Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Cherubim: On The Ark of The Covenant

THIS IS JUST MY THEORY- NOT A FACT

Now that I have covered the basics of the Swords (Cherubim), let's move on to the interesting stuff, namely - how these Sword would look like once on top of the Mercy Seat of the Ark of The Covenant.

But before I do, I wanted to say that after reviewing my previous post, I think that the most accurate translation of the word "Cherubim" would be "The Guarding Swords" or "The Shielding Swords". Such translation, in my humble opinion, best reflects all usages of this word throughout the text of the Pentateuch.

As I have explained, the Swords(Cherubim) essentially looked like an Eagle Wings. Like so:

Of'course, the above image shows only the blade of the Sword, so to avoid any confusion, below is the rendering of a pair of Swords with Handles, even though it is most likely that handles were not part of the intended design and the description talks only about the blades; or perhaps that the Swords were not intended to have any. But if the handles were part of the design, may be their purpose was to help to move the Lid of the Ark. Anyway, here is the rendering of the Swords(Cherubim) with handles:

But what would these Swords would look like once they were hammered out of the Mercy Seat? Well, I think they would resemble Eagle Wings over its nest. Perhaps somewhat like so:
Image is from this web site.

In fact, maybe the handles that I have mentioned above, looked like the Eagle's head or tail. I'm not sure, but   maybe in the future I will look into this question in more details. For now, let's follow the description of the Exodus 25:18-21 and see what we come up with with this new design:

As Exodus 25:18 states, these Swords were to of a hammered work and were to be one part with the Mercy Seat. The mercy seat itself was rather thin (see my Tabernacle Calculator for details), 2.5 cubits long by 1.5 cubits wide. Basically - a rectangular slab of Gold. Like this:

According to Ex 25:19, the Swords would be located at the Ends (do not confuse with Edges) of the Mercy Seat, most likely along its longer sides. This is because this is the most efficient and logical place to put these Swords to satisfy the description according my new proposed design. In my old design, which follows the traditional interpretation, Swords (Cherubim) are positioned along the short side, with their wings covering respective halves of the longer sides.

Now, as the most crucial part of the description states (Ex 25:20), and you will need this diagram to understand it properly, the Swords would have been spreading their Edges upward, covering IN their Edges  the Mercy Seat. "In Edges" means that they were to point their sharpened edge one toward another in a reaching manner, creating an arc of sorts.

Then, the description proceeds to tell us that the Faces of the Swords were to point toward each other and also toward the Mercy Seat. This means that the Faces (one flat side of each Sword) was to point at an angle toward the Mercy seat. In such manner the description is satisfied, resulting in this:
For comparison purposes, examine the two images below of the entire Ark of The Covenant with its Mercy Seat on top of it:

This one is that of my old proposed design of the Swords(Cherubim) over the Mercy Seat:

And this one is that of this new design, rendered exactly from the same angle:

Here is a gray-scale rendering of this new design:

And here is a close-up view of the Mercy Seat upon the Ark of The Covenant with the Swords according to this new design:

As you can see (and in mu humble opinion) this design is not only looks better, but it also satisfies the description in a more complete and accurate manner. Such design also seem to be making more sense when applying the proposed translation of the word "Cherub" its all occurrences in the Pentateuch.

And even though this is going to be my last post for 2011, this is not all to it. One other very interesting detail that I have not discussed yet are the depictions of the Swords (Cherubim) on Curtains and Coverings of the Tabernacle. 

In 2012, my first post will be dedicated specifically to that topic, so stay tuned and enjoy!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Cherubim: An Etymology of The Sword - Part 2

THIS IS JUST MY THEORY- NOT A FACT

Now that we have figured out the meaning of the word "Cherubim", let's move on to the design of these "swords". 

But first and foremost, let's examine the type of the "swords" that these "Cherubim" might have represented. This is  important both for the design and also for understanding the purpose of such elements in the symbolic framework of the Tabernacle.

