Exodus 25:5


King James Version (KJV)

And rams' skins dyed red, and badgers' skins, and shittim wood,

American King James Version (AKJV)

And rams' skins dyed red, and badgers' skins, and shittim wood,

American Standard Version (ASV)

and rams'skins dyed red, and sealskins, and acacia wood,

Basic English Translation (BBE)

And sheepskins coloured red, and leather, and hard wood;

Webster's Revision

And rams' skins dyed red, and badgers' skins, and shittim wood.

World English Bible

rams' skins dyed red, sea cow hides, acacia wood,

English Revised Version (ERV)

and rams' skins dyed red, and sealskins, and acacia wood;

Clarke's Exodus 25:5 Bible Commentary

Rams' skins dyed red - ערת אילם מאדמים oroth eylim meoddamim, literally, the skins of red rams. It is a fact attested by many respectable travelers, that in the Levant sheep are often to be met with that have red or violet-coloured fleeces. And almost all ancient writers speak of the same thing. Homer describes the rams of Polyphemus as having a violet-coloured fleece.

Αρσενες οΐες ησαν εΰτρεφεες, δασυμαλλοι,

Καλοι τε, μεγαλοι τε, ιοδνεφες ειρος εχοντες.

Odyss., lib. ix., ver. 425.

"Strong were the rams, with native purple fair,

Well fed, and largest of the fleecy care."


Pliny, Aristotle, and others mention the same. And from facts of this kind it is very probable that the fable of the golden fleece had its origin. In the Zetland Isles I have seen sheep with variously coloured fleeces, some white, some black, some black and white, some of a very fine chocolate color. Beholding those animals brought to my recollection those words of Virgil:

- Ipse sed in pratis Aries jam suave rubenti

Murice, jam croceo mutabit vellera luto.

Eclog. iv., ver. 43.

"No wool shall in dissembled colors shine;

But the luxurious father of the fold,

With native purple or unborrow'd gold,


Barnes's Exodus 25:5 Bible Commentary

Rams' skins dyed red - Skins tanned and colored like the leather now known as red morocco.

Badgers' skins - Rather, leather, probably of a sky-blue color, formed from the skins of the תחשׁ tachash (a general name for marine animals), which was well adapted as a protection against the weather.

Shittim wood - The word שׁטים shı̂ṭṭâm is the plural form of שׁטה shı̂ṭâh, which occurs as the name of the growing tree, Isaiah 41:19. The tree is satisfactorily identified with the Acacia seyal, a gnarled and thorny tree, somewhat like a solitary hawthorn in its habit and manner of growth, but much larger. It flourishes in the driest situations, and is scattered more or less numerously over the Sinaitic Peninsula. It appears to be the only good wood produced in the wilderness. No other kind of wood was employed in the tabernacle or its furniture. In the construction of the temple cedar and fir took its place 1 Kings 5:8; 1 Kings 6:18; 2 Chronicles 2:8.

Wesley's Exodus 25:5 Bible Commentary

25:5 Shittim - wood - A kind of wood growing in Egypt and the deserts of Arabia, very durable and precious.

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