Friday, June 30, 2017

Were there two Tabernacles?

NO! Absolutely not! Let's take a look at the text to see what really happen:

The following verse describe the events that took place right after the Sin of the Golden Calf.
CLV Ex 33:5 for Yahweh had said to Moses: Say to the sons of Israel: You stiff-necked people! If for one moment I should go up among you, I would finish you! And now, take down your ornaments off you that I may know what I should do to you. 
CLV Ex 33:6 So the sons of Israel despoiled themselves of their own ornaments from Mount Horeb onward. 
CLV Ex 33:7 As for Moses, he took the tent and stretched it out outside the camp, far from the camp; and he called it the tent of appointment; and it came to be that everyone seeking Yahweh went forth to the tent of appointment which was outside the camp. 
CLV Ex 33:8 Also it came to be as Moses went forth to the tent, all the people rose and stationed themselves, each man, at the portal of his tent and looked after Moses until he entered the tent. 
CLV Ex 33:9 It came to be as Moses entered the tent that the cloud column descended and stood at the portal of the tent, and He spoke with Moses. 
CLV Ex 33:10 When all the people saw the cloud column standing at the portal of the tent, all the people rose and bowed themselves down, each man at the portal of his tent. 
CLV Ex 33:11 So Yahweh spoke to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his associate. When he returned to the camp then his minister, Joshua son of Nun, a youth, did not remove himself from the midst of the tent.
So as you can see, what Torah really speaks of is the Moses's tent which served as a temporary Tabernacle because the Tabernacle has not been constructed yet.

So between the Sin of Golden Calf and the completion of the construction of the Tabernacle, Moses's own Tent that was located outside the camp (not in the middle) served as a temporary Tabernacle where people would come to seek God's word.

As you can see, the text does not use the word "mishkan". It is uses the word "ohel" (tent) to show the difference between the two.

Also, as the text states, the pillar of smoke and fire stood by the Moses's Tent just like it stood later over the Tabernacle.

What is interesting that both places were called "Tent of Appointment" because they served the same function, even though the Moses's Tent was replaced later by the Tabernacle.

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