The Tabernacle - 12
The Remaining Curtains
by Brad Scott
Shemot (Exodus) 26:7-13And thou shalt make curtains of goat's hair to be a covering upon the tabernacle: eleven curtains shalt thou make. The length of one curtain shall be thirty cubits, and the breadth of one curtain four cubits: and the eleven curtains shall be all of one measure. And thou shalt couple five curtains by themselves, and six curtains by themselves, and shalt double the sixth curtain in the forefront of the tabernacle. And thou shalt make fifty loops on the edge of the one curtain that is outmost in the coupling, and fifty loops in the edge of the curtain which coupleth the second. And thou shalt make fifty clasps of bronze, and put the clasps into the loops, and couple the tent together, that it may be one. And the remnant that remaineth of the curtains of the tent, the half curtain that remaineth, shall hang over the back of the tabernacle. And a cubit on the one side, and a cubit on the other side of that which remaineth in the length of the curtains of the tent, it shall hang over the sides of the tabernacle on this side and on that side, to cover it.
Whew! That was a mouthful. YHVH is now going to instruct Moshe (Moses) to place curtains of goat's hair over the linen curtains. The word hair is supplied here. There are eleven curtains instead of ten, as the eleventh curtain is doubled, and will hang down over the front and back of the tabernacle, to completely conceal the inner linen curtains. You will also notice that these curtains are two cubits longer than the inner curtains. When we get to the boards and sockets we will see that the inner curtains, that is, the righteousness of God, did not touch the earth, speaking of the fact that the believers true home is not of the earth. This should bring to mind two things that Sha’ul said:
Philippians 3:20For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we look for the Savior, Adonai Messiah Yeshua‘.
Ephesians 2:6And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Messiah Yeshua‘.
Let us keep in mind here that the picture is one of an ultimate home and not a rejection of this earthly existence and responsibility, for the outer curtains speak of just such a responsibility.
The goat is taken from a distinct anticipation of the two goats of Vayiqera (Leviticus) 16 and the day of atonement. In this chapter we have the taking of two goats, one to be slain and the other to be driven into the wilderness with the iniquities of the children of Israel on its head. Here are two perfect pictures of the purpose of sacrifice. The slain goat pictures Yeshua‘‘s death on the tree and the one turned loose is a picture of our sins being cast or driven away. Contained within the very law itself is the picture of what our Messiah's sacrifice really accomplished. It is clear, from Bere’shiyt (Genesis) to Hitgalut (Revelation), that it was not the law that was driven away, but sin. The penalty for sin is eternally satisfied because the sacrifice lives forever. The curtain that will lie between the outer coverings of our earthly existence and the inner covering of our gift of His righteousness is the reminder of what He has done for the penalty of sin.
We now turn to the fact that the color of the loops is not mentioned. In the judgment of sin, YHVH is not present. When Yeshua‘ hung on the tree, God "forsook" him.
Mizemor (Psalm) 22:1My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?
Sin was to be judged here. This is why the clasps are not gold but bronze or brass. Brass is the scriptural symbol of judgment, as will be more clearly detailed at the brazen altar and the serpent on the pole. As we go from the Most Holy Place toward the court the materials will get "cheaper" or of less value, so to speak.
Shemot 26:14And thou shalt make a covering for the tent of rams' skins dyed red, and a covering above of badgers' skins.
We have thus far been presented two curtains, an inner curtain that does not touch the earth, and a curtain "to cover" all of the precious linen. We now come to the two outside coverings of which neither have any measurements attached to them. These two curtains will picture the earthly tabernacle which is destined to be dissolved.
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.
The rams' skin covering is a perfect picture of that which must give its life in order to satisfy the kinsmen redeemer. Blood must be shed and a body must die. This is pictured by Avraham's taking of his "only begotten" son to Mount Moriah. The ram pictured the need for YHVH ’Elohiym Himself to provide a sacrifice. In Bere’shiyt 22 we find YHVH using a ram caught in a thicket. The word for ram is ’ayil (איל) which is the verbal root for the word ’elohiym, which is, of course, the word for God. It is no coincidence that God states that He will provide the sacrifice and then uses the very object that is the root for His name as Creator and Deity. For YHVH foreknew that He would take upon the flesh of man (adam) and lay down His life for us. For you see, He commanded Moshe to dye the skins red. The word red is the root for the word adam. They are basically the same words.The badger skins are a bit ambiguous. Some translations have porpoise skins, some have the hides of sea cows, and another has rams' skins repeated with a dye of vermillion. The word in Hebrew is techashiym (תחשים). Some Hebrew authorities translate is as dugong, which is simply the pale looking leather of several animals used to make women's sandals. In any case it was an ugly color. Many authorities suggest that this covering when seen from a distance resembled a long gray coffin. It could easily be said that it had no form nor comeliness, and no beauty that we should desire him. Whoops! I meant that we should not desire it. This would be just like Abba to cover this beautiful place with a covering that was not at all attractive. We would not be drawn to his residence because of its outward beauty. This is, of course, not typical of the grand structures of the pagan nations. It was always the outward beauty that attracted the teeming throngs of pagan worshippers. It was the truth of this structure that was designed to draw worship. Yeshua‘ drew disciples and followers because of the truth of His word and not because of His striking presence or luring features. It is inside the tabernacle where God dwells. It is in the heart, the Most Holy Place, that God looks upon, knowing that if the inside is clean the outside will be also.
Shemu’el Alef (1Samuel) 16:7...for YHVH sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but YHVH looks upon the heart.
Shalom Alecheim! ◊