The Tabernacle - 13
The Boards and Sockets
by Brad Scott
I believe we had just finished the outer curtains of the Holy Place. The text at this point takes us to the boards and sockets that support the sanctuary. There are still other articles in the Holy Place that we will cover, but YHVH chose to describe these after the supports. So, here we go.
Shemot (Exodus) 26:15-19And thou shalt make boards for the tabernacle of shittim wood standing up. Ten cubits shall be the length of a board, and a cubit and a half shall be the breadth of one board. Two tenons shall be in one board, set in order one against another: thus shalt thou make for all the boards of the tabernacle. And thou shalt make the boards for the tabernacle, twenty boards on the south side southward. And thou shalt make forty sockets of silver under the twenty boards; two sockets under one board for its two tenons, and two sockets under another board also for its two tenons...
The curtains we discussed earlier are to hang over the support structure. The support of the entire tabernacle is to be of the same shittim wood that the ark of the testimony and the table of shewbread were constructed of. (See The Tabernacle 3 for meaning of the wood.) In verse 15 we are told that the boards are also to be standing up. To most readers that may sound like a silly thing to say or perhaps, simply redundant, but YHVH chooses His wording carefully and purposefully. He is not just telling us to stand the boards up. The word for standing up is ‘amad (עמד). This word is the general term used to express the idea of standing, or especially, to stand still. It is interesting to note the way it is used here for the boards are expressions of humanity. The word ‘amad is made of two syllables of which the first is ‘am, the Hebrew word for people. These people, I mean boards, were to be about fifteen feet high and a little over two feet wide. They were to be "set in order one against each other". Now, this is a most interesting and misleading phrase, unless it is seen in Hebrew and then a fascinating picture comes to light. The phrase in Hebrew is, mishilabot ’ishshah ’el-’echotah. Literally, this says "and equally connected, each one to its sister." The word mishilabot (משלבת) means to place things equally distant from each other, in other words each board the same and the same distance from each other. The word ’ishah (אשה) is normally the word for woman. The root of woman is ish or man. This is followed by the word ’echot (אל־אחתה) which is normally translated as sister. Now we must go back and recall that this tabernacle that will be physically constructed here on earth is taken from a pattern seen by Moshe in heaven. It was commanded by YHVH to be precisely made in every detail, because it would be a pattern for the ultimate tabernacle, the Messiah, and of course, we ourselves. See Ivrim (Hebrews) 8:1-6. When we see the New Testament use of this tabernacle then we can go back and see why such detail was revealed.
But it gets even more awesome. Each board was to have two tenons at the ends of which each tenon was placed in a silver socket. The word for tenon is yated (יתד). This word means a pin, nail or fastener, or literally that which connects. This is what held or fastened Yeshua‘ to a tree, and it is precisely this life-giving selfless act that holds His people together as well. There is one sidebar I would like to mention, however. If you are reading the Massoretic text or typical Interlinears you will notice that this word is actually misspelled here. Instead of yated they have yadot (ידת). This is very interesting in that this is the word for hand. A very striking mistake, or is it a mistake? Is it possible that what we have here is a picture of the habitation of YHVH in a body of (brothers and) sisters standing side by side equally joined, hand in hand, supporting a heavenly tabernacle?
Ephesians 2:19-22Now, therefore, ye are no more strangers and sojourners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of Adonai; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Yeshua‘ the Messiah himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in YHVH. In whom ye also are built together for an habitation of Adonai through the Spirit.
Ivrim (Hebrews) 3:1-6Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, the Messiah Yeshua‘, Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath built the house hath more honor than the house. For every house is built by some man, but he that built all things is Adonai. Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a Testimony of those thing which were to be spoken after; But Messiah as a son over His own house, whose house are We, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.
Can you see the consistent reference back to Moshe and the tabernacle in these descriptions of the nature of the body of Messiah? Is it just a coincidence that when YHVH takes upon the flesh of men and dwells among us He chooses to be a carpenter? By the way, the Hebrew used there suggests an architect or designer rather than a carpenter. Kefa reminds us again who we are:
1 Kefa (1Peter) 2:5-6Ye also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Yeshua‘ the Messiah...
And finally Sha’ul tells us in 2 Corinthians:
2 Corinthians 5:1For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
All of these boards are set in ‘adeneyhem kaseph (אדניהם כסף). These are silver sockets. The word for socket used here is ‘eden which is translated in this form as socket everywhere in Scripture. Its literal meaning is to sustain or provide a base. It is no coincidence that its root is adon the Hebrew word for master, from which we get Adonai. This word requires a lengthy study in and of itself, but it is primarily used of earthly masters and lords. However, it is also used to refer to the ultimate Master. Bere’shiyt (Genesis) 15:2, Devariym (Deuteronomy) 3:24). All of these boards are supported and sustained by a word used to refer to YHVH himself. Is this just another coincidence? Is this merely contrived? Now, why would He choose to use silver sockets rather than a stronger material? These silver sockets were to be the material that stood between the boards and the earth or ground itself. It was silver that was used to be the payment for the betrayal and subsequent death of Yeshua‘. Silver represented the "blood" money.
Zekareyah (Zechariah) 11:13And YHVH said unto me, Cast it unto the potter a goodly price that I was prized at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver cast them to the potter in the house of YHVH.
Mattityahu (Matthew) 27:6And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood.
In Shemot 26 YHVH concludes the revelation of the boards with one final comment. He says,
hemot 26:30And thou shalt rear up the tabernacle according to the fashion thereof which was shown thee in the mount.
The entire tabernacle is to be raised up according to what Moshe was previously shown in the mount. The phrase "to rear up" is, in the Hebrew, vaheqemota (והקמת). This word means to arise or to rise up and establish. It is translated into English as to fulfill. In the Septuagint translation of this verse the Greek word anasteseis (αναστασις) is used. This word in the New Testament is translated as RESURRECTION! Naaa. Really!
See you next time when we research the inner and outer veils. You will not want to miss this one either.
Shalom Alecheim! ◊