וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר 25:1
Exod. 25:1 And the Lord spoke to Moses saying,
דַּבֵּר אֶל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְיִקְחוּ־לִי תְּרוּמָה מֵאֵת כָּל־אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר יִדְּבֶנּוּ לִבֹּו תִּקְחוּ אֶת־תְּרוּמָתִי 25:2
Exod. 25:2 “Declare to the children of Israel that they shall bring an offering to Me. From everyone whose heart will make him willing, you shall take My offering.” [Return to Levi. 26:13]
The pronoun you in the last phrase is plural, indicating that Moses need not be alone in receiving the people’s gifts. The priests and Levites would be helping him amass the gifts of the people.
Much more important, I understand the second part of this verse to be a critically vital indication of what the Lord asks of us. The gifts for Him are only to be given willingly. The phrase whose heart will make willing can be idiomatically translated as who volunteers or who wishes to donate. To me this means that gifts given grudgingly or to earn favor are not acceptable and shall not be taken.
To my way of thinking, this understanding expands to include not just these particular gifts, but everything that we do in service to the Lord. However we may serve Him, we are to do it without grievance, without reluctance, without misgivings. We give our service, a gift to the Lord, with whole and eager and joyous heart. We give without considering reward and simply out of our love for the Lord. Whatever we do without this purity of heart is not desired of us. I consider this realization to be a unique pillar of Judaism.
וְזֹאת הַתְּרוּמָה אֲשֶׁר תִּקְחוּ מֵאִתָּם זָהָב וָכֶסֶף וּנְחֹשֶׁת 25:3
Exod. 25:3 “And this is the offering that you shall take from them: Gold and silver and brass,
וּתְכֵלֶת וְאַרְגָּמָן וְתֹולַעַת שָׁנִי וְשֵׁשׁ וְעִזִּים 25:4
Exod. 25:4 and blue and purple and scarlet cloth, and fine linen, and goat skins,
וְעֹרֹת אֵילִם מְאָדָּמִים וְעֹרֹת תְּחָשִׁים וַעֲצֵי שִׁטִּים 25:5
Exod. 25:5 and skins of rams dyed red, and skins of badgers, and woods of acacia,
שֶׁמֶן לַמָּאֹר בְּשָׂמִים לְשֶׁמֶן הַמִּשְׁחָה וְלִקְטֹרֶת הַסַּמִּים 25:6
Exod. 25:6 oil for the light, spices for the oil of anointing and for the sweet incense,
אַבְנֵי־שֹׁהַם וְאַבְנֵי מִלֻּאִים לָאֵפֹד וְלַחֹשֶׁן 25:7
Exod. 25:7 stones of onyx, and stones to set in the ephod and in the breastplate.”
The term ephod seems to be used in two different ways. In this context it is part of the holy garments, the linen apron worn on the shoulders of the high priest. We will learn more about these items later. However, they are shrouded in mystery to this day.
וְעָשׂוּ לִי מִקְדָּשׁ וְשָׁכַנְתִּי בְּתֹוכָם 25:8
Exod. 25:8 “And they shall make a sanctuary for Me that I may dwell among them.”
כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי מַרְאֶה אֹותְךָ אֵת תַּבְנִית הַמִּשְׁכָּן וְאֵת תַּבְנִית כָּל־כֵּלָיו וְכֵן תַּעֲשׂוּ 25:9
Exod. 25:9 “According to all that I am showing you, the construction of the Tabernacle and the construction of all its articles, just so shall you make it.”
From this verse we may conclude that the Lord showed Moses a picture or a vision of the finished products the Lord was describing.
וְעָשׂוּ אֲרֹון עֲצֵי שִׁטִּים אַמָּתַיִם וָחֵצִי אָרְכֹּו וְאַמָּה וָחֵצִי רָחְבֹּו וְאַמָּה וָחֵצִי קֹמָתֹו 25:10
Exod. 25:10 “And they shall make an ark of the wood of acacia, two cubits and a half its length and a cubit and a half its width and a cubit and a half its height.”
From v. 25:23 below we are able to presume that the cubit referred to here is about eighteen inches. That would make the ark about forty-five inches long and twenty-seven inches in width and height.
וְצִפִּיתָ אֹתֹו זָהָב טָהֹור מִבַּיִת וּמִחוּץ תְּצַפֶּנּוּ וְעָשִׂיתָ עָלָיו זֵר זָהָב סָבִיב 25:11
Exod. 25:11 “And you shall overlay it pure gold. Inside and outside you shall overlay it. And you shall make over it a crown of gold all around.”