From the verses cited in the first part of this post, we will need verse of Gen 3:24, and a few extra verses from the Pentateuch: 
Gen 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
Gen 3:24 ‏וַיְגָ֖רֶשׁ אֶת־הָֽאָדָ֑ם וַיַּשְׁכֵּן֩ מִקֶּ֨דֶם לְגַן־עֵ֜דֶן אֶת־הַכְּרֻבִ֗ים וְאֵ֨ת לַ֤הַט הַחֶ֙רֶב֙ הַמִּתְהַפֶּ֔כֶת לִשְׁמֹ֕ר אֶת־דֶּ֖רֶךְ עֵ֥ץ הַֽחַיִּֽים׃  
Ex 15:3 The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.
Ex 15:3 ‏יְהוָ֖ה אִ֣ישׁ מִלְחָמָ֑ה יְהוָ֖ה שְׁמֽוֹ׃
Numb 31:6 And Moses sent them to the war, a thousand of every tribe, them and Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, to the war, with the holy instruments, and the trumpets to blow in his hand.
Numb 31:6 ‏וַיִּשְׁלַ֨ח אֹתָ֥ם מֹשֶׁ֛ה אֶ֥לֶף לַמַּטֶּ֖ה לַצָּבָ֑א אֹ֠תָם וְאֶת־פִּ֨ינְחָ֜ס בֶּן־אֶלְעָזָ֤ר הַכֹּהֵן֙ לַצָּבָ֔א וּכְלֵ֥י הַקֹּ֛דֶשׁ וַחֲצֹצְר֥וֹת הַתְּרוּעָ֖ה בְּיָדֽוֹ׃
From these three verses, you can clearly see that these Swords (Cherubim) represented God's Justice. You should not consider the translation I'm proposing as an indication that God in any way needlessly violent or barbaric. 

These Swords were used to keep Adam from the Tree of Lives after he had sinned (as punishment), not to KILL him. Ex. 15:3 tells us that God is at war with the unrighteous and unrighteousness. And the last verse also indicates that the Tabernacle vessels (i.e Ark, Altars e.t.c) were carried into battle to intimidate God's enemies with the light of the Divine Presence. 

Lastly I want to say, is that we usually do not say the "Shield of Justice". This is illogical as the victim of a crime can be dead and may not need to be shielded. 

On the other hand, we do say the "Sword of Justice", because Justice must AT LEAST punish the guilty party, instead of AT LEAST to protect the victim. 

In other words the Justice must always be served and have some kind of result. And since the wicked are not exactly eager to be punished, the SWORD is needed to uphold Justice and Righteousness before the faces of God.

This is why the "Cherubim" are represented by a WEAPON of Justice, (NOT WEAPON of Violence), and NOT by some scary looking yet seemingly defenceless (weak) creatures. 

And this is what the actual physical design of these Swords MUST reflect.

Thus, let's take a look at the description of the Lid of the Ark of The Covenant and see what we can come up with. Please note that for convenience an readability reasons, in the translation below the word "Cherub/Cherubim" was replaced with "Sword/Swords".
Ex 25:18 And thou shalt make two swords of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, from the two ends of the mercy seat.
Ex 25:18 ‏וְעָשִׂ֛יתָ שְׁנַ֥יִם כְּרֻבִ֖ים זָהָ֑ב מִקְשָׁה֙ תַּעֲשֶׂ֣ה אֹתָ֔ם מִשְּׁנֵ֖י קְצ֥וֹת הַכַּפֹּֽרֶת׃
Ex 25:19 ‏וַ֠עֲשֵׂה כְּר֨וּב אֶחָ֤ד מִקָּצָה֙ מִזֶּ֔ה וּכְרוּב־אֶחָ֥ד מִקָּצָ֖ה מִזֶּ֑ה מִן־הַכַּפֹּ֛רֶת תַּעֲשׂ֥וּ אֶת־הַכְּרֻבִ֖ים עַל־שְׁנֵ֥י קְצוֹתָֽיו׃
Ex 25:19 And make one sword on the one end, and the other sword on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the swords on the two ends thereof.‎ 
Ex 25:20 ‏וְהָי֣וּ הַכְּרֻבִים֩ פֹּרְשֵׂ֨י כְנָפַ֜יִם לְמַ֗עְלָה סֹכְכִ֤ים בְּכַנְפֵיהֶם֙ עַל־הַכַּפֹּ֔רֶת וּפְנֵיהֶ֖ם אִ֣ישׁ אֶל־אָחִ֑יו אֶל־הַכַּפֹּ֔רֶת יִהְי֖וּ פְּנֵ֥י הַכְּרֻבִֽים׃
Ex 25:20 And the swords shall stretch forth their edges on high, covering the mercy seat with their edges, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the swords be. 
Ex 25:21 And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee.
Ex 25:21 ‏וְנָתַתָּ֧ אֶת־הַכַּפֹּ֛רֶת עַל־הָאָרֹ֖ן מִלְמָ֑עְלָה וְאֶל־הָ֣אָרֹ֔ן תִּתֵּן֙ אֶת־הָ֣עֵדֻ֔ת אֲשֶׁ֥ר אֶתֵּ֖ן אֵלֶֽיךָ׃ 
Ex 25:22 ‏וְנוֹעַדְתִּ֣י לְךָ֮ שָׁם֒ וְדִבַּרְתִּ֨י אִתְּךָ֜ מֵעַ֣ל הַכַּפֹּ֗רֶת מִבֵּין֙ שְׁנֵ֣י הַכְּרֻבִ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֖ר עַל־אֲרֹ֣ן הָעֵדֻ֑ת אֵ֣ת כָּל־אֲשֶׁ֧ר אֲצַוֶּ֛ה אוֹתְךָ֖ אֶל־בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃ פ
Ex 25:22 And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two swords which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel. 
Of utmost interest to us is the verse of Ex 25:20, as it provides the most crucial details to the understanding of the design of the Swords(Cherubim). This is because this verse talks about the position of the Swords and  their orientation in relation to the Mercy Seat. Also, this verse provides us with the hints toward the design of the sword blade itself, which is also very important.

