I wanted to write this last night, but after nearly falling asleep during the first part of choir, I decided it was better to try to get some sleep rather than winding myself up with writing. Instead I relaxed, watching Yawara! up to the point in the story where Urasawa basically says, “Yes, Yawara and Matsuda are going to wind up together by the time this series ends, did I not make that clear enough?” Of course he then drags it out for more than 20 volumes afterwards, though unlike some romantic stories he gives legitimate reasons for the delay…

…okay, if I’m going off on a tangent talking about late 80s anime, remember that this chapter is all about the design of the various things in the Tabernacle. It’s interesting but not entirely enlightening. And as you’ll note below, it required looking up a lot of Japanese, none of which I am likely to ever use in the near future.

Back in chapter 20, God outlined rules for building a simple altar, and I noted how it seemed to imply a very rural, local feel. The tabernacle is a step up, seeing as how it is the holy place for all Israel, but even it isn’t a true temple. It’s mobile, as is everything in it. All the specifications involve hoops for inserting poles so that they can be carried around. Obviously that’s useful for wandering in the desert, but I know from skipping to Samuel as a kid that they continue the practice of a mobile holy place well into the settled period. In fact, the Bible seems very anti-temple at this stage, and perhaps the redactors of the Torah intentionally emphasized this ancient tradition as a way to console people after losing the temple.

The other thing I noticed is just how much pure 24-carat gold is required to make this stuff. The lampstand alone is a talent (kikal in Hebrew and in the NCT) of gold, over 30 kg (60 lbs). I guess this is what they did with all the jewelry they were given by the Egyptians. I would not want to have been in charge of collecting that.

Also, if it’s made of pure gold, won’t the lampstand be in danger of melting if you let the candles burn down too low?

Some of this – things like the Bread of the Presence – I’m going to assume will be explained later. Right now, though, I’m still struggling with the “find something meaningful in it” aspect of this section of the Bible. Hopefully it’ll get better.

The Japanese: kennoubutsu “offering, donation” (v 2), seidou “bronze” (v 3), jugon “dugong” (v 5), kousou “herb” (v 6), hamekomu “to inlay” (v 7), makuya “tent, tabernacle” (v 9), sunbou “measurement” (v 10), junkin “pure gold” (v 11), kinkan “gold ring,” chuuzou suru “to cast (metal),” yosumi “four corners,” ashi “leg (different character than I’m used to)” (v 12), katsugu “to shoulder, to carry on your shoulders” (v 13), aganai “atonement” (v 17), ryouhashi “both ends” (v 18), haba “width,” waku “frame,” houkyou suru “to reinforce” (v 25), hishaku “dipper, ladle” (v 29), shokudai “candlestand,” daiza “pedestal, base,” shichuu “support, pillar, post,” gaku “calyx,” fushi “knot,” kaben “petal” (v 31), shinkiri “wick-cutters” (v 38).

Jugon no kawa – the NRSV translates this as “fine leather,” with a note that the Hebrew is unclear. The NCT translates it as “dugong skin,” and sure enough, that is one possible translation of Hebrew tahash, though no one knows for sure. I would think that dugongs would count as unclean animals, what with being water-dwelling creatures without scales, and would therefore be unacceptable. I’ll look into it further if I have the time.

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