Exodus 26

Listen to Exodus 26

The Tabernacle

1 "Moreover, 1you shall make the 2tabernacle with ten curtains of 3fine twined linen and blue and purple and scarlet yarns; you shall make them with cherubim 4skillfully worked into them.
2 The length of each curtain shall be twenty-eight cubits,[a] and the breadth of each curtain four cubits; all the curtains shall be the same size.
3 Five curtains shall be coupled to one another, and the other five curtains shall be coupled to one another.
4 And you shall make loops of blue on the edge of the outermost curtain in the first set. Likewise you shall make loops on the edge of the outermost curtain in the second set.
5 Fifty loops you shall make on the one curtain, and fifty loops you shall make on the edge of the curtain that is in the second set; the loops shall be opposite one another.
6 And you shall make fifty clasps of gold, and couple the curtains one to the other with the clasps, so that the tabernacle may be a single whole.
7 "You shall also make 5curtains of goats' hair for a tent over the tabernacle; eleven curtains shall you make.
8 The length of each curtain shall be thirty cubits, and the breadth of each curtain four cubits. The eleven curtains shall be the same size.
9 You shall couple five curtains by themselves, and six curtains by themselves, and the sixth curtain you shall double over at the front of the tent.
10 You shall make fifty loops on the edge of the curtain that is outermost in one set, and fifty loops on the edge of the curtain that is outermost in the second set.
11 "You shall make fifty clasps of bronze, and put the clasps into the loops, and couple the tent together that it may be a single whole.
12 And the part that remains of the curtains of the tent, the half curtain that remains, shall hang over the back of the tabernacle.
13 And the extra that remains in the length of the curtains, the cubit on the one side, and the cubit on the other side, shall hang over the sides of the tabernacle, on this side and that side, to cover it.
14 6And you shall make for the tent a covering of tanned 7rams' skins and a covering of goatskins on top.
15 "You shall make upright frames for the tabernacle of acacia wood.
16 Ten cubits shall be the length of a frame, and a cubit and a half the breadth of each frame.
17 There shall be two tenons in each frame, for fitting together. So shall you do for all the frames of the tabernacle.
18 You shall make the frames for the tabernacle: twenty frames for the south side;
19 and forty bases of silver you shall make under the twenty frames, two bases under one frame for its two tenons, and two bases under the next frame for its two tenons;
20 and for the second side of the tabernacle, on the north side twenty frames,
21 and their forty bases of silver, two bases under one frame, and two bases under the next frame.
22 And for the rear of the tabernacle westward you shall make six frames.
23 And you shall make two frames for corners of the tabernacle in the rear;
24 they shall be separate beneath, but joined at the top, at the first ring. Thus shall it be with both of them; they shall form the two corners.
25 And there shall be eight frames, with their bases of silver, sixteen bases; two bases under one frame, and two bases under another frame.
26 "You shall make bars of acacia wood, five for the frames of the one side of the tabernacle,
27 and five bars for the frames of the other side of the tabernacle, and five bars for the frames of the side of the tabernacle at the rear westward.
28 The middle bar, halfway up the frames, shall run from end to end.
29 You shall overlay the frames with gold and shall make their rings of gold for 8holders for the bars, and you shall overlay the bars with gold.
30 Then you shall erect the tabernacle 9according to the plan for it that you were shown on the mountain.
31 10"And you shall make a veil of blue and purple and scarlet yarns and 11fine twined linen. It shall be made with cherubim 12skillfully worked into it.
32 And you shall hang it on four pillars of acacia overlaid with gold, with hooks of gold, on four bases of silver.
33 And you shall hang 13the veil from the clasps, and bring 14the ark of the testimony in there within the veil. And the veil shall separate for you the Holy Place from the Most Holy.
34 15You shall put the mercy seat on the ark of the testimony in the Most Holy Place.
35 And 16you shall set the table outside the veil, and the 17lampstand on the south side of the tabernacle opposite the table, and you shall put the table on the north side.
36 "You shall make a 18screen for the entrance of the tent, of 19blue and purple and scarlet yarns and 20fine twined linen, embroidered with needlework.
37 And you shall make for the screen five pillars of acacia, and overlay them with gold. Their hooks shall be of gold, and you shall cast five bases of bronze for them.

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?

Cross References 20

  • 1. For ver. 1-37, see Exodus 36:8-38
  • 2. Exodus 25:9
  • 3. ver. 31, 36; Exodus 28:6, 15; Exodus 36:8, 35; Exodus 39:3, 8
  • 4. ver. 31, 36; Exodus 28:6, 15; Exodus 36:8, 35; Exodus 39:3, 8
  • 5. Exodus 36:14
  • 6. Exodus 36:19
  • 7. Exodus 25:5
  • 8. See Exodus 25:27
  • 9. See Exodus 25:40
  • 10. Exodus 36:35; [Leviticus 16:2; 2 Chronicles 3:14; Matthew 27:51; Hebrews 9:3]
  • 11. ver. 1
  • 12. ver. 1
  • 13. [See ver. 31 above]
  • 14. See Exodus 16:34
  • 15. Exodus 25:21; Exodus 40:20
  • 16. Exodus 40:22; Hebrews 9:2
  • 17. Exodus 40:24
  • 18. Exodus 27:16; Exodus 36:37
  • 19. ver. 1, 31; Exodus 25:4
  • 20. [See ver. 31 above]

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. A cubit was about 18 inches or 45 centimeters

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

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.