers. He punishes them to the third and fourth *generation.’

v8 Moses fell down with his face towards the ground and he *worshipped God. v9 Moses said, ‘If I please you, *LORD, then go with us. These people are very proud and they often refuse to obey you. But please forgive the wicked things that we have done. Forgive our *sin, and be happy with us as your people.’

Verse 1: Moses broke the first two stones, so the *LORD told him to cut two new stones. God provided the first stones. Moses had to cut the new stones. These stones must be as much like the first stones as was possible. The *LORD would write on the stones the same words that he had written on the previous stones. Actually, Moses wrote on the stones. But it was as the *LORD dictated. (See Exodus 34:27-28.) What Moses wrote was God’s word.

Verse 2: In the morning, Moses must go up *Mount Sinai again. He must go to the top to meet the *LORD.

Verse 3: The *LORD would not allow anyone else to go to the mountain. Even their animals must not approach the mountain.

Verses 4-5: Moses did exactly as the *LORD had said. He carried the two new stones up the mountain. The *LORD came to Moses in a cloud. The cloud hid the *LORD. Also, it showed that the *LORD was there. He announced his name, ‘the *LORD’.

Verse 6: Then the *LORD passed in front of Moses. He said, ‘I am the *LORD your God.’ And he spoke about his character to Moses. The answer to Moses’ request was not in anything that he saw. But God showed to Moses more about what he is like.

Verse 7: God is love and he is kind. He shows his love to thousands of *generations. However, he cannot just forget *sin. There has to be a punishment for those people who do wicked deeds. The *LORD would forgive those people who stopped doing wicked things. However, he would punish the guilty persons. The punishment would affect their future *generations too.

Verses 8-9: God’s person and character caused Moses to fall down and he *worshipped the *LORD. Then Moses prayed to the *LORD. The people had done wicked things. They were proud people and they had not obeyed God. Moses asked God to forgive them. Moses included himself with the people. He asked the *LORD to be happy with them as his people. And he asked the *LORD to go with his people.

The *LORD makes the *covenant again               34:10-28

v10 Then the *LORD said, ‘I am giving a *covenant to you. I will do wonderful things in front of all your people. Nobody has ever done such wonderful things in any nation in the world. And the people who live near to you will respect this wonderful work too. They will know that I, the *LORD, am doing it on your behalf. v11 Obey what I order you today. Then I will force out the people called the Amorites, the *Canaanites and the Hittites from the country. Also, I will force out the people called the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites from the country. v12 Be careful that you do not make a *covenant with those people. They live in the country where you are going. But if you make a *covenant with them, it will become like a trap for you. v13 You must break their *altars. You must destroy the special stones where they *worship their false gods. And you must cut down the poles where they *worship their false god. It is called Asherah. v14 You must not *worship any other god, because I am the *LORD. I am a *jealous God. My name is Jealous. v15 So be careful. You must not make a *covenant with the people who live in that country. They *sin when they *worship their false gods. They give animals as gifts to their false gods. And they will invite you to eat meat from those animals with them. v16 Do not choose their daughters as wives for your sons. You must not do that. Those women would teach your sons to *worship their false gods.

v17 And do not make metal images like those people’s false gods.

v18 Respect the special days called the *Feast of bread without *yeast. For 7 days, you shall eat bread without *yeast as I ordered. Do that in the month called Abib. That is because you came out of Egypt in that month.

v19 Your first male child belongs to me. Also, the first male that is born from your cows and from your sheep belongs to me. v20 You must kill a young sheep instead of the first male that is born to your *donkeys. That is how you can buy them back. You may not want to give a young sheep to me. Then you must break the neck of the young *donkey. In the same way, you must give to me a young sheep instead of your first male child. You must give a gift to me when you come to *worship me. Nobody should *worship me with empty hands.

v21 You must work for 6 days in each week. But you must rest on the 7th day, even during the time when you plough your fields. You must rest on the 7th day, even during the time for the harvest.

v22 And respect the special days called the *Feast of weeks. Bring to me the first share of the harvest of the wheat. And in the autumn, respect the special days called the *Feast of shelters. You harvest your fruit at that time.

v23 All your men must come to *worship me 3 times each year. I am the *LORD and king and I am *Israel’s God. v24 I will force out nations ahead of you, and I will increase your territory. Then nobody will take your land during those 3 times each year.

v25 Do not give to me the blood from an animal together with any thing that has *yeast in it. And you must not let any part of the *sacrifice from the *Feast of *Passover remain until morning.

v26 Bring the best of your first crops to the house of the *LORD your God. And do not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.’

v27 Then the *LORD said to Moses, ‘Write down all those words. I have made a *covenant with you and with the *Israelites by means of those words.’

v28 Moses was on the mountain with the *LORD. He was there for 40 days and 40 nights. He did not eat food and he did not drink water during all that time. And he wrote upon the two stones the words of the *covenant, the 10 *commandments.

Verse 10: The *LORD said that he was giving a *covenant to the *Israelites. This was not a different *covenant. They had not obeyed the *covenant. Therefore, the *LORD would establish it a second time with Moses and his people.

The *LORD would do extraordinary things on behalf of his people. The nations would see those extraordinary deeds. And they would know that the *Israelites were God’s special people.

Those extraordinary deeds would include protection for the people. He would provide them with food and water there in the *desert. He would lead them to the country that he promised to their *ancestors. And he would help them to defeat the nations that were there.

Verses 11-12: The *Israelites must obey the *covenant that they had with the *LORD. Then he would force out all the nations that lived in *Canaan. The *Israelites must be careful not to make any *covenants or agreements with any of those nations. If they did so, it would be a danger for them. They might want to do what those nations did. That would lead them away from the *LORD their God.

Verse 13: Instead, they must destroy everything that those nations used in their religion. The *Israelites must break their *altars. They must destroy their holy stones. And they must cut down their special poles called Asherah. The *Israelites must remove anything that might tempt them from the *worship of the *LORD.

The *altars were for *sacrifices to the gods. The holy stones were to give honour to the gods. The poles called Asherah were either trees or wooden columns. Asherah was the name of a *Canaanite female god of births and harvest. Probably the poles had images of Asherah cut into them. They poles were to give honour to the god Asherah.

Verse 14: The *LORD said that he was a *jealous God. He calls himself Jealous. In the *Old-Testament, this *Hebrew word comes 5 times. (See Exodus 20:5; 34:14; Deuteronomy 4:24; 5:9; 6:15.) Each time, it refers to the *LORD. God is jealous. That means that he has strong feelings. The *LORD loves his people. He will not share them with anyone or anything else. He must be the only God of his people and they belong to him. His people must not *worship other gods and the *LORD. They must *worship only the *LORD God.

Verses 15-16: Again, the *LORD tells them not to make *covenants with the people in that country. Those people *sinned against God when they *worshipped their gods. They made *sacrifices to those gods. And they would invite the *Israelites to eat the meat of their *sacrifices. That would mean that the *Israelites were happy about the *worship of the gods. (See 1 Corinthians 10:18-20.) In effect, they would become part of the *worship.

If the *Israelites lived with those people, they would mix with them. They would arrange marriages with them. And the result of that would be that the *Israelites would *worship their false gods.

Verse 17: The *Israelites had persuaded Aaron to make an image. He made it out of gold that he shaped like a young *bull. Never again must the *Israelites make any image for the *worship of God or of false gods.

The second command was, ‘Do not make images that are like anything in heaven. Do not make images that are like anything on the earth, or anything beneath the water. Do not respect such images. Do not *worship them.’ (See Exodus 20:4-5.)

Verse 18: God had established again his *covenant with his people. But he repeated various laws about *feasts that he had given before.

Each year the *Israelites must have the *Feast of bread without *yeast. That *feast would be in the month Abib (or Nisan) (about our months March to April). This *feast was after the *Passover. It was from the 15th to the 21st of the month. For those 7 days, they would eat bread without *yeast. The 7th day was a special holy day.

The *feast would remind the *Israelites that the *LORD saved them from Egypt. That was its purpose. The *Israelites came out of Egypt in the month Abib (or Nisan). (See Exodus 23:15.)