וְיָצַקְתָּ לֹּו אַרְבַּע טַבְּעֹת זָהָב וְנָתַתָּה עַל אַרְבַּע פַּעֲמֹתָיו וּשְׁתֵּי טַבָּעֹת עַל־צַלְעֹו הָאֶחָת וּשְׁתֵּי 25:12
טַבָּעֹת עַל־צַלְעֹו הַשֵּׁנִית
Exod. 25:12 “And you shall cast four rings of gold for it that you shall put on its four corners, with two rings on one side of it, and two rings on the other side of it.”
The eighth Hebrew word in this verse, wyt_'moP, translated as its ... corners, is somewhat peculiar here. The root of the word has various meanings, such as stroke, beat, occurrence, foot, footstep, once (as in once upon a time or happened once), time (as in one time), or corner. In only three instances in the bible is the word translated as its ... corners, here, Exod. 37:3, and 1Kin. 7:30 (some translators have preferred feet rather than corners, although this choice is strange, given that the ark has to be carried with staves through these rings; see vss. 25:13 to 25:15). In at least two of the cases (this verse and Exod. 37:3), I suspect the scribe might have been describing what the corners looked like. And I think what he was implying by his use of the term was a sort of decorative foot-like projection at each of the corners of the gold crown described in v. 25:11, and projecting below it. These foot-like corners might have looked something like the kind of decorative short inverted pedestals we often see carved at the corners of classic styled furniture. [Return to Exod. 37:3]
וְעָשִׂיתָ בַדֵּי עֲצֵי שִׁטִּים וְצִפִּיתָ אֹתָם זָהָב 25:13
Exod. 25:13 “And you shall make staves of wood of acacia and you shall lay gold over them.”
וְהֵבֵאתָ אֶת־הַבַּדִּים בַּטַּבָּעֹת עַל צַלְעֹת הָאָרֹן לָשֵׂאת אֶת־הָאָרֹן בָּהֶם 25:14
Exod. 25:14 “And you shall bring the staves into the rings on the sides of the ark to bear the ark with them.”
בְּטַבְּעֹת הָאָרֹן יִהְיוּ הַבַּדִּים לֹא יָסֻרוּ מִמֶּנּוּ 25:15
Exod. 25:15 “The staves shall remain in the rings of the ark. They shall not be removed from it.”
וְנָתַתָּ אֶל־הָאָרֹן אֵת הָעֵדֻת אֲשֶׁר אֶתֵּן אֵלֶיךָ 25:16
Exod. 25:16 “And you shall put into the ark the testimony that I shall give to you.”
וְעָשִׂיתָ כַפֹּרֶת זָהָב טָהֹור אַמָּתַיִם וָחֵצִי אָרְכָּהּ וְאַמָּה וָחֵצִי רָחְבָּהּ 25:17
Exod. 25:17 “And you shall make an ark cover of pure gold, two cubits and a half its length and a cubit and a half its width.”
וְעָשִׂיתָ שְׁנַיִם כְּרֻבִים זָהָב מִקְשָׁה תַּעֲשֶׂה אֹתָם מִשְּׁנֵי קְצֹות הַכַּפֹּרֶת 25:18
Exod. 25:18 “And you shall make two cherubim of gold; you shall make them out of beaten work from the two ends of the ark cover.”
וַעֲשֵׂה כְּרוּב אֶחָד מִקָּצָה מִזֶּה וּכְרוּב־אֶחָד מִקָּצָה מִזֶּה מִן־הַכַּפֹּרֶת תַּעֲשׂוּ אֶת־הַכְּרֻבִים עַל־שְׁנֵי 25:19
Exod. 25:19 “And make one cherub at this end and one cherub at that end from the ark cover. You shall fashion the cherubim on its two ends.” [Return to Exod. 37:8]
וְהָיוּ הַכְּרֻבִים פֹּרְשֵׂי כְנָפַיִם לְמַעְלָה סֹכְכִים בְּכַנְפֵיהֶם עַל־הַכַּפֹּרֶת וּפְנֵיהֶם אִישׁ אֶל־אָחִיו אֶל־ 25:20
הַכַּפֹּרֶת יִהְיוּ פְּנֵי הַכְּרֻבִים
Exod. 25:20 “And the wings of the cherubim shall be spread protectively on high, with their wings over the ark cover and their faces each to the other. The faces of the cherubim shall be toward the ark cover.”
The cherubim and the ark cover were to made from one piece of gold. Can you imagine what that entailed? Beaten work (v. 25:18) implies that the entire work was to be forged. We’re not informed of the thickness of the gold cover or if the cherubim are solid or hollow -- fashioned of thin foil. If the entire piece was reasonably solid, the assembly would have to be carried by more than a few men. If the cover was fairly thin and the cherubim were hollow, then perhaps four or six men could carry the entire wood and gold ark, its contents, and its gold cover for reasonable distances. The approximate horizontal area of the cover was 10 square feet.