To describe the blade design, the word (כנפים)(edges) is used. In Pentateuch, this word is also used to describe the wings, particularly those of a scavenging bird. Most likely - an Eagle (see Ex 19:4). Here is a photo of an American Bold Eagle with its wings stretched out in a manner that I think description is talking about. This image is from this web site:
There are more pictures there, so follow the link.

As you can see, and frankly - most scavenging birds, feature similar wing design (this is so that they can circle in the air - to glide) and as you can clearly see from this image, their wings are composed of many feathers that form this sort-of a wavy edge. Exactly what the root of our word in question implies - the multitude/many e.t.c. This also suggests that the traditional design of the Cherubim with Wings is not that far from the truth, even though not accurate.

Now, the same verse of Ex 25:20 tells us that their Wings, or in our case - Edges, should point upward. This means that these Swords (Cherubim) were single-edged and not dual-edged. As you can understand, it is impossible to point edges of a dual-edged sword upward, as one edge will always be pointing in opposite direction - downward. So, there you have it, our Sword (Cherub) is of a single-edged design.

Thus, our Swords (Cherubim) have to be single-edged, with a wavy (flamed) blade edge.

Just as an interesting observation, every specific blade design is most suited for a particular task. Here is a  very nice diagram, from this wikipedia article, that gives basic idea about different styles of blades:  




The blade of our Sword would most likely be #2 or #4, or as article describes it - trailing-point (#2) or  drop point(#4). 

On the other hand, the diagram on the left does not show the  Flamberge - a flame-bladed sword. So on the right you can see one nice #5 (spear-point) with its nice wavy blade.

But since our Sword was single-edged, what we are looking for is a hybrid of mentioned possible blade types and the wavy look of the flame-bladed sword (remember Gen 3:24).




Thus, after playing around with the possible combinations of designs, I have come up with this:


As you can see, the resulting Sword(Cherub) would have single wavy edge and a concave face. The Sword(Cherub) would be in a form of a stretched out and a bit flattened pair of Eagle Wings.

In my next post, I will show you the result of such Sword(Cherub) design, along with updated renderings of the Mercy Seat and the Ark of The Covenant, and even more reasons for the choice of such design that finds affirmation in other verses of the Pentateuch.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Cherubim: An Etymology of The Sword - Part 1

THIS IS JUST MY THEORY- NOT A FACT

As you well aware, The Cherubim is one of the few parts of the Tabernacle description of which does not appear to be available in the original text of the Pentateuch. Based on the text of other books of Tanach, it also seems that these "creatures" were rather of intricate design, which makes the lack of detailed description even more appalling.

