The meaning of this root (BDB 1065 I, KB 1720 I) is uncertain. The traditional interpretation of the skin of a marine mammal comes from the Arabic root for "dolphin."

However, the root may come from an Egyptian root for fine leather. This fits its usage in Ezek. 16:10, where it is used of sandal leather. This leather of animal skins was used to cover parts of the tabernacle when it was moved.

The previous phrase in Exod. 25:5, "ram skins dyed red," also denotes a process of tanning hides, whereby they become reddish in color.

It seems God chose common, readily accessible items to construct the tabernacle (i.e., acacia wood), so it just makes sense that this word does not refer to marine mammal skins.


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