Exodus 38: The altar is built and an final accounting is made


The altar is built as is the courtyard. Afterward we are treated to a final accounting of what it cost to do all this.  Here is the accounting, not including labor:

Gold: 29 talents 730 shekels
Silver: 100 talents 1,375 shekels
Number of members over 20 that paid ½ shekel each (603,550 men)
100 talents of silver for the sockets
1,175 shekels for the hooks
Brass: 70 talents 2, 400 shekels

In other words:

The work on the tabernacle and altar is finished.

What doesn’t make sense:

6,000 men left Egypt, but somehow they now have 603,550 men plus however many women, children and slaves?!?  Remember, this is only one year later and after 3,000 men were killed by the Levites as a result of the golden calf bachhanal. Also, they are living in an encampment, not a city. Something is wrong with this math. That is an insane number of people. Especially since the largest cities at the time only had 75,000 to 100,000 people. Even if 6,000 men plus their slaves left Egypt there is no way 1 year later it would add up to 603,550 people after the slaughter of 3,000 men. Plus, there is no way that many people could live in an encampment for any period of time. Sanitation would be horrendous. Perhaps this is a mis-remembering and that is how much money was donated and not how many men had their names added to the register book.

Favorite bit:

The listing of exactly how much this cost.

Second favorite bit:

(Exodus 38:4) “He made for the altar a brazen grate of network, under the compass thereof, beneath unto the midst of it.” This isn’t in the original description, so it stood out as pretty cool. The altar is definitely a holy grill.

Moral Lesson Learned:

Keep track of your money (Exodus 38)
Accounting properly and accurately is important (Exodus 38)