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CHAPTER 39

Ex 39:1-43. Garments of the Priests.

1, 2. cloths of service—official robes. The ephod of the high priest, the robe of the ephod, the girdle of needlework, and the embroidered coat were all of fine linen; for on no material less delicate could such elaborate symbolical figures have been portrayed in embroidery, and all beautified with the same brilliant colors. (See on Ex 28:1-43).

3. cut the gold into wires to work it—that is, the metal was beaten with a hammer into thin plates, cut with scissors or some other instrument into long slips, then rounded into filaments or threads. "Cloth of golden tissue is not uncommon on the monuments, and specimens of it have been found rolled about mummies; but it is not easy to determine whether the gold thread was originally interwoven or subsequently inserted by the embroiderer" [Taylor].

30. a writing, like to the engravings of a signet—The seal-ring worn both by ancient and modern Egyptians on the little finger of the right hand, contained, inscribed on a cornelian or other precious stone, along with the owner's name, a religious sentiment or sacred symbol, intimating that he was the servant of God, or expressive of trust in Him. And it was to this practice the inscription on the high priest alludes (compare Joh 3:33).

34. the covering of rams' skin dyed red—(See on Ex 25:5). It was probably red morocco leather and "badgers' skins," rather "the skins of the tahash, supposed to be the dugong, or dolphin of the Red Sea, the skin of which is still used by the Arabs under the same appellation" [Goss].

43. Moses did look upon all the work, and, behold, they had done it as the Lord had commanded—A formal inspection was made on the completion of the tabernacle, not only with a view to have the work transferred from the charge of the workmen, but to ascertain whether it corresponded with "the pattern." The result of a careful and minute survey showed that every plank, curtain, altar, and vase had been most accurately made of the form, and in the place designed by the Divine Architect—and Moses, in accepting it of their hands, thanked God for them, and begged Him to bless them.

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