Verses 21-31 (Exodus 38:21-31)

Here we have a breviat of the account which, by Moses?s appointment, the Levites took and kept of the gold, silver, and brass, that was brought in for the tabernacle?s use, and how it was employed. Ithamar the son of Aaron was appointed to draw up this account, and was thus by less services trained up and fitted for greater, Exod. 38:21. Bezaleel and Aholiab must bring in the account (Exod. 38:22, 23), and Ithamar must audit it, and give it in to Moses. And it was thus:?1. All the gold was a free-will offering; every man brought as he could and would, and it amounted to twenty-nine talents, and 730 shekels over, which some compute to be about 150,000l. worth of gold, according to the present value of it. Of this were made all the golden furniture and vessels. 2. The silver was levied by way of tax; every man was assessed half a shekel, a kind of poll-money, which amounted in the whole to 100 talents, and 1775 shekels over, Exod. 38:25, 26. Of this they made the sockets into which the boards of the tabernacle were let, and on which they rested; so that they were as the foundation of the tabernacle, Exod. 38:27. The silver amounted to about 34,000l. of our money. The raising of the gold by voluntary contribution, and of the silver by way of tribute, shows that either way may be taken for the defraying of public expenses, provided that nothing be done with partiality. 3. The brass, though less valuable, was of use not only for the brazen altar, but for the sockets of the court, which probably in other tents were of wood: but it is promised (Isa. 60:17), For wood I will bring brass. See how liberal the people were and how faithful the workmen were, in both which respects their good example ought to be followed.

- Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary