This week, we’re finishing up our interior design project, which is awesome because I confess to having nil interest in what coloured linens go best with what kinds of tanned hides. Next week won’t be much better, but at least it won’t be this.


In this part, God tells Moses how to build an altar, and finishes up with instructions for the “court of the tabernacle” (Exod. 27:9). The idea of having separate enclosures is a common one in the ancient world (and, to a certain extent, can still be seen in some church designs). The idea is that you have the space for common plebs, then you’ll have a doorway or a screen leading to a smaller area for low level priests, then another doorway for higher level priests, etc etc until you get to the holy centre, like a classist KinderEgg.

You can see some examples of what this might look like in an Egyptian context, and a Hindu context. In Latin, the innermost court is called the sanctum sanctorum, or holy of holies.

One thing that I think we need to point out is that God finishes up this chapter by telling Moses that “Aaron and his sons shall tend it from evening to morning before the Lord. It shall be a statute for ever to be observed throughout their generations by the people of Israel” (Exod. 27:21). And yet it’s been about two thousand years since there’s been a temple and since these instructions have been followed. Just sayin’.

And that’s really all I have to say about this chapter because oh. my. god. I am so bored.