1. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
1. Et loquutus est Jehova ad Mosen, dicendo:
2. Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering.
2. Alloquere filios Israel ut tollant mihi levationem: ab omni viro cujus cor voluntarie dederit illam, sumetis levationem meam.
3. And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass,
3. Ista autem est oblatio quam capietis ab eis, aurum et argentum, et aes,
4. And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair,
4. Et hyacinthum, et purpuram, et vermiculum cocci, et byssum, et pilos caprarum,
5. And rams' skins dyed red, and badgers' skins, and shittim-wood,
5. Et pelles arietum rubricatas, et pelles taxorum, et ligna sittim.
6. Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense,
6. Oleum pro luminari, aromata pro oleo unctionis et pro thymiamate aromatum:
7. Onyx-stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate.
7. Lapides onychinos, et lapides plenitudinum pro ephod et pro pectorali.
8. And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.
8. Et facient mihi sanctuarium, ut habitem in medio eorum.
9. According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.
9. Omnino ut ego ostendam tibi similitudinem habitaculi, et similitudinem omnium vasorum ejus, sic facietis.
10. And they shall make an ark of shittim-wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof.
10. Facient etiam arcam e lignis sittim: duorum cubitorum et semis erit longitudo ejus, cubitus vero et semis latitudo ejus, cubiti item et semis altitudo ejus.
11. And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it; and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about.
11. Operiesque eam auro puro, intrinsecus et extrinsecus, operies inquam, eam, faciesque super eam coronam auream in circuitu.
12. And thou shalt cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in the four corners thereof; and two rings shall be in the one side of it, and two rings in the other side of it.
12. Fundes quoque ei quatuor annulos aureos, quos pones ad quatuor angulos ejus: duos videlicet annulos in latere ejus uno, et duos annulos in latere ejus altero.
13. And thou shalt make staves of shittim-wood, and overlay them with gold.
13. Facies praeterea vectes ex lignis sittim, quos cooperies auro.
14. And thou shalt put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, that the ark may be borne with them.
14. Inducesque vectes in annulos qui erunt in lateribus illius arcrae, ut illis deferetur area.
15. The staves shall be in. the rings of the ark; they shall not be taken from it.
15. In annulis illius arcae erunt vectes, non removebuntur ab ea.
16. And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee.
16. Ponesque in arca testimonium quod dabo tibi.
17. And thou shalt make a mercy-seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof.
17. Facies et operculum ex auro mundo: duorum cubitorum et dimidii erit longitudo ejus, cubiti vero et dimidii latitudo ejus.
18. And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold; of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy-seat.
18. Facies etiam duos cherubim aureos: ductiles facies eos in duabus extremitatibus propitiatorii.
19. And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end; even of the mercy-seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof.
19. Facies autem cherub unum in extremo hinc, et cherub alterum in extremo inde: ex propitiatorio facietis cherubim, duabus extremitatibus ejus.
20. And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy-seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy-seat shall the faces of the cherubims be.
20. Expandentque cherubim duas alas superne tegentes alis suis propitiatorium, et se mutuo aspicient: ad propitiatorium erunt facies cherubim.
21. And thou shalt put the mercy-seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee.
21. Pones autem propitiatorium super arcam superne, et in arca pones testimonium quod dabo tibi.
22. And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy-seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.
22. Conveniamque tecum illuc, et loquar tecum e propitiatorio inter duos cherubim quod erit super arcama testimonii, quaecunque praecipiam tibi ad filios Israel.
