Exodus 37-40: Tabernacle and sacred clothing

Bezalel and Oholiab construct the tabernacle and its surrounding encampment to the exact specifications in Exodus 25-27.  Those specifications are repeated here.  They construct the ark of the covenant, the lampstand, the table with the showbread and utensils, the incense altar, the sacrificial altar, and the bronze laver.  They create the incense and the anointing oil.  In total, they use 87,730 shekels of gold, 301,775 shekels of silver, and 212,400 shekels of copper.  They then make the sacral vestments for Aaron and his sons.  Moses sets up the various components of the tabernacle (because Aaron and his sons have not yet been ordained as priests).  After he finishes, the Presence of Yahweh filled the Tabernacle in the form of a cloud.

Commentary:

  • We don’t know exactly how much a shekel is, but a rough approximation  is 11 grams.  By this conversion rate, the tabernacle required 965 kg of gold to construct, which would cost $38 million USD today.
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