The Lord said to Moses, ‘Come up to me on the mountain and stay here, and I will give you the tablets of stone with the law and commandments I have written for their instruction.’
Then Moses set out with Joshua his assistant, and Moses went up on the mountain of God. He said to the elders, ‘Wait here for us until we come back to you. Aaron and Hur are with you, and anyone involved in a dispute can go to them.’
When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from within the cloud. To the Israelites the glory of the Lord looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain. Then Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain. And he stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights.
Offerings for the tabernacle
The Lord said to Moses, ‘Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from everyone whose heart prompts them to give.
‘These are the offerings you are to receive from them:
‘gold, silver and bronze;
blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen;
ram skins dyed red and another type of durable leather25:5 Possibly the hides of large aquatic mammals;
olive oil for the light;
spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense;
and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece.
‘Then let them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you.
‘Let them make an ark25:10 That is, a chest of acacia wood – two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high.25:10 That is, about 1.1 metres long and 68 centimetres wide and high; similarly in verse 17 Overlay it with pure gold, both inside and out, and make a gold moulding around it. Cast four gold rings for it and fasten them to its four feet, with two rings on one side and two rings on the other. Then make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. Insert the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark to carry it. The poles are to remain in the rings of this ark; they are not to be removed. Then put in the ark the tablets of the covenant law, which I will give you.
‘Make an atonement cover of pure gold – two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. And make two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover. Make one cherub on one end and the second cherub on the other; make the cherubim of one piece with the cover, at the two ends. The cherubim are to have their wings spread upwards, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim are to face each other, looking towards the cover. Place the cover on top of the ark and put in the ark the tablets of the covenant law that I will give you. There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the covenant law, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites.
‘Make a table of acacia wood – two cubits long, a cubit wide and a cubit and a half high.25:23 That is, about 90 centimetres long, 45 centimetres wide and 68 centimetres high Overlay it with pure gold and make a gold moulding around it. Also make around it a rim a handbreadth25:25 That is, about 7.5 centimetres wide and put a gold moulding on the rim. Make four gold rings for the table and fasten them to the four corners, where the four legs are. The rings are to be close to the rim to hold the poles used in carrying the table. Make the poles of acacia wood, overlay them with gold and carry the table with them. And make its plates and dishes of pure gold, as well as its pitchers and bowls for the pouring out of offerings. Put the bread of the Presence on this table to be before me at all times.
‘Make a lampstand of pure gold. Hammer out its base and shaft, and make its flowerlike cups, buds and blossoms of one piece with them. Six branches are to extend from the sides of the lampstand – three on one side and three on the other. Three cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms are to be on one branch, three on the next branch, and the same for all six branches extending from the lampstand. And on the lampstand there are to be four cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms. One bud shall be under the first pair of branches extending from the lampstand, a second bud under the second pair, and a third bud under the third pair – six branches in all. The buds and branches shall all be of one piece with the lampstand, hammered out of pure gold.
‘Then make its seven lamps and set them up on it so that they light the space in front of it. Its wick trimmers and trays are to be of pure gold. A talent25:39 That is, about 34 kilograms of pure gold is to be used for the lampstand and all these accessories. See that you make them according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.
‘Make the tabernacle with ten curtains of finely twisted linen and blue, purple and scarlet yarn, with cherubim woven into them by a skilled worker. All the curtains are to be the same size – twenty-eight cubits long and four cubits wide.26:2 That is, about 13 metres long and 1.8 metres wide Join five of the curtains together, and do the same with the other five. Make loops of blue material along the edge of the end curtain in one set, and do the same with the end curtain in the other set. Make fifty loops on one curtain and fifty loops on the end curtain of the other set, with the loops opposite each other. Then make fifty gold clasps and use them to fasten the curtains together so that the tabernacle is a unit.
