The Tabernacle – The Door

The Tabernacle Door

Exo 26:36-37 Exo 36:37-38

A. Its construction

1. dimensions – implied but not explicitly stated

filled the opening at the end of the tent facing east

likely of the same size as the inner veil – 15′ x 15′

2. materials

the same basic materials as the inner veil: white linen woven with colored threads

3. colors and pattern

the same colors as the inner veil:

white linen ground

woven with blue, purple and scarlet stripes or checks

did not have cherubim embroidered on it

4. posts and bases

Five acacia-wood posts placed approx. 3′ apart, gold bands or capitals and hooks at the top, set in cast bronze bases

unlike the posts for the inner veil

only the tops of these were gilt, not the entire length

cast bronze rather than cast silver bases

5. installation

This Screen was to be hung by golden hooks onto five columns of acacia overlaid with gold, but since these columns were apparently open to the outer court, which is not shielded from view by the rams’ hide and sea-cows’ hide covers, their five pedestals were to be made of copper, like the various implements of the outer court (cf. 27:1–8, 10; 30:17–18). As Haran has shown (Temples, 158–65), there is a “material gradation” from more to less precious materials the greater the distance from the Holiest Space and the Holy Space. Word Biblical Commentary

B. Its use

1. protection

provide protection for the furniture and items within the Holy Place

served as a door for the tent

would limit the amount of dust and debris that would enter and coat the showbread and pitchers of wine, also the lampstand and altar of incense

2. restriction

restrict the view of the Holy Place from worshippers in the Outer Court

called a screen or hanging rather than a veil or curtain

not intended to prevent but rather limit access to the Holy Place

as with the veil, its nature implies a temporary restriction

C. Its significance

1. The sanctuary is distinct from the courtyard

Holy things are set apart for God’s use – they are to be treated accordingly

The place of worship is separated from the “common area” implying worship (as in meeting with God) is to be distinguished from the rest of life; see Mark 11:15-19

2. The priesthood is distinct from the laity

Only priests from Aaron’s tribe were allowed to enter the Holy Place Numbers 3:5-10

The laity could see into the Holy Place but were not permitted to enter

This distinction was eliminated with the institution of the new covenant

see 1 Peter 2:4-10 Revelation 5:10 Exodus 19:5-6

3. The church is distinct from the world-at-large

THE CURTAIN AT THE ENTRANCE symbolises the fact, that there is a division between the Church and the world. The curtain may be lifted at times; but the world has only glimpses of the real inner life of the Church, does not fully see it, does not comprehend it. The life consists in worship — in contemplation, prayer, and praise. The world “cares for none of these things.” It may glance curiously at the external fabric, and scoff a little at the contrast between the homely goats’ hair that shows itself in one part, and the “blue and purple and scarlet, and fine twined linen wrought with needlework” that is seen in another; it may be angered at the sight of “pillars overlaid with gold,” and ask scornfully, “Wherefore this waste?” But it does not care to consider seriously the fitness of these things, or to weigh the reasons for them. The only interest which it feels is one arising from cupidity: the Church, it thinks, would be worth plundering; and it looks forward hopefully to the time when it will “divide the spoil.” Pulpit Commentary

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