The Word Made Fresh
1Next, Bezalel made the chest of acacia wood. It was three feet nine inches long, two feet three inches wide and deep. 2He overlaid it inside and out with pure gold and attached a gold molding around it. 3He cast four gold rings and attached one to each of the chest’s four feet. 4Then he made the two poles of acacia wood overlaid with gold 5and inserted them through the rings.
5He made the lid for the chest, also of pure gold, three feet nine inches long and two feet three inches wide. 6Then he crafted the two cherubim of hammered gold at the ends of the lid, 7one at each end. 8They were made as one piece with the lid. 9Their wings spread upward and over the lid and they faced each other with their faces toward the chest.
10The acacia wood table was made next, three feet long, eighteen inches wide and twenty-seven inches high. 11It was overlaid with pure gold with a gold molding around it, 12and a four-inch ledge with a gold molding. 13He cast four gold rings and attached them to the corners at the tops of the legs 14close to the rim. 15Then the acacia wood poles were made, overlaid with gold, to carry the table. 16Finally he made the plates and dishes to burn incense, and bowls and pitchers to pour drink offerings.
17He made the lampstand of pure gold, and hammered the base and the shaft with the stems, leaves, and petals of one piece with it. 18The lamp had six branches going out from the shaft, three on each side. 19Each had cups shaped like almond blossoms with leaves and petals. 20On the central shaft there were four almond blossoms with leaves and petals. 21There was one leaf under each pair of branches. 22The leaves and branches were of one piece, the whole of it hammered from pure gold. 23The seven lamps and the snuffers and the trays were all made of pure gold, 24and all the tools used with it were fashioned from seventy-five pounds of pure gold.
25The small incense altar was of acacia wood, eighteen inches square, and three feet high. The horns on each corner were made with it of one piece. 26The whole of it was overlaid with pure gold, and a molding of gold was placed around it. 27Two gold rings were attached under the molding to hold the carrying poles, 28which were fashioned of acacia wood plated with gold.
29He also made the oil for anointing and the pure sweet-smelling incense skillfully blended.
1-9: Bezalel makes the ark of the covenant according to the dimensions and plans given to Moses (see 25:10-21).
10-16: He makes the table for the “bread of the presence” and the vessels used for offerings on it (see 25:23-29).
17-24: Next is the lamp stand which he makes of beaten gold (see 25:31-40).
25-28: The altar of incense is made according to the plan given Moses (see 30:1-5).
29: Bezalel compounds the mixtures for the anointing oil to be used in the ordination of priests and consecration of the sacred vessels and vestments, and the fragrant incense to be burned daily in the most holy place (see 30:22-36). The narrative is careful to explain that Bezalel does everything exactly as the LORD told Moses it should be done.
Much of the Torah is tedious to read, with detailed descriptions of things that are utterly foreign to us today. But imagine the dedication, the determination to do everything exactly as ordered, down to the minutest detail. Serving God is sometimes tedious and seems unrewarding, but the faithful persevere, knowing that God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts, and the reward may not appear in this life.