Reading 26/341, Exodus 36-38

[A] If you skim the very specific information about what is being built you might miss the line about the "mirrors of the ministering women who ministered at the door of the tent of meeting." Who were these women? It is possible that they were prostitutes, as this is what "ministering women" meant in ancient cultures, and these women do have mirrors, which not every woman would have had in this culture. If this is the case, it is significant that even they have made their contribution to the temple. Or they might have been the very pious women of the community who often prayed at the tent of meeting. They have given up their mirrors as a personal sacrifice to the Lord. No one knows for sure since they are not mentioned anywhere else.
[B] At the end we see that the money which was donated for the census, a sort of ransom that each man paid for his soul, was melted down and used in the building of the Tabernacle. So, in a sense, the Tabernacle is built out of the life of all the people.

...Exodus...

"Bezalel and Oholiab shall work with every wise-hearted man, in whom the Lord has put wisdom and understanding to know how to do all the work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that the Lord has commanded." Moses called Bezalel and Oholiab, and every wise-hearted man, in whose heart the Lord had put wisdom, everyone whose heart stirred him up to come to the work to do it, and they received from Moses all the offerings which the children of Israel had brought for the work of the service of the sanctuary, with which to make it. They brought to him freewill offerings every morning. All the wise men, who performed all the work of the sanctuary, each came from the work he did and spoke to Moses, saying, "The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work which the Lord commanded to make." Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, "Let neither man nor woman make any other offering for the sanctuary." So the people were restrained from bringing. For the things they had were sufficient to make all the items, were even too much.

All the wise-hearted men among those who did the work made the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, blue, purple, and scarlet, with cherubim, the work of skillful workman they made them. The length of each curtain was twenty-eight cubits, and the breadth of each curtain four cubits. All the curtains had one measure. He coupled five curtains to one another, and the other five curtains he coupled one to another. He made loops of blue on the edge of the one curtain from the edge in the coupling. Likewise he made in the edge of the curtain that was outermost in the second coupling. He made fifty loops in the one curtain, and he made fifty loops in the edge of the curtain that was in the second coupling. The loops were opposite one another. He made fifty clasps of gold, and coupled the curtains one to another with the clasps, so the tabernacle was all one. He made curtains of goats' hair for a tent over the tabernacle. He made them eleven curtains. The length of each curtain was thirty cubits, and four cubits the breadth of each curtain. The eleven curtains had one measure. He coupled five curtains by themselves, and six curtains by themselves. He made fifty loops on the edge of the curtain that was outermost in the coupling, and he made fifty loops on the edge of the curtain which was outermost in the second coupling. He made fifty clasps of bronze to couple the tent together, that it might be a unit. He made a covering for the tent of rams' skins dyed red, and a covering of fine leather above.

He made the boards for the tabernacle of acacia wood, standing up. Ten cubits was the length of a board, and a cubit and a half the breadth of each board. Each board had two tenons, joined one to another. He made all the boards of the tabernacle this way. He made the boards for the tabernacle: twenty boards for the south side southward. He made forty sockets of silver under the twenty boards; two sockets under one board for its two tenons, and two sockets under another board for its two tenons. For the second side of the tabernacle, on the north side, he made twenty boards, and their forty sockets of silver; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board. For the far part of the tabernacle westward he made six boards. He made two boards for the corners of the tabernacle in the far part. They were double beneath, and in like manner they were all the way to the top of it to one ring. He did thus to both of them in the two corners. There were eight boards, and their sockets of silver, sixteen sockets; under every board two sockets. He made bars of acacia wood; five for the boards of the 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 tabernacle for the rear westward. He made the middle bar to pass through in the midst of the boards from the one end to the other. He overlaid the boards with gold, and made their rings of gold for places for the bars, and overlaid the bars with gold.

He made the veil of blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen: with cherubim. He made it the work of a skillful workman. He made four pillars of acacia for it, and overlaid them with gold. Their hooks were of gold. He cast four sockets of silver for them. He made a screen for the door of the tent, of blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen, the work of an embroiderer, and the five pillars of it with their hooks. He overlaid their capitals and their fillets with gold, and their five sockets were of bronze.

Bezalel made the ark of acacia wood. Its length was two and a half cubits, and its breadth a cubit and a half, and a cubit and a half its height. He overlaid it with pure gold inside and outside, and made a molding of gold for it round about. He cast four rings of gold for it, in its four feet; even two rings on its one side, and two rings on its other side. He made poles of acacia wood, and overlaid them with gold. He put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark, to bear the ark. He made a mercy seat of pure gold. Its length was two and a half cubits, and a cubit and a half its width. He made two cherubim of gold. He made them of beaten work, at the two ends of the mercy seat; one cherub at the one end, and one cherub at the other end. He made the cherubim of one piece with the mercy seat at its two ends. The cherubim spread out their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, with their faces toward one another. The faces of the cherubim were toward the mercy seat.

