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Exodus 26:36-37 meaning

The final item discussed in chapter 26 is the curtain (or "screen") covering the entrance to the tabernacle from the outside. It was to be similar to the veil between the Holy of Holies and the Holy Place, but there is no mention of cherubim here.

Verses 36 - 37 describe how the entrance to the tabernacle was to be made. It was to be a screen for the doorway of the tent. The word for screen (Heb. "masak") here is different than the word translated "veil" in v. 31. It was to be made using blue and purple and scarlet material (likely wool) and fine twisted linen , just like the curtain in v. 31. As with other items in the tabernacle, it was to be the work of a weaver, i.e., a master craftsman.

To support the screen, five pillars of acacia were to be made and overlaid with gold. They were to have hooks also being of gold. To connect the pillars, there needed to be five sockets of bronze. The sockets (Heb. "eden," also translated "bases") served as footings for the pillars of the screen and were to be made of bronze. Note that the sockets for the veil were made of silver.

The tabernacle was designed to reflect the glorious presence of the Almighty Suzerain LORD among His vassals (Israel). It was to be His dwelling place among His people. It was designed to both display His presence and to conceal it. This is likely a picture of our current state, where the glory of God is readily apparent in all He has made (Psalm 19) but His glory is cloaked, so it can be ignored if someone desires to go their own way (Romans 1:19-22).

Another aspect of this chapter is that all of the items described here were built by skilled craftsmen. These people were Spirit-enabled master craftsmen (Exodus 31:2 - 11). But in spite of its beauty, the tabernacle and all its contents served as a "copy and shadow of the heavenly things" that are actually real, in heaven (Heb. 8:5).


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