Bible Society of South Africa

To The Word – Day 22

Exodus 33–38

Bible text(s)

The LORD Orders Israel to Leave Mount Sinai

1The LORD said to Moses, “Leave this place, you and the people you brought out of Egypt, and go to the land that I promised to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and to their descendants. 2I will send an angel to guide you, and I will drive out the Canaanites, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 3You are going to a rich and fertile land. But I will not go with you myself, because you are a stubborn people, and I might destroy you on the way.”

4When the people heard this, they began to mourn and did not wear jewellery any more. 5For the LORD had commanded Moses to say to them, “You are a stubborn people. If I were to go with you even for a moment, I would completely destroy you. Now take off your jewellery, and I will decide what to do with you.” 6So after they left Mount Sinai, the people of Israel no longer wore jewellery.

The Tent of the LORD's Presence

7Whenever the people of Israel set up camp, Moses would take the sacred Tent and put it up some distance away from the camp. It was called the Tent of the LORD's presence, and anyone who wanted to consult the LORD would go out to it. 8Whenever Moses went out there, the people would stand at the door of their tents and watch Moses until he entered it. 9After Moses had gone in, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the door of the Tent, and the LORD would speak to Moses from the cloud. 10As soon as the people saw the pillar of cloud at the door of the Tent, they would bow down. 11The LORD would speak with Moses face to face, just as someone speaks with a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp. But the young man who was his helper, Joshua son of Nun, stayed in the Tent.

The LORD Promises to be with his People

12Moses said to the LORD, “It is true that you have told me to lead these people to that land, but you did not tell me whom you would send with me. You have said that you know me well and are pleased with me. 13Now if you are, tell me your plans, so that I may serve you and continue to please you. Remember also that you have chosen this nation to be your own.”

14The LORD said, “I will go with you, and I will give you victory.”

15Moses replied, “If you do not go with us, don't make us leave this place. 16How will anyone know that you are pleased with your people and with me if you do not go with us? Your presence with us will distinguish us from any other people on earth.”

17The LORD said to Moses, “I will do just as you have asked, because I know you very well and I am pleased with you.”

18Then Moses requested, “Please, let me see the dazzling light of your presence.”

19The LORD answered, “I will make all my splendour pass before you and in your presence I will pronounce my sacred name. I am the LORD, and I show compassion and pity on those I choose. 20I will not let you see my face, because no one can see me and stay alive, 21but here is a place beside me where you can stand on a rock. 22When the dazzling light of my presence passes by, I will put you in an opening in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23Then I will take my hand away, and you will see my back but not my face.”

The Second Set of Stone Tablets

(Deut 10.1–5)

1The LORD said to Moses, “Cut two stone tablets like the first ones, and I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. 2Be ready tomorrow morning, and come up Mount Sinai to meet me there at the top. 3No one is to come up with you; no one is to be seen on any part of the mountain; and no sheep or cattle are to graze at the foot of the mountain.” 4So Moses cut two more stone tablets, and early the next morning he carried them up Mount Sinai, just as the LORD had commanded.

5The LORD came down in a cloud, stood with him there, and pronounced his holy name, the LORD. 6The LORD then passed in front of him and called out, “I, the LORD, am a God who is full of compassion and pity, who is not easily angered and who shows great love and faithfulness. 7I keep my promise for thousands of generations and forgive evil and sin; but I will not fail to punish children and grandchildren to the third and fourth generation for the sins of their parents.”

8Moses quickly bowed down to the ground and worshipped. 9He said, “Lord, if you really are pleased with me, I ask you to go with us. These people are stubborn, but forgive our evil and our sin, and accept us as your own people.”

The Covenant is Renewed

(Ex 23.14–19; Deut 7.1–5; 16.1–17)

10The LORD said to Moses, “I now make a covenant with the people of Israel. In their presence I will do great things such as have never been done anywhere on earth among any of the nations. All the people will see what great things I, the LORD, can do, because I am going to do an awesome thing for you. 11Obey the laws that I am giving you today. I will drive out the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, as you advance. 12Do not make any treaties with the people of the country into which you are going, because this could be a fatal trap for you. 13Instead, tear down their altars, destroy their sacred pillars, and cut down the symbols of their goddess Asherah.

