Screen

SCREEN (מָסָכְ, H5009, covering, KJV hanging). A linen hanging which served as a door in the Tabernacle. In the specifications of the Tabernacle given to Moses (Exod 25-27) there was provision for three screens made of blue, purple, and scarlet stuff, and fine twined linen. They were attached by hooks to poles of acacia wood, but whether they were detached or parted for access is not clear.

The first screen was at the E end of the court of the Tabernacle (27:16). It was twenty cubits long, and was supported by four pillars decorated with silver fillets and standing in bronze bases. The screen was similar to the hangings of linen from which the walls of the court were made, except that it was decorated. The specifications for the court hangings seem to mean that there was one pillar every five cubits (see Tabernacle), in which case a detachable screen of twenty cubits would require five pillars. If there was such an interval between pillars, which is not certain, the screen could have been non-detachable and would therefore require four more pillars not already accounted for in the walls.

The second screen was the door to the tent (26:36f.), and was similar to the court gate except that it was supported by five pillars either overlaid with gold or, more prob., decorated with gold overlaid fillets and capitals.

The third screen formed the division between the two parts of the tent, veiling the innermost holy place (35:12). It is most frequently referred to as the veil (parōket), several times as the veil of the screen (parōket hammāsāk), and once only as the screen (māsāk). On this last occasion (Num 3:31) it is clearly the veil which is described as in the care of the Kohathites, since the screen of the tent is assigned to the care of the Gershonites (v. 25).

Bibliography

A. R. S. Kennedy, HDB IV (1902), 655ff.; M. Noth, Exodus (1962), 216.