So, let's begin by examining what we do know about Cherubim from the relevant verses from the Pentateuch.
Genesis 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Genesis 3:‎24 ‏וַיְגָ֖רֶשׁ אֶת־הָֽאָדָ֑ם וַיַּשְׁכֵּן֩ מִקֶּ֨דֶם לְגַן־עֵ֜דֶן אֶת־הַכְּרֻבִ֗ים וְאֵ֨ת לַ֤הַט הַחֶ֙רֶב֙ הַמִּתְהַפֶּ֔כֶת לִשְׁמֹ֕ר אֶת־דֶּ֖רֶךְ עֵ֥ץ הַֽחַיִּֽים׃  
Exodus 25:‎18 ‏וְעָשִׂ֛יתָ שְׁנַ֥יִם כְּרֻבִ֖ים זָהָ֑ב מִקְשָׁה֙ תַּעֲשֶׂ֣ה אֹתָ֔ם מִשְּׁנֵ֖י קְצ֥וֹת הַכַּפֹּֽרֶת׃

Exodus 25:18 And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. 
Exodus 25:‎19 ‏וַ֠עֲשֵׂה כְּר֨וּב אֶחָ֤ד מִקָּצָה֙ מִזֶּ֔ה וּכְרוּב־אֶחָ֥ד מִקָּצָ֖ה מִזֶּ֑ה מִן־הַכַּפֹּ֛רֶת תַּעֲשׂ֥וּ אֶת־הַכְּרֻבִ֖ים עַל־שְׁנֵ֥י קְצוֹתָֽיו׃
Exodus 25:19 And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof.‎ 
Exodus 25:20 ‏וְהָי֣וּ הַכְּרֻבִים֩ פֹּרְשֵׂ֨י כְנָפַ֜יִם לְמַ֗עְלָה סֹכְכִ֤ים בְּכַנְפֵיהֶם֙ עַל־הַכַּפֹּ֔רֶת וּפְנֵיהֶ֖ם אִ֣ישׁ אֶל־אָחִ֑יו אֶל־הַכַּפֹּ֔רֶת יִהְי֖וּ פְּנֵ֥י הַכְּרֻבִֽים׃
Exodus 25:20 And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be. 
Exodus 25:22 ‏וְנוֹעַדְתִּ֣י לְךָ֮ שָׁם֒ וְדִבַּרְתִּ֨י אִתְּךָ֜ מֵעַ֣ל הַכַּפֹּ֗רֶת מִבֵּין֙ שְׁנֵ֣י הַכְּרֻבִ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֖ר עַל־אֲרֹ֣ן הָעֵדֻ֑ת אֵ֣ת כָּל־אֲשֶׁ֧ר אֲצַוֶּ֛ה אוֹתְךָ֖ אֶל־בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃ פ
Exodus 25:22 And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel. 
Exodus 26:‎1 ‏וְאֶת־הַמִּשְׁכָּ֥ן תַּעֲשֶׂ֖ה עֶ֣שֶׂר יְרִיעֹ֑ת שֵׁ֣שׁ מָשְׁזָ֗ר וּתְכֵ֤לֶת וְאַרְגָּמָן֙ וְתֹלַ֣עַת שָׁנִ֔י כְּרֻבִ֛ים מַעֲשֵׂ֥ה חֹשֵׁ֖ב תַּעֲשֶׂ֥ה אֹתָֽם׃
Exodus 26:1 Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work shalt thou make them. 
Exodus 26:31 ‏וְעָשִׂ֣יתָ פָרֹ֗כֶת תְּכֵ֧לֶת וְאַרְגָּמָ֛ן וְתוֹלַ֥עַת שָׁנִ֖י וְשֵׁ֣שׁ מָשְׁזָ֑ר מַעֲשֵׂ֥ה חֹשֵׁ֛ב יַעֲשֶׂ֥ה אֹתָ֖הּ כְּרֻבִֽים׃
Exodus 26:31 And thou shalt make a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubims shall it be made: 
‎Exodus 36:8 ‏וַיַּעֲשׂ֨וּ כָל־חֲכַם־לֵ֜ב בְּעֹשֵׂ֧י הַמְּלָאכָ֛ה אֶת־הַמִּשְׁכָּ֖ן עֶ֣שֶׂר יְרִיעֹ֑ת שֵׁ֣שׁ מָשְׁזָ֗ר וּתְכֵ֤לֶת וְאַרְגָּמָן֙ וְתוֹלַ֣עַת שָׁנִ֔י כְּרֻבִ֛ים מַעֲשֵׂ֥ה חֹשֵׁ֖ב עָשָׂ֥ה אֹתָֽם׃
Exodus 36:8 And every wise hearted man among them that wrought the work of the tabernacle made ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work made he them. 
Exodus 36:‎35 ‏וַיַּ֙עַשׂ֙ אֶת־הַפָּרֹ֔כֶת תְּכֵ֧לֶת וְאַרְגָּמָ֛ן וְתוֹלַ֥עַת שָׁנִ֖י וְשֵׁ֣שׁ מָשְׁזָ֑ר מַעֲשֵׂ֥ה חֹשֵׁ֛ב עָשָׂ֥ה אֹתָ֖הּ כְּרֻבִֽים׃

