Thursday, February 25, 2010

Exodus 26:30 - An order of assembly of the Frame of The Tent of the Mishkan - Part 2

Lets' take a look at some of the opinions about this verse...
I'll start with a brief overview...

"The sanctuary or tent of meeting, usually called the tabernacle" by George Woolworth Colton

When a permanent camping place was reached, we can imagine all this succession as reversed. The ground surveyed and accurately laid out, a trench for the socket-blocks leveled and the blocks placed in position, and the walls of the tabernacle erected. At the same time the pillars of the court were being planted and braced. Then the curtains were spread both within and without the building and about the court; and finally the holy articles of the interior of the tabernacle were brought in and deposited exactly where they were to remain. No after removal or handling to change position was necessary nor, consequently, permissable.

And here are some of the traditional Jewish views on the matter...

"Agadat ʻEn Ya︠akov, Volume 5" by Jacob ben Solomon Ibn Ḥabib, Samuel Hirsch Glick

We are taught that R. Jose b. R. Juda says : "A fire in the shape of an ark, in the shape of a table and in the shape of a candlestick, came down from heaven, which Moses saw and make like those shapes, for the passage says (Ex. 25, 40) And see that thou make them after their pattern, which is being shown thee in the mount." According to this then the verse (Ib. 26, 30) And thou shalt rear up the Tabernacle according to its • rules thereof which hath been shown thee in the mount, does it also mean [that a fire in the shape of the Tabernacle was shown to Moses] ? Here the passage says, according to its rules, but there [concerning the ark, the table, and the candle-stick] it is written according to their pattern.
And here is a Christian opinion on the matter...

"Lectures delivered before the Young Men's Christian Association ..., Volume 2" by By Young Men's Christian Associations (London, England)
The Form of the Tabernacle, and of all instruments thereof, was shown to Moses in pattern by God. The design was not Egyptian, neither was it Syrian. It was Divine. Great stress was laid upon the exact execution of God's design. God said to Moses, " And let them make me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show thee, the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it." This is repeated by God : " And thou shalt rear up the tabernacle according to the fashion thereof, which was showed thee in the mount." When the brazen altar is described, it is said : " Hollow with boards shalt thou make it; as it was showed thee in the mount, so shalt thou make it." When the work was finished, it is written : " According to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so the children of Israel made all the work. And Moses did look upon all the work, and, behold, they had done it as the Lord had commanded, even so had they done it: and Moses blessed them." The tabernacle was therefore executed according to a pattern shown to Moses by God. By what means the pattern was shown we are not informed. It may have been communicated without the use of any medium, or God may have shown it in lines of fire, and in drapery of clouds and smoke.

Therefore, the use of the expression כמשפטו ("according to the fashion", "according to the rules") is critical in this verse, as it implies that every single thing about the Tabernacle had been explicitly stated and revealed, and thus it is not hidden from understanding of anyone willing to know it.

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