Verses 19-20: The first males to be born to their women and to their animals would belong to the *LORD. Instead of their first sons, the *Israelites must give to the *LORD a young sheep. However, they must not *sacrifice a *donkey to the *LORD. Instead of a *donkey, they must *sacrifice to the *LORD a young sheep. If they do not *sacrifice a sheep instead of the *donkey, they must kill the *donkey. They must break its neck. (See Exodus 13:11-13.)

The law allowed people to give money instead of an animal. The amount was 5 *shekels of silver. (See Numbers 18:16.)

Verse 21: The *Israelites had 6 days in every week when they could work. The 7th day would be the *Sabbath day when they must not work. The 4th command said that they must remember the *Sabbath day. That day belonged to the *LORD. It would be a day to *worship the *LORD. Even at the busiest times of the year, they must remember to rest every *Sabbath day. The farmer must not prepare his ground on the *Sabbath. And he must not harvest his crops on the *Sabbath.

Verse 22: Each year the *Israelites must have a special *feast called the *Feast of weeks. It was the *feast of the early harvest. It was in the spring at the end of the harvest of wheat. They fixed the date of this *feast to the 50th day after the *Sabbath in the week of the *Passover. Therefore, the date was the 6th day of the third month (called Sivan). That month was about our May to June. The *Feast of weeks was to give thanks to the *LORD because of the harvest.

In the autumn, there was the *Feast of shelters. That was the *feast after they had gathered all their crops and fruit. That *feast was on the 15th day to the 21st day in the 7th month. The 7th month was Tishri (or Ethanim). That month was about our September to October. The *feast lasted 7 days and then there would be a special day on the 8th day.

The people would use branches to make shelters from various trees. They would live in those shelters during the *feast. (See Leviticus 23:40-42.) That would remind the people that they lived in tents on their journey through the *desert. (See Leviticus 23:43.)

Verses 23-24: Three times a year all the men must come to the place that the *LORD would choose. In future years, that place would be the *temple in Jerusalem. There they would *worship the *LORD their king. Those three times were the three major *feasts. They were the *Feast of bread without *yeast, the *Feast of weeks and the *Feast of shelters.

While the men were away from their property, the *LORD would protect it.

Verse 25: At each *feast, the *Israelites would *sacrifice the blood of animals. There must not be any *yeast in the flour or grains that they gave to God with the *sacrifices. The *Israelites must take away all *yeast from their houses before the *feast of *Passover. Therefore, there should not be any *yeast in the *sacrifices or in the meal for *Passover. They must eat all the meat in the meal. However, if some meat did remain they must burn it. (See Exodus 12:10.) No meat should remain until the morning.

Verse 26: The three major *feasts were to give thanks for the harvests. At each *feast, the *Israelites must give to the *LORD the first of their crops.

We have no explanation why they must not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk. But it was a command from the *LORD. Therefore, the *Israelites must obey it.

Verse 27: The *LORD told Moses to write his words. Those words were the heart of the *covenant that the *LORD made with both Moses and *Israel. In the *covenant, Moses was the agent for *Israel. We do not know for certain what the words were. Probably they were everything that the *LORD had said to Moses during the 40 days. He would have written them so that he could read them to the people.

Verse 28: Moses had been on the mountain for 40 days and 40 nights. That was the second time that Moses stayed on the mountain for 40 days and 40 nights. (See Exodus 24:18; Deuteronomy 10:10.) He had no food and water during that period. We think that he probably had special strength from the *LORD. Otherwise he might have died.

The *LORD wrote the 10 *commandments on the two stones. (See Exodus 34:1.) Actually, Moses wrote on the stones. But it was as the *LORD dictated. (See Exodus 34:27-28.) What Moses wrote was God’s word.

Moses face shone              34:29-35

v29 Moses came down from *Mount Sinai. He had in his hands the two flat stones of the *covenant. He was not aware that his face shone. But it shone with a bright light because he had spoken with the *LORD. v30 Then Aaron and the *Israelites saw that Moses’ face shone. So they were afraid to come near to him. v31 But Moses called them to come to him. So Aaron and all the other leaders came near and Moses spoke to them. v32 Afterwards, all the other *Israelites came near to him. And Moses told to them all the *commandments that the *LORD had given to him on *Mount Sinai.

v33 When Moses had spoken to them, he covered his face. v34 But when he spoke to the *LORD, he removed the cover. He removed it when he went into the special tent. And he put it on again when he came out from the tent. Each time he came out, he spoke to the *Israelites. He told them what God had told him to say. v35 The *Israelites saw that his face was shining. So Moses continued to cover his face. He would remove the cover only when he approached the *LORD. He approached the *LORD in order to speak to him.

Verse 29: Moses came down from the mountain with the two stones of the *covenant in his hands. Because he had been with the *LORD, his face shone with a bright light. Something of God’s *glory remained on Moses’ face. That light was proof that Moses had been with God. And it proved that God was happy with Moses.

Verses 30-32: Moses’ face glowed so much that it frightened Aaron and the *Israelites. They were afraid to approach him. However, Moses called Aaron and the leaders to come to him. After that, the *Israelites did come near to him. Only then did they feel safe with him.

Then Moses told to them all the rules that God had given to him on the mountain.

Verses 33-35: Because they were afraid, Moses covered his face. When he went to the special tent, he removed the cover. Moses went to the special tent in order to speak with the *LORD. When he came out of that tent, he covered his face again. Then he could tell the *Israelites what God had said to him.

In time, Moses face glowed less until, in the end, it stopped shining. (See 2 Corinthians 3:7-8, 13.)

Chapter 35

Rules for the *Sabbath                35:1-3

v1 Moses called together all the *Israelites and he spoke to them. ‘The *LORD has told us to do these things’, he said. ‘You must obey these rules. v2 You have 6 days when you can do your work. Then, the 7th day will be your holy day. It will be a special day for the *LORD, and you must rest on that day. Anyone who does any work on that day must die. v3 Do not light a fire in your homes on the *Sabbath day.’

Verses 1-3: Moses repeated to the *Israelites the rules that the *LORD had given to him. Those rules included the plans for God’s special tent and other matters of behaviour. First, Moses spoke about the *Sabbath.

The 7th day each week was a *Sabbath to the *LORD. On this special day, the *Israelites must not do any work. (See Exodus 20:8-11; 31:12-17.) If anyone did work on that day, the punishment would be death.

To light fires in their homes would be work. They must not do that on the *Sabbath.

Preparations for God’s special tent             35:4-29

v4 Moses was speaking to all the *Israelites. ‘This is what the *LORD has ordered’, he said. v5 ‘The *LORD invites you to bring presents to him. Everyone who is willing should bring a present to the *LORD. If you have gold, silver or *bronze, bring some to the *LORD. v6 If you have blue, purple or bright red wool, bring that. If you have *linen of good quality, bring that. If you use goats’ hair to make cloth, then bring that. v7 Also you can bring male sheep’s skins that you have coloured red. Also you can bring goats’ skins. Or you can bring *acacia wood. v8 You can bring *olive oil for the lamps. And you can bring powder that has a sweet smell. The priests can burn the powder in front of God. Or they can mix the powder in the special oil for the priests. v9 Some of you can bring the precious stones called onyx. Or you can bring other precious stones. We will need them to attach to the chief priest’s *ephod and to his *breast-piece.

v10 Let everyone among you who has skill come. You must make everything that the *LORD has ordered. v11 You must make God’s special tent and its cover. You must make its *hooks and its boards. And you must make its bars, posts, and bases. v12 You must make the box for the *covenant with its poles so that the *Levites can carry it. And you must make its cover, where the *LORD will forgive us. Also you must make the curtain that hides it. And this curtain will have the special box behind it. v13 You must make the table where we will put the special bread. And you must make the poles and all the other equipment for the table. v14 You must make the lamp-holder for the light. And you must make the equipment that the priests use with the lamp-holder. And you must make the lamps for the lamp-holder. You must mix the oil to burn in them too. v15 You must make the *altar where the priests will burn the powder. The powder has a sweet smell. And you must make the poles for the *altar so that the *Levites can carry it. You must mix the special powder that has a sweet smell. Also, you must mix the special oil for the priests. They will use that special oil to mark things for God. And you must make the curtain for the entrance to God’s special tent. v16 You must make the *altar for *burnt-offering. You must make its bars of *bronze like a net. And make its poles and all its tools. And you must make the basin of *bronze with its base. v17 You must make the curtains with their posts and their bases. They are for the yard round the tent. And you must make the curtain for the entrance to the yard. v18 You must make large pins and extra thick strings. They will help the tent to remain firm. v19 And you must make the special clothes for Aaron and for his sons to wear. They must always wear those clothes when they serve the *LORD as his priests.’

