Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Twisted, for greater strength, with double threads. (Du Hamel) — Diversified, &c. Hebrew, “cherubim wrought by a skilful workman.” A cherubic work is one extremely diversified, and wonderful; representing birds, flowers, monsters; either in gold, wood, painting, or tapestry. When it is done with a needle, it is styled rokom, “feathers,” (plumarium opus.) But when the variety of colours is done with the loom, being more ingenious, the Hebrew call it éssob, “of an inventor.” Such were these curtains.
Ver. 3. Five curtains, which would cover half the tabernacle, or 20 cubits. (Calmet) — Being joined together, they remind us of fraternal charity and union; which ought to adorn the members of the church. (Worthington)
Ver. 6. Rings. Hooks or taches, ver. 11.
Ver. 13. A cubit. As these curtains were two cubits longer, and four broader, than those more precious ones below, they hung down to the ground. Josephus, [Antiquities?] iii. 5.
Ver. 14. Skins. These two were probably as large as the last, to keep out rain; (Menochius) though the text only specifies the roof.
Ver. 17. Mortises, (incastraturę). Hebrew, “tenons,” which corresponded with the former. (Calmet)
Ver. 19. Corners. Hebrew tenons, literally, “hands,” which has the same meaning as the Vulgate. Some think, the sockets or bases rested on the ground, and had a point which entered into the boards, to keep them in their places. (Lyranus) — The ornaments on the north and south were the same. (Calmet)
Ver. 22. Six, at the western end, with two other strong boards, or pillars, to connect the whole, as they were placed at the two corners, and were half a cubit each. (Menochius)
Ver. 26. Bars, 30 cubits long, on two sides, and ten on the western end, to fasten the boards.
Ver. 31. A veil, to hang before the entrance of the tabernacle, at the east side, which had no boards. Within was the ark, ver. 33. (Haydock)
Ver. 32. Heads. Chaptrels of setim-wood, overlaid with gold, — (Vovim), not little hooks for curtains. (Calmet)
Ver. 33. The sanctuary, &c. That part of the tabernacle, which was without the veil, into which the priests daily entered, is here called the sanctuary, or holy place; that part which was within the veil, into which no one but the high priest ever went in, and he but once a year, is called the holy of holies, (literally, the sanctuaries of the sanctuary) as being the most holy of all holy places. (Challoner) — It occupied only one-third of the tabernacle. (Menochius)
Ver. 36. Hanging, or veil, suspended on five pillars, before the sanctuary. (Haydock) — It was the other veil, which was rent at the death of Christ. Baronius observes, that Christian temples were formerly built in imitation of the Jewish tabernacle. It was a figure of the Catholic church, 1 Timothy iii. 15.
Bible Text & Cross-references:
The form of the tabernacle, with its appurtenances.
1 And thou shalt make the tabernacle in this manner: Thou shalt make ten curtains of fine twisted linen, and violet and purple, and scarlet twice dyed, diversified with embroidery.
2 The length of one curtain shall be twenty-eight cubits; the breadth shall be four cubits. All the curtains shall be of one measure.
3 Five curtains shall be joined one to another, and the other five shall be coupled together in like manner.
4 Thou shalt make loops of violet in the sides and tops of the curtains, that they may be joined one to another.
5 Every curtain shall have fifty loops on both sides, so set on, that one loop may be against another loop, and one may be fitted to the other.
6 Thou shalt make also fifty rings of gold, wherewith the veils of the curtains are to be joined, that it may be made one tabernacle.
7 Thou shalt make also eleven curtains of goats’ hair, to cover the top of the tabernacle.
8 The length of one hair-curtain shall be thirty cubits; and the breadth, four: the measure of all the curtains shall be equal.
9 Five of which thou shalt couple by themselves, and the six others thou shalt couple one to another, so as to double the sixth curtain in the front of the roof.
10 Thou shalt make also fifty loops in the edge of one curtain, that it may be joined with the other: and fifty loops in the edge of the other curtain, that it may be coupled with its fellow.
11 Thou shalt make also fifty buckles of brass, wherewith the loops may be joined, that of all there may be made one covering.
12 And that which shall remain of the curtains, that are prepared for the roof, to wit, one curtain that is over and above, with the half thereof thou shalt cover the back parts of the tabernacle.
13 And there shall hang down a cubit on the one side, and another on the other side, which is over and above in the length of the curtains, fencing both sides of the tabernacle.
14 Thou shalt make also another cover to the roof, of rams’ skins dyed red: and over that again another cover of violet-coloured skins.
15 Thou shalt make also the boards of the tabernacle standing upright of setim-wood.
16 Let every one of them be ten cubits in length, and in breadth one cubit and a half.
17 In the sides of the boards shall be made two mortises, whereby one board may be joined to another board: and after this manner shall all the boards be prepared.
18 Of which twenty shall be in the south side southward.
19 For which thou shalt cast forty sockets of silver, that under every board may be put two sockets at the two corners.
20 In the second side also of the tabernacle that looketh to the north, there shall be twenty boards,
21 Having forty sockets of silver, two sockets shall be put under each board.
22 But on the west side of the tabernacle thou shalt make six boards.
23 And again other two which shall be erected in the corners at the back of the tabernacle.
24 And they shall be joined together from beneath unto the top, and one joint shall hold them all. The like joining shall be observed for the two boards also that are to be put in the corners.
25 And they shall be in all eight boards, and their silver sockets sixteen, reckoning two sockets for each board.
26 Thou shalt make also five bars of setim-wood, to hold together the boards on one side of the tabernacle.
27 And five others on the other side, and as many at the west side:
28 And they shall be put along by the midst of the boards, from one end to the other.
29 The boards also themselves thou shalt overlay with gold, and shalt cast rings of gold to be set upon them, for places for the bars to hold together the board-work: which bars thou shalt cover with plates of gold.
30 And thou shalt rear up the tabernacle according to the pattern that was* shewn thee in the mount.
31 Thou shalt make also a veil of violet, and purple, and scarlet twice dyed, and fine twisted linen, wrought with embroidered work and goodly variety:
32 And thou shalt hang it up before four pillars of setim-wood, which themselves also shall be overlaid with gold, and shall have heads of gold, but sockets of silver.
33 And the veil shall be hanged on with rings, and within it thou shalt put the ark of the testimony, and the sanctuary and the holy of the holies shall be divided with it.
34 And thou shalt set the propitiatory upon the ark of the testimony, in the holy of holies.
35 And the table without the veil, and over-against the table the candlestick in the south side of the tabernacle: for the table shall stand in the north side.
36 Thou shalt make also a hanging in the entrance of the tabernacle of violet, and purple, and scarlet twice dyed, and fine twisted linen with embroidered work.
37 And thou shalt overlay with gold five pillars of setim-wood, before which the hanging shall be drawn: their heads shall be of gold, and the sockets of brass.
30: Exodus xxv. 40.