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Ex 31:1-18. BEZALEEL AND AHOLIAB.
2. See, I have called--Though the instructions about the
tabernacle were privately communicated to Moses, it was plainly
impossible that he could superintend the work in person, amid the
multiplicity of his other duties. A head director or builder was
selected by God Himself; and the nomination by such high authority
removed all ground of jealousy or discontent on the part of any who
might have thought their merits overlooked (compare
3-5. I have filled him with the spirit of God--It is probable that he was naturally endowed with a mechanical genius, and had acquired in Egypt great knowledge and skill in the useful, as well as liberal, arts so as to be a first-class artisan, competent to take charge of both the plain and ornamental work, which the building of the sacred edifice required. When God has any special work to be accomplished, He always raises up instruments capable of doing it; and it is likely that He had given to the son of Uri that strong natural aptitude and those opportunities of gaining mechanical skill, with an ultimate view to this responsible office. Notwithstanding that his grand duty was to conform with scrupulous fidelity to the pattern furnished, there was still plenty of room for inventive talent and tasteful exactness in the execution; and his natural and acquired gifts were enlarged and invigorated for the important work.
6. I have given with him Aholiab--He belonged to the tribe of
Dan, one of the least influential and honorable in Israel; and here,
too, we can trace the evidence of wise and paternal design, in choosing
the colleague or assistant of Bezaleel from an inferior tribe (compare
also Mr 6:7).
12-17. Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep--The reason for the fresh inculcation of the fourth commandment at this particular period was, that the great ardor and eagerness, with which all classes betook themselves to the construction of the tabernacle, exposed them to the temptation of encroaching on the sanctity of the appointed day of rest. They might suppose that the erection of the tabernacle was a sacred work, and that it would be a high merit, an acceptable tribute, to prosecute the undertaking without the interruption of a day's repose; and therefore the caution here given, at the commencement of the undertaking, was a seasonable admonition.