Instructions for the Sabbath, offerings and construction work: Exodus 35–36

The instructions for building the sanctuary (which is also called the tabernacle and the tent of meeting) were followed precisely, as far as we can tell.

The materials were provided by the Israelites after a call for a one-off offering:

Exodus 35:4-5 Then Moses said to the whole community of Israel, “This is what the Lord has commanded: Take a sacred offering for the Lord. Let those with generous hearts present the following gifts to the Lord:

There were a lot of generous hearts. People continued to bring additional gifts each morning until the craftsmen asked them to stop:

Exodus 36:5-7 They went to Moses and reported, ‘The people have given more than enough materials to complete the job the Lord has commanded us to do!’ So Moses gave the command, and this message was sent throughout the camp: ‘Men and women, don’t prepare any more gifts for the sanctuary. We have enough!’ So the people stopped bringing their sacred offerings.Their contributions were more than enough to complete the whole project.

Every family would have been involved in some way: women who were spinning, weaving, and embroidering; men who were specialists in metalwork, woodwork and cloth; people who were donating the materials; others who were preparing food for them.