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Exodus 25

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 1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

 2 "Speak to the children of Israel, that they take for me an offering. You shall take my offering from every man who gives it willingly from his heart.

 3 This is the offering that you shall receive from them: gold, silver, and bronze,

 4 Blue, purple, and scarlet yarn and fine linen and goats' hair,

 5 Rams' skins dyed red, porpoise skins, and shittim wood,

 6 Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil and for sweet incense,

 7 Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate.

 8 Let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.

 9 You shall make it according to all that I show you, like the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings.

 10 They shall make an ark of shittim wood:1 two and a half cubits long [3.8 ft], a cubit and a half wide [2 ft], and a cubit and a half [2 ft] high.

 11 You shall overlay it with pure gold, within and without, and make upon it a crown of gold all around.

 12 And you shall cast four rings of gold and put them on its four corners, two rings shall be on one side and two rings on the other.

 13 You shall make poles of shittim wood and overlay them with gold,

 14 And put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark, so that the ark may be carried by them.

 15 The poles shall remain in the rings of the ark; they shall not be removed.

 16 Then you shall put into the ark the Testimony [the Ten Commandments] that I will give you.

 17 And you shall make a mercy seat of pure gold, two cubits and a half long [3.75 ft] and a cubit and a half [2 ft] wide.

 18 And you shall make two cherubim of beaten gold on the two ends of the mercy seat.

 19 Make one cherub on each end; you shall make the cherubim on each end of it of one piece with the mercy seat.

 20 And the cherubim shall stretch out their wings above, covering the mercy seat with their wings, facing one another and looking down toward the mercy seat.

 21 Then you shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the Testimony that I will give you.

 22 And there I will commune with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are upon the ark of the Testimony, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the children of Israel.

 23 Also, make a table of shittim wood, two cubits long, one cubit wide, and a cubit and a half in height.

 24 You shall overlay it with pure gold and make a crown of gold molding all around it;

 25 And you shall make a rim of a handbreadth wide all around it, and you shall make a golden molding around the rim.

 26 You shall make four rings of gold for it, and put the rings on the four corners where the four legs are.

 27  The rings shall be close to the rim as holders for the poles to carry the table.

 28 You shall make the poles of shittim wood and overlay them with gold, that the table may be carried with them.

 29 And you shall make its dishes, pans, pitchers, and bowls for liquids; you shall make them of pure gold.

 30 And you shall set showbread upon the table before me always.

 31 You shall make a lampstand of pure gold. The lampstand shall be made of beaten work,2 its shaft and its branches; its bowls, its ornamental knobs, and its flowers shall be of one piece with it.

 32 Six branches shall come out of the sides of it; three branches of the lampstand out of one side and three branches of the lampstand out of the other side [and one stand on the shaft, for a total of seven lampstands].3

 33 Three bowls shall be made like almond blossoms, each with an ornamental knob and a flower on one branch, and three bowls made like almond blossoms with an ornamental knob and a flower on the other branch — and so on for the six branches that come out of the lampstand;

 34 And in the lampstand shall be four bowls made like almond blossoms, with their ornamental knobs and their flowers.

 35 There shall also be an ornamental knob under each pair of six branches that go out of the lampstand.

 36 Their ornamental knobs and their branches shall all be of one piece with the lampstand, made out of beaten work of pure gold.

 37 And you shall make a seventh lamps for it. Then they shall set up its lamps so that they may give light in front of it.

 38 Its snuffers and its trays shall be of pure gold.

 39 Use a talent of pure gold to make it, with all these vessels.

 40 See that you make them according to the pattern, which was shown you on the mountain.


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1 Shittim wood was what Moses used to build the ark, the container of the stone tables with the commandments written on them by the Lord. The ark was the first built piece of furniture for the Tabernacle and was about 2.9 feet long. Shittim wood, from which it was made, is a beautiful orange-colored wood, quite heavy and close grained. As it ages, this wood will darken. It is quite insect-resistant. It comes from the acacia tree, (evidently not related to the California acacia tree, which does not have a black bark), growing as a torrent tree, which thrives in the wadies of Sinai and the Dead Sea, but is not found in upper Palestine. A remarkable wood, as described by a modern wood worker:

The coloring, with its reds, browns, and blondes was incredible. This wood has a three-dimensional quality (called chatoyance), where it is as though you can see deep inside the wood. This characteristic doesn't become apparent until you sand up through about 1,500 grit, and by the time you get to 12,000 grit it's pronounced.

2 You shall make a lampstand of pure gold. The lampstand shall be made of beaten work. Aaron made the candlesticks of pure beaten gold, a metal in which there is no dross. So man must be molded and purified, and all the filth in mind, soul, and spirit, must be beaten, tempered, and hammered down, before he is a fit candlestick to stand in the tabernacle of God. (From George Fox's The Spirit of Man the Candle of the Lord: the Candle of the Wicked often put out.)

3 Six branches shall come out of the sides of it; three branches of the lampstand out of one side and three branches of the lampstand out of the other side [and one stand on the shaft, for a total of seven lampstands]. The seven lamps, or candles, represent the seven spirits of God. Out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices; and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. Rev 4:5.

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