Monday, April 26, 2010

Exodus 27:10 - The Pillars of the Courtyard of The Mishkan - Part 3

The last, but very important detail of the Pillars of the Courtyard of the Tabernacle was: the design of special Silver Chapiters(Caps) and wooden Silver-plated Connecting Rods. Let's take a look:

Exodus 27:10
10 And the twenty pillars thereof and their twenty sockets shall be of brass; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets shall be of silver.


‎10 ‏וְעַמֻּדָ֣יו עֶשְׂרִ֔ים וְאַדְנֵיהֶ֥ם עֶשְׂרִ֖ים נְחֹ֑שֶׁת וָוֵ֧י הָעַמֻּדִ֛ים וַחֲשֻׁקֵיהֶ֖ם כָּֽסֶף׃
As you can see, this verse speaks only about the Silver-plated Connecting Rods(וחשקיהם) that were between the Pillars of the Court. But what about Pillars Chapiters? Well, for that you would have to look at Exodus 38:17:
17 And the sockets for the pillars were of brass; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets of silver; and the overlaying of their chapiters of silver; and all the pillars of the court were filleted with silver.


17 ‏וְהָאֲדָנִ֣ים לָֽעַמֻּדִים֮ נְחֹשֶׁת֒ וָוֵ֨י הָֽעַמּוּדִ֜ים וַחֲשׁוּקֵיהֶם֙ כֶּ֔סֶף וְצִפּ֥וּי רָאשֵׁיהֶ֖ם כָּ֑סֶף וְהֵם֙ מְחֻשָּׁקִ֣ים כֶּ֔סֶף כֹּ֖ל עַמֻּדֵ֥י הֶחָצֵֽר׃
So, as you can see here, the the top of each Pillar had a special Cap made out of Silver(וְצִפּ֥וּי רָאשֵׁיהֶ֖ם כָּ֑סֶף). Also, you would have to look at yet another verse for the details of the Connecting Rods:

Exodus 38:19
19 And their pillars were four, and their sockets of brass four; their hooks of silver, and the overlaying of their chapiters and their fillets of silver.


‎19 ‏וְעַמֻּֽדֵיהֶם֙ אַרְבָּעָ֔ה וְאַדְנֵיהֶ֥ם אַרְבָּעָ֖ה נְחֹ֑שֶׁת וָוֵיהֶ֣ם כֶּ֔סֶף וְצִפּ֧וּי רָאשֵׁיהֶ֛ם וַחֲשֻׁקֵיהֶ֖ם כָּֽסֶף׃
Even though this verse speaks only of the Pillars of the Gate of the Courtyard, the details that description provides here can also be applied to the rest of the Pillars, since all of the Pillars and their design elements were pretty much identical(save for minor differences in the corner pieces). As you can see, the Connecting Rods and the top of each Pillar were overlayed(or plated) with Silver.

Now, that we know these important details, let's take a look at how the Rods and Caps looked like:

As you can see on this image, there were two types of Silver Caps and one type of Silver plated Connecting Rod. Whereas both types of Silver Caps were made out of Silver only, the Connecting Rods were made out of Shittim Wood, and then overlayed with Silver. Such approach would allow greatly reduce the amount of Silver, necessary for the construction of these parts. Also, please note that the Silver Caps has served an important role of holding two halves of each Courtyard Pillar together(at their top - thus the wording of the description), as well as served as the connecting points for the Connecting Rods, and as a decorative element of these Pillars.

And here you can see finished parts of the Pillars of the Courtyard. The Silver Pillar Cap, that was used for the straight section of the Courtyard is shown on the left here. The Silver Pillar Cap, that was used for the four(4) Corner Pillars of the Courtyard is shown on the right. And the Silver plated Connecting Rod is shown on the lower part of the image.

The design of the Silver Caps of the Courtyard Pillars was similar to those of the Golden Caps of the Tent Pillars. As you can see, two special spherical pins of some sorts were used to accommodate the Connecting Rods. Under these pins, in my opinion, there were also small silver hooks that provided an extra fastening point to the Hanging, and probably also served as the mounting points for the Ropes that helped to hold and secure the Pillars of the Court in the upright position.

As I have pointed out above, the Silver Caps of the Corner Pillars(right) were slightly different in design than the Silver Caps of the Pillars of the straight sections(left) of the Courtyard. Note the special rings on the front(and back also): these rings were used to attach the Ropes that helped to secure the Pillars in place. Click to zoom-in on the image and clearly see the difference.

And here you can compare the Caps and Connecting Rods of the Pillars of the Courtyard to the similar elements of the Five Outer Pillars of the Tent of the Mishkan. As you can see, the Silver Caps and Rods of the Courtyard were approximately twice the size of those of the Tent.
The Silver plated Connecting Rods of the Pillars of the Courtyard were five(5) cubits long each, and most likely about a figerbreadth thick. The Silver Caps of the Pillars of the Courtyard were one(1) cubits in diameter, and most likely about 0.3-0.5 cubits tall.

 And here you can see all of the sixty (60)Silver Caps and sixty(60) Silver plated Connecting Rods of the Pillars of the Courtyard.

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