The sacrificial altar and paraphenalia, of bronze, where animals will die as offering to acknowledge that all things come from God, and to take away sin.
The curtains that define the courtyard, where the people will come. Sure there is a holy of holies, a layer within the layers, where almost no one can go. But it’s still a bit mind blowing that the people can get as close to God as they do.
They’ve wandered a long way from home on a second hand experience of god’s presence (well they do have the magical food, and the cloud/fire guidance system.
Even more mind blowing is the Christian evolution of this theology, that our body is a temple where God dwells.
Moses has them record all the materials from which the work was done. The logistics of their situation are daunting, almost impossible to imagine.
600000 people. And while they had become slaves, in Egypt they didn’t do that bad. They have a prodigious amount of gold, bronze, cloth, wood etc they have bought with them. And herds of animals. And they’ve made this very big fancy tent the will now continue to drag through the desert for decades.
It must have been a crazy hard life. It went on for 40 years, none of the generation who left Egypt would see the promised land, only their kids I think.
Mind you, modern scholarship has found almost no corroborative evidence for any of exodus. The most compelling history is the book itself which was written much later from a bunch of sources, that presumably came from somewhere. Historians’ explanations of how and why the story came to be are about as threadbare as the evidence of any of it happening.
Personally I don’t care much about that sort of thing. Once you’ve bought that a creator God made everything, why not? And for me the alternative, no God, no meaning, has never seemed remotely plausible.
And I’m with the overwhelming flow of humanity there. I don’t see atheism as the natural state of any people. They tend towards the theory, the experience, of a God.
There is the atheism of youth, a sort of indifference to God because just being alive and discovering the joys of the physical world is so compelling and seemingly consequence free. The sort of atheism that evaporates in a hospital room, or just with the passing of years as mortality becomes more evident in your body.
I think this attitude also exists among believers too. 20 year olds basically feel immortal and invincible. They are the doers of most of the great things of humanity, and a fair share of its worst.
Then there is the bitter, hurt atheism, which I see as an acting out of rebellion against God. That has mostly been fringe in human culture.
As for other religions, they are a matter for God I think. This one has always rung very true to me, and I am grateful for it.