Exodus 40

Exodus 40


The LordI spokeII to Moses,III 

Notes on verse 1

I “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
II “spoke” = dabar. This is generally to speak, answer, declare, or command. It might mean to arrange and so to speak in a figurative sense as arranging words.
III “Moses” = Mosheh. From mashah (to pull out in a literal or figurative sense, to draw out) OR from Egyptian mes or mesu (child, son i.e. child of…). This is Moses – the one drawn out from the water, which is to say, rescued. If derived from the Egyptian, his name would share a root with Rameses and Thutmose.

“On the first dayIV of the firstV monthVI

Notes on verse 2a

IV “day” = yom. Root may mean being hot. This is the day in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean birth, age, daylight, continually or other references to time.
V “first” = rishon + echad. Rison is from rishah (beginning or early time); from rosh (head, captain, or chief; excellent or the forefront; first in position or in statue or in time). This is first, former, ancestor, beginning, ranked first. Echad is perhaps from achad (to unify, continue on a path; figuratively, to gather one’s thoughts). This is the number one, first, united. It can also be alone, altogether, a certain, a few.
VI “month” = chodesh. From chadash (to renew, repair). This refers to a new moon. It can also mean monthly.

you shall set upVII the tabernacleVIII of the tentIX of meeting.X 

Notes on verse 2b

VII “set up” = qum. To arise, stand, accomplish, establish, abide. This is rising as in rising against, getting up after being sick or asleep, arising from one state to another, becoming powerful, or rising for action. It can also be standing in a figurative sense.
VIII “tabernacle” = mishkan. From shakan (to settle down in the sense of residing somewhere or staying there permanently; to abide or continue). This is a place where one lives – a tabernacle, tent, or other kind of dwelling. It can also be a lair where animals live, the grave, the Temple, or the Tabernacle.
IX “tent” = ohel. Perhaps from ahal (to shine, be clear). This is a tent, covering, home, or side pillar.
X “meeting” = moed. From yaad (to appoint, assemble or gather selves, agree). This is a meeting, assembly, fixed time. It can be used for a festival or feast. It can also refer to a meeting place.

You shall putXI in it the arkXII of the covenant,XIII and you shall screenXIV the ark with the curtain.XV 

Notes on verse 3

XI “put” = sim. This is to put or place in a literal or figurative sense. It can be appoint, care, change, make, and may other things.
XII “ark” = aron. Perhaps from arah (to gather or pluck). This is a chest, box, or coffin. It is used for the Ark of the Covenant.
XIII “covenant” = eduth. From ed (witness, testimony, recorder); from ud (to admonish, repeat, duplicate, testify, restore, record, relieve). This is testimony, ordinance, decree, warning, or witness.
XIV “screen” = sakak. This is to cover or overshadow. It could also be to hedge or fence it. Figuratively, this could be to defend, protect, or join together.
XV “curtain” = paroketh. Perhaps from the same as perek (perhaps from a word meaning fracture or break apart, emphasizing the severity or the break; harshness, severity, cruelty; rigorously). This is something that separates – a screen, curtain, or veil.

You shall bring inXVI the tableXVII and arrangeXVIII its setting,XIX and you shall bring in the lampstandXX and set up its lamps.XXI 

Notes on verse 4

XVI “bring in” = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.
XVII “table” = shulchan. Perhaps from shalach (to send, send for, forsake). This is a table or meal.
XVIII “arrange” = arak. This is to arrange by setting in a row. It can also mean to set a battle, estimate, put in order, or compare.
XIX “setting” = erek. Related to “arrange” in v4. From arak (see note XVIII above). This is order, arrangement, price, estimate, value. It refers to something that is brought into order.
XX “lampstand” = menorah. From the same as ner (properly, to glisten; a lamp, light, burner, candle; light literal or figurative). This is a lampstand or candlestick.
XXI “lamps” = ner. Related to “lampstand” in v4. See note XX above.

