Reading 24/341, Exodus 30-32

[A] The dangers of taking a census should be noted. It will be a theme later. There was a great superstition against counting people in this and other ancient cultures.
[B] The second half is one of the plot sections. There is a great line where the Lord is speaking to Moses and announces that the people have turned to sin. He says, "Go, get down; for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves!" They were God's people, but when they are naughty they are Moses'.
[C] At that point Moses prays to the Lord to not destroy the people. This is a parallel to Abraham's prayer for Sodom. It is interesting how much religion has developed in 500 years: Moses' prayer is much better and is actually effective.
[D] We had the 10 Commandments in reading 21, but the physical stones are here. Note how the popular image of them is different than the actual description: written on both sides, small enough to be carried and thrown by an old man.
[E] At the end, Aaron lies, Moses has people killed in the name of the Lord. When he was with the Lord, he asked for forgiveness for them. Now he punishes them himself, saying that the Lord has commanded, but we do not see the Lord making any such command.

...Exodus...

“You shall make an altar to burn incense on. You shall make it of acacia wood. Its length shall be a cubit, and its breadth a cubit. It shall be square, and its height shall be two cubits. Its horns shall be of one piece with it. You shall overlay it with pure gold, the top of it, and the sides of it all around, and its horns, and you shall make a gold molding around it. You shall make two golden rings for it under its molding; on its two ribs, on its two sides you shall make them, and they shall be places for poles with which to bear it. You shall make the poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. You shall put it before the veil that is by the ark of the covenant, before the mercy seat that is over the covenant, where I will meet with you. Aaron shall burn incense of sweet spices on it every morning. When he tends the lamps, he shall burn it. When Aaron lights the lamps at evening, he shall burn it, a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations. You shall offer no strange incense on it, nor burnt offering, nor meal offering, and you shall pour no drink offering on it. Aaron shall make atonement on its horns once during the year, with the blood of the sin offering of atonement once during the year he shall make atonement for it throughout your generations. It is most holy to the Lord.”

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “When you take a census of the children of Israel, according to those who are numbered among them, each man shall give a ransom for his soul to the Lord, when you number them, so that there will not be a plague among them when you number them. As each one crosses over to be with the numbered ones, they shall give half a shekel, according to the shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel is twenty gerahs), half a shekel for an offering to the Lord. Everyone who passes over to those who are numbered, from twenty years old and upward, shall give the offering to the Lord. The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less, than the half shekel, when they give the offering of the Lord, to make atonement for your souls. You shall take the atonement money from the children of Israel, and shall appoint it for the service of the tent of meeting, so that it may be a memorial for the children of Israel before the Lord, to make atonement for your souls.”

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “You shall also make a basin of bronze, the base of it also of bronze, in which to wash. You shall put it between the tent of meeting and the altar, and you shall put water in it. Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet in it. When they go into the tent of meeting, they shall wash with water, so that they do not die, and also when they come near to the altar to minister, to burn a food offering to the Lord. So they shall wash their hands and their feet, so that they do not die, and it shall be a statute forever to them, to him and to his descendants throughout their generations.”

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Also take fine spices: of liquid myrrh, five hundred shekels, and of fragrant cinnamon half as much, two hundred and fifty, and of fragrant cane, two hundred and fifty, and of cassia five hundred, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and a hin of olive oil. You shall make it a holy anointing oil, a perfume blended according to the craft of the perfumer: it shall be a holy anointing oil. You shall use it to anoint the tent of meeting, the ark of the covenant, the table and all its articles, the lampstand and its accessories, the altar of incense, the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the basin with its base. You shall sanctify them, that they may be most holy. Whatever touches them shall be holy. You shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and sanctify them, that they may minister to me in the priest's office. You shall speak to the children of Israel, saying, 'This shall be a holy anointing oil to me throughout your generations. It shall not be poured on man's flesh, nor shall you make any like it, according to its composition: it is holy. It shall be holy to you. Whoever compounds any like it, or whoever puts any of it on a stranger, he shall be cut off from his people.'”

