Exodus 38:21-31 Cost of Construction

Everyone brought of what they had and together it was used to make God’s house.

It is time to take an accounting of what was used to make the Tabernacle. This is for the structure, its furnishings and the things used within its doors.

Let’s start by stating our measurements. My bible helps tells me that a “talent” was about 75 lbs. or 34 kilos. A “shekel” was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams. So let’s do some math from here. I’m curious what the worth of the materials would be today.

Material Amount Pounds Kilograms Value in Dollars
Gold 29 talents, 730 shekels (29.2779 talents) 1936.4016 878.337 $44,889,984.05
Silver 100 talents, 1,775 shekels (100.6757 talents) 6658.5578 3020.271 $1,794,082.07
Bronze 70 talents, 2,400 shekels (70.9136 talents) 4690.1318 2127.409 $6,659.99

THAT IS A LOT OF MONEY! That is also a LOT of weight! Realize that the people were carrying this around with them since leaving Egypt. And stop to think that Moses had to prevent the people from bringing even more.

The bases seemed to take the most amount of materials. We are told of 100 silver bases that took a talent each. But the outer curtain were all placed on bronze bases but we don’t hear of their weight. There were more of them too.

One of the reasons that this amount of materials could be carried was the number of people in the group. God only had Moses number the men from 20 years old and above. We are told that there were 603,550 men fitting that description. Let’s calculate what each would have to carry in order to make up this number. If we added ALL the metals together and distributed them evenly, each man would have to carry .0220 lbs./.01 kg. That is not very much when you look at it individually. This however doesn’t take into account the materials used for the weaving or the acacia wood. The weaving materials would have been easily “carried” by the animals but I have no idea where the acacia wood came from. Also these materials do not include that needed to make the priest’s robes which included jewels. I would estimate that the cost of completion of the Lord’s Tabernacle today would run AT LEAST $200 million.

Sitting here thinking about that number initially was awe inspiring. It still is but then I also thought about the lottery here in my area. It has been near this number a couple of times. Whenever it gets really high people who wouldn’t normally even consider buying a ticket decide to try their luck.

Let’s put it this way, Israel was a wealthy nation when they left Egypt. Not mega millionaires wealthy but comfortably well off. I have a feeling they weren’t mega wealthy because it would have been one more reason to not need to trust in God. If they had so much they felt secure why would they have needed to rely on Him for their protection and their portion.

I think God keeps me where I am in this area for the same reason. Not so little that I have to beg or steal for survival but not so much that I have no need of Him. I LOVE Him looking out for me! He has proven Himself faithful SO MANY times and right now He has blessed me enough that I can care for some in my family who are in need.

Thank You Father for knowing exactly what I need. Thank You for never giving me too much or too little. Sometimes I have struggled on the too little side and stressed over it but You have never failed to meet my needs. Some of my “wants” went begging but my needs are always within Your reach.

I know this is not true for everyone in the world. I pray for those who are struggling. I know struggles but not to their degree. Lord Jesus, give comfort and relief to those who hunger. Fill their bellies and their hearts. Bring warmth to those who have no home or not enough to wear.

Thank You for the places You have allowed me to help. Show me where else You would have me be Your hands and feet. I KNOW I can’t care for all the world on my own but I can care for those You bring to me; especially when You provide me with the means to do so. Let my heart ALWAYS be right when I give and help me NEVER make the recipient feel unworthy or unloved. Let me reach out as You would instead. In love demanding nothing in return.

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