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The have here an account of Bezalect and Aholiab being called for
the work of the tabernacle ; of the sabbath ; and of Moses' receiving the two tables. .
AND the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, See, I have 2 I called by name, Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of 3. Hur, of the tribe of Judah : And I have filled him with the
spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowl. 4 edge, and in all manner of workmanship, To devise cunning 5 works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, And in
cutting of stones, to set (them,) and in carving of timber to 6 work in all manner of workmanship. 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, endued them with peculiar ability for this work, 7 that they may make all that I have commanded thee; The tab
ernacle of the congregation, and the ark of the testimony,
and the mercy seat that (is) thereupon, and all the furniture 8 of the tabernacle, And the table and his furniture, and the
pure candlestick with all his furniture, and the altar of in9 cense, And the altar of burnt offering with all his furniture, 10 and the layer and his foot, And the cloths of service, and the
holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his Il sons, to minister in the priest's office, And the anointing oil,
and sweet incense of the holy (place :) according to all that I
have commanded thee shall they do. . 12 13 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou
also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep ; though the work of the tabernacle be hely, and be diligently and speedily to be done, yet I will not have any of it done on the sabbath days : for it [is] a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you own me for your God, who am the Creator of heaven and earth, who redeemed you out of Egypt, and that I own you for my people ; that (ye) may know that I [am] the Lord that doth sanctify you. 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 15 shall be cut off from among his people. 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 16 shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Is
rael shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath through17 out their generations, (for) a perpetual covenant. It [is] a
sign between me and the children of Israel for ever : for [in] VOL. I.
six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh
day he rested, and was refreshed. 18 And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of
communing with him upon mount Sinai, when forty days were expired, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God, his immediate work, to denote, that it was the work of God alone to write this law upon men's hearts.
CHAP. XXXII. 1-20.
We now proceed with the historical part of this book, and have here
a very memorable and surprising story, the making of the golden
calf, and its awful consequences.
A delayed to come down out of the mount, where he was • forty days, receiving the law, the people gathered themselves
together unto Aaron, in a tumultuous manner, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, an image or representation of God, as a visible sign of his presence among us, which shall go before us, as in other nations ; for (as for] this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is becoine of him ; we expected to receive directions about God's
Service at this mountain, but we are weary of waiting, and there2 fore will serve God in our own way. And Aaron said unto
them, Break off the golden earrings which you brought from Egyfi, and which [are) in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring [them) unto me.t 3 And all the people Brake off the golden earrings which
[were] in their ears, and brought (them) unto Aaron. 4 And he received (them) at their hand, and fashioned it
with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf : and they said, These [be] thy gods, or, this is thy God,
O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt, 5 or, this is a representation of him. And when Aaroni saw
with what applause they received [it,) and with what res. olutions they crowded about it, he was concerned a little to palliate what he had done, and direct their views still to Je. hovah, and he built an altar before it ; and Aaron made
Struge infatuation! after all they had seen, and notwithstanding all that was still before their eyes on the mount.
When he saw no dissuasions would prevail, probably he proposed this, conceiving they would never yield to it ; but superstition and idolatry got the berter of their covete ousness
He melted them down into the shape of a calf or an ox ; under which likeness the Egyptians worshipped their god Apis, whom probably the Israelites followed. See Acts
proclamation, and said, Tomorrow [is] a feast to the LORD, 6 And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt
offerings, and brought peace offerings; thus, as the Psalmist observes, they made a calf in Horeb, and worshipped the 'molten image : and the people sat down to eat and to drink, to feast upon the sacrifice, and rose up to play, to dance
and rejoice in a carnal manner.* y And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down ; for
thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, t have corrupted (themselves ;] defiled themselves by idolatry, and 80 exposed themselves to judgment, (Gen. vi, 11-13.)
They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them, after entering into covenant with me, and promising obedience, (ch, xix. 8. xxiy. 7.) they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and sacrificed thereunto,
and said, These [be] thy gods, O Israel, which liaye brought 9 thee up out of the land of Egypt. And the Lord said unto
Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it [is] a stiffnecked
people, stubborn and disobedient, like unruly heifers that will 10 not submit their necks to the yoke : Now therefore let me alone, . 4 do not thou intercede for them, for I know not how to resolve
upon their destruction, if thou be intercessor ; (infinite conde. scension !) let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them : and I will make of
thee a great nation. Thus, in the midst of judgment, there Il was an intimation of mercy. And Moses immediately took the
hint, and besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand ? Here he pleaded what God had done
for them, and then urges what the Egyptians would say, and 12 how God's name would be reflected upon, Wherefore should
the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth Turn from thy fierce wrath,
and repent of this evil against thy people. He then pleads the ,13 promise made to their fathers, and God's holy covenant, Re.
member Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed, as the stars of heaven, and all this land
that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they 14 shall inherit [it] for ever. And the Lord repented of the
evil which he thought to do unto his people ; he resolved not
• It does not appear that they thought this calf was a real god : but their idolatry convisted in making an image or representation of the true God; and this, by the way, is a sufficient and unanswerable reason why the papists are chargeable with idolatry ; what would vindicate them, would vindicate the Israelites. I Cor. x. 7.
t God disdains to call them his people any more, Isa. lix. 1, 2. and entitles Moses to them, that be might be the more solicitous to reduce them again into the right way,
:: to destroy them utterly, but only to punish them for this great
sin. 15 And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, which
was burning, and the two tables of the testimony (were] in his hand : the tables (were) written on both their sides ; on
the one side and on the other [were they written, thut is, on 16 the inside of each, on the right hand and on the left. And the
tables [were] the work of God, and the writing swas7 the 17 writing of God, graven upon the tables.* And when Joshua,
who waiteil for Moses at the bottom of the mount, heard the
poise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, 18. There is] a noise of war in the camp. And he, that is, Mo.
8€8, said, [It is) not the voice of [them that) shout for mas. tery, neither [is it] the voice of [them that] cry for being
overcome : [but] the noise of [them that] sing do I hear.t 19 And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the
camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses'
anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and 20 brake them beneath the mount. And he took the calf which
they had made, and burnt [it] in the fire, melted it down, and ground [it,] or filed it, to powder, and having mixed some other ingredients with it to make it swim, he strawed [it] upon the water of the brook which came from the mountain, and made the children of Israel drink [of it,]'to show them the vanity
of such gods. . ! ·,'.'.: .9 DTI P ONS
::00;, ; ; REFLECTIONS. 1. W E may here observe the treachery of the human heart,
VV and the unsteadiness of men's resolutions. When .. we read such a story as this, we may justly say, with surprise,
Lord, what is man! what a poor, feeble, unsteady creature ! It was but a few weeks before, that they received the law, heard the voice of God, saying, Thou shalt make no graven images ; and they solemnly promised, All that the Lord hath commanded will we do, and be obedient, They entered into a covenant with blood; they were supported, that very day, with manna ; they saw the pillar of cloud and fire ; and yet they fell into idolatry. If they had said, Choose us another governor, (as Bp. Hall observes) it would have been a wicked, unthankful motion, and would have showed no respect to Moses' memory ; but to say, Make us gods, was foolish and impious. How many gods would they have had ! What sort of gods must those be, that could be made ? A
* No doubt a most curious production, as being the imniediate work of God.
+ He knew the true reason, but for a while concealed it, and said, His a noise of themes that sing. This was usual among the heathen, at festivals in honour of their deities. * Noxes might justly be angry, but it is probable, thit the breaking of the tables was done with deliberation and design, to show that the covenant between them and God was broken by their idolatry.
god to go before them, that could not stand alone! In such a stupid and senseless manner do men reason and talk, when they leave the worship of Jehovah. It was strange that Aaron should comply with their request ; that he, who could stand before Pha. raoh, and defy his threats, should so easily be drawn in. He should have resisted, strove, and prayed, yea, died, rather than have yielded. Who can promise himself freedom from sin and infirmity, when he sees Aaron, the saint of the Lord, so tamely yield to a wicked solicitation ? Let us learn to cease from man ; to cease from ourselves, and not be confident in our own resolutions ; let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall.
2. See the danger of partaking in other men's sins, and of a temper easily persuaded to do things contrary to the dictates of conscience : this was the case with Aaron. Let no importunity prevail upon us to forfeit our innocence, or to join in wickedness. The fear of man is often a snare to good men, and perhaps it was the case here ; it often leads men to do that, which would otherwise have appeared detestable. Let us therefore resist every temptation, keep ourselves pure, be no ways accessary to the guilt of others, through complaisance, timorousness, or any other cause. It will give but little ease, under present or future torments, to reflect that we have sinned to oblige others, or even for fear of suffering ourselves.
3. We may hence learn the efficacy of prayer : it cannot be more effectually expressed, and intimated, than here. Moses earnestly prayed ; God, knowing that he would do so, says, v. 10. Let me alone : but he was determined not to keep silence, nor give God any rest ; and God suffered himself to be prevailed upon. See how proper it is to make intercession for all men ; what signal services we may do them ; of what advantage it may be, to stand in the breach, as Moses did, for a sinful land. This is an encouragement to pray always, and not to faint. The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Let us rejoice in the intercession which Christ continually makes for us ; he is the mediator of a better covenant, and him the Father heareth always.
CHAP. XXXII. 21, to the end.
The story of the golden calf continued.
1 to thee, what great violence did they use, that thou hast brought so great sin upon them ? this great offence against the
God of Israel? 22 And Aaron made a poor excuse, and said, Let not the anger
of my lord wax hot : thou knowest the people, that they