Summary of passage: The Lord is still directing Moses on Mt. Sinai with regards to the tabernacle. God told Moses to make a table and dishes of pure gold to hold the bread of the Presence on and a lampstand. God gave Moses specific instructions on how to build the tabernacle and the curtain that would separate the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place (where God would dwell). God told Moses how to build the altar for offerings and the courtyard. There is to be lamps burning all day.
5) Table with the bread of the Presence: Jesus is now the bread of life.
Golden lampstand: The lamps are always to be burning and Jesus is the light of the world, always light, never dark, shining his light everywhere. Note the repetition of 3’s here–pointing to the Triune God. Jesus is the lamp, the light of the World.
Inner curtain or veil: Upon Jesus’ death, this curtain was torn in two, ending the separation between God and man. His blood allowed us to enter the Most Holy Place and his body (the curtain) opened a “new, living way.”
Altar of burnt offering: Jesus was the last burnt offering man ever needed as his blood took the place of animal’s blood and cleanse us all forever. [If you keep reading the Leviticus passage given, you will glean more. This burnt offering was the atonement offering for forgiveness of our sins.]
6a) “Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you” on the mountain.
b) God is a holy God and in order for us to be near him, we had to be cleansed and it had to be done right. Everything had to be an exact representation of the heavenly reality.
Conclusions: These sections of the Bible with listings of specifications is hard for us to read especially with units given that we no longer use. I understand its importance; still, it doesn’t make it any easier to do these lessons.
End Notes: Exodus 25: The Arch of Titus has a depiction of the table from the tabernacle he rebuilt after the other one was destroyed. It closely resembles the specifications given here. The Arch of Titus was built by his brother, Emperor Domitian, in 82 AD in Rome after his death to commemorate his victories which included the siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD. The Arch serves as a model for the Arc of Tri0umphe in Paris today and other arches around the world.
Herod rebuilt the temple in 20-19 BC which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. Model of Herod’s Temple HERE This is the second temple. The first temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC when the Israelites were enslaved. Solomon rebuilt the temple which was then renovated by Herod and known as Herod’s temple. There are no records of what Solomon’s temple or the First Temple looked like.
There were 12 breads of Presence kept on this table, one for each tribe of Israel. Leviticus 24:5-9 gives more details. It was replaced every week and only eaten by the priests. This bread is also known as the “face of God” and was to be eaten in His presence.
We can picture the lampstand similar to the modern-day Menorah. The almond tree was the first to bloom in the spring, representing new life.
From Revelation 4:5, the 7 lamps represent the Holy Spirit.
The light from the lamps, instead of representing Jesus, could also point to God’s presence with us (Numbers 6:25) as light in the Old Testament represented victory and life (Psalm 27:1).
A talent of pure gold was 75 pounds.
Exodus 26: We must remember right now the tabernacle is a tent as the Israelites are moving around in the desert for 40 years. It isn’t until they settle down that a permanent dwelling is constructed.
Note how God gives directions from the inside out–just like He builds us.
The curtain with the cherubim could only be seen from the inside just like in heaven we will see cherubim (Psalm 80:1, Isaiah 37:16, and Ezekiel 10:3).
The goats’ hair was most likely black and similar to modern-day felt. It hid the inner layer just like heaven is hidden to us. The lamb skins and sea cows’ skins would have been added protection for the tabernacle. [Anyone else wonder how they got skins from sea cows?] Result: complete darkness except for the lamps burning bright.
The use of silver as the foundation should draw parallels to Jesus’ work. It separated the tabernacle from the floor like Jesus separates us from sin and the rest of the world. Silver is the payment for sin and redemption. (See Exodus 21:32, Leviticus 5:15, 27:3, 27:6, Numbers 18:16, and Deuteronomy 22:19)
The center crossbar would be unseen just like God.
The veil was thick, impossible to see through. Behind the Most Holy Place was only the Ark of the Covenant. Only the high priest could go into the sacred place and only once a year.
Inside the temple we have an altar, a table, and a lamp: prayer, fellowship, and light for understanding.
Exodus 27: Our altar today is the cross. Horns represented strength and power.
The courtyard was a barrier to God yet the way to approach him with only one gate–one way to God–as Jesus is today.
Scholars say bronze represents judgments since it is forged out of fire. Note the juxtaposition of bronze and silver here in the courtyard: redemption through Jesus who took upon our judgement.
The tabernacle was a tent, meant to be moved. God’s point here is this: where you go, I go and where you dwell, I dwell. I am with you always in your troubles and despair, your victories and triumphs.
Oil represents the Holy Spirit. It is never to go out as the Holy Spirit within us never departs. Immanuel truly.