Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Numbers 4:12 - Transportation of The Sanctuary Utensils

Once all of the Tent artefacts(the Ark, the Table, the Lampstand and the Altar of Incense) had been covered and prepared for the transportation, it was the time to cover and prepare the vessels(Utensils) that were used in for the Mishkan service. Let's take a look:

Numbers 4:12
12 And they shall take all the instruments of ministry, wherewith they minister in the sanctuary, and put them in a cloth of blue, and cover them with a covering of badgers' skins, and shall put them on a bar:

‎12 ‏וְלָקְחוּ֩ אֶת־כָּל־כְּלֵ֨י הַשָּׁרֵ֜ת אֲשֶׁ֧ר יְשָֽׁרְתוּ־בָ֣ם בַּקֹּ֗דֶשׁ וְנָֽתְנוּ֙ אֶל־בֶּ֣גֶד תְּכֵ֔לֶת וְכִסּ֣וּ אוֹתָ֔ם בְּמִכְסֵ֖ה ע֣וֹר תָּ֑חַשׁ וְנָתְנ֖וּ עַל־הַמּֽוֹט׃

It seems to me, that the expression "the instruments of ministry"/("כלי השרת") refers to the very specific set of Utensils, outlined in Numbers 7:84-86:
84 This was the dedication of the altar, in the day when it was anointed, by the princes of Israel: twelve chargers of silver, twelve silver bowls, twelve spoons of gold:

85 Each charger of silver weighing an hundred and thirty shekels, each bowl seventy: all the silver vessels weighed two thousand and four hundred shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary:

86 The golden spoons were twelve, full of incense, weighing ten shekels apiece, after the shekel of the sanctuary: all the gold of the spoons was an hundred and twenty shekels.

‎84 ‏זֹ֣את׀ חֲנֻכַּ֣ת הַמִּזְבֵּ֗חַ בְּיוֹם֙ הִמָּשַׁ֣ח אֹת֔וֹ מֵאֵ֖ת נְשִׂיאֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל קַעֲרֹ֨ת כֶּ֜סֶף שְׁתֵּ֣ים עֶשְׂרֵ֗ה מִֽזְרְקֵי־כֶ֙סֶף֙ שְׁנֵ֣ים עָשָׂ֔ר כַּפּ֥וֹת זָהָ֖ב שְׁתֵּ֥ים עֶשְׂרֵֽה׃

‎85 ‏שְׁלֹשִׁ֣ים וּמֵאָ֗ה הַקְּעָרָ֤ה הָֽאַחַת֙ כֶּ֔סֶף וְשִׁבְעִ֖ים הַמִּזְרָ֣ק הָאֶחָ֑ד כֹּ֚ל כֶּ֣סֶף הַכֵּלִ֔ים אַלְפַּ֥יִם וְאַרְבַּע־מֵא֖וֹת בְּשֶׁ֥קֶל הַקֹּֽדֶשׁ׃

‎86 ‏כַּפּ֨וֹת זָהָ֤ב שְׁתֵּים־עֶשְׂרֵה֙ מְלֵאֹ֣ת קְטֹ֔רֶת עֲשָׂרָ֧ה עֲשָׂרָ֛ה הַכַּ֖ף בְּשֶׁ֣קֶל הַקֹּ֑דֶשׁ כָּל־זְהַ֥ב הַכַּפּ֖וֹת עֶשְׂרִ֥ים וּמֵאָֽה׃

As you can see, the expression "the instruments of ministry" means: the Silver Chargers, the Silver Sprinkling Bowls and Golden Incense Cups. Here is what they have looked like:

The total count of the Sanctuary Utensils consisted of twelve(12) Silver Chargers, twelve(12) Silver Sprinkling Bowls, and twelve(12) Golden Incense Spoons (or cups). The Total weight of all of these Utensils was 2400 Silver Shekels+120 Silver Shekels = 2520 Silver Shekels, or 0.8 Silver Talent or ~13.6kg.
These Utensils were used not only inside of the Tent, but also outside of the Tent. The expression in Numb. 4:12, the Sanctuary(Holy Place/"קדש") refers to the larger section of the Tent of the Mishkan(The Holy Place, where the Lampstand, Table and the Altar of Incense stood) and also the Courtyard of the Mishkan.

Here is the rendering of all of the Utensils of the Sanctuary:

And here is the rendering of the inside of the Tent, with all of the Tents' artefacts covered and ready for the transportation.

Before the Sanctuary Utensils could have been covered, the space was cleared by moving the covered Altar of Incense towards the exit of the Tent, like so:

As Numb.4:12 states, the First Covering of the Sanctuary Utensils was a Blue Cloth Covering...

All of the Sanctuary Utensils were placed upon this Blue Cloth, most likely like this:

Then, an the remaining half of the Covering was folded and wrapped around all of the Utensils, like so:

Then, the Covering was adjusted and fitted around each set of the Utensils to prevent damage during transport. Like so:

As the description also states, covered Utensils were then placed inside the Second Covering, which was a "pouch" or "pocket" of sorts, made out of Tachash Skins. Like this:

Then, this Second Covering of Tachash Skins was tightened and closed around the Utensils, resulting in this:

And here is an overview of the Tent of the Mishkan, with all of its Artefacts and Utensils covered, and ready for transport.

And here is the West-North view upon the Tent of the Mishkan with the covered artefacts and utensils.

When the Sanctuary Utensils were transported, they would be upon a Carrying Pole(just like the Golden Lampstand) and would look like this:

(UPDATE 08/17/2010) Please see this post for updated information on transportation of the Service Utensils.

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