Bezalel and Oholiab

What skills did Bezalel and Oholiab possess? What does this say about the way the Spirit of God equips people for leadership? Why might God have equipped them with people skills as well as artistic and practical skills? How would each be needed in building the Tabernacle?

    REFLECT: When told everything to do and exactly how to do it, how do you typically respond? If given the spiritual and physical resources to do it, and protected from overworking, how do you respond?

    Not only does ADONAI give the details and specifications for the building of the Tabernacle, but He also personally selected who would oversee the work. Bezalel was to have overall charge of the building with Oholiab as his assistant. Without a doubt these men were selected because of their superior talent and previous experience. God promised that Bezalel would be filled with the Spirit of God. The construction of the Tabernacle was no small task. It would take skill and imagination. For this responsibility the LORD chose the best and gave them divine help.

    Then ADONAI said to Moses His prophet: See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. It is unusual to mention the names of both a father and grandfather together. But the rabbis teach that Hur was murdered for opposing the making of the golden calf. If true, Hur’s life was redeemed in the work of his grandson, who fashioned gold into the dwelling of the living God.505 And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts, to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship (31:1-5, 35:30-33, 38:22). Bezalel was filled, or controlled, by the Holy Spirit to do his ministry. The rabbis also teach that Bezalel was only thirteen when selected by God to do the work of constructing the Tabernacle.

    In addition to Bezalel, ADONAI appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan to help him. It is interesting to notice that Hiram, the chief artist Solomon employed to make the ornamental work of the Temple was also from the tribe of Dan (Second Chronicles 2:13-14). And God gave both of them the ability to teach others (35:34). Although all of the craftsmenpossessed skill, literally wise of heart, but only Bezalel was filled with the Spirit of God. The supervisors’ names were appropriate indeed, since Bezalel means, in the Shadow of God, and Oholiab means, God the Father is My Tent.