The Lord said to Moses, “Take sweet spices, gum resin, and onycha, and galbanum; sweet spices with pure frankincense: of each there shall be an equal weight, and you shall make incense of it, a perfume according to the craft of the perfumer, seasoned with salt, pure and holy: and you shall beat some of it very small, and put some of it before the covenant in the tent of meeting, where I will meet with you. It shall be to you most holy. The incense which you shall make, according to its composition you shall not make for yourselves: it shall be to you holy for the Lord. Whoever shall make any like it, to smell like it, shall be cut off from his people.”

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, "Behold, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to devise skillful works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in bronze, and in cutting of stones for setting, and in carving of wood, to work in all manner of workmanship. Behold, I have appointed with him Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, and in the heart of all who are wise-hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded you: the tent of meeting, the ark of the covenant, the mercy seat that is on it, all the furniture of the tent, the table and its vessels, the pure lampstand with all its vessels, the altar of incense, the altar of burnt offering with all its vessels, the basin and its base, the finely worked garments, the holy garments for Aaron the priest, the garments of his sons to minister in the priest's office, the anointing oil, and the incense of sweet spices for the holy place: according to all that I have commanded you they shall do.”

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak also to the children of Israel, saying, 'Most certainly you shall keep my Sabbaths: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you. You shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall surely be put to death. Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever, for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.'”

He gave to Moses, when he finished speaking with him on Mount Sinai, the two tablets of the covenant, stone tablets, written with God's finger. When the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron, and said to him, "Come, make us gods, which shall go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him." Aaron said to them, "Take off the golden rings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them to me." All the people took off the golden rings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron. He received what they handed him, and fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made it a molten calf, and they said, "These are your gods, Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt." When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it, and Aaron made a proclamation, and said, "Tomorrow shall be a feast to the Lord." They rose up early on the next day, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings, and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.

The Lord spoke to Moses, "Go, get down; for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves! They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molten calf, and have worshiped it, and have sacrificed to it, and said, 'These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.'" The Lord said to Moses, "I have seen these people, and behold, they are a stiff-necked people. Now therefore leave me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them, that I may consume them, and I will make of you a great nation." Moses begged the Lord his God, and said, "O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, that you have brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians speak, saying, 'He brought them forth for evil, to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the surface of the earth?' Turn from your fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, to whom you swore by your own self, and said to them, 'I will multiply your seed as the stars of the sky, and all this land that I have spoken of I will give to your seed, and they shall inherit it forever.'" The Lord repented of the evil which he said he would do to his people.

Moses turned, and went down from the mountain, with the two tablets of the covenant in his hand, tablets that were written on both their sides, on the front and on the back they were written. The tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets. When Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said to Moses, "There is the noise of war in the camp." But he replied, "It is not the voice of those who shout for victory, nor is it the voice of those who cry for defeat, but the noise of those who sing that I hear." It happened, as soon as he came near to the camp, that he saw the calf and the dancing, and Moses' anger grew hot, and he threw the tablets out of his hands and broke them beneath the mountain. He took the calf which they had made, and burnt it with fire, ground it to powder, and scattered it on the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it.

Moses said to Aaron, "What did these people do to you, that you have brought a great sin on them?" Aaron said, "Do not let the anger of my lord grow hot. You know the people, that they are set on evil. For they said to me, 'Make us gods, which shall go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.' I said to them, 'Whoever has any gold, let them take it off' so they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire and out came this calf." When Moses saw that the people had broken loose, (for Aaron had let them break loose to the derision of their enemies), Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, "Whoever is on the Lord's side, come to me!" All the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him. He said to them, "Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, 'Every man put his sword on his thigh, and go back and forth from gate to gate throughout the camp, and every man kill his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.'" The sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses, and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men. Moses said, "Today you have been ordained for the service of the Lord, every man at the cost of his son and his brother, that he may bestow on you a blessing this day."

