Monday, January 30, 2012

The Cherubim: The Inner Curtain (Veil)

THIS IS JUST MY THEORY- NOT A FACT

I covered the Swords (Cherubim) of the Inner Curtain of the Tent of the Tabernacle in my previous post, but then I realized that a bit more specific explanation may be necessary so here it is.

As you know, traditional interpretations usually show the Inner Curtain of the Tent of the Tabernacle (the one that separated the Tent into two rooms) as 4 Gold plated columns upon 4 Silver Sockets with 5 partitions with the "cherubim" as mystical creatures.

As you also know, my proposed explanation replaces these mystical creatures with the Sword-like shapes, resulting in the following:

Now, the Inner Curtain looks more consistent with the rest of the description of the Tabernacle, as now it sort of has these Swords on the fabric as if they were guarding the entrance into the Holy of Holies (the Ark room).

But this is not all. The most I love about making such minute inquiries into the meaning of a particular word of the description (the "cherubim" in this case) is the resulting consistency with other parts of the text (non-Tabernacle related portions).

In this case, I would like you to recall the verse of Genesis 3:24:
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. 
‎24 ‏וַיְגָ֖רֶשׁ אֶת־הָֽאָדָ֑ם וַיַּשְׁכֵּן֩ מִקֶּ֨דֶם לְגַן־עֵ֜דֶן אֶת־הַכְּרֻבִ֗ים וְאֵ֨ת לַ֤הַט הַחֶ֙רֶב֙ הַמִּתְהַפֶּ֔כֶת לִשְׁמֹ֕ר אֶת־דֶּ֖רֶךְ עֵ֥ץ הַֽחַיִּֽים׃ ס
Notice the description of this "flaming sword" which "turned every way". Apparently, this is what we can see  in the Tabernacle design - the 4 "flaming swords" that are represented by 2 blades each around each of the Inner Curtain Columns (as well as the 2 blades for each of the sides of the Tent).

In other words, the correct understanding of the description of the Tabernacle design helps us to understand what is described in Genesis 3:24, namely this:

This cropped image of the Inner Curtain of the Tabernacle shows us what the "cherubim" that guarded the garden of Eden looked like. I.e. a rotating column with "flaming" Swords upon it. Although perhaps it is possible that the column represented the "flame" (pillar of "flame") with the Swords rotating around such a pillar.

Either way, as you can clearly see, it is very important to properly understand the description of the design, as it would always lead to other pieces of the text to fall into place and form a more coherent and logical picture of the stories of the Pentateuch.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Cherubim: On The Tabernacle - Part 2

THIS IS JUST MY THEORY- NOT A FACT

As I have mentioned in the first part of this post, the Swords (Cherubim) were also a part of the design of the Tabernacle Tent's First Covering and the Tent's Inner Curtain (the Veil). Let's take a look at what it might have looked like once implemented into the design.

As you recall, the First Covering of the Tent of the Tabernacle according to the traditional interpretation of the word "cherubim" looked like so:

As you can see from the image above, the First Covering was that of a color of a sunset/sunrise (mix of several colors) with many images of the "cherubim", which traditional interpretations translate as some mystical human-like creatures with several faces and wings. 

Now, replacing these creatures with the sword-like shapes would yield the following layout:

And once over the Tent of the Tabernacle it would look like so:

I'm sorry if the rendering above looks rather ugly, but I'm not an artist and this is also just a preliminary model draft rendering. But here is another rendering of the First Covering with Swords from slightly different angle which I think should give you a better perspective on the proposed design:

As you can see, these Swords(Cherubim) would sort of cover the Tent's Frame, just like those of the Ark of The Covenant, mimicking in a way the Ark of the Covenant in its design. And the Swords would be so to speak covering and protecting the Tabernacle.

Now, let's move on to the other part of the Tent that featured the Swords(Cherubim). I'm referring to the Inner Curtain of the Tent or - the inner separating Vail.  If you recall, it looked like this:

Now, with the Swords instead of the creatures, the layout of each partition of the Inner Curtain would look like this:

And once applied to the Tabernacle the resulting rendering would show this:

The image above and below show only half of the First Covering for convenience reasons; so that you could actually see the Inner Curtain and so that you could notice the matching pattern and overall consistency of the design.

As you can clearly see, the Swords on the Inner Curtain, combined with the Swords upon the First Covering, and of'course combined with the reflections off the Tent's Gold Plated walls, would create an impression that the entire Holy of Holies room was surrounded by these Shielding Swords (The Cherubim). Thus creating a quite explicit symbolic meaning of the importance and holiness of this part of the Tabernacle.

One last point that is rather important. I'm not sure yet if the description meant to assume the Swords to be white in color or if the reverse were true and the Swords were "sunset" color. This requires additional research that I have not done yet, so I'm showing it closer to traditional interpretation.

However, if the reverse design was true, namely Swords were of a "sunset" color and the Covering and Curtain was white, this would be the result:

Compare these two images below for better understanding of the concept.

This one is close to the traditional interpretation of the coloring pattern:

And this is the reverse coloring pattern:

Like I mentioned above, I'm not sure yet as which coloring pattern is the correct one, so I will leave it up to you to decide which one is more fitting to the original description provided by the text. Other than that, the Sword design of the Covering and the Curtains looks far more appealing and consistent than the traditional interpretation based on the mystical creatures.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Cherubim: On The Tabernacle - Part 1

THIS IS JUST MY THEORY- NOT A FACT

The Swords (Cherubim) were also a part of the design of the Tabernacle Curtains and Coverings. In order to review the design, first we would need to review the description of each Tabernacle part that featured the Swords(Cherubim).

The table below summarizes all relevant verses that explicitly mention the Swords. There are some other verses that contain suspicious description that may imply the presence of the Swords in the design, but for now I will not be including them as I'm not sure yet.

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 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 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 And he made a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen: with cherubims made he it of cunning work.

And here is the same table but with the word "Swords" instead of "Cherubim" so that you can compare the readings and the meaning of each verse:
Exodus 26:1 Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with swords of cunning work shalt thou make them. 
Exodus 26:31 And thou shalt make a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with swords shall it be made:
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 swords of cunning work made he them.
Exodus 36:35 And he made a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen: with swords made he it of cunning work.

So, as you can see the 10 sheets that comprised the First Covering of the Tent of The Tabernacle, and the Inner Curtain (which was made out of partitions the description is talking about) had Swords as part of their design. As I have shown in my previous posts, these Swords looked somewhat like this:

According to the description, the Outer Curtain (Gate Curtain) of the Tent of The Tabernacle, as well as the Gate Curtains of the Courtyard of The Tabernacle did not have the Swords as part of their design. This is rather interesting point, especially in the context of the translation that I'm proposing, as it creates a completely different symbolic meaning of this element of the design.

In other words, the "Shielding Swords" were only concentrated around the holiest part of the Tabernacle - the Ark of The Covenant Room (Holy of Holies Room), and the Holy Place (the Altar of Incense, Lampstand, Table of Shewbread Room). Perhaps symbolically signifying the importance and status of these parts of the Tabernacle, as well as pointing out the care needed to approach these places; as well as the punishment for not exercising needed care. 

This is very much consistent with the description of say Exodus 28:43, Leviticus 10:9-11,  e.t.c. And as you can see, now there is a logical continuity between the elements of the design of the Tabernacle and the description of the priestly rituals.

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