Exodus 37:1,10,23-25,29 Bezalel made the ark of acacia wood—two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high... They made the table of acacia wood—two cubits long, a cubit wide, and a cubit and a half high... They made its seven lamps, as well as its wick trimmers and trays, of pure gold. They made the lampstand and all its accessories from one talent of pure gold. They made the altar of incense out of acacia wood. It was square, a cubit long and a cubit wide, and two cubits high—its horns of one piece with it... They also made the sacred anointing oil and the pure, fragrant incense—the work of a perfumer.
Is it not wonderful to hear the fulfillment of God's instructions to man? Bezalel and the other selected men set about God's work and did it to God's satisfaction.
When you read the NASB and the KJV translations, the word 'he' is used instead of 'they' in the NIV, and it makes one wonder if there was an error.
What is God speaking to us today through this passage and is there hope for us in today's day and age in these dated stories?
First, we need to clarify who made the articles that God ordained. All the translations are right in translating the Hebrew and the reason for the difference is a historical and linguistic issue.
(Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, made everything the LORD commanded Moses; with him was Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan—an engraver and designer, and an embroiderer in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen.) (Exodus 38:22-23, NIV, ©2011)
Clearly the above passage from Exodus 38 clarifies to us the who. The reason why this confusion exists is that in times past, the person who lead any task was generally given the credit for completing it.
The Taj Mahal, a mausoleum located in Agra, India was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal (Wikipedia). Shah Jahan did not build it himself physically but had people build it for him and was therefore credited with the end-product.
The word of God recorded in the Bible is pregnant with meaning and a little bit of research reveals volumes. I hope this helps you understand why it is important to look beneath the simple texts and appreciate the beauty of God's word.
Earlier in Exodus, we covered in some detail the purpose of each element that is here recorded as completed by Bezalel and his helpers. Therefore it make little sense redoing that exercise and so I hope you would go back a few chapters to read the same should you want to understand the detail.
We know that each of these elements were emblems of a spiritual and acceptable service.
The incense represented the prayer of the saints (all believer in Jesus Christ). The sacrifice on the altar represented the lamb of God (Jesus Christ) who takes away the sins of the world.
The golden pot with manna, or bread from heaven, represented the flesh of Jesus Christ, which he gave for the life of the world.
The candlestick, with its lights, represented the teaching and enlightening of the Holy Spirit. The shew-bread represented that provision for those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, which the gospel, the ordinances and the sacraments of the house of prayer, abundantly bestow.
Finally the exactness of the craftsmen to God's instructions is for us to follow. We, who are transformed by the blood of Christ, are called to live a life of obedience under the influence of the Holy Spirit, that we may rejoice in and glorify God while in this world, and for eternity be with him for ever.
To you who has never known the sweetness of a loving God and savior, I invite you to call on Jesus right now and be transformed by His life-giving love that is as alive today as it was 2,000 years ago. Please click here.
To you who has been transformed by the blood of Christ, I hope that you would be inspired to mine into God's word and glorify Him in the beauty of His divinity, nature, character and be filled with joy always.
In His Loving Service,
Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:48, New King James Version)
If you would like to know about Jesus, then please click here.