14“Do not worship any other god, because I, the LORD, tolerate no rivals. 15Do not make any treaties with the people of the country, because when they worship their pagan gods and sacrifice to them, they will invite you to join them, and you will be tempted to eat the food they offer to their gods. 16Your sons might marry those foreign women, who would lead them to be unfaithful to me and to worship their pagan gods.

17“Do not make and worship gods of metal.

18“Keep the Festival of Unleavened Bread. As I have commanded you, eat unleavened bread for seven days in the month of Abib, because it was in that month that you left Egypt.

19“Every firstborn son and firstborn male domestic animal belongs to me, 20but you are to buy back every firstborn donkey by offering a lamb in its place. If you do not buy it back, break its neck. Buy back every firstborn son.

“No one is to appear before me without an offering.

21“You have six days in which to do your work, but do not work on the seventh day, not even during ploughing time or harvest.

22“Keep the Harvest Festival when you begin to harvest the first crop of your wheat, and keep the Festival of Shelters in the autumn when you gather your fruit.

23“Three times a year all your men must come to worship me, the LORD, the God of Israel. 24After I have driven out the nations before you and extended your territory, no one will try to conquer your country during the three festivals.

25“Do not offer bread made with yeast when you sacrifice an animal to me. Do not keep until the following morning any part of the animal killed at the Passover Festival.

26“Each year bring to the house of the LORD the first corn that you harvest.

“Do not cook a young sheep or goat in its mother's milk.”

27The LORD said to Moses, “Write these words down, because it is on the basis of these words that I am making a covenant with you and with Israel.” 28Moses stayed there with the LORD forty days and nights, eating and drinking nothing. He wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant — the Ten Commandments.

Moses Goes Down from Mount Sinai

29When Moses went down from Mount Sinai carrying the Ten Commandments, his face was shining because he had been speaking with the LORD; but he did not know it. 30Aaron and all the people looked at Moses and saw that his face was shining, and they were afraid to go near him. 31But Moses called them, and Aaron and all the leaders of the community went to him, and Moses spoke to them. 32After that, all the people of Israel gathered round him, and Moses gave them all the laws that the LORD had given him on Mount Sinai. 33When Moses had finished speaking to them, he covered his face with a veil. 34Whenever Moses went into the Tent of the LORD's presence to speak to the LORD, he took the veil off. When he came out, he would tell the people of Israel everything that he had been commanded to say, 35and they would see that his face was shining. Then he would put the veil back on until the next time he went to speak to the LORD.

Regulations for the Sabbath

1Moses called together the whole community of the people of Israel and said to them, “This is what the LORD has commanded you to do: 2You have six days in which to do your work, but the seventh day is to be sacred, a solemn day of rest dedicated to me, the LORD. Anyone who does any work on that day is to be put to death. 3Do not even light a fire in your homes on the Sabbath.”

Offerings for the Sacred Tent

(Ex 25.1–9)

4Moses said to all the people of Israel, “This is what the LORD has commanded: 5Make an offering to the LORD. Everyone who wishes to do so is to bring an offering of gold, silver, or bronze; 6fine linen; blue, purple, and red wool; cloth made of goats' hair; 7rams' skin dyed red; fine leather; acacia wood; 8oil for the lamps; spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet-smelling incense; 9carnelians and other jewels to be set in the High Priest's ephod and in his breastpiece.

