The Gemoro Berachos 55a quoted by Rashi on Shemos 38 (22) seems to say that Moshe ordered that the vessels should be made before the Mishkan that was to contain them.

Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani said that Rabbi Yonatan said: Bezalel was called by that name on account of his wisdom. When the Holy One, Blessed be He, said to Moses: Go say to Bezalel, “Make a tabernacle, an ark, and vessels” (see Exodus 31:7–11), Moses went and reversed the order and told Bezalel: “Make an ark, and vessels, and a tabernacle” (see Exodus 25–26). (Sefaria)

Moshe admitted to Betzalel that Betzalel had the right idea:

Perhaps, said Betzalel, God told you the following: “Make a tabernacle, ark, and vessels” (see Exodus 36). Moses said to Bezalel: Perhaps you were in God’s shadow [betzel El], and you knew precisely what He said. You intuited God’s commands just as He stated them, as if you were there.

We believe that Moshe and his Torah are true. How then can it be that Moshe seems to have instructed Betzalel to do other than Moshe had been commanded?

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    The Ritvah ad. loc. suggests that perhaps Moshe switched the order in order to test Betzalel. See other explanations given by the Pnei Yehoshua ad. loc. (don't have access right now) – robev Mar 18 '20 at 23:40
  • @robev all access. tablet.otzar.org/he/book/… – Dr. Shmuel Mar 19 '20 at 22:29

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