Now, the question is, whether he was called to receive the first tables in the beginning of the fourth month? If this be allowed, he could scarcely have prescribed the building of the sanctuary before the end of the eighth month; for it would have been absurd to give 3 the tables of God's paternal favor between the two ascents, while the separation of the tabernacle was testifying of their divorce from Him. Thus, then, I establish the fact, that four whole months were employed in this long and difficult work. And surely it was wonderful that so short a time should suffice; had not incredible activity surpassed all men's expectation, whilst they all emulously devoted themselves with unwearied labor to hasten the work. And it is probable, that after God had established His covenant, He immediately delivered the ordinances respecting the tabernacle and its adjuncts; lest the people should be without the external exercises of religion, which we have seen to be so very necessary. But after the completion of the work, Moses was again commanded to come nigh to God with Nadab, Abihu, and the seventy elders; and after the offering of sacrifices, he was taken up into the cloud to hold familiar communion with God, where he passed about a month and a half. Having returned, and being made aware of the rebellion of the people, the slaughter of the three thousand took place, and he commanded the people to mourn. How long he remained we know not, but it is probable that at least a month passed before he was recalled We have now more than nine months; and if we add the month and a half during which he was kept in the mount, we shall not be far from the end of the year. God then reconciled Himself to the people, and thus the legitimate dedication of the tabernacle soon followed, which took place in the second year at the beginning of the first month. The Passover having been celebrated, the sign of removal was given in the second month.
If any disagree with me, I would now have them answer me, how it is consistent that Moses, having detected the people's transgression, should then have begun to exhort them to the building of the sanctuary, whereas in his whole address there is no mention made of idolatry? Surely, all things well considered, we must be ready to confess that the people were still loyal when they so heartily consecrated their property to God. But the whole question is sufficiently settled by what I have alleged on the testimony of Moses, viz., that before he came down with the first tables the tabernacle was already in being, unless, perhaps, it be objected that it was another tabernacle, and different from that which was afterwards set up by God's command. But this is a very foolish cavil, for Moses had no authority to make an earthly dwelling-place for God, and to impose on it the sacred name whereby the sanctuary is always honored; and he expressly relates that God's glory appeared in it, in order that the people might more surely know that they were separated from God for their uncleanness, of which matter we shall again speak in its proper place. Again, the word
"Behold I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever."
And again, Exodus 20:21,
"And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness, where God was."
From whence it is plain that there is no absurdity in saying that he had already seen the pattern of the tabernacle wherein God would be worshipped.
But lest any should object that I rest upon conjectures only, Moses himself plainly shews that, before he received the tables, God gave him instructions respecting the making of the tabernacle; for twice in chapter 25 it is said, "Thou shalt put in the Ark the testimony which I shall give thee," verses 16 and 21; from whence it is clear that the tables were not yet given, when from God's command he described the whole structure; and thence we again infer that, when the tabernacle was set up, he went up into the mount to bring down the tables which were to be placed in the Ark. But, before he begins to treat of the construction of the tabernacle, he imposes a tribute upon the people, that each, according to his means, should contribute materials both for the tabernacle itself and for all its furniture. The heaving, or,
But the great number and intricacy of the ceremonies were so far from awakening piety, that they were even the occasion of superstition, or era foolish and perverse confidence. Again, so many and such various rites seem to have had no other tendency than to feed curiosity. It will be therefore worth while briefly to premise something respecting this point,. They are, in my judgment, at fault, who think that the eyes of the people were captivated by these magnificent sights, lest their religion, being stripped of all ornament, should become dishonored, when amongst the Gentiles their false worship was splendid even to a miracle; and thus a depraved rivalry might affect their minds, 9 if the beauty of the tabernacle did not at least equal the pomp of others, as though the God they worshipped were inferior to idols. On the same grounds they imagine that the Jews were burdened with many observances; lest, if God had only sparingly and slightly exercised them, they would in their natural curiosity, have sought in all directions after profane trifles. They tell part of the truth, but not the whole; for I admit that this was given to the ancient people, in order that, when they saw the tabernacle so brilliantly ornamented, they might be inspired with greater reverence. I also admit that, by God's command, they were engrossed with many ceremonies, that they might not seek after strange ones; but if this had been the only object proposed in them, the whole legal service would have only availed for ostentation in its shadows and histrionic pomps. But it is most absurd to think that God so trifled with His people. We see, too, how honorably David and the Prophets speak of these exercises. 