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The Wisdom of Israel, by Edwin Collins, [1910], at


Why did God command the building of the Tabernacle, and sanction the building of the Temple? Surely He requires no dwelling-place. "Behold the Heaven and the Heaven of Heavens cannot contain Him." "Do not I fill Heaven and Earth?" It must be for the honour of His people that He appointed the place of meeting.

Rabbi Azariah said, in the name of Rabbi Judah the son of Simon, "This may be likened to a king of flesh and blood, who had an only daughter, whom he loved very dearly! When she was a little girl he always talked with her in public. If he saw her in the court, he spoke with her, and even rebuked her before his courtiers. When she grew up, to a marriageable age, the king said, It is no longer for the honour of my daughter that, whenever my daughter wishes to speak with me, I should talk with her in public. Let a pavilion be built for her, so that whenever I wish to speak to my daughter I may do so from inside of the

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pavilion." So when Israel was in Egypt, the nation was yet young: "When Israel was a child I loved him; from Egypt did I call My son" (Hosea xi. 1), and at Sinai (Deut. v. 4), "Face to face the Lord spake with you." But from the time when they accepted the Torah, with the words: "All that the Lord hath spoken we will do, and we will hear," they were a fully-developed nation. Then He said, "It is not seemly for My children that I should speak to them and correct them in public; or, when I have hard words to say to them, that all the world should hear; but let them build for Me a tabernacle, and when I have to speak to them I will speak from the Tabernacle."

Barmidbar R., Chap. XII.

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