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Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Exodus 26



1The ten curtains of the tabernacle.
7The eleven curtains of goats' hair, and the covering of rams' and badgers' skins.
15The boards of the tabernacle, with their sockets and bars.
31The vail for the ark.
36The hanging for the door.

Verse 1
Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work shalt thou make them.
the tabernacle with ten curtains
The word mishcan, from shachan, to dwell, means simply a dwelling-place, or habitation. "When God had brought the children of Israel out of Egypt," says the very learned Dr. Cudworth, "resolving to manifest himself in a peculiar manner present among them, he thought good to dwell amongst them in a visible and external manner; and therefore, while they were in the wilderness, and sojourned in tents, he would have a tent or tabernacle built, to sojourn with them also.--Now, the tabernacle being thus a house for God to dwell in visibly, to make up the notion of dwelling or habitation complete, there must be all things suitable to a house belonging to it. Hence, in the holy place, there must be a table and a candlestick, because these were the ordinary furniture of a room. The table must have its dishes, and spoons, and bowls, and covers, belonging to it, though they were never used; and always be furnished with bread upon it. The candlestick must have its lamps continually burning, etc."
25:8; 36:8-19; 40:2,17-19; 1 Chronicles 17:1; 21:29; John 1:14; 2:21; Hebrews 8:2; Hebrews 9:9,23,24; Revelation 21:3
fine twined linen
36; 25:4; 35:6,35; Revelation 19:8
cunning work
Heb. the work of a cunning workman, or embroiderer.

Verse 2
The length of one curtain shall be eight and twenty cubits, and the breadth of one curtain four cubits: and every one of the curtains shall have one measure.
7,8; Numbers 4:25; 2 Samuel 7:2; 1 Chronicles 17:1

Verse 3
The five curtains shall be coupled together one to another; and other five curtains shall be coupled one to another.
coupled together
9; 36:10; John 17:21; 1 Corinthians 12:4,12-27; Ephesians 2:21,22; 4:3-6,16; Colossians 2:2,19

Verse 4
And thou shalt make loops of blue upon the edge of the one curtain from the selvedge in the coupling; and likewise shalt thou make in the uttermost edge of another curtain, in the coupling of the second.
loops of blue
5,10,11; 36:11,12,17

Verse 6
And thou shalt make fifty taches of gold, and couple the curtains together with the taches: and it shall be one tabernacle.
taches of gold
11,33; 35:11; 36:13,18; 39:33
one tabernacle
Ephesians 1:22,23; 4:16; 1 Peter 2:4,5

Verse 7
And thou shalt make curtains of goats' hair to be a covering upon the tabernacle: eleven curtains shalt thou make.
35:26; 36:14-18; Numbers 4:25; Psalms 45:13; 1 Peter 3:4; 5:5
goats' hair
Izzim, goats, but used here elliptically for goats' hair. In different parts of Asia Minor, Syria, Cilicia, and Phrygia, the goats have long, fine, and beautiful hair; in some cases, almost as fine as silk, which is shorn at proper times, and manufactured into garments.
25:4; 35:6,23; Numbers 31:20
14; Isaiah 4:5

Verse 8
The length of one curtain shall be thirty cubits, and the breadth of one curtain four cubits: and the eleven curtains shall be all of one measure.
length of one curtain

Verse 9
And thou shalt couple five curtains by themselves, and six curtains by themselves, and shalt double the sixth curtain in the forefront of the tabernacle.
five curtains by themselves

Verse 10
And thou shalt make fifty loops on the edge of the one curtain that is outmost in the coupling, and fifty loops in the edge of the curtain which coupleth the second.
fifty loops

Verse 11
And thou shalt make fifty taches of brass, and put the taches into the loops, and couple the tent together, that it may be one.
or, covering.

Verse 12
And the remnant that remaineth of the curtains of the tent, the half curtain that remaineth, shall hang over the backside of the tabernacle.
shall hang over

Verse 13
And a cubit on the one side, and a cubit on the other side of that which remaineth in the length of the curtains of the tent, it shall hang over the sides of the tabernacle on this side and on that side, to cover it.
a cubit
of that which remaineth
Heb. in the remainder or surplusage.

