Exodus 38:21-31; This is the sum of the Tabernacle: A Summary of the gold, silver and brass; See how liberal the people were and how faithful the workmen were, in both which respects their good example ought to be followed. B.C. 1491

Exodus 38:21-31

21 This is the sum of the tabernacle, even of the tabernacle of testimony, as it was counted, according to the commandment of Moses, for the service of the Levites, by the hand of Ithamar, son to Aaron the priest.   22 And Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, made all that the LORD commanded Moses.   23 And with him was Aholiab, son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, an engraver, and a cunning workman, and an embroiderer in blue, and in purple, and in scarlet, and fine linen.   24 All the gold that was occupied for the work in all the work of the holy place, even the gold of the offering, was twenty and nine talents, and seven hundred and thirty shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary.   25 And the silver of them that were numbered of the congregation was an hundred talents, and a thousand seven hundred and threescore and fifteen shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary:   26 A bekah for every man, that is, half a shekel, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for every one that went to be numbered, from twenty years old and upward, for six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty men. 27 And of the hundred talents of silver were cast the sockets of the sanctuary, and the sockets of the vail; an hundred sockets of the hundred talents, a talent for a socket.   28 And of the thousand seven hundred seventy and five shekels he made hooks for the pillars, and overlaid their chapiters, and filleted them.   29 And the brass of the offering was seventy talents, and two thousand and four hundred shekels.   30 And therewith he made the sockets to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and the brazen altar, and the brazen grate for it, and all the vessels of the altar,   31 And the sockets of the court round about, and the sockets of the court gate, and all the pins of the tabernacle, and all the pins of the court round about.

Here we have a breviat of the account which, by Moses’s appointment, the Levites took and kept of the gold, silver, and brass, that was brought in for the tabernacle’s use, and how it was employed. Ithamar the son of Aaron was appointed to draw up this account, and was thus by less services trained up and fitted for greater, v. 21. Bezaleel and Aholiab must bring in the account (v. 22, 23), and Ithamar must audit it, and give it in to Moses. And it was thus:–

1. All the gold was a free-will offering; every man brought as he could and would, and it amounted to twenty-nine talents, and 730 shekels over, which some compute to be about 150,000l. worth of gold, according to the present value of it. Of this were made all the golden furniture and vessels.

2. The silver was levied by way of tax; every man was assessed half a shekel, a kind of poll-money, which amounted in the whole to 100 talents, and 1775 shekels over, v. 25, 26. Of this they made the sockets into which the boards of the tabernacle were let, and on which they rested; so that they were as the foundation of the tabernacle, v. 27. The silver amounted to about 34,000l. of our money. The raising of the gold by voluntary contribution, and of the silver by way of tribute, shows that either way may be taken for the defraying of public expenses, provided that nothing be done with partiality.

3. The brass, though less valuable, was of use not only for the brazen altar, but for the sockets of the court, which probably in other tents were of wood: but it is promised (Isa. lx. 17), For wood I will bring brass. See how liberal the people were and how faithful the workmen were, in both which respects their good example ought to be followed.

Matthew Henry Commentary

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