Sunday, May 30, 2010

Numbers 4:9-10 - Transportation of The Golden Lampstand (The Menorah)

After the Ark of The Covenant and The Table of Shewbread were covered, it was time to prepare and cover The Golden Lampstand (aka The Golden Candlestick, or - The Menorah). Let's take a look:

Number 4:9-10

9 And they shall take a cloth of blue, and cover the candlestick of the light, and his lamps, and his tongs, and his snuffdishes, and all the oil vessels thereof, wherewith they minister unto it:

10 And they shall put it and all the vessels thereof within a covering of badgers' skins, and shall put it upon a bar.

‎9 ‏וְלָקְח֣וּ׀ בֶּ֣גֶד תְּכֵ֗לֶת וְכִסּ֞וּ אֶת־מְנֹרַ֤ת הַמָּאוֹר֙ וְאֶת־נֵ֣רֹתֶ֔יהָ וְאֶת־מַלְקָחֶ֖יהָ וְאֶת־מַחְתֹּתֶ֑יהָ וְאֵת֙ כָּל־כְּלֵ֣י שַׁמְנָ֔הּ אֲשֶׁ֥ר יְשָׁרְתוּ־לָ֖הּ בָּהֶֽם׃

‎10 ‏וְנָתְנ֤וּ אֹתָהּ֙ וְאֶת־כָּל־כֵּלֶ֔יהָ אֶל־מִכְסֵ֖ה ע֣וֹר תָּ֑חַשׁ וְנָתְנ֖וּ עַל־הַמּֽוֹט׃

Once the Ark and the Table were covered, the Tent of The Tabernacle would look like this:

In order to cover the Golden Lampstand, it had to be moved to the middle of the Tent, so as to allow convenient access to all of its sides. Also, all of the Seven Golden Lamps of the Lampstand, as well as all of its Golden Utensils, were removed from it prior to packing it. If you would zoom in on this image, you will see that there are no Lamps on the Lampstand.

The First Covering of The Lampstand was - The Blue Cloth Covering. It was similar to those of the Ark and of the Table, although I'm not quite sure about its dimensions. Perhaps 10x10 cubits or 15x15 cubits would have been enough.

Once the First Covering (the Blue Cloth) was spread over the Lampstand, it would look like so:

As the description states, the Golden Utensils of the Lampstand were packed into the very same Blue Cloth that was covering the Lampstand. On this image you can see how it was done, as well as all of the Lampstands' Utensils(from left to right): Golden Oil Pans, Seven Golden Lamps, Golden Oil Jars.

Please note, that this is the first time that the Golden Oil Jars("כָּל־כְּלֵ֣י שַׁמְנָ֔הּ") of the Golden Lampstand are mentioned. They were probably relatively small(10-15cm), with the Spout at an angle, so that it would be convenient to refill the Lamps and the Oil Pans. These Golden Oil Jars most likely featured a Spout Cork as well, so as to prevent oil from spilling out accidentally and during the transportation. Here is the rendering of how these Jars might have looked like:

Once all of the Golden Utensils were placed upon the Blue Cloth right under the Lampstand, the edges of the Cloth were rolled over, covering them completely. Like so:

And then, this Blue Cloth was adjusted and fitted under the Lampstand and closer to its base. Like so:

The Second Covering of the Lampstand was the Covering of Tachash Skins. As the description states(Numb. 4:10), this Second Covering was not really a covering, but a literally a "pouch" or "pocket" of sorts. The Covered Lampstand and its Utensils were placed over this Tachash Pouch, and then it was rolled up all the way to the top of the covered Lampstand to completely enclose it.
Here is the rendering of this Tachash Covering half the way up the Lampstand...

And here is the completely covered Lampstand...

And here is how the inside of the Tent of the Mishkan looked like, with the Lampstand completely covered.

The last detail that Numb.4:10 mentions is: the special Carrying Pole. The expression ("הַמּֽוֹט") means literally "a Carrying Yoke". It was basically a long pole, probably 7-10 cubits long, 3-5cm in diameter. It was of a "yoke" shape(bended in the middle) and it was most likely made out of Shittim Wood, just like the rest of the Mishkan. It looked like so:

For comparison, I would like to provide you with several photographic images. The three images below were provided by Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam. These images show, even though taken more than 50 years ago, show different types of carrying poles that are used in Indonesia. 

And this image is by Felice Beato. This is a group portrait of a woman in a kago, two bearers and a man using a carrying pole in Japan (between 1863 and 1877).

And once the Lampstand was put upon this Carrying Pole and tightened around with the ropes, it would be ready to be transported, and it would look like so:

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