Moses puts up the tabernacle
1 Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 ‘On the first day of the first month, put up the tabernacle, the Tent of Meeting. 3 Put the Covenant Box in the tabernacle and hide it behind the special curtain. 4 Bring in the special table and put the dishes on it. Then bring in the lampstand. Fix its lamps on it. 5 Put the gold altar for incense in front of the Covenant Box. Hang the curtain that will be at the entrance to the tabernacle.
40:2The Tent of Meeting and the Tabernacle usually mean the same tent. Sometimes the Tent of Meeting means only the tent itself and the Tabernacle means the tent and the yard that were around it.
6 Put the altar for burnt offerings in front of the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. 7 Put the large bowl for water between the Tent of Meeting and the altar. Put water in the bowl. 8 Hang the curtains around the yard of the tabernacle, as well as the curtain at the entrance to the yard.
9 Take the special oil that makes things holy. Pour some oil on the tabernacle and on everything that is in it. Offer the tabernacle and all its things to God, and then it will be holy. 10 Then pour some oil on the altar for burnt offerings and all its tools. Offer it all to God, and then it will be completely holy. 11 Pour some oil on the large bowl for water and on its base to offer them to God.
12 Bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. Wash them with water. 13 Then dress Aaron in the special clothes for the priest. Pour some of the special oil on his head. Offer him to me to serve me as my priest. 14 Also bring his sons and dress them in the special long shirts. 15 Pour some oil on their heads, as you did to their father. Then they too may serve me as my priests. In this way, they and their descendants will always continue to serve me as priests.’
16 Moses did all these things, as the Lord had commanded him.
17 So they put up the tabernacle on the first day of the first month. It was in the second year after they had left Egypt. 18 When Moses put up the tabernacle, he first put the metal bases in their right places. Then he put up the boards, the bars to hold them, and the poles. 19 Then he covered the tabernacle with the tent and he put the leather covers over the tent. He did this in the way that the Lord had commanded him.
20 Moses took the two flat stones with God's special commands on them. He put them inside the Covenant Box. He put the poles through the rings on the box. He put the special lid on top of the box. 21 Then he brought the Coventant Box into the tabernacle. He hung the special curtain to hide it, so that nobody could see it. He did this in the way that the Lord had commanded him.
22 Moses put the special table inside the Tent of Meeting. He put it outside the curtain, on the north side of the Holy Place. 23 He put the special bread on the table as an offering to the Lord, as the Lord had commanded him.
24 He also put the lampstand in the Tent of Meeting. He put it on the south side of the Holy Place, opposite the table. 25 Then he put the lamps in their places in front of the Lord, as the Lord had commanded him.
26 Moses put the gold altar in the Tent of Meeting, outside the curtain that hid the Covenant Box. 27 He burned sweet incense on it, as the Lord had commanded him. 28 Then he hung the curtain at the entrance of the tent.
29 He put the altar for burnt offerings outside the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. He offered a burnt offering and a grain offering on it, as the Lord had commanded him.
30 Moses put the large bowl for water between the Tent of Meeting and the altar. He put water in it for the priests to wash themselves. 31 Moses and Aaron and Aaron's sons used the water to wash their hands and their feet. 32 They washed themselves every time that they went into the Tent of Meeting. They also washed themselves before they went to offer sacrifices at the altar. They did what the Lord had commanded Moses to do.
33 Moses also made the yard around the tabernacle and round the altar. He hung the curtain at the entrance of the yard.
In that way, Moses finished the work.
The glory of the Lord
34 Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting. The glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35 Moses could not go into the Tent of Meeting because of the cloud and the bright glory of the Lord.
36 The Israelites followed the cloud during all their journeys. Every time that the cloud rose up from the tabernacle, they would continue on their journey. 37 But if the cloud remained on the tabernacle, the Israelites did not travel. They stayed where they were until the day when the cloud rose up. 38 So the cloud stayed over the tabernacle during the day, to show that the Lord was with them. During the night, there was fire in the cloud. All the Israelites could see the cloud during all their journeys.