He made the table of acacia wood. Its length was two cubits, and its width was a cubit, and its height was a cubit and a half. He overlaid it with pure gold, and made a gold molding around it. He made a border of a handbreadth around it, and made a golden molding on its border around it. He cast four rings of gold for it, and put the rings in the four corners that were on its four feet. The rings were close by the border, the places for the poles to carry the table. He made the poles of acacia wood, and overlaid them with gold, to carry the table. He made the vessels which were on the table, its dishes, its spoons, its bowls, and its pitchers with which to pour, of pure gold.

He made the lampstand of pure gold. He made the lampstand of beaten work. Its base, its shaft, its cups, its buds, and its flowers were of one piece with it. There were six branches going out of its sides: three branches of the lampstand out of its one side, and three branches of the lampstand out of its other side: three cups made like almond blossoms in one branch, a bud and a flower, and three cups made like almond blossoms in the other branch, a bud and a flower: so for the six branches going out of the lampstand. In the lampstand were four cups made like almond blossoms, its buds and its flowers, and a bud under two branches of one piece with it, and a bud under two branches of one piece with it, and a bud under two branches of one piece with it, for the six branches going out of it. Their buds and their branches were of one piece with it. The whole thing was one beaten work of pure gold. He made its seven lamps, and its snuffers, and its snuff dishes, of pure gold. He made it of a talent of pure gold, with all its vessels.

He made the altar of incense of acacia wood. It was square: its length was a cubit, and its width a cubit. Its height was two cubits. Its horns were of one piece with it. He overlaid it with pure gold, its top, its sides around it, and its horns. He made a gold molding around it. He made two golden rings for it under its molding crown, on its two ribs, on its two sides, as places to put poles with which to carry it. He made the poles of acacia wood, and overlaid them with gold. He made the holy anointing oil and the pure incense of sweet spices, after the art of the perfumer.

He made the altar of burnt offering of acacia wood. It was square. Its length was five cubits, its width was five cubits, and its height was three cubits. He made its horns on its four corners. Its horns were of one piece with it, and he overlaid it with bronze. He made all the vessels of the altar, the pots, the shovels, the basins, the forks, and the fire pans. He made all its vessels of bronze. He made for the altar a grating of a network of bronze, under the ledge around it beneath, reaching halfway up. He cast four rings for the four ends of bronze grating, to be places for the poles. He made the poles of acacia wood, and overlaid them with bronze. He put the poles into the rings on the sides of the altar, with which to carry it. He made it hollow with planks. He made the basin of bronze, and its base of bronze, out of the mirrors of the ministering women who ministered at the door of the tent of meeting.

He made the court: for the south side the hangings of the court were of fine twined linen, one hundred cubits; their pillars were twenty, and their sockets twenty, of bronze; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets were of silver. For the north side one hundred cubits, their pillars twenty, and their sockets twenty, of bronze; the hooks of the pillars, and their fillets, of silver. For the west side were hangings of fifty cubits, their pillars ten, and their sockets ten; the hooks of the pillars, and their fillets, of silver. For the east side fifty cubits. The hangings for the one side were fifteen cubits; their pillars three, and their sockets three, and so for the other side: on the left and the right by the gate of the court were hangings of fifteen cubits; their pillars three, and their sockets three. All the hangings around the court were of fine twined linen. The sockets for the pillars were of bronze. The hooks of the pillars and their fillets were of silver, and the overlaying of their capitals, of silver, and all the pillars of the court were filleted with silver. The screen for the gate of the court was the work of the embroiderer, of blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen. Twenty cubits was the length, and the height was five cubits, in width it was like the hangings of the court. Their pillars were four, and their sockets four, of bronze; their hooks of silver, and the overlaying of their capitals, and their fillets, of silver. All the pegs of the tabernacle, and around the court, were of bronze.

This is the amount of material used for the tabernacle, the Tabernacle of the Covenant, as they were counted, according to the commandment of Moses, for the service of the Levites, by the hand of Ithamar, the son of Aaron the priest. Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, made all that the Lord commanded Moses. With him was Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, an engraver, and a skillful workman, and an embroiderer in blue, in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen. All the gold that was used for the work in all the work of the sanctuary, even the gold of the offering, was twenty-nine talents, and seven hundred thirty shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary. The silver of those who were numbered of the congregation was one hundred talents, and one thousand seven hundred seventy-five shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary: a beka a head, that is, half a shekel, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for everyone who crossed over to the side of the numbered, from twenty years old and upward, six hundred three thousand five hundred fifty men. The one hundred talents of silver were for casting the sockets of the sanctuary, and the sockets of the veil; one hundred sockets for the one hundred talents, a talent for a socket. Of the one thousand seven hundred seventy-five shekels he made hooks for the pillars, overlaid their capitals, and made fillets for them. The bronze of the offering was seventy talents, and two thousand four hundred shekels. With this he made the sockets to the door of the tent of meeting, the bronze altar, the bronze grating for it, all the vessels of the altar, the sockets around the court, the sockets of the gate of the court, all the pegs of the tabernacle, and all the pegs around the court.

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