Friday, May 28, 2010

Numbers 4:7-8 - Transportation of The Table of Shewbread

Right after the The Ark of The Covenant was covered and prepared for transportation, the next artefact that needed to be covered was The Table of Shewbread.  Let's take a look:

Numbers 4:7-8:
7 And upon the table of shewbread they shall spread a cloth of blue, and put thereon the dishes, and the spoons, and the bowls, and covers to cover withal: and the continual bread shall be thereon:

8 And they shall spread upon them a cloth of scarlet, and cover the same with a covering of badgers' skins, and shall put in the staves thereof.

‎7 ‏אֵ֣ת׀ שְׁתֵּ֣י הָעֲגָלֹ֗ת וְאֵת֙ אַרְבַּ֣עַת הַבָּקָ֔ר נָתַ֖ן לִבְנֵ֣י גֵרְשׁ֑וֹן כְּפִ֖י עֲבֹדָתָֽם׃

‎8 ‏וְאֵ֣ת׀ אַרְבַּ֣ע הָעֲגָלֹ֗ת וְאֵת֙ שְׁמֹנַ֣ת הַבָּקָ֔ר נָתַ֖ן לִבְנֵ֣י מְרָרִ֑י כְּפִי֙ עֲבֹ֣דָתָ֔ם בְּיַד֙ אִֽיתָמָ֔ר בֶּֽן־אַהֲרֹ֖ן הַכֹּהֵֽן׃

Once the Ark of the Covenant was covered, the inside of the Tent of the Tabernacle would look like this:

Since the Table of Showbread sat almost by the Northern wall of the Tent, it had to be moved so as to allow convenient access for the covering and an additional space for the carrying staves. Just by shifting the table toward the middle of the Tent of the Mishkan and rotating it 90 degrees would provide sufficient space for the Priests to be able to cover it according to the description. Also, before the Table was covered, all of its Utensils and the Shewbread were removed from it.

The First Covering of the Table was a Blue Cloth Covering, similar to the Top Covering of the Ark.

It was spread over the Table, like so...

And then, the Shewbread, the Golden Plates(and probably the Golden Spoons) were placed on the covered top portion of the Table, like so:

Once that was done, the some of the Covering was "tucked in" inside the Border(the Enclosure, that was right under the top flat portion of the Table. The Covering was probably "tucked in" only on two longer sides of the Table, although it is possible that it might have been done on all four sides.
Nevertheless, the result would look like this(click to zoom in for better view):

And only once the inside of the Border of the Table was lined with the Covering, only then the rest of the Utensils (the Golden Wine Graphines and Wine Cups) were placed inside.

Here is a close-up view upon some of the Utensils of the Table inside the Border. Please note how the reflective polished surface of the Utensils would change its color due to the surrounding Covering.

The Second Covering of the Table was the Scarlet Cloth Covering. It was placed right over the The Shewbread, The Table and its First Covering, completely hiding it from view, like so:

And the last, Third Covering of the Table was a Covering of Tachash Skins, that was placed over the Second Covering, also completely hiding it from the view, like so:

Just like with the Ark, all of the Coverings had to be "tucked in" and fitted tightly around the sides of the Table(especially its shorter sides) so that the carrying poles (Staves) could be inserted into the Table Rings. All of Three Table Coverings, when fitted around the Table, would look like so:

And lastly, the Gold Plated Staves could be inserted into the Four(4) Golden Rings of the Table, effectively securing all Coverings from falling off the Table during transport. The Covered and ready-to-go Table would look like this:

Also, please note, that per Number 4:15, the neither of the covered artefacts were removed from the Tent as long as there were other uncovered artefacts left. Therefore in the case with the Table, right after it was covered it was moved aside so as to allow space for the other artefacts to be covered. Like so:

But once the Kohathites were carrying the Covered Table, it would look like this:
Please note, that the Table was the only artefact of the Mishkan, that was carried in a completely "dressed"(prepared) manner: with its Shewbread, Wine, Utensils e.t.c...

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