Acts 15, Part 2
In this post I continue explaining how to solve riddles from Acts 15. This time David's Fallen Tent. Read on for more.
David's Fallen Tent
In my previous post I was reviewing the Acts 15 rules of additions and I showed how to identify Ezra as the 5th and final OT editor. Having used up the text of the letter in Acts 15, there are no other editors.
Those rules of additions are said to be needed until such a time as the 'Fallen Tent of David' is restored. So the rules are temporary until some sort of end-times event related to a tent.
So the riddle is this: What sort of tent will be built that stops the need for the Rules of Additions to be forever applied?
The basic pointers for this riddle are not hard to find. Acts 15 is copying another reference from Amos about David's Fallen Tent. Both of these references are pointing back at Second Samuel chapter 7.
In that chapter we find the conversation between David and Nathan about David's desire to build a house of cedar instead of the tent that apparently survives from Moses' day.
Nathan agrees with David's plan, but then must return to David with a prophetic word not to build such a place.
The rest of the chapter has a bunch of verses in divine voice, but any or all could be additions from the editors. So what David and Nathan's mistake might be has been hidden by the 5 editors we've covered so far.
Note that the conversation between David and Nathan is likely inspired because of the Amos and Acts references themselves. That conversation does not advance an editor's agenda. So, we cannot strike the entire chapter itself, even if that would be the easiest answer.
We began to see through this riddle when we looked at it, not from David's side, as per Acts 15, but from Nathan's side. Acts 15 is taking us to a conversation between David and Nathan over a tent. David himself only has 1 such conversation, and that is with Nathan.
Nathan, a prophet, initially thinks David's plan is fine. As a prophet, Nathan is likely to be well read in the available text. Importantly, at that point in history there have been NO editors. So the text available to Nathan is clean, unedited and as left to history from Moses' day.
Here is the first insight: Because Nathan must be corrected on the purpose of that tent, the inspired purpose must NOT have been readily apparent from the text itself. Any solution to this Acts 15 riddle requires determining that original inspired purpose.
We have whittled away at passages surrounding Moses' Tabernacle for the past several years. There is not much left that explains the purpose, and Nathan being corrected must origin in Moses' original purpose being unclear.
Nathan, basically, agrees with David's plan to build a house of cedar for god. The rebuke is not likely on the construction materials themselves, cedar versus canvas, but on the purpose for the building. That is the disputable point. Unclear from the inspired story.
If we read over the rest of Second Samuel chapter 7, we find many points that are disputable in terms of possible later additions. One verse, though, has an idea that contradicts essentially the rest of the points made.
In Second Samuel chapter 7 verse 10, we read about a future construction, ie a rebuilding of Moses' tent, when 'evil men will not enslave' the public any longer.
Solomon's building project involves tens of thousands of conscripts who built his Temple. So Solomon's project is not the fulfillment. Amos and Acts 15 are in agreement here, having been written later, and which are themselves pointing future still.
So the point of the correction of Nathan, and of David, is that this is the wrong time in history, and the wrong way to build this tent. Not David, nor Solomon, nor any future king, will be able to rebuild the tent of Moses' day.
Back to reviewing Moses, we find that tent being built through an offering. It looks like the only time in the Testimony where an offering is taken. While at the same time there is no obvious inspired purposes for that tent.
This does not answer the purpose of that tent, but at least anything built by a king using tax fails. This is by definition enslaving, and a key point in Nathan's prophetic word back to David.
Our passes across the text have ruled out essentially everything we know about Moses' Tabernacle. A place for Sacrifice? No, not inspired. Articles to conduct sacrifice? No, not inspired. People to conduct sacrifice? No, not inspired. A place for weekly meetings? No, not inspired. A house for god? No, not inspired. (Nathan would not have been rebuked if the text said this last point.)
So that tent is pretty slim on documentation. Someone still has the skills to build it, and to work in various materials, like gold, silver and either brass or copper. They had crafts for that purpose, like weaving. They also had a supply of raw materials including the metals, wood, cloth and skins. The builder, like Moses, also had the skills to teach. So that tent was important, related to teaching but that still does not explain the purpose.
So, again, maybe it was not inspired? If it wasn't inspired the recovery would not have been called out in Acts 15. At least as a tent. Note that the world is working towards a rebuilt temple, following other apparent, but not possibly inspired, prophecies. So we should not mix Acts 15 with what is soon to go on in Jersualem at Temple Mount.
We had to stare at this question for a long time. Finally simply asking, if we had come out of Mizraim, like Joshua son of Nun did, what would we have needed in such a tent?
Asked this way, the answer is self evident. We would not have known the language of the stone tablets. Moses may have learned the language from his father-in-law, but impurely. To accurately learn the Paleo Language requires a large set of 3D models, and it requires other woven artifacts and wood bases.
The 3D models have proper materials, gold, silver and copper, which we can render in plastic and paint. But in ancient times would have required those exact materials.
This is what we've been working on since late 2009. The guts for a rebuilt Tabernacle. We know most of the models already, but have some work still to do once we have a proper shop.
The tent was set up in order to contain the artifacts needed to learn the language. It was a school or a museum of some sort.
This is why Joshua son of Nun is described as Moses' young aide. He was skilled at the language, having come from the classes that Moses was teaching at that tent.
Tent of Time
If we go look at the Aramaic terms, instead of Hebrew, involving Moses' tabernacle we find 2 very important changes.
First, in Hebrew 'Taberacle' is a technical term for the tent built by Moses. In Aramaic, though, there is no technical term. Tabernacle is rendered using the common term 'tent.' Why? Because it was just a common tent. Editors later changed the word and made it special when it was repurposed.
We also find another common term used with the term tent. That other term? 'Time.'
Moses constructed a 'Tent of Time.' Probably what we today would call a museum. It was a place to carry content across time.
To help understand this, consider that modern colleges and universities grew up around the libraries of monastaries. Books were hard to make and expensive. To learn required going to the library and reading. Teachers thus hung out there too.
In Moses' day the artifacts needed to teach the language were made out of real gold, silver, brass, wood and specially woven cloth. They were expensive to make and needed to be kept in a special place, called the 'Tent of Time.'
Like modern higher education, it would have attracted the best and brightest who wanted to go learn the language completely so they could teach it to others spread around in the community.
Now, imagine yourself in that school, learning to read via the study of those models.
Eventually you would have read in The Testimony about Moses' construction of that very tent. The tent you were in or which was very near to where you lived.
Would you have needed much to be written about it? No. You were sitting in it, and knew exactly what was in the tent. You also knew it would have been hard to describe in written form. The content being mostly visual and difficult to explain.
This is why there was scant detail for Nathan's generation. This is why Nathan was unaware of the inspired purpose.
When were the models lost? Likely at the destruction of Shechem, when the city was burned down. They had long before been transferred into a solid house of cedar, with the tent stored somewhere else. The tent survived and was passed to David, while the contents did not survive the burning of the city.
Even the 100 or so years difference to Nathan's day and those artifacts were gone, and whatever prophetic community remained was unaware of the design of the alphabet. The alphabet was still known and usable, but the master designs were gone.
Nathan's generation was also unaware of the audit patterns so that editors like Solomon could now commit their frauds.
When Acts 15 references David's fallen tent, it means that when the audit patterns kept in Moses' Tent of Time are known and available, the manuscript itself will not need to be approximated from public copies. A complete audit can then be performed.