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Synopsis of the Books of the Bible, by John Nelson Darby, [1857-62], at

Exodus Chapter 40

The following commentary covers Chapters 35 through 40.

Besides the separation of Israel from the inhabitants of the land wherein they were to dwell, which is found in chapter 34, there is in chapter 35 another part of the instructions of Moses which he gave when he came down. It is not now the certainty of entering, and the conduct suited to those who have found grace, abstaining from all that might tend to bring sin back when they were enjoying the privileges of grace; Moses speaks to them of the portion of the people under the influence of that communication which the mediator, as head of grace, had established. The sabbath [See Note #1] is appointed; and, moreover, His people (grace thus manifested) are encouraged to shew their goodwill and their liberality in everything that concerned the service of God. Consequently we find the manifestation of the spirit of wisdom and of gift in service; God calling specially by name those He designed more particularly for the work. This was done liberally: they brought more than was sufficient; and every wise-hearted man worked, each the things for which he was gifted; and Moses blessed them.

Thus was the tabernacle set up, and everything put into its place, according to the commandment of God. Thereupon (which we might have remarked before), the whole is anointed with oil. Christ was thus consecrated, anointed with the Holy Ghost and with power; and, moreover, Christ having made peace by His blood, having all things to reconcile (being the One who first descended, and afterwards ascended, to fill all things with His presence, according to the power of redemption in righteousness and love divine), the unction of the Holy Ghost must carry the efficacy of this power in redemption everywhere. Therefore had the tabernacle been sprinkled with blood. It is the power of the presence of the Holy Ghost which is spoken of, not being born again. God takes possession of the tabernacle by His glory, and the cloud of His presence and of His protection becomes the guide of the people (now forgiven), happy, and so greatly blessed, in being under the government and guidance of God, and at the same time His habitation and His inheritance. But all still depended on human obedience, the people's obedience, nor was atonement, though revealed in figure, accomplished in fact.

Note #1

The sabbath is always found whenever there is any principle whatever of relationship established between the people and God; it is the result proposed in every relation between God and His people, that they enter into His rest. It is to be noted that, while the people are distinctly put under law, the principle of the second tables was law after present forgiveness and mercy. This is exactly the ground Christians want to be upon now-to bring in law after grace and mercy. But this it is Paul calls the ministration of death and condemnation. For, the first time he went up, his face did not shine; and it is to that the apostle refers in 2 Corinthians 3.

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