Articles for the Tent of the LORD's Presence

(Ex 39.32–43)

10“All the skilled workers among you are to come and make everything that the LORD commanded: 11the Tent, its covering and its outer covering, its hooks and its frames, its crossbars, its posts, and its bases; 12the Covenant Box, its poles, its lid, and the curtain to screen it off; 13the table, its poles, and all its equipment; the bread offered to God; 14the lampstand for the light and its equipment; the lamps with their oil; 15the altar for burning incense and its poles; the anointing oil; the sweet-smelling incense; the curtain for the entrance of the Tent; 16the altar on which to burn offerings, with its bronze grating attached, its poles, and all its equipment; the washbasin and its base; 17the curtains for the enclosure, its posts and bases; the curtain for the entrance of the enclosure; 18the pegs and ropes for the Tent and the enclosure; 19and the magnificent garments the priests are to wear when they serve in the Holy Place — the sacred clothes for Aaron the priest and for his sons.”

The People Bring their Offerings

20All the people of Israel left, 21and everyone who wished to do so brought an offering to the LORD for making the Tent of the LORD's presence. They brought everything needed for use in worship and for making the priestly garments. 22All who wanted to, both men and women, brought decorative pins, earrings, rings, necklaces, and all kinds of gold jewellery and dedicated them to the LORD. 23Everyone who had fine linen; blue, purple, or red wool; cloth of goats' hair; rams' skin dyed red; or fine leather, brought it. 24All who were able to contribute silver or bronze brought their offering for the LORD, and all who had acacia wood which could be used for any of the work brought it. 25All the skilled women brought fine linen thread and thread of blue, purple, and red wool, which they had made. 26They also made thread of goats' hair. 27The leaders brought carnelians and other jewels to be set in the ephod and the breastpiece 28and spices and oil for the lamps, for the anointing oil, and for the sweet-smelling incense. 29All the people of Israel who wanted to brought their offering to the LORD for the work which he had commanded Moses to do.

Workers to Make the Tent of the LORD's Presence

(Ex 31.1–11)

30Moses said to the Israelites, “The LORD has chosen Bezalel, the son of Uri and grandson of Hur, from the tribe of Judah. 31God has filled him with his power and given him skill, ability, and understanding for every kind of artistic work, 32for planning skilful designs and working them in gold, silver and bronze; 33for cutting jewels to be set; for carving wood; and for every other kind of artistic work. 34The LORD has given to him and to Oholiab son of Ahisamach, from the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach their crafts to others. 35He has given them skill in all kinds of work done by engravers, designers, and weavers of fine linen; blue, purple, and red wool; and other cloth. They are able to do all kinds of work and are skilful designers.

1“Bezalel, Oholiab, and all the other workers to whom the LORD has given skill and understanding, who know how to make everything needed to build the sacred Tent, are to make everything just as the LORD has commanded.”

The People Bring Many Gifts

2Moses called Bezalel, Oholiab, and all the other skilled men to whom the LORD had given ability and who were willing to help, and Moses told them to start working. 3They received from him all the offerings which the Israelites had brought for constructing the sacred Tent. But the people of Israel continued to bring Moses their offerings every morning. 4Then the skilled men who were doing the work went 5and reported to Moses, “The people are bringing more than is needed for the work which the LORD commanded to be done.”

6So Moses sent a command throughout the camp that no one was to make any further contribution for the sacred Tent; so the people did not bring any more. 7What had already been brought was more than enough to finish all the work.

Making the Tent of the LORD's Presence

(Ex 26.1–37)

8The most skilled men among those doing the work made the Tent of the LORD's presence. They made it out of ten pieces of fine linen woven with blue, purple, and red wool and embroidered with figures of winged creatures. 9Each piece was the same size, twelve metres long and two metres wide. 10They sewed five of them together in one set and did the same with the other five. 11They made loops of blue cloth on the edge of the outside piece in each set. 12They put fifty loops on the first piece of the first set and fifty loops matching them on the last piece of the second set. 13They made fifty gold hooks, with which to join the two sets into one piece.

