God spoke to Moses, saying:
Speak to the Israelites and have them bring Me an offering. Take My offering from everyone whose heart implels him to give.
These are the offerings you are to receive from them: gold, silver and copper;
sky-blue, dark red and crimson [wool], linen, goats' wool;
ram skins dyed red, blue-processed skins, acacia wood;
olive oil for the lamps; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense;
and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece.
Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them.
You must make the tabernacle and all its furnishings following the pattern that I am showing you.
Make an ark of acacia wood, two and a half cubits long, one and a half cubits wide, and a cubit and a half high.
Overlay it with pure gold, both inside and out, and make a gold rim around it.
Cast four gold rings for [the ark], and fasten them on its four corners, with two rings on one side and two rings on the other side.
Then make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold.
Insert the poles into the rings on the sides of the chest to carry it.
The poles are to remain in the rings of this ark; they are not to be removed.
It is in this ark that you will place the Testimony that I will give you.
Make an atonement cover of pure gold--two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide.
And make two golden cherubs, hammering them out from the two ends of the cover.
Make one cherub on one end and the second cherub on the other; make the cherubim from the same piece of gold as the cover itself, on its two ends.
The cherubim are to have their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim are to face each other, looking toward the cover.
Place the cover on top of the ark and put in the ark the Testimony that I will give you.
I will commune with you there, speaking to you from above the ark-cover, from between the two cherubs that are on the ark of Testimony. [In this manner] I will give you instructions for the Israelites.
Make a table out of acacia wood--two cubits long, a cubit wide and a cubit and a half high.
Overlay it with pure gold and make a gold molding around it.
Also make around it a rim a handbreadth wide and put a gold molding on the rim.
Make four gold rings for the table and fasten them to the four corners, where the four legs are.
The rings are to be close to the rim to hold the poles used in carrying the table.
Make the poles of acacia wood, overlay them with gold and carry the table with them.
For [the table] make bread forms, incense bowls, and side frames, as well as the half tubes that will serve as dividers [between the loaves of bread]. All these shall be made of pure gold.
It is on this table that showbread shall be placed before Me at all times.
Make a menorah of pure gold. The menorah shall be formed by hammering it. Its base, stem and flowerlike cups, spheres and flowers must be hammered out of a [single piece of gold].
Six branches are to extend from the sides of the lampstand--three on one side and three on the other.
There shall be three embossed cups, as well as a sphere and a flower on each and every one of the branches. All six branches extending from the menorah's [stem] must be the same in this respect.
The shaft of the menorah shall have four embossed cups along with its spheres and flowers.
One bud shall be under the first pair of branches extending from the lampstand, a second bud under the second pair, and a third bud under the third pair--six branches in all.
The buds and branches shall all be of one piece with the menorah, hammered out of pure gold.
"Then make its seven lamps and set them up on it so that they light the space in front of it.
Its wick trimmers and trays are to be of pure gold.
A talent of pure gold is to be used for the menorah and all of its parts.
Carefully observe the pattern that you will be shown on the mountain and make [the menorah] in that manner.
Make the tabernacle with ten curtains of finely twisted linen and blue, purple and scarlet yarn, with cherubim worked into them by a skilled craftsman.
All the curtains are to be the same size--twenty-eight cubits long and four cubits wide.
Join five of the curtains together, and do the same with the other five.
Make loops of blue material along the edge of the end curtain in one set, and do the same with the end curtain in the other set.
Make fifty loops on one curtain and fifty loops on the end curtain of the other set, with the loops opposite each other.
Then make fifty gold clasps and use them to fasten the curtains together so that the tabernacle is a unit.
Make curtains of goat hair for the tent over the tabernacle--eleven altogether.
All eleven curtains are to be the same size--thirty cubits long and four cubits wide.
Join five of the curtains together into one set and the other six into another set. Fold the sixth curtain double at the front of the tent.
Make fifty loops along the edge of the end curtain in one set and also along the edge of the end curtain in the other set.
Then make fifty bronze clasps and put them in the loops to fasten the tent together as a unit.
As for the additional length of the tent curtains, the half curtain that is left over is to hang down at the rear of the tabernacle.
The tent curtains will be a cubit longer on both sides; what is left will hang over the sides of the tabernacle so as to cover it.
Make for the tent a covering of ram skins dyed red, and over that a covering of hides of sea cows.
Make upright frames of acacia wood for the tabernacle.
Each frame is to be ten cubits long and a cubit and a half wide,
with two projections set parallel to each other. Make all the frames of the tabernacle in this way.
Make twenty frames for the south side of the tabernacle
and make forty silver bases to go under them--two bases for each frame, one under each projection.
For the other side, the north side of the tabernacle, make twenty frames
and forty silver bases--two under each frame.
Make six frames for the far end, that is, the west end of the tabernacle,
and make two frames for the corners at the far end.
At these two corners they must be double from the bottom all the way to the top, and fitted into a single ring; both shall be like that.
So there will be eight frames and sixteen silver bases--two under each frame.
Also make crossbars of acacia wood: five for the frames on one side of the tabernacle,
five for those on the other side, and five for the frames on the west, at the far end of the tabernacle.
The center crossbar is to extend from end to end at the middle of the frames.
Overlay the frames with gold and make gold rings to hold the crossbars. Also overlay the crossbars with gold.
