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Construction time: the sanctuary and priests robes: Exodus 37–39

The list of ‘things built’ is mind boggling when you stop and remember that they did all this while camping in the desert, probably at the foot of Mount Sinai. Hammering out works of pure gold in a dry, dusty and sandy environment would have been no small challenge.

And there was more than just pure gold: they also used cedar (an expensive wood, even now), bronze, precious stones, silver, linen, and blue, purple and scarlet threads (made from expensive dyes from molluscs and crushed scale insects). All would have had to have been transported from Egypt by the Israelites; so all would have been more precious for their limited supply.

Other readily available materials, such as spun goats wool, leather and acacia wood were also used. It is believed to be Vachellia seyal (it has some other names, including Acacia seyal). In the Bible it is sometimes called the shittim-tree (and the wood is shittim wood. They can be small spindly trees (probably in the driest environments), or quite tall, as in the one shown below:

Seyal (Shittim) Tree

Seyal (Shittim) Tree (Source: Wikipedia)