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*Scripture verses covered in this section's commentary are noted in italics

Exodus 36:20-30 meaning

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Exodus 36:20
  • Exodus 36:21
  • Exodus 36:22
  • Exodus 36:23
  • Exodus 36:24
  • Exodus 36:25
  • Exodus 36:26
  • Exodus 36:27
  • Exodus 36:28
  • Exodus 36:29
  • Exodus 36:30

The boards for the walls of the tabernacle are built. They were made according to the specifications in Exodus 26:15 – 23.

The construction of the tabernacle’s framework begins. First, Bezalel, the chief craftsman, made the boards for the tabernacle of acacia wood, standing upright. The curtains would then be draped over these boards.

The word translated boards (Heb. “qerashim”) here is translated “frames” in other translations (NIV, NET, NRSV, for example). Many scholars think that solid pieces of wood (like plywood) is not what is in view here. They think that these boards were frames made of vertical planks connected to each other with horizontal planks, forming a ladder-like construction.

Verse 21 states the size of each board.Ten cubits was the length of each board and one and a half cubits the width of each board. This would make each board around fifteen feet long (4.57 meters) and two and one-quarter feet wide (.68 meters).

To join the boards together, there were two tenons for each board, fitted to one another; thus he did for all the boards of the tabernacle. The tenons (pieces of wood that project out) provided an efficient way to join one board to another.

This was how Bezalel made the boards for the tabernacle:

  • He made twenty boards for the south side (v. 23).
  • Then, he made forty sockets of silver under the twenty boards (v. 24)
    • Two sockets under one board for its two tenons
    • Two sockets under another board for its two tenons
  • On the second side of the tabernacle, on the north side (v. 25):
    • Twenty boards (v. 25)
    • Forty sockets of silver (v. 26)
      • Two sockets under one board
      • Two sockets under another board
  • For the rear of the tabernacle, to the west, he made six boards (v. 27)
  • He made two boards for the corners of the tabernacle at the rear (v. 28). The word for corners (Heb. “miqsoa’”) can also mean “angles.”
  • They were double beneath, and together they were complete to its top to the first ring; thus he did with both of them for the two corners (v. 29). This formed a sturdy support for the angles.
  • There were eight boards with their sockets of silver, sixteen sockets, two under every board (v. 30)

Biblical Text

20 Then he made the boards for the tabernacle of acacia wood, standing upright. 21 Ten cubits was the length of each board and one and a half cubits the width of each board. 22 There were two tenons for each board, fitted to one another; thus he did for all the boards of the tabernacle. 23 He made the boards for the tabernacle: twenty boards for the south side; 24 and he made forty sockets of silver under the twenty boards; two sockets under one board for its two tenons and two sockets under another board for its two tenons. 25 Then for the second side of the tabernacle, on the north side, he made twenty boards, 26 and their forty sockets of silver; two sockets under one board and two sockets under another board. 27 For the rear of the tabernacle, to the west, he made six boards. 28 He made two boards for the corners of the tabernacle at the rear. 29 They were double beneath, and together they were complete to its top to the first ring; thus he did with both of them for the two corners. 30 There were eight boards with their sockets of silver, sixteen sockets, two under every board.




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