The description of creating the tabernacle and its contents continues. The amount of precious metals (gold, silver, bronze) donated is staggering (by my reckoning). It tells us that 603,550 men were counted in the census to donate one beka, that is, half a shekel each. Presumably the beka had passed out of common use by the time this was written so the amount is explained in shekels, which were still used in the temple at the time of Jesus. Chapter 30 concludes: “The Israelites had done all the work just as the Lord had commanded Moses. Moses inspected the work and saw that they had done it just as the Lord had commanded. So Moses blessed them” (Ex 39:42-43).
In chapter 40, the tabernacle is set up so worship can begin there. This happened on the first day of the first month in the second year. Exodus closes fittingly with the glory of the Lord coming to rest on the tabernacle: “Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle” (40:34-35). The glory of the Lord would visibly remain before the people of Israel in the form of cloud or fire over the tabernacle throughout their journey.