Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Numbers 7:1-9 - Transportation of The Parts of the Mishkan: A review of the size of the Wagons.

While reviewing verses that describe the Wagons that were used to transport all of the parts of the Mishkan, I have come to realization that my initial estimate of the height and width of the Wagons was just a bit too high. Let's briefly review these dimensions:

Numbers  7:1-3
1 And it came to pass on the day that Moses had fully set up the tabernacle, and had anointed it, and sanctified it, and all the instruments thereof, both the altar and all the vessels thereof, and had anointed them, and sanctified them;

2 That the princes of Israel, heads of the house of their fathers, who were the princes of the tribes, and were over them that were numbered, offered:

3 And they brought their offering before the LORD, six covered wagons, and twelve oxen; a wagon for two of the princes, and for each one an ox: and they brought them before the tabernacle.

‎1 ‏וַיְהִ֡י בְּיוֹם֩ כַּלּ֨וֹת מֹשֶׁ֜ה לְהָקִ֣ים אֶת־הַמִּשְׁכָּ֗ן וַיִּמְשַׁ֨ח אֹת֜וֹ וַיְקַדֵּ֤שׁ אֹתוֹ֙ וְאֶת־כָּל־כֵּלָ֔יו וְאֶת־הַמִּזְבֵּ֖חַ וְאֶת־כָּל־כֵּלָ֑יו וַיִּמְשָׁחֵ֖ם וַיְקַדֵּ֥שׁ אֹתָֽם׃
‎2 ‏וַיַּקְרִ֙יבוּ֙ נְשִׂיאֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל רָאשֵׁ֖י בֵּ֣ית אֲבֹתָ֑ם הֵ֚ם נְשִׂיאֵ֣י הַמַּטֹּ֔ת הֵ֥ם הָעֹמְדִ֖ים עַל־הַפְּקֻדִֽים׃
‎3 ‏וַיָּבִ֨יאוּ אֶת־קָרְבָּנָ֜ם לִפְנֵ֣י יְהוָ֗ה שֵׁשׁ־עֶגְלֹ֥ת צָב֙ וּשְׁנֵ֣י עָשָׂ֣ר בָּקָ֔ר עֲגָלָ֛ה עַל־שְׁנֵ֥י הַנְּשִׂאִ֖ים וְשׁ֣וֹר לְאֶחָ֑ד וַיַּקְרִ֥יבוּ אוֹתָ֖ם לִפְנֵ֥י הַמִּשְׁכָּֽן׃
 Here is the rendering of of these six(6) Bull-drawn Wagons of more reasonable dimensions...

We know, that these six(6) Wagons were to be used to transport the parts of the Mishkan, which in turn also means that these Wagons had to be able to get inside the Courtyard area of the Mishkan. Like so:

After I played with different dimensions for a little bit, it seems that more reasonable numbers for the dimensions of these Wagons would be four(4) cubits for the height and four(4) cubits for the width. Like so:

My initial estimate of 5 cubits for the Wagons' width and 5 cubits for its height was probably too much. However, I'm pretty certain now, that I've got the length of the Wagon correctly - at least 30 cubits long.

Four(4) cubits by four(4) cubits Wagon seems to be far more reasonable, especially considering the fact that such dimensions would allow enough clearance to get the Wagon through the Gate of the Courtyard, which was 5 cubits by 5 cubits. Like so:
And it also seems, that reducing dimensions of the Wagons by 1 cubit still keeps the Wagon large enough for all of the parts of the Mishkan that were supposed to be put in it.

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