v20 When Moses finished those instructions, all the *Israelites left. v21 Then everyone who wanted to bring gifts to the *LORD brought those gifts. They were willing to give them. They wanted to help the workers who would make the special tent and everything in it. Also, they brought gifts to make the special clothes for the priests. v22 Both the men and the women came with presents because they wanted to give to God. They brought all kinds of things of gold. And those things included beautiful little things that they wore on their clothes. They brought the rings from their ears and other rings too. And they brought beautiful things of gold that they wore round their necks. They were willing to give those things as a special gift to the *LORD. v23 Everyone brought what they had. So some people brought blue, purple or bright red wool. And they brought *linen of good quality. They brought cloth that they had made out of goats’ hair. And they brought male sheep’s skins that they had coloured red. And they brought goats’ skins. v24 Some people brought silver or *bronze to give to the *LORD. And anyone who had suitable *acacia wood for the work brought it. v25 And every woman with skill made blue, purple and bright red wool that was suitable to sew with. And they brought white *linen of good quality. v26 All the women with skill who wanted to make cloth out of goats’ hair did that too. v27 The leaders brought the stones called onyx and other precious stones. The workers would attach those to the *ephod. The workers attached those stones to the *breast-piece for Aaron too. v28 People also brought plants and powder that had sweet smells. They brought *olive oil for the lamps. The workers made the special powder. They made it from the things that had a sweet smell. The priests burned the special powder. And they mixed the plants and powders with the oil to make the special oil. v29 The *Israelite men and the *Israelite women brought gifts to the *LORD. They brought them because they wanted to bring them. They brought those gifts for the work for the *LORD. He had told Moses everything that they must do.

Verse 4: The *LORD had told Moses that the *Israelites must make God’s special tent. They had to make all the equipment for the tent. And they had to make the special clothes for Aaron and for his sons. So they had to provide suitable materials for all those things

Verse 5: The *LORD asked the *Israelites to give for that purpose. Everyone who was willing should bring gifts to the *LORD. They should bring gold, silver and *bronze.

Verse 6: People should bring wool in three colours - blue, purple and red. The workers would also need *linen of good quality and cloth that people had made out of goats’ hair. (See Exodus 25:4.)

Verse 7: People would also take skins from male sheep. They would colour the skins red. They also needed *acacia wood and goats’ skins, although some students say that they were the skins of another animal.

Verse 8: For the lamps, they would need to provide oil. And they should give certain other substances. The priests would burn some of those to give a sweet smell. Also, they would use some as they made special oils. (See Exodus 25:6.)

Verse 9: On the clothes of the chief priest, the workers must sew precious stones such as the stone called the onyx. (See Exodus 28:6-25.)

Verse 10: The *Israelites must make God’s special tent and everything that went with it. To do that, there must be a group of skilled workers. Moses invited everyone who had those skills to join that group. They must make everything that the *LORD had shown to Moses.

Verse 11: The *Israelites must make God’s special tent as the *LORD had shown to Moses. (See Exodus 26:1-36.)

Verse 12: Then the *Israelites must make the box for the *covenant. The *LORD had told Moses exactly how to make the box for the *covenant. (See Exodus 25:10-22.) The box would go in the Most Holy Place. They must make the curtains that would be between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place. (See Exodus 26:31-33.)

Verse 13: The next thing to make was the table. The *Israelites would also make plates, dishes and jugs for the table. On the table, the priests would put loaves of bread. (See Exodus 25:23-30.) The table would go in the Holy Place.

Verse 14: The *Israelites must make the lamp-holder with its lamps and its equipment. (See Exodus 25:31-40.) The lamps would give light in the Holy Place. They would need to provide the oil that would burn in the lamps. (See Exodus 27:20-21.)

Verse 15: The people must make the *altar for *incense that would go in the Holy Place. (See Exodus 30:1-10.) They must mix the special powders that would become the *incense. The priests would burn the *incense on the *altar. Also, they must make the curtains that were the entrance to God’s special tent. (See Exodus 26:36-37.)

Verse 16: The people must make an *altar of *bronze with its equipment. This *altar would be outside God’s special tent. On this *altar, the priests would burn *sacrifices of animals. (See Exodus 27:1-8.)

Verses 17-18: The *Israelites must make curtains that would be round the area of God’s special tent. And they must make curtains for the entrance to that area. (See Exodus 27:9-18.)

Verse 19: The people must make special clothes for Aaron and his sons. Aaron and his sons had to wear those clothes when they worked as priests. (See Exodus 28:1-43.)

Verses 20-21: The *Israelites did as Moses had asked them. All those men and women who wanted to give to the *LORD did so. They were willing to give all the materials for the special tent and for the priests’ clothes.

Verses 22-24: The people brought various things of gold. Some people brought the purple, blue and red wool. Some people brought the *linen of good quality. They brought cloth that they had made from goats’ hair. And they brought male sheep’s skins that they had coloured red. And they brought goats’ skins. However, some students say that they were the skins of another animal. They provided all the metals that the skilled workers needed for the work. That included silver and *bronze. Also, they brought *acacia wood.

Verses 25-26: Skilled women made wool and they made cloth from goats’ hair. They brought those materials and white *linen of good quality to the *LORD.

Verse 27: The leaders brought precious stones. The skilled workers would put those precious stones on the *ephod and on the *breast-piece for Aaron.

Verse 28: The people brought everything that the priests needed for *incense and special oils. Also, they brought the oil for the lamps in the Holy Place.

Verse 29: The *Israelite men and women were very generous. They gave more than enough of all those things to the *LORD. They did not give because they ought to give. They gave because they wanted to give to the *LORD. They gladly provided everything that Moses had asked them for.

The people who would make God’s special tent                   35:30-35

v30 Then Moses told the *Israelites, ‘Notice! The *LORD has chosen Bezalel, son of Uri, the son of Hur. He is from the *tribe called Judah. v31 The *LORD has filled Bezalel with his Holy Spirit. The *LORD has given extra skill and knowledge to him so that he can do all kinds of beautiful work. v32 He can make beautiful designs for objects of gold, silver and *bronze. v33 He can cut stones and he can make them beautiful. And he can work with wood. He can create all kinds of beautiful things. v34 And the *LORD has chosen Oholiab too. He is Ahisamach’s son from the *tribe called Dan. They can teach other people to do those things also. v35 God has given the skill to them so that they can do all kinds of work. They can build things and they can make designs. They have the skill to sew with blue, purple and bright red wool onto *linen of good quality. And they can make beautiful cloth. They are very skilful workers who can make beautiful designs.’

Verse 30: The *LORD appointed Bezalel to lead the group of skilled workers. Bezalel was from the *tribe of Judah. His father was Uri who was Hur’s son.

When the *Amalekites fought with the *Israelites, Moses went up a mountain. Aaron and Hur went with him to hold up his hands. (See Exodus 17:10-13.) Later, while Moses was on *Mount Sinai, he left Aaron and Hur in command of the camp. (See Exodus 24:14.) Probably that was the Hur who was Bezalel’s grandfather. However, there might have been another man with the same name.

Verses 31-33: The *LORD had made Bezalel an expert in all the skills that were necessary for the work on God’s tent. Bezalel could work with all kinds of metal. He could cut stone and he could work with it. He could work with wood. He could work with wool, *linen and cloth. God made Bezalel a specialist with all those materials.

Verses 34-35: The *LORD appointed Oholiab to assist Bezalel. Oholiab was from the *tribe of Dan. His father was Ahisamach. Bezalel and Oholiab could teach other workers all the skills that they needed. So, they led a group of skilful workers. Those workers could do everything that the *LORD had shown to Moses.

