Ex. 31:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

Ex. 31:2 See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah:

Ex. 31:3 And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship,

Ex. 31:4 To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass,

Ex. 31:5 And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship.

Ex. 31:6 And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee;

God has given Moses some very specific directions for the people to follow in building the tabernacle and making all the vessels and instruments associated with it.  Now He is telling Moses that He has also provided men with the skills necessary to accomplish His directives.  Evidently, Bezaleel (tribe of Judah) has been singled out to be “filled” with the Spirit of God:

1.        In wisdom

2.        In understanding

3.        In knowledge

4.        In all manner of workmanship

5.        In devising cunning works in gold, silver and brass

6.        In cutting of stones

7.        In carving of timber

This man is not to shoulder the burden alone, He has been given a specific helper, Aholiab (tribe of Dan), as well as a group of general helpers—those who are wise hearted.


Bezaleel = In the shadow of God, under His protection

Uri = my light, my fire

Hur = liberty, whiteness

Aholiab = tent of the father

Ahisamach = brother of strength

Wise hearted = intelligent, skillful and willing

Cunning works – Involves those who are able to make plans, inventive, and have imagination with purpose.


This brings to mind the saying, “Where God guides, HE provides.”


Ex. 31:7 The tabernacle of the congregation, and the ark of the testimony, and the mercy seat that is thereupon, and all the furniture of the tabernacle,

Ex. 31:8 And the table and his furniture, and the pure candlestick with all his furniture, and the altar of incense,

Ex. 31:9 And the altar of burnt offering with all his furniture, and the laver and his foot,

Ex. 31:10 And the cloths of service, and the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons, to minister in the priest’s office,

Ex. 31:11 And the anointing oil, and sweet incense for the holy place: according to all that I have commanded thee shall they do.

Now God reiterates the things that these gifted men will be making/building according to the directions God has provided:

1.        The tabernacle of the congregation

2.        The ark of the testimony

3.        The mercy seat on the ark

4.        All the furniture of the tabernacle

5.        The table and its furniture

6.        The pure candlestick with is furniture

7.        The altar of incense

8.        The altar of burnt offering with all its furniture

9.        The laver and its pedestal

10.     The cloth and garments for the priests

11.     The anointing oil

12.     The incense for the holy place


God doesn’t leave us guessing as to what is pleasing to Him and what is not.  All He asks from us is obedience in love for who He is.


Ex. 31:12 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

Ex. 31:13 Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.

The Lord next gives instructions regarding the Sabbath.  It is a sign for the people for generations to come that they are acknowledging God as LORD and that He is acknowledging them as His people, special, set apart from the other nations of the earth.


Ex. 31:14 Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.

Ex. 31:15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.

Ex. 31:16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.

Ex. 31:17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.

God considers the Sabbath a holy day.  To defile it (make it impure, pollute it) was to incur the death penalty.  No one was to work on the Sabbath.  There were six other days in the week in which man could work; the Sabbath was to be dedicated to God.  The Sabbath is to be observed by God’s people forever.  Again, it is emphasized that it is a sign between God and the children of Israel of their unique relationship.  God emphasizes again that He made heaven and earth in six days, which was followed by a day of rest and refreshment.  (3/10) In context, don’t work on the tabernacle on the Sabbath.


I can’t help but think of Jesus’ explanation of the Sabbath.  He explained that the Sabbath was made for man. 

Mark 2:27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.

The way man chose to define work did not fit with God’s definition of work.  Jesus taught, healed, and allowed His disciples to pick corn to eat on the Sabbath.

Mark 6:2 And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue.

John 9:14 And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes.

Matt. 12:1 At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat.

The key difference in man’s thinking and God’s thinking seems to involve the attitudes and motives of the heart in the actions taken on the Sabbath.


I truly think that we have deprived ourselves of great blessing because of our attitude toward the Sabbath.  No--we are not under the law, but the principles of the law are never changing.  They are from an unchanging God.  We need to have a day that we focus on the LORD completely and forget about the stresses and pressures of everyday living.  We need rest and refreshment just as surely as God set the example of their importance.  I am just as guilty as the next person.  “LORD, please help me use my time according to your leadership and priorities.”


Ex. 31:18 And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.

This verse draws us back to 24:18 where we are told Moses was up in the mountain forty days and forty nights. We are told that when God had finished speaking with Moses, He gave Moses “two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.”  I don’t see how these two stones could have contained all of the instructions provided in the intervening chapters in our Bible.  The next chapter tells us that they contained writing on all four sides, so maybe they did—I don’t know. 


It seems that God emphasized the importance of his directives by personally writing them.