The Tabernacle its construction and furnishings”, Part 37

The Construction or Erecting of the Tabernacle

Although it has been said that it is not always necessary for us to know all the various details
or exact designs and dimensions of how everything in the Tabernacle was constructed that
sufficient for us it is merely to understand its true importance and purpose as set forth
nevertheless one can’t help but to be curious
. For instance how did the Israelites manage to erect
the upright frames of the tabernacle, regardless of what some may have imagined as to their true
weight nevertheless due to their considerable size and dimensions (15 foot long, 2 foot wide and 8
inches thick) they would still prove rather cumbersome to manage were it not for the aid of some sort
of mechanical device to assist them in their erection. Bear in mind that at the time they were without
the aid of the “
pulley” as we have today as this is an invention of a more recent age, they would it
seem to have been reliant upon the aid of the fulcrum and leverage even as those who built the
Pyramids were

Another question in regards to the erection of the tabernacle might be as to how they managed to erect
the curtains over the tabernacle structure, recall that these curtains were anywhere from 30 to 60 feet in
length and 40 plus feet wide and regardless of how they were folded or rolled together they would have
been enormously cumbersome and heavy. Let us take for example the first curtain, most likely the
lightest of the bunch, now typically when one thinks of linen they imagine those nice light linen sheets
which cover their beds and pillow cases, however this was not the case with the curtains which covered
the tabernacle, these curtains were design for a specific purpose in mind, as they were going to be
constantly exposed to the elements and climate of the region it was necessary first that they be of
sufficient substance enough to withstand the winds encounter in this region otherwise they should
shortly be torn to shreds most especially was this important of those curtains used in the courtyard.

Furthermore as we have learned from our previous studies on the Tabernacle the only light found in the
Holy” was that emitted by the Golden Lamp stand, no outside light was permitted in this area save
that of the lamp stand thus typifying that the spirit begotten receive their light, their guidance strictly
by the Holy Spirits light, not by any outside worldly light. Thus we would assume that the First Vail
being typical of all the other curtains consisting of linen was of a sufficient density which would not
allow much if any outside light to pass through.

Now if this is true, and we believe it to have been so, how then did the Israelites manage to lift
these enormous curtains whether originally folded or rolled spanning their full length alongside
the tabernacle structure (45 feet in length) up a 15 foot high wall and then traverse another
15 foot span over a structure without a ceiling or roof?

Another question one which we have already partially addressed (that is in regards to how the Ark of
the Covenant passed beyond the four pillars into the Most Holy, See Reply #28 or Part Number 24 if
you prefer) but now the question is how did the Israelites manage to get this self same object, an
object which has a face diameter of 2 ½ cubits through a space of only 1 ½ cubits, the distance
between each of the pillars at the front or entrance to the tabernacle proper.

We hope with the following illustrations to possibly answer some of these questions, although
bear in mind that
these are only suggestive possibilities and are not to be considered as the
exact procedures which were followed

Now what we are looking at here is from a bird’s eye view looking straight down over the sons
of Merari under the direction of Ithamar the son of Aaron as the work of preparing the
foundation of the Tabernacle, preparing the ground for the setting of the silver sockets was
(Num 4:29-33) The first work of course to be done following the Lord's having
designated the précised spot upon which the Tabernacle was to be erected by the
settling of
the cloud
” (Num 9:17) was to establish the dimensions and boundaries of the Tabernacle (this
was also necessary first so that the surrounding camp, the Children of Israel might likewise know
precisely where and in what particular orientation they were to erect their tents). This procedure was
accomplished by précised measurements followed most likely by the placement of batter boards and
lines used to establish the dimensions and heights of the foundation for the workers. It seems most
reasonable to believe that the Israelites employed the same method of measuring as had proven
successful while in their captivity in Egypt.

First by establishing a central or focal point from which all subsequent measurements could be based, a
coiled rope of sufficient length (100 cubits most likely) knotted off at intervals of one cubit was held
firmly at the axis point this could have either been held by a man or simply tied to the central rod or
pole used to mark the center of the Most Holy, (tying to a rod stuck into the ground sufficiently deep
enough to hold it in place while yet still allowing it to rotate on its axis would most likely yield the best

Now from here 5 cubits or five knots on the rope would be counted off then by circumventing the axis
point both the length and width of the Most Holy could be established, likewise marking off 7 cubits
following the same procedure would establish the two rear corners of the Tabernacle enclosure, and if
this procedure be continued at an even a greater distance we would eventually be able to even establish
the boundaries of the courtyard itself.

This picture depicts Ithamar directing the work of placing the “Silver Sockets” into their perspective
positions, each socket consisting of one talent of silver (
Exod 38:27) estimated to weight between 75
to 100 pounds each, thus requiring at least two men to properly set and place each socket into its
proper position. Note the stick located at the center of what will eventually be the floor of the Most Holy,
this sick (more likely a small rod or pole of sufficient strength) as we had stated marks the central point
of axis from which all the various walls and corners of both the tabernacle and the courtyard were to be
determined it most likely remained in this position until the structure was erected so that everything
could be double checked. Likewise in this illustration you will note the batter board lines used to properly
align the sockets and to check for heights.

In this particular illustration we have a look at what the “Silver Sockets” might have looked like once they
had been properly set in position, at this point copper pins were driven in the sockets so as to
additionally secure them into their perspective positions likewise adding stability to the foundation. The
next step would be to back fill around the exterior of the sockets (if needed depending upon the terrain)
as well as back filling the interior. By completely filling in this interior area with sand or dirt one primary
and two secondary purposes are fulfilled. Beginning with the secondary purpose by back filling over the
sockets you afford still greater stability for the foundation, which must prove sufficiently ridged enough
to support the upright frames and secondly you cover the copper pins which have no part in the
tabernacle picture and thus should not be exposed interfering with the type. Now as for the primary
reason the interior floor needed to be filled and leveled off even with the top height of the silver sockets
this was to insure that the proper floor to ceiling height of 10 cubits was maintained, a very important
part of the tabernacle type.

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