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Tabernacle of Moses: Weavers with Willing, Wise and Stirred Hearts -Exodus 35:25-26 Dr. Terry Harman

Updated: Dec 5, 2023


The Moses Method for Raising Money

The story of raising the materials and the construction of the Tabernacle is fascinating. I wish Moses would have been a little more self-promoting and told us just what he said to the children of Israel to cause them to bring so many offerings he had to tell them to stop it (Exodus 36:2-7). You are bringing too much. Moses did not share with us the secret of fund-raising, but he did leave us with the results of his speech in chapters 25 and 36 of the book of Exodus.


Exodus 25:1-2 JPS 1917

1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 2 ‘Speak unto the children of Israel, that they take for Me an offering; of every man whose heart maketh him willing ye shall take My offering.


“Speak”

Notice the Lord commanded Moses to speak (דַּבֵּר֙ dab-bêr) to the people. He was not commanded to ask, plead, or beg for an offering to build the Tabernacle. Moses was to discuss the matter with the tribal leaders and then present the need to the people, not Moses, who would collect the donated materials.


“Take for Me” Not Thee

The need was to be presented to the people and then the offerings raised were to be taken or received (תִּקְח֖וּ tiq·ḥū). The offerings were received on behalf of “Me.” The Me is He, not Thee!


“Willing”

I believe the Lord blesses those who give to charity. If it is truly the Lord’s money and I am just a steward entrusted with resources from the Lord, then I must discern the intentions or integrity of the one asking for the donation. But we must also check our intentions and ask ourselves the hard question, “Am I only giving to get? Am I conducting a pay-for-play scheme with the Lord?”


“Heart”

Here is how we discern intentions. Is the gift from, “every man whose heart maketh him willing.” Does the offering come from an inner conviction of the heart and mind – from the depths of our soul or are we giving the gift because we are being emotionally manipulated or because we are trying to manipulate the Lord? My Hebrew Bible professor Dr. Kenneth Hendrick warned us not to treat the Lord as if He were a “one-armed slot machine at the casino.” “Lord if I do this, THEN you must do this for me.”

Ark of the Covenant in Holy of Holies - photo by Terry Harman 2016


Exodus 25:3-5 JPS 1917

3 And this is the offering which ye shall take of them: gold, and silver, and brass; 4 and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats’ hair; 5 and rams’ skins dyed red, and sealskins, and acacia-wood.


As we will learn, building the Tabernacle took more than just Moses presenting the need and the leaders collecting an offering. The entire community put their hearts into building a house of prayer for the Lord – both men and women. All “willing hearts” took ownership of the project by offering their time, and talent, not just their treasure.


Exodus 35:25-26 JPS 1917

25 And all the women that were wise-hearted did spin with their hands, and brought that which they had spun, the blue, and the purple, the scarlet, and the fine linen. 26 And all the women whose heart stirred them up in wisdom spun the goats’ hair.











Difference Between Men and Women?

I must take this opportunity to say something which in today’s climate may offend my male or female readers. Too often, I am moved to give the money or write the check while my wife makes things happen. Let’s be honest with ourselves. Take a look at the average congregation. Who is moved to do the committee work, Sunday School teaching, social events, and service planning – our wonderful ladies of the congregation.


As a male sometimes I start with, “What do you need? How much is it going to cost?” Whereas my wife looks for how this will impact people spiritually, and the good it will do in the community. Sorry, I am often in my head thinking while my wife shoots from the heart.


Men with Willing Hearts

I find it interesting that Exodus 25:2 states the offering of gold, silver, brass (copper)1 various color of wool, animal skins, and wood came from men because their hearts were “willing.” Where did the Israelites find the construction materials in the desert? They didn’t. The Bible states these material goods came from what the Hebrews took from the Egyptians (Exodus 12:35-36) on their way out of Egypt.


Women with Wise Hearts

But Exodus 35:25 reveals the “wise-hearted” women went to work right away and started spinning the colorful yarns needed for the inner covering and the veils of the tabernacle while other women whose “hearts were stirred up” went to work weaving the second covering made from goat hair. Unlike the general population of men who brought building materials, the women applied their talents and skills to the work of the Tabernacle. What is the difference between a wise heart and a stirred heart? Looming for the Tabernacle Man in 2006


Women with Stirred Hearts

All the women who were “wise-hearted” or sensible and prudent in religious endeavors (חַכְמַת־ chach-mat) and whose hearts were “stirred” or moved, awakened, or aroused up (נָשָׂ֥א na-sa) in “wisdom” or spiritual matters (בְּחָכְמָ֑ה be-chah-be-Mah), “spun” or offered up their talents to weave the goat hair covering. There is a difference between being wise or knowledgeable about a need and doing something to meet that need such as possessing a skill set to spin wool into thread and then taking your skills to the next level and applying that talent (spun the goat’s hair) because your heart is moved or stirred when you see the bigger picture and are wise enough to understand your service to the Lord on a spiritual level.


No this is not where I ask you to send me a $1,000 love gift or offering.

I am asking you to give your time, talent, and treasure to others. If my videos or blogs help you in any way. If you are learning and walk away with a better understanding of the Bible. If you are spiritually fed by my efforts, here is how you can thank me. Help someone!


If My Teachings Help You, Thank Me by Helping Someone Else!


Give, Give, Give

It takes the wise, the willing, and those with stirred hearts to repair this broken world and make it a better place. There are many opportunities to do the “most good” with what we have. Consider mowing the lawn or shoveling the snow for an elderly person in your neighborhood. Offer to alleviate some of the burdens of a single parent with car problems. If you have the skills to turn a wrench, do it. If not, pay the bill for the repairs to help someone under a financial strain. Give your time to your local food bank or homeless shelter. Become a mentor at your local school. Go on a mission trip. Invite that lonely person for a cup of coffee or a meal. Consider becoming a volunteer at a jail or prison. There are many opportunities to offer our resources.

Please do not forget your house of worship.

One of the first things my mentors taught me was to “Never forget where you came from.” “Look for opportunities to volunteer it will help you more than the ones you are helping.” “Don’t be selfish with your time or your money.” “This will help you to grow spiritually.” These Christian and Jewish men lived the principles of Isaiah 61:1-2 and Matthew 25:35-40. I watched these men serve the least, the last, the lost, and the lonely.


Support Your Spiritual Leaders

Blow the mind of your Rabbi, Pastor, or Priest by calling them up and asking them how you can serve the congregation. Better yet, take them out for lunch or dinner. Send them a hand-written card telling them you appreciate their life of service. Faithfully support your place of worship with your time, talent, and treasure.


Don’t forget where you came from. Look for opportunities to volunteer it will help you more than the ones you are helping. Don’t be selfish with your time, talent, or your treasure. This will help you to grow spiritually.” Shalom, Terry

Footnote 1

וּנְחֹֽשֶׁת nechosheth

The Hebrew word for copper is sometimes translated as bronze which is a copper alloy. I prefer to translate this verse using copper as the Hebrew suggests rather than brass as in many English translations.

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JP
JP
Jan 01, 2023

Excellent article your comments about the women is so true if I may suggest watching the sheep among wolves documentary part 1 and 2 from FAI

shalom

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