Remember HaShem’s instructions to Moshe in Parshas Terumah about the construction of the Mishkan? “You shall do this… You shall do that…” HaShem gave Moshe the exact measurements of everything, down to the last detail. The only person’s name mentioned was Moshe’s. Naturally, Moshe assumed that he was to be the one in charge of building HaShem’s holy house.
On the other hand, Moshe was not a skilled worker, and when all of the materials were ready for the Mishkan, Moshe looked around and wondered, “Now, where will I find people who have the skills to make everything for the Mishkan? Let’s see… we’ll need someone who knows how to work with gold, silver, and copper… a talented jeweler who knows how to cut and set precious gems… an expert carpenter… a skilled weaver. And how will I know who to choose? After all, I myself am not a jeweler, carpenter, or a weaver.”
“Moshe,” HaShem said. “I’ve already chosen someone perfect for the job. There is one special person who has the knowledge and skills to manage every kind of work for the Mishkan. His name is Betzalel the son of Uri, and grandson of Chur, from the tribe of Yehudah. Although he’s only 13 years old, he has the abilities and understanding far beyond his years.”
“What?! That young…. only 13 years old?! What kind of skills can this Betzalel have, at such a tender age?!”
HaShem continued, “He is an expert architect, woodworker, silversmith, stonecutter, and more… and I have given him Ruach HaKodesh (Divine Inspiration) which will help him make the correct decisions. Assign him a very capable assistant: Ahaliav, from the tribe of Dan, and together they will supervise building the Mishkan.”
Indeed, Betzalel was an incredible and talented young man. In those days, there were no last names like we have today. No Kleins, Goldbergs, Millers, Moscowitzs or Sokoloffs. Instead, people were called by their father’s name. Here for example it says, Betzalel, the son of Uri. But HaShem chose to add his grandfather’s name, too, “His name is Betzalel the son of Uri, and grandson of Chur.” And for a good reason…
As we’ll see later, during the episode of the Golden Calf, Chur risked his life by trying to stop Bnei Yisrael from making the idol. They fought back and eventually killed Chur. Now, HaShem rewards Chur by choosing his capable grandson, Betzalel to oversee the Mishkan project, and by having his name prominently mentioned in the Torah – “Betzalel the son of Uri, and grandson of Chur.”