God designs the worship center
God asks for donations1The LORD told Moses, 2“I want you to tell the people of Israel to take an offering. Anyone who wants to contribute should do it. 3This is the list of what they can donate: gold, silver, bronze; 4yarn dyed blue, purple, or crimson; fine linen; goat hair; 5tanned leather from rams, dyed red; acacia wood; 6oil for lamps; fragrant spices to put into anointing oil and incense; 7precious stones and gems to mount on the high priest’s apron and vest. 8Have the people build a tent worship center, where I can be with them. 9I’m going to give you detailed construction plans for the worship center and all the furnishings inside. Follow the plans exactly.
Gold box for the Ten Commandments10One of the furnishings I want you to build is a box made of acacia wood. Measurements: 45 inches long and 27 wide and high (1.25 m x .75 m x .75 m). 11Plate the wood with gold inside and out. Then add a molded band of gold all around the box. 12Make four gold rings. Attach them to the four corners of the box, at the feet. Put two rings on each side. 13Make poles from acacia wood. Cover them in gold. 14Put the poles through the rings, one pole on each side of the box. These poles are for carrying the box. 15Always keep the poles inside the rings. 16When you’re building the box, put the Ten Commandments inside it. 17Make a cover for the box out of pure gold. Make it 45 inches long and 27 inches wide (1.25 m x .75 m). 18Hammer out of gold two images of celestial beings: cherubim. 19They go on top of the box’s lid, one on each end. 20Have the cherubim face each other, but bowing down at the lid. Spread their wings up and over, so their wings cover the lid of the box. 21When you’re done making the lid, put the lid on top of the box, with the Ten Commandments inside. 22This is where I’ll meet with you, at the Box of the Law, above the lid and between the cherubim. There, I’ll talk with you about all the laws I’ll have for the people of Israel.
Sacred table for God’s bread23I want you to make a table out of acacia wood. Make it 36 inches long, 18 inches wide, and 27 inches high (92 cm x 46 cm x 69 cm). 24Cover the wood with a layer of pure gold. Then wrap the table with a molded border made of gold. 25Give the table a rim about as wide as the palm of the hand. Add a molded border of gold around the rim. 26I want you to make four golden rings for this table. Attach the rings to the four corners, where the legs are. 27Put the rings up high, close to the rim of the table. These rings will hold the poles used to carry the table. 28Make the poles of acacia wood and cover them with a layer of gold. These poles will be used to carry the table. 29Use gold to make containers for the tabletop: bowls, dippers, pitchers, and jars. These will be used with the wine offerings. 30Put the sacred bread, the “Bread in God’s Presence,” on this table and keep it there all the time.
Light from a golden lampstand31I want you to make a lampstand of pure, hammered gold. It should have a base, a center stem, cups to hold lamps, and decorations of flower buds and petals. Make all these as one solid piece. 32Design the lampstand with six branches extending out from the center stem, three branches on each side, left and right. 33Every branch on this lampstand should have three cups that will hold oil lamps. Shape these cups to look like almond blossoms, with buds and petals. 34Put four of these lamp cups on the center stem of the lamp. Make them look like almond blossoms, too, with buds and petals. 35Put an almond blossom under each pair of branches coming out of the stem. 36Make the buds in the branches of one piece of hammered gold. 37Make seven gold lamps for this lampstand. Then put the lamps on the lampstands and set them up so they project their light forward. 38Make tongs and the fire pans of gold, too. 39You'll need about 75 pounds (35 kg) of gold to make this lampstand and everything that goes with it. 40Carefully follow all these instructions I have given you here on the mountain.
The writer seems to mention a particular stone, but it’s uncertain which. Scholars have guessed onyx and lapis lazuli.
Also called the Tabernacle, a tent version of the Jerusalem Temple that the Jewish people would build when David’s son Solomon became king, several centuries later.
Better known as the Ark of the Covenant, a sacred chest that would hold the Ten Commandments. It was Israel’s most revered object, and it was kept in the most sacred room inside the worship center, a room sometimes known as the Holy of Holies or the Most Holy Place.
Perhaps for decoration.
Ark of the Covenant.
The bread is also known as consecrated bread, or the Bread of the Presence, or the shewbread. Every Sabbath day, priests put 12 fresh loaves of bread on the table. A week later, priests ate those loaves and replaced them with another dozen loaves of bread (Leviticus 24:5-9).
Priests later put this lampstand (menorah, in the Hebrew language) in the most sacred room of the worship center. It’s where they kept the 10 Commandments inside the gold-plated box best known as the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 27:20-21). The menorah became a popular Jewish symbol in synagogues, on jewelry, and in the State of Israel. Jewish tradition in the Talmud, a collection of sacred Jewish writings, says it’s forbidden to make an exact replica of the menorah. Exact replicas are reserved for a Jewish Temple or a tent worship center known as the Tabernacle.
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