Exodus 26

The Tabernacle

1 “Make the tabernacle with ten curtains of finely twisted linen and blue, purple and scarlet yarn, with cherubim woven into them by a skilled worker.
2 All the curtains are to be the same size—twenty-eight cubits long and four cubits wide.[a]
3 Join five of the curtains together, and do the same with the other five.
4 Make loops of blue material along the edge of the end curtain in one set, and do the same with the end curtain in the other set.
5 Make fifty loops on one curtain and fifty loops on the end curtain of the other set, with the loops opposite each other.
6 Then make fifty gold clasps and use them to fasten the curtains together so that the tabernacle is a unit.
7 “Make curtains of goat hair for the tent over the tabernacle—eleven altogether.
8 All eleven curtains are to be the same size—thirty cubits long and four cubits wide.[b]
9 Join five of the curtains together into one set and the other six into another set. Fold the sixth curtain double at the front of the tent.
10 Make fifty loops along the edge of the end curtain in one set and also along the edge of the end curtain in the other set.
11 Then make fifty bronze clasps and put them in the loops to fasten the tent together as a unit.
12 As for the additional length of the tent curtains, the half curtain that is left over is to hang down at the rear of the tabernacle.
13 The tent curtains will be a cubit[c] longer on both sides; what is left will hang over the sides of the tabernacle so as to cover it.
14 Make for the tent a covering of ram skins dyed red, and over that a covering of the other durable leather.[d]
15 “Make upright frames of acacia wood for the tabernacle.
16 Each frame is to be ten cubits long and a cubit and a half wide,[e]
17 with two projections set parallel to each other. Make all the frames of the tabernacle in this way.
18 Make twenty frames for the south side of the tabernacle
19 and make forty silver bases to go under them—two bases for each frame, one under each projection.
20 For the other side, the north side of the tabernacle, make twenty frames
21 and forty silver bases—two under each frame.
22 Make six frames for the far end, that is, the west end of the tabernacle,
23 and make two frames for the corners at the far end.
24 At these two corners they must be double from the bottom all the way to the top and fitted into a single ring; both shall be like that.
25 So there will be eight frames and sixteen silver bases—two under each frame.
26 “Also make crossbars of acacia wood: five for the frames on one side of the tabernacle,
27 five for those on the other side, and five for the frames on the west, at the far end of the tabernacle.
28 The center crossbar is to extend from end to end at the middle of the frames.
29 Overlay the frames with gold and make gold rings to hold the crossbars. Also overlay the crossbars with gold.
30 “Set up the tabernacle according to the plan shown you on the mountain.
31 “Make a curtain of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen, with cherubim woven into it by a skilled worker.
32 Hang it with gold hooks on four posts of acacia wood overlaid with gold and standing on four silver bases.
33 Hang the curtain from the clasps and place the ark of the covenant law behind the curtain. The curtain will separate the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place.
34 Put the atonement cover on the ark of the covenant law in the Most Holy Place.
35 Place the table outside the curtain on the north side of the tabernacle and put the lampstand opposite it on the south side.
36 “For the entrance to the tent make a curtain of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen—the work of an embroiderer.
37 Make gold hooks for this curtain and five posts of acacia wood overlaid with gold. And cast five bronze bases 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 22

  • 1. Exodus 29:42; Exodus 40:2; Leviticus 8:10; Numbers 1:50; Joshua 22:19,29; 2 Samuel 7:2; 1 Kings 1:39; Acts 7:44; Hebrews 8:2,5; Hebrews 13:10; S Revelation 21:3
  • 2. S Exodus 25:18
  • 3. ver 8
  • 4. ver 11
  • 5. ver 2
  • 6. ver 6
  • 7. Numbers 3:25
  • 8. Exodus 36:19; Numbers 4:25
  • 9. ver 21,25,32; Exodus 38:27
  • 10. S ver 19
  • 11. Exodus 40:2; Numbers 9:15
  • 12. S Exodus 25:9; Exodus 25:9,40; Acts 7:44; Hebrews 8:5
  • 13. Numbers 4:5; 2 Chronicles 3:14; Matthew 27:51; Luke 23:45; Hebrews 9:3
  • 14. S Exodus 25:18; Exodus 36:35
  • 15. S ver 19
  • 16. Exodus 27:21; Exodus 35:12; Exodus 40:3,21; Leviticus 16:2; Numbers 3:31; Numbers 4:5; 2 Chronicles 3:14
  • 17. Leviticus 16:2,16; 1 Kings 6:16; 1 Kings 7:50; 1 Kings 8:6; 2 Chronicles 3:8; 2 Chronicles 5:7; Ezekiel 41:4; Hebrews 9:2-3
  • 18. Exodus 25:21; Exodus 30:6; Exodus 37:6; Exodus 40:20; Leviticus 16:2; Hebrews 9:5
  • 19. S Exodus 25:23; Hebrews 9:2
  • 20. S Exodus 25:31; Exodus 40:22,24
  • 21. Exodus 35:15; Exodus 40:5,28
  • 22. Psalms 45:14; Ezekiel 16:10; Ezekiel 26:16; Ezekiel 27:7

Footnotes 5

  • [a]. That is, about 42 feet long and 6 feet wide or about 13 meters long and 1.8 meters wide
  • [b]. That is, about 45 feet long and 6 feet wide or about 13.5 meters long and 1.8 meters wide
  • [c]. That is, about 18 inches or about 45 centimeters
  • [d]. Possibly the hides of large aquatic mammals (see 25:5)
  • [e]. That is, about 15 feet long and 2 1/4 feet wide or about 4.5 meters long and 68 centimeters wide

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