Orders are given for setting up the tabernacle, and fixing all the
appurtenances of it, ver. 1 - 8.
and the consecrating of it, ver. 8 - 11.
and of the priests, ver. 12 - 15.
Care taken to do all this, and as it was appointed to be done,
ver. 16 - 33.
God's taking possession of it by the cloud, ver. 34 - 38.
2: The time for doing this is, On the first day of the first month
- This wanted but fourteen days of a year since they came out of Egypt.
Probably the work was made ready just at the end of the year, so that the
appointing this day gave no delay. In Hezekiah's time they began to
sanctify the temple on the first day of the first month,(2Ch 29:17). The new moon (which by their computation was the first
day of every month) was observed by them with some solemnity; and therefore
this first new moon of the year was thus made remarkable.
15: Their anointing shall be an everlasting priesthood - A seal that
their priesthood shall continue as long as the Jewish polity lasts.
He signifies that this unction should be sufficient for all succeeding
priests. None were afterwards anointed but the high - priests.
34: As when God had finished this earth, which he designed for
man's habitation, he made man, and put him in possession of it; so when
Moses had finished the tabernacle, which was designed for God's
dwelling - place among men, God came and took possession of it. By these
visible tokens of his coming among them, he testified both the return of
his favour, which they had forfeited by the golden calf, and his gracious
acceptance of their care and pains about the tabernacle. Thus God shewed
himself well - pleased with what they had done, and abundantly rewarded them.
A cloud covered the tent - The same cloud which, as the chariot
or pavilion of the Shechinah, had come up before them out of
Egypt, now settled upon the tabernacle, and hovered over it, even in
the hottest and clearest day; for it was none of those clouds which the
sun scatters. This cloud was intended to be a token of God's presence,
constantly visible day and night to all Israel. A protection of the
tabernacle: they had sheltered it with one covering upon another, but after
all, the cloud that covered it was its best guard: And a guide to the camp
of Israel in their march through the wilderness. While the cloud
continued on the tabernacle, they rested; when it removed, they removed and
followed it, as being purely under a divine conduct. And the glory of
the Lord filled the tabernacle - The Shechinah now made an awful entry
into the tabernacle, passing through the outer part of it into the most holy
place, and there seating itself between the cherubim. It was in light
and fire, and, for ought we know, no other - wise, that the Shechinah
made itself visible. With these the tabernacle was now filled; yet
as before the bush, so now the curtains were not consumed, for,
to those that have received the anointing, the majesty of God is not
destroying. Yet now so dazzling was the light, and so dreadful was the
fire, that Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the
congregation, at the door of which he attended, till the splendor was a
little abated, and the glory of the Lord retired within the veil. But
what Moses could not do, our Lord Jesus has done, whom God caused to
draw near and approach, and as the fore - runner he is for us entered,
and has invited us to come boldly even to the mercy - seat. He was
able to enter into the holy place not made with hands; he is himself the
true tabernacle, filled with the glory of God, even with that divine
grace and truth which were figured by this fire and light. In him
the Shechinah took up its rest for ever, for in him dwells all
the fulness of the Godhead bodily.