There are two definitions for “Work” in Exodus 35:2.
1. The Hebrew word “MALACHAH,” which stresses creative work. This work, specifically has to do with work performed in the construction of the Tabernacle.
2. The Hebrew word “AVODAH,” which stresses everyday work. This listing has become the basis of much of the common Sabbath laws practiced among the Orthodox Jews today.
Listed below are the 39 Categories of “MELACHAH” and the purpose used in the building of the Mishkan.
10) Kneading *
11) Baking *
|Purpose: To grow and process plants needed to make dyes to color the wool and skins used in the Mishkan.|
*The Jerusalem Talmud holds that the purpose of kneading and baking were to prepare the 12 “Show-Breads.”
19) Threading a Loom
20) Threading a Harness
21) Tying a Knot
22) Untying a Knot
|Purpose: To prepare the wool and weave it into curtains.|
31) Cutting to a Shape
|Purpose: To prepare the Skins for the Mishkan Covering.|
32) Writing 2 Letters
33) Erasing 2 Letters
|Purpose: To rebuild the Mishkan properly, Letters were written on the courtyard pillars to identify their position. Letters were often erased and rewritten.|
|Purpose: To assemble and disassemble the Mishkan when traveling.|
36) Kingling a Fire
37) Extinguishing a Fire
|Purpose: To light the fires needed for dyeing the wool and smelting the metals. Fire was also extinguished to produce charcoal|
|38) Final Hammer Blow||[Completing an Act]||Purpose: To complete the metal construction|
Purpose: To move the pillars from the wagons to a public area and vice versa. To bring the Tithes from the tents to a public area.