10 It is, therefore, impiety to suppose that the legal rites were like farces composed in imitation of the Gentiles. In order, then, to preserve their honor and dignity, we must remember the principle to which we have lately alluded, viz., that all of them were arranged according to the spiritual pattern which had been shewn to Moses in the mount. (Exodus 25:40.) And this both Stephen, and the Apostle in the Epistle to the Hebrews, wisely observed, when they would reprove the gross follies of the people who continued to be wrapped up in the external ceremonies, as if religion were comprised in them. (Acts 7:44; Hebrews 8:5.) Stephen and the Apostle, therefore, are our best expositors, that the tabernacle, the altar, the table, the Ark of the Covenant, were of no importance except in so far as they referred to the heavenly pattern, of which they were the shadows and images. Thence their entire utility, and even their legitimate use, depended on the truth, (which they represented.) 11 For the slaughter of an ox profits nothing in itself, nay, it is but an unimportant thing; and so all the sacrifices, except that they were types, would have been thought nothing of. Whence we gather that there is the greatest difference between the ceremonies of the Law and the profane rites of the Gentiles, for they differ from each other not only inasmuch as God is the author of the one, and that the temerity of men has foolishly invented the other, but because among the Gentiles their religion was entirely comprised in these bare and empty pomps; whilst God, by these rudiments, which He gave to His people, elevated pious minds, as it were by steps, to higher things. Thus the Gentiles seemed to themselves duly to propitiate (their gods) when they offered victims; whilst the sacrifices of the Jews were acceptable to God, because they were exercises of repentance and faith. So the Law instructed the Jews in the spiritual worship of God, and in nothing else, though it were clothed in ceremonies agreeably to the requirements of the age. For, before the truth was fully made known, the childhood of the Church was to be directed by earthly elements, and thus, though there was great affinity and likeness between the Jews and Gentiles as regarded the external form of their religious service, yet its end was widely different. Moreover, when we would seek the body or substance of the ancient shadows, and the truth of the figures, we may learn them, not only from the Apostles, but also from the Prophets, who everywhere draw the attention of believers to the kingdom of Christ; yet their clearer explanation must be sought in the Gospel, where Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, shining forth, shews that their fulfillment exists in Himself alone. But, although by His coming He abolished these typical ceremonies as regards their use, yet at the same time He established the reverence justly due to them; since they have no claim to be held in esteem on any other grounds, except that their completion is found in Him; for, if they are separated from Him, it is plain that they are mere farces, 12 since neither the blood of animals, nor the sweetness of fat, nor aromatic odors, nor candles, nor anything of that sort, have any power to propitiate God. This indeed must be remembered, that the Jews did not pay attention to the legal sacrifices in vain, since the promises were annexed to them; as often, therefore, as these sentences occur, "your iniquity shall be blotted out," -- "ye shall appear before my face," -- "I will hear you from the sanctuary," we are reminded that all the ancient figures were sure testimonies of God's grace and of eternal salvation; and thus Christ was represented in them, since all the promises are in Him, yea, and amen. (2 Corinthians 1:20.) Yet it by no means follows from hence that there were mysteries hidden in all their details, since some, with mistaken acuteness, pass over no point, however trifling, without an allegorical exposition; as, in this passage, for instance, the dimensions of the ark afford them matter of speculation. 13 But it will be enough for the sound and sober-minded to know that God would have His Law deposited in a handsome vessel, in order that its majesty should be recognized. He commanded that the ark itself should be carried with staves, that the hands of the Levites might not touch it, and thus that its sanctity might be the greater
1 "Calvine here hath a singular opinion by himself concerning the time of erecting the tabernacle, with the parts and members thereof, which begin here to be described; for he thinketh that the tabernacle was built and set up before Moses had brought the first tables; and his reasons are these: -- 1. There is mention made of the tabernacle, 33-7, immediately after Moses was come down with the tables in his hand, which he broke; and therefore the tabernacle being presently after spoken of, must be made before. Answer. This was not the great tabernacle which was afterwards made for God's service, for that tabernacle was not set without the Host, as this was, but in the midst: Lippoman. But it was Moses's tabernacle, whither the people had access to consult with God. Jun. 2. In this chapter it is said, verse 16, ' Thou shalt put in the ark the testimony, which I shall give thee;' therefore he received the testament before he made the ark, wherein he was to put it. Answer. This followeth not, that the ark was therefore made first, but that the form thereof was described first how it should be made, which was in the Mount; after which form it was made after that Moses had received the tables of the testimony. 3. When Moses cometh to exhort the people to build the tabernacle, he maketh no mention at all of their apostasy and idolatry; therefore it is evident, that they were yet sound, they had not yet committed that sin, seeing they do so cheerfully consecrate their best things to the Lord.
