Make an altar of shittim wood, five cubits long, five cubits wide, and three cubits high....
A few more words about this episode
Carole asked about shittim wood, which was used to make some of the things that God wanted. So I looked it up.
Apparently there is a tree that grows in region of the Sinai called the Shittah tree. It is the species Vachellia tortilis in the legume or pea family (Fabaceae). It produces a beautiful orange-colored wood, which is strong, close-grained, and heavy.
Carole also wondered if Noah's ark was made out of the same type of wood. So I looked that up too.
The story in Genesis says that Noah made the ark out of gopher wood (Genesis 6:14). This type of wood isn't mentioned anywhere else in the Bible and no one seems to have any idea what species it might refer to, although some have guessed it to be a cypress tree, specifically the Mediterranean Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens).
Stuff God wants (25:4-19)
We're not including God's wish list here, but that doesn't mean it isn't important to God. In fact, it appears very important to him - so important that he lists it twice in Exodus. (See Exodus 35:4-19.)
Tell every man in Israel to bring me gold (25:1)
Many of the things that God wants require lots of gold. For example, the vessels alone will require a talent of gold.
Of a talent of pure gold shall he make it, with all these vessels. 25:39
A talent of gold is about 33 kg. This would be worth about 1.4 million U.S. dollars today.