It happened on the next day that Moses said to the people, "You have sinned a great sin. Now I will go up to the Lord. Perhaps I can make atonement for your sin." Moses returned to the Lord, and said, "O these people have sinned a great sin and have made themselves gods of gold, yet now, if you will, forgive their sin, and if not, please blot me out of your book which you have written. The Lord said to Moses, "Whoever has sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book. Now go, lead the people to the place of which I have spoken to you. Behold, my angel shall go before you. Nevertheless in the day when I visit, I will visit their sin upon them." The Lord sent a plague on the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made.

Reading 23/341, Exodus 27-29

[A] Today they build the altar and ordain Aaron and his sons as the priests of Israel.
[B] More measurements today. A span is from the thumb to the pinky. An ephah is about 10 gallons. A hin is about a gallon and a half.

...Exodus...

"You shall make the altar of acacia wood, five cubits long, and five cubits wide; the altar shall be foursquare: and its height shall be three cubits. You shall make horns on its four corners; its horns shall be of one piece with it, and you shall overlay it with bronze. You shall make pots to take away its ashes, and shovels, basins, forks, and fire pans: all its vessels you shall make of bronze. You shall make a grating for it, a net of bronze: and on the net you shall make four bronze rings in its four corners. You shall put it under the ledge around the altar beneath, that the net may reach halfway up the altar. You shall make poles for the altar, poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with bronze. Its poles shall be put into the rings, and the poles shall be on the two sides of the altar when carrying it. Hollow with planks shall you make it: as it has been shown you on the mountain, so shall they make it.”

"You shall make the court of the tabernacle: for the south side there shall be hangings for the court of fine twined linen one hundred cubits long for one side: and the pillars of it shall be twenty, and their sockets twenty, of bronze; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets shall be of silver. Likewise for the north side in length there shall be hangings one hundred cubits long, and the pillars of it twenty, and their sockets twenty, of bronze; the hooks of the pillars, and their fillets, of silver. For the breadth of the court on the west side shall be hangings of fifty cubits; their pillars ten, and their sockets ten. The breadth of the court on the east side shall be fifty cubits. The hangings for the one side of the gate shall be fifteen cubits; their pillars three, and their sockets three. For the other side shall be hangings of fifteen cubits; their pillars three, and their sockets three. For the gate of the court there shall be a screen of twenty cubits, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, the work of the embroiderer; their pillars four, and their sockets four. All the pillars of the court round about shall be filleted with silver; their hooks of silver, and their sockets of bronze. The length of the court shall be one hundred cubits, and the width fifty everywhere, and the height five cubits, of fine twined linen, and their sockets of bronze. All the instruments of the tabernacle in all its service, and all the pins of it, and all the pins of the court, shall be of bronze.”

"You shall command the children of Israel, that they bring to you pure olive oil beaten for the light, to cause a lamp to burn continually. In the tent of meeting, outside the veil which is before the covenant, Aaron and his sons shall keep it going from evening to morning before the Lord: it shall be a statute forever throughout their generations on the behalf of the children of Israel.”

"Bring Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, near to you from among the children of Israel, that he may minister to me in the priest's office, Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron's sons. You shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty. You shall speak to all who are wise-hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they make Aaron's garments to sanctify him, that he may minister to me in the priest's office. These are the garments which they shall make: a breastplate, and an ephod, and a robe, and a coat of checker work, a turban, and a sash: and they shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, and his sons, that he may minister to me in the priest's office. They shall take the gold, and the blue, and the purple, and the scarlet, and the fine linen. They shall make the ephod of gold, of blue, and purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen, the work of the skillful workman. It shall have two shoulder straps joined to the two ends of it, that it may be joined together. The skillfully woven band, which is on it, that is on him, shall be like its work and of the same piece; of gold, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen. You shall take two onyx stones, and engrave on them the names of the children of Israel: six of their names on the one stone, and the names of the other six on the other stone, in the order of their birth. With the work of an engraver in stone, like the engravings of a signet, shall you engrave the two stones, according to the names of the children of Israel: you shall make them to be enclosed in settings of gold. You shall put the two stones on the shoulder straps of the ephod, to be stones of memorial for the children of Israel: and Aaron shall bear their names before the Lord on his two shoulders for a memorial. You shall make settings of gold, and two chains of pure gold; you shall make them like cords of braided work: and you shall put the braided chains on the settings.”

