You pick up your Bible and wonder, is there more here than meets the eye?
Is there anything here for me? I mean, it's just words printed on paper, right? Well, it may look like just print on a page, but it's more than ink. Join us for the next half hour as we explore God's Word together, as we learn how to explore it on our own, as we ask God to meet us there in its pages.
Welcome to More Than Ink. Hey, remember when the Israelites were leaving Egypt, they got all that jewelry. Yeah, Egyptians just gave it to them because they asked. Yeah, gold and silver plundered. And what did they do with it? What did they do with it? They built a tabernacle. Well, how could they be carrying enough earrings and nose rings to build a tabernacle?
There was plenty, and you'll be surprised to find out how much today on More Than Ink. Well, welcome to our dining room table, and we really are sitting at our dining room table. And across from me is the lovely Dorothy.
And across from me is the wonderful Jim. Yes. So here we are in the new year, 2023, and we're continuing the project of building the tabernacle, build the stuff. We've got the plans, the materials, and now we're building stuff. And we're getting so close to the end of the process that by the time we finish this discussion today, we'll have the official summary and the real record of who did what and how much they spent. And so what exactly did this project cost us? The summary statement. Anyway, yeah.
So it's actually a pretty eye-opener. So we're going to continue to build. We're building now in the outer court, the court outside the tabernacle. And so we pick this up now in chapter 38 and verse 9. And when it begins in verse 9, it says that he made the court. What it's talking about is he made the surrounding, the walls, the curtains hanging on their frames.
So should we start reading? Yeah. And when it says he – Oh, Beit Zalel.
It's Beit Zalel. But in this particular case, we're pretty sure this is him being foreman of these things. He can't do all this stuff. This is not a one-man job. Right. So this guy, Mr. – well, we'll mention him in a second. So here we go.
Okay. Beit Zalel and his name means in the shadow of God. In the shadow of God. So verse nine.
And he made the court. For the south side, the hangings of the court were of fine twined linen, a hundred cubits, their twenty pillars and their twenty bases were of bronze. But the hooks of the pillars and their fillets were of silver. And for the north side, there were hangings of a hundred cubits, their twenty pillars and their twenty bases were of bronze. But the hooks and the pillars and their fillets were of silver. And for the west side, were hangings of fifty cubits, their ten pillars and their ten bases. The hooks of the pillars and their fillets were of silver.
and for the front to the east fifty cubits. The hangings for one side of the gate were fifteen cubits, and their three pillars and three bases, and so for the other side. On both sides of the gate of the court were hangings of fifteen cubits, with their three pillars and their three bases. All the hangings around the court were of fine twined linen, and the bases for the pillars were of bronze, but the hooks of the pillars and their fillets were of silver. The overlaying of their capitals was also of silver, and all the pillars of the court were filleted with silver. And the screen for the gate of the court was embroidered with needlework and blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twisted linen.
It was twenty cubits long and five cubits high in its breadth, corresponding to the hangings of the court. And their pillars were four in number. Their four bases were of bronze, their hooks of silver, and the overlaying of their capitals and their fillets of silver. And all the pegs for the tabernacle and for all the court were all around were of bronze.
Yeah, okay. This is a lot of embroidered work. Right. Incalculable yards of fine linen. So picture it again. You've got the big tent, which is the tabernacle, but then you have a courtyard that's larger than the tabernacle. Right, so this is just a wall. This is a wall. This is like a fabric wall, a fabric rectangular wall that's about a hundred and fifty feet long on its longest sides.
Seventy-five feet long on its narrowest sides. The longer sides go east to west, right, and the entrance faces the east where the sun comes up. And you have all this wonderful linen and stuff, and it's held up with sticks, which sit in very heavy bases.
And so this is what it is. And it's got an entry, it's got an entry, which is the gate. It's always called the gate. And the gate doesn't have doors on hinges. It has more fabric.
It's curtains, right, that you walk through. That's what he just described here, and we've been anticipating this coming. The more specific details back in Chapter 27 about how to make it, what it should look like, and boom, here we do.
It's done. Well, it's emphasized when we talk about the needlework in blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twisted linen. Those were expensive colors associated with royalty. Yeah. And as well, it was something that you'd clothe yourself with, but would you make walls?
Wall curtains. Yeah, it's really, it's really kind of odd in that particular sense. But it's not supposed to be. It's supposed to look very different. And this looks very different because of this.
