The Tabernacle - 11
The Loops and the Clasps
by Brad Scott
Shemot (Exodus) 26:3-6The five curtains shall be coupled together one to another; and other five curtains shall be coupled one to another. And thou shalt make loops of blue upon the edge of the one curtain from the selvedge in the coupling and likewise shalt thou make in the uttermost edge of another curtain, in the coupling of the second. Fifty loops shalt thou make in the one curtain, and fifty loops shalt thou make in the edge of the curtain that is in the coupling of the second; that the loops may take hold one of another. And thou shalt make fifty taches [clasps] of gold, and couple the curtains together with the taches: and it shall be one tabernacle.
Well that sounds rather confusing. But simply put, there were ten curtains to be made of fine linen. Five curtains were to be coupled together to form one curtain. Then the other five curtains were also to be coupled together to form one curtain. The ten curtains were to be made into two sets of five curtains each. Each set of five is to be coupled together as to make one curtain. The word "coupled" is an interesting choice of words. It is the Hebrew word chavar (חבר). This word is translated as coupled, joined (as in the wings of the cherubim in Yechezeq’el (Ezekiel) 1:9,11), fellowship (Mizemor (Psalm) 94:20), together, companions and friends. Here in the tabernacle we begin to see a picture of what appears to be two distinct sets of curtains, but joined as one by loops of blue and clasps (tache, or hook) of gold. The Hebrew word is qerec (קרס). I do not believe that it is coincidence that the word YHVH chooses here speaks of oneness in fellowship in the set of five curtains and in the ten curtains as a whole. For instance, chavar is used in Judges to typify this very teaching.
Shofetiym (Judges) 20:11So all the men if Israel were gathered against the city, knit together as one man.
Again in the Psalms He says;
Mizemor (Psalm) 122:1-3I was glad when they said to me, Let us go into the house of YHVH. Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem. Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together ...
As we search even deeper we notice that the Great Designer chooses to use the number five with respect to the curtains. Why five? I believe it is almost universally accepted by Jewish and Gentile scholars alike, that the number five speaks of grace. I will not go into the evidence of that here. You might want to check out our teaching CD called "Aleph-Bet, The Building Blocks of Life" to glean further information on gematria and the meaning behind the use of numbers in the Scriptures. God specifically commands that these pictures of His righteousness be "coupled" together as one, placed in His grace, but yet in appearance to the naked eye they are still two sets of curtains. This picture of two but yet one is also seen in the observance of Shavu‘ot in Vayiqera (Leviticus) 23:15-22. When YHVH introduces this feast to His people He tells them to bring out of their habitations two wave loaves each baked with leaven and containing the exact same ingredients. When the completed loaves are seen, they are seen as two loaves, but inside they are exactly the same. This beautiful picture is also seen in the fulfillment (i.e. qum (קום) or establishment) of Shavu‘ot beginning in Acts chapter 2. "In the Messiah" we are all one according to 1Corinthians 12. There is no Jew nor Gentile, male nor female, slave nor free in the body of Messiah. But clearly there remains a difference to the eye. Our created functions have not become one, but rather what the Creator has done in us, that by our faith we begin to change our minds and eventually our behavior. It is my understanding and contention that when a Gentile is grafted into the natural tree that he is still called a wild branch, but receives his instructions from the same tree as the natural branch and is only different in appearance. When I received the "seed of the woman" by faith I did not become a Jew! However, the scriptural reality of where my source of life comes from slowly begins to change my mind and my behavior. I do not believe that the behavior of the natural branches is to be different than the behavior of the wild branches.
According to Shemot 26:5-6, both sets of five curtains were to be coupled together to form hamishkan echad or one tabernacle. YHVH prepared, from the beginning, for His true people to be one. To teach otherwise is to "destroy the law". Teaching one set of laws for the Jew and one set of laws for the Gentile is to pervert the unity of the chavarim or brotherhood. It is noteworthy that the loops of the curtains were to be the same color as tzitzit or fringes which hung from garments of the children of Israel in Bemidebar (Numbers) 15:37-41. We previously discussed the relationship between the holiness of God, as expressed through His commandments, and the color blue. In Bemidebar 15 we read again about this same blue-commandments relationship.
Bemidebar 15: 38-40Speak to the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a cord of blue ... That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God.
The golden clasps can only be present when there are the blue loops to hang from. The clasps are rings that hold all the curtains together, and we are told that they are fifty in number. Why fifty? Perhaps there is a distinct presentation of the presence of the Ruach haQodesh and release from the old nature. This is pictured in the 50 days between Yeshua‘’s resurrection and the indwelling of the Ruach haQodesh in the body of the Messiah on Shavu‘ot. It can also be seen in the teaching of the year of jubilee in Vayiqera 25. It is admittedly the Ruach haQodesh that unites God's people, but the Spirit of God must have something by which to hold us together. It is the faith (trust) of His children that forms the loops that holds us together. It is not an intellectual profession of facts about God. This the demons consent to (Ya‘aqov (James) 2:19). The demons know the things about God, but have refused to repent and follow Him.One thing I would like to leave you with, concerning the teaching of the tabernacle. I am sure that there are those who could expound on these principles with much more flare and heart-touching words than I am capable of. There could easily be a dozen pages written here just on the coupling of the curtains. My desire, however, is to bring light to these tabernacle truths in hope that you will meditate on them, and allow our Abba to lovingly lead you into your own adventure in His word. I have had many of you e-mail us to tell us how God took something from what we teach and opened up a whole new, previously unrealized truth, that was not even directly related to what I was teaching. We praise Yah for that, and we are deeply grateful and humbled by the awesome work of our Creator.
Shalom Alecheim! ◊