29.3. The Commandment to Contribute to the Temple (35:4-9)

(4) Moses said further to the whole community of Israelites: This is what the Lord has commanded:

(5) Take from among you gifts to the Lord; everyone whose heart so moves him shall bring them — gifts for the Lord: gold, silver, and copper;

(6) blue, purple, and crimson yarns, fine linen, and goats’ hair;

(7) tanned ram skins, dolphin skins, and acacia wood;

(8) oil for lighting, spices for the anointing oil and for the aromatic incense;

(9) lapis lazuli and other stones for setting, for the ephod and the breastpiece.

(4-5) Moses said further to the whole community of Israelites: This is what the Lord has commanded: Take from among you gifts to the Lord; everyone whose heart so moves him shall bring them — gifts for the Lord: On the whole, Vayakhel is Moses’ portion, but supplemented with some of Aaron’s aspects. Earlier (25:2), at the beginning of the Terumah portion (which is Moses’ portion entirely), the donations to be made to the Temple were presented as offerings to be made voluntarily. But here, in almost the same context, although the general idea of voluntary gifts is preserved (“everyone whose heart so moves him”), it is introduced by a clear imperative element: “This is what the Lord has commanded.”

Thus, Moses’ approach is supplemented here with an intonation more suggestive of Aaron’s orientation, which considers the people’s good will on its own insufficient, and therefore requires an actual order.

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Bible Dynamics, VOL. 2. EXODUS Copyright © by Orot Yerushalaim / P. Polonsky / English translation of the Torah by the Jewish Publication Society, New JPS Translation, 1985. With sincere gratitude for the permission to use. All Rights Reserved.

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