(Bezʹal·el) [Under God’s Shadow (Shelter)].
1. Chief artisan and builder of the tabernacle, “the son of Uri the son of Hur of the tribe of Judah.” (Ex 31:1, 2; 1Ch 2:20) Jehovah himself appointed Bezalel and promised to “fill him with the spirit of God in wisdom and in understanding and in knowledge and in every kind of craftsmanship, for designing devices, for working in gold and silver and copper, and in working of stones to set them and in working of wood to make products of every kind.” (Ex 31:3-5; 35:30-33) These costly materials that Bezalel worked with were supplied by the generous contributions of the “willing-hearted” people, and they proved “more than enough.”—Ex 35:4-9, 20-29; 36:3-7.
Bezalel had as his chief assistant Oholiab (Ex 31:6), and there were many “wise-hearted” ones who worked along with them, yet the responsibility of directing the complicated work remained on Bezalel. (Ex 35:10-19, 25, 26, 34; 36:1, 2) This is evident by the interchange of the pronouns “he,” referring to Bezalel, and “they,” referring to his assistants. (Ex 36-39) The great diversity of Bezalel’s skills and the fact that he was filled “with the spirit of God” (Ex 35:31) enabled him to oversee making the tent cloths and their embroidery, gold and copper hooks, the outer coverings of skins, wooden panel frames overlaid with gold, the interior screen (Ex 36), the overlaid ark of the covenant and its cherubs, the table and its utensils, the golden lampstand and incense altar, the prescribed anointing oil and incense (Ex 37), the altar of burnt offering, the copper basin and stand, the courtyard (Ex 38), the ephod and its breastpiece set with precious stones, and the priestly robes (Ex 39). When Solomon came to the throne 475 years later, the tabernacle tent, the ark of the covenant, and the copper altar were still in use.—2Ch 1:1-6.