Exodus 36:35 And he made a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen: with cherubims made he it of cunning work. 
‎Exodus 37:7 ‏וַיַּ֛עַשׂ שְׁנֵ֥י כְרֻבִ֖ים זָהָ֑ב מִקְשָׁה֙ עָשָׂ֣ה אֹתָ֔ם מִשְּׁנֵ֖י קְצ֥וֹת הַכַּפֹּֽרֶת
Exodus 37:7 And he made two cherubims of gold, beaten out of one piece made he them, on the two ends of the mercy seat; 
Exodus 37:8 ‏כְּרוּב־אֶחָ֤ד מִקָּצָה֙ מִזֶּ֔ה וּכְרוּב־אֶחָ֥ד מִקָּצָ֖ה מִזֶּ֑ה מִן־הַכַּפֹּ֛רֶת עָשָׂ֥ה אֶת־הַכְּרֻבִ֖ים מִשְּׁנֵ֥י קצוותו 

8 One cherub on the end on this side, and another cherub on the other end on that side: out of the mercy seat made he the cherubims on the two ends thereof. 
Exodus 37:‎9 ‏וַיִּהְי֣וּ הַכְּרֻבִים֩ פֹּרְשֵׂ֨י כְנָפַ֜יִם לְמַ֗עְלָה סֹֽכְכִ֤ים בְּכַנְפֵיהֶם֙ עַל־הַכַּפֹּ֔רֶת וּפְנֵיהֶ֖ם אִ֣ישׁ אֶל־אָחִ֑יו אֶל־הַכַּפֹּ֔רֶת הָי֖וּ פְּנֵ֥י הַכְּרֻבִֽים׃ פ

Exodus 37:9 And the cherubims spread out their wings on high, and covered with their wings over the mercy seat, with their faces one to another; even to the mercy seatward were the faces of the cherubims. 
Numbers 7:‎89 ‏וּבְבֹ֨א מֹשֶׁ֜ה אֶל־אֹ֣הֶל מוֹעֵד֮ לְדַבֵּ֣ר אִתּוֹ֒ וַיִּשְׁמַ֨ע אֶת־הַקּ֜וֹל מִדַּבֵּ֣ר אֵלָ֗יו מֵעַ֤ל הַכַּפֹּ֙רֶת֙ אֲשֶׁר֙ עַל־אֲרֹ֣ן הָעֵדֻ֔ת מִבֵּ֖ין שְׁנֵ֣י הַכְּרֻבִ֑ים וַיְדַבֵּ֖ר אֵלָֽיו׃ 

Numbers 7:89 And when Moses was gone into the tabernacle of the congregation to speak with him, then he heard the voice of one speaking unto him from off the mercy seat that was upon the ark of testimony, from between the two cherubims: and he spake unto him.

We will also need these auxiliary verses for comparison:

Exodus 23:‎2 ‏לֹֽא־תִהְיֶ֥ה אַחֲרֵֽי־רַבִּ֖ים לְרָעֹ֑ת וְלֹא־תַעֲנֶ֣ה עַל־רִ֗ב לִנְטֹ֛ת אַחֲרֵ֥י רַבִּ֖ים לְהַטֹּֽת׃
Exodus 23:2 Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment:
Psalms 64:‎3 ‏תַּ֭סְתִּירֵנִי מִסּ֣וֹד מְרֵעִ֑ים מֵ֝רִגְשַׁ֗ת פֹּ֣עֲלֵי אָֽוֶן׃
Psalms 64:3 Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words:


Now, as you can see, from the top part of the verses that I have provided, we can't draw any definitive conclusions about The Cherubim, except that maybe there were two of them on the ends of the Lid of the Ark of The Covenant and that they had "wings" and "faces". But this is not enough to really understand what they looked like. So? What we are to do ?