I mean, it's just, it's splendid to look at. And when now there's a lot of there's a lot of metal involved, because these these big poles that go up can't really go down into the ground. So they sit in these bases, very heavy bronze bases. Yeah, and that holds them down. These bases also exist to hold up the, you know, inside the tabernacle walls. But they're they're not made of bronze. They're gold in there. So here's the more common area.
And that's what the court is. It's a more common area just one step away from the presidency. Maybe two steps away. You know, now that I think about it, most everything out there in the courtyard is bronze. Yeah, exactly. It can stand the weather.
It's outside. But also it's associated with sacrifice with the burning. So it's the more more common metal. It's meant to be Yeah, it's meant to be the place where sinful men are. So it's bronze. It's not gold and silver. Yeah. So that that's really very, very clear.
But it rings the area. It's an enormous amount of textiles. They must have been working on this for eons.
Well, yeah, you know, crossed my mind. How long did it take them to actually produce all this stuff? Well, I kept coming across a figure of six months. And I'm thinking, well, you would have to have an awful lot of women weaving a lot of people embroidering to produce this much fabric in six months. Yeah, you don't go down to the store and buy bolts of fabric. You weave it one thread at a time. Well, and this is linen. So it's woven from a plant material from flax. And so whether they were carrying it out of Egypt, or whether they were, I don't know, I don't know. They need a lot of it regardless. But But yeah, it's not growing in the desert.
I don't think with a cultivated crop in Egypt. Yeah, yeah. So anyway, so now we have that court and remember what's inside the courts. Remember, we got this big rectangular walled court.
It doesn't have a roof on it. It's open, right? But But inside that, first off is the tabernacle itself, which is pushed over to the west end of it. But then on the east end half of it, you've got the entry end at the entry end.
Yeah. So so you've got that place to sacrifice animals. And then you've got the washing labor that's that's between where you sacrifice and that and I think is that the only two things in the courtyard is two things. So in this description, it is there's the bronze, the bronze basin that they washed in as the water on his altar of sacrifice, right. And so this courtyard is described by that, by the way, two kings also had courtyards in the design of their of their castles, in a sense, you know, their homes. So and that was that was the general meeting area outside of where the place Yeah, the public place and so if people would come and appeal, they could come in the courtyard, but they couldn't actually go inside without the king's permission. And they definitely couldn't go into his throne room without his permission or you'd be killed. So that ancient that that ancient idea, which is very common is pictured right here. You know, this courtyard is someplace where the people can be but man, you don't walk into the tabernacle and once you're inside the tabernacle, you don't walk past the veil into the presence of God. So it's, it's all it's all king imagery.
And God is their king. So it fits. Well, let's should we move on to the materials? Because this is a it this is a summary statement. It's like we're wrapping up the project now. And so there's a list of responsibilities and materials and kind of a summation here. Do you want me to start reading?
Yeah, starting 2021. And it's a nice summary of the craftsmanship and who's responsible. These are the records of the tabernacle, the tabernacle of the testimony, as they were recorded at the commandment of Moses, the responsibility of the Levites under the direction of Ithamar, the son of Aaron the priest, Beit Selel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur of the tribe of Judah made all that the Lord commanded Moses, and with him was Aholiyab, the son of Ahisamah of the tribe of Dan, an engraver and designer and embroiderer in blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twisted linen.
Okay, let's stop there. So now we know Aholiyab, he's actually more in charge of the textile side and the artistic design, the soft artistry, right? Whereas Beit Selel is the craftsman of the metalworking and the and the wood carving.
Yeah, it's interesting to me that there are the names that are listed here. We have Moses, right? He's the one that received the commandment from God and dictated it, and then made clear that the responsibility for all of this falls to the Aaronic priesthood, to the Levites. And Ithamar, the son of Aaron is the one who administrated that according to this passage. And then we have the two chief artisans, Beit Selel and Aholiyab. These two men have been called out repeatedly in these last two chapters, chapters 31, 33, 35, 36, 37. And in 31, too, God says, Now I've called these two by name, and given them my spirit and invested them with the ability to do and to teach these things. Yeah, yeah. So it's just beautiful to me that God spoke these men's names again and again and again, as the ones that he designated to lead this artistic endeavor.
Yeah, and it's very practical. I mean, we need people who are skilled to know how to do this kind of stuff. And names are important. And names are important. And their claim to fame is they're the guys God has picked to do this, but God has given them this skill. That was very clear. And his spirit is in them, which is very clear, which is really necessary in many respects, because in interpreting God's word about the design of the tabernacle, like for instance, I brought this up last time. He says, Okay, so you need to make pictures of cherubim, or you need a fashion cherubim. Right.