Verse 14
And thou shalt make a covering for the tent of rams' skins dyed red, and a covering above of badgers' skins.
a covering
36:19; Numbers 4:5; Psalms 27:5; 121:4,5; Isaiah 4:6; 25:4
rams' skins dyed red
Oroth ailim meoddamim, literally, the skins of red rams. It is a fact, attested by many respectable travellers, that in the Levant, sheep are often met with having red or violet coloured fleeces. Almost all ancient writers speak of the same thing.
25:5; 35:7,23; 39:34; Numbers 4:10; Ezekiel 16:10
badgers' skins
Oroth techashim, which nearly all the ancient versions have taken to be the name of a colour, though they differ very much with regard to the particular colour intended: the LXX., Vulgate, and Coptic, have skins dyed of a violet colour; the Syriac, azure; and the Arabic, black; and Bochart contends for the hysginus, a very deep blue. It may, however, denote an animal; for Dr. Geddes remarks, had the sacred writer meant to express only a variety of colour, he would hardly have repeated óroth, skins, after meoddamim, red, in ch. 25:5.

Verse 15
And thou shalt make boards for the tabernacle of shittim wood standing up.
18,22-29; 36:20-33; 40:17,18; Numbers 4:31,32; Ephesians 2:20,21
of shittim

Verse 17
Two tenons shall there be in one board, set in order one against another: thus shalt thou make for all the boards of the tabernacle.
Heb. hands.
19; 36:22,24

Verse 19
And thou shalt make forty sockets of silver under the twenty boards; two sockets under one board for his two tenons, and two sockets under another board for his two tenons.
forty sockets of silver
25,37; 27:10,12-18; 36:24-26; 38:27,30,31; 40:18; Numbers 3:36; Numbers 4:31,32; Song of Solomon 5:15

Verse 21
And their forty sockets of silver; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board.
two sockets under one board

Verse 23

corners: [Strong‘s H4742], Exodus href="/desk/?q=ex+36:28&sr=1">Exodus 36:28

Verse 24
And they shall be coupled together beneath, and they shall be coupled together above the head of it unto one ring: thus shall it be for them both; they shall be for the two corners.
be coupled
Heb. twined. and they shall be coupled together above.
36:29,30; Psalms 133:1-3; 1 Corinthians 1:10; 3:16; 1 Peter 2:5

Verse 26
And thou shalt make bars of shittim wood; five for the boards of the one side of the tabernacle,
bars of shittim wood
36:31-38; Numbers 3:36; 4:31; Romans 15:1; 1 Corinthians 9:19,20; Galatians 6:1,2; Ephesians 4:16; Colossians 2:19

Verse 28

reach: lit, flee, 1 Chronicles 12:15; Nehemiah 13:28; Job 41:28; Proverbs href="/desk/?q=pr+19:26&sr=1">Proverbs 19:26

Verse 29
And thou shalt overlay the boards with gold, and make their rings of gold for places for the bars: and thou shalt overlay the bars with gold.
overlay the boards with gold

Verse 30
And thou shalt rear up the tabernacle according to the fashion thereof which was shewed thee in the mount.
rear up the tabernacle
40:2,17,18; Numbers 10:21; Joshua 18:1; Hebrews 8:2
according to the fashion
25:9,40; 27:8; Acts 7:44; Hebrews 8:5; 9:23

