Monday, April 6, 2009

EXODUS: Chapters 35 & 36

Chapter 35
Summary:Moses called a meeting of all the people (all 597,000+* of them?) to tell them some of God's laws. He first repeats the law about the sabbath, and reinforces to them that the penalty for working on the sabbath is death. He tacks on that they can't even light a fire in their houses on Saturdays.

Moses now gives the people God's wish list for gifts, which are to be used as the materials to build the tabernacle: gold, silver, and bronze; blue, purple, and scarlet cloth; tanned ram skins and treated goat skins; acacia wood; olive oil; spices for the incense and anointing oil; and various stones including onyx.

Moses now calls for craftsmen to help build the tabernacle and everything that it is to contain, as well as the priests' uniforms. The people go back to their tents and started either gathering or preparing these items.

Moses then tells them that God has appointed Bezalel as the general supervisor of the project, and states that God has also made him and his assistant Oholiab into gifted teachers to teach their building skills to others to aid them. He explain that God has filled them with the skills of carpentry, jewelry making, embroidery, and weaving.
Notes:1.) Moses ordered the Levites to slaughter 3,000 people back in Exodus: Chapter 32. Also, an undetermined amount of people were likely killed in the plague that God sent shortly after.
Thoughts:Moses gathers the remnant of the entire populace of Israel (the ones that weren't slaughtered by the Levites or by God's plague - which we can assume was possibly still over half a million people) and repeats the law about the sabbath to them. Moses even goes so far as to warn the people to not even light a simple fire in their homes, as the punishment for disobeying the sabbath law is death.

By the amount of times this law gets repeated in the book of Exodus, we can surmise that it's probably one of God's more important laws, which makes it puzzling as to why Christians don't feel the need to practice this law any longer, yet still cling to many other Mosaic laws from the Old Testament to explain away their opposition to homosexuality. Christians often tend to explain that Jesus' covenant later on with the people overrides all these old silly laws Moses brought to the people, yet it appears to be only *some* of the laws, the others remain for validating homophobia and intolerance. (We'll broach this subject much later on when we discuss the books of the New Testament.)

Next, Moses commands the people to start donating the items needed to finish building the tabernacle and to make the priests' garments, and tells them about Bezalel being appointed to supervise the construction, along with his assistant Oholiab. Both Bezalel and Oholiab have also been blessed with the talent to teach other people in the arts of construction and clothing design to help speed the process along.
Chapter 36
Summary:Moses recruits craftsmen to help Bezalel and Oholiab get started on their tasks, and the people of Israel began donating the materials, with additional donations appearing each morning. When the craftsmen found that they had more than enough donations, Moses restrained the people from donating any more.

The rest of the chapter simply describes the construction process of the tabernacle, which I don't feel it necessary to recount. If you might be interested in building your own tabernacle tent, feel free to read this chapter yourself!
Thoughts:Moses gets his craftsmen to work completing the tabernacle and the donations start pouring in. Presumably, within a short period of time there's a surplus of materials and Moses has to restrain the people of Israel from donating anything more.

The craftsmen go to work and the rest of this monotonous chapter discusses each step that the craftsmen took in building God's tabernacle.

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