Chapter 36

The workers begin to make God’s special tent            36:1-7

v1 ‘Bezalel and Oholiab must do the work exactly as the *LORD has ordered. And every worker that the *LORD has given skill to should help them. They will know how to carry out all this special work. They will construct the Holy Place where we will *worship the *LORD.’

v2 Then Moses asked Bezalel and Oholiab to come to him. He asked every person with skill to come with them. The *LORD had given skill to many workers and they all wanted to do the work for God. v3 Moses gave to them all the gifts for God that the *Israelites had brought to him. So the workers started the work. The people had brought the gifts so that they could build a holy place for God. And the people continued to bring gifts every morning. v4 So finally, all the skilful workers who were building the Holy Place stopped their work. v5 They went and they said to Moses, ‘The people are bringing more than we need for the work. We can do all the work with what we have already. We will do everything that the *LORD has ordered.’

v6 Then Moses gave an order and they sent this message to the whole camp. ‘No man or woman needs to bring more gifts to give to God for the Holy Place.’ Moses told the people not to bring any more gifts for the work. v7 Already, they had more than enough to complete all the work.

Verse 1: The *Israelites had to make everything that the *LORD had shown to Moses. Bezalel and Oholiab knew how to achieve that. They would lead all the skilled workers to do it. The *LORD had given to them the skills that they had. And they were all ready to use those skills for the *LORD’s work. They would complete the whole area and everything that would be in it. And they would make God’s special tent and all its equipment.

Verses 2-5: Moses called together Bezalel, Oholiab and the group of skilful workers. He gave to them all the gifts that the people had brought for the work. Each morning, people brought more gifts to the workers. The people were very generous. So they brought more than enough materials to finish the work. The workers came to Moses. They asked him to tell the people that they should not bring any more gifts.

Verses 6-7: Therefore, Moses gave instructions to the people. He told them not to give any more gifts for the work. The workers already had more than enough to complete the tasks.

Construction of God’s special tent              36:8-38

v8 All the skilful men among the workmen made 10 curtains for the special tent. Those skilful men sewed designs on the *linen of good quality. They sewed designs of *cherubs with blue and purple and bright red wool. v9 All the curtains were the same size, which was 13 metres (42 feet) long and 1.8 metres (6 feet) wide. v10 They joined 5 of the curtains together. Then they joined the other 5 curtains together in the same way. v11 And they made rings out of blue material. They sewed them along the edge of the first curtain in one set. And they did the same with the last curtain of the other set. v12 They sewed 50 rings on each curtain so that the rings were opposite each other. v13 Then they made 50 *hooks of gold. They put the *hooks through the rings in order to fasten the curtains together. That made them become one big tent for the inside of God’s special tent.

v14 The workers also made 11 curtains of cloth that they made out of goats’ hair. They went over the curtains that they had made out of *linen. v15 All 11 curtains were the same size, which was 13 metres (42 feet) long and 1.8 metres (6 feet) wide. v16 Then they joined 5 such curtains together. And they joined the other 6 curtains together to make another very wide curtain. v17 Then they sewed fifty loops along the edge of the last curtain in one set and they sewed fifty loops along the edge of the first curtain in the other set. v18 And they made 50 *hooks of *bronze in order to fasten the curtains together. Then the tent became one unit. v19 They also made two other covers for the tent. They made one cover out of male sheep’s skins that they had coloured red. And they made the other cover out of goats’ skins.

v20 The workers made boards out of *acacia wood. The boards supported the tent. v21 Each board was 4.6 metres (15 feet) high and 70 centimetres (27 inches) wide. v22 Each board had two wooden pieces that stuck out. They made all the boards in that way. v23 They made 20 boards for the south side of the tent. v24 And they made 40 bases of silver for them. Each board, with its pieces that stuck out, fitted into 2 bases. The bases caused the boards to stand firmly. v25 They made 20 boards for the north side of the tent too. v26 And they made 40 bases of silver for them because there would be 2 bases under each board. v27 They made 6 boards for the west end of the tent. v28 And they made 2 very firm boards. They were for the corners at that end of the tent. v29 They joined those boards at the corners from the lowest end to the upper end. That made them very strong. v30 So there were 8 boards along that side with their 16 bases of silver.

v31 The workers made bars of *acacia wood. Five of those bars went on one long side of the tent. They went across each board. v32 And 5 of the bars went across the boards on the other long side. There were also 5 bars for the boards at the back of the tabernacle. That was the west end of the tabernacle. v33 And they made the middle bar so that it would go along one whole side of the tent. v34 They covered all the boards with gold. And they made rings of gold for the bars to go through. And they covered the bars with gold.

v35 The skilful workers made the inside curtain out of *linen of good quality too. They sewed designs of *cherubs onto the *linen. They used blue and purple and bright red wool to do that. v36 The workers made 4 main posts out of *acacia wood in order to support the inside curtain. And they covered the posts with gold. They made *hooks of gold for the posts, and they made 4 bases for them too. v37 They made another curtain out of *linen of good quality. That curtain was for the entrance to the tent. And the skilful workers sewed blue and purple and bright red designs onto that curtain. v38 They made 5 main posts and they covered them with gold. Then they attached *hooks of gold to them. And they made 5 bases of *bronze for the posts.

Verses 8-19: Here begins the description of how the workers made God’s special tent. The order of these tasks as the text records them is not important. Probably workers with various skills carried out their tasks at the same time.

The workers made all the curtains, rings and *hooks. All those things were as the *LORD had shown to Moses. (See Exodus 26:1-14.)

Verses 20-34: The workers made the bars, boards and rings as the text above describes them. (See Exodus 26:15-29.)

Verses 35-38: The workers also made the inner curtains with their *hooks, posts and bases as Moses had described them. (See Exodus 26:31-37.)

Chapter 37

The box for the *covenant          37:1-9

v1 Bezalel made the special box out of *acacia wood. It was 110 centimetres (45 inches) long, 70 centimetres (27 inches) wide and 70 centimetres (27 inches) high. v2 He covered it with pure gold, both inside the box and outside the box. And he put a narrow piece of gold round the top. v3 He made 4 rings of gold and he fastened them to its 4 lower corners. So there were 2 rings of gold on one side of the box. And there were 2 rings of gold on the other side of the box. v4 Then he made 2 poles out of *acacia wood and he covered them with gold. v5 He put each pole into 2 rings. There was 1 pole on each side of the special box. Then the *Levites could carry it.

v6 He made the box’s cover out of pure gold. It was 110 centimetres (45 inches) long and 70 centimetres (27 inches) wide. v7 Then he hammered the gold to make two *cherubs. They were for the ends of the cover. v8 He made one *cherub on one end of the cover. And he made the second *cherub on the other end of the cover. He made the *cherubs as part of the cover. v9 The *cherubs spread their wings over the top of the box. And they had their faces towards each other. But they looked down at the cover, which was on the top of the box.

Verses 1-9: Bezalel made the box for the *covenant. He may not have done all the work but he was responsible for it. He made the box, its cover and the *cherubs. All those things were as the *LORD had told Moses. (See Exodus 25:10-22.) The box for the *covenant would be in the Most Holy Place in God’s special tent.

The table            37:10-16

v10 Bezalel made the table out of *acacia wood. It was 90 centimetres (3 feet) long and 45 centimetres (18 inches) wide and 67.5 centimetres (27 inches) high. v11 He covered the table with pure gold. And he made a special narrow piece of gold round it. v12 He also made an edge round the top that was 7.5 centimetres (3 inches) wide. And he put the narrow piece of gold on the edge. v13 He made 4 rings of gold for the table and he fastened them to its 4 bases. v14 He put the rings close to the special edge of the table. The rings would hold poles, and the *Levites carried the table with the poles. v15 He made the poles out of *acacia wood and he covered them with gold. v16 He made all the things for the table out of pure gold. It had plates, dishes and bowls of gold. And the priests used jugs of gold. From those, they would pour out the drink that the people gave to God.

Verses 10-16: Bezalel with his helpers made the table. The table was one piece among three pieces of furniture that were in the Holy Place. The other two pieces were the *altar for *incense and the lamp-holder. On this special table, the priests would put 12 loaves of bread each week. (See Exodus 25:23-30.)

