Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Exodus 26:15-17 - Boards (Planks) of the Tabernacle

And so the we move on to the boards of the Tent of The Mishkan:

Exodus 26:15-17

15 And thou shalt make boards for the tabernacle of shittim wood standing up.
‎15 ‏וְעָשִׂ֥יתָ אֶת־הַקְּרָשִׁ֖ים לַמִּשְׁכָּ֑ן עֲצֵ֥י שִׁטִּ֖ים עֹמְדִֽים׃
The boards were made out of so called "shittim wood". Native to the desert, it must have been a hard-wood of sorts, with relatively high density and very specific mineral content in its fiber. Perhaps something similar, in properties, to briar.

16 Ten cubits shall be the length of a board, and a cubit and a half shall be the breadth of one board.
‎16 ‏עֶ֥שֶׂר אַמּ֖וֹת אֹ֣רֶךְ הַקָּ֑רֶשׁ וְאַמָּה֙ וַחֲצִ֣י הָֽאַמָּ֔ה רֹ֖חַב הַקֶּ֥רֶשׁ הָאֶחָֽד׃ 
Even though the thickness of the boards is not explicitly mentioned, it can be relatively easy calculated from the dimensions of the Ark of The Covenant or from the dimensions of the Tent of The Tabernacle and its coverings (the approach that I have used). Thus, the thickness of each board was about 0.0225 cubits or 0.5-1.5/pi cubits - a figerbreadth.

17 Two tenons shall there be in one board, set in order one against another: thus shalt thou make for all the boards of the tabernacle. 
‎17 ‏שְׁתֵּ֣י יָד֗וֹת לַקֶּ֙רֶשׁ֙ הָאֶחָ֔ד מְשֻׁלָּבֹ֔ת אִשָּׁ֖ה אֶל־אֲחֹתָ֑הּ כֵּ֣ן תַּעֲשֶׂ֔ה לְכֹ֖ל קַרְשֵׁ֥י הַמִּשְׁכָּֽן׃

The word ידות means "hands" or "tenons\pins", and is used in the Tanakh only in this sense (both figurative and literal).

Here is a closer view of the tenons...

And here is even closer view of the tenons... These elements of the boards would help to connect the boards together in very solid and structurally sound way.  

The use of the word  ידות is not accidental, as this element of the boards would mimic human hands; the extruding part of the tenon of one board would "grab" tightly and fit in with the tenon of the adjacent board...

Just like the "hands" - one hand on top of the other, fitting perfectly and joining the boards.... 

I cannot give you exact dimensions of the tenons yet... still working on it...However, they would be relatively small; and their thickness most definitely  would be equal or less that of the boards.
The tenons would be most likely located at the hight of the bars of the Tent (i.e 9 cubits oof the ground).

But once again I must say, that a definitive answer to this question would require an expertise and knowledge of an expert carpenter. Any takers ???

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