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The Trysting Tent
by Wayne Blank
"face to face, as a man speaks to his friend"
For readers of the King James (KJV) or Revised Standard (RSV) versions of the Holy Scriptures, the above quote from the James Moffat translation of the 1920s has an obvious difference i.e. Moffat's use of "Trysting tent" where the KJV and RSV (and many others) use Tent or Tabernacle (tabernacle means tent) of Meeting or congregation (meeting and congregation mean the same thing) i.e. for Exodus 33:7
"Moses used to pitch the tent outside the camp, at some distance from it; he called it the Trysting tent." (James Moffat translation)
"Meeting" or "congregation" as used by the RSV and KJV convey a "public" sort of event, whereas Moffat's use of "trysting" (the English word tryst, which is a form of the word trust, has come to mean a private or intimate meeting) is more literally correct in how Moses was allowed to meet with The Lord "face to face, as a man speaks to his friend" - something no one else was routinely allowed to do as Moses did. Moses was "trysted" (i.e. trusted) with experiences and knowledge that very few other humans have ever been allowed access to.
The Trysting Tent ("trusting" tent) / Tent of Meeting, as such, is recorded in existence in Exodus 33:7-11. The Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant which contained the Ten Commandments, were constructed a little later, as recorded in Exodus chapters 34 to 40.
Moses' appointed successor, Joshua, was also a great servant of God, but none have come close to Moses.
"And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as The Lord commanded Moses.
Fact Finder: When and why did Moses wear a "veil"?