Well, the answer is rather simple really and right in front of us...

The Cherubim ARE The Swords !

For these three reasons:
  1. If we read "Sword" instead of "Cherub" and "Swords" instead of "Cherubim" the text and the descriptions will suddenly start to make perfect sense, both linguistically and logically.
  2. The crucial difference in spelling between "the Sword" (כחרב) and "the Cherub" (כרוב) can easily be accounted for by the fact that both words share 1 single 2-letter root ("רב" - many/multitude) and not two similar yet separate 3-letter roots, as usually suggested by most translations. 
  3. This can also be a simple matter of defective reading or masoretic misspelling or a variant, which would not be surprising considering that this is well in line of such occurrences and is not uncommon in the text.
Of'course, #1 is more than enough for me, but #2 and #3 should serve as an extra incentive for you to quail your skepticism. But let's go over each point in a bit more detailed manner:

1) I think for this point, it's better simply provide a comparison between original and modified verse, in stead of engaging into a long explanation. Judge for yourself what happens when we replace the word "Cherubim" with the word "Sword" and applying correct punctuation and numerals. Its in English, of'course, but I'm working directly with the Hebrew text. Differences are highlighted:

Original Verse:
Genesis 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
Changed Verse:
Genesis 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden swords; and a flame of the sword, which turned every way, keep the way to the tree of lives.
Original Verse:
Exodus 25:18 And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. 
Changed Verse:
Exodus 25:18 And thou shalt make two swords of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. 
Original Verse:
Exodus 26:1 Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work shalt thou make them. 
Changed Verse:
Exodus 26:1 Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle: ten curtains of fine twined linen; and blue, and purple, and scarlet pair of swords of cunning work shalt thou make with them. 
I hope that you can see an amazing clarity of the text once the correct translation (understanding) of the word is applied.

2) Now, let's take a look at the common root (רב) of both words. Here are a few examples of the concordant reading of this root word: much, many, vast, grand, numerous, abundant [Strong's], multitude, large, much, contend (as in a tool for dealing with an adversary)

Well, the way (רב) relates to the "Sword" is simple - it is the Biblical way of describing bevels of the blade of the Sword (or any other similar cutting instrument). Take a look at the images below. Its from the web site called sharpeningtechniques.blogspot.com by Clay Allison.  




As you can clearly see from these magnificent (pun is intended) photos of razor-sharp blade of a knife, it is composed of many tiny blades (or more properly - bevels) that are essentially tiny blades. And this is what makes the knife (or in our case - the sword) work. As you can also see from the image above, both the edge of the blade and its sides have to be covered with such bevels (tiny blades) in order for the sword to cut well. I also encourage you to visit this web site for more amazing close-up shots of the blades.

Hence, the Hebrew root (רב)(many/multitude) as it would be the most proper way to describe a cutting weapon.

3) Well, this one is also rather clear. Masoretic text is not an absolutely perfect copy of the original text given to Moses by God. Therefore, it is not uncommon to see different spellings of the same exact words throughout the text. Particularly when it comes to guttural letters such as (and as in our case)   "כ"(kaf) vs "ח"(het), e.t.c. This problem becomes particularly visible if you were to compare Samaritan and Masoretic Pentateuch's side by side.

I hope that now you have been enlightened and will be able to properly understand the original text and the original meaning of the expression "Cherubim".

In my next post, I will be discussing the design of these swords, so that we can get an idea of what they may actually looked like and also what it would look like once applied to the Tabernacle parts.  

Monday, December 26, 2011

Exclusive Material: The Cherubim

I feel very excited because over the next few days I would like to present to you my latest research related to the mystical creatures, the Cherubim ("כרבים"), that were on top of the Lid of the Ark of The Covenant. Since this is relevant to my upcoming Priestly Garments update, I feel that it is important to present this subject first and then move on to the garments.

I will be talking about this element of the Tabernacle:




So stay tuned, as you will get a chance to be the first to see this amazing material.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

An Updated Tabernacle Layout

Here is an updated (or rather - current) version of the Tabernacle Layout. It incorporates the minor changes that I have discussed in my previous posts, and it supposed to be more readable and consistent since I'm using new software to create it. 

