The legislation in the Pentateuch assigned numerous duties to the Hebrew priests and Levites. Chief among them were maintaining and transporting the tabernacle (Num. 3–4) and performing the rituals and liturgies associated with Israelite worship in the sanctuary (Exod. 28–29). It is likely that some of these duties were determined by lot and discharged on a rotating basis (cf. 1 Chron. 23–24).
The central theme of the Mosaic tabernacle is the dwelling of God in the midst of Israel. The actualization of God’s dwelling is expressed in every aspect of the tabernacle, including its structure, materials, courts, sanctuaries, and furnishings including the altars, the lampstand, and the ark of the covenant.
Although holiness belongs to God, it may be imparted to objects, or even to people, which become the bearers of the holy.
Hebrew concept of imagination includes two dynamic applications: 1) with regard to the human capacity to invent or make something, imagination is ‘the capacity to see what could be but is not yet.’ An example of this human capacity is Jer. 18:4, “But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.” And, 2) with regard to the human capacity to interact with transcendence, imagination is ’the capacity to see through what is known into the realities beyond what is known.
The first area of expertise for the “artist” involves craftsmanship. The term craftsman seems the best biblical expression for what people today think of as an artist. Certainly there are numbers of different kinds of crafts, industries, and trades noted in the Scripture. There are at least nineteen different artistic crafts mentioned in the Bible. But craftsman seems to be one of those wide-ranging terms, a class term, that serves as an umbrella under which exist many more specific craft areas. Craftsman is very similar to two other wide-ranging, umbrella class terms: one being musician, where there certainly exist more specific kinds of musicians—for example harp players, flute players, trumpet (shofar) players, and cymbal players—each having a technical name. The other class term is singers. The term craftsman means “someone unusually wise at imaginative design and expression.”