Offerings for the Sanctuary
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Tell the children of Israel to take an offering for Me. From every man whose heart moves him [to give willingly] you shall take My offering. This is the offering you are to receive from them: gold, silver, and bronze, blue, purple, and scarlet fabric, fine twisted linen, goats’ hair, rams’ [a]skins dyed red, [b]porpoise skins, [c]acacia wood, [olive] oil for lighting, [d]balsam for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense, [e]onyx stones and setting stones for the [priest’s] ephod and for the breastpiece. Have them build a sanctuary for Me, so that I may dwell among them. You shall construct it in accordance with everything that I am going to show you, as the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furniture.
Ark of the Covenant
“They shall make an ark of acacia wood two and a half [f]cubits long, one and a half cubits wide, and one and a half cubits high. You shall overlay the ark with pure gold, overlay it inside and out, and you shall make a gold border (frame) around its top. You shall cast four gold rings for it and attach them to the four feet, two rings on either side. You shall make [carrying] poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold, and put the poles through the rings on the sides of the ark, by which to carry it. The poles shall remain in the rings of the ark; they shall not be removed from it [so that the ark itself need not be touched]. You shall put into the ark the Testimony (Ten Commandments) which I will give you.
“You shall make a [g]mercy seat (cover) of pure gold, two and a half cubits long and one and a half cubits wide. You shall make two cherubim (winged angelic figures) of [solid] hammered gold at the two ends of the mercy seat. Make one cherub at each end, making the cherubim of one piece with the mercy seat at its two ends. The cherubim shall have their wings spread upward, covering the mercy seat with their wings and facing each other. The faces of the cherubim are to be looking downward toward the mercy seat. You shall put the mercy seat on the top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the Testimony which I will give you. There I will meet with you; from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony, I will speak [intimately] with you regarding every commandment that I will give you for the Israelites.
The Table of Bread
“You shall make a table of acacia wood, two cubits long, one cubit wide, and one and a half cubits high. You shall overlay it with pure gold and make a border of gold around the top of it. You shall make a rim of a hand width around it; you shall make a gold border for the rim around it. You shall make four gold rings for it and fasten them at the four corners that are on the table’s four legs. The rings shall be close against the rim as holders for the poles to carry the table. You shall make the poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold, so that the table may be carried with them. You shall make its plates [for the showbread] and its cups [for incense] and its pitchers and bowls for sacrificial drink offerings; you shall make them of pure gold. You shall set the bread of the [h]Presence (showbread) on the table before Me at all times.
The Golden Lampstand
“You shall make a lampstand of pure gold. The [i]lampstand and its base and its shaft shall be made of hammered work; its cups, its [j]calyxes and its flowers shall be all of one piece with it. Six branches shall come out of its sides; three branches of the lampstand out of the one side and three branches of the lampstand out of its other side [the shaft being the seventh branch]. Three cups shall be made like almond blossoms, each with a calyx and a flower on one branch, and three cups made like almond blossoms on the other branch with a calyx and a flower—so for the six branches coming out of the lampstand; and in the [center shaft of the] lampstand [you shall make] four cups shaped like almond blossoms, with their calyxes and their flowers. A calyx shall be under the first pair of branches coming out of it, and a calyx under the second pair of branches coming out of it, and a calyx under the third pair of branches coming out of it, for the six branches coming out of the lampstand. Their calyxes and their branches shall be of one piece with it; all of it shall be one piece of hammered work of pure gold. Then you shall make the lamps [of the lampstand] [k]seven in number [with one lamp at the top of the shaft]. The priests shall set up its seven lamps so that they will light the space in front of it. Its snuffers and their trays shall be of pure gold. It shall be made from a talent (50-80 lbs.) of pure gold, including all these utensils. See that you make them [exactly] after their pattern which was shown to you on the mountain.
- Exodus 25:5 The finished product would be similar to morocco leather.
- Exodus 25:5 The meaning of the Hebrew word is not certain; some scholars have suggested that the material is instead a fine leather of unspecified origin.
- Exodus 25:5 The acacia tree grows wild in the Sinai region. The organic compounds in its wood, which is harder than oak, repel insects and grazing animals.
- Exodus 25:6 Various pleasantly scented plant products.
- Exodus 25:7 There is usually uncertainty about the identification of precious stones mentioned in the Bible.
- Exodus 25:10 Ancient measurements like the cubit were intended to be practical in that they usually were equivalent to something that was handy and readily available. The cubit was the distance from the elbow to the outstretched fingers, and the hand width (v 25)—as its name implies—was the width of the four fingers.
- Exodus 25:17 This was a special cover serving as the place of atonement for sin, where the high priest would sprinkle the blood of a sacrifice to reconcile the Israelites to God.
- Exodus 25:30 Lit Face.