14Then they made a cover for the Tent out of eleven pieces of cloth made of goats' hair. 15They made them all the same size, thirteen metres long and two metres wide. 16They sewed five of them together in one set and the other six in another set. 17They put fifty loops on the edge of the last piece of one set and fifty loops on the edge of the other set. 18They made fifty bronze hooks to join the two sets, so as to form one cover. 19They made two more coverings, one of rams' skin dyed red and the other of fine leather, to serve as an outer cover.

20They made upright frames of acacia wood for the Tent. 21Each frame was four metres tall and 66 centimetres wide, 22with two matching projections, so that the frames could be joined together. All the frames had these projections. 23They made twenty frames for the south side 24and forty silver bases to go under them, two bases under each frame to hold its two projections. 25They made twenty frames for the north side of the Tent 26and forty silver bases, two under each frame. 27For the back of the Tent, on the west, they made six frames 28and two frames for the corners. 29These corner frames were joined at the bottom and connected all the way to the top. The two frames that formed the two corners were made in this way. 30So there were eight frames and sixteen silver bases, two under each frame.

31They made fifteen crossbars of acacia wood, five for the frames on one side of the Tent, 32five for the frames on the other side, and five for the frames on the west end, at the back. 33The middle crossbar, set halfway up the frames, extended from one end of the Tent to the other. 34They covered the frames with gold and fitted them with gold rings to hold the crossbars, which were also covered with gold.

35They made a curtain of fine linen, woven with blue, purple, and red wool and embroidered it with figures of winged creatures. 36They made four posts of acacia wood to hold the curtain, covered them with gold, and fitted them with gold hooks. Then they made four silver bases to hold the posts. 37For the entrance of the Tent they made a curtain of fine linen woven with blue, purple, and red wool and decorated with embroidery. 38For this curtain they made five posts fitted with hooks, covered their tops and their rods with gold, and made five bronze bases for the posts.

Making the Covenant Box

(Ex 25.10–22)

1Bezalel made the Covenant Box out of acacia wood, 110 centimetres long, 66 centimetres wide, and 66 centimetres high. 2He covered it with pure gold inside and out and put a gold border all round it. 3He made four carrying rings of gold for it and attached them to its four feet, with two rings on each side. 4He made carrying poles of acacia wood, covered them with gold, 5and put them through the rings on each side of the box. 6He made a lid of pure gold, 110 centimetres long and 66 centimetres wide. 7He made two winged creatures of hammered gold, 8one for each end of the lid. He made them so that they formed one piece with the lid. 9The winged creatures faced each other across the lid, and their outspread wings covered it.

Making the Table for the Bread Offered to God

(Ex 25.23–30)

10He made the table out of acacia wood, 88 centimetres long, 44 centimetres wide, and 66 centimetres high. 11He covered it with pure gold and put a gold border round it. 12He made a rim 75 millimetres wide round it and put a gold border round the rim. 13He made four carrying rings of gold for it and put them at the four corners, where the legs were. 14The rings to hold the poles for carrying the table were placed near the rim. 15He made the poles of acacia wood and covered them with gold. 16He made the dishes of pure gold for the table: the plates, the cups, the jars, and the bowls to be used for the wine offering.

Making the Lampstand

(Ex 25.31–40)

17He made the lampstand of pure gold. He made its base and its shaft of hammered gold; its decorative flowers, including buds and petals, formed one piece with it.

18Six branches extended from its sides, three from each side. 19Each of the six branches had three decorative flowers shaped like almond blossoms with buds and petals. 20The shaft of the lampstand had four decorative flowers shaped like almond blossoms with buds and petals. 21There was one bud below each of the three pairs of branches. 22The buds, the branches, and the lampstand were a single piece of pure hammered gold. 23He made seven lamps for the lampstand, and he made its tongs and trays of pure gold. 24He used 35 kilogrammes of pure gold to make the lampstand and all its equipment.

Making the Altar for Burning Incense

(Ex 30.1–5)

25He made an altar out of acacia wood, for burning incense. It was square, 45 centimetres long and 45 centimetres wide, and it was ninety centimetres high. Its projections at the four corners formed one piece with it. 26He covered its top, all four sides, and its projections with pure gold and put a gold border round it. 27He made two gold carrying rings for it and attached them below the border on the two sides, to hold the poles with which it was to be carried. 28He made the poles of acacia wood and covered them with gold.