Well, what do those look like? Right. So in some of the interpretation of God's words, these guys are filled with God's spirit, and they go, Oh, yeah, I know what that is.
And we can do this. So there really is a supernatural sense in which they not only understand God's design, so they can interpret it, you know, but they're also supernatural in the sense that they have skills that make them able to do it and direct other people to do it. It says they were also able to teach people how to do it. So these guys are clearly, these guys are clearly molded by God, to be key in the middle of the whole building of the tabernacle. Which may be part of the reason that we have their names over and over and over again, but also the meaning of their names is not slight, right? We have, we have Oholiab, Father's tent, Father's tent, and well, there's a coincidence in the shadow of God. Yeah, right. So we're told over and over and over again, these beautiful things were constructed in the shadow of God, the work on the Father's tent under his own supervision. Yeah.
Yeah. And it'll come, it'll come to fruition really nicely when we get to the end of the book, because the end of the book, when they put it all up, you have to ask yourself, well, did God approve of it? And how he proves it is he shows up, he shows up, you remember that cloud and the fire and stuff like that. So in a real sense, I can see them sitting there and being under God's shadow is literally what one of these craftsmen are.
And he and he will experience that at the end of this, he's completed this, and he suddenly knows he's done well, because now his name will actually be, I'm under the shadow right now. You know, that makes me think I had an experience not too long ago, where I was preparing to do what I regarded as a holy task. And during the weeks ahead of time, I had an increasing sense of the only thing I could call it was the approach of holiness, just had a sense of growing holy purpose during those weeks of preparation. And I wonder if that just wasn't a teeny little glimpse for me into what these two men must have experienced.
Yeah, I think it is. I think it is because they are, they are committing their lives now to completing God's words into this tabernacle. And it's, and you know, we mentioned the word holy, it's poorly thought of as just being, you know, without any sins, but but holy really means set apart for a purpose completely separated for a unique. So these guys have clearly been set apart for a purpose. And so and so that's what makes their work holy and what they were producing would be set apart. Yes, this holy purpose.
Yeah. And when God calls things holy, like his tabernacle, he's saying this is set apart for purpose set apart from what will set apart from the commonality of the world. I mean, you're actually seeing a little piece of heaven here that's apart from this place. So that's what makes it holy as well. It's got a purpose and it's different. And it's designated by God.
It's the presence of God that makes it holy. Exactly. Yeah, yeah, exactly.
Yeah. I remember when Solomon when Solomon dedicated the temple when he built right when he built the actual brick and mortar one, you know, it's his, his, his prayer is great, because he says, you know, it's not like we're thinking you this is big enough to hold God, right? Because it's not that's Jim's translation. But, you know, it's not like it's not like this is big enough to hold God. But this is the place that God has designated that we can come to God and meet with him and bring bring our request, and we can come here. And so in that sense, it's sort of is, well, it is God's house. But that doesn't mean it's big enough to contain God. No, but it is his designated place on human scale, where he will meet with us, right? And that's what he said at the very beginning. That's right, we're gonna meet with you there.
And and it gets called so often, not just the tabernacle, but the tent of meeting. Right. So that's, that's really what this thing is. That's what this is.
Well, should we push on? Yeah, here we get the inventory. Yeah, this is this is fascinating. Good old, good old Ithamar was kind of tells us the construction is over, right? Because here's the, let's sum up the materials, the receipt.
Yeah. So Ithamar mentioned before is like their big accountant, and this is, this is his accountant, you know, report, you know, so what did it take to build this place? Okay, so here we go. So all the gold that was used for the work in all the construction of the sanctuary, the gold from the offering was 29 talents and 730 shekels by the shekel of the sanctuary.
Okay, stop that, huh? Because we're going to get a metals report. Here's Greg first, we'll go gold, silver, bronze, and we'll get amounts. Okay, so what's that worth today?
So being the nerd that I looked it up to it, go ahead. Well, you can do the math with me, you know, they were talking 29 talents, 29. A talent is about 75 pounds is what I use. So when you multiply that it's over 2,000 pounds of gold. And 2,000 pounds of gold at today's quote, I just saw it closed a couple days ago at $1,800 an ounce. So it comes out to about $64 million in today's money. But it's a ton of gold and not just, you know, euphemistically, it's 2,000 pounds, 2,000 pounds of gold.
And then he also mentioned, that's just the talents, okay, then he mentioned 730 shekels. And a shekel is another weight as well, it's much smaller. And a shekel is a, well, a shekel is about the weight of four pennies. It was a coin you would carry in your pocket. It was a coin that you would carry.
