Exodus 26:17
Two tenons shall there be in one board, set in order one against another: thus shalt thou make for all the boards of the tabernacle.
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(17) Two tenons.—By “tenons” here are meant projections, probably round, from the end of each plank, made to fit into holes prepared for them in the “sockets.” They were to be “set in order one against another”: i.e., placed regularly at certain intervals, so that each corresponded in position to its fellow.

26:15-30 The sockets of silver each weighed about 115 pounds; they were placed in rows on the ground. In every pair of these sockets, a strong board of shittim-wood, covered with plates of gold, was fitted by mortises and tenons. Thus walls were formed for the two sides, and for the west end. The wall was further held together by bars, which passed through rings of gold. Over this the curtains were spread. Though movable, it was strong and firm. The materials were very costly. In all this it was a type of the church of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief Corner-stone, Eph 2:20,21.The board would therefore be about 15 ft. long, and 27 in. broad.15-30. thou shalt make boards … rear up the tabernacle according to the fashion … which was showed thee—The tabernacle, from its name as well as from its general appearance and arrangements, was a tent; but from the description given in these verses, the boards that formed its walls, the five (cross) bars that strengthened them, and the middle bar that "reached from end to end," and gave it solidity and compactness, it was evidently a more substantial fabric than a light and fragile tent, probably on account of the weight of its various coverings as well as for the protection of its precious furniture. Two tenons, Heb. hands, i.e. parts of the boards, so cut and framed that like hands they may take hold of and be fastened into the sockets, Exodus 26:19.

Two tenons shall there be on one board,.... Every board was to be so cut and shaped at the lower end of it, as to have, as it were, "two hands" (r), as in the original, to enter into, lay hold on, and fasten in mortises:

set in order one against another; at a proper distance from each other, as the rounds of a ladder:

thus shalt thou make for all the boards of the tabernacle; everyone was to have two tenons.

(r) "duae manus", Montanus.

Two tenons shall there be in one board, set in order one against another: thus shalt thou make for all the boards of the tabernacle.
17. tenons] lit. hands, used fig. of supports: cf. 1 Kings 7:32-33 (EVV. axletrees; rather, diagonal stays under the body of the laver, holding the axles in their places), 35 (supports of the basin at the top), 36 (corrupt dittography from v. 35: see Skinner’s note in the Century Bible), Exodus 10:16 (of the ‘arms’ of a throne). These ‘hands,’ or tenons, as ordinarily understood, were pegs projecting underneath the bottom of the boards, to hold them firm in their sockets (v. 19).

joined] the word (only here and in the "", Exodus 36:22) means joined by a cross-piece (cf. the cognate shĕlabbim, 1 Kings 7:28-29†, ‘cross-pieces,’ or ‘cross-rails’ [see Skinner’s note: in EVV. misrendered ledges], and the post-Bibl. shĕlîbâh, the ‘rung’ of a ladder), clamped together. The tenons of each board (or frame) were secured in their places by a clamp of metal underneath the bottom of the board.

Kennedy, however (p. 660a), understands the ‘hands’ not of tenons, but of the upright sides of the ‘frame’ themselves, and would render vv. 15–17 thus: ‘And thou shalt make the frames for the Dwelling of acacia wood, standing up,—10 cubits the length of a frame, and 1½ cubits the breadth of a frame,—namely, two uprights for [so rightly, for EVV. in] each frame, joined one to another by cross-rails [see the illustr.]: thus shalt thou make for all the frames of the Dwelling.’ The translation is quite legitimate (for there is in the Heb. no ‘shall be’ in either v. 16 or v. 17), and the explanation clever: but it is difficult to feel certain that such ‘uprights’ would be called hands in Heb. The sense ‘frames’ for ḳĕrâshim is not dependent upon it; and it is perhaps safer to adhere to the usual rend, ‘tenons.’

Verse 17. - Two tenons. Literally, "hands." Projecting rods, such as those common in our dinner tables, seem to be meant. They may have been of metal, let into the boards to a certain depth, and projecting several inches beyond them. Or, possibly, they may have been of acacia wood. In one board - i.e. "In each board" - no doubt, at the bottom of each. Set in order one against the other. Arranged, i.e., at regular intervals, the position of each corresponding to the position of its fellow. Exodus 26:17Every board was to have two ידות (lit., hands or holders) to hold them upright, pegs therefore; and they were to be "bound to one another" (משׁלּב, from שׁלב in Chald. to connect, hence שׁלבּים in 1 Kings 7:28, the corner plates that hold together the four sides of a chest), not "pegged into one another," but joined together by a fastening dovetailed into the pegs, by which the latter were fastened still more firmly to the boards, and therefore had greater holding power than if each one had been simply sunk into the edge of the board.
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