The Talmud, by Joseph Barclay, , at sacred-texts.com
THE TABLE which Moses made in the wilderness was in length two cubits, and its breadth one cubit, and its height was one cubit and a half, as is said, "Thou shalt also make a table of shittim wood, two cubits shall be the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof." 1 Rabbi Judah said, "the cubit (contained) five handbreadths, thus there are ten handbreadths." From thence the Sages said, "the table was in length ten handbreadths, and in breadth five handbreadths. And the shew-bread was in length ten handbreadths, and in breadth five. The length of the shew-bread was placed against the breadth of the table. It extended over two handbreadths and a half on either side. It follows that its length quite filled the breadth of the table." Rabbi Meier said, "the table was in length twelve handbreadths, and in breadth six handbreadths. And the shew-bread was in length ten (handbreadths), and in breadth five. And its length was placed against the breadth of the table. It extended over two handbreadths on either side; and there was an opening of two handbreadths in the middle, that the air might blow through them (the loaves)." Aba Shaul said, "they put there two cups of incense of the shew-bread." The Sages said to him, "and is it not already said, 'And thou shalt put pure frankincense upon each row.'" 2 He replied to them, "and is it not already said, 'And by him shall be the tribe of Manasseh?'" 3 Although Solomon made ten tables, and all of them were lawful for service, as is said, "He made also ten tables, and placed them in the temple, five on the right side, and five on the left." 4 "If thou sayest five on the south, and five on the north, is not a table on the south worthless?" But what is the meaning of saying, "five on the right and five on the left?" "Five to the right of the table
of Moses, and five to the left of the table of Moses, even though he did not arrange the shew-bread, save for the table of Moses only, as is said, 'And the table whereupon the shew-bread was.'" 1 Rabbi José, the son of Rabbi Judah, said, "all the tables were arranged for shew-bread as is said, 'And the tables whereon the shew-bread was set.'" 2
346:1 Exod. xxv. 23.
346:2 Lev. xxiv. 7.
346:3 Numb. ii. 20. על therefore means "by" or "next," as well as "upon."
346:4 2 Chron. iv. 8.
347:1 1 Kings vii. 48.
347:2 2 Chron. iv. 19.