Exodus 26

Instructions for building the dwelling

1 Make the dwelling with ten curtains of fine twisted linen and blue, purple, and deep red yarns. Work figures of winged heavenly creatures into their design.
2 Each curtain should be forty-two feet long and each curtain six feet wide. All the curtains should be the same size.
3 Five curtains will be joined to each other as one set, while the other five curtains will be joined together as a second set.
4 Make loops of blue thread on the edge of the outer curtain in the first set. Do the same on the edge of the outer curtain in the second set.
5 Make fifty loops on the one curtain in the first set and fifty loops on the edge of the curtain that is in the second set. The loops should be opposite each other.
6 Then make fifty gold clasps. Join the curtains to each other with the clasps so that the dwelling becomes one whole structure.
7 You should also make curtains of goats' hair for a tent over the dwelling. Make eleven curtains.
8 Each curtain should be forty-five feet long and each curtain six feet wide. The eleven curtains should all be the same size.
9 Join five of the curtains together, and join the six other curtains together. Double over the sixth curtain at the front of the tent.
10 Make fifty loops on the edge of the outer curtain in one set and fifty loops on the edge of the outer curtain in the second set.
11 Make fifty copper clasps. Put the clasps into the loops and join the tent together so that it becomes one whole structure.
12 The extra cloth that is left over from the tent curtains, that is, the half curtain that remains, should hang over the back of the dwelling.
13 Eighteen inches on one side and eighteen inches on the other side of the leftover length of the tent's curtains will hang over the two sides of the dwelling to cover it.
14 Then for the tent, make a covering of rams' skins dyed red and an outer covering of beaded leather.
15 Make acacia-wood boards to stand upright as a frame for the dwelling.
16 Each board will be fifteen feet long and twenty-seven inches wide.
17 Put two pegs on each board for joining them to each other. Do this for all the dwelling's boards.
18 Make twenty boards for the dwelling's southern side.
19 Then make forty silver bases to go under the twenty boards. There will be two bases under the first board for its two pegs, two bases under the next board for its two pegs, and so on.
20 For the dwelling's other side on the north, make twenty boards
21 and their forty silver bases, two bases under the first board, two bases under the next board, and so on.
22 For the back of the dwelling on the west, make six boards.
23 Make two additional boards for the dwelling's rear corners.
24 They should be spread out at the bottom but joined together at the top with one ring. In this way, these two boards will form the two corners.
25 And so there will be eight boards with their sixteen silver bases, two bases under the first board, two bases under the next board, and so on.
26 You should also make acacia-wood bars: five for the boards on one side of the dwelling,
27 five bars for the boards on the other side of the dwelling, and five bars for the boards on the back wall of the dwelling on the west.
28 The middle bar, halfway up the boards, should run from one end to the other.
29 Cover the boards with gold. Make gold rings to house the bars. Cover the bars with gold.
30 Then set up the dwelling according to the plan for it that you were shown on the mountain.
31 Make a veil of blue, purple, and deep red yarns and of fine twisted linen. Work figures of winged heavenly creatures into its design.
32 Hang it on four acacia-wood posts covered in gold. They should have gold hooks and stand on four silver bases.
33 Hang the veil under the clasps, and put the chest containing the covenant there behind the veil. The veil will separate for you the holy from the holiest space.
34 Place the gold cover on the chest containing the covenant in the holiest space.
35 Place the table outside the veil, and set the lampstand opposite the table by the south wall of the dwelling. Place the table by the north wall.
36 Make a screen for the tent's entrance of blue, purple, and deep red yarns and of fine twisted linen, decorated with needlework.
37 Make five acacia-wood posts for the screen. Cover the posts with gold. Their hooks should be gold. Cast five copper bases for the posts.

Exodus 26 Commentary

Chapter 26

The curtains of the tabernacle. (1-6) The curtains of goats' hair. (7-14) The boards, sockets, and bars. (15-30) The vail of the holy of holies, and for the entrance. (31-37)

Verses 1-6 God manifested his presence among the Israelites in a tabernacle or tent, because of their condition in the wilderness. God suits the tokens of his favour, and the gifts of his grace, to his people's state and wants. The curtains of the tabernacle were to be very rich. They were to be embroidered with cherubim, signifying that the angels of God pitch their tents round about the church, ( Psalms 34:7 ) .

Verses 7-14 The curtains of meaner materials, being made both longer and broader, covered the others, and were defended by coverings of skins. The whole represents the person and doctrine of Christ, and the church of true Christians, and all heavenly things, which outwardly are mean, but inwardly, and in the sight of God, are glorious and precious.

Verses 15-30 The sockets of silver each weighed about 115 pounds; they were placed in rows on the ground. In every pair of these sockets, a strong board of shittim-wood, covered with plates of gold, was fitted by mortises and tenons. Thus walls were formed for the two sides, and for the west end. The wall was further held together by bars, which passed through rings of gold. Over this the curtains were spread. Though movable, it was strong and firm. The materials were very costly. In all this it was a type of the church of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief Corner-stone, ( ephesians 2:20 ephesians 2:21 ) .

Verses 31-37 A vail, or curtain, separated the holy place from the most holy place. It was hung upon pillars. This vail was for a partition between the holy place and the most holy; which forbade any to look into the holiest of all. The apostle tells what was the meaning of this vail, ( Hebrews 9:8 ) . That the ceremonial law could not make the comers thereunto perfect, nor would the observance of it bring men to heaven; the way into the holiest of all was not made manifest, while the first tabernacle was standing. Life and immortality lay hidden till they were brought to light by the gospel; which was signified by the rending of this vail at the death of Christ, ( Matthew 27:51 ) . We have now boldness to enter into the holiest, in all acts of worship, by the blood of Jesus; yet such as obliges us to holy reverence. Another vail was for the outer door of the tabernacle. This vail was all the defence the tabernacle had. God takes care of his church on earth. A curtain shall be, if God please to make it so, as strong a defence to his house, as gates of brass and bars of iron. With this typical description of Christ and his church before us, what is our judgment of these matters? Do we see any glory in the person of Christ? any excellence in his character? any thing precious in his salvation? or any wisdom in the doctrine of the cross? Will our religion bear examination? and are we more careful to approve our hearts to God than our characters toward men?

Footnotes 1

Chapter Summary


In this chapter a description is given of the tabernacle itself, and first of its inward curtains, of their number, matter, length, and breadth, and the manner of coupling them together, Ex 26:1-6, and then of the outward curtains of it, their number, matter, length, and breadth, and coupling, and how disposed of, Ex 26:7-13, and next of the two coverings of the tabernacle, of rams' skins and badgers' skins, Ex 22:14, the boards for the tabernacle are also described, with their tenons and sockets, Ex 26:15-25 and the bars and rings for it, by which it was kept firm together, Ex 26:26-30, an account is given of the vail between the holy and the most holy place, Ex 26:31-35, and of the hanging for the door of the tabernacle, Ex 26:36,37.

Exodus 26 Commentaries

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