Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Exodus 26:30 - An order of assembly of the Frame of The Tent of the Mishkan - Part 1

And this verse is an interesting one...

Exodus 26:30

30 And thou shalt rear up the tabernacle according to the fashion thereof which was shewed thee in the mount.
‎30 ‏וַהֲקֵמֹתָ֖ אֶת־הַמִּשְׁכָּ֑ן כְּמִ֨שְׁפָּט֔וֹ אֲשֶׁ֥ר הָרְאֵ֖יתָ בָּהָֽר׃ ס
The frame of the Tent of the Tabernacle had to be assembled in a very specific order for couple of reasons:

  1. Perhaps some divine order of things had to be honored....
  2. The shape of the frame parts of the Tent, if understood and reconstructed correctly, would allow ONLY ONE possible way to put the frame together.
Since #1 is a little bit out of scope of this blog, I'm going to concentrate on #2 and try to discuss it in some details...

First and foremost, up until now the description covered only major components of the Tent. Inside pillars, Tent curtains and other minor details have not been covered yet by the text.

Nevetherless, I will try to reconstruct a possible order of assembly of the Tent, based on what I have covered so far...

According to Exodus 26:1-30 and Exodus 40:17-18, in order to put the Tent together...

1) All Silver Sockets of the Tent would be positioned and alligned...

2) Western half of the South-West corner board was put in place...

3) Then, the Eastern half of the South-West corner board was put in place, forming first corner board...

4) Three (3) Western Boards and Seven (7) Southern Boards of the Tent were connected to the South-West corner board...

5) Smaller Bars (Top and Bottom Bars) were put in the assembled part of the Western and Southern Walls of the Tent...

6) At this point, the Southern Wall would be left alone, and assembly would continue with the Western Wall of the Tent - Three (3) more boards and the remaining pair of Smaller Bars would be put into their respective places...

7) Then, the Middle Bar would have been put in its place, reaching from one end of the Western Wall to another...

8) The Western Part of the North-West corner board would be put in its place, then, the Northern Part of the North-West corner board would be put in its place, forming the second (North-West) corner board of the Tent.

9) Seven(7) Boards of the Northern Wall of the Tent would be put in their respective places...

10) The Top and Bottom Bars of the Northern Wall would be put in their places...

11) The assembly would continue with the installation of the Thirteen(13) remaining Boards of the Southern Wall of the Tent

12) The remaining pair of Smaller Top and Bottom Bars would be put in their respective places...

13) Then, the Middle Bar would be put in its place, effectively finishing the Southern Wall of the Tent...

14) The assembly would continue with the installation of the Thirteen(13) remaining Boards of the Northern Wall of the Tent

15) The remaining pair of Smaller Top and Bottom Bars would be put in their respective places...


16) And remaining one long Middle Bar would be put in its place, ending the assembly of the Northern Wall and the frame of the Tent...

Of'course, this is a very rough approximation of the order of the assembly of the frame, as even one miscalculation on my part can render the entire procedure invalid. However, it appears to be more or less correct, as if you would try to assemble the Tent in any other manner it simply would not work.

For example, it would be silly to think that the boards would be assembled first and then put onto the sockets.
Or, it would be rather strange to even assume, that one of the boards(or several) would be put in their respective places, after the bars were inserted in the rings of the rest of the boards - that would be simply physically impossible...

Nevetherless, correct procedure of the erection of the Tent of the Mishkan requires further research and careful reconstruction of all the parts that its frame consists of.

Also, it is interesting to note, that the structure could be setup pretty quickly.

Since there were 96 Silver Sockets and 50 parts of the frame (or 48 parts, if you count the corner boards as one part), about 150 people could setup this frame within less than an hour, if they would work together and know what they had to do...

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