Highlights From Bible Reading ‒ Exodus 38‒40
Highlights From the Book of Exodus 38-40
Exodus 39:30 ‒ w01 2/1 p. 14 pars. 2-3
(Exodus 39:30) Finally, they made the shining plate, the holy sign of dedication, out of pure gold and inscribed on it an inscription as one would engrave a seal: “Holiness belongs to Jehovah.”
[w01 2/1 p. 14 pars. 2-3] 2 However, what does “dedication” mean in the Biblical sense? “Dedicate” translates a Hebrew verb that has the meaning “keep separate; be separated; withdraw.” In ancient Israel, High Priest Aaron wore on his turban “the holy sign of dedication,” which was a shining plate of pure gold engraved with the Hebrew words for “Holiness belongs to Jehovah.” That served as a reminder to the high priest that he must avoid doing anything that would profane the sanctuary “because the sign of dedication, the anointing oil of his God, [was] upon him.”—Exodus 29:6; 39:30; Leviticus 21:12.
3 We can see in this context that dedication is a serious matter. It implies voluntary identification as a servant of God, and it requires clean conduct. Therefore, we can appreciate why the apostle Peter quoted Jehovah as saying: “You must be holy, because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:15, 16) As dedicated Christians, we bear a heavy responsibility to live up to our dedication, being faithful to the end. But what is involved in Christian dedication?—Leviticus 19:2; Matthew 24:13.
Ex 38:1 - *** it-1 p. 82 Altar ***
(Exodus 38:1) 38 He made the altar of burnt offering out of acacia wood. It was square, five cubits long, five cubits wide, and three cubits high.
Tabernacle Altars. With the setting up of the tabernacle, two altars were constructed according to divine pattern. The altar of burnt offering (also called “the altar of copper” [Ex 39:39]) was made of acacia wood in the form of a hollow chest, apparently without top or bottom. It was 2.2 m (7.3 ft) square and 1.3 m (4.4 ft) high with “horns” projecting from the upper four corners. All its surfaces were overlaid with copper. A grating, or network, of copper was placed below the altar’s rim “down within,” “toward the center.” Four rings were placed at the four extremities near the grating, and these appear to be the same rings through which the two copper-sheathed acacia-wood poles were passed for carrying the altar. This might mean that a slot was cut through two sides of the altar allowing for a flat grating to be inserted, with the rings extending out on both sides. There is considerable difference of opinion among scholars on the subject, and many consider it likely that two sets of rings were involved, the second set, for insertion of the carrying poles, being attached directly to the outside of the altar. Copper equipment was made in the form of cans and shovels for the ashes, bowls for catching the blood of the animals, forks for handling the flesh, and fire holders.—Ex 27:1-8; 38:1-7, 30; Nu 4:14.
Ex 39:30 -*** it-1 p. 552 Crown ***
The Hebrew word ne′zer, in addition to meaning “diadem” (2Ch 23:11), can pertain to a thing singled out, separated, or dedicated, as in the case of the chief priest who had upon him “the sign of dedication, the anointing oil of his God.” (Le 21:10-12; compare De 33:16, ftn.) In view of this basic meaning, the New World Translation appropriately renders ne′zer at times as “sign of dedication,” with reference to the plate of gold worn by Israel’s high priest upon his turban. On this gold plate were inscribed the words “Holiness belongs to Jehovah.”—Ex 29:6; 39:30, ftn; Le 8:9.
Ex 39:32 - *** w95 12/15 p. 13 par. 9 They “Did Just So”
(Exodus 39:32) 32 So all the work for the tabernacle, the tent of meeting, was completed, and the Israelites did everything that Jehovah had commanded Moses. They did just so.
Then, even to the minutest detail, Moses and his willing coworkers followed the architectural plans provided by Jehovah. “So the work for the tabernacle of the tent of meeting all came to its completion, in that the sons of Israel kept doing according to all that Jehovah had commanded Moses. They did just so.” Similarly, at the inauguration of the priesthood, “Moses proceeded to do according to all that Jehovah had commanded him. He did just so.” (Exodus 39:32; 40:16)
Ex 40:15 - *** it-1 p. 523 Covenant ***
(Exodus 40:15) 15 You are to anoint them just as you anointed their father, so that they will serve as priests to me, and their anointing will serve continually for them as a lasting priesthood during their generations.”
Covenant With the Tribe of Levi. Jehovah made a covenant with the tribe of Levi, that the entire tribe should be set aside to constitute the tabernacle service organization, including the priesthood. This occurred in the wilderness of Sinai, in 1512 B.C.E. (Ex 40:2, 12-16; Mal 2:4) Aaron and his sons, of the family of Kohath, were to be priests, the remaining families of Levi taking care of other duties, such as setting up the tabernacle, moving it, and other matters. (Nu 3:6-13; chap 4) Later, they served likewise at the temple. (1Ch 23) The installation services for the priesthood were carried out Nisan 1-7, 1512 B.C.E., and they began serving on Nisan 8. (Le chaps 8, 9) The Levites had no inheritance in the land, but received tithes from the other tribes, and had enclave cities in which to dwell. (Nu 18:23, 24; Jos 21:41) On account of Phinehas’ zeal for exclusive devotion to Jehovah, God made a covenant of peace with him, a covenant for the priesthood to time indefinite for him and his offspring. (Nu 25:10-13) The covenant with Levi continued in operation until the ending of the Law covenant.—Heb 7:12.
Ex 40:16 - *** it-2 p. 438 Moses ***
(Exodus 40:16) 16 Moses did according to all that Jehovah had commanded him. He did just so.
He was careful to carry out instructions. In the intricate work of constructing the tabernacle and making its utensils and the priests’ garments, Moses exercised close oversight. The record reads: “And Moses proceeded to do according to all that Jehovah had commanded him. He did just so.” (Ex 40:16; compare Nu 17:11.)
Ex 40:28 - *** w00 1/15 p. 15 par. 8 “Desirable Things” Are Filling Jehovah’s House ***
(Exodus 40:28) 28 Then he put the screen for the entrance of the tabernacle in place.
During that period, Jesus enjoyed a spirit-begotten relationship with God. This unique standing that Jesus had with his heavenly Father could not be fully comprehended by other humans. It was as if a screen blocked their eyes of discernment, just as a screen shielded the Holy from the view of those in the tabernacle courtyard.—Exodus 40:28.
References consulted on: Watchtower Library 2013 CD-ROM
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