Set up the tabernacle according to the plan shown you on the mountain.
Make a curtain of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen, with cherubim worked into it by a skilled craftsman.
Hang it with gold hooks on four posts of acacia wood overlaid with gold and standing on four silver bases.
Hang the curtain from the clasps and place the ark of the Testimony behind the curtain. The curtain will separate the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place.
Put the atonement cover on the ark of the Testimony in the Most Holy Place.
Place the table outside the curtain on the north side of the tabernacle and put the lampstand opposite it on the south side.
For the entrance to the tent make a curtain of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen--the work of an embroiderer.
Make gold hooks for this curtain and five posts of acacia wood overlaid with gold. And cast five bronze bases for them.
Build an altar of acacia wood, three cubits high; it is to be square, five cubits long and five cubits wide.
Make a horn at each of the four corners, so that the horns and the altar are of one piece, and overlay the altar with bronze.
Make all its utensils of bronze--its pots to remove the ashes, and its shovels, sprinkling bowls, meat forks and firepans.
Make a grating for it, a bronze network, and make a bronze ring at each of the four corners of the network.
Put it under the ledge of the altar so that it is halfway up the altar.
Make poles of acacia wood for the altar and overlay them with bronze.
The poles are to be inserted into the rings so they will be on two sides of the altar when it is carried.
Make the altar hollow, out of boards. It is to be made just as you were shown on the mountain.
Make a courtyard for the tabernacle. The south side shall be a hundred cubits long and is to have curtains of finely twisted linen,
with twenty posts and twenty bronze bases and with silver hooks and bands on the posts.
The north side shall also be a hundred cubits long and is to have curtains, with twenty posts and twenty bronze bases and with silver hooks and bands on the posts.
The west end of the courtyard shall be fifty cubits wide and have curtains, with ten posts and ten bases.
On the east end, toward the sunrise, the courtyard shall also be fifty cubits wide.
Curtains fifteen cubits long are to be on one side of the entrance, with three posts and three bases,
and curtains fifteen cubits long are to be on the other side, with three posts and three bases.
For the entrance to the courtyard, provide a curtain twenty cubits long, of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen--the work of an embroiderer--with four posts and four bases.
All the posts around the courtyard are to have silver bands and hooks, and bronze bases.
The courtyard shall be a hundred cubits long and fifty cubits wide, with curtains of finely twisted linen five cubits high, and with bronze bases.
All the other articles used in the service of the tabernacle, whatever their function, including all the tent pegs for it and those for the courtyard, are to be of bronze.
Command the Israelites to bring you clear oil of pressed olives for the light so that the lamps may be kept burning.
In the Tent of Meeting, outside the curtain that is in front of the Testimony, Aaron and his sons are to keep the lamps burning before God from evening till morning. This is to be a lasting ordinance among the Israelites for the generations to come.
- God spoke to Moses-- Some say that this was said to Moses during the 40 days on the mountain. According to others, it was said after the Golden Calf, when Moses went up for the second set of tablets.
- offering-- Terumah in Hebrew, literally, something that is uplifted or elevated (to a higher status).
- sky-blue-- This blue dye was taken from an animal associated with a snail.
- ark-- Aron in Hebrew. A simple box without legs (Rashi). Others, however, state that it had legs or a lower rim.
- rim-- Or "crown," zer in Hebrew. Some say that the purpose of this rim was to hold the ark-cover (Rashi, Ralbag). Josephus, however, states that the cover was held on with hinges.
- Testimony-- Some say that this connotes the Tablets of the Ten Commandments (Rashbam, Ibn Ezra). Others say that it also includes the entire Torah.
- I will give you-- If the command was given while Moses was on the mountain, then "testimonies" can denote the tablets, which were yet to be given. However, if the command was given after Moses came down with the tablets then "testimony" must denote the Torah that was yet to be given.
- cover-- Traditionally a mercy seat-- ilastyrion, which denotes reconciliation, propitiation, appeasement, and atonement.
- cherubs-- The cherubs were creatures like birds with wings and faces like human infants. Some say that one was male and the other was female.
- face each other-- Directly. Others say that they faced toward the east, toward the opening of the Holy of Holies, with their heads inclined towards eachother (Baba Batra). Others say that their bodies faced towards the east, but their heads faced each other. They faced each other so that they would not appear to be gods.
- bread forms-- These were used to form the showbread. There were three sets of bread forms, one for the dough, one for baking, and one to place the bread in after it was baked so that it would not be damaged. Some say that all these were made of gold, while others say that the forms for baking were made of iron (Rashi). However, some say that no iron was used in the tabernacle (Ibn Ezra).
- incense bowls-- For the frankincense. Some say that these were like small boxes. There is a question as to whether they were placed in the center of the table between the loaves.
- side frames-- Kesavoth in Hebrew. Some say that the function of these was to support the breads from the side, so that the loaves would not crumble, or to prevent them from falling when the table was lifted. They were needed, since there were twelve loaves, six in each stack.
- half tubes-- Menakiyoth in Hebrew. These were placed between the breads to allow air to circulate between them, and possibly to support them.
- menorah-- A seven branched lamp.
- embossed-- Rashi states that this refers to the art of decorating metal with incised designs and black antiquing.
- That is, about 3 3/4 feet (about 1.1 meters) long and 2 1/4 feet (about 0.7 meter) wide