Thursday, April 19, 2012

Reflections on Exodus 39

    Exodus 39 (Contemporary English Version)
  1. Beautiful priestly clothes were made of blue, purple, and red wool for Aaron to wear when he performed his duties in the holy place. This was done exactly as the LORD had commanded Moses.
  2. The entire priestly vest was made of fine linen, woven with blue, purple, and red wool. Thin sheets of gold were hammered out and cut into threads that were skillfully woven into the vest.
  3. (SEE 39:2)
  4. It had two shoulder straps to support it and a sash that fastened around the waist.
  5. (SEE 39:4)
  6. Onyx stones were placed in gold settings, and each one was engraved with the name of one of Israel's sons.
  7. Then these were attached to the shoulder straps of the vest, so the LORD would never forget his people. Everything was done exactly as the LORD had commanded Moses.
  8. The breastpiece was made with the same materials and designs as the priestly vest.
  9. It was nine inches square and folded double
  10. with four rows of three precious stones: A carnelian, a chrysolite, and an emerald were in the first row,
  11. a turquoise, a sapphire, and a diamond were in the second row,
  12. a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst were in the third row,
  13. and a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper were in the fourth row. They were mounted in a delicate gold setting,
  14. and on each of them was engraved the name of one of the twelve tribes of Israel.
  15. Two gold rings were attached to the upper front corners of the breastpiece and fastened with two braided gold chains to gold settings on the shoulder straps.
  16. (SEE 39:15)
  17. (SEE 39:15)
  18. (SEE 39:15)
  19. Two other gold rings were attached to the lower inside corners next to the vest,
  20. and two more near the bottom of the shoulder straps right above the sash.
  21. To keep the breastpiece in place, a blue cord was used to tie the two lower rings on the breastpiece to those on the vest. These things were done exactly as the LORD had commanded Moses.
  22. The priestly robe was made of blue wool
  23. with an opening in the center for the head. The material around the collar was bound so as to keep it from raveling.
  24. Along the hem of the robe were woven pomegranates of blue, purple, and red wool with a bell of pure gold between each of them. This robe was to be worn by Aaron when he performed his duties.
  25. (SEE 39:24)
  26. (SEE 39:24)
  27. Everything that Aaron and his sons wore was made of fine linen woven with blue, purple, and red wool, including their robes and turbans, their fancy caps and underwear, and even their sashes that were embroidered with needlework.
  28. (SEE 39:27)
  29. (SEE 39:27)
  30. "Dedicated to the LORD" was engraved on a narrow strip of pure gold,
  31. which was fastened to Aaron's turban. These things were done exactly as the LORD had commanded Moses.
  32. So the people of Israel finished making everything the LORD had told Moses to make.
  33. Then they brought it all to Moses: the sacred tent and its equipment, including the hooks, the framework and crossbars, and its posts and stands,
  34. the covering of tanned ram skins and fine leather, the inside curtain,
  35. the sacred chest with its carrying poles and the place of mercy,
  36. the table with all that goes on it, including the sacred bread,
  37. the lampstand of pure gold, together with its equipment and oil,
  38. the gold-covered incense altar, the ordination oil and the sweet-smelling incense, the curtain for the entrance to the tent,
  39. the bronze altar for sacrifices with its bronze grating, its carrying poles, and its equipment, the large bronze bowl with its stand,
  40. the curtain with its posts and cords, and its pegs and stands that go around the courtyard, everything needed for the sacred tent,
  41. and the finely woven priestly clothes for Aaron and his sons.
  42. When Moses saw that the people had done everything exactly as the LORD had commanded, he gave them his blessing.
  43. (SEE 39:42)

    Last item to be made for the tabernacle was the priestly garments. The garments were made in colors of purple, scarlet, blue, and gold, and consisted of an ephod, an embroidered breastpiece, a woven robe for the ephod, tunics of fine woven linen, a turban, and a gold plate that was fitted to the turban. Engraved on a seal within the gold plate were the words: "Holy to the Lord."

    Throughout the description of the making of the priestly garments is the comment that the items were made "just as the LORD had commanded Moses." With the completion of the priestly garments, the tabernacle construction was finished. Again, the comment is made that "The Israelites did everything just as the LORD had commanded Moses." (39:32) With construction finished, all of the tabernacle parts were brought to Moses for inspection. When he saw that everything was "done just as the LORD commanded," he blessed them. (39:43)

    This must have been a high moment for the newly formed nation of Israel. To this point they had been rather reluctant in following the Lord to gain their freedom from Egypt and set out for a land the Lord had waiting for them. They had balked at several points, if not at every point. But with the construction of the tabernacle they began to capture the spirit of the newly formed covenant with God. They seemed to take pride in this project, giving freely what they had for the materials that would go into the making of the tabernacle and all its parts. And with the construction they were meticulous in all the details to follow the instructions given to Moses by the Lord. This was, no doubt, a very special moment.

No comments:

Post a Comment