The Pulpit Commentary

Exodus 35:4-20 (Exodus 35:4-20)

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Exodus 35:5-10 (Exodus 35:5-10)

Correspond to Exodus 25:2-7 , the correspondence in the list of offerings being exact.

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Exodus 35:4-20 (Exodus 35:4-20)

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Exodus 35:5-19 (Exodus 35:5-19)

The duty and privilege of making offerings to God.

That God allows us to offer to him of his own, and accepts such offerings as free gifts, is one of his many gracious condescensions. It is the part of all ministers to give opportunity for such offerings—to encourage them, suggest them, elicit them. Moses now summoned "all the congregation of the children of Israel," that he might give to all, without partiality or favouritism, the opportunity for a good action, which would obtain its due reward. Doubtless he pointed out that the object was one for the glory of God and the edification of his people—no less an object than the substitution for that poor "tent of meeting," which he had extemporised on the morrow of his first descent from Sinai ( Exodus 33:7 ), of a glorious structure, Of the richest materials, designed by God himself, worthy of him, and suited to intensify and spiritualise the devotions of all worshippers. It was fit that the structure should, if possible, be raised by means of the free gifts of the faithful. For this Moses now, like a faithful minister of Christ, made appeal to all. In doing so, he pointed out the two modes in which such offerings may be made.

I. OFFERINGS MAY BE MADE BY THE ASSIGNMENT TO A SACRED USE OF A PORTION OF OUR SUBSTANCE . All who had gold, silver, brass, blue, purple, scarlet, fine linen, goat's hair, etc; were invited to contribute out of their abundance to the erection of the new sanctuary. It was especially urged that, if they did so, it should be with "a willing heart" ( Exodus 35:1 )—"not grudgingly, or of necessity; for God loveth a cheerful giver" ( 2 Corinthians 9:7 ). Such a mode of offering is open to those only who have property of some kind or other, and is especially suited to the rich and well-to-do classes; and it was no doubt the wealthy who at this time chiefly contributed in this way. But, as God is "no respecter of persons," and regards the poor and needy fully as much as those who are of high estate, some further mode of making him an offering is necessary. Note, in this connection, that—

II. OFFERINGS MAY BE MADE BY THE DEVOTION TO A SACRED USE OF SOME PORTION OF OUR TIME AND LABOUR . "Every wise-hearted among you shall come, and make all that the Lord hath commanded" ( Exodus 35:10 ). All who had sufficient skill were invited to join in the actual work of preparing and making the various fabrics. Carpenters, weavers, dyers, smiths, embroiderers, metallurgists, might contribute their time and work, and so make an offering to God as acceptable as that of the gold or jewels of the wealthy. Even poor women, whose only skill was to spin thread with their hands ( Exodus 35:25 ), might "bring that which they had spun," and were accepted as offering worthily. In this way there were few families that might not have their part in the work, for spinning was a wide-spread accomplishment. And so, in our own day, whenever any good work is taken in hand, it will always be found that every one who wills can have some part in it—can he]p, by headwork or by handiwork, to effect the end desired. And the value of such participation is quite equal to that rendered by rich contributors, at any rate, in the sight of God. For observe, the women who spun goat's hair are placed side by side with the "rulers" who "brought onyx stones," and costly spices, and jewels to be set in the high-priest's breastplate ( Exodus 35:26-28 ).

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