Women Who Aided in Sanctuary Construction

After Moses had received the Ten Commandments from God, he gathered the whole Israelite community together and explained the work that the Lord wanted them to do in the construction of a sanctuary. But before he outlined the Lord's plan, he stated that the Hebrew people would work for six days, but would rest on the seventh and hold it as a sacred day; any person found working on the Sabbath would be killed. Moses then sent out a call for a collection of gifts for the construction of the tabernacle (Exodus 35:5–9).

Who were the Hasmoneans?

The Hasmoneans were Jewish high priests, political leaders, and kings who were brought into power by the Maccabean Revolt. Later, military leaders were included in the Hasmonean dynasty. These Jews regarded themselves as heirs to early biblical kings and judges who ruled over the land of Israel.

Women Inspired to Spin

There were Hebrew women who heard Moses' call and felt inspired to do spinning for the Lord: “And all the women that were wise hearted did spin with their hands, and brought that which they had spun, both of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine linen. And all the women whose heart stirred them up in wisdom spun goats' hair” (Exodus 35:25–26). So motivated and exuberant were the Hebrew people, that they supplied more than was needed for the creation of the tabernacle.

The Innermost Tent Curtains Are Completed

Those who were expert at weaving and embroidery made ten sheets of the finest linen and adorned them with delicately detailed cherubim embroidered in various shades of red and purple (Exodus 36:8). Although the King James Version of the Bible says that “wise-hearted men” made the curtains, the New American Bible, Saint Joseph Edition, states that those who sewed the curtains were experts (no gender stated) although previous verses revealed Moses telling the camp, “Let neither man nor woman make any more contributions for the sanctuary” (Exodus 36:6). It is therefore possible that women may have been experts who worked on the curtains. The Scriptures explain the length and breadth of the curtains, and even discuss the blue edging that was applied, along with the fifty gold clasps to join the curtains.

The Dwelling Place of the Lord Further Draped

The tent was then draped in eleven sheets of goat-hair coverings. These were fastened with brass clasps. Following that, a layer of rams' skins dyed red was laid upon the sheets of goat hair. The final covering was made of badgers' skins.

It must have been normal for women to meet and congregate at the door of the tabernacle, because another group of them are mentioned in the First Book of Samuel, albeit with a negative inference. “Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And he said unto them. Why do ye such things? …” (1 Samuel 2:22–23).

Wooded Walls Are Erected

The wood was cut in specific lengths and widths to create the walls; the structure had to conform to specific dimensions. The men most likely cut the wood and constructed the walls. There were silver pedestals under the walls. The boards were plated with gold and upon them were fashioned gold rings to hold gold bars (Exodus 36:20 — 34). The erection of the walls completed the construction of the building.

Experts Craft the Veil and Entrance Curtain

Although the Bible doesn't specify exactly who made the tabernacle veil, it does reveal that the veil was constructed from purple, red, and violet yarn and fine linen that had been embroidered with cherubim. The veil was made to be attached to four wood columns enhanced with gold plating. An entrance curtain was made from variegated linen and yarn.

All Other Tabernacle Items Are Completed

The Hebrews then made the ark and all of the other sanctuary items, including the laver and base. “And he made the laver [wash basin for purification] of brass, and the foot of it of brass, of the lookingglasses of the women assembling, which assembled [women who served and met] at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation” (Exodus 38:8).

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