Tekhelet in the Mishkan

Tekhelet was one of several fine textiles used extensively in the Mishkan, along with gold, silver, copper, precious stones and animal hides. Other textiles included: argamman (purple), tola’at shani (crimson), and fine linen. The following is a list of items incorporating Tekhelet, as recorded in Exodus and Numbers:
  • Lulaot The coverings of the Mishkan were prepared from panels of animal hides, attached to one another with metal (gold, copper) hooks. On the edges of each panel, there were 50 loops (lulaot) made from Tekhelet threads. The 50 loops of one panel were aligned and adjoined with the 50 loops of the adjacent panel via the metal hooks.
  • Parochet The partition (parochet) which separated the Holy section of the Mishkan from the Holy of Holies was made from all the fine textiles, including Tekhelet. It was hung upon 4 posts of gold-plated pillars of wood having golden hooks, and set in 4 silver sockets.
  • Masach L’Petach HaOhel The screen (masach) placed in front of the opening of the Mishkan was made from all the fine textiles, including Tekhelet. It was hung upon 5 posts of gold-plated pillars of wood having golden hooks, and set in 5 copper sockets.
  • Masach L’Shaar HaChatzer The screen (masach) for the courtyard gate of the Mishkan was made from all the fine textiles, including Tekhelet. It was hung upon 4 posts of silver-plated pillars of wood having silver hooks, and set in 4 copper sockets.
  • Ephod One of the 8 garments of the Kohen HaGadol, the apron (ephod) was made from all the fine textiles, including Tekhelet. Two precious stones, set in gold, were engraved with the 12 names of the tribes and inlaid on the shoulder pieces of the garment.
  • M’eel HaEphod One of the 8 garments of the Kohen HaGadol, the robe (m’eel) was made entirely from Tekhelet, excluding decorations. On its hem were golden bells alternating with pomegranites made from Tekhelet, argamman, and crimson.
  • Tzitz One of the 8 garments of the Kohen HaGadol, the frontpiece (tzitz) was made from gold and engraved with the words “Kodesh LaHashem”. It was tied on with a Tekhelet cord, and lay on top of the headdress.
  • Avnet One of the garments of the Kohanim, the sash (avnet) was made from fine linen embroidered with Tekhelet, argamman and crimson.
  • Bigdei HaSrad When travelling, the various items inside the Mishkan were covered with cloths (bigadim) and transported on poles.
The coverings were as follows: The Ark containing the Tablets was covered with the parochet, then skins, then a Tekhelet cloth. The Showbread Table was covered with a Tekhelet cloth, upon which were placed the bowls, ladles, jars and jugs and bread. On top of this was placed a crimson cloth. The Menorah, as well as its lamps, tongs, fire pans and oil vessels were covered with a Tekhelet cloth and then skins. The Incense Altar (golden) was covered with a Tekhelet cloth and then skins. All the service vessels were placed in a Tekhelet cloth and covered with skins. Only the Sacrifice Altar (copper) was not covered with Tekhelet, but rather with a purple cloth, upon which were placed all its accessories, and then a covering of skins.