Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Exodus: Chapter 39

Bring together
Interwoven in gold 

The blessing that 
comes at completion

[For full chapter, click here
The creation of the Dwelling continues. From the outer structure, we moved to the sanctuary gold, then outwards to the courtyard of bronze. This chapter incorporates the human component, with the creation of the priestly  garments. Once again, translation is also transformation. Here, the gold of the sanctuary is actually incorporated into the clothing: "they did beat the gold into thin plates, and cut it into threads, to work it in the blue, and in the purple, and in the scarlet, and in the fine linen". The priests become the nerve system of the Dwelling, connecting the internal and external space. The chaotic human involvement is emphasized: The ephod  "carries"--as commanded--"the name of the children of Israel." However, no longer is it specified that they are listed by a hierarchical order of birth. Rather it is simply the individualized "each according to his name."
The chapter closes with the Children of Israel “bringing together” all the components to Moses. He acts as the unifying force, the vision. The disparate is interwoven in a catalog, that climaxes with an emphasized verbal fugue connecting the initial vision and the earthly doing, with Moses at the center as intermediary: “According to all that God commanded Moses, so the children of Israel did the work…And Moses saw all the work, and, behold, they had done it as God had commanded…” With the coming together comes blessing: “and Moses blessed them.”]

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