Moses is here ordered to make a double covering for the tabernacle, that it might not rain in, and that the beauty of those fine curtains might not be damaged. 1. There was to be a covering of hair camlet curtains, which were somewhat larger every way than the inner curtains, because they were to enclose them, and probably were stretched out at some little distance from them, Exod. 26:7 These were coupled together with brass clasps. The stuff being less valuable, the tacks were so; but the brass tacks would answer the intention as effectually as the golden ones. The bonds of unity may be as strong between curtains of goats’ hair as between those of purple and scarlet. 2. Over this there was to be another covering, and that a double one (Exod. 26:14), one of rams’ skins dyed red, probably dressed with the wool on; another of badgers’ skins, so we translate it, but it should rather seem to have been some strong sort of leather (but very fine), for we read of the best sort of shoes being made of it, Ezek. 16:10. Now observe here, (1.) That the outside of the tabernacle was coarse and rough, the beauty of it was in the inner curtains. Those in whom God dwells must labour to be better than they seem to be. Hypocrites put the best side outwards, like whited sepulchres; but the king’s daughter is all glorious within (Ps. 45:13); in the eye of the world black as the tents of Kedar, but, in the eye of God, comely as the curtains of Solomon, Song 1:5. Let our adorning be that of the hidden man of the heart, which God values, 1 Pet. 3:4. (2.) That where God places his glory he will create a defence upon it; even upon the habitations of the righteous there shall be a covert, Isa. 6:5, 6. The protection of Providence shall always be upon the beauty of holiness. God’s tent will be a pavilion, Ps. 27:5.
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