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March 22, 2009

Bezalel

In Exodus 31:1-6, Bezalel (Hebrew: ???????????, also transcribed as Betzalel and most accurately as B’tzalel), is the chief architect of the Tabernacle.

Bezalel (or Bezaleel) means “in the shadow [protection] of El.” Bezalel is described in the genealogical lists as the son of Uri (Exodus 31:1), the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah (I Chronicles 2:18, 19, 20, 50). He was said to be highly gifted as a workman, showing great skill and originality in engraving precious metals and stones and in wood-carving. He was also a master-workman, having many apprentices under him whom he instructed in the arts (Exodus 35:30-35). According to the narrative in Exodus, he was definitely called and endowed to direct the construction of the tent of meeting and its sacred furniture, and also to prepare the priests’ garments and the oil and incense required for the service.

tabernacle-esv

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But I think a more accurate description would be to say that God was the Architect, Moses was the Project Leader and Bezalel was the Contractor.

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