We have explained in our article
Biblical Formatting located on the world wide web at
that the Biblical Author indicated bullets
by using repeating keywords.
That is, if a modern
author wanted to get a point across using bullets -
a list of similar but contrastive items -
then the Biblical
Author would use repeating keywords.
Today's verse illustrates this principle.
Bullets whether indicated through modern notation or
through the Biblical method of repeating keywords always indicate
contrastive emphasis - that is, each bullet is presumed
to be a distinct item contrasted to the other items on the list. Very often
the bullets are also used to indicate that the entire list of exhaustive
of some spectrum.
the carrying of the Holy objects
And Aaron and his sons will complete the covering
and afterwards the Kehatites will come to carry ...
The repeated underlined phrase
creates a bullet effect. The bullet effect in turn
creates an emphasis on the distinctness of all enumerated items.
Rashi interprets the distinctness as follows
- of the Holies, and
- of all the utensils of the Holies
- Holies refers to the A) ark, and B) altars
- Utensils of the Holies refers to C)candellabrah (and utensils)
D) the table (and utensils) .
Advanced Rashi:Several supporting comments are in order.
First: Rashi reviewed the list of items to be covered, presented in verses Nu04-04 through
Rashi took each of these enumerated items and classified them. Items A, B,
the Ark and the altars, were classified as Holy, while items C,D the Table,
Candellabrah and their utensils, were classified as Holy utensils.
- (Verse 5,6) The Ark and dividing curtain, (Item A),
- (Verse 7,8) the table and its utensils (Item D),
- (Verse 9,10) the Candellabrah and its utensils (Item C),
- (Verse 11-14) the Golden and Copper Altar and their utensils (Item B),
A perhaps more important question is why? Why are some objects called holy
while other objects are called holy utensils? I would suggest that the main goals
of Judaism, Torah knowledge and the respect for prophecy symbolized respectively
by the Ark and the Altar-fires symbolizing prophetic fire visions, are the main Holy
objects. By contrast, the Table and Candellabrah, symbolizing learning and dependence on
God for food are means to the end of Torah knowledge and prophecy; hence, they are classified
as utensils to the holys. The verse by bulleting separately the Holies and the Utensils of the
Holies indicated two stages of Temple utensils.