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Exodus 40 New English Translation (NET Bible)

Setting Up the Sanctuary

40 [a] Then the Lord spoke to Moses:[b] “On the first day of the first month you are to set up[c] the tabernacle, the tent of meeting. You are to place the ark of the testimony in it and shield the ark with the special curtain. You are to bring in the table and set out the things that belong on it;[d] then you are to bring in the lampstand and set up its lamps. You are to put[e] the gold altar for incense in front of the ark of the testimony and put the curtain at the entrance to the tabernacle. You are to put the altar for the burnt offering in front of the entrance to the tabernacle, the tent of meeting. You are to put the large basin between the tent of meeting and the altar and put water in it.[f] You are to set up the courtyard around it and put the curtain at the gate of the courtyard. And take the anointing oil, and anoint the tabernacle and all that is in it, and sanctify it and all its furnishings, and it will be holy. 10 Then you are to anoint the altar for the burnt offering with[g] all its utensils; you are to sanctify the altar, and it will be the most holy altar. 11 You must also anoint the large basin and its pedestal, and you are to sanctify it.[h]

12 “You are to bring[i] Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the tent of meeting and wash them with water. 13 Then you are to clothe Aaron with the holy garments and anoint him and sanctify him so that he may minister as my priest. 14 You are to bring[j] his sons and clothe them with tunics 15 and anoint them just as you anointed their father, so that they may minister as my priests; their anointing will make them a priesthood that will continue throughout their generations.” 16 This is what Moses did, according to all the Lord had commanded him—so he did.

17 So the tabernacle was set up on the first day of the first month, in the second year. 18 When Moses set up the tabernacle and put its bases in place, he set up its frames, attached its bars, and set up its posts. 19 Then he spread the tent over the tabernacle and put the covering of the tent over it, as the Lord had commanded him.[k] 20 He took the testimony and put it in the ark, attached the poles to the ark, and then put the atonement lid on the ark. 21 And he brought the ark into the tabernacle, hung[l] the protecting curtain,[m] and shielded the ark of the testimony from view, just as the Lord had commanded him.[n]

22 And Moses[o] put the table in the tent of meeting, on the north side of the tabernacle, outside the curtain. 23 And he set the bread in order on it[p] before the Lord, just as the Lord had commanded him.[q]

24 And he put the lampstand in the tent of meeting opposite the table, on the south side of the tabernacle. 25 Then he set up the lamps before the Lord, just as the Lord had commanded him.[r]

26 And he put the gold altar in the tent of meeting in front of the curtain, 27 and he burned fragrant incense on it, just as the Lord had commanded him.[s]

28 Then Moses[t] put the curtain at the entrance to the tabernacle. 29 He also put the altar for the burnt offering by the entrance to the tabernacle, the tent of meeting, and offered on it the burnt offering and the meal offering, just as the Lord had commanded him.[u]

30 Then he put the large basin between the tent of meeting and the altar and put water in it[v] for washing. 31 Moses and Aaron and his sons would wash their hands and their feet from it. 32 Whenever they entered[w] the tent of meeting, and whenever they approached[x] the altar, they would wash,[y] just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

33 And he set up the courtyard around the tabernacle and the altar, and put the curtain at the gate of the courtyard. So Moses finished the work.

34 Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35 Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 36 But when the cloud was lifted up[z] from the tabernacle, the Israelites would set out[aa] on all their journeys; 37 but if the cloud was not lifted up, then they would not journey farther until the day it was lifted up.[ab] 38 For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, but fire would be[ac] on it at night, in plain view[ad] of all the house of Israel throughout all their journeys.

Footnotes:

  1. Exodus 40:1 sn All of Exod 39:32-40:38 could be taken as a unit. The first section (39:32-43) shows that the Israelites had carefully and accurately completed the preparation and brought everything they had made to Moses: The work of the Lord builds on the faithful obedience of the people. In the second section are the instruction and the implementation (40:1-33): The work of the Lord progresses through the unifying of the work. The last part (40:34-38) may take the most attention: When the work was completed, the glory filled the tabernacle: By his glorious presence, the Lord blesses and directs his people in their worship.
  2. Exodus 40:1 tn Heb “and Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying.”
  3. Exodus 40:2 tn Heb “you will raise,” an imperfect of instruction.
  4. Exodus 40:4 tn Heb “and you will set in order its setting” or “arrange its arrangement.” See 25:29-30 for items that belonged on the table.
  5. Exodus 40:5 tn Heb “give” (also four additional times in vv. 6-8).
  6. Exodus 40:7 tn Heb “there.”
  7. Exodus 40:10 tn Heb “and.”
  8. Exodus 40:11 sn U. Cassuto (Exodus, 480) notes that the items inside the tent did not need to be enumerated since they were already holy, but items in the courtyard needed special attention. People needed to know that items outside the tent were just as holy.
  9. Exodus 40:12 tn The verb is “bring near,” or “present,” to Yahweh.
  10. Exodus 40:14 tn The verb is also “bring near” or “present.”
  11. Exodus 40:19 tn Heb “Moses”; the name has been replaced with the pronoun for stylistic reasons.
  12. Exodus 40:21 tn Heb “set up,” if it includes more than the curtain.
  13. Exodus 40:21 tn Or “shielding” (NIV); Heb “the veil of the covering” (cf. KJV).
  14. Exodus 40:21 tn Heb “Moses”; the name has been replaced with the pronoun for stylistic reasons.
  15. Exodus 40:22 tn Heb “him”; the referent has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  16. Exodus 40:23 tn Heb uses a cognate accusative construction, “he arranged the arrangement.”
  17. Exodus 40:23 tn Heb “Moses”; the name has been replaced with the pronoun for stylistic reasons.
  18. Exodus 40:25 tn Heb “Moses”; the name has been replaced with the pronoun for stylistic reasons.
  19. Exodus 40:27 tn Heb “Moses”; the name has been replaced with the pronoun for stylistic reasons.
  20. Exodus 40:28 tn Heb “him”; the referent has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  21. Exodus 40:29 tn Heb “Moses”; the name has been replaced with the pronoun for stylistic reasons.
  22. Exodus 40:30 tn Heb “there.”
  23. Exodus 40:32 tn The construction is the infinitive construct with the temporal preposition and the suffixed subjective genitive. This temporal clause indicates that the verb in the preceding verse was frequentative.
  24. Exodus 40:32 tn This is another infinitive construct in a temporal clause.
  25. Exodus 40:32 tn In this explanatory verse the verb is a customary imperfect.
  26. Exodus 40:36 tn The construction uses the Niphal infinitive construct to form the temporal clause.
  27. Exodus 40:36 tn The imperfect tense in this context describes a customary action.
  28. Exodus 40:37 tn The clause uses the Niphal infinitive construct in the temporal clause: “until the day of its being taken up.”
  29. Exodus 40:38 tn Here is another imperfect tense of the customary nuance.
  30. Exodus 40:38 tn Heb “to the eyes of all”; KJV, ASV, NASB “in the sight of all”; NRSV “before the eyes of all.”
New English Translation (NET)

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