The preparation for the construction of the tabernacle began with a reminder that, while building the tabernacle, the Sabbath rest must be observed. There would be dire, if not fatal, consequences for anyone violating this very important law.
Moses called upon the Israelites to voluntarily contribute the raw materials for the construction of the tabernacle and its furnishings.
The LORD calls for craftsmen, artisans, and other skilled workers to come forward for the building of the tabernacle.
After Moses’ call for the people to give materials for building the tabernacle and for skilled craftsmen to build it, the people departed from his presence. The men and women who were moved to contribute brought their donations to Moses.
The LORD appointed Bezalel and Oholiab to work as master craftsmen on the tabernacle. He filled them with the Holy Spirit in order to accomplish this task.
The book of Exodus is the second book of the Torah (“law”). It continues the story of Genesis concerning the migration of the family of Jacob (the Israelites) to Egypt (Genesis 50). It describes the commissioning of Moses and Aaron as God’s representatives on earth to accomplish God’s deliverance of His people from slavery in Egypt and lead them to the Promised Land (the land of Canaan). It also relates the miraculous deliverance from Egypt beginning with the plagues on Egypt and the crossing of the Red Sea. It then describes the journey to Mount Sinai and the establishment of the Mosaic covenant with the Israelites. The last part of the book involves the specifications and building of the tabernacle – the place where the Lord Himself dwelt amongst His people.
In the book of Exodus, the focus shifts to the deliverance of God’s people.
The covenant, broken by Israel in Chapter 32, has now been renewed in Chapter 34, where the LORD promised that He would be present in their midst. This promise will now be fulfilled through the building of the tabernacle, where the LORD will reside in their midst.
Exodus Chapters 35 – 40 record the construction of the tabernacle, the furniture, and the other items. Chapters 25 – 31 contain the blueprints for these items, and here they are built. Finally, in Exodus 40 the LORD’s glory descended in the cloud in order to reside amongst His people.
Chapter 35 contains the description of the preparation for the building of the tabernacle. It can be outlined as follows:
Keeping the Sabbath Stressed Again (35:1 – 3)
Gathering of Materials Described (35:4 – 29)
The Call to Gather the Raw Materials (35:4 – 9)
The Call to Gather the Workers (35:10 – 19)
The Response of the People (35:20 – 29)
The Appointment of Bezalel and Oholiab (35:30 – 35)