וְנָתַתָּ אֶת־הַכַּפֹּרֶת עַל־הָאָרֹן מִלְמָעְלָה וְאֶל־הָאָרֹן תִּתֵּן אֶת־הָעֵדֻת אֲשֶׁר אֶתֵּן אֵלֶיךָ 25:21
Exod. 25:21 “And you shall put the ark cover on the ark from above, and you shall deliver the testimony that I shall give to you to the ark.”
וְנֹועַדְתִּי לְךָ שָׁם וְדִבַּרְתִּי אִתְּךָ מֵעַל הַכַּפֹּרֶת מִבֵּין שְׁנֵי הַכְּרֻבִים אֲשֶׁר עַל־אֲרֹן הָעֵדֻת אֵת כָּל־ 25:22
אֲשֶׁר אֲצַוֶּה אֹותְךָ אֶל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל
Exod. 25:22 “And My meeting place for you will be there, and I will speak with you (from above the ark cover, from between the two cherubim that are on the ark of the testimony) all that I will command you concerning the children of Israel.” [Return to 2Sam. 6:2]
וְעָשִׂיתָ שֻׁלְחָן עֲצֵי שִׁטִּים אַמָּתַיִם אָרְכֹּו וְאַמָּה רָחְבֹּו וְאַמָּה וָחֵצִי קֹמָתֹו 25:23
Exod. 25:23 “And you shall make a table of wood of acacia, two cubits its length and one cubit its width and a cubit and a half its height.”
If the table is to be a typical height of about twenty-seven inches (people were shorter in those days), the cubit being used for these dimensions would be about eighteen inches. That would make the table about thirty-six inches wide and eighteen inches deep.
וְצִפִּיתָ אֹתֹו זָהָב טָהֹור וְעָשִׂיתָ לֹּו זֵר זָהָב סָבִיב 25:24
Exod. 25:24 “And you shall overlay it pure gold, and make a crown of gold for it all around.”
וְעָשִׂיתָ לֹּו מִסְגֶּרֶת טֹפַח סָבִיב וְעָשִׂיתָ זֵר־זָהָב לְמִסְגַּרְתֹּו סָבִיב 25:25
Exod. 25:25 “And you shall make a border of a handbreadth for it all around. And you shall make a crown of gold for its border all around.”
וְעָשִׂיתָ לֹּו אַרְבַּע טַבְּעֹת זָהָב וְנָתַתָּ אֶת־הַטַּבָּעֹת עַל אַרְבַּע הַפֵּאֹת אֲשֶׁר לְאַרְבַּע רַגְלָיו 25:26
Exod. 25:26 “And you shall make for it four rings of gold, and fasten the rings at the four corners that are for its four legs.”
לְעֻמַּת הַמִּסְגֶּרֶת תִּהְיֶיןָ הַטַּבָּעֹת לְבָתִּים לְבַדִּים לָשֵׂאת אֶת־הַשֻּׁלְחָן 25:27
Exod. 25:27 “The rings shall be at the side of the border for locations for the staves to bear the table.”
וְעָשִׂיתָ אֶת־הַבַּדִּים עֲצֵי שִׁטִּים וְצִפִּיתָ אֹתָם זָהָב וְנִשָּׂא־בָם אֶת־הַשֻּׁלְחָן 25:28
Exod. 25:28 “And you shall make the staves of wood of acacia, and you shall lay gold over them, and the table shall be borne with them.”
וְעָשִׂיתָ קְּעָרֹתָיו וְכַפֹּתָיו וּקְשֹׂותָיו וּמְנַקִּיֹּתָיו אֲשֶׁר יֻסַּךְ בָּהֵן זָהָב טָהֹור תַּעֲשֶׂה אֹתָם 25:29
Exod. 25:29 “And you shall make its dishes and its spoons and its cups and its basins, with which one shall pour. Of pure gold you shall make them.”
וְנָתַתָּ עַל־הַשֻּׁלְחָן לֶחֶם פָּנִים לְפָנַי תָּמִיד 25:30
Exod. 25:30 “And you shall set the show bread continually on the table before Me.”
[Return to Levi.24:7]
I deem this verse is a commandment, although it is surrounded by one-time instructions. While it is addressed to Moses, it is apparently intended to be a eternal instruction for all high priests beginning with Aaron.
