Haydock Catholic Bible Commentary
Twisted, for greater strength, with double threads. (Du Hamel) --- Diversified, &c. Hebrew, "cherubim wrought by a skilful workman." A cherubic work is one extremely diversified, and wonderful; representing birds, flowers, monsters; either in gold, wood, painting, or tapestry. When it is done with a needle, it is styled rokom, "feathers," (plumarium opus.) But when the variety of colours is done with the loom, being more ingenious, the Hebrew call it essob "of an inventor." Such were these curtains.
Five curtains, which would cover half the tabernacle, or 20 cubits. (Calmet) --- Being joined together, they remind us of fraternal charity and union; which ought to adorn the members of the church. (Worthington)
Rings. Hooks or taches, ver. 11.
A cubit. As these curtains were two cubits longer, and four broader, than those more precious ones below, they hung down to the ground. Josephus, [Antiquities?] iii. 5.
Skins. These two were probably as large as the last, to keep out rain; (Menochius) though the text only specifies the roof.
Mortises, (incastraturæ). Hebrew, "tenons," which corresponded with the former. (Calmet)
Corners. Hebrew tenons, literally, "hands," which has the same meaning as the Vulgate. Some think, the sockets or bases rested on the ground, and had a point which entered into the boards, to keep them in their places. (Lyranus) --- The ornaments on the north and south were the same. (Calmet)
Six, at the western end, with two other strong boards, or pillars, to connect the whole, as they were placed at the two corners, and were half a cubit each. (Menochius)
Bars, 30 cubits long, on two sides, and ten on the western end, to fasten the boards.
A veil, to hang before the entrance of the tabernacle, at the east side, which had no boards. Within was the ark, ver. 33. (Haydock)
Heads. Chaptrels of setim-wood, overlaid with gold, --- (Vovim), not little hooks for curtains. (Calmet)
The sanctuary, &c. That part of the tabernacle, which was without the veil, into which the priests daily entered, is here called the sanctuary, or holy place; that part which was within the veil, into which no one but the high priest ever went in, and he but once a year, is called the holy of holies, (literally, the sanctuaries of the sanctuary,) as being the most holy of all holy places. (Challoner) --- It occupied only one-third of the tabernacle. (Menochius)
Hanging, or veil, suspended on five pillars, before the sanctuary. (Haydock) --- It was the other veil, which was rent at the death of Christ. Baronius observes, that Christian temples were formerly built in imitation of the Jewish tabernacle. It was a figure of the Catholic church, 1 Timothy iii. 15.