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Exodus 26:1-6

Context
The Tabernacle

26:1 1 “The tabernacle itself 2  you are to make with 3  ten curtains of fine twisted linen and blue and purple and scarlet; 4  you are to make them with 5  cherubim that are the work of an artistic designer. 26:2 The length of each 6  curtain is to be forty-two feet, and the width of each curtain is to be six feet 7  – the same size for each of the curtains. 26:3 Five curtains are to be joined, 8  one to another, 9  and the other 10  five curtains are to be joined, one to another. 26:4 You are to make loops of blue material along the edge of the end curtain in one set, and in the same way you are to make loops 11  in the outer edge of the end curtain in the second set. 26:5 You are to make fifty loops on the one curtain, and you are to make fifty loops on the end curtain which is on the second set, so that the loops are opposite one to another. 12  26:6 You are to make fifty gold clasps and join the curtains together with the clasps, so that the tabernacle is a unit. 13 

1 sn This chapter is given over to the details of the structure itself, the curtains, coverings, boards and walls and veil. The passage can be studied on one level for its function both practically and symbolically for Israel’s worship. On another level it can be studied for its typology, for the tabernacle and many of its parts speak of Christ. For this one should see the commentaries.

2 tn The word order in Hebrew thrusts the direct object to the front for particular emphasis. After the first couple of pieces of furniture are treated (chap. 25), attention turns to the tabernacle itself.

3 tn This is for the adverbial accusative explaining how the dwelling place is to be made.

4 sn S. R. Driver suggests that the curtains were made with threads dyed with these colors (Exodus, 280). Perhaps the colored threads were used for embroidering the cherubim in the curtains.

5 tn The construction is difficult in this line because of the word order. “Cherubim” is an adverbial accusative explaining how they were to make the curtains. And מַעֲשֵׂה חֹשֵׁב (maaseh khoshev) means literally “work of a designer”; it is in apposition to “cherubim.” The Hebrew participle means “designer” or “deviser” so that one could render this “of artistic designs in weaving” (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 280-81). B. Jacob says that it refers to “artistic weavers” (Exodus, 789).

6 tn Heb “one” (so KJV).

7 tn Heb “twenty-eight cubits” long and “four cubits” wide.

8 tn This is the active participle, not the passive. It would normally be rendered “joining together.” The Bible uses the active because it has the result of the sewing in mind, namely, that every curtain accompanies another (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 348).

9 tn Heb “a woman to her sister,” this form of using nouns to express “one to another” is selected because “curtains” is a feminine noun (see GKC 448 §139.e).

10 tn The phrase “the other” has been supplied.

11 tn Here “loops” has been supplied.

12 tn Heb “a woman to her sister.”

13 tn Heb “one”; KJV “it shall be one tabernacle”; NRSV “that the tabernacle may be one whole”; NLT “a single unit.”



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