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Monday, July 02, 2007

The Tabernacle - Part II

The Tabernacle
In the prior 2 devotions I studied the Tabernacle enclosure and the Brazen Altar and the Brazen Laver. (See blog entries below.) We are now ready to look at the Tabernacle proper or the Tent. This Tent was only of two rooms.

I am only pulling out the verses that I will be referring to in order to keep this blog entry short. It would be good to read all of Exodus 26.

Exodus 26:1 And you shall make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined bleached linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet. You shall make them with cherubs, of the work of a cunning workman.

Exodus 26:7 And you shall make curtains of goats' hair to be a tent over the tabernacle. You shall make eleven curtains.

Exodus 26:14 And you shall make a covering for the tent of rams' skins dyed red, and a covering above of dugong skins.

Exodus 26:15 And you shall make boards for the tabernacle of acacia-wood standing up.

Exodus 26:18 And you shall make the boards for the tabernacle, twenty boards on the south side southward.

Exodus 26:20 And for the second side of the tabernacle on the north side shall be twenty boards,

Exodus 26:22-24 And for the sides of the tabernacle westward you shall make six boards. And you shall make two boards for the corners of the tabernacle in the sides. And they shall be coupled together beneath, and they shall be coupled together above the head of it to one ring. So it shall be for them both. They shall be for the two corners.

Exodus 26:25-30 And there shall be eight boards, and their sockets of silver, sixteen sockets, two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board. And you shall make bars of acacia-wood, five for the boards of the one side of the tabernacle, and five bars for the boards of the other side of the tabernacle; and five bars for the side of the tabernacle, for the two sides westward. And the middle bar in the midst of the boards shall reach from end to end. And you shall overlay the boards with gold, and you shall make their rings of gold, housings for the bars. And you shall overlay the bars with gold. And you shall rear up the tabernacle according to the pattern of it which was shown you in the mountain.

The framework or trellis for the tent of the Tabernacle was to be made of acacia (or shittim) wood. I have described this wood previously and that wood always represented humanity while gold represents deity. Jesus Christ is the support and He was a son of man and the Son of God.

The height of these boards were about 10 cubits or 15 feet. Twenty boards made up one of the long sides of the Tabernacle making it about 45 ft long. The short ends of the Tabernacle were made up of would have been about 15 feet with the rear wall being made of 8 boards. These gold overlaid boards were laid in sockets of silver on the bottom. They were clasped together with 96 sockets of silver and gold tenons. There were also 5 long horizontal bars slipped in gold rings to stabilize the Tabernacle.

Over the Tabernacle were placed the tent curtains. There were 4 layers of curtains. The first layer which would have been seen from the inside was made up of woven linen in blue, purple, and scarlet threads with the designs of cherubim. We have discussed before that the cherubim are angelic beings that represent God's righteous judgement and government and they are His enforcers. We also discussed the symbolism of the colors with blue signifying the heavenly or deity, purple represents royalty and scarlet represents humanity because it is the color of blood. Scarlet is also the color of glory! The purity of white, the deity of blue, the royalty of purple and the humanity and glory of scarlet represent Jesus Christ.

There were 10 of these linen curtains. These curtains were coupled together in fives, giving a total length of forty-two feet and a width of sixty feet, which would not only reach across the Tabernacle, which was fifteen feet in width, but would overlap its sides. The two sets of five white curtains were linked together by fifty loops of blue on each curtain, which were fastened with fifty clasps of gold, to make one solid piece. The loops and clasps show that the love and obedience of Christ are what hold it all together. If Jesus had not loved us and loved His Father enough to sacrifice Himself for us...If Jesus had not been obedient to His Father, EVEN UNTO DEATH...we would have been forever lost.

When the Priests entered the Tabernacle tent and looked up, they would see this magnificent covering. They would be reminded of God's glory, His mercy, His righteousness.

The further outward you moved from God's Presence, the less valuable the materials were. So the next curtain was made of 11 curtains of goat's hair looped together with bronze clasps. The covering of goats hair spoke of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice as in the scapegoat that carried away the sins of the nation in the wilderness.

Scape Goat
Leviticus 16:7-10 And he shall take the two he-goats and present them before Jehovah at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And Aaron shall cast lots on the two he-goats; one lot for Jehovah and the other lot for a complete removal. And Aaron shall bring the goat on which Jehovah's lot fell, and offer it for a sin offering. But the goat on which the lot fell to be the complete removal shall be presented alive before Jehovah, to make an atonement with him, to let him go for a complete removal into the wilderness.

Leviticus 16:15 Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering that is for the people, and bring its blood inside the veil. And he shall do with that blood as he did with the blood of the young bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy-seat and before the mercy-seat.

Leviticus:20-22 And when he has made an end of reconciling the sanctuary and the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar, he shall bring the live goat. And Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the sins of the sons of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send away by the hand of a chosen man into the wilderness. And the goat shall bear on him all their sins to a land in which no one lives. And he shall let the goat go in the wilderness.


Next came the first water tight covering which was red dyed ram skins. Rams were used for sacrifice, as in the account with Abraham and Isaac, and the red always represents blood for the atonement. For example:

Leviticus 5:15 If a soul commits a trespass and sins through ignorance in the holy things of Jehovah, then he shall bring for his trespass to Jehovah a ram without blemish out of the flock, together with an amount set by you, by shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for a trespass offering.

And, finally, the covering of badger (or dugong) skins. The Hebrew word for badger skins 'tachash' may refer to a badger or a Dugong or Sea Cow or Porpoise. These are aquatic mammals. Their skin would have been waterproof. Once again, in the tabernacle coverings there was a progression from the more beautiful to the less attractive. The final cover of skins was far from beautiful. You can't help but imagine what someone must have thought to see this unattractive tent as the focal point for the worship of Yahweh. But these skins prove that Jesus had no special looks to attract others. Jesus was a normal Israelite man with nothing especially attractive about Him that would make us think he was the King of kings. He was humble in character.

Isa 53:2-3 "For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; he was despised, and we did not esteem Him."

From the outside, Jesus might not have looked like a King, but the more you learn about Him, the more beautiful He is. To those who are standing on the outside looking in...little do they realize how precious our Savior is, how beautiful He is to us, who are saved! In fact, when He was crucified He was described as having a face so marred by brutality that He was barely recognizable as a man and yet, it was by that precious blood we are saved! It is by His love and His obedience that we are covered and brought safely into the presence of God.


Read my other posts on The Tabernacle.

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