22.7. The Planks of the Tabernacle (26:15-30)

 (15) You shall make the planks for the Tabernacle of acacia wood, upright.

(16) The length of each plank shall be ten cubits and the width of each plank a cubit and a half.

(17) Each plank shall have two tenons, parallel to each other; do the same with all the planks of the Tabernacle.

(18) Of the planks of the Tabernacle, make twenty planks on the south side:

(19) making forty silver sockets under the twenty planks, two sockets under the one plank for its two tenons and two sockets under each following plank for its two tenons;

(20) and for the other side wall of the Tabernacle, on the north side, twenty planks,

(21) with their forty silver sockets, two sockets under the one plank and two sockets under each following plank.

(22) And for the rear of the Tabernacle, to the west, make six planks;

(23) and make two planks for the corners of the Tabernacle at the rear.

(24) They shall match at the bottom, and terminate alike at the top inside one ring; thus shall it be with both of them: they shall form the two corners.

(25) Thus there shall be eight planks with their sockets of silver: sixteen sockets, two sockets under the first plank, and two sockets under each of the other planks.

(26) You shall make bars of acacia wood: five for the planks of the one side wall of the Tabernacle,

(27) five bars for the planks of the other side wall of the Tabernacle, and five bars for the planks of the wall of the Tabernacle at the rear to the west.

(28) The center bar halfway up the planks shall run from end to end.

(29) Overlay the planks with gold, and make their rings of gold, as holders for the bars; and overlay the bars with gold.

(30) Then set up the Tabernacle according to the manner of it that you were shown on the mountain.

(15-16) You shall make the planks for the Tabernacle of acacia wood, upright. The length of each plank shall be ten cubits and the width of each plank a cubit and a half: The walls of the Tabernacle were assembled from flat planks, each approximately 5 m × 75 cm × 25 cm (16 ft × 30 in × 10 in).

(17) Each plank shall have two tenons, parallel to each other; do the same with all the planks of the Tabernacle: The boards fit snugly against one another, and the tenons held them together.

(18) Of the planks of the Tabernacle, make twenty planks on the south side: The length of a wall of the Tabernacle is 30 cubits = approx. 15 m (49 ft).

(19) Making forty silver sockets under the twenty planks, two sockets under the one plank for its two tenons and two sockets under each following plank for its two tenons: Each plank stood on two “feet.”

Forty silver sockets: As noted earlier, everything in the tabernacle that is in the nature of a “base” (foundation) is made of silver.

(22) And for the rear of the Tabernacle, to the west, make six planks: The width of the Tabernacle is 10 cubits = 5 m (16.4 ft). The covering was 7 meters (23 ft) larger, partially covering the planks on the north and south sides. The second covering reached the ground on the south, north, and west, but overhung by only a cubit on the east.

(23) And make two planks for the corners of the Tabernacle at the rear: At the entrance to the Tabernacle, which was on the east, there was a curtain (and not a wall).

(24) They shall match at the bottom, and terminate alike at the top inside one ring; thus shall it be with both of them: they shall form the two corners: The bars must fit snugly together at the bottom, so that the thickness of the walls of the two feet will not separate them or push them apart. At the top of each plank was a furrow at both edges, into which rings were inserted, to connect each of the two neighboring bars.

Thus shall it be with both of them: they shall form the two corners: The two corner planks were likewise connected from above by rings, but these rings were larger than the ones along the walls.

(25) Thus there shall be eight planks with their sockets of silver: sixteen sockets, two sockets under the first plank, and two sockets under each of the other planks: This refers to the rear, western side of the Tabernacle. It had six planks of its own, and “two planks in thickness” from each of the longitudinal walls.

(26-29) You shall make bars of acacia wood: five for the planks of the one side wall of the Tabernacle, five bars for the planks of the other side … and five bars for the … rear … Overlay the planks with gold, and make their rings of gold … and overlay the bars with gold: Rings were fastened to the planks on the outside, into which bars were inserted horizontally, connecting several planks together. All the walls of the Tabernacle were coated with gold both inside and out.

(28) The center bar halfway up the planks shall run from end to end: “The planks supporting the curtains of the Tabernacle” (that is, the Jewish people) have several types of connections. Every human being has his own internal “supports”; he is connected to his fellow man with “rings,” and “localized bars” connect groups of people who are closely associated. Finally, there is also the internal “center bar” (not visible from the outside) that passes through all of humanity, uniting them as a single entity. This system of multilayered bonding creates social cohesion.

(30) Then set up the Tabernacle according to the manner of it that you were shown on the mountain: Moses received on Mount Sinai not only the details of the Tabernacle’s individual components, but instructions for its overall assembly as well.

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Bible Dynamics, VOL. 2. EXODUS Copyright © by Orot Yerushalaim / P. Polonsky / English translation of the Torah by the Jewish Publication Society, New JPS Translation, 1985. With sincere gratitude for the permission to use. All Rights Reserved.

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