‘Make curtains of goat hair for the tent over the tabernacle – eleven altogether. All eleven curtains are to be the same size – thirty cubits long and four cubits wide.26:8 That is, about 13.5 metres long and 1.8 metres wide Join five of the curtains together into one set and the other six into another set. Fold the sixth curtain double at the front of the tent. Make fifty loops along the edge of the end curtain in one set and also along the edge of the end curtain in the other set. Then make fifty bronze clasps and put them in the loops to fasten the tent together as a unit. As for the additional length of the tent curtains, the half curtain that is left over is to hang down at the rear of the tabernacle. The tent curtains will be a cubit26:13 That is, about 45 centimetres longer on both sides; what is left will hang over the sides of the tabernacle so as to cover it. Make for the tent a covering of ram skins dyed red, and over that a covering of other durable leather.26:14 Possibly the hides of large aquatic mammals (see 25:5)
‘Make upright frames of acacia wood for the tabernacle. Each frame is to be ten cubits long and a cubit and a half wide,26:16 That is, about 4.5 metres long and 68 centimetres wide with two projections set parallel to each other. Make all the frames of the tabernacle in this way. Make twenty frames for the south side of the tabernacle and make forty silver bases to go under them – two bases for each frame, one under each projection. For the other side, the north side of the tabernacle, make twenty frames and forty silver bases – two under each frame. Make six frames for the far end, that is, the west end of the tabernacle, and make two frames for the corners at the far end. At these two corners they must be double from the bottom all the way to the top and fitted into a single ring; both shall be like that. So there will be eight frames and sixteen silver bases – two under each frame.
‘Also make crossbars of acacia wood: five for the frames on one side of the tabernacle, five for those on the other side, and five for the frames on the west, at the far end of the tabernacle. The centre crossbar is to extend from end to end at the middle of the frames. Overlay the frames with gold and make gold rings to hold the crossbars. Also overlay the crossbars with gold.
‘Set up the tabernacle according to the plan shown you on the mountain.
‘Make a curtain of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen, with cherubim woven into it by a skilled worker. Hang it with gold hooks on four posts of acacia wood overlaid with gold and standing on four silver bases. Hang the curtain from the clasps and place the ark of the covenant law behind the curtain. The curtain will separate the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. Put the atonement cover on the ark of the covenant law in the Most Holy Place. Place the table outside the curtain on the north side of the tabernacle and put the lampstand opposite it on the south side.
‘For the entrance to the tent make a curtain of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen – the work of an embroiderer. Make gold hooks for this curtain and five posts of acacia wood overlaid with gold. And cast five bronze bases for them.
The altar of burnt offering
‘Build an altar of acacia wood, three cubits27:1 That is, about 1.4 metres high; it is to be square, five cubits long and five cubits wide.27:1 That is, about 2.3 metres long and wide Make a horn at each of the four corners, so that the horns and the altar are of one piece, and overlay the altar with bronze. Make all its utensils of bronze – its pots to remove the ashes, and its shovels, sprinkling bowls, meat forks and firepans. Make a grating for it, a bronze network, and make a bronze ring at each of the four corners of the network. Put it under the ledge of the altar so that it is halfway up the altar. Make poles of acacia wood for the altar and overlay them with bronze. The poles are to be inserted into the rings so they will be on two sides of the altar when it is carried. Make the altar hollow, out of boards. It is to be made just as you were shown on the mountain.
‘Make a courtyard for the tabernacle. The south side shall be a hundred cubits27:9 That is, about 45 metres; also in verse 11 long and is to have curtains of finely twisted linen, with twenty posts and twenty bronze bases and with silver hooks and bands on the posts. The north side shall also be a hundred cubits long and is to have curtains, with twenty posts and twenty bronze bases and with silver hooks and bands on the posts.
‘The west end of the courtyard shall be fifty cubits27:12 That is, about 23 metres; also in verse 13 wide and have curtains, with ten posts and ten bases. On the east end, towards the sunrise, the courtyard shall also be fifty cubits wide. Curtains fifteen cubits27:14 That is, about 6.8 metres; also in verse 15 long are to be on one side of the entrance, with three posts and three bases, and curtains fifteen cubits long are to be on the other side, with three posts and three bases.
‘For the entrance to the courtyard, provide a curtain twenty cubits27:16 That is, about 9 metres long, of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen – the work of an embroiderer – with four posts and four bases. All the posts around the courtyard are to have silver bands and hooks, and bronze bases. The courtyard shall be a hundred cubits long and fifty cubits wide,27:18 That is, about 45 metres long and 23 metres wide with curtains of finely twisted linen five cubits27:18 That is, about 2.3 metres high, and with bronze bases. All the other articles used in the service of the tabernacle, whatever their function, including all the tent pegs for it and those for the courtyard, are to be of bronze.
Oil for the lampstand
‘Command the Israelites to bring you clear oil of pressed olives for the light so that the lamps may be kept burning. In the tent of meeting, outside the curtain that shields the ark of the covenant law, Aaron and his sons are to keep the lamps burning before the Lord from evening till morning. This is to be a lasting ordinance among the Israelites for the generations to come.