You shall putXXII the goldenXXIII altarXXIV for incenseXXV beforeXXVI the ark of the covenant

Notes on verse 5a

XXII “put” = natan. This is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively.
XXIII “golden” = zahab. Root may mean to shimmer. This is gold or something that has the color of gold like oil. It can also refer to a clear sky – to good weather.
XXIV “altar” = mizbeach. From zabach (to kill, slay, offer; slaughtering an animal to offer as a sacrifice). This is an altar.
XXV “incense” = qetoreth. From the same as qitor (thick smoke, vapor). This is smoke, incense, the scent of the sacrifice as it burned.
XXVI “before” = paneh. From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.

and set upXXVII the screenXXVIII for the entranceXXIX of the tabernacle. 

Notes on verse 5b

XXVII “set up” = sim. Same as “put” in v3. See note XI above.
XXVIII “screen” = masak. Related to “screen” in v3. From sakak (see note XIV above). This is a covering, screen, or curtain. It could also refer to some kind of defense.
XXIX “entrance” = pethach. From pathach (to open wide in a literal or figurative sense; to open, draw out, let something go free, break forth, to plow, engrave, or carve). This is any kind of opening – a door, entrance, gate.

You shall setXXX the altar of burnt offeringXXXI beforeXXXII the entrance of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting 

Notes on verse 6

XXX “set” = natan. Same as “put” in v5. See note XXII above.
XXXI “burnt offering” = olah. From alah (to go up, climb, approach, bring; to be high or actively climb; can be literal or figurative). This is a step, stairs, or some kind of ascent. It is also used for whole burnt offerings, being the offering in which the whole things is burned and rises as smoke. Burnt offerings were the least common of the offerings: most were eaten, shared with the priest and the one bringing the offering.
XXXII “before” = paneh. Same as “before” in v5. See note XXVI above.

and placeXXXIII the basinXXXIV betweenXXXV the tent of meeting andXXXVI the altar and putXXXVII waterXXXVIII in it. 

Notes on verse 7

XXXIII “place” = natan. Same as “put” in v5. See note XXII above.
XXXIV “basin” = kiyyor. From the same as kur (furnace, smelting pot). This is a firepot, basin, hearth, pulpit, scaffold.
XXXV “between” = bayin. From bin (to discern, consider, attend to; distinguishing things in one’s mind or, more generally, to understand). This is among, between, interval.
XXXVI {untranslated} = bayin. Same as “between” in v7. See note XXXV above.
XXXVII “put” = natan. Same as “put” in v5. See note XXII above.
XXXVIII “water” = mayim. This is water, waters, or waterway in a general sense. Figuratively, it can also mean juice, urine, or semen.

You shall set upXXXIX the courtXL all aroundXLI and hang upXLII the screen for the gateXLIII of the court. 

Notes on verse 8

XXXIX “set up” = sim. Same as “put” in v3. See note XI above.
XL “court” = chatser. From chatsar (to blow a trumpet, trumpeter, to surround); from chatsotsrah (trumpet). This is an enclosure or court – a yard that is fenced in. It could also be a village or hamlet that is walled in.
XLI “all around” = sabib. From sabab (turning around, going around; to surround, cast, walk, fetch; to revolve or border in a literal or figurative sense). This is a circuit or a circle. It could refer to an environment, one’s neighbors, or a circular path round about.
XLII “hang up” = natan. Same as “put” in v5. See note XXII above.
XLIII “gate” = shaar. May be related to sha’ar (to calculate or reckon; may come from a root that means to open up or split). This is a gate, door, or other opening like a port.

Then you shall takeXLIV the anointingXLV oilXLVI and anointXLVII the tabernacle and allXLVIII that is in it

Notes on verse 9a

XLIV “take” = laqach. This is to take, accept, carry away, receive. It can also have the sense of take a wife or take in marriage.
XLV “anointing” = mishchah. From mashach (to smear or anoint; to run oil on, to consecrate). This is the act of anointing, ointment, or a consecrated thing.
XLVI “oil” = shemen. From shamen (to shine, which implies being oily, growing fat). This is fat, oil, grease, olive oil – often with perfume. Used figuratively for fertile, lavish, rich.
XLVII “anoint” = mashach. Related to “anointing” in v9. See note XLV above.
XLVIII “all” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.