"Answer. -- l. The people had already received correction for their fault; and Moses, in sign of God's indignation against them, had removed his tent from among them, 33-7; therefore it cannot be said that no mention is made of their falling away. 2. The people, such especially as were touched with remorse for their sin, did so much the more shew themselves cheerful in God's service, as a sign of true repentance. 3. And Moses having entreated the Lord for His people, would not be still harping upon the same string, in upbraiding them with their fault, lest he might altogether have discouraged them.
"Wherefore, it is very clear that the tabernacle was not erected and set up before the receiving of the tables, but after; for these reasons: -- 1. Because Moses is here bidden to make the tabernacle according to all which the Lord should show him in the Mount; but the form thereof was first showed him in the Mount, when he continued there forty days and nights, in the end whereof he received the tables, Deut. 9:10; therefore the tabernacle could not be made before the fashion thereof was shewed to Moses. Calvine here answereth that divers times before this Moses was in the Mount with God, when the fashion of the tabernacle might be shewed him. But it is evident, 24:18, that this was done in the forty days and nights, when Moses was entered into the cloud, and there so long continued. 2. It is expressly said that the tabernacle was reared up in the second year, and the first month, the first day, xl. 17. It was not then dedicated and set in order only, as Calvine answereth, but then first set up. And in the second year, in the second month, upon the twentieth day, they removed from Sinai, which was about a month and a half after; but if the tabernacle were built before Moses received the tables, he after the finishing thereof was twice with the Lord, each time forty days; which could not be, seeing about forty or fifty days after the tabernacle was erected, the whole camp removed, as is said. 3. Besides, by this means a great part of Exodus shall be transposed; all that followeth from chap. 35. to the end, concerning the making and setting up of the tabernacle, should be in order placed before the 32, 33, and 34, chapters; this being admitted, that the tabernacle was first erected, before Moses had the tables delivered to him. Therefore, rather the order of the story is this: first, there is the description of the tabernacle to chap. 30; then followeth the let and impediment to the building of it, the people's trans- gression, chap. 32-33; thirdly, the execution of God's commandment, and framing of the tabernacle, chap. 35:40; fourthly, the erection and setting of it up, chap. xl Lyranus." -- Willet's Hexapla, in loco.
2 "Sepulchra concupiscentiae." -- Lat.
3 "Les tables comme instrument de la faveur paternelle de Dieu." -- Fr.
6 The third person singular masculine future of
7 The concluding sentence omitted in Fr.
8 "This was perhaps the acacia horrida, a kind of mimosa, a native of Arabia, since the Arabic word resembles the Hebrew. The thorns are twinned, and nearly equal to the leaves in length. The leaves are repeatedly winged. The spikes, of white flowers, proceed from the bosom of the leaves. The wood is of an excellent quality, whence it deserves the name given by the Greek translators,
9 "Et fussent induits a essayer de faire plus qu'eux;" and they might be induced to try to do more than they. -- Fr.
