Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Exodus 27:10 - The Pillars of the Courtyard of The Mishkan - Part 4

Now let's see how all of the parts of the Pillars were setup to form sections of the Courtyard of the Mishkan. In order for me to cover all nuances at once, I will show the setup of the South-West corner of the Courtyard:

First, the Copper Sockets were put in their places and the parts of the Pillars were inserted into the Sockets.

Then, the Pillars Caps(or Chapiters) were put on Pillars' tops to secure parts of the Pillars and to create connection points for the Connecting Rods.

Then, the Silver-plated Connecting Rods were installed between each pair of the Pillars. Each Connecting Rod was exactly five(5) cubits long and fingerbreadth thick.

The Hangings of the Courtyard were installed as well. Although it is more likely, that the Connecting Rods were inserted into the Hangings first, and then the resulting pieces were installed between the pairs of the Pillars.

Here is a close-up view upon the corner Pillar, so that you can see all of the details better.

If you remember, the Hangings were attached to the Pillars of the Court by the means of small Silver Hooks that were mounted along each Pillar height. Here is a close-up view on one such Hook.

One highly overlooked detail of the Pillars of the Courtyard of the Tabernacle - their mounting hardware. It consisted of two pieces: the Copper Pins(or rather Copper Stakes; Copper Pegs in some translations) and the Ropes(or Cords in some translations). Description of these parts is found a little bit further in the text, but I wanted to cover it now so let's take a look at the Exodus 38:29-31:
29 And the brass of the offering was seventy talents, and two thousand and four hundred shekels.

30 And therewith he made the sockets to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and the brasen altar, and the brasen grate for it, and all the vessels of the altar,

31 And the sockets of the court round about, and the sockets of the court gate, and all the pins of the tabernacle, and all the pins of the court round about.
29 ‏וּנְחֹ֥שֶׁת הַתְּנוּפָ֖ה שִׁבְעִ֣ים כִּכָּ֑ר וְאַלְפַּ֥יִם וְאַרְבַּע־מֵא֖וֹת שָֽׁקֶל׃

‎30 ‏וַיַּ֣עַשׂ בָּ֗הּ אֶת־אַדְנֵי֙ פֶּ֚תַח אֹ֣הֶל מוֹעֵ֔ד וְאֵת֙ מִזְבַּ֣ח הַנְּחֹ֔שֶׁת וְאֶת־מִכְבַּ֥ר הַנְּחֹ֖שֶׁת אֲשֶׁר־ל֑וֹ וְאֵ֖ת כָּל־כְּלֵ֥י הַמִּזְבֵּֽחַ׃

‎31 ‏וְאֶת־אַדְנֵ֤י הֶֽחָצֵר֙ סָבִ֔יב וְאֶת־אַדְנֵ֖י שַׁ֣עַר הֶחָצֵ֑ר וְאֵ֨ת כָּל־יִתְדֹ֧ת הַמִּשְׁכָּ֛ן וְאֶת־כָּל־יִתְדֹ֥ת הֶחָצֵ֖ר סָבִֽיב׃
So as you can see from these verses, there were Copper Stakes. These Stakes were relatively small, probably 1\4 cubits tall and 1-3cm in diameter. Also, these stakes most likely had a ring where the Ropes of the Pillars were connected. There were most likely two(2) Stakes per each of the sixty(60) Pillars of the Courtyard, totaling 120 Copper Stakes. At this point, i do not think that there had to be more of them(say, so secure the bottom of the Hanging, for example), because there were not much copper dedicated to make these parts.
And as to the Ropes: these were probably pieces of figerbreadth(~1cm) thick and about 5-6 cubits long. These Ropes were probably white in color, to match the Hangings, and there were probably also 2 pieces of Rope per Pillar. The Rope was most likely securing the Pillar at 60-70 degree angle, which was sufficient enough to secure them well.

As each section of the Courtyard was assembled, the Ropes were attached to the special rings on the Silver Caps of the Pillars(on both sides of the Pillar), like so:

And then, the Ropes would be attached to the Pegs of the Pillar(also on both sides of the Pillar), and the Pegs were inserted into the ground, effectively securing the Pillar in place.

Once all this was done, the resulting section of the Courtyard would look like this:

And you can compare the images above to this diagram, if you want to know exact dimensions for most critical parts of the Courtyard sections.

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