Imágenes de páginas


tains more, of four cubits broad each, to be sewed together, to cover the remaining fourteen cubits : the west end would require one curtain; and the remaining half curtain, to make up the five, was appointed to overlap the curtain at the end, in order the more effectually to screen the ark and the mercy seat from the in: juries of the weather. It was not without reason, then, that the eleven curtains were sewed together into two pieces : for, the one piece of six curtains made a double covering to the door, and extended sixteen cubits along the roof and sides; and the other piece of five curtains covered the remaining fourteen cubits of roof and sides, and the west end; and they were connected together by fifty loops and fifty taches of brass when laid on the tabernacle. Yet a difficulty still remains, viz. how the curtains at the ends were made to fit? There was, indeed, enough in both places, since the superficial extent of each end was ten cubits in height, by ten in breadth in the inside, or twelve without, (supposing the boards at the corners to have been a cubit and a-half wide) which would make them one hundred and twenty superficial cubits; and each of the curtains was thirty cubits in length, by four in breadth, or one hundred and twenty superficial cubits. But it is not easy to see how they could be put on without cutting : for they were only four cubits broad, or eight cubits when sewed together, while the ends were each ten cubits square. It is likely, then, that the curtain for the west end, and the two curtains for the east end, or entrance, before they were sewed to the other curtains, would each of them be cut into three lengths of ten cubits, and joined together by the sides, so as to make them twelve cubits wide; that they might thus be the requisite depth of ten cubits from the top to the bottom, and twelve cubits from side to side. Such, then, appears to have been the nature of the covering of the cloth made of goats' hair. And it will be noticed, that as the curtains of goats' hair were thirty cubits long, while the linen curtains under them were only twenty-eight, this hair-cloth covering would reach a cubit lower, all around, than the linen covering, and thereby defend it completely from the weather. In other words, it would descend on each side till it reached the silver sockets of the foundation.

a Ex. xxvi. 12.

bEx, xsvi. 10, 11; IXIvi. 17, 18,

Still, however, a very important part was wanting. For it must have been noticed that the roof of the taber, nacle, so far as we have come, was perfectly flat, which would have rendered it pervious to every shower. It was therefore necessary that a sloping roof, of some kind or other, should be formed to throw off the rain; and this was accomplished by a double covering-1st. Of rams' skins, dyed red; and 2dly. Of badgers' skins, as our translators give it, or the skins of the won thehesh, whatever species of animal that may have been : unless we explain it, not of an animal, but of a colour, as all the ancient versions do. Thus the LXX. throughout render it iaxivdos, and iaxıvaivos; Jerome, hyacinthus and hyacinthinus ; Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodosian in Exod. xxvi. 5, render it iarhiva, violet-coloured : and the Jewish traditions make it blue. According to these, therefore, this uppermost covering was not of badgers' skins particularly, but of skins dyed azure, or sky-blue, from whatever animals they were taken. Thus there were three coverings for the door, two for the sides, and four for the roof.

Hitherto we have attended only to the external appearance of the tabernacle. Let us next enter that sa

[ocr errors][merged small]

cred tent, and examine both its divisions and furniture. It does not appear, from any express passage of Scripture, in what proportions the interior of the tabernacle was divided : but as Solomon's 'Temple, of sixty cubits in length, was divided into two parts of forty and twenty, the first for the holy, and the second for the most holy place;so it has commonly been believed, that the thirty cubits in length, in the tabernacle, was divided into similar proportions, of twenty cubits for the holy, and ten for the most holy. Thus the holy place would be twenty cubits long, ten wide, and ten high, and the most holy place would be a space of ten cubits every way. The division between the two places was formed by four pillars of shittim wood overlaid with gold, like the pillars at the door of the tabernacle, two cubits and a-half distant from each other; only they stood on sockets of silver, in place of sockets of brass :) and on these pillars was hung a veil of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, with cherubim of cunning work. It is not said whether the holy and most holy places had the earth for their floor, or a floor of boards ; but it is likely that they had the latter, as being the better finishing. It is evident, however, that neither the holy, nor most holy places, had any window. Hence the need of the candlestick in the one, for the service that was performed in it; and the darkness of the other would create reverence, and might perhaps have suggested the similar contrivance of the Adyta in the heathen temples.