10 Hengstenberg,. Dissertations on the Pentateuch, vol. 2. pp. 504-505, briefly, but most satisfactorily, enumerates the objects of the Ceremonial Law in reply to the deistical writers, who, like De Wette, "can find out no rational basis for it," and can form no other notion of these pedantic regulations, this gnat-straining, as he calls it, than as the production of a later priestcraft. "The best apology Hengstenberg says)of the Ceremonial Law lies in pointing out its objects, and these, therefore, we present to refute the charges brought against it: -- First, It served to cherish the religious sentiment. The Israelite was reminded by it in all his relations, even the most insignificant and external, of God; the thought of God was introduced into the very midst of the popular life. Secondly, It required the recognition of sin, and thus called forth the first thing essential for the reception of redemption, a sense of the need of redemption. The people must be burdened and heavy-laden, in order that the Lord might say to them, Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy, laden, and I will give you rest. The Law was, and was intended to be, a heavy yoke, and therefore would awaken a longing after the Redeemer. Everywhere it proclaimed, Touch not, taste not, handle not! and thus was a perpetual remembrancer of sin. Thirdly, It served to separate Israel from the heathen; it erected between the two a wall of separation, by which communication was prevented. Compare Ephesians 2:14. Not yet strong enough to conquer heathenism, the people were, so to speak, shut up, to be withdrawn from its influence, to preserve them for the time in which, armed with power from on high, they might commence an offensive war against it. The preliminary limitation effected by the Ceremonial Law served as the means of the future illimitedness. Fourthly, Many things in the Ceremonial Law served, by impressions on the senses, to awaken reverence for holy things among a sensual people. The bad consequence of denying this is, that it will then be necessary to impose a symbolic meaning on institutions, in which evidently nothing of the kind is to be found. Fifthly, One principal object of the Ceremonial Law lay in its symbolic meaning. The people, enthralled in visible objects, were not yet capable of vitally appropriating supersensual truth in words, the form most suited to their nature. It was needful for the truth to condescend, to come down to their power of apprehension, to prepare itself a body from visible things, in order to free the people from the bondage of the visible. This form was common to the Israelitish religion with that of the heathen, and therein lies its best apology. Would we rather not speak at all to the dumb than make use of signs? The Ceremonial Law was not the opposite to the worship of God in spirit and in truth, but only an imperfect form of the same, a necessary preparation for it. The accommodation was only formal, one which did not alter the essence, but only presented it in large capital letters to children who could not yet read a small running-hand." - Ryland's Translation, Edinburgh, 1847.
11 Added from Fr
12 Lat., "lusorias." Fr., "frivoles et comme badinages."
13 "Rupertus thus collecteth, that as the Ark is described to be two cubits and a half in length, equal to the stature of a man, so God hath appeared on earth, and shewed himself unto the capacity of men." -- Willet, Hexapla, in loco.
14 "A testimony, or public evidence," from
16 Addition in Fr., "quand il le magnifie tant, et."
17 See Commentary on Genesis 3:23. Calvin Society Translation, vol. 1. p. 186. The fanciful derivation to which C. objects, he had found in S. M., who states it as popular with the Rabbis, But as untenable. -- W.
18 Que pour donner goust au peuple de la doctrine de la Loy, et l'accoustumer aux ceremonies;" as to give the people a taste for the doctrine of the Law, and to accustom them to its ceremonies. -- Fr.
19 Gregorius in Gloss. Ord. "The two cherubim are the two Testaments. One of them stands on one end of the mercy-seat, and the other on the other; because what the Old Testament begins to promise in prophecy respecting the Incarnation of Christ, the New relates to be perfectly fulfilled. They are made of very pure gold, because both Testaments are written with pure and simple truth.They stretch out their wings and cover the oracles; because we (who are God's oracles) are protected from imminent errors by the study of sacred Scripture; and whilst we earnestly look at it, we are covered by its wings from the mistakes of ignorance. They look towards one another with their faces turned to the mercy-seat, because the Testaments differ in nothing, and look mutually to each other; for what the one promises the other exhibits. And they see the mercy-seat, i.e., the Mediator between God and men, placed between them; for they would turn away their faces from each other, if the one promised what the other denied." -- See also Bede in Gloss. Ord., and Augustin Qoest. in Ex. 105.
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