“…and a covering above of Badgers’ skins.”
The outer and final covering, over all and above all, was the covering of badgers’ skins. So in effect, there were four coverings which made up the top of the tabernacle. The fine twined linen, the goats’ hair, the rams’ and now the badgers’. Even as the rams’ skins had no recorded measurements, so also we are given no measurements for this covering. It was a leathery, durable, and waterproof hide of some sort. The exact meaning of the Hebrew word is not known. Perhaps it was a seal skin of one of the Red Sea variety of seals. In fact the NASB translates it “porpoise skins” and the NIV translates it “sea cowl”. Whatever the case, these skins acted as the final protection from the storms, weather and heat of the desert and wilderness life. It was the layer of covering that was visible to everyone who would see the tabernacle tent. It was likely the same material used for sandals and the tent coverings of the people in general. The thick protective covering is all the common man saw of the tent. Badger skins were used as a covering for all of the vessels of the tabernacle when they were in transit.
Badgers’ skins were not precious fur or skin. There was, therefore, no natural beauty to the human eye in gazing upon the tabernacle. Only the priests who experienced the inside of the tabernacle found out where the real beauty was.
This is the same that is true of Christ, Isaiah declares that
“when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him” (Isa.53:1-3),
“His visage was…marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men” (Isa.52:14).
To the natural and unregenerate man, there is nothing attractive about Christ, but to those who are in Christ, He is seen in great glory and beauty (Colossians 1:19). To those who are in Christ, “He is altogether lovely” (Song of Solomon 5:16), but to those outside of Christ, He is nothing to be desired. For
“the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”