Thursday, September 23, 2010

Numbers 4:5-6 - Transportation of the Ark of the Covenant - Location of the Staves

For quite some time I wanted to post one very good image of the Ark of the Covenant during its transportation, as well as to comment on a certain details of that image. So here it is:

Israel Enters the Promised Land, as in Joshua 3:5-17, illustration from a Bible Card published between 1896 and 1913 by the Providence Lithograph Company (circa 1896-1913). 

Now, if you recall, Numbers 4:5-6 states:
5 And when the camp setteth forward, Aaron shall come, and his sons, and they shall take down the covering vail, and cover the ark of testimony with it:

6 And shall put thereon the covering of badgers' skins, and shall spread over it a cloth wholly of blue, and shall put in the staves thereof.
‎5 ‏וּבָ֨א אַהֲרֹ֤ן וּבָנָיו֙ בִּנְסֹ֣עַ הַֽמַּחֲנֶ֔ה וְהוֹרִ֕דוּ אֵ֖ת פָּרֹ֣כֶת הַמָּסָ֑ךְ וְכִ֨סּוּ־בָ֔הּ אֵ֖ת אֲרֹ֥ן הָעֵדֻֽת׃

‎6 ‏וְנָתְנ֣וּ עָלָ֗יו כְּסוּי֙ ע֣וֹר תַּ֔חַשׁ וּפָרְשׂ֧וּ בֶֽגֶד־כְּלִ֛יל תְּכֵ֖לֶת מִלְמָ֑עְלָה וְשָׂמ֖וּ בַּדָּֽיו׃
As you can read, even though the illustration above is very well done, it lacks the detail mentioned in the Verse 6 of this chapter. Namely, in the image above, the Staves of the Ark appear to be covered with the coverings of the Ark, instead of being on the outside, helping to support coverings of the Ark from falling off.

Same also had to be true for all other artefacts of the Mishkan, that had been carried by the means of Staves. You can read about it in the following verses: Numbers 4:8(table), Numbers 4:11(golden altar), Numbers 4:14 (altar of burnt offering).

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