וְעָשִׂיתָ מְנֹרַת זָהָב טָהֹור מִקְשָׁה תֵּעָשֶׂה הַמְּנֹורָה יְרֵכָהּ וְקָנָהּ גְּבִיעֶיהָ כַּפְתֹּרֶיהָ וּפְרָחֶיהָ מִמֶּנָּה 25:31
Exod. 25:31 “And you shall make a lamp stand of pure gold. The lamp stand shall be fashioned of beaten work; its base and its shaft, its cups, its knops, and its flowers, they shall be from it.”
The knops (pronounced with a silent k) are ornamental knobs.
וְשִׁשָּׁה קָנִים יֹצְאִים מִצִּדֶּיהָ שְׁלֹשָׁה קְנֵי מְנֹרָה מִצִּדָּהּ הָאֶחָד וּשְׁלֹשָׁה קְנֵי מְנֹרָה מִצִּדָּהּ הַשֵּׁנִי 25:32
Exod. 25:32 “And six branches shall be coming out from its sides, three branches of the lamp stand from its one side and three branches of the lamp stand from its other side.”
שְׁלֹשָׁה גְבִעִים מְשֻׁקָּדִים בַּקָּנֶה הָאֶחָד כַּפְתֹּר וָפֶרַח וּשְׁלֹשָׁה גְבִעִים מְשֻׁקָּדִים בַּקָּנֶה הָאֶחָד 25:33
כַּפְתֹּר וָפָרַח כֵּן לְשֵׁשֶׁת הַקָּנִים הַיֹּצְאִים מִן־הַמְּנֹרָה
Exod. 25:33 “The one branch, three cups like almond blossoms, a knop and a flower, and the other branch, three cups like almond blossoms, a knop and a flower. So it shall be for the six branches coming out from the candlestick.”
וּבַמְּנֹרָה אַרְבָּעָה גְבִעִים מְשֻׁקָּדִים כַּפְתֹּרֶיהָ וּפְרָחֶיהָ 25:34
Exod. 25:34 “And on the lamp stand, four cups like almond blossoms, its knops, and its flowers.”
וְכַפְתֹּר תַּחַת שְׁנֵי הַקָּנִים מִמֶּנָּה וְכַפְתֹּר תַּחַת שְׁנֵי הַקָּנִים מִמֶּנָּה וְכַפְתֹּר תַּחַת־שְׁנֵי הַקָּנִים מִמֶּנָּה 25:35
לְשֵׁשֶׁת הַקָּנִים הַיֹּצְאִים מִן־הַמְּנֹרָה
Exod. 25:35 “And a knop shall be under two of the branches from it, and a knop under two of the branches from it, and a knop under two of the branches from it, for the six branches coming out from the candlestick.”
כַּפְתֹּרֵיהֶם וּקְנֹתָם מִמֶּנָּה יִהְיוּ כֻּלָּהּ מִקְשָׁה אַחַת זָהָב טָהֹור 25:36
Exod. 25:36 “Their knops and their branches, they shall be from it. All of it shall be of one beaten work of pure gold.”
וְעָשִׂיתָ אֶת־נֵרֹתֶיהָ שִׁבְעָה וְהֶעֱלָה אֶת־נֵרֹתֶיהָ וְהֵאִיר עַל־עֵבֶר פָּנֶיהָ 25:37
Exod. 25:37 “And you shall make its seven lamps, and he shall bring up its lamps so it will give light beyond the region of itself.”
I’m assuming that in this verse Moses is being instructed to tell the craftsman of the candlestick to raise the cups so they are high enough to light the surrounding area, perhaps the entire interior of the Tabernacle.
וּמַלְקָחֶיהָ וּמַחְתֹּתֶיהָ זָהָב טָהֹור 25:38
Exod. 25:38 “And its tongs and its snuff dishes shall be pure gold.”
כִּכָּר זָהָב טָהֹור יַעֲשֶׂה אֹתָהּ אֵת כָּל־הַכֵּלִים הָאֵלֶּה 25:39
Exod. 25:39 “He shall make it of a talent of pure gold, with all these implements.”
A talent is said to be about the weight of water in a container that measured one foot cubed. That would be about sixty-five pounds. The candlestick, its lamps, and the implements mentioned in v. 25:38 were all made of the one talent of gold.
וּרְאֵה וַעֲשֵׂה בְּתַבְנִיתָם אֲשֶׁר־אַתָּה מָרְאֶה בָּהָר 25:40
Exod. 25:40 “And consider, and work by their patterns that you are being shown in the mountain.”
Once more we’re reminded that Moses was shown a picture or a vision of all that is being described here.
Torah Commandments in this Chapter
98. You shall set the show bread continually on the table. V. 25:30
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