- Exodus 25:31 In Hebrew, menorah.
- Exodus 25:31 Leaf-like outer part of the flower.
- Exodus 25:37 The first objective evidence of the sevenfold lamp was found during an excavation of Tel Beit Mirsim, south of Jerusalem, where seven-armed lamps dated about 1200 b.c. were found. The seventh season at the Dothan excavation uncovered three sevenfold lamps from the period 1400-1200 b.c.
Curtains of Linen
“Moreover, you shall make the tabernacle (sacred tent of worship) with ten [interior] curtains of fine twisted linen, and blue, purple, and scarlet fabric; you shall make them with [embroidered] cherubim, the handwork of a skillful craftsman. The length of each curtain shall be twenty-eight cubits, and the width of each curtain four cubits; all of the curtains shall measure the same. The five curtains shall be joined to one another, and the other five curtains shall be joined to one another. You shall make loops of blue on the outer edge of the last curtain in the first set, and likewise in the second set. You shall make fifty loops on the one curtain, and fifty loops on the edge of the last curtain that is in the second set. The loops on one curtain correspond to the loops on the other. You shall make fifty gold hooks, and fasten the curtains together with the hooks; and the tabernacle shall be one unit.
Curtains of Goats’ Hair
“Then you shall make [exterior] curtains of goats’ hair as a tent over the tabernacle. You shall make eleven curtains in all. Each curtain shall be thirty cubits long and four cubits wide. The eleven curtains shall all measure the same. You shall join five curtains by themselves and the other six curtains by themselves, and you shall double over the sixth curtain at the front of the tent [to make a closed door]. Make fifty loops on the edge of the outermost curtain in the first set, and fifty loops on the edge of the outermost curtain in the second set.
“You shall make fifty bronze hooks and put the hooks into the loops and join the tent together so that it may be one unit. The overlapping part that is left over from the tent curtains, the half curtain that is left over, shall lap over the back of the tabernacle. The cubit on one side and the cubit on the other, of what is left over in the length of the curtains of the tent shall lap over the sides of the tabernacle on one side and the other side, to cover it. You shall make a third covering for the tent of rams’ [a]skins dyed red, and a fourth covering above that of [b]porpoise skins.
Boards and Sockets
“Then you shall make the boards for the tabernacle of acacia wood, standing upright [as a trellis-like frame]. The length of each board shall be ten cubits and the width of each board shall be one and a half cubits. Make two dovetails in each board for fitting [them] together; you shall do the same for all the tabernacle boards. You shall make the boards for the tabernacle [in the following quantities]: twenty boards for the south side. You shall make forty silver sockets under the twenty boards, two sockets under each board for its two dovetails, and two sockets under another board for its two dovetails; for the north side of the tabernacle there shall be twenty boards, and their forty silver sockets, two sockets under each board. For the back or west side of the tabernacle you shall make six boards. Make two boards for the corners of the tabernacle at the rear [on both sides]. They shall be joined together underneath, and joined together on top with one ring. So shall it be for both of them; they shall form the two [rear] corners. There shall be eight boards and sixteen silver sockets; two sockets under each board.
“Then you shall make [fifteen] bars of acacia wood: five for the boards of one side of the tabernacle, and five bars for the boards of the other side of the tabernacle, and five bars for the boards of the rear end of the tabernacle, for the back wall toward the west. And the middle bar in the center of the boards shall pass through [horizontally] from end to end. You shall overlay the boards with gold and make their rings of gold to hold the bars. You shall overlay the bars with gold. You shall erect the tabernacle according to its plan [the direction corresponding to its meaning and purpose] which has been shown to you on the mountain.
The Veil and Screen
“You shall make a veil [to divide the two rooms] of blue, purple, and scarlet fabric and fine twisted linen, skillfully worked with cherubim on it. You shall hang it on four pillars (support poles) of acacia wood overlaid with gold, with gold hooks, on four silver sockets. You shall hang the veil from the hooks [that connect the curtains together], and you shall bring the ark of the Testimony there within the veil. The veil shall separate for you the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies. You shall put the [c]mercy seat on the ark of the Testimony in the Holy of Holies. You shall set the table [for the bread] outside the veil [in the Holy Place] on the north side, and the lampstand opposite the table on the south side of the tabernacle.
“You shall make a screen [to provide a covering] for the doorway of the tent of blue, purple, and scarlet fabric and finely woven [embroidered] linen, the work of an embroiderer. You shall make five pillars (support poles) of acacia wood to support the hanging curtain and overlay them with gold. Their hooks shall be of gold, and you shall cast five [base] sockets of bronze for them.
- Exodus 26:14 Similar to morocco leather.
- Exodus 26:14 Hebrew uncertain.
- Exodus 26:34 See note 25:17.