The Bible – Old Testament
This is what the LORD then said to Moses:
“Tell the Israelites to take up a collection for me. From every man you shall accept the contribution that his heart prompts him to give me.
These are the contributions you shall accept from them: gold, silver and bronze;
violet, purple and scarlet yarn; fine linen and goat hair;
1 rams’ skins dyed red, and tahash skins; acacia wood;
oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense;
onyx stones and other gems for mounting on the ephod and the breastpiece.
“They shall make a sanctuary for me, that I may dwell in their midst.
This Dwelling and all its furnishings you shall make exactly according to the pattern that I will now show you.
“You shall make an ark of acacia wood, two and a half cubits long, one and a half cubits wide, and one and a half cubits high.
Plate it inside and outside with pure gold, and put a molding of gold around the top of it.
Cast four gold rings and fasten them on the four supports of the ark, two rings on one side and two on the opposite side.
Then make poles of acacia wood and plate them with gold.
These poles you are to put through the rings on the sides of the ark, for carrying it;
they must remain in the rings of the ark and never be withdrawn.
In the ark you are to put the commandments which I will give you.
2 “You shall then make a propitiatory of pure gold, two cubits and a half long, and one and a half cubits wide.
3 Make two cherubim of beaten gold for the two ends of the propitiatory,
fastening them so that one cherub springs direct from each end.
The cherubim shall have their wings spread out above, covering the propitiatory with them; they shall be turned toward each other, but with their faces looking toward the propitiatory.
This propitiatory you shall then place on top of the ark. In the ark itself you are to put the commandments which I will give you.
There I will meet you and there, from above the propitiatory, between the two cherubim on the ark of the commandments, I will tell you all the commands that I wish you to give the Israelites.
“You shall also make a table of acacia wood, two cubits long, a cubit wide, and a cubit and a half high.
Plate it with pure gold and make a molding of gold around it.
4 Surround it with a frame, a handbreadth high, with a molding of gold around the frame.
You shall also make four rings of gold for it and fasten them at the four corners, one at each leg,
on two opposite sides of the frame as holders for the poles to carry the table.
These poles for carrying the table you shall make of acacia wood and plate with gold.
5 Of pure gold you shall make its plates and cups, as well as its pitchers and bowls for pouring libations.
On the table you shall always keep showbread set before me.
“You shall make a lampstand of pure beaten gold – its shaft and branches – with its cups and knobs and petals springing directly from it.
Six branches are to extend from the sides of the lampstand, three branches on one side, and three on the other.
6 On one branch there are to be three cups, shaped like almond blossoms, each with its knob and petals; on the opposite branch there are to be three cups, shaped like almond blossoms, each with its knob and petals; and so for the six branches that extend from the lampstand.
7 On the shaft there are to be four cups, shaped like almond blossoms, with their knobs and petals,
including a knob below each of the three pairs of branches that extend from the lampstand.
Their knobs and branches shall so spring from it that the whole will form but a single piece of pure beaten gold.
8 You shall then make seven lamps for it and so set up the lamps that they shed their light on the space in front of the lampstand.
9 These, as well as the trimming shears and trays, must be of pure gold.
Use a talent of pure gold for the lampstand and all its appurtenances.
See that you make them according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.
1  Tahash: perhaps the name of a marine animal, such as the dugong or the porpoise. The Greek and Latin versions took it for the color hyacinth.
2  Propitiatory: this traditional rendering of the Hebrew term, which may mean merely “cover,” is derived from its connection with the ceremony of the Day of Atonement whereby God was rendered “propitious.” Cf ⇒ Lev 16:14, ⇒ 16.
3 [18-20] Cherubim: probably in the form of human-headed winged lions. The cherubim over the ark formed the throne for the invisible Lord. Cf ⇒ Psalm 80:2. For a more detailed description of the somewhat different cherubim in the temple of Solomon, see ⇒ 1 Kings 6:23-28; ⇒ 2 Chron 3:10-13.
4  A frame: probably placed near the bottom of the legs to keep them steady. The golden table of Herod’s temple is pictured thus on the Arch of Titus.
5 [29-30] The plates held the showbread, that is, the holy bread which was placed upon the table every sabbath as an offering to God, and was later eaten by the priests. The cups held the incense which was strewn upon the bread. Cf ⇒ Lev 24:5-9. The libation wine was poured from the pitchers into the bowls. All these vessels were kept on the golden table.
6  In keeping with the arrangement of the ornaments on the shaft, the three sets of ornaments on each branch were probably so placed that one was at the top and the other two equally spaced along the length of the branch. Knob: the cup-shaped seed capsule at the base of a flower.
7 [34-35] Of the four ornaments on the shaft, one was at the top and one was below each of the three sets of side branches.
8  The lamps were probably shaped like small boats, with the wick at one end; the end with the wick was turned toward the front of the lampstand.
9  Trays: small receptacles for the burnt-out wicks.