Verse 31
And thou shalt make a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubims shall it be made:
a vail of
36:35; 40:3,21; Leviticus 16:2,15; 2 Chronicles 3:14; Matthew 27:51; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45; Ephesians 2:14; Hebrews 9:3-8; 10:20,21
25:4; 35:6,25,35; 36:8
Argaman, a very precious colour, extracted from the purpura, or murex, a species of shell-fish; and supposed to be the same with the costly and much celebrated Tyrian purple.
Tolaâth; properly the worm whence the scarlet colour was produced; which grew in a coccus, or excrescence, of a shrub of the ilex kind, like the cochineal worm in the Opuntia of America; which is arranged under the same genus as the Arabic Kermez, which also denotes this colour.
cunning work
1; 28:15; 38:23; 2 Chronicles 2:7-13; Psalms 137:5; Song of Solomon 7:1
cherubims shall it be made

Verse 32
And thou shalt hang it upon four pillars of shittim wood overlaid with gold: their hooks shall be of gold, upon the four sockets of silver.
pillars of shittim
37; 36:38; Esther 1:6
their hooks shall be of gold
The Hebrew waveyhem, which we translate their hooks, is rendered by the LXX. [kephalides] and by the Vulgate, capiata, capitals. Hence Calmet contends, 1. That if Moses does not mean the capitals of the pillars by this word, he mentions them nowhere else; and it would seem strange, that while he describes them with so much exactness, that he should not mention the capitals; or that pillars every way so correctly formed, should have been destitute of this necessary ornament. 2. As Moses was commanded to make the wavim of the pillars, and their fillets, of silver, (ch. 27:10, 11,) and the wavim of the pillars of the vail of gold, (ch. 36:36,) and that 1,775 shekels were employed in making them, overlaying their chapiters, rasheyhem, their heads, and filleting them, (ch. 38:28,) it is more reasonable to suppose that all this is spoken of the capitals of pillars, than of any kind of hooks, especially as hooks are mentioned under the word taches or clasps. But as the root wavah seems to signify to connect, (for [wwy] in Arabic, is to marry a wife,) and as the letter [ww] wav, if it has not its name from its hook-like form, is yet used as a connective particle, it would rather appear to denote hooks, which connected the curtains or vails to the pillars. The LXX. also render it [agkulai] "handles", and [krikoi] "rings" or "clasps".

Verse 33
And thou shalt hang up the vail under the taches, that thou mayest bring in thither within the vail the ark of the testimony: and the vail shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy.
the taches
27:10; 36:36
within the vail
Genesis 9:4,5
the ark of the testimony
25:16; 40:21
the holy place
Leviticus 16:2; 1 Kings 8:6,10; 2 Chronicles 5:7-10; Hebrews 9:2,3

Verse 34
And thou shalt put the mercy seat upon the ark of the testimony in the most holy place.
put the mercy seat
25:21; 40:20; Hebrews 9:5

Verse 35
And thou shalt set the table without the vail, and the candlestick over against the table on the side of the tabernacle toward the south: and thou shalt put the table on the north side.
the table
40:22; Hebrews 9:2,8,9
the candlestick
25:31-37; 40:24

Verse 36
And thou shalt make an hanging for the door of the tent, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, wrought with needlework.
This may be termed the first vail, as it occupied the door or entrance to the tabernacle; the vail that separated the Holy of Holies is called the second vail, Heb 9:3. Mr. Morier, (Second Journey Through Persia, p. 251,) describing the tent of a chief of the Eelauts, says, "It was composed of a wooden frame of circular laths, which were fixed on the ground, and then covered over with large felts, that were fastened down by a cord, ornamented by tassels of various colours. A curtain, curiously worked by the women, with coarse needle-work of various colours, was suspended over the door. In the king of Persia's tents, magnificent perdahs, or hangings of needle-work, are suspended, as well as on the doors of the great mosques in Turkey; and these circumstances combined, will, perhaps, illustrate Ex 26:36."
36:37; 40:28; John 10:9; 14:6
the tent
35:11; 39:33; 40:29; Numbers 3:25; 9:15; 2 Samuel 7:6; Psalms 78:60
of blue

Verse 37
And thou shalt make for the hanging five pillars of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold, and their hooks shall be of gold: and thou shalt cast five sockets of brass for them.
overlay them with gold


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Bibliography Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Exodus 26:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge".

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, October 29th, 2020
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30
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