Thursday, March 25, 2010

Exodus 26:37 - Five Outer Pillars of the Tent of the Mishkan - Part 4

Just like with Four Inner Pillars of the Tent of the Mishkan(Exodus 26:32), the Exodus 26:37 also omits an important details about the pillars: their Caps and their Connecting Rods.

The description of these parts for Five Outer Pillars can be found in explicit form in Exodus 36:38.
Let me show you both verses so you can read the entire description of these Pillars at once:

Exodus 26:37
37 And thou shalt make for the hanging five pillars of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold, and their hooks shall be of gold: and thou shalt cast five sockets of brass for them.
‎37 ‏וְעָשִׂ֣יתָ לַמָּסָ֗ךְ חֲמִשָּׁה֙ עַמּוּדֵ֣י שִׁטִּ֔ים וְצִפִּיתָ֤ אֹתָם֙ זָהָ֔ב וָוֵיהֶ֖ם זָהָ֑ב וְיָצַקְתָּ֣ לָהֶ֔ם חֲמִשָּׁ֖ה אַדְנֵ֥י נְחֹֽשֶׁת׃ ס

Exodus 36:38
38 And the five pillars of it with their hooks: and he overlaid their chapiters and their fillets with gold: but their five sockets were of brass.
‎38 ‏וְאֶת־עַמּוּדָ֤יו חֲמִשָּׁה֙ וְאֶת־וָ֣וֵיהֶ֔ם וְצִפָּ֧ה רָאשֵׁיהֶ֛ם וַחֲשֻׁקֵיהֶ֖ם זָהָ֑ב וְאַדְנֵיהֶ֥ם חֲמִשָּׁ֖ה נְחֹֽשֶׁת׃ פ

As you can see from the verses above, not only the Pillars were overlayed with gold with golden hooks mounted onto them, but also their Caps(translated as "chapiters" or simply - "top parts of them"/"ראשיהם") and their Connecting Rods ("וחשקיהם") were also overlayed with gold.
From these simple facts, several conclusions can be drawn:

  1. Caps and Connecting Rods were counted as an independent parts of the Pillars

  2. The Connecting Rods were made out of the very same shittim wood and then overlayed with gold (as Ex. 36:38 explicitly states)

  3. The Caps were either also made out of shittim wood and them overlayed with gold, or they were simply made out of gold. I'm still researching this problem with the Caps, so at this point I'm going to assume that they were made out of wood and then overlayed.
Now, lets' take a look at these parts:

Since there were Five(5) Outer Pillars, there had to be Five(5) Caps made for them.

But because two(2) out of five(5) pillars were adjacent to the walls of the Tent, the spacing between each pillar was actually larger, than the spacing between each of the Four Inner Pillars.

For the very same reason, two(2) out of five(5) Pillar Caps had a special slit made in them, to allow the adjacent Tent Wall to touch the Pillar.

Here is a closer view at this detail of the Caps...

Just like I pointed out above, the Caps and the Connecting Rods were overlayed with gold(or made out of it), thus they would appear as if they were completely made out of gold.

And here is a look from the back on these parts: please note a slit in two of the Caps.

Also, please note that each of the Connecting Rods was two and a half(2.5) cubits in length. Or in other words, each Rod was half(0.5) a cubit longer than the Rods of the Four Inner Pillars.
The thickness of the Rods, on the other hand, was the same: about a fingerbreadth.

And here are the fully assembled Five Outer Pillars of the Tent of the Tabernacle...

Here is the view from the back: please note the slits in the Caps and the Copper Sockets of the edge pillars.

Check out this diagram for the dimensions of the Five Outer Pillars...

 And here is how the Five Outer Pillars would look like with the rest of the Tent:

 As you can see, they would fit nicely with the rest of the structure...

 As you can see, the Entrance Curtain would hang on the outside of the Tent(after the Pillars), effectively making the Sanctuary 20 cubits in length (excluding the 0.5 cubit of length for each row of the Pillars)

 And here, I tried to show the reason for a slit in the Caps and the Sockets of the edge pillars:
As you can see, the edge Pillars would have to touch the boards of the Walls of the Tent so as not to allow any gap between the pillars and the walls.

 Thus, when moved in place, the top of the pillar with the Cap would end up firmly joined with the adjacent wall of the Tent...

 On the bottom, the same thing would happen...
Notice how the slit in the Socket accommodates the Pillar so as to allow itself to be joined with the adjacent Wall of the Tent, without permitting any gap between the Pillar and the Wall.

 Here is the resulting joining, as the Pillar was put in its place.


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