The lamp-holder                  37:17-24

v17 Bezalel made the lamp-holder out of pure gold. He hammered out its base, its central pole and its cups that were like flowers. All its cups, *buds and flowers were part of it. v18 There were 6 branches that went out from the sides of the lamp-holder. There were three branches on one side and three branches on the other side. v19 He shaped cups like the flowers of the *almond tree, both open flowers and *buds. He shaped three cups as part of all the 6 branches that went out from the lamp-holder. v20 And on the top of the lamp-holder there were 4 more cups like that. They were like flowers of an *almond tree. v21 The first pair of branches was near the top of the lamp-holder. There was one *bud under the first pair of branches. There was a second *bud under the second pair of branches. There was a third *bud under the third pair of branches. There were six branches on the lamp-holder. v22 The flowers and the branches were all one piece with the lamp-holder. He made it out of pure gold. v23 He also made 7 lamps out of pure gold for the lamp-holder. And he made special scissors and trays for the lamps out of pure gold. v24 He made the lamp-holder and all its equipment out of one lump of pure gold. That lump of gold weighed 34 kilos (75 pounds).

Verses 17-24: Bezalel made the lamp-holder to the design that the *LORD had given to Moses. (See Exodus 25:31-40.) He made all the lamps and all the equipment out of gold. The lamp-holder would be in the Holy Place.

The *altar for *incense                 37:25-29

v25 Bezalel made the *altar. The priests would burn on the *altar the special powder that has a sweet smell. Bezalel made the *altar out of *acacia wood and it was square. It was 45 centimetres (18 inches) long, 45 centimetres (18 inches) wide and 90 centimetres (3 feet) high. He made *horns from the same piece of wood. They stuck out from each corner. v26 Then he covered the top, all the sides and the *horns with pure gold. And he made a narrow piece of gold that he put round the *altar. v27 He made 2 rings of gold on opposite sides. They were below the narrow piece of gold. The rings held poles so that the *Levites could carry the *altar. v28 He made the poles out of *acacia wood too, and he covered them with gold.

v29 Bezalel also prepared the special oil for the priests. And he prepared the pure powder that had a sweet smell. That was the work of a specialist.

Verses 25-28: The final object to go into the Holy Place was the *altar for *incense. Bezalel made that to the design that the *LORD had given to Moses. (See Exodus 30:1-6.)

Verse 29: Bezalel prepared the oil that the *Israelites would use for special purposes. (See Exodus 30:25-30.) And he prepared the *incense that the priests would burn on the *altar for *incense.

Chapter 38

The *altar for *burnt-offerings              38:1-7

v1 Bezalel made the *altar for animals that the *Israelites gave to God. The priests burnt the animals on this *altar. He made it out of *acacia wood. It was 1.4 metres (4.5 feet) high. The top was square. It was 2.3 metres (7.5 feet) long and 2.3 metres (7.5 feet) wide. v2 He made 4 *horns on it. There was one at each corner. He made the *horns and the *altar as one object. And he covered the whole *altar with *bronze. v3 He made all its equipment out of *bronze too. There were pots, special spades, bowls and forks for the meat. There were pans in order to carry away the ashes. And he made them all out of *bronze. v4 He made bars of *bronze like a net to go in the *altar. This net of *bronze was half way up inside the *altar. v5 Then he made 4 rings of *bronze and he attached the rings to the net’s 4 corners. v6 He made 2 poles out of *acacia wood and he covered the poles with *bronze. v7 Then he put the poles through the rings on each side of the *altar. Then the *Levites could carry it. He made this *altar out of boards, so that it was like a hollow box.

Verses 1-7: Bezalel and his helpers made the *altar of *bronze. (See Exodus 27:1-8.) This *altar was to burn the *sacrifices by fire. It was in the area outside God’s special tent.

The basin for the priests to wash                 38:8

v8 Bezalel made the basin of *bronze and its base of *bronze. He used the mirrors of *bronze that women had brought. Those women served God at the entrance to the special tent.

Verse 8: In those days, the women used mirrors of *bronze. These women gave their mirrors to the *LORD. Bezalel made this basin from those mirrors of *bronze. We do not know who these women were.

The basin of *bronze would go between the *altar of *bronze and God’s special tent. The priests would wash their hands and their feet with water from that basin. (See Exodus 30:17-21.)

The yard round God’s special tent               38:9-20

v9 Next, Bezalel made a fence for the yard that was round God’s special tent. The south side was 46 metres (150 feet) long. He made a curtain for it out of *linen of good quality. v10 He made 20 posts and 20 bases of *bronze for the curtains. The workers put *hooks and bands of silver on the posts.

v11 The north side was also 46 metres (150 feet) long. On that side there were another 20 main posts of *bronze with 20 bases of *bronze for them. There were *hooks and bands on those posts. v12 The west end was 23 metres (75 feet) wide and it also had a curtain. There were 10 posts and 10 bases with *hooks and bands of silver on the posts. v13 The east end, toward the sunrise, was also 23 metres (75 feet) wide. The entrance to the yard was on that side. v14 There were curtains 6.9 metres (22.5 feet) wide on one side of the entrance. They had three posts and three bases. v15 There were curtains 6.9 metres (22.5 feet) wide on the other side of the entrance to the yard. They also had three posts and three bases. v16 The workers used *linen of good quality in order to make all the curtains. The curtains went round the yard. v17 The bases for the posts were *bronze. The *hooks and the bands on the posts were silver. The workers covered the tops of the posts with silver. And they made the bands on all the posts out of silver.

v18 The workers made the curtain that was at the entrance to the yard. They used *linen of good quality in order to make the curtain. They sewed blue, purple and bright red patterns on it. The curtain was 9 metres (30 feet) wide and it was 2.3 metres (7.5 feet) high. It was the same height as the curtains round the yard. v19 There were 4 posts and 4 bases. Their *hooks and their bands were silver. And the workers covered the tops of the posts with silver. v20 Large pins of *bronze kept God’s special tent in place. The curtains were round the yard. And the pins kept the curtains in the right position.

Verses 9-20: Round God’s special tent there would be an area with a fence all round it. The workers made the fence with curtains, posts and bases. They did as the *LORD had shown to Moses. (See Exodus 27:9-18.)

The materials for the tent            38:21-31

v21 The amounts of the materials in God’s special tent are in the account below. That tent was the tent of God’s *covenant. Moses told the *Levites to record all the materials. Ithamar, the son of Aaron the priest, would tell the *Levites what they should do. v22 Bezalel, son of Uri, the son of Hur, directed the work. He was from the *tribe called Judah. And Bezalel made everything that the *LORD had told Moses. v23 Oholiab was the son of Ahisamach. And Oholiab was from the *tribe called Dan. Oholiab helped Bezalel. He was a skilful artist and he designed things well. He sewed with blue, purple and bright red wool on *linen of good quality. v24 The people had given the gold freely for all the work that the workers did for the holy place. The weight of all the gold was about 1000 kilos (2200 pounds). But they weighed the gold as *talents and *shekels. People used those special *talents and *shekels as measurements only in God’s holy place. v25 Moses had counted all the men earlier and each man gave silver as his tax. The total silver weighed more than 3400 kilos (7500 pounds). They weighed it with the special *talents and *shekels. v26 Each man paid one half of a special *shekel of silver. And there were 603 550 men who were 20 years old or more. v27 The bases for the walls of the Holy Place and the bases for the curtain were silver. There were 100 bases, so the workers used 100 *talents of silver for them. That is 1 *talent for each base. v28 The workers used the *shekels of silver to make the *hooks for the posts. And they used more *shekels of silver for the tops of the posts and to make their bands. They used 1775 *shekels of silver for that purpose.

v29 The people had given the *bronze freely and it weighed more than 2400 kilos (5300 pounds). They weighed that with the special *talents and *shekels also. v30 Bezalel used some *bronze to make the bases for the entrance to God’s tent. And he used some more for the *altar of *bronze with its net of *bronze. And he used *bronze for all its tools. v31 He made bases of *bronze for the yard and for its entrance. And he used *bronze for all the large pins for the yard and for God’s special tent.

Verses 21-31: These verses are an account of the metal that the workers used for God’s special tent. The *Levites made a record of those materials. Bezalel, Oholiab and a group of skilled workers did all the work.

The people were generous as they gave all these metals to the *LORD. They gave about 1000 kilos (2200 pounds) of gold. And they gave about 2400 kilos (5300 pounds) of *bronze.