and consecrateXLIX it and all its furniture,L so that it shall becomeLI holy.LII 

Notes on verse 9b

XLIX “consecrate” = qadash. From qodesh (set apart and so sacred; God is different from us and so God is holy/set apart; things we dedicate to God’s service are set apart for God and so they, too, are holy). This is set apart, consecrated, hallowed, sanctified. This is something or someone that is set apart for a holy purpose or use – ceremonially or morally clean.
L “furniture” = keli. From kalah (to end, be finished, complete, prepare, consume, spent, or completely destroyed). This is something that was prepared – any implement, utensil, article, vessel, weapon, or instrument. Also includes jewels, weapons, bags, carriages, and furniture.
LI “become” = hayah. Related to “Lord” in v1. See note I above.
LII “holy” = qodesh. Related to “consecrate” in v9. See note XLIX above.

10 You shall also anoint the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils and consecrate the altar, so that the altar shall beLIII most holy.LIV 11 You shall also anoint the basin with its standLV and consecrate it. 

Notes on verses 10-11

LIII “be” = hayah. Same as “become” in v9. See note LI above.
LIV “most holy” = qodesh + qodesh. Literally, “holy of holies.” Same as “holy” in v9. See note LII above.
LV “stand” = ken. 16x in OT. From the same as ken (to set upright; generally used figuratively for thus, so, afterwards, rightly so); perhaps from kun (properly, in a perpendicular position; literally, to establish, fix, fasten, prepare; figuratively, it is certainty, to be firm, faithfulness, render sure or prosperous). This is a stand, place, right, honest, office.

12 Then you shall bringLVI AaronLVII and his sonsLVIII to the entrance of the tent of meeting and washLIX them with water 

Notes on verse 12

LVI “bring” = qarab. This is to come near, offer, make ready, approach, take.
LVII “Aaron” = Aharon. Derivation uncertain. May mean “bearer of martyrs” OR be related to Ancient Egyptian ꜥḥꜣ rw (warrior lion) OR elevated, exalted, high mountain. This is Aaron. See https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Aaron
LVIII “sons” = ben. From banah (to build or obtain children). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense.
LIX “wash” = rachats. This is to wash, wash away – it can be complete or partial.

13 and put onLX Aaron the sacredLXI vestments,LXII and you shall anoint him and consecrate him, so that he may serve me as priest.LXIII 

Notes on verse 13

LX “put on” = labash. This is to wrap around, which implies clothing oneself or someone else. This is wrapping around in a literal or figurative way.
LXI “sacred” = qodesh. Same as “holy” in v9. See note LII above.
LXII “vestments” = beged. From bagad (to cover or conceal; figuratively, to act in a covert or treacherous way, to transgress or pillage). This is clothing, garment, robe, or some other kind of clothing. Figuratively, it can be treachery or pillaging.
LXIII “serve…as priest” = kahan. From kohen (a priest, one who officiates or acts as priest). This is officiating as a priest does over religious service. It can also figuratively mean donning regalia or formal ornamentation/attire.

14 You shall bring his sons also and put tunicsLXIV on them 15 and anoint them, as you anointed their father,LXV that they may serve me as priests; their anointing shall admit them to a perpetualLXVI priesthoodLXVII throughout all their generations.”LXVIII

Notes on verses 14-15

LXIV “tunics” = kethoneth. Root may mean to cover. This is a tunic, coat, or other kind of garment.
LXV “father” = ab. This is father, chief, or ancestor. It is father in a literal or figurative sense.
LXVI “perpetual” = olam. This is a long scope of time whether in the past (antiquity, ancient time) or in the future (eternal, everlasting).
LXVII “priesthood” = kehunnah. Related to “serve…as priest” in v13. 14x in OT. From the same as kohen (see note LXIII above). This is priesthood.
LXVIII “generations” = dor. From dur (to move in a circle, which implies living somewhere or remaining there; it can also be the sense of piling or heaping up). This is a revolution of time, which is to say, an age or generation. It can also be a dwelling or one’s posterity.

