The Torah reading for this week’s Parasha is entitled Vayakhel which mean, “And he assembled” it covers Exodus 35:1 – 38:20.
Let’s recap, this paratha is a repeat of exodus chapters, 25:1-27:19.
Remember Moses was given these same instructions on mount Sinai. The Israelis would then become corrupt, and the golden calf incident occurred. Moses pleaded with Adonai not to destroy Israel, so Adonai relented from His wrath and poured out his grace once again.
Chapter 35, can be divided into three major parts:
2. The Contributions
3. The Craftsman
The command to observe the fourth Commandment (the Sabbath) was repeated, with a striking addition, now a penalty of death was to be upon the Sabbath-breaker.
These contributions or offerings were also commanded. Giving for the Lord’s work is not optional as some would like to think.
In Verse 4, Moses said to the Israeli nation, “This is what Adonai has commanded” in verse 5 of the CJB. It says, start a collection for Adonai from among yourselves — anyone whose heart makes him willing is to bring the offering to the Lord.
Repeatedly Moses used the words “willing-hearted,” the
Hebrew phrase signifies a heart driven by a holy purpose.
There were seven categories of gifts that were to be brought, Metals, (gold silver and brass), cloth (blue, purple, scarlet, fine linen, and goats’ hair). leathers, (ram’s and badgers’ skins,) wood, (acacia and shittim wood.) oil, (for light,) spices, for the (anointing, incense,) and jewels (onyx stones and those jewels needed for the ephod and breastplate of the high priests’ special garments.
The materials given were slightly over a ton of gold, almost four tons of silver, and about two and a half tons of bronze.
These contributions were to make the tabernacle and all that was associated with it.
This included the ark, the table of showbread, the lampstand, the altar of incense, the anointing oil, the sweet incense, the altar of burnt offerings, the laver, and the garments for the priest who served in the Tabernacle.
The Craftsman, the Holy Spirit gave Bezalel and Oholiab the wisdom to know what to do and the ability to do it. In the same way today, we are empowered to do the work for which we are called.
Chapter 36, The Holy Spirit had moved on the people’s hearts so gracefully, Moses had to restrain them not to bring any more. In addition, they also gave of their time and talents.
Chapter 37, Opens as Bezaleel, and his craftsman are busy making the tabernacle furnishings. The first item discussed is the ark with its atonement cover. This is the most sacred.
This is the Ark of the covenant. For this the holy tent was designed. For this the holiest place was set apart.
This is the richest and most holy jewel of the sacred tent.
The ark was made of acacia wood and overlaid with pure gold both inside and out. The ark was approximately 45 inches long 27 inches high and 27 inches wide.
The atonement cover was the lid covering the ark, which was made of pure and solid gold. On the atonement cover were two cherubim’s facing each other, and each looking intently on the mercy lid below; they also were made of pure and solid gold. This is the place from which the three in one God, the Presence of The Most Holy, had chosen to commune with his people.
The table of showbread was made of acacia wood veneer with gold, it measured 3 feet long, 18 inches wide and 18 inches high and was to be carried by gold cover poles made of acacia wood in the same manner as the ark. A molding about 3 inches wide around the image of the table would keep objects from falling off.
The table positioned on the north side of the Holy tent, were placed 12 loafs, that were to be in stacks of six and were to be replace on each Sabbath. Golden plates and ladles… Pitchers and bow for drink offerings would also to be placed on the table.
The golden lampstand was hammered out of about 75 pounds of gold, it was undoubtedly a beautiful work of art with its six branches and a central shaft made it seven lamps, decorated with almond flowers, buds, and blossoms, which were fed pure oil of press olives.
The golden lampstand was the only source of light available in the holy place, this light allowed the priest to serve before The Lord
The alter of incense was the tallest of the furnishings in the holy place. It was also placed right before the vail of the Holy of Holies.
This altar was a small movable table, made of acacia wood overlaid with gold. And was carried by two poles of acacia wood over laid with gold,
This was a plain design of 18 inches by 18 inches by 36 inches in height.
“He made . . . the pure incense of sweet spices, according to the work of the apothecary, it was made as Adonai had prescribed.
The high Priest would officiate the morning and evening services, by burning incense on this altar, The fire had to come from the brazen altar of the sacrifices.
This smoke from the incense would go beyond the curtain and into the holy of holies before the seat of atonement. This incense was a “sweet fragrance to the Lord,” and the smoke, a type of prayer.
Chapter 38, The altar of burnt offerings, this altar was the first thing a person would see when he came into the court of the Tabernacle.
On it were all the sacrifices.
This was the largest piece of furniture of the Tabernacle. It was 7 and a half feet square and 4 and a half feet high.
This altar had the same wood as the others, but the metal was different. It was bronze instead of gold.
Mounted on the corners of the altar were horns. These provided places by which the sacrifice could be tie and bound if necessary.
Bezalel and the craftsmen made all the vessels of the altar, the pots, the shovels, the basons, the fleshhooks, the firepans, the grating, all the vessels were made of bronze.
The laver and its base were made of bronze, from the mirrors of the women that ministered at the tent of meeting.
These mirrors were either artfully joined together, or else molten down and cast anew.
It is probable that the laver was so brightly burnished that the sides of it still served for mirrors.
The Word of God is also compared to a mirror for its revealing qualities, and to water for cleansing.
The Tabernacle tent had a courtyard around it, fenced “by the hangings of fine twined linen.” which means the fence was all white, this fence was made of pure cloth.
It occupied a space of 150 feet by 75, about 8 feet high, suspended on brazen or copper pillars. Those curtains were secured by rods fastened to the top and kept extended by being fastened to pins stuck in the ground.
Some prayerful, thoughts, Father, it is humbling when we think that the King of all of heaven and earth, the creator of all things, the God of all eternity, wants his presence to be near his redeemed children.
we read of how your spirit hovered over the waters in the creation account. And how your spirit manifested itself as the burning bush to Moses. Your presence dwelt among your people as a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.
You put your presence in the Tabernacle, in the holy of holies over the seat of atonement. Then you move Your presence into the temple.
Then You came amongst us in the person of Messiah Yeshua, Jesus the Christ, the holy Lamb of God, and He became our salvation.
And now through the person of God the Holy Spirit who dwells in our hearts by faith. Oh, impressive and mighty God, we can only say, thank you, thank you, “Lord God” thank you, for your glorious Holy Presence.