5 ram skins dyed red,[a] fine leather,[b] acacia[c] wood,
Exodus 25:5sn W. C. Kaiser compares this to morocco leather (“Exodus,” EBC 2:453); it was skin that had all the wool removed and then was prepared as leather and dyed red. N. M. Sarna, on the other hand, comments, “The technique of leather production is never described [in ancient Hebrew texts]. Hence, it is unclear whether Hebrew מְאָדָּמִים (meʾoddamim) literally ‘made red,’ refers to the tanning or dyeing process” (Exodus [JPSTC], 157).
Exodus 25:5tn The meaning of the word תְּחָשִׁים (tekhashim) is debated. The Arabic tuhas or duhas is a dolphin, and so some think a sea animal is meant—something like a dolphin or porpoise (cf. NASB; ASV “sealskins”; NIV “hides of sea cows”). Porpoises are common in the Red Sea; their skins are used for clothing by the bedouin. The word has also been connected to an Egyptian word for “leather” (ths); see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 265. Some variation of this is followed by NRSV (“fine leather”) and NLT (“fine goatskin leather”). Another suggestion connects this word to an Akkadian one that describes a precious stone that is yellow or orange and also leather dyed with the color of this stone (N. M. Sarna, Exodus [JPSTC], 157-58).
Exodus 25:5sn The wood of the acacia is darker and harder than oak, and so very durable.
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