Exodus 31

 

וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר   31:1

Exod. 31:1      And the Lord spoke to Moses saying,

רְאֵה קָרָאתִי בְשֵׁם בְּצַלְאֵל בֶּן־אוּרִי בֶן־חוּר לְמַטֵּה יְהוּדָה   31:2

Exod. 31:2      “See I have called by name Bezaleel son of Uri son of Hur of the tribe of Judah,

וָאֲמַלֵּא אֹתֹו רוּחַ אֱלֹהִים בְּחָכְמָה וּבִתְבוּנָה וּבְדַעַת וּבְכָל־מְלָאכָה   31:3

Exod. 31:3      and I will give him the fullness of the spirit of God, with wisdom and with understanding, and with knowledge, and with all manner of craftsmanship

The first word in the verse, translated as and I will give ... the fullness..., is a first-person imperfect verb with a non-inverting vav.

לַחְשֹׁב מַחֲשָׁבֹת לַעֲשֹׂות בַּזָּהָב וּבַכֶּסֶף וּבַנְּחֹשֶׁת   31:4

Exod. 31:4      to devise cunning designs, to do work in gold and in silver and in brass,

וּבַחֲרֹשֶׁת אֶבֶן לְמַלֹּאת וּבַחֲרֹשֶׁת עֵץ לַעֲשֹׂות בְּכָל־מְלָאכָה   31:5

Exod. 31:5      and in cutting stones for settings, and in carving wood, to perform in every kind of work.”

The name Bazaleel means In the shadow of God.  This name seems to be both descriptive and prophetic.  It is descriptive in the sense that he would be crafting the tabernacle and all its articles under the Lord’s guidance.  It is prophetic in that his task was to build the tabernacle, which itself would be in the shadow of God.  He is the grandson of Hur, presumably the same individual mentioned in Chapters 17 (Exod. 17:10, 17:12) and 24 (Exod. 24:14).  Oddly enough, after Moses appointed Aaron and Hur the leaders of the people for the time he remained on Mount Sinai, we never again hear of Hur.  The Talmudic rabbis thought that Hur was killed by the people when he allegedly protested their desire for a false god in the incident of the golden calf (next chapter).  That certainly appears to be a reasonable presumption, but there is only slight circumstantial evidence for it in the Torah.                                                                                                                                                             [Return to Exod. 32:2]

וַאֲנִי הִנֵּה נָתַתִּי אִתֹּו אֵת אָהֳלִיאָב בֶּן־אֲחִיסָמָךְ לְמַטֵּה־דָן וּבְלֵב כָּל־חֲכַם־לֵב נָתַתִּי חָכְמָה וְעָשׂוּ   31:6

אֵת כָּל־אֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתִךָ

Exod. 31:6      “And I, behold, I have appointed with him Aholiab son of Ahisamach of the tribe of Dan.  And I have put wisdom in the heart of everyone wise-hearted so they can make all that I have commanded you:

אֵת אֹהֶל מֹועֵד וְאֶת־הָאָרֹן לָעֵדֻת וְאֶת־הַכַּפֹּרֶת אֲשֶׁר עָלָיו וְאֵת כָּל־כְּלֵי הָאֹהֶל   31:7

Exod. 31:7      The tent of meeting, and the ark of the testimony, and the ark cover that is on it, and all the furniture of the tent,

וְאֶת־הַשֻּׁלְחָן וְאֶת־כֵּלָיו וְאֶת־הַמְּנֹרָה הַטְּהֹרָה וְאֶת־כָּל־כֵּלֶיהָ וְאֵת מִזְבַּח הַקְּטֹרֶת   31:8

Exod. 31:8      and the table and its implements, and the lamp stand of purity and all its implements, and the altar of incense

וְאֶת־מִזְבַּח הָעֹלָה וְאֶת־כָּל־כֵּלָיו וְאֶת־הַכִּיֹּור וְאֶת־כַּנֹּו   31:9

Exod. 31:9      and the altar of the burnt offering and all its implements, and the laver and its base,

וְאֵת בִּגְדֵי הַשְּׂרָד וְאֶת־בִּגְדֵי הַקֹּדֶשׁ לְאַהֲרֹן הַכֹּהֵן וְאֶת־בִּגְדֵי בָנָיו לְכַהֵן   31:10

Exod. 31:10    and the plaited garments and the holy garments for Aaron, the priest, and the garments of his sons to minister as priests,

וְאֵת שֶׁמֶן הַמִּשְׁחָה וְאֶת־קְטֹרֶת הַסַּמִּים לַקֹּדֶשׁ כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר־צִוִּיתִךָ יַעֲשׂוּ   31:11

Exod. 31:11    and the oil of anointing, and the incense of sweet spices for the holy place.  According to all that I have commanded you, they shall do.”

וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר   31:12

Exod. 31:12    And the Lord spoke to Moses saying,

וְאַתָּה דַּבֵּר אֶל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר אַךְ אֶת־שַׁבְּתֹתַי תִּשְׁמֹרוּ כִּי אֹות הִוא בֵּינִי וּבֵינֵיכֶם לְדֹרֹתֵיכֶם   31:13

לָדַעַת כִּי אֲנִי יְהוָה מְקַדִּשְׁכֶם

Exod. 31:13    “And you speak to the children of Israel saying, ‘Surely you shall keep My Sabbaths, for it shall be a sign between Me and you throughout your generations to know that I am the Lord Who sanctifies you.’

Here, as in v. 31:31, we again see what I believe to be the Lord’s way to speak directly to us here now, to those of us who cannot or will not hear Him in our minds and hearts.  Notice the first person pronouns for God, all singular.  In addition, in this verse the Lord does not say to Moses you shall speak.  The word speak is imperative in its form. The emphasis is on the word you.  I believe this is intended to convey that Moses is to speak in our time -- to every future generation.

וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם אֶת־הַשַּׁבָּת כִּי קֹדֶשׁ הִוא לָכֶם מְחַלְלֶיהָ מֹות יוּמָת כִּי כָּל־הָעֹשֶׂה בָהּ מְלָאכָה וְנִכְרְתָה   31:14

הַנֶּפֶשׁ הַהִוא מִקֶּרֶב עַמֶּיהָ

Exod. 31:14    ‘You shall keep the Sabbath, for it is holy to you.  Whoever profanes it shall surely die.  When any one will be doing work on it, then that soul will be cut off from the midst of its people.’

שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים יֵעָשֶׂה מְלָאכָה וּבַיֹּום הַשְּׁבִיעִי שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתֹון קֹדֶשׁ לַיהוָה כָּל־הָעֹשֶׂה מְלָאכָה בְּיֹום    31:15

הַשַּׁבָּת מֹות יוּמָת

Exod. 31:15    ‘Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be a Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord.  Whoever will be doing work on the Sabbath day shall surely die.’

Verses 31:14 and 15 don’t help in further identifying what is forbidden on the Sabbath.   More >>

וְשָׁמְרוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־הַשַּׁבָּת לַעֲשֹׂות אֶת־הַשַּׁבָּת לְדֹרֹתָם בְּרִית עֹולָם   31:16

Exod. 31:16    ‘So the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant.’

בֵּינִי וּבֵין בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֹות הִוא לְעֹלָם כִּי־שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים עָשָׂה יְהוָה אֶת־הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֶת־הָאָרֶץ וּבַיֹּום   31:17

הַשְּׁבִיעִי שָׁבַת וַיִּנָּפַשׁ

Exod. 31:17    ‘It shall be a sign between Me and the children of Israel for ever, for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth and on the seventh day He kept the Sabbath and was refreshed.’”

וַיִּתֵּן אֶל־מֹשֶׁה כְּכַלֹּתֹו לְדַבֵּר אִתֹּו בְּהַר סִינַי שְׁנֵי לֻחֹת הָעֵדֻת לֻחֹת אֶבֶן כְּתֻבִים בְּאֶצְבַּע אֱלֹהִים   31:18

Exod. 31:18    And, when He finished speaking with him on Mount Sinai, He gave to Moses the two tablets of the testimony, stone tablets inscribed by the finger of God.

Torah Commandments in this Chapter

115. Whoever profanes the Sabbath shall surely die.   V. 31:14

 

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