Each man over the age of 20 gave half a *shekel of silver as a tax. By that means, they gave more than 3400 kilos (7500 pounds) of silver.

Bezalel’s helpers used those metals to make the things for God’s special tent and for the yard.

Chapter 39

The special clothes for the priests               39:1-31

v1 Bezalel and his workers made special clothes for the priests. The workers sewed them with blue, purple and bright red wool. They made beautiful clothes for Aaron, exactly as the *LORD had told Moses.

v2 Bezalel made the *ephod out of *linen of good quality. And he sewed designs onto it with gold, and with blue, purple and bright red wool. v3 People hammered the gold in order to make it very thin. And then they cut it into thin wires. The skilful workers sewed the *linen. They used the wire. They also used blue, purple and bright red wool. v4 They made pieces for the shoulders of the *ephod. And they attached those pieces to two of the corners of the *ephod. Then they fastened it. v5 They made a belt that went on the *ephod. They made it with skill out of the same *linen. And they sewed similar designs onto it with wire and with blue, purple and bright red wool. They made the wire from gold. They did everything exactly as the *LORD had told Moses.

v6 The workers fixed the stones called onyx into patterns of gold. And they cut the names of *Israel’s sons on the stones. v7 Then Bezalel fastened those precious stones on the pieces of the shoulders of the *ephod. He did that so that the *LORD would remember the *Israelites. He did it as the *LORD had told Moses.

v8 Bezalel made the *breast-piece. Like the work of the *ephod, he made it out of *linen of good quality. And he sewed it with wire that workers made from gold, and with blue, purple and bright red wool. v9 Bezalel’s workers made it square. It was 23 centimetres (9 inches) long and 23 centimetres (9 inches) wide. But they made it of double thickness. v10 Then they attached four rows of precious stones to it. In the first row they put stones called a ruby, a topaz and a beryl. v11 In the second row they put stones called a turquoise, a sapphire and an emerald. v12 In the third row they put stones called a jacinth, an agate and an amethyst. v13 And in the fourth row they put stones called a chrysolite, an onyx and a jasper. They made delicate patterns of gold to hold each precious stone. Then they attached the stones to the cloth. v14 There were 12 stones because of the 12 *tribes of *Israel. There was one stone for each *tribe. And they cut one *tribe’s name on each stone. They cut it in the manner that people cut stones for stamps.

v15 The workers made two chains out of pure gold to go on the *breast-piece. They twisted the chains in the way that people twist strings. v16 They made two patterns of gold and two rings of gold. Then they fastened each ring to a corner at the top of the *breast-piece. v17 And they fastened the two chains of gold to those rings at the corners of the *breast-piece. v18 They fastened the other ends of the chains to the two patterns of gold. Then they attached those patterns to the shoulders of the *ephod at the front. v19 They made two more rings of gold. They attached them to the lower corners of the *breast-piece. Those rings were on the inside edge next to the *ephod. v20 Then they made two more rings of gold. They attached them to the lowest part of the shoulder-pieces on the front of the *ephod. Those rings were above and very close to the *ephod’s belt.

v21 The workers tied the rings on the *breast-piece to the rings on the *ephod. They used blue string to tie them. Also they attached the *breast-piece to the belt. Then, the *breast-piece did not swing out from the *ephod. They did all the work as the *LORD had told Moses.

v22 Bezalel made blue cloth for the chief priest’s special shirt. It was like a dress. The chief priest wore it under the *ephod. v23 It had a hole in the centre and he put his head through that hole. The worker put a special edge, like a collar, round the hole. Then the hole would not tear. v24 The workers sewed models round the lower edge of the special shirt. They used blue, purple and bright red wool. The models were of fruit called *pomegranates. v25 Then they made bells of pure gold. They attached them round the lower edge of the special shirt too. They put the bells between the *pomegranates. v26 They sewed a *pomegranate and then they put a bell. Then they sewed another *pomegranate and another bell all round the lower edge. The chief priest must wear that special shirt when he did his duties in the special tent. That was as the *LORD had told Moses.

v27 Skilful workers made other shirts for Aaron and his sons to wear. They made the shirts out of *linen of good quality. v28 And they used the same *linen to make the special hat for Aaron. They used the *linen for the other hats and the short trousers too. v29 Also they used it for the belts. They sewed the belts with designs in blue, purple and bright red wool. They did it as the *LORD had told Moses.

v30 The workers made the special narrow piece out of pure gold. Then they cut words on it, in the same way that people cut words on a stamp. ‘Holy for the *LORD’, it said. v31 They attached the narrow piece of gold to the special hat. They attached it with a blue string. They did everything as the *LORD had told Moses.

Verse 1: The workers made all these things ‘as the *LORD had told Moses’. That phrase comes 7 times. It emphasises how carefully they obeyed the instructions of the *LORD. (See verses 1, 5, 7, 21, 26, 29 and 31.)

Verses 2-7: The workers made the *ephod as the *LORD had told Moses. (See Exodus 28:6-14.)

Verses 8-21: Here is a description of how the workers made the *breast-piece. They made it as the *LORD had shown to Moses. (See Exodus 28:15-29.)

However, there is no mention of the objects called the Urim and Thummim. They would be in the *breast-piece. We do not know what those stones were like. But the chief priest used them to find out the *LORD’s decisions. (See Exodus 28:30.)

Verses 22-26: Under the *ephod, Aaron must wear a special shirt. It would be long like a long dress. The workers made this shirt of one piece of material. It had holes for his head and arms. Round the lowest part, they put models of *pomegranates and bells of gold. The *LORD had told Moses to do that. (See Exodus 28:32-36.)

Verses 27-29: The workers made shirts, hats and short trousers for Aaron and for his sons. (See Exodus 28:39-42.)

Verses 30-31: The workers made a flat piece of gold. On it, they cut the words ‘Holy for the *LORD’. Then they attached it on the front of Aaron’s hat. That was exactly as the *LORD had shown to Moses. (See Exodus 28:36-38.)

The workers finish the work                39:32-43

v32 So they completed the work on God’s special tent, the tent for meeting God. The *Israelites had done everything exactly as the *LORD had told Moses. v33 Then they brought everything to Moses. They brought the tent and all its furniture to him. That included its *hooks, its boards and its bars. And it included its posts and their bases. v34 They brought the covers too. They made one cover out of skins from male sheep. They had coloured those skins red. They made the other cover out of goats’ skins. They also brought the curtain that would hide the special box. v35 And they brought the box for the *covenant with its poles. And they brought its cover where God would forgive the people. v36 They brought the table with all its equipment, which included the holy bread. v37 And they brought the lamp-holder of pure gold with its row of lamps, and all its equipment. They also brought the oil for the lights. v38 They brought the *altar of gold. They brought the special sweet oil to pour on people and on things. They brought *incense that had a sweet smell. And they brought the curtain for the entrance to the tent. v39 They brought the *altar of *bronze with its bars of *bronze like a net. And they brought its poles and all its tools. Also, they brought the basin with its base. v40 They brought the curtains with their main posts and bases. They were for the fence round the yard. And they brought the other curtain for the entrance to the yard. Also, they brought the strong strings and metal pins that would support the fence. So they brought all the equipment for God’s special tent. v41 They brought the clothes for the priests who would serve God in the Holy Place too. They were the special clothes for Aaron, who was the chief priest. And they included special clothes for his sons when they served God as priests too.

v42 The *Israelites had done all the work exactly as the *LORD had told Moses. v43 Then Moses examined the work. He saw that the workers had done it perfectly. It was exactly as the *LORD had told him. So Moses blessed them.

Verses 32-43: The *Israelites completed the work exactly as the *LORD had told Moses. Bezalel and his helpers did the work but they did it on behalf of all the *Israelites. The *Israelites had provided all the materials that they needed. (See Exodus 35:20-29.) The workers brought to Moses everything that they had made. There was God’s special tent and all its furniture. That included the box for the *covenant. There were the fences for the yard, and everything that would be in the yard. And there was all the equipment. They brought all those things to Moses. He examined everything. And it was all as the *LORD had shown to him. So he was very happy and he blessed the *Israelites.