But let us attend to the furniture which they contained ; and first, of the holy place, in which were three

l objects worthy of notice, viz. the altar of incense, the table for the shew bread, and the candlestick for the light. As for the altar of incense, it was made of shittim wood, and completely covered with plates of gold, a cubit in length, a cubit in breadth, and two cubits in height; the horns at the corners of it being also of the same materials. And it had a crown, or ornamented cornice, of gold, round about; and four rings of gold, under the crown, for the staves which carried it from place to place; which staves were also of shittim wood, overlaid with gold. It was on this altar that incense, compounded of equal parts of stacté, onycha, galbanum, and frankincense, was commanded to be burnt every morning and evening, during the time of the trimming of the lamps; and its position was in the middle of the house, before the veil. On the north side of the altar of incense, or on the right hand of the priest as he entered, and was looking to the most holy place, stood the table for the shew bread. It was also made of shittim wood, overlaid with gold, and was two cubits in length, a cubit in breadth, and a cubit and a half in height, having a crown or ornamental cornice round about; a bor. der of an hand-breadth further out, above the crown; and a second crown or ornamental cornice above the border.e Thus its real dimensions were two cubits and two hand-breadths in breadth, and a cubit and a half in height. It had four rings of gold for the staves which carried it; which staves were also of shittim wood, overlaid with gold, and it had dishes, spoons, covers, and bowls attached to it, all of pure gold.' It was on this table that they set the shew bread on the sabbath, and replaced it with other loaves on the following sabbath. The only remaining article of furniture in the holy place was the candlestick for the light; which stood on the south side of the holy place, or on the left hand of the priest as he entered that sacred apartment. It was of beaten gold, and consisted of the following parts :- 1st. The foot of the shaft, which might either have been with three feet or a circular base, for no particular shape is mentioned. 2d. That part of the shaft which was above the base, and below the first pair of branches. This was ornamented with the appearance of bowls, knops, and flowers. 3d. The first pair of branches, which went out from the shaft, ascending in the form of a semicircle, to support two lamps, and adorned with the appearance of an almond, a knop, and a flower, three times repeated. 4th. A knop on the shaft, to divide between the first and second pair of branches. 5th. The second pair of branches for other two lamps, of the same form as the first pair. 6th. Another knop on the shaft, to divide between the second and third pairs of branches. 7th. A third pair of branches, for other two lamps of the same shape as the former. And, 8th. The top of the shaft, on which was another lamp, making seven in all. These, with their snuffers and snuff-dishes, were made of a talent, or one hundred and twenty five pounds Troy, of pure gold;" and at four pounds sterling the ounce, would have been worth six thousand pounds sterling. It was kept burning, with pure beaten olive oil, morning and evening.

b Ex, xxvi. 32 ; Xxxvi. 36.

* 1 Kings vi, 17. 20.
c Ex. xxvi. 31-33; xxxvi. 35.

a Ex. XXX, 1-5; xxxyii. 25-28. * * Ex. xxx. 610; xl. 26, 27. • Ex. xxv. 23-25; Xxxvii. 10-12. 51 Chron ix. 32.

b Ex, xxx. 34-38.

d Ex, xxvi. 35; xl. 22, 23. f Ex. xxv. 26-30; xxxvii .13-17.

Having thus seen the articles worthy of notice in the holy place, let us next enter the Most Holy, and examine the things for which it was remarkable. These were three; the ark with the things contained in it, the mercy seat, and the cherubim.

* Ex xxvi. 35; xi. 24, 25. 6 Ex, XXv 31-39; 'sevii. 17-21. Num. viii. 24. e Ex, xxvii, 20, 21. Num. viü, 1-4.

« AnteriorContinuar »