Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Exodus 26:1-30 - Tent [ōhel] vs Tabernacle [mišəkān]

It is very important, especially in the context of Exodus 26:1-30, to differentiate between the expression Tent [ōhel] and Tabernacle [mišəkān]. The original text uses very intricate play on words, so it is very important to keep track of which expression refers to what particular element of the Tabernacle.

I have somewhat covered the difference between these two expressions in this post, but I think a better diagram would make this subject easier to understand:

As you can see, in Chapter 26 of the Book of Exodus, the expression Tent (אהל)[ōhel] refers ONLY to the Second Covering - the Goat's Hair Covering.

But the expression Tabernacle(משכן)[mišəkān] refers ONLY to the gold plated wooden framework and to the First Covering (cherubim woven covering).

Without understanding this very subtle but extremely important detail, it is impossible to understand the description provided in this chapter. Without differentiating between "Tent" and "Tabernacle", it is simply impossible to properly understand the description.

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