Gathering the Offerings
Before we proceed with more of the details of the Tabernacle and its furnishings, I need to back up and review how all the material needed was gathered! The details of the beautiful place of worship were so important that two complete records are given in Exodus 25-31 and in Exodus 35-40. God told Moses in Exodus 25: 1-9 to speak to the Israelites and ask them to bring what they needed to construct and furnish their place of worship. He named all that would be needed, but He also made sure that they realized that only the offerings that came for their hearts would be acceptable!
I’m not sure how much of the material came from the Egyptian homes that were so happy to see them leave! (Exodus 25: 35, 36) The Israelites responded to God’s request for offerings with such joy and enthusiasm that they finally had to be asked not to bring any more! (Exodus 35:21-29; 36:3-7) God still desires for us to be joyful and willing when we offer our tithes and services.
The metals to be used in the construction were gold, silver and bronze. Gold listed first because it was the most precious. After the three metals, four materials are listed: three colors of yarn and also linen. “Egypt excelled in the production of linen, especially twined linen, where every thread was twisted from many strands. The Hebrew slaves must have learned many Egyptians arts and crafts. . . during their stay in Egypt.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary page 148
The threads were to be dyed blue, purple and scarlet. (Exodus 25:4) “These colors were produced by dying the threads in shellfish for blue; for purple they used secretion of a murex snail; and crimson or scarlet dye came from powdered eggs and bodies of certain worms, which attached themselves to holly plants. Acquiring different colored dyes from different natural sources demonstrates a substantial degree of technical sophistication with textiles and fabrics. Egypt had a reputation for excellence in producing fine linen.” MacArthur Bible Commentary page 121
Next was goat hair, ram skins and dolphin skins. The dolphin skins are referred to as sea cows or badgers in some Bible translations. After the wool was removed from the ram skins and then dyed red, it resembled leather. The dolphin skins were also used to make sandals.
The “acacia wood was a hard, durable, close-grained, and aromatic desert wood avoided by worm-eating insects. It was considered good for cabinet making, and could be found in sufficient quantities in the Sinai peninsula.” MacArthur Bible Commentary page 121
Other items to be brought included olive oil for burning in the lampstand and spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense mentioned in Exodus 25: 6 I found that oil, fragrances, spices and incense were important when Jesus was born and again when He was put in the tomb. Throughout the Bible they signified reverence and prayer. See Rev 5:8
And the last to be offered were the onyx stones and precious stones like diamond, jasper, sapphire and topaz that would be set in the ephod and breastplate that the priests would wear. I’m so excited about sharing all this information with you! I hope you have enjoyed it, too!