Yahweh takes away the feminine beauty items (Isa 3:18-3:24)

“In that day,

Yahweh will take away

The finery of the anklets,

The headbands,

The crescents,

The pendants,

The bracelets,

The scarves,

The headdresses,

The armlets,

The sashes,

The perfume boxes,

The amulets,

The signet rings,

The nose rings,

The festal robes,

The mantles,

The cloaks,

The handbags,

The garments of gauze,

The linen garments,

The turbans,

And the veils.

Instead of perfume

There will be rottenness.

Instead of a girdle,

There will be a rope.

Instead of well-set hair,

There will be baldness.

Instead of a rich robe,

There will be a girding of sackcloth.

Instead of beauty,

There will be shame.”

One of the ways that Yahweh reacted to the proud Jerusalem women was to take away their beauty items. What is surprising to me is to see how many different items there were. Some are common, but some are also exotic. The list includes the following items: anklets, headbands, crescents, pendants, bracelets, scarves, headdresses, armlets, sashes, perfume boxes, amulets, signet rings, nose rings, festal robes, mantles, cloaks, handbags, gauze, linens, turbans, and veils. There would be reversal of some things, like rottenness instead of perfume, rope instead of fine girdles, baldness instead of fine hair, sackcloth instead of rich robes, and shame instead of beauty. I do not know how these women reacted to this oracle.

The entrance curtain (Ex 36:35-36:38)

“He made the curtain of blue, purple, and crimson yarns and fine twisted linen, with cherubim skillfully worked into it.  For it he made four pillars of acacia and overlaid them with gold.  Their hooks were of gold.  He cast for them four bases of silver.   He also made a screen for the entrance to the tent of blue, purple and crimson yarns, and fine twined linen, embroidered with needlework.  The five pillars had their hooks.  He overlaid their calyxes and their bases with gold, but their five bases were of bronze.”

The artisan made a curtain for the entrance with the colorful yarn and linen and fine needlework, just as it was prescribed in chapter 26.   However, there is more detail here.  There are four golden acacia pillars with golden hooks and four silver bases.  Thus this colorful entrance screen had pillars and bronze bases to make it stronger.

The ephod (Ex 28:6-28:14)

“They shall make the ephod of gold, of blue, purple, and crimson yarns, and of fine twisted linen, skillfully worked.  It shall have two shoulder-pieces attached to its two edges, so that it may be joined together.  The decorated band on it shall be of the same workmanship and materials, of gold, of blue, purple, and crimson yarns, and of fine twisted linen.  You shall take two onyx stones, and engrave on them the names of the sons of Israel, six of their names on the one stone, and the names of the remaining six on the other stone, in the order of their birth.  As a gem-cutter engraves signets, so you shall engrave the two stones with the names of the sons of Israel.  You shall mount them in settings of gold filigree.  You shall set the two stones on the shoulder-pieces of the ephod, as stones of remembrance for the sons of Israel.  Aaron shall bear their names before Yahweh on his two shoulders for remembrance.   You shall make settings of gold filigree, and two chains of pure gold, twisted like cords.  You shall attach the corded chains to the settings.”

The ephod is an old cultural vestment, an embroidered garment, believed to be like an apron with shoulder straps, worn by Hebrew priests in ancient Israel.  It was made of gold, as well as blue, purple, and crimson yarns and fine twisted linen.  The two shoulder pieces that were joined together had two onyx stones, like a cameo, with the engraved names of the twelve tribes, six on each stone in the order of their birth, one on each shoulder as a remembrance.  On top of that, you have two gold chains attached to these stones.  This was a very colorful piece of clothing or apron, much like the later medieval Christian chasubles.

The contributions for the sanctuary (Ex 25:1-25:9)

“Yahweh said to Moses: ‘Tell the Israelites to take for me an offering.  From all whose hearts prompt them to give you shall receive the offering for me.  This is the offering that you shall receive from them: gold, silver, and bronze, blue, purple, and crimson yarns and fine linens, goats’ hair, tanned rams’ skins, fine leather, acacia wood, oil for the lamps, spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense, onyx stones and gems to be set in the ephod and for the breastplate. Have them make me a sanctuary, so that I may dwell among them. In accordance with all that I show you concerning the pattern of the tabernacle and of all its furniture, so you shall make it.’”

Yahweh told Moses to make him a sanctuary, so that he could dwell among them. This sanctuary, apparently, is some sort of tabernacle, some sort of container, where Yahweh would be present, much like the later medieval Christian tabernacles.  How are they going to build this sanctuary?  The people will make an offering.  What is going to be given and how is it to be used?   Now the list is long with all kinds of precious metals, garments, and spices.   This is a lot of stuff and some of the Israelites must have had these things to give.  Apparently, they had the typical valuable metals like gold, silver, and bronze. Blue, purple and crimson yarn was in favor, as well as the skins of goats, rams, and cows that would make good offerings. There also was wood, spices, and jewelry as offerings.