Therefore, don’t blame the Israelites if the following chapters seem long and repetitive. I assure you that the Israelites would not have considered them so. First of all, this is the first and only time that this generation will build Yahweh’s holy residence, and that makes every detail and every offering special. Second, when someone repents of sin and returns to the Lord’s ways, there is a profound joy in obeying His commands, even in the smallest, most repetitive and routine ways. To the modern reader these details may seem unnecessary, just a repetition of earlier readings, but remember that for the ones who participated in this work, it was an unforgettable experience of God’s mercy, worthy of being retold many times.
Besides, it is a good review for us, too. The instructions in Exodus 25 began with the directions for a voluntary offering and moved immediately to the most central object, the Ark of the Covenant. Here as construction itself begins in Exodus 35, we start with the tent that will form the tabernacle. Afterwards in Exodus 37 we read of the 4 most holy furnishings that the tabernacle will protect:
The ark (where the Presence of Yahweh will reign above the wings of the cherubim; it will stand in the Most Holy Place, in the western part of the tabernacle, separated from the rest by the veil),
The table (where the showbread is placed, standing in the Holy Place, on the north side),
The lampstand (with its seven lamps, also in the Holy Place, on the south side) and
The altar of incense (in the Holy Place, in front of the ark but separated from it by the veil).
And that is our summary of the golden furnishings, the ones most closely related to Yahweh’s Presence and covered by the tabernacle. Remember that two of them (the lampstand and the altar of incense) had a daily function in the priestly tasks; a priest will tend the lamps of the lampstand and burn incense each morning and at dawn. The table will receive 12 new loaves every Sabbath day, and the previous loaves will be eaten by the priests.
And together with our review, we will give thanks to the God who receives the offerings and obedience of His forgiven people.