Making the Anointing Oil and the Incense

(Ex 30.22–38)

29He also made the sacred anointing oil and the pure sweet-smelling incense, mixed like perfume.

Making the Altar for Burning Offerings

(Ex 27.1–8)

1For burning offerings, he made an altar out of acacia wood. It was square, 2.2 metres long and 2.2 metres wide, and it was 1.3 metres high. 2He made the projections at the top of the four corners, so that they formed one piece with the altar. He covered it all with bronze. 3He also made all the equipment for the altar: the pans, the shovels, the bowls, the hooks, and the firepans. All this equipment was made of bronze. 4He made a bronze grating and put it under the rim of the altar, so that it reached halfway up the altar. 5He made four carrying rings and put them on the four corners. 6He made carrying poles of acacia wood, covered them with bronze, 7and put them in the rings on each side of the altar. The altar was made of boards and was hollow.

Making the Bronze Basin

(Ex 30.18)

8He made the bronze basin and its bronze base out of the mirrors belonging to the women who served at the entrance of the Tent of the LORD's presence.

The Enclosure for the Tent of the LORD's Presence

(Ex 27.9–19)

9For the Tent of the LORD's presence he made the enclosure out of fine linen curtains. On the south side the curtains were 44 metres long, 10supported by twenty bronze posts in twenty bronze bases, with hooks and rods made of silver. 11The enclosure was the same on the north side. 12On the west side there were curtains 22 metres long, with ten posts and ten bases and with hooks and rods made of silver. 13On the east side, where the entrance was, the enclosure was also 22 metres wide. 14-15On each side of the entrance there were 6.6 metres of curtains, with three posts and three bases. 16All the curtains round the enclosure were made of fine linen. 17The bases for the posts were made of bronze, and the hooks, the rods, and the covering of the tops of the posts were made of silver. All the posts round the enclosure were connected with silver rods. 18The curtain for the entrance of the enclosure was made of fine linen woven with blue, purple, and red wool and decorated with embroidery. It was nine metres long and two metres high, like the curtains of the enclosure. 19It was supported by four posts in four bronze bases. Their hooks, the covering of their tops, and their rods were made of silver. 20All the pegs for the Tent and for the surrounding enclosure were made of bronze.

Metals Used in the Tent of the LORD's Presence

21Here is a list of the amounts of the metals used in the Tent of the LORD's presence, where the two stone tablets were kept on which the Ten Commandments were written. The list was ordered by Moses and made by the Levites who worked under the direction of Ithamar son of Aaron the priest.

22Bezalel, the son of Uri and grandson of Hur, from the tribe of Judah, made everything that the LORD had commanded. 23His helper, Oholiab son of Ahisamach, from the tribe of Dan, was an engraver, a designer, and a weaver of fine linen and of blue, purple, and red wool.

24All the gold that had been dedicated to the LORD for the sacred Tent weighed one tonne, weighed according to the official standard. 25The silver from the census of the community weighed 3.43 tonnes, weighed according to the official standard. 26This amount equalled the total paid by all persons enrolled in the census, each one paying the required amount, weighed according to the official standard. There were 603,550 men twenty years old or older enrolled in the census. 27Of the silver, 3.4 tonnes were used to make the hundred bases for the sacred Tent and for the curtain, 34 kilogrammes for each base. 28With the remaining thirty kilogrammes of silver Bezalel made the rods, the hooks for the posts, and the covering for their tops. 29The bronze which was dedicated to the LORD amounted to 2.425 tonnes. 30With it he made the bases for the entrance of the Tent of the LORD's presence, the bronze altar with its bronze grating, all the equipment for the altar, 31the bases for the surrounding enclosure and for the entrance of the enclosure, and all the pegs for the Tent and the surrounding enclosure.

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