The Coverings of the Tabernacle
Exodus 26:1-14
Moreover you shall make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet…

The coverings of the Tabernacle were four in number, viz., badgers'skins, rams'skins dyed red, goats'hair, and the embroidered covering. Much difficulty has been felt, and is still felt, as to the animal which in our translation is called a badger. Some think it was a seal, and that the entire Tabernacle, excepting the east end where the door was placed, was covered with seals'skin. Others think that this covering was made of the skins of a species of stag goat; but be this as it may, it is clear that the outer covering was made of some hard and durable substance; so hard was it that shoes were sometimes made of the same material (Ezekiel 16:10). In this covering there was nothing beautiful or attractive. I can suppose a man to have stood at the top of some high hill, and to have looked down on the long, dark, coffin-like structure, and to have said, "Well, I have heard much about the Tabernacle as being a very costly building, but I see no beauty at all in this long, dark tent"; but the priests who had been within could tell of gold, and silver, and the richest embroidery to be seen there. It was all glorious within, but rough and unsightly without. This badger skin covering sets forth the humility of Christ when on earth among men, who, judging of Him according to the outward appearance, said, "He hath no form nor comeliness; there is no beauty in Him that we should desire Him"; so they despised and rejected Him (Isaiah 53:2, 3). But we know there was much in Christ which did not meet the eye of men generally; and those who, taught of the Father, knew Him as the Christ the Son of the living God (Matthew 16:16, 17) were attracted to Him, for He was to them the "chiefest among ten thousand and altogether lovely" (Song of Solomon 5:10, 16). The rough badger skin outside was as needful as was the beautiful covering underneath; and the humility of Christ was as needful for us, and for the glory of God, as was His exaltation. This covering of badgers' skins was thick enough and hard enough to be an effectual protection from the rain, dew, and fine sand of the desert, and nothing could get through it to stain the fine linen or to dim the gold within. This shadows forth to us the holy determination of Christ to stand as a faithful and true witness for God on earth: the truth was in Him, and He kept it to the end.

(G. Rodgers.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work shalt thou make them.

WEB: "Moreover you shall make the tabernacle with ten curtains; of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, with cherubim. The work of the skillful workman you shall make them.

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