Thanks for the question; it was an interesting search.
While there were other places that discussed the different applications of these two words, I found the quote below to be the most interesting. I have not yet done a study to test the explanation, but am looking forward to doing so.
From Temple to Meeting House: The Phenomenology and Theology of Places of Worship By Harold W. Turner Walter de Gruyter, May 2, 2011
- Religion - 418 pages
http://tinyurl.com/y6dco3my (Google Books - any typing errors are mine.)
p. 93 - “…It is sufficient to note the similarity with Moses who goes
to the tent of meeting to speak with Yahweh in an intimate and
personal relationship, (e.g. Exodus 29:42-43) and the fact that the
tent was entirely mobile and free from all suggestions of the house of
Similar features of the tabernacle are stressed in the later
traditions about it. This is seen from a study of the usage of two
Hebrew verbs, yashab meaning to inhabit or dwell, and shakan to
sit down or ‘tent’ in a place. In the earlier writings when referring
to God little distinction seems intended between the two, and the
former is the commoner. With the Deuteronomic literature an important
distinction emerges, yashab being used for God’s dwelling in heaven
and shakan for his tabernacling on earth. The priestly writers go
one step further and never use yashab of God but always shakan,
placing the whole emphasis upon Yahweh’s tabernacling with men and
calling the Mosaic sanctuary mishkan, indeed the mishkan or one
tabernacle of the presence of God in this particular way.
However much, therefore, the priestly writers were interested in the
Davidic tabernacle as authenticating their later temple they were even
more interested in the Mosaic tent of meeting as a solution to the
problem of the divine immanence and transcendence. God was the high
omnipotent Lord of the universe and yet had drawn near to Israel in
the desert covenant and remained with her through subsequent history.
How was such a God, who could not be regarded as dwelling in any
shrine, yet be present with his people? The answer lay in the
tabernacle, where Yahweh did not dwell (yashab), but where he
‘settles impermanently’ (shakan) in order to meet with Moses in the
past, and in the same way, with his worshippers in the second temple.
‘Priestly tradition has taken a concrete, archaic term, associated
with Israel’s desert tradition, and used it as an abstract term to
express a theological concept.’(7)...."