Yeah. So if you took four pennies, you pounded them together, made a coin, that's a shekel. That's what it weighs.
So the shekels is really here that those 730, that's only 17 more pounds, 17 or 18 more pounds of gold. But they didn't round up the figures. That's right.
That's the point. Yeah, they want to know exactly how much gold they use. Yeah. So there we go. And it might have actually when he separates that out from the 29 talents, which is like, it's sort of like bar gold, versus some coins.
As opposed to what people gave out of their personal income. Yeah, so this is a lot of gold. We're talking 2,000 pounds of gold, which, and remember, for the lampstand, we only needed 75.
We only needed one talent. So the rest of it is for the mercy seat, the solid slab on top of the ark, as well as all the gold plating. All the gold plating would have been hammered very thin. Yeah, there was no exposed wood in the whole thing.
But everything, not everything, a lot of things were made with wood. And so if they're inside the tabernacle, they were coated with gold. So we know you can take gold, hammer it flat, you know, and lay it on things. And so that's what they did.
That's an awful lot of gold. And it all came out of Egypt. They were carrying it with them. Yeah, all came out of Egypt. And if you remember back in chapter 12, in Exodus, as they were leaving, it said, you know, I'll read it for you, the people of Israel had also done, as Moses told them, and they had asked the Egyptians for silver and gold jewelry and for clothing, and the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians so that they let them have what they asked. And then his comment is, thus they plundered the Egyptians.
That's a word you use when you conquer an army. They plundered them. So this is that plundered. It was a lot of stuff.
Yeah, this is that plundered. Let's move to the silver, the silver was 25. The silver from those of the congregation who were recorded was a hundred talents and 1775 shekels by the shekel of the sanctuary, a becca ahead, that is half a shekel by the shekel of the sanctuary for everyone who was listed in the records from 20 years old and upward for 603,550 men. The hundred talents of silver were for casting the basis of the sanctuary and the basis of the veil.
A hundred bases for the hundred talents, a talent, a place. And of the 1775 shekels, he made hooks for the pillars and overlaid the capitals and made fillets for them. Yeah.
Okay. So now we got a lot of silver and we have a lot of silver. And if you remember back in chapter 30, there was a, they did census, these 600,000 men and everyone had to contribute a half a shekel.
It's a becca. And so a half a shekel is about two pennies in weight. It's a very small amount for individual, but when you got 2 million people, I did that math too. And 600,000 men times, you know, about two pennies in weight comes out to 7,300 pounds. And it turns out previously on here says a hundred talents, a hundred talents times 75 pounds is about 7,500 pounds. So they actually match. So it looks as though, uh, the, the, the beccas and the shekels and the hundred talents aren't different sources.
They're the one in the same. So what we have right here is 600 people, 600,000 people contributing two pennies of silver a piece. And in the end you come up with 7,500 pounds of silver.
It's huge. Okay. And the worth of it?
I didn't look that one up. Okay. So the figures that I found were a couple, a couple years old, so it's not a current price, but it's over $2 million in silver. It's still pretty pricey. Still a lot of money, but not anywhere near the amount of gold.
Yeah. And it's interesting. So for comparison, we have 2000 pounds of gold and we have, we have 7,000 pounds of silver. So it's just a lot more silver, which is good because all the weighted bases in the action tabernacle, they're all cast of solid silver.
So that's, that's pretty necessary. So we've got a lot of silver right there, but yeah, it looks as though it all came from this census tax and it wasn't, it wasn't a lot. I mean, it just, it just amounts to, it just amounts to about five grams of silver per person.
I mean, it's almost like two earrings. It's about it dropping your quarter in the box. It's very light.
It's very, very light. In fact, if you, if you're holding a piece of paper, it's on the, it's about what a piece of paper, two pieces of paper. Okay. So it's more like a nickel. Yeah. Yeah. So, but it's, it's a ton. And so it's really nice here. You have a great picture of the fact that in building the tabernacle, it's not just one big Shazam thing.
It's hundreds of thousands of people contributing a little bit and making a place for it to meet with that representational participation of every person counted. Yeah. Yeah.
Everyone can look at it and say a piece of me isn't right. Okay. We need to press on. So verse 29, the bronze that was offered was 70 talents and 2,400 shekels. And with it, he made the basis for the entrance of the tent of meeting the bronze altar and the bronze grading for it and all the utensils of the altar, the basis around the court and the basis of the gate of the court and all the pegs of the tabernacle and all the pegs around the court.
