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Moses from the people, by shedding a visible glory on
him. This served to confirm their belief in the relation which Moses doubtless gave, of what had lately been revealed to him.
In this section we perceive the value of Divine Revelation; without this, the, nature and attributes of the SuPREME BEING could not have been ascertained; for supposing that mankind could have discovered by the light of reason, that GOD is good, gracious, and merciful, they could not have been absolutely sure that He would pardon sin; neither could they have known that He will not clear the guilty; that is, pass over guilt, without some atonement being made for it; and this ignorance might have occasioned them to fall into the extremes of slavish fear, or ill-founded confidence.
It certainly must have afforded great satisfaction to Moses and the Israelites, to know what kind of a Being Gop is, in respect to His Divine attributes; and Christians may meditate on this portion of Scripture with delight and advantage. As GOD is merciful, gracious, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, He has a just claim to our love, gratitude, and obe dience. As He will not clear the guilty, but visit the sin, for which atonement is not made, and pardon obtained, upon children's children, unto the third and fourth generation, we should be careful to avoid sin, and desirous to receive His gracious pardon, through our Mediator, who has made atonement for the sins of the whole world, but whose intercession is still necessary for individuals.
From the remarkable instance which is here recorded of the favour of the LORD to Moses, we learn, that the ALMIGHTY, is not displeased with those who wish to know Him; and we may assure ourselves, that though God does not visibly appear to us, He will display His attributes
attributes to the minds of those who truly love Him, so that they shall sensibly feel, that He is good and gracious, long suffering, abundant in goodness and truth.
THE PEOPLE'S FREE-WILL OFFERINGS A DESCRIPTION OF THE TABERNACLE AND ITS APPURTENANCES, &C.
THE favour of the LORD being thus happily restored to his people Israel, He vouchsafed to draw near to them again; and to shew that He graciously designed to dwell or abide among them, the LORD restored to Moses the Testimony of his Covenant, written like that which Moses broke when he saw the people worshipping the golden calf at his descent from Mount Sinai. Having received the Tables of the Law, Moses gathered the people together, and after giving them a very strict injunction to keep the Sabbath-day holy, as the sign which was above all things to distinguish them from idolators, as the people of the LORD, the Creator of heaven and earth; he called upon every man who had a willing heart to make an offering of gold, silver, brass, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine linen, rams' skins, badg ers' skins, shittim wood, oil, spices, and precious stones; and upon all who had skill and ingenuity, to assist in making a Tabernacle or Sanctuary to serve as a receptacle for the Ark of the Covenant, and also as a place of public worship. For making this Tabernacle and all the furniture and utensils suitable to it, Moses had received particular instructions from the LORD during his forty days continuance on the mount; likewise for ordaining a priesthood, and clothing the Priests in a distinguishing
No sooner was the summons issued by Moses, than a general emulation prevailed among the people, both men and women, and great quantities of gold, silver,
jewels, and other precious materials, which they haď brought out of Egypt, and hitherto had had no use for, were in a short time collected.
Moses then informed the people that the LORD had chosen two men, Bazaleel, of the tribe of Judah, and Aholiab, of the tribe of Dan, to be master workmen ; and had inspired them with wisdom, so that, without any human instruction, they should be able to contrive all kinds of curious works for the ornaments of the Tabernacle, &c. He then cailed for Bazaleel and Aho, liab, and other men, who were also filled with ingenuity by the SPIRIT OF THE LORD, and committed to them the offerings which the people had brought, and they immediately set about the necessary prepara. tions*.
Such an ardent desire now prevailed among the people, to shew their devotion to the LORD, that every morning and evening one or other brought fresh offer. ings, till Moses, finding the supplies more than sufficient, caused proclamation to be made that they might desist. The work of the Tabernacle now went on with the greatest expedition. While the men of Israel were employed about the laborious and ornamental parts of it, the women spun and prepared linen for the hangings, and for the priests' garments.
As the people dwelt in tents, the Tabernacle, or House of the LORD, was of the same construction, that it might conveniently be taken down, in order to be removed from place to place. "The Tabernacle was in the form of an oblong square, thirty cubits in length, and ten in height and breadth; and it was divided into two parts, viz. the Holy Place, and the Holy of Holies. The Holy Place was twenty cubits long and ten wide; in this stood the golden candlestick and the altar of in* See Exodus, Chap, xxxv. 35.
cense. The Holy of Holies, which was also called the Sanctuary, was ten cubits long and ten broad: it contained the Ark of the Covenant, and was separated from the Holy Place by a veil or hanging made of rich embroidered linen, which hung upon four pillars of Shittim or cedar wood, that were covered with plates of gold, but had their bases made of brass; and at the entrance of the Tabernacle, instead of a door, there was a veil of the same work, sustained by the like pillars, which separated it from the outward court *.
"The boards or planks, of which the body of the Tabernacle was formed, were in all forty-eight, each a cubit and a half wide, and ten cubits high; twenty of them went to make up each side of the Tabernacle, and at the west end of it were the other eight, which were all let into one another by tenons above and below, and compacted together by bars running from one end of it to the other; but the east end was open, and only covered with a rich curtain.
"The roof of the Tabernacle was a square frame of planks, resting upon their bases; and over these were coverings or curtains of different kinds; of these the first in the inside was made of fine linen, curiously embroidered in various colours, of crimson and scarlet purple and blue. The next was made of goats hair, neatly woven together, and the last of sheep or badgers' skins (some dyed red, and others blue), which were to preserve the rich curtains from wet.
"Round about the Tabernacle was a large oblong court, an hundred cubits long, and fifty broad, encompassed with pillars overlaid with silver, and whose capitals were of the same metal, but their bases were of brass. Ten of these pillars stood towards the west, six to the east, twenty to the north, and twenty to the south,
* Stackhouse on the Bible. See also Exodus xxxvi. and sequel.
at five cubits distance from each other; and over these hung curtains made of twined linen thread, in the manner of net-work, which surrounded the Tabernacle on all sides, except at the entrance of the court, which was twenty cubits wide, and sustained with four columns overlaid with plates of silver. These columns had their capitals and bases of brass, and stood at proportionable distances, and were covered with a curtain made of richer materials.
"In this court, and opposite to the entrance of the Tabernacle, stood the Altar of Burnt Offerings, in the open air, that the fire, which was kept perpetually upon it, and the smoke arising from the victims that were burnt there, might not soil the Tabernacle. It was five cubits long, as much in width, and three cubits high, was placed upon a basis of stone work, and covered both within and without with plates of brass.
"At the four corners of this Altar were four parts like horns, covered with the same metal; and as the altar itself was hollow, and open both at the top and bottom, from these horns there hung a grate made of brass (fastened with four rings and four chains) on which the wood and the sacrifice were burnt, and as the ashes fell through, they were received below in a pan. At a very small distance from this altar, there stood, on the south side, a brazen vessel, which on account of its extraordinary size, was called the Brazen Sea, in which the priests used to wash their feet, whenever they were to offer sacrifice, or to go into the Tabernacle.
"In that part of the Tabernacle, which was called the Holy Place, there was, on the north side, a table made of Shittim wood, covered with gold, two cubits long, one in breadth, and one and a half in length; about the edge of it was an ornament or border made of