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on 5 November 2012
Quite fascinating that the author fashions his discussions of the Tabernacle around the concept of space. Space in the sense of a volume set within physical boundaries, or space set within abstract boundaries of spiritual, religious, conceptual parameters. This approach generates a beautifully conceived method of analysing the constructional materials, fabrication, layout, functioning and rituals of the Tabernacle as well as its psychological significance.

Mark George bases his Tabernacle descriptions on the Masoretic text of the Bible, and concedes he has not included the variants that appear in the LXX. Although it would probably triple the size of this 233 page paperback, it would be nice if he does eventually tackle this additional source, as well as rabbinic/ Talmudic and a greater depth of texts from non-Hebraic related material.

From my metallurgical knowledge there is one suggestion, amongst many I could make, about the author's comment on page 3, where he talks about `the enigmatic detail that the bronze basin is made from the bronze mirrors of the women serving at the entrance to the tent of meeting...' The footnote states that `The significance of this detail has puzzled interpreters for centuries.' I offer this possible explanation. In collecting copper implements from the people the items would have contained varying amounts of impurities, mainly high tin and lead content. The basin would need to have been cast from high quality copper in order to allow a shiny corrosion resistant product. Mirrors would have had a tin composition of about 8-11% so that the alloy could be easily polished to high finish and easily be cast into a large laver.

As I am currently embarked on a book about the Exodus and what I believe is the exact location of the giving of the Ten Commandments, Mark George's work makes welcome reading. His approach evokes thought provoking perspectives of what becomes a compelling read, which had me finishing the book in one sitting. I will certainly be returning to it as a source of reference.
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