16 Moses didLXIX everythingLXX just as the Lord had commandedLXXI him.LXXII 

Notes on verse 16

LXIX “did” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
LXX “everything” = kol. Same as “all” in v9. See note XLVIII above.
LXXI “commanded” = tsavah. This is to charge, command, order, appoint, or enjoin. This is the root that the Hebrew word for “commandment” comes from (mitsvah).
LXXII {untranslated} = ken + asah. Literally, “so, he did.” Related to “stand” in v11. See note LV above.

17 LXXIIIIn the first month in the secondLXXIV year,LXXV on the first day of the month, the tabernacle was set up.LXXVI 

Notes on verse 17

LXXIII {untranslated} = hayah. Same as “become” in v9. See note LI above.
LXXIV “second” = sheni. From shanah (to fold, repeat, double, alter, or disguise). This is double, again, another, second.
LXXV “year” = shanah. From shana (to change, alter). This is a year, age, old. It can also mean yearly.
LXXVI “set up” = qum. Same as “set up” in v2. See note VII above.

18 Moses set upLXXVII the tabernacle; he laidLXXVIII its basesLXXIX and set upLXXX its framesLXXXI

Notes on verse 18a

LXXVII “set up” = qum. Same as “set up” in v2. See note VII above.
LXXVIII “laid” = natan. Same as “put” in v5. See note XXII above.
LXXIX “bases” = eden. From the same as adon (lord, master, owner); root means to rule or be sovereign. This is a base, pedestal, or foundation.
LXXX “set up” = sim. Same as “put” in v3. See note XI above.
LXXXI “frames” = qeresh. This may come from a word that means to split off. So, it is a plank or board. It can also refer to a ship’s deck.

and put inLXXXII its polesLXXXIII and raised upLXXXIV its pillars,LXXXV 

Notes on verse 18b

LXXXII “put in” = natan. Same as “put” in v5. See note XXII above.
LXXXIII “poles” = beriach. From barach (to flee, drive away, hurry, to bolt). This is a bar or a bolt. It can also be used for a fugitive.
LXXXIV “raised up” = qum. Same as “set up” in v2. See note VII above.
LXXXV “pillars” = ammud. From amad (to stand up in a literal or figurative sense; to establish, continue, endure, take a stand, act, be a servant, stand still, remain, stand against an enemy). This is a pillar, stand, or platform.

19 and he spreadLXXXVI the tent over the tabernacle and putLXXXVII the coveringLXXXVIII of the tent overLXXXIX it as the Lord had commanded Moses. 

Notes on verse 19

LXXXVI “spread” = paras. This is to spread or stretch out, extend, break up, chop to pieces, disperse, display.
LXXXVII “put” = sim. Same as “put” in v3. See note XI above.
LXXXVIII “covering” = mikseh. 16x in OT. From kasah (to cover, conceal, overwhelm; to cover as clothes do or to hide a secret). This is a covering.
LXXXIX “over” = maal. Related to “burnt offering” in v6. From alah (see note XXXI above). This is the upper part, forward, high above, upwards, greater, heaven, or exceedingly.

20 He took the covenant and putXC it into the ark and putXCI the polesXCII on the ark and set the coverXCIII above the ark, 

Notes on verse 20

XC “put” = natan. Same as “put” in v5. See note XXII above.
XCI “put” = sim. Same as “put” in v3. See note XI above.
XCII “poles” = bad. From badad (to divide or be separated; alone, solitary, lonely, isolated, straggler). This is apart, alone, separation, body part, tree branch, except. It can also be a city’s chief.
XCIII “cover” = kapporeth. From the same as kopher (ransom, bribe, price of a life; something that covers something else; a village, bitumen as a coating, a henna plant that dyes, a ransom price); from kaphar (to appease, cover, pacify, cancel, cleanse, pardon). This is the lid on top of the ark – the mercy seat.