Chapter 40

Moses erects God’s special tent                  40:1-33

v1 Then the *LORD spoke to Moses again. He said, v2 ‘Put the special tent into its place. Do it on the first day of the year. The tent is the place where I will meet you. v3 Place the box for the *covenant in the tent. Place the special curtain in front of the box. v4 Bring the table inside the tent and put its equipment on it. Then bring the lamp-holder inside the tent too, and attach its lamps to it. v5 Put the *altar of gold where you will burn *incense in front of the box for the *covenant. And put the curtain across the entrance to my tent.

v6 At the entrance to my tent, place the *altar where you burn *sacrifices for me. v7 Place the basin between the special tent and that *altar. And put water in the basin. v8 Hang up the set of curtains to make a yard round the tent. And put the other curtain at the entrance to the yard.

v9 Take the special sweet oil. Mark the tent and everything in it with the oil. That will show that the tent and all its furniture are separate for me. It will be holy. v10 Mark the *altar where you will burn your gifts to me. And mark all its tools too. That will show that the *altar is separate for me. It will be very holy. v11 Mark the basin and its base too. They are separate for me too.

v12 Bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the special tent. Wash them with water. v13 Then dress Aaron in the special holy clothes. Mark him with the special sweet oil and separate him for me. Then he can serve me as priest. v14 Bring his sons and dress them in their special clothes too. v15 Then mark them with the special oil exactly as you marked their father. Then they can serve me as priests too. When you mark them, it will separate their family. Their family will work for me as priests. That family will continue to do that for all time.’

v16 Moses did everything in the way that the *LORD had told him. v17 So he put the tent in its place. It was the first day of the first month in the second year. v18 Moses erected God’s special tent. He put its bases in place and he placed the tall boards on them. He attached the bars and he set up the posts.

v19 Then he spread the first cover over the tent. And he put the outer cover over that. He did it as the *LORD had told him.

v20 God had written his *covenant on two flat stones. Moses took those flat stones and he put them in the special box. He attached the poles to the special box. And he put the cover on the special box. That cover was where God would forgive his people. v21 Then Moses brought the special box into the special tent. And he hung up the curtain to hide the box for the *covenant. Moses did that as the *LORD had told him.

v22 Moses placed the table for the special bread in the tent. He put it on the north side of the Holy Place, outside the curtain. v23 He arranged the bread on the table in front of the *LORD. Moses did that as the *LORD had told him.

v24 Moses placed the lamp-holder in the tent too. He put it on the south side of the Holy Place. It was opposite the table. v25 He attached the lamps in front of the *LORD. Moses did that as the *LORD had told him.

v26 Moses placed the *altar of gold in the tent also. The priests would burn the special powder that has a sweet smell on that *altar. He placed the *altar of gold in front of the curtain. v27 Then he burned the special powder on it to make a sweet smell. Moses did it as the *LORD had told him. v28 Then Moses hung up the curtain at the entrance to God’s special tent.

v29 Next, Moses took the *altar where they would burn gifts. He put it outside the entrance to the special tent. And he gave gifts to God on it. He killed the animals and he burnt them there as a gift to God. And he gave the gifts of grain too. Moses did everything as the *LORD had told him.

v30 Moses placed the basin of *bronze between the special tent and the *altar. And he put water in the basin. The water was for the priests to wash with. v31 Moses, Aaron and his sons used it to wash their hands and their feet. v32 They always washed themselves when they entered God’s special tent. And they washed themselves when they approached the *altar with gifts. They did that as the *LORD had told Moses.

v33 Then Moses hung up the set of curtains to make a yard round the tent. The yard surrounded God’s special tent and the *altar. Then he hung up the curtain that was at the entrance to the yard. So Moses finished the work.

Verses 1-2: The *Israelites had completed all the parts for God’s special tent. Moses had checked everything. Then the *LORD told Moses that they must bring all those things together. They must erect God’s special tent on the first day of the first month. The first month was Abib (or Nisan). Abib was about our month April. This was the second year of their time in the *desert. It had taken them about 6 months to complete the work.

Verse 3: The box for the *covenant must be in the Most Holy Place. The two stones of the *covenant would be in the box for the *covenant. A curtain would separate the Most Holy Place from the Holy Place.

Verses 4-5: In the Holy Place, they must put the table and the lamp-holder. Also, in the Holy Place they must put the *altar of gold. The *altar of gold would be next to the curtain that separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. The Most Holy Place contained the box for the *covenant.

Verses 6-7: The *altar of *bronze must go in the area in front of the tent. That *altar was where the priests would burn the *sacrifices by fire. The large basin of *bronze with its base would go between the *altar of *bronze and the tent. The priests must put water in the basin for them to wash their hands and their feet.

Verse 8: The workers must hang up the set of curtains to make a yard round the tent. And they must put a curtain across the entrance to the yard.

Verses 9-11: The workers had prepared a special holy oil. With some of that oil, they had to mark everything in the yard and in the tent. (See Exodus 35:15.) All those things would then become holy. Then they would be ready for the priests to serve the *LORD.

Verses 12-15: The *LORD told Moses to bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the tent. He must wash them with water to make them clean. Then Aaron and his sons must put on the special clothes for priests. Moses must use the special oil and he must put some on Aaron. He must put the oil on Aaron’s clothes and he must pour some on his head. (See Exodus 29:7; Leviticus 8:12; Psalm 133:2.) Then Aaron could serve the *LORD as the chief priest. Also, Moses must put some of the oil on Aaron’s sons. We do not know whether Moses poured oil on their heads. When Moses had put oil on them they could serve God as priests. By this act, the family of Aaron would become special to the *LORD. From that family would come the men who would serve the *LORD as priests.

Verses 16-19: Moses did what the *LORD had told him to do. He erected the tent and he put the covers over it.

Verses 20-21: Moses put the two stones of the *covenant in the box for the *covenant. And he attached the two poles to the box for the *covenant. Then he hung up the curtain that hid the box for the *covenant.

Verses 22-23: In the Holy Place on the north side, he placed the table. He put 12 loaves of bread on the table. From that time on, the priests would change the 12 loaves each week.

Verses 24-25: On the other side of the Holy Place, Moses placed the lamp-holder. He put the 7 lamps on the lamp-holder.

Verses 26-28: Moses put the *altar of gold in the Holy Place. He put it in front of the curtain to the Most Holy Place. He burned *incense on the *altar. He had put in the tent all the things for the Most Holy Place and for the Holy Place. Then he hung up the curtain that would be the entrance to God’s special tent.

Verse 29: Outside the entrance to God’s special tent, Moses put the *altar of *bronze. There he made *sacrifices by fire to the *LORD.

Verses 30-32: Between the *altar of *bronze and the entrance to the tent, Moses put the large basin. Aaron and his sons washed their hands and their feet with water from the basin. Also, Moses had to wash his hands and his feet. In effect, Moses was the priest until Aaron was able to serve God as the chief priest. The priests must always wash in that way before they offered a *sacrifice to the *LORD. They could not go into God’s special tent unless they had washed first.

Verse 33: Then Moses hung up the set of curtains to make a yard round the tent. And he hung up the curtain at the entrance to the yard.

Moses had completed the work of the special tent and its yard. He had done everything that the *LORD had told him to do.

The *LORD fills God’s special tent               40:34-38

v34 Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting. The *LORD’s wonderful bright light filled the special tent. v35 And the cloud stayed on the Tent of Meeting and the *LORD’s wonderful bright light filled the special tent. So Moses could not enter the special tent as a result.

v36 The *Israelites started all their journeys on the day that God lifted the cloud from above God’s special tent. v37 But if the cloud stayed there, they did not go anywhere. They stayed in that place until God lifted the cloud again. Then they followed the cloud. v38 So the *LORD was with them always. His cloud was above the holy tent during the day. And fire was in the cloud at night. Every *Israelite saw the cloud during all their journeys.

Verses 34-35: When everything was ready, God came to his special tent. He came to live among his people. He covered the tent with his cloud. In the cloud, the wonderful bright light showed to the people that God was there. When that bright light filled the tent, even Moses could not enter it.

Verses 36-37: While the cloud was on God’s special tent, the *Israelites did not move their camp. As soon as the cloud went up, they packed their camp. And they followed where the cloud would lead them.