Wow. So bronze, we don't have as much bronze as we have silver. So this is about 5,000 pounds of bronze. And, and I, you know, was it all mirrors that they took out of Egypt? We talked about the mirrors last time. Yeah, you know, because the that says that the only thing made out of the mirrors was the the bronze labor of the labor.
Yeah, that's true. So this bronze would have had a lot of other sources. What are the bronze things that they take that wasn't jewelry or maybe was jewelry? I don't know.
I don't know. I just about anything that would be metal that would be functional and yeah, less expensive, but functional. Yeah, right.
Right. It's a cheaper metal to manufacture. It's still quite precious, because metals in ancient times are precious, regardless of what they were. Silver and gold, of course, for us is precious because there's not much of it. But it turns out bronze is easier to mine, it's easy to manufacture.
So it's used for routine things. So it's really the metal of the people in that. Well, isn't bronze an alloy? Yeah, yeah, it's an alloy. So whereas the silver and the gold would be pure. Yeah, yeah. So So here, you know, thanks to the tremendous accounting of Ithamar, we realize that we realize that there's there's upwards of 70 to $80 million in current estimation of just the metal.
And that says nothing about the fine linen, which is also for them extraordinary expensive, because it's so labor intensive. It's just really an interesting summary statement, the records, the records of the tabernacle, right, the records of the tent, the tabernacle of the testimony, lest you forget that we're talking about the place where the words of God reside, yeah, right. As they were recorded the command of Moses. So here's kind of the whole wrap up statement, we got the God said, I want you to build it.
Here's the instructions. Moses repeated the instructions. And then we had all the execution of the building. And now here's the actual, the final thing, the sign off. Right, right. Yeah, right. Yeah, I dare say must one of them may be the most opulent home for a king ever made, especially when in the tent in the desert, just they're gonna break down and carry around.
And they're gonna bring, they're gonna carry it around for a long time. Yeah. Well, at this point, at the end of chapter 38, we have made everything with one exception, we still have the high priest garments that we have to make. And that'll come next time when we come back to this. But after we get the high priest, after we get the high priest clothed, you know, we're ready to put this baby ready to build it and, and use it and see if God will arrive.
Yeah. Well, that'll be the ultimate test of all that. So next time when we get together, we're gonna go into chapter 39.
There's only 40 chapters. So we're getting close. We'll go into chapter 39. And we'll look at we'll look at making the priests garments. And once he's fully clothed, then we can actually get the ball rolling and make this thing work and put it up.
So that's pretty exciting. And he got any last comments on this? Well, I was just thinking back to what God had told them at the beginning back in chapter 25. He says, Now I want you to build me a place right in verse eight of chapter 25 of Exodus, let them construct a sanctuary for me that I may dwell among them. According to all that I'm going to show you is the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all the furniture just so you shall construct it. Well, that's the big part of this part of the book. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
But when he goes right into then constructing the arc or giving the instructions for the carcasses, and they're on meet with you, I'll meet with you over the over the testimony on the mercy seat, they're I'll meet with you. Right? That's where I'm going to dwell. Yeah. So I just think we can't bear to lose sight of the purpose of this building. We're not just building a building because we need to build a building, right? This is tent. This is God and their manifestation of being with them providing a place to meet with them.
Yeah. And if you wonder, you know, is God really interested in us? Does he really want to be with us? And does he really want to be with me when I'm fully aware of how pervasive my sin is? Well, sin is a problem, but God has provided a way for us to meet with him. And that's through the blood of Christ. And that's what this is all trying to make a picture points to is that God wants to be with us, we have a problem with sin, he's taking care of the problem of sin. And now we can come to the throne of grace based on what Christ has done for us his sacrifice for us that we pass by as we walk toward the center. So this all has gigantic visual import into the into the bigger picture of what Christ has done for us as our sacrifice lamb, and opening the veil and making a way for us to meet with God. And that's been God's intent all along.
From the very beginning. I want to meet with you. I want to live with you. I want to wander with you in the desert as you come out of Egypt. I want to be with you. I want you to be my people. And I will be your God. And I will be in the tent right alongside. I'll provide the way for you to be with me. So we're out of time. I'm Jim and I'm Dorothy and we hope you join us next week for the last of the build with the clothing of the high priest here on More Than Ink. There are many more episodes of this broadcast to be found at our website, morethanink.org. And while you're there, take a moment to drop us a note. Remember, the Bible is God's love letter to you. Pick it up and read it for yourself and you will discover that the words printed there are indeed more than ink. That's good. Well, let's leave that alone. This has been a production of Main Street Church of vibrancy.
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