“You shall make a breastplate of judgment, the work of the skillful workman; like the work of the ephod you shall make it; of gold, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, shall you make it. It shall be square and folded double; a span shall be its length of it, and a span its width. You shall set in it settings of stones, four rows of stones: a row of ruby, topaz, and beryl shall be the first row, and the second row a turquoise, a sapphire, and an emerald, and the third row a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst, and the fourth row a chrysolite, an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be enclosed in gold in their settings. The stones shall be according to the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names; like the engravings of a signet, everyone according to his name, they shall be for the twelve tribes. You shall make on the breastplate chains like cords, of braided work of pure gold. You shall make on the breastplate two rings of gold, and shall put the two rings on the two ends of the breastplate. You shall put the two braided chains of gold in the two rings at the ends of the breastplate. The other two ends of the two braided chains you shall put on the two settings, and put them on the shoulder straps of the ephod in the forepart of it. You shall make two rings of gold, and you shall put them on the two ends of the breastplate, on its edge, which is toward the side of the ephod inward. You shall make two rings of gold, and shall put them on the two shoulder straps of the ephod underneath, in the forepart of it, close by the coupling of it, above the skillfully woven band of the ephod. They shall bind the breastplate by the rings of it to the rings of the ephod with a lace of blue, that it may be on the skillfully woven band of the ephod, and that the breastplate may not swing out from the ephod. Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment on his heart, when he goes into the holy place, for a memorial before the Lord continually. You shall put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim, and they shall be on Aaron's heart, when he goes in before the Lord: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel on his heart before the Lord continually.”

"You shall make the robe of the ephod all of blue. It shall have a hole for the head in the middle of it: it shall have a binding of woven work round about the hole of it, as it were the hole of a coat of mail, so that it will not be torn. On its hem you shall make pomegranates of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, around its hem, and bells of gold between them round about: a golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, on the hem of the robe round about. It shall be on Aaron to minister: and the sound of it shall be heard when he goes in to the holy place before the Lord, and when he comes out, so that he will not die.”

“You shall make a plate of pure gold, and engrave on it, like the engravings of a signet, 'HOLY TO THE LORD.' You shall put it on a lace of blue, and it shall be on the sash; on the front of the sash it shall be. It shall be on Aaron's forehead, and Aaron shall bear the guilt of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall make holy in all their holy gifts, and it shall be always on his forehead, that they may be accepted before the Lord. You shall weave the coat in checker work of fine linen, and you shall make a turban of fine linen, and you shall make a sash, the work of the embroiderer. You shall make coats for Aaron's sons, and you shall make sashes for them and headbands shall you make for them, for glory and for beauty. You shall put them on Aaron your brother, and on his sons with him, and shall anoint them, and consecrate them, and sanctify them, that they may minister to me in the priest's office. You shall make them linen pants to cover the flesh of their nakedness; from the waist even to the thighs they shall reach: They shall be on Aaron, and on his sons, when they go into the tabernacle of meeting, or when they come near to the altar to minister in the holy place; that they do not bear iniquity, and die: it shall be a statute forever to him and to his descendants after him.”

