Setting Up the Tabernacle. 1Then the LORD said to Moses: 2a On the first day of the first month* you shall set up the tabernacle of the tent of meeting.b 3Put the ark of the covenant in it, and screen off the ark with the veil.c 4Bring in the table and set it. Then bring in the menorah and set up the lamps on it. 5Put the golden altar of incense in front of the ark of the covenant, and hang the curtain at the entrance of the tabernacle. 6Put the altar for burnt offerings in front of the entrance of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting. 7Place the basin between the tent of meeting and the altar, and put water in it. 8Set up the court round about, and put the curtain at the gate of the court.
9d Take the anointing oil and anoint the tabernacle and everything in it, consecrating it and all its furnishings, so that it will be sacred. 10Anoint the altar for burnt offerings and all its utensils, consecrating it, so that it will be most sacred. 11Likewise, anoint the basin with its stand, and thus consecrate it.
12e Then bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the tent of meeting, and there wash them with water. 13Clothe Aaron with the sacred vestments and anoint him, thus consecrating him as my priest. 14Bring forward his sons also, and clothe them with the tunics. 15As you have anointed their father, anoint them also as my priests. Thus, by being anointed, shall they receive a perpetual priesthood throughout all future generations.
16Moses did just as the LORD had commanded him. 17On the first day of the first month of the second year the tabernacle was set up. 18It was Moses who set up the tabernacle. He placed its pedestals, set up its frames, put in its bars, and set up its columns. 19He spread the tent over the tabernacle and put the covering on top of the tent, as the LORD had commanded him. 20f He took the covenant and put it in the ark; he placed poles alongside the ark and set the cover upon it. 21He brought the ark into the tabernacle and hung the curtain veil, thus screening off the ark of the covenant, as the LORD had commanded him. 22He put the table in the tent of meeting, on the north side of the tabernacle, outside the veil, 23and arranged the bread on it before the LORD, as the LORD had commanded him.g 24He placed the menorah in the tent of meeting, opposite the table, on the south side of the tabernacle, 25and he set up the lamps before the LORD, as the LORD had commanded him. 26He placed the golden altar in the tent of meeting, in front of the veil, 27and on it he burned fragrant incense, as the LORD had commanded him. 28He hung the curtain at the entrance of the tabernacle. 29He put the altar for burnt offerings in front of the entrance of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting, and sacrificed burnt offerings and grain offerings on it, as the LORD had commanded him. 30h He placed the basin between the tent of meeting and the altar, and put water in it for washing. 31Moses and Aaron and his sons used to wash their hands and feet there, 32for they washed themselves whenever they went into the tent of meeting or approached the altar, as the LORD had commanded Moses. 33Finally, he set up the court around the tabernacle and the altar and hung the curtain at the gate of the court.
Thus Moses finished all the work.
God’s Presence in the Tabernacle. 34i Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. 35Moses could not enter the tent of meeting, because the cloud settled down upon it and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. 36Whenever the cloud rose from the tabernacle, the Israelites would set out on their journey. 37But if the cloud did not lift, they would not go forward; only when it lifted did they go forward. 38The cloud of the LORD was over the tabernacle by day, and fire in the cloud at night, in the sight of the whole house of Israel in all the stages of their journey.
* [40:2] On the first day of the first month: almost a year after the departure of the Israelites from Egypt. Cf. v. 17.
e. [40:12–15] Ex 28:41; 29:4–9; Lv 8:1–13.
f. [40:20–29] Ex 25:16, 21; 26:33–37.