BACKGROUND FOR THE LESSON. As our lesson takes place, the Israelites had been camped at Mount Sinai for about nine months after leaving Egypt (see Exodus 19:1). During that time, God had given them instructions concerning their sacrifices, their leadership, and how they were to live. It had started with God confirming that Israel were His people by establishing the Mosaic Covenant (see Exodus 19:5-8); the giving of the Ten Commandments (see Exodus 20:1-17); followed by the teachings on interpersonal relationships which included everything from neighbor relationships to immorality, and the establishment of national feasts and offerings for the tabernacle (see Exodus chapters 21-23). In chapters 25-27 while on Mount Sinai, God gave Moses directions for the construction of the tabernacle; in chapters 28-30, instructions were given for the conduct of the priesthood, and the use of the tabernacle. In chapter 31, God gives the names of the two men who would lead in the construction of the tabernacle and also gave Moses the two tablets of stone containing the Ten Commandments. In chapter 32, we see Aaron building the golden calf that the people begged for while Moses was away getting the Law from God. This chapter also includes Moses’ reaction of breaking the tablets of the Law and Israel’s judgment (see Exodus 32:7-35). In chapter 33 Moses constructs a temporary tabernacle to be used until they finished the one God directed them to build. Chapter 34 tells of the second tables of the Law that God gave to Moses as well as reiterating the feasts that were to be celebrated. In chapter 35, the LORD re-emphasizes the commitment to the Sabbath day and He also gave Moses instructions for gathering the gifts (materials and supplies) from the people to be used in the construction of the tabernacle. Chapters 36-39 record the actual construction of the tabernacle as well as the making of Aaron’s holy priestly garments. This is where our lesson begins.
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