21 and he broughtXCIV the ark into the tabernacle and set upXCV the curtain for screeningXCVI and screened the ark of the covenant as the Lord had commanded Moses.  22 He putXCVII the table in the tent of meeting, on the northXCVIII sideXCIX of the tabernacle, outsideC the curtain, 

Notes on verses 21-22

XCIV “brought” = bo. Same as “bring in” in v4. See note XVI above.
XCV “set up” = sim. Same as “put” in v3. See note XI above.
XCVI “screening” = masak. Same as “screen” in v5. See note XXVIII above.
XCVII “put” = natan. Same as “put” in v5. See note XXII above.
XCVIII “north” = tsaphon. From tsaphan (to hide, hoard, reserve; to cover over or figuratively to deny; also to lurk). This is properly hidden, dark, or gloomy. It can also be used to refer to the north.
XCIX “side” = yarek. Root may mean to be soft. This is thigh, side, body, shank. It can be used figuratively for genitalia.
C “outside” = chuts. Root may mean to sever. So, this is something that is separated by a wall – the outside, the street, a field, highway, or abroad.

23 and setCI the breadCII in orderCIII on it beforeCIV the Lord as the Lord had commanded Moses. 24 He putCV the lampstand in the tent of meeting, oppositeCVI the table on the southCVII side of the tabernacle, 

Notes on verses 23-24

CI “set” = arak. Same as “arrange” in v4. See note XVIII above.
CII “bread” = lechem. From lacham (to eat, feed on). This is bread, food, loaf. It can refer to food more generally for people or for animals.
CIII “in order” = erek. Same as “setting” in v4. See note XIX above.
CIV “before” = paneh. Same as “before” in v5. See note XXVI above.
CV “put” = sim. Same as “put” in v3. See note XI above.
CVI “opposite” = nokach. Perhaps from the same as nekach (root may mean being straightforward; before, the front). This is in front of, before, on behalf, opposite.
CVII “south” = negeb. Root may mean to be parched. The Negeb is the south country – sometimes used to refer to Egypt. This is a land that suffers from a lot of drought.

25 and set up the lamps beforeCVIII the Lord as the Lord had commanded Moses. 26 He putCIX the golden altar in the tent of meeting beforeCX the curtain 27 and offeredCXI fragrantCXII incense on it as the Lord had commanded Moses. 

Notes on verses 25-27

CVIII “before” = paneh. Same as “before” in v5. See note XXVI above.
CIX “put” = sim. Same as “put” in v3. See note XI above.
CX “before” = paneh. Same as “before” in v5. See note XXVI above.
CXI “offered” = qatar. Related to “incense” in v5. From qetoreth (see note XXV above). This is to make an offering, particular one of burned incense. It focuses on the fragrance made from the sacrificial fire. This is generally used to refer to worship.
CXII “fragrant” = sam. 16x in OT. This is spice, fragrant, a sweet smell.

28 He also putCXIII in place the screen for the entrance of the tabernacle. 29 He setCXIV the altar of burnt offering at the entrance of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting and offered on it the burnt offering and the grain offeringCXV as the Lord had commanded Moses. 30 He setCXVI the basin between the tent of meeting and the altar and putCXVII water in it for washing, 31 with which Moses and Aaron and his sons washed their handsCXVIII and their feet.CXIX 

Notes on verses 28-31

CXIII “put” = sim. Same as “put” in v3. See note XI above.
CXIV “set” = sim. Same as “put” in v3. See note XI above.
CXV “grain offering” = minchah. This is a gift or an offering, particularly a sacrificial one that is generally bloodless and given spontaneously (voluntarily).
CXVI “set” = sim. Same as “put” in v3. See note XI above.
CXVII “put” = natan. Same as “put” in v5. See note XXII above.
CXVIII “hands” = yad. This is hand, ability, power. Hand in a literal sense, but also what one can do or the means by which one does it.
CXIX “feet” = regel. This is foot, endurance, or journey. It is a foot as the means of walking and so it implies a step or a greater journey. It can be used euphemistically for private parts.