"This is the thing that you shall do to them to make them holy, to minister to me in the priest's office: take one young bull and two rams without blemish, unleavened bread, unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil: you shall make them of fine wheat flour. You shall put them into one basket, and bring them in the basket, with the bull and the two rams. You shall bring Aaron and his sons to the door of the tent of meeting, and shall wash them with water. You shall take the garments, and put the coat on Aaron, the robe of the ephod, the ephod, and the breastplate, and dress him with the skillfully woven band of the ephod, and you shall set the turban on his head, and put the holy crown on the turban. Then you shall take the anointing oil, and pour it on his head, and anoint him. You shall bring his sons, and put coats on them. You shall dress them with belts, Aaron and his sons, and bind headbands on them: and they shall have the priesthood by a perpetual statute: and you shall consecrate Aaron and his sons. You shall bring the bull before the tent of meeting: and Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands on the head of the bull. You shall kill the bull before the Lord, at the door of the tent of meeting. You shall take of the blood of the bull, and put it on the horns of the altar with your finger, and you shall pour out all the blood at the base of the altar. You shall take all the fat that covers the innards, the cover of the liver, the two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, and burn them on the altar. But the flesh of the bull, and its skin, and its dung, you shall burn with fire outside of the camp: it is a sin offering. You shall also take the one ram, and Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands on the head of the ram. You shall kill the ram, and you shall take its blood, and sprinkle it around on the altar. You shall cut the ram into its pieces, and wash its innards, and its legs, and put them with its pieces, and with its head. You shall burn the whole ram on the altar: it is a burnt offering to the Lord; it is a sweet savor, an offering made by fire to the Lord. You shall take the other ram, and Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands on the head of the ram. Then you shall kill the ram, and take some of its blood, and put it on the tip of the right ear of Aaron, and on the tip of the right ear of his sons, and on the thumb of their right hand, and on the big toe of their right foot, and sprinkle the blood on the altar round about. You shall take of the blood that is on the altar, and of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it on Aaron, and on his garments, and on his sons, and on the garments of his sons with him: and he shall be made holy, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons' garments with him. Also you shall take some of the ram's fat, the fat tail, the fat that covers the innards, the cover of the liver, the two kidneys, the fat that is on them, and the right thigh (for it is a ram of ordination), and one loaf of bread, one cake of oiled bread, and one wafer out of the basket of unleavened bread that is before the Lord. You shall put all of this in Aaron's hands, and in his sons' hands, and shall wave them for a wave offering before the Lord. You shall take them from their hands, and burn them on the altar as a burnt offering, for a sweet savor before the Lord: it is an offering made by fire to the Lord. You shall take the breast of Aaron's ram of ordination, and wave it for a wave offering before the Lord: and it shall be your portion. You shall sanctify the breast of the wave offering, and the thigh of the wave offering, which is waved, and which is heaved up, of the ram of ordination, which is for Aaron, and for his sons: and it shall be for Aaron and his sons as their portion forever from the children of Israel; for it is a wave offering: and it shall be a wave offering from the children of Israel of the sacrifices of their peace offerings: their wave offering to the Lord.”

"The holy garments of Aaron shall be for his sons after him, to be anointed in them, and to be ordained in them. Seven days shall the son who is priest in his place put them on, when he comes into the tent of meeting to minister in the holy place. You shall take the ram of ordination, and boil its flesh in a holy place. Aaron and his sons shall eat the flesh of the ram, and the bread that is in the basket, at the door of the tent of meeting. They shall eat those things with which atonement was made, to consecrate and sanctify them, but a stranger shall not eat of it, because they are holy. If anything of the flesh of the ordination, or of the bread, remains to the morning, then you shall burn the remainder with fire: it shall not be eaten, because it is holy. Thus shall you do to Aaron, and to his sons, according to all that I have commanded you. Seven days shall you ordain them. Every day you shall offer the bull of sin offering for atonement: and you shall cleanse the altar, when you make atonement for it, and you shall anoint it, to sanctify it. Seven days you shall make atonement for the altar, and sanctify it: and the altar shall be Most Holy; whatever touches the altar shall be holy.”

“Now this is what you shall offer on the altar: two lambs a year old day by day continually. The one lamb you shall offer in the morning, and the other lamb you shall offer at evening: and with the one lamb a tenth part of an ephah of fine flour mixed with the fourth part of a hin of beaten oil, and the fourth part of a hin of wine for a drink offering. The other lamb you shall offer at evening, and shall do to it according to the meal offering of the morning, and according to its drink offering, for a sweet savor, an offering made by fire to the Lord. It shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the tent of meeting before the Lord, where I will meet with you, to speak there to you. There I will meet with the children of Israel, and the place shall be sanctified by my glory. I will sanctify the tent of meeting and the altar: Aaron also and his sons I will sanctify, to minister to me in the priest's office. I will dwell among the children of Israel, and be their God. They shall know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I might dwell among them: I am the Lord their God.”