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The Old Testament words translated "pattern" do not necessarily indicate a drawing such as a modern constructor begins with, or the patterns made from these drawings for the guidance of workmen. In Ex 25:9,40 the word "idea" or "suggestion" would possibly indicate more distinctly than "pattern" what Moses received in regard to the building of the tabernacle, etc. It is doubtful if any architect’s drawing was ever made of the temple. It is not the custom in Palestine and Syria today to work from any pattern more concrete than an idea. A man who wants a house calls the builder and says he wants to build so many rooms of such and such dimensions with, for example, a court 10 drahs (arm’s lengths) wide and 15 drahs long, made of sandstone and plastered inside and out. With these meager instructions the builder starts. The details are worked out as the building proceeds. When a piece of iron or brass work is to be made, the customer by gestures with his hands outlines the form the piece should take. "I want it haik wa haik" ("thus and thus"), he says, and leaves the metal worker to conceive the exact form. It is probable that directions similar to these were given by David to Solomon. "Then David gave Solomon his son the pattern (his conception) of the porch of the temple," etc. (1Ch 28:11). The above does not apply to Greek and Roman work in Syria. Their workmen, probably mostly native, were trained to work from models. Williams in the Architect, January, 1913, says of the works at Baalbek and Palmyra, "There is a machine-like resemblance betokening slavish copying." At the present time native workmen coming under the influence of foreigners are beginning to work from models and plans, but they show little tendency to create models of their own.
James A. Patch
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