Most notable changes include the dimensions of the Tent Pillars (I changed them from 0.5 cubits to 1 cubit in outside diameter), location of the Golden Altar of Incense (exactly in the middle of the Tent Framework)  and the dimensions of the Copper-plated Altar of Burnt Offering (changed height from 5 to 3 cubits and removed the ramp).

From The Desert Tabernacle - Continued 2
If you like, below is my old (from 2009) and now outdated layout for comparison:


Enjoy and feel free to download and use it.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

First Disassembly and Decampment of The Tabernacle

Many new, exciting and exclusive updates are to come to my blog, but for now I would like to answer this very interesting question: when exactly was the Tabernacle disassembled and decamped for the first time?

Now, as usual, all the information is right in the original text. But in this particular case it is buried deep within the chapters and not many people actually aware of it.

Let's take a look at Numbers 10:11-13:
11 And it came to pass on the twentieth day of the second month, in the second year, that the cloud was taken up from off the tabernacle of the testimony.

12 And the children of Israel took their journeys out of the wilderness of Sinai; and the cloud rested in the wilderness of Paran.

13 And they first took their journey according to the commandment of the LORD by the hand of Moses.
‎11 ‏וַיְהִ֞י בַּשָּׁנָ֧ה הַשֵּׁנִ֛ית בַּחֹ֥דֶשׁ הַשֵּׁנִ֖י בְּעֶשְׂרִ֣ים בַּחֹ֑דֶשׁ נַעֲלָה֙ הֶֽעָנָ֔ן מֵעַ֖ל מִשְׁכַּ֥ן הָעֵדֻֽת׃

‎12 ‏וַיִּסְע֧וּ בְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל לְמַסְעֵיהֶ֖ם מִמִּדְבַּ֣ר סִינָ֑י וַיִּשְׁכֹּ֥ן הֶעָנָ֖ן בְּמִדְבַּ֥ר פָּארָֽן׃

‎13 ‏וַיִּסְע֖וּ בָּרִאשֹׁנָ֑ה עַל־פִּ֥י יְהוָ֖ה בְּיַד־מֹשֶֽׁה׃
As you can read from the description, on 20th of 2nd month, in year 2 from Exodus out of Egypt, the Pillar of Smoke (Cloud of Smoke, that represented God's presence) was taken up from off the Tabernacle. This cloud:

Please note the use of important word "the cloud" ("הענן"/"he'anan"), as I have discussed in this post, this particular word means that the Tabernacle was first moved during the day time, and not night time. And most likely in the morning, so that Levites have enough time to disassemble and prepare the Tabernacle for transportation, yet still have plenty of daylight left to get them started (it was their first time).

Also, in the morning the sun would shine from the east (obviously) and it would light up the Gate of the Courtyard FROM OUTSIDE (as shown above), perhaps signifying that it is time for Levites to enter the Tabernacle and begin working ( in this case - to disassemble it).

As you can see, everything in the Tabernacle (due to its very specific design) had an important and dedicated purpose.

Another point worth mentioning that right in the preceding verses of the same chapter (Numbers 10), it provides us with the description of the of the Silver Trumpets that would be used to announce the move and to direct it (Numbers 10:4-6). 

This means that the Silver Trumpets were also used for the first time for this particular task of moving the Tabernacle.

I hope this gave you some fresh insights into the Tabernacle operation. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Tabernacle Explorer 3D Update

Here is a first update to my Tabernacle Explorer 3D software. The changes are as follows:
  1. An Online Version
  2. Stand-alone version is now less in size, in ZIP archive and should be more compatible with different versions of Windows OS.
  3. New separate Web Site for the Software.
  4. Troubleshooting tips for the software.
  5. Minor code and model fixes.

Enjoy!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Status Update

Unfortunately, my work on Priestly Garments 3D models going much slower than I have anticipated and for that I must apologize. I have run into several problems along the way, primarily the difficulties with making sense of the description of each garment (Exodus 28), as well as acquiring some textual source materials that I needed to support my choice of the design. 

However, the good news is that some of the outlines of the models that I have completed so far are looking very good and I believe the end result will look even better. I'm also working to improve the presentation of the models, because I think my Tabernacle models did not look that great.

I hope that I will be able to show some of my work pretty soon, so even though I will not be posting, please do not think that I have abandoned my blog ;) I do plan, however, to post answers to a few interesting questions that have come up about the Tabernacle description, so there will be something for you to ponder upon while my models are in works.

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