Collection of Materials. 1The LORD spoke to Moses:a 2Speak to the Israelites: Let them receive contributions for me. From each you shall receive the contribution that their hearts prompt them to give me. 3These are the contributions you shall accept from them: gold, silver, and bronze;b 4violet, purple, and scarlet yarn; fine linen and goat hair; 5rams’ skins dyed red, and tahash* skins; acacia wood; 6oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; 7onyx stones and other gems for mounting on the ephod and the breastpiece. 8They are to make a sanctuary for me, that I may dwell in their midst.c 9According to all that I show you regarding the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of its furnishings, so you are to make it.d
Plan of the Ark. 10You shall make an ark of acacia wood,e two and a half cubits* long, one and a half cubits wide, and one and a half cubits high. 11Plate it inside and outside with pure gold, and put a molding of gold around the top of it. 12Cast four gold rings and put them on the four supports of the ark, two rings on one side and two on the opposite side. 13Then make poles of acacia wood and plate them with gold. 14These poles you are to put through the rings on the sides of the ark, for carrying it; 15they must remain in the rings of the ark and never be withdrawn. 16In the ark you are to put the covenant which I will give you.
17You shall then make a cover* of pure gold, two and a half cubits long, and one and a half cubits wide. 18Make two cherubim* of beaten gold for the two ends of the cover; 19make one cherub at one end, and the other at the other end, of one piece with the cover, at each end. 20The cherubim shall have their wings spread out above, sheltering the cover with them; they shall face each other, with their faces looking toward the cover. 21This cover you shall then place on top of the ark. In the ark itself you are to put the covenant which I will give you. 22There I will meet you and there, from above the cover, between the two cherubim on the ark of the covenant, I will tell you all that I command you regarding the Israelites.
The Table. 23You shall also make a table of acaciaf wood, two cubits long, a cubit wide, and a cubit and a half high. 24Plate it with pure gold and make a molding of gold around it. 25Make a frame* for it, a handbreadth high, and make a molding of gold around the frame. 26You shall also make four rings of gold for it and fasten them at the four corners, one at each leg. 27The rings shall be alongside the frame as holders for the poles to carry the table. 28These poles for carrying the table you shall make of acacia wood and plate with gold. 29You shall make its plates* and cups, as well as its pitchers and bowls for pouring libations; make them of pure gold. 30On the table you shall always keep showbread set before me.g
The Menorah. 31You shall make a menorah* of pure beaten goldh—its shaft and branches—with its cups and knobs and petals springing directly from it. 32Six branches are to extend from its sides, three branches on one side, and three on the other. 33* On one branch there are to be three cups, shaped like almond blossoms, each with its knob and petals; on the opposite branch there are to be three cups, shaped like almond blossoms, each with its knob and petals; and so for the six branches that extend from the menorah. 34On the menorah there are to be four cups,* shaped like almond blossoms, with their knobs and petals. 35The six branches that go out from the menorah are to have a knob under each pair. 36Their knobs and branches shall so spring from it that the whole will form a single piece of pure beaten gold. 37* You shall then make seven lampsi for it and so set up the lamps that they give their light on the space in front of the menorah. 38These, as well as the trimming shears and trays,* must be of pure gold. 39Use a talent* of pure gold for the menorah and all these utensils. 40See that you make them according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.j
* [25:5] Tahash: perhaps a kind of specially finished leather. The Greek and Latin versions took it for the color hyacinth.
* [25:10] Cubits: the distance between the elbow and tip of the middle finger of an average-size person, about eighteen inches. The dimensions of the ark of the covenant were approximately 3 3/4 feet long, 2 1/4 feet wide, and 2 1/4 feet high.
* [25:17] Cover: the Hebrew term, kapporet, has been connected with kippur, as in the feast of Yom Kippur or Day of Atonement (Lv 16; 23:26–32): hence, influenced by the Greek and Latin versions, and Luther’s German, English translations have rendered it “propitiatory,” “mercy seat,” and the like.
* [25:18–20] Cherubim: probably in the form of human-headed winged lions. The cherubim over the ark formed the throne for the invisible Lord. Cf. Ps 80:2. For a more detailed description of the somewhat different cherubim in the Temple of Solomon, see 1 Kgs 6:23–28; 2 Chr 3:10–13.
* [25:25] A frame: probably placed near the bottom of the legs to keep them steady. The golden table of Herod’s Temple is pictured thus on the Arch of Titus.
* [25:29–30] The plates held the showbread, that is, the holy bread which was placed upon the table every sabbath as an offering to God, and was later eaten by the priests. The cups held the incense which was strewn upon the bread. Cf. Lv 24:5–9. The libation wine was poured from the pitchers into the bowls. All these vessels were kept on the golden table.
* [25:31] Menorah: this traditional lampstand is still used today in Jewish liturgy.
* [25:33] In keeping with the arrangement of the ornaments on the shaft, the three sets of ornaments on each branch were probably so placed that one was at the top and the other two equally spaced along the length of the branch. Knob: the cup-shaped seed capsule at the base of a flower.
* [25:37] The lamps were probably shaped like small boats, with the wick at one end; the end with the wick was turned toward the front of the menorah.
* [25:38] Trays: small receptacles for the burnt-out wicks.
* [25:39] Talent: Heb. kikkar. The largest unit of weight used in the Bible, equivalent to 3,000 shekels (see 38:24). It is difficult to be precise about biblical weights; the Israelite talent may have weighed between 75–80 pounds.