Monday, August 09, 2004

Exodus 37

Again, this chapter contains little new material but confirms that the Israelites obeyed the command of God in the design of the Tabernacle. However, we discover some of the craftsmanship of the implements of the Tabernacle.
Bezalel made the Ark and the atonement cover with its two cherubim. Following this point, the Hebrew is unclear as to whether Bezalel made the other implements or whether it was done by more than one person. Since the incense was the work of a perfumer, it seems likely that Bezalel was assisted.

Some interesting midrash ( suggests the reason Bezalel was selected for the task. He was the grandson of one of the men who held up Moses' arms when the Israelites were battling the Amalekites. So, he would seem to be an important figure. But he vanishes entirely. So, midrash suggests that at the time of the making of the Golden Calf, he stood in opposition and was killed for it.

Another interesting point is the question of why the cherubim are face to face. One commentator, citing rabbinic sources, suggests that there is an erotic overtone, representing the love between God and humankind ( In this view, the Law (in the Ark below) is the foundation of that love.


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