Read 32.) Exodus 35:1 thru 38:31. Though Israel quickly broke God’s covenant with Him; God even more quickly, and very graciously, renewed it in chapter 34. From here, with chapter 35, we begin to read of the construction of the Tabernacle in its many details. It begins with a free will offering by Israel, unto the Lord, for His Tabernacle. Verses 10 thru 19 summarize all that the next 3 chapters that follow will cover. Consider how blessed these two men, Bezalel and Oholiab were, that they got to see and handle all the sacred elements of the Tabernacle, before they were consecrated, put to use, and removed from Israel’s sight. It must have been glorious!
It begins in chapter 36, but first, please note… the people freely brought too much for the construction of God’s dwelling! They had to be restrained from bringing any more. O, that we had such a heart as to give unto God like that! The rest of the chapter describes the Tabernacle itself, made of wood, but having a tent covering over it, and a magnificent curtain entrance. The wall boards of the Tabernacle were some 17′ high and 31″ wide, that would stand in silver bases. Standing side-by-side, the boards would make the Tabernacle structure to be some 52′ long and 16′ wide. There were 5 long bar sets that ran thru rings, so as to keep all of the boards, steady, even and upright. These boards, bars and rings were all covered with gold! It, too, must have been glorious! From chapter 37, we have the Ark, the Table of Showbread, the Golden Lampstand and the Altar of Incense; all the furniture to be inside the Tabernacle. These were also entirely overlaid with gold. An on-line image search of all these things helps to see their incredible glory! Then, with chapter 38, we conclude with the making of the Bronze Altar of Burnt Offering, the Bronze Basin for washing, and all the curtains for the 172′ long and 86′ wide Courtyard, with its east-facing entrance. The Courtyard fabric walls were a little more than 8 1/2′ high.
Our reading ends with mention of the amount of the materials used in the construction of all the Tabernacle. There being more than 1 ton of gold, at 14.58 Troy oz per regular pound, there was at least 29,160 troy oz. Gold, as I write, is $1,281.60 per oz. There is some $37.4 million worth of gold here. There was more than 7,500 lb of silver employed. That’s more than 109,350 Troy oz, at a current $17.38 an oz, or at least $1.9 million in silver. Add the 5,000 lb of bronze, and all the other gems and fine materials, and today’s ‘value’ of Israel’s Tabernacle in the Wilderness of 1446 BC was on the order of, perhaps, $50 million! It would also serve Israel for more than 400 years! Please do that on-line image search, and behold, the glory of the Tabernacle of the Lord! It is representative of what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell