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The work on the Tabernacle progressed rapidly, for everything was ready in the month of Kislew, but it was not set up until three months later. The people were indeed eager to set up the sanctuary at once and to dedicate it, but God bade Moses wait until the first day of the month of Nisan, because that was Isaac's birthday, and God wished the joy of dedication to take place on this day of joy. The mockers among Israel, of course, to whom this was not known, made fun of Moses, saying: "Of course, is it possible that the Shekinah should rest over the work of Amram's sons?" [357]

In regard to the Tabernacle, Moses had to suffer much besides from the fault-finders and wicked tongues. If he showed himself upon the street, they called out to one another: "See what a well-fed neck, what sturdy legs the son of Amram has, who eats and drinks from our money!" The other would answer: "Dost thou believe that one who has construction of the Tabernacle in his hands will remain a poor man?" Moses said nothing, but resolved, as soon as the Tabernacle should have been completed, to lay an exact account before the people, which he did. But when it came to giving his account, he forgot one item of seven hundred seventy-five shekels which he had expended for hooks upon which to hang the curtains of the Tabernacle. Then, as he suddenly raised his eyes, he saw the Shekinah resting on the hooks and was reminded of his omission of this expenditure. Thereafter all Israel became convinced that Moses was a faithful and reliable administrator. [358]

As the people had brought much more material than was necessary for the Tabernacle, Moses erected a second Tabernacle outside the encampment on the spot where God had been accustomed to reveal Himself to him, and this "Tabernacle of revelation" was in all details like the original sanctuary in the camp. [359]

When everything was ready, the people were very much disappointed that the Shekinah did not rest upon their work, and the betook themselves to the wise men who had worked on the erection of the Tabernacle, and said to them: "Why do ye sit thus idle, set up the Tabernacle, that the Shekinah may dwell among us." These now attempted to put up the Tabernacle, but did not succeed, for hardly did they believe it was up, when it fell down again. Now all went to Bezalel and his assistant Oholiab, saying to them: "Do you now set up the Tabernacle, you who constructed it, and perhaps it will then stand." But when even these two master-builders did not succeed in setting up the Tabernacle, the people began to find fault, and say: "See now what the son of Amram has brought upon us. We spent our money and went through a great deal of trouble, all because he assured us that the Holy One, blessed be He, would descend from His place with the angels and dwell among us under 'the hangings of goats' hair,' but it has all been in vain." The people now went to Moses, saying: "O our teacher Moses, we have done all thou has bidden us do, we gave all thou didst ask of us. Look now upon this completed work, and tell us if we have omitted aught, or have done aught we should have refrained from doing, examine it with care and answer us." Moses had to admit that all had been done according to his instructions. "But if it be so," continued the people, "why then cannot the Tabernacle stand? Bezalel and Oholiab failed to set it up, and all the wise men as well!" This communication sorely grieved Moses, who could not understand why the Tabernacle could not be set up. But God said to him: "Thou wert sorry to have had no share in the erection of the Tabernacle, which the people supplied with material, and on which Bezalel, Oholiab, and the other wise men labored with the work of their hands. For this reason did it come to pass that none could set up the Tabernacle, for I want all Israel to see that it cannot stand if thou dost not set it up." Moses replied: "O Lord of the world! I do not know how to put it up." But God answered: "Go, get busy with its setting-up, and while thou art busy at it, it will rise of its own accord." And so it came to pass. Hardly had Moses put his hand upon the Tabernacle, when it stood erect, and the rumors among the people that Moses had arbitrarily put up the Tabernacle without the command of God ceased forevermore. [370]

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