וזאת. אמר הגאון לא מצאנו כסף במשכן כי אם כסף פקודי העדה. אם כן איך כתוב כי הכסף נדבה והוא השיב כי כסף אחר היה נדבה. לצורך שלחן כסף כי לא יתכן שלא יהיה שם שלחן לתקן עליו שום דבר או לחתוך או לרחוץ עליו ולחצוצרות ולמזרקים ולפי דעתי אין צורך כי הכתוב לא חשש להוציא דבר א' מששה עשר דברים. כי החמשה עשר היו נדבה. וכמוהו אלה בני יעקב אשר יולד לו בפדן ארם. ובנימין לא נולד כי אם בארץ כנען ועוד בשבעים נפש ירדו אבותיך. ובני יוסף לא ירדו כי שם נולדו והזכיר בתחלת הנדבה הנכבד שהוא הזהב. והשלים בנכבד אבני שוהם ואבני מלואים כי לא נמצאו רק אצל הנשיאים. ולא כן הזהב כי ברוב הקהל נמצ' והנה לא היה במעשה המשכן ברזל. וכ' בבית ראשון ומקבות והגרזן כל כלי ברזל לא נשמע בבית בהבנותו: AND THIS IS THE OFFERING. Rabbi Saadiah Gaon says that we do not find silver mentioned in connection with the tabernacle except for the silver of those who were counted.9Every Israelite, from the age of 20 and up was obligated to give half a shekel of silver when counted. See Ex. 30:11-14. This was used for sockets, hooks, overlays, and bands for the top of the posts. See Ex. 38:25-28. This being the case, how could Scripture state that the silver was an offering?10In view of the fact that the silver used in the tabernacle was not donated but was collected from people who were obligated to give it. The Gaon answers that other silver was donated for use in the construction of a silver table,11In addition to the silver collected for sockets, hooks, overlays, and bands for the top of the posts, silver was donated for use in the construction of a table. since it is highly unlikely that there was no table for preparing things,12Such as the incense or the wicks for the menorah and the like. Scripture nowhere mentions this table. Hence the Gaon’s comment. for cutting, for washing, or for the trumpets and basins.13That is, upon which to place the trumpets and basins. However, I believe that there is no need for the Gaon’s interpretation. Scripture did not bother to exclude one of the sixteen materials,14Scripture enumerates 16 materials donated to the tabernacle (verses 3-7). However, only 15 were donated. One material (silver) was collected. as fifteen were donated.15In other words, it is the style of Scripture to speak of the majority. It is the same with These are the sons of Jacob, that were born to him in Paddanaram (Gen. 35:26).16The list of Jacob’s sons, which precedes this verse, includes Benjamin. See Gen. 35:24. However, Benjamin was born in the land of Canaan. He was not born elsewhere.17That is, Padan-aram. Benjamin is included among those born in Padan-aram because Scripture speaks of the majority of Jacob’s sons. See I.E. on Gen. 35:26. Furthermore, Scripture states, Thy fathers went down into Egypt with threescore and ten persons (Deut. 10:22). However, the sons of Joseph did not go down to Egypt, for they were born in Egypt.18Thus fewer than 70 souls went down to Egypt. However, here too Scripture speaks of the majority. See I.E. on Gen. 46:23. Scripture begins with a precious gift, namely, gold. It concludes with a precious gift, onyx stones, and stones to be set,19Verse 7. which only the princes possessed. However, this was not the case with gold, as most of the people had gold. Now, no iron was used in the construction of the tabernacle.20It is not mentioned among any of the donated metals. We may thus infer that it was not used in constructing the tabernacle. Scripture tells us regarding the first temple, and there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building (I Kings 6:7).21The same applies to the tabernacle.