The Illustrated Tabernacleby Darren Hamilton
If you were reading a description of something important, would you appreciate being able to “see a more complete picture” of it? Nowhere is the old maxim “a picture is worth a thousand words” more appropriate than in the descriptions of the buildings of the Bible. The Illustrated Tabernacle brings a new series of illustrations to the… See more details below
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If you were reading a description of something important, would you appreciate being able to “see a more complete picture” of it? Nowhere is the old maxim “a picture is worth a thousand words” more appropriate than in the descriptions of the buildings of the Bible. The Illustrated Tabernacle brings a new series of illustrations to the scriptural texts describing the Tabernacle of the Israelites presented in the final chapters of the Old Testament book of Exodus. Like the book’s subtitle states, this book is “A New Look at the Tabernacle of the Israelites in Pictures and Words.” Instead of a re-hashing of the same information that shows up in other books on this topic, this book presents a completely new vision of this most important building of early Judeo-Christian religious history because it actually presents construction diagrams and uses 21st Century logic to support both its conclusions and the appearance of the Tabernacle’s objects.
An internet search on any of the major bookseller websites will quickly produce a list of books that purport to illustrate the methods and construction of the Tabernacle. In any examination of these books, however, there appear to be a number of glaring errors, and it seems to me that the authors, most of whom seem to have significant religious credentials, have not put any sort of originality into their works. For instance, one item that always seems to appear in any book related to the Tabernacle is a one-half scale measurement requirement of the Tabernacle’s Sanctuary building in comparison to the First Temple’s Sanctuary building. The text of Exodus easily contradicts this half-scale measurement, but it still seems to be present in all of the literature on the subject. Additionally, most of the illustrations within these books do not seem to present any design that follows the text of Exodus itself, or even simple logic. For example, most of these books have an illustration of the Bronze Altar of Sacrifice where the walls of the Altar meet the ground. Simple logic shows that this practice would restrict the airflow required to maintain the fire within the Altar.
The Illustrated Tabernacle presents both structural designs and logical commentary for each of the Tabernacle’s objects, from the design of the pillars surrounding the courtyard to the stitching used to sew the various fabrics outlined in the text. The conclusions that are presented within the book are based on simply reading the descriptive text in Exodus, on external evidence that anyone can find on the internet (e.g., measuring systems of the Egyptians and Babylonians), and on simple logic. It also presents these objects without any sort of symbolic projection (either Jewish or Christian). In this way, the simplicity of the design of these objects and the elegance of the Tabernacle’s assembly is able to stand on its own merits without the additional burden of symbolic projection.
Any study of the Old Testament books of Moses (or, the Torah) will benefit greatly from the information in this book.
- Darren Hamilton
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