The Tabernacle Completed
1Then the Lord said to Moses, 2“Set up the Tabernacle#40:2a Hebrew the Tabernacle, the Tent of Meeting; also in 40:6, 29. on the first day of the new year.#40:2b Hebrew the first day of the first month. This day of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar occurred in March or April. 3Place the Ark of the Covenant#40:3 Or Ark of the Testimony; also in 40:5, 21. inside, and install the inner curtain to enclose the Ark within the Most Holy Place. 4Then bring in the table, and arrange the utensils on it. And bring in the lampstand, and set up the lamps.
5“Place the gold incense altar in front of the Ark of the Covenant. Then hang the curtain at the entrance of the Tabernacle. 6Place the altar of burnt offering in front of the Tabernacle entrance. 7Set the washbasin between the Tabernacle#40:7 Hebrew Tent of Meeting; also in 40:12, 22, 24, 26, 30, 32, 34, 35. and the altar, and fill it with water. 8Then set up the courtyard around the outside of the tent, and hang the curtain for the courtyard entrance.
9“Take the anointing oil and anoint the Tabernacle and all its furnishings to consecrate them and make them holy. 10Anoint the altar of burnt offering and its utensils to consecrate them. Then the altar will become absolutely holy. 11Next anoint the washbasin and its stand to consecrate them.
12“Present Aaron and his sons at the entrance of the Tabernacle, and wash them with water. 13Dress Aaron with the sacred garments and anoint him, consecrating him to serve me as a priest. 14Then present his sons and dress them in their tunics. 15Anoint them as you did their father, so they may also serve me as priests. With their anointing, Aaron’s descendants are set apart for the priesthood forever, from generation to generation.”
16Moses proceeded to do everything just as the Lord had commanded him. 17So the Tabernacle was set up on the first day of the first month of the second year. 18Moses erected the Tabernacle by setting down its bases, inserting the frames, attaching the crossbars, and setting up the posts. 19Then he spread the coverings over the Tabernacle framework and put on the protective layers, just as the Lord had commanded him.
20He took the stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant and placed them#40:20 Hebrew He placed the Testimony; see note on 25:16. inside the Ark. Then he attached the carrying poles to the Ark, and he set the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement—on top of it. 21Then he brought the Ark of the Covenant into the Tabernacle and hung the inner curtain to shield it from view, just as the Lord had commanded him.
22Next Moses placed the table in the Tabernacle, along the north side of the Holy Place, just outside the inner curtain. 23And he arranged the Bread of the Presence on the table before the Lord, just as the Lord had commanded him.
24He set the lampstand in the Tabernacle across from the table on the south side of the Holy Place. 25Then he lit the lamps in the Lord’s presence, just as the Lord had commanded him. 26He also placed the gold incense altar in the Tabernacle, in the Holy Place in front of the inner curtain. 27On it he burned the fragrant incense, just as the Lord had commanded him.
28He hung the curtain at the entrance of the Tabernacle, 29and he placed the altar of burnt offering near the Tabernacle entrance. On it he offered a burnt offering and a grain offering, just as the Lord had commanded him.
30Next Moses placed the washbasin between the Tabernacle and the altar. He filled it with water so the priests could wash themselves. 31Moses and Aaron and Aaron’s sons used water from it to wash their hands and feet. 32Whenever they approached the altar and entered the Tabernacle, they washed themselves, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.
33Then he hung the curtains forming the courtyard around the Tabernacle and the altar. And he set up the curtain at the entrance of the courtyard. So at last Moses finished the work.
The Lord’s Glory Fills the Tabernacle
34Then the cloud covered the Tabernacle, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle. 35Moses could no longer enter the Tabernacle because the cloud had settled down over it, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle.
36Now whenever the cloud lifted from the Tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out on their journey, following it. 37But if the cloud did not rise, they remained where they were until it lifted. 38The cloud of the Lord hovered over the Tabernacle during the day, and at night fire glowed inside the cloud so the whole family of Israel could see it. This continued throughout all their journeys.