Exodus 26:22
And for the sides of the tabernacle westward you shall make six boards.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(22) For the sides of the tabernacle westward.—Rather, for the back of the tabernacle (LXX., τῶν ὀπίσω). (See Note on Exodus 26:18.) The west is always regarded as “behind” by the Orientals.

Six boards.—Six boards, presumably of the same width with the others (Exodus 26:16), would extend a length of nine cubits only, or thirteen and a half feet. The tenth cubit seems to have been made up by the corner boards, or posts, which are counted with the “six” boards as forming the back of the tabernacle in Exodus 26:25.

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 sides of the tabernacle westward - Rather, the back of the tabernacle toward the west. See Exodus 26:18.15-30. 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. No text from Poole on this verse. And for the sides of the tabernacle,.... Or the ends of it, the east and west, and the account begins with the west:

westward thou shalt make six boards; so that the breadth of the tabernacle was but nine cubits, or four yards and a half, according to a common cubit; but two boards more placed at the two corners of the sides, next observed, added to the breadth of it.

And for the sides of the tabernacle westward thou shalt make six boards.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
22. westward] lit. sea-ward. Sea (i.e. the Medit. sea) is in Heb. the regular word for ‘west’; and the usage, like that of négeb in v. 18 in the sense of ‘south,’ could only have arisen after Israel had been long settled in Canaan. So Exodus 10:19; Exodus 10:27; Exodus 27:12; Exodus 36:27; Exodus 36:32; Exodus 38:12.

The twenty frames for the sides of the Dwelling made up its entire length of 30 cubits (= 1 ½ × 20). The six frames at the end would make 9 cubits: so that, as the entire width of the Dwelling was 10 cubits, if the frames at the sides were ½ a cubit thick, the six at the end would just fill up the 9 cubits between them.Verses 22, 23. - For the sides of the tabernacle westward. Rather, "for the back" (τὰ ὀπίσω - LXX.). Here there were to be six boards only, which would give the abnormal and improbable width of nine cubits. The additional cubit required was no doubt obtained from the corner boards, or posts, each of which added to the (internal) width half a cubit (see ver. 23). The wooden framework. - Exodus 26:15, Exodus 26:16. The boards for the dwelling were to be made "of acacia-wood standing," i.e., so that they could stand upright; each ten cubits long and one and a half broad. The thickness is not given; and if, on the one hand, we are not to imagine them too thin, as Josephus does, for example, who says they were only four fingers thick (Ant. iii. 6, 3), we have still less reason for following Rashi, Lund, Bhr and others, who suppose them to have been a cubit in thickness, thus making simple boards into colossal blocks, such as could neither have been cut from acacia-trees, nor carried upon desert roads.

(Note: Kamphausen (Stud. und Krit. 1859, p. 117) appeals to Bhr's Symbolik 1, p. 261-2, and Knobel, Exod. p. 261, in support of the opinion, that at any rate formerly there were genuine acacias of such size and strength, that beams could have been cut from them a cubit and a half broad and a cubit thick; but we look in vain to either of these writings for such authority as will establish this fact. Expressions like those of Jerome and Hasselquist, viz., grandes arbores and arbos ingens ramosissima, are far too indefinite. It is true that, according to Abdullatif, the Sont is "a very large tree," but he gives a quotation from Dinuri, in which it is merely spoken of as "a tree of the size of a nut-tree." See the passages cited in Rosenmller's bibl. Althk. iv. 1, p. 278, Not. 7, where we find the following remark of Wesling on Prosper. Alpin. de plantis Aeg.: Caudicem non raro ampliorem deprehendi, quam ut brachio meo circumdari possit. Even the statement of Theophrast (hist. plant. 4, 3), to the effect that rafters are cut from these trees 12 cubits long (δωδεκάπηχυς ἐρέψιμος ὕλη), is no proof that they were beams a cubit and a half broad and a cubit thick. And even if there had been trees of this size in the peninsula of Sinai in Moses' time, a beam of such dimensions, according to Kamphausen's calculation, which is by no means too high, would have weighed more than twelve cwt. And certainly the Israelites could never have carried beams of this weight with them through the desert; for the waggons needed would have been such as could never be used where there are no beaten roads.)

To obtain boards of the required breadth, to or three planks were no doubt joined together according to the size of the trees.

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