32 When they wentCXX into the tent of meeting and when they approachedCXXI the altar, they washed as the Lord had commanded Moses. 33 He set upCXXII the court around the tabernacle and the altar and put upCXXIII the screen at the gate of the court. So Moses finishedCXXIV the work.CXXV

Notes on verses 32-33

CXX “went” = bo. Same as “bring in” in v4. See note XVI above.
CXXI “approached” = qarab. Same as “bring” in v12. See note LVI above.
CXXII “set up” = qum. Same as “set up” in v2. See note VII above.
CXXIII “put up” = natan. Same as “put” in v5. See note XXII above.
CXXIV “finished” = kalah. Related to “furniture” in v9. See note L above.
CXXV “work” = melakah. From the same as malak (messenger, an angel, or a deputy; human messengers literally or for prophets, priests, or teachers as messengers of God; also supernatural messengers i.e. angels). Properly, this is a deputyship or some kind of work. It can also be the product that comes from labor.

34 Then the cloudCXXVI coveredCXXVII the tent of meeting, and the gloryCXXVIII of the Lord filledCXXIX the tabernacle. 

Notes on verse 34

CXXVI “cloud” = anan. May be from anan (cover, cloud over; figuratively, acting in a secret way, practicing magic or soothsaying). This is a cloud as something that covers the sky.
CXXVII “covered” = kasah. Related to “covering” in v19. See note LXXXVIII above.
CXXVIII “glory” = kabod. From kabad (to be heavy, weighty, burdensome). This is weighty. Figuratively, glorious, abundant, riches, honor, splendor – a reference to one’s reputation or character. This word is often used to describe God and God’s presence.
CXXIX “filled” = male. This is fill, satisfy, replenish, accomplish, fulfill, confirm, or consecrate. It is fill in a literal or figurative sense.

35 Moses was not ableCXXX to enterCXXXI the tent of meeting because the cloud settledCXXXII upon it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 36 Whenever the cloud was taken upCXXXIII from the tabernacle, the IsraelitesCXXXIV

Notes on verses 35-36a

CXXX “was…able” = yakol. This is to be able, endure, overcome, prevail.
CXXXI “enter” = bo. Same as “bring in” in v4. See note XVI above.
CXXXII “settled” = shakan. Related to “tabernacle” in v2. See note VIII above.
CXXXIII “taken up” = alah. Related to “burnt offering” in v6 & “over” in v19. See note XXXI above.
CXXXIV “Israelites” = ben + Yisrael. Literally, “children of Israel.” Ben is the same as “sons” in v12. See note LVIII above. Yisrael is from sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + el (God or god). This is Israel, meaning God strives or one who strives with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring. This refers to the people and to the land.

would set outCXXXV on eachCXXXVI stage of their journey,CXXXVII 37 but if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out until the day that it was taken up. 

Notes on verses 36b-37

CXXXV “set out” = nasa. This is properly pulling up as when one pulls up tent pegs or stakes. This would imply striking tents in order to start a journey. So this could be bring, pullout, set out, journey, or cause to go away.
CXXXVI “each” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.
CXXXVII “journey” = massa. Related to “set out” in v36. 12x in OT– all in the first five books of the Bible. From nasa (see note CXXXV above). This is a departure, striking camp, travelling by stages a station or march.

38 For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day,CXXXVIII and fireCXXXIX was in the cloud by night,CXL before the eyesCXLI of allCXLII the houseCXLIII of Israel at each stage of their journey.

Notes on verse 38

CXXXVIII “by day” = yomam. Related to “day” in v12. From yom (see note IV above). Root may mean to be hot. So, this is day as the hours that are hot. This can be daytime in a literal or figurative sense.
CXXXIX “fire” = esh. This is fire, burning, flaming, hot. It is fire in a literal or figurative sense.
CXL “night” = layil. Properly, this refers to light twisting away. It is used for night or midnight. Figuratively, this can mean adversity.
CXLI “eyes” = ayin. This is eye in a literal or figurative sense so eye, appearance, favor, or a fountain (the eye of the landscape).
CXLII “all” = kol. Same as “each” in v9. See note CXXXVI above.
CXLIII “house” = bayit. Related to “sons” in v12. Probably from banah (see note LVIII above). This is house, court, family, palace, temple.

Image credit: “A model of the Tabernacle of Testimonies” created by Michael Osnis. Photo by Daniel Ventura, 2000.

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