Verse 38: The cloud remained on God’s special tent day and night. During the night, there was a fire in the cloud. Therefore, even at night, the *Israelites could know that the *LORD was there.

Word List

acacia ~ a kind of tree that grows in dry land.

almond ~ a kind of nut-tree with beautiful flowers.

altar ~ a kind of table where people give gifts or *sacrifices to God or to a false god.

Amalekite ~ a *descendant of Amalek. Amalek was the grandson of Esau. The Amalekites lived in the country between southern *Israel and Egypt. They were enemies of Israel’s people.

ancestors ~ people in your family who lived before you.

angel ~ a servant of God who sometimes brings messages from heaven; or an angel that was good but now he is bad.

breast-piece ~ it covered the front of the upper part of the body. The workers made the priest’s breast-piece from cloth.

bronze ~ a kind of metal; you mix two metals to make it. It is brown.

bud ~ a flower that is not yet open.

bull ~ male farm animal; (the female is called a cow). The *Israelites made a metal image of a bull, which they *worshipped as a god.

burnt-offering ~ an animal that the priests killed and burned on the *altar; that is how people gave animals to God.

Canaan ~ the country that God gave to the *Israelites. *Canaanites lived there. And people called Amorites, Hittites, Hivites, Jebusites and Perizzites also lived there.

Canaanite ~ a person who lived in *Canaan before the *Israelites came; or, anything that had a relationship with that country.

cherub ~ a special *angel. The *Israelites made a model of two cherubs to be on the top of the box for the *covenant.

commandments ~ commands from someone who has authority; rules or commands that God gave to the *Jews; or, the 10 rules that God gave to Moses. That was on the mountain called *Mount Sinai (or Horeb).

covenant ~ This meant that the *Israelites were special to God as his people. And the *LORD was special to them as their God. Because of this covenant, the *LORD gave rules to them about how they should live. If they obeyed those rules, he would cause them to succeed. If they did not obey them, the *LORD would punish them. But when two people or groups of people had a covenant, it was just an agreement.

descendant ~ a child, grandchild, their grandchild and so on.

desert ~ a wild place where there are small bushes and not much water. It has poor soil and people cannot cause crops to grow there. So, not many people live there.

donkey ~ an animal that is like a horse with long ears. People use donkeys as animals to do work. They can carry people or loads. And they can pull carts or ploughs.

Egyptian ~ someone from the country called Egypt; anything with a relationship with Egypt. The *Israelites were slaves in Egypt before God freed them.

ephod ~ part of the chief priest’s special clothes that he wore over his other clothes. It was like a short coat without sleeves. The workers made it out of white *linen and they sewed beautiful designs onto it.

feast ~ a special meal, usually with special food. Often a feast reminds people about an important event, so it happens regularly. For example, God said that *Israelite men should gather together for 3 feasts each year. *Jewish people continue to remember those feasts.

friendship-gift ~ a gift of food to God to thank him; a gift of food to show that you love God; you also gave some of the food to the priests.

generation ~ a period of about 20 to 30 years. During that time, children become adults and they have their own children; or, the *descendants of a person or people during that time.

glory ~ great honour and beauty like the beautiful light round God; splendid beauty.

Hebrew ~ the language that the *Israelites spoke; the language that the authors used to write most of the *Old-Testament; a Hebrew is a *Jewish person or an *Israelite.

hook ~ people hang things from hooks; or they may use them to join things together. To make hooks people bend metal into the shape of a letter U.

horn ~ animals like cows and goats have horns (usually two) that grow out of their heads. The horns stick out and they end in a point. The *Israelite priests used horns from male sheep as musical instruments. They blew into them to make a loud sound. And today people call certain instruments ‘horns’. Also the *altar in God’s special tent had pieces that stuck out at the *altar’s 4 corners. Those pieces were called horns.

incense ~ a special powder that made a sweet smell as it burned.

Israel ~ the nation of people from the family of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the name of the country that God gave to that nation.

Israelite ~ a person from the nation called *Israel; or any thing or person that has a relationship with *Israel; Israelites is another name for the *Jews.

jealous ~ it means that God has strong feelings. The *LORD loves his people. He will not share them with anyone or anything else. He must be the only God of his people and they belong to him. His people must not *worship other gods even if they worship the *LORD as well. They must *worship only the *LORD God.

Jew ~ a person who is from the family of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Jewish ~ a word that describes a *Jew (an *Israelite) or anything that belongs to the *Jews.

Levite ~ an *Israelite who belonged to the *tribe of Levi. Levi was a son of Jacob. Levites had special duties in connection with *worship. All priests among the *Israelites were Levites.

linen ~ a special kind of cloth of good quality. People make it from the stems of a plant that is called flax.

LORD ~ God gave this special name to himself. It translates the word ‘Yahweh’ in the *Hebrew language. It is the name for God by the *Covenant. It links to the words ‘I am’; it means that God has always been here.

lord ~ The word ‘lord’ (without a capital letter) means an ordinary ruler or leader.

Mount ~ mountain. For example, ‘Mount Sinai’ means the mountain called Sinai.

Old-Testament ~ the first part of the Bible, which the writers wrote before the birth of Jesus; it tells about the history and the beliefs of the *Israelites.

olive ~ a fruit that grows on a small tree; people press the green or black fruit to obtain olive oil. People use the oil to cook things in and they use it for fuel in their lamps. The *Israelites also gave this oil to God.

Passover ~ an important holy day for the *Jews. They eat a special meal on this day every year. That meal reminds the *Jews about how God rescued them from Egypt. They remember that God passed over their houses. And he protected their oldest sons.

Pharaoh ~ a word that means the king of Egypt.

pomegranate ~ a large fruit with many seeds that is good to eat.

Sabbath ~ the seventh day of the week, when *Israelites did not work. It is from sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday. There were also special Sabbaths that were not always on a Saturday. But they also had a special year, every 7 years. (See Exodus 23:10-11.) The word can also mean anything that has a relationship with the Sabbath.

sacrifice ~ something valuable that people give to God, or to a false god; or, to give such a thing to God. God would forgive *sin only if they gave a certain *sacrifice.

shekel ~ a shekel weighed about 0.014 kilos (0.5 ounces). The *Israelites used it as a standard to weigh things (especially gold and silver); they used it in God’s special tent and later, in the *temple.

sign ~ something that you do to show something; or, an unusual event that God uses to teach people something. But sometimes people who were not really God’s servants promised signs.

sin ~ when people do something wrong against God or against other people; or, not to obey God.

sinful ~ refers to an action or to a desire that is against God’s law; a wrong or wicked action; a person who does those things is *sinful.

talent ~ a talent weighed about 34 kilos (75 pounds).

temple ~ the chief place for *worship for the *Jews. King Solomon built the first temple for God in Jerusalem. But the word can refer to a similar building for a false god.

tribe ~ a group of people from the same race, who are all *descendants of one person. The tribes of *Israel were the 12 large families of Jacob’s sons.

worship ~ when people show honour to God, or to a false god. People may sing or they may pray. Or they may kneel down or they may give a *sacrifice.

yeast ~ a substance that people use to make bread. Yeast makes the bread rise. Without yeast, bread is flat and hard.

Book List

Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible ~ Baker Publishing Group; Abridged edition (Aug. 1983)

Albert Barnes’s Notes on the Whole Bible

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary of the Bible ~ Zondervan Classic Reference Series

John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible

John I Durham ~ Exodus ~ NELSON/WORD Publishing Group, 1987

R Alan Cole ~ Exodus ~ Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries ~ Inter-Varsity Press

Umberto Cassuto, Israel Abrahams (Translator) ~ A Commentary on the Book of Exodus ~ The Magnes Press, 1967

Walter C Kaiser ~ Exodus ~ The Expositor’s Bible Commentary ~ Zondervan, 1990

Bible versions:

Hilda Bright and Kitty Pride ~ EasyEnglish commentary: Exodus: Israel becomes a nation

They used the following:

            New International Version Study Bible

            New International Reader’s Version 1998

            Today’s English Version

            New English Bible

            Jerusalem Bible

            Contemporary English Version

 

© 1997-2017, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

This publication is in EasyEnglish Level B (2800 words).

September 2017

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