The book of Exodus goes into great detail of the crafting of the Tabernacle of the Lord. It explains the materials used and the manner in which item was created. Chapters 36 through 39 provide an amazing glimpse into the resources, skills, and technology of the people of their time.

Chapter 38 focuses on the altar of burnt offering. We learn of the measurements of the wood used, of the utensils for the altar, and the rings and poles used to hold it in place. Then in verse 8 we find an interesting reference.

“He made the laver of bronze and its base of bronze, from the bronze mirrors of the serving women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.” (Exodus 38:8 NKJV)

First, let’s look at what it is these women are donating. At that time, mirrors were not made of glass. Instead, they were made from highly polished bronze. Mirrors were popular with the Egyptian women, and when the Hebrew women left Egypt, they brought with them these treasured items. The mirrors served a valuable purpose, allowing them to check on their appearance. But they sacrificed their mirrors that they might be used at the base of the altar.

Next, we look at the women themselves. Though it’s not clear exactly who these women were or what their duties were, we do know that they were serving in some capacity at the tabernacle. The ESV calls them “ministering women.”

We find also in 1 Samuel 2:22 and Luke 2:47 reference to women serving in the temple.

Though we may be mere women, God lets us know that women can and should serve Him. May we be willing to humble ourselves and serve God in the way that He leads.

Read about serving women in Scripture: Exodus 38:8, 1 Samuel 2:22, Luke 2:47

Serving women - bite-sized Bible stories about women in the Bible

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