The Tabernacle

02/15/15

As for the Mishkan, make it of ten strips of cloth; make these of fine twisted linen, of blue, purple, and crimson yarns, with a design of cherubim worked into them.
Exodus 26:1
You shall make a screen for the entrance of the Tent, of blue, purple, and crimson yarns, and fine twisted linen, done in embroidery.
Exodus 26:36

The Tabernacle building itself is to be constructed out of several parts. Its walls are to consist of planks with tabs on each end. The tabs fit into silver sockets which hold every pair of adjacent planks together. Three bars, top, bottom and center, also secure the planks of each wall to each other.

 

The walls are to be covered with different curtains: ten curtains of linen and wool woven with a design of cherubs, eleven curtains of goat hair, a cover of red-dyed ramskin and a cover of tachash (seal) skins. The curtains are to have hooks and loops to connect them to each other and they are to be layered over the Tabernacle walls, with the eleventh goat hair curtain overhanging the entrance. Between the main chamber of the Tabernacle and the Holy of Holies, a partition is to be hung, made of the same twisted and woven wool and linen with a cherub design. The Ark is to be positioned inside the Holy of Holies, while the Table and Menorah sit in the main chamber. A screen is also to be placed at the entrance of the Tabernacle, made of gold-plated planks and covered with the same woven fabric.

 

The boards from which the walls are to be constructed are called Hakerashim, meaning the boards, implying specific boards known to Moses. The Israel Bible cites a Jewish tradition which maintains that Jacob planted the necessary trees on his way down to Egypt so that his descendants would have them to build the Tabernacle. The message here is two-fold: from Jacob we learn to prepare for the future, but we also learn not to give up hope. The exile is temporary and the Jews will return to their homeland.

 

Virtual Classroom Discussion

First God tells Moses how to build the vessels with which to serve Him in the Tabernacle, and only after does He outline the blueprint for the building in which they will be placed. This seems to be the reverse of typical behavior, where one would not buy furniture until one has a home in which to place it. Why do you think God plans His Tabernacle in reverse?