26:31 “You are to make a special curtain 4 of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn and fine twisted linen; it is to be made 5 with cherubim, the work of an artistic designer. 26:32 You are to hang it 6 with gold hooks 7 on four posts of acacia wood overlaid with gold, set in 8 four silver bases. 26:33 You are to hang this curtain under the clasps and bring the ark of the testimony in there behind the curtain. 9 The curtain will make a division for you between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place. 10
1 sn This chapter will show that there were two sets of curtains and two sets of coverings that went over the wood building to make the tabernacle or dwelling place. The curtains of fine linen described above could be seen only by the priests from inside. Above that was the curtain of goats’ hair. Then over that were the coverings, an inner covering of rams’ skins dyed red and an outer covering of hides of fine leather. The movement is from the inside to the outside because it is God’s dwelling place; the approach of the worshiper would be the opposite. The pure linen represented the righteousness of God, guarded by the embroidered cherubim; the curtain of goats’ hair was a reminder of sin through the daily sin offering of a goat; the covering of rams’ skins dyed red was a reminder of the sacrifice and the priestly ministry set apart by blood, and the outer covering marked the separation between God and the world. These are the interpretations set forth by Kaiser; others vary, but not greatly (see W. C. Kaiser, Jr., “Exodus,” EBC 2:459).
2 sn This curtain will serve “for a tent over the tabernacle,” as a dwelling place.
3 tn Heb “you will make them”
4 tn Although translated “curtain” (traditionally “veil,” so ASV, NAB, NASB) this is a different word from the one used earlier of the tent curtains, so “special curtain” is used. The word פָרֹכֶת (farokhet) seems to be connected with a verb that means “to shut off” and was used with a shrine. This curtain would form a barrier in the approach to God (see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 289).
5 tn The verb is the third masculine singular form, but no subject is expressed. It could be translated “one will make” or as a passive. The verb means “to make,” but probably has the sense of embroidering both here and in v. 1.
6 tn Heb “put it.”
7 tn This clause simply says “and their hooks gold,” but is taken as a circumstantial clause telling how the veil will be hung.
8 tn Heb “on four silver bases.”
9 tn The traditional expression is “within the veil,” literally “into the house (or area) of the (special) curtain.”
10 tn Or “the Holy of Holies.”