The Tabernacle’s Pattern?

Just before the Bible provides us with a detailed description of the Tabernacle’s vessels, there is an interesting verse that mentioned that God showed Moses the ‘pattern’ of the Tabernacle and its vessels:

“And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst. Exactly as I show you concerning the pattern of the tabernacle, and of all its furniture, so you shall make it.” (Exodus 25:8-9)

In the original Hebrew, the word for ‘pattern’ is “Tavnit” {תבנית} and this word is derived from the Hebrew root “B-N-HA” {ב-נ-ה} which simply means ‘built’. We can find this word in several places in the Hebrew Bible which relates to the concept of a ‘model’ (it is used as a synonym for the word model). In our specific case it is actually means a ‘plan’, as appears in the following biblical example:

“Then David gave Solomon his son the plan of the vestibule of the temple, and of its houses…” (1 Chronicles 28: 11)

In other words, one should read the verse above as ‘God showed Moses the plan of the Tabernacle and its vessels’. Interestingly, in Modern Hebrew the concept of the biblical word ‘Tavnit’ has ‘extended’ and it means also ‘form’ or ‘template.’