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Exodus 40 English Standard Version (ESV)

17 In the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month, the tabernacle was erected.18 Moses erected the tabernacle. He laid its bases, and set up its frames, and put in its poles, and raised up its pillars. 19 And he spread the tent over the tabernacle and put the covering of the tent over it, as the Lord had commanded Moses. 20 He took the testimony and put it into the ark, and put the poles on the ark and set the mercy seat above on the ark. 21 And he brought the ark into the tabernacle and set up the veil of the screen, and screened the ark of the testimony, as the Lord had commanded Moses. 22 He put the table in the tent of meeting, on the north side of the tabernacle, outside the veil, 23 and arranged the bread on it before the Lord, as the Lord had commanded Moses. 24 He put the lampstand in the tent of meeting, opposite the table on the south side of the tabernacle, 25 and set up the lamps before the Lord, as the Lord had commanded Moses. 26 He put the golden altar in the tent of meeting before the veil, 27 and burned fragrant incense on it, as the Lord had commanded Moses. 28 He put in place the screen for the door of the tabernacle. 29 And he set the altar of burnt offering at the entrance of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting, and offered on it the burnt offering and the grain offering, as the Lord had commanded Moses. 30 He set the basin between the tent of meeting and the altar, and put water in it for washing, 31 with which Moses and Aaron and his sons washed their hands and their feet. 32 When they went into the tent of meeting, and when they approached the altar, they washed, as the Lord commanded Moses. 33 And he erected the court around the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the screen of the gate of the court. So Moses finished the work.

The Glory of the Lord

34 Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35 And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 36 Throughout all their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out. 37 But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out till the day that it was taken up. 38 For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel throughout all their journeys.



  • Read this passage, or read the whole chapter if time allows.
  • The Israelites erected the tabernacle on the first day of the first month, almost exactly one year after the Israelites left Egypt (vv. 2, 17). This was about nine months after Israel had arrived at Mt. Sinai (cf. 19:1).
  • God’s glory fills the tabernacle. Obviously, God was pleased with the obedience of Israel because it proved they really did believe Him and love Him. When the tabernacle stood complete, God descended in the cloud that so filled the tabernacle that neither Moses nor anyone else could enter it (vv. 34-38).
  • Finally God was dwelling among His people. His redemption of them was now complete. He had liberated them from bondage in Egypt (chs. 1—15) and adopted them as His special treasure (chs. 15—40). He had made a covenant with them and now blessed them with His presence in taking up residence in the midst of His people. He would guide them from then on “throughout all their journeys” (vv. 36, 38).
  • How does God reveal His glory and presence in our midst today? How has God reveal His glory and presence in your life?

Thank God for the ways He has used the stories of Exodus to strengthen you and draw you closer to Himself.