Calvin's Commentaries, Vol. 4: Harmony of the Law, Part II, tr. by John King, [1847-50], at sacred-texts.com
4. And Moses spake unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the LORD commanded, saying,
4. Dixitque Moses ad universam synagogam filiorum Israel, his verbis, Hoc est verbum quod praecepit Jehova, dicendo:
5. Take ye from among you an offering unto the LORD: whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the LORD; gold, and silver, and brass,
5. Accipite a vobis oblationem Jehovae: omnis spontaneus corde suo afferet eam oblationem Jehovae, aurum, argentum, et aes:
6. And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats’ hair,
6. Et hyacinthum, et purpuram, et vermiculum cocci, et byssum, et caprarum pilos:
7. And rams’ skins dyed red, and badgers’ skins, and shittim wood,
7. Et pelles arietum rubricatas, et pelles taxorum, et ligna sittim.
8. And oil for the light, and spices for anointing oil, and for the sweet incense,
8. Et oleum pro luminari, et aromata pro oleo unctionis, et ad suffimentum aromaticum.
9. And onyx stones, and stones to be set for the ephod, and for the breastplate.
9. Et lapides onychinos, et lapides pro ephod et pro pectorali.
10. And every wise hearted among you shall come, and make all that the LORD hath commanded;
10. Et omnes sapientes corde in vobis venient, et facient quaecunque praecepit Jehova:
11. The tabernacle, his tent, and his covering, his taches, and his boards, his bars, his pillars, and his sockets,
11. Tabernaculum, tentorium ejus, et operimentum ejus, et circulos ejus, et tabulas ejus, vestes ejus, columnas ejus et bases ejus:
12. The ark, and the staves thereof, with the mercy seat, and the vail of the covering,
12. Arcam et vectes ejus, propitiatorium, et velum tentorii.
13. The table, and his staves, and all his vessels, and the shewbread,
13. Mensam, et vectes ipsius, et omnia vasa ejus, et panem facierum:
14. The candlestick also for the light, and his furniture, and his lamps, with the oil for the light,
14. Et candelabrum luminaris et vasa ejus, et lucernas ejus, et oleum luminaris:
15. And the incense altar, and his staves, and the anointing oil, and the sweet incense, and the hanging for the door at the entering in of the tabernacle,
15. Et altare suffimenti et vectes ejus, et oleum unctionis, et suffimentum aromaticum, et aulaeum ostii pro ostio tabernaculi:
16. The altar of burnt offering, with his brasen grate, his staves, and all his vessels, the laver and his foot,
16. Altare holocausti, et cribrum ejus aeneum, et vectes ejus, et omnia vasa ejus, et concham et basin ejus:
17. The hangings of the court, his pillars, and their sockets, and the hanging for the door of the court,
17. Cortinas ipsius atrii, columnas ejus, et bases ejus, et aulaeum portae atrii,
18. The pins of the tabernacle, and the pins of the court, and their cords,
18. Paxillos tabernaculi, et paxillos atrii, et funiculos eorum,
19. The cloths of service, to do service in the holy place, the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons, to minister in the priest’s office.
19. Vestes ministerii ad ministrandum in sanctuario, et vestes sanctas Aharonis sacerdotis, et vestes filiorum ejus ad fungendum sacerdotio.
5. Take ye from among you an offering. I have introduced a passage from chapter 35, wherein Moses again requires what he had before prescribed; but he goes more into detail, and treats at greater length of the parts of the tabernacle. In the former passage he employed a verb, where he here uses a noun, “willing or voluntary of heart.” There is, however, no ambiguity in the meaning; since in both places God requires a cheerful zeal, so that they may not only contribute abundantly, but willingly. He will afterwards use a different form of expression, viz., that they did their duty, whose heart roused, or stirred them up, so as to distinguish them from the indifferent and slow. — 5:21.
10. And every wise-hearted among you. Thus he denominates the artificers, who excelled in shrewdness of intellect, and so, after having commanded them severally of their private means to supply the materials, he now exhorts others to contribute their industry for shaping and joining them together. He then briefly enumerates the parts of the Tabernacle, a longer explanation of which will be seen in chapter 26. This is, therefore, a kind of epitome of all those things, of which he before spoke more in full, since it was necessary to spur them on afresh to the performance of what they had been clearly instructed in. For we know that instruction is very often coldly received without the addition of exhortations. It might indeed seem strange, 133 how so much wealth could be possessed by a miserably pillaged people, and long driven to servile work; unless it may be inferred from the abundance which is here described, that they were incredibly enriched at their departure from Egypt by the booty which God gave them. The kingdom of Egypt was very wealthy; and its people, as we know, had always been devoted to pleasures and luxuries. What, then, they had accumulated by their rapacity in many years, flowed away from them by the secret influence of God, when they were suddenly made prodigal. But, just as He had blinded the Egyptians, that they should profusely give all they had, so He now directed the minds and hearts of His people, that, mindful of so great a benefit, they should willingly expend, at His command, what they had obtained of His mere grace.
"Particular stress is laid on the contrast, which the condition of the Israelitish nation at that time presents to the splendor and speedy completion of the tent. That tent was certainly splendid, but, in point of fact, exceedingly simple in its construction. If we compare it with the monuments of Egyptian architecture, its relative simplicity must strike us in a much greater degree. As to the materials that were required for it, it admits of proof that the Israelites might well have been possessed of them at that time. The wilderness even might supply them with many of these things. With respect to other things, the metals, precious stones, etc, we must keep in view the condition of a people that had just come out of Egypt. History describes that country as having mercantile transactions with Asia, even from the earliest times. The people had acquired property, in part at least, in Egypt; the description in Ex 32, leaves us no doubt as to the possessions, and even wealth, that they had gained there. They had not gone out of Egypt empty-handed, but richly provided with silver and gold, Ex 12:36. — “Havernick, Introd. to Pentat. Edin., 1850, pp. 284-285.