John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary

Verse 1 (Exodus 26:1)

Moreover, thou shalt make the tabernacle ,.... Which he was ordered to make before, the pattern of which was shown him in the mount: this was an habitation for God to dwell in, as the word properly signifies, and into which the furniture before described was to be put; this tabernacle was a type both of the human nature of Christ, which is the true tabernacle which God pitched, and not man, the greater and more perfect one, Hebrews 8:2 in which the fulness of the Godhead dwells bodily, where the glory of God is seen, in whom he grants his gracious presence to his people, and accepts of them and their sacrifices of prayer and praise; and also of the church of God, Psalm 43:3 . Here Jehovah dwells, grants his presence to his people, and comes and blesses them; here he is worshipped, and spiritual sacrifices are offered up to him with acceptance: the tabernacle of Moses was made

with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet ; the ground of these curtains was fine linen, twined or doubled: and the Jewish writers, as Maimonides, Ben Gersom, and others, say it was six times doubled, the word "Shesh", here used, signifying six; and this was interwoven with threads of yarn dyed blue, purple, and scarlet; according to Jarchi, the threads of which this tapestry was made were twenty four times doubled: he observes,"there were four sorts in every thread, one thread of fine linen, and three of wool, and every thread was doubled six times; lo, the four sorts, when they were twined together, there were twenty four double to a thread;'which if so, must make a stuff of a very great consistence and stiffness. This, as applied to the human nature of Christ, the fine linen may denote the purity of it; the various colours the different graces of the Spirit, with which it is adorned; or else the wounds, bruises, bloodshed, sufferings and death he endured in it: as applied to the church, may signify the clothing of the saints with the righteousness of Christ, that fine linen clean and white, and their being washed in his precious blood, and beautified with the graces of his Spirit:

with cherubim of cunning work shall thou make them ; that is, with figures like those of the cherubim on the mercy seat, so disposed by the curious art and contrivance of the weaver, as to appear on both sides of this tapestry; for this was not wrought by a needle, which only shows the figure on one side, but by weaving, as Jarchi observes; and who says, that there was one figure on one side, and another on another; as, for instance, a lion on one side, and an eagle on the other; or, which is more likely, the same figure was seen on both sides, as Maimonides affirms, who says F5 Hilchot Cele Hamikdash, c. 8. sect. 15. , the work called Chosheb (which is what is here spoken of) is that whose figures appear on both sides, before and behind: this in the mystical sense may point either to the ministration of angels to Christ in his human nature, and to his people the heirs of salvation; or else to the service of Gospel ministers, done for the honour and glory of Christ, and the good of his church and people: Josephus F6 Antiqu. l. 3. c. 7. sect. 7. thinks these curtains had a mystical meaning in them, and represent the nature of the elements, and so Philo F7 De Vita Mosis, l. 3. p. 667. .

- John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary