ומשה יקח. עתיד תחת עבר. על דרך יעשו עגל בחורב: NOW MOSES USED TO TAKE THE TENT. Scripture employs an imperfect26Yikkach. Yikkach means will take. J.P.S. renders used to take. in place of a perfect.27Lakach (took). We find the same in They made a calf in Horeb (Ps. 106:19).28Ps. 106:19 employs the future, ya’asu (they will make), in place of the perfect, asu.
האהל. אהל שלו. כמו ויבאו האהלה. THE TENT. His tent.29The tent means Moses’ tent. Hence the heh (the) prefaced to ohel (tent). It is like and they came into the tent (Ex. 18:7).30The reference being to Moses’ tent.
והנה משה נבדל מישראל בעבור הכבוד שידבר עמו. וזה היה אחר שהוריד הלוחות השניים כתובים והחלו ישראל לעשות המשכן וקרא לאהלו אהל מועד כי השם נועד לו שם עד שנעשה המשכן ואין מוקדם ומאוחר בתורה. וי"א כי זה הוא אהל המשכן וספר הכתוב אנה היה המשכן לפני שיקימו הדגלים החמשים יום: [NOW MOSES USED TO TAKE THE TENT AND PITCH IT WITHOUT THE CAMP, AFAR OFF FROM THE CAMP; AND HE CALLED IT THE TENT OF MEETING.] Look. Moses was separated from Israel because of the Glory that used to speak with him. This took place after he brought down the inscribed second tablets31See Ex. 34. and Israel began to construct the tabernacle. Moses called his tent the tent of meeting because God met with him there until the tabernacle was erected. There is no chronological order in the Torah.32For what is recorded in our verse did not occur at this point in time. As I.E. explains, it occurred later. Some say that the tent refers to the tabernacle and that Scripture tells us where the tabernacle was located during the fifty days before the banners were set up.33The tabernacle was set up on the first of Nisan (Ex. 40:17). Israel journeyed according to their banners on the twentieth of Iyyar, 50 days later. I.E. assumes that Israel took their journey on the very day that the banners were set up.