The Tabernacle, A Tabernacle Footprint, A Field Trip - Lesson 6
The Courtyard Exodus 27:9-19
So the Way of Introduction to God is shown in the gate of the outer court.
And thou shalt make the court of the tabernacle: for the south side southward there shall be hangings for the court of fine twined linen of an hundred cubits long for one side: 10And the twenty pillars thereof and their twenty sockets shall be of brass; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets (a fence rail or rod connecting the pillars) shall be of silver. 11And likewise for the north side in length there shall be hangings of an hundred cubits long, and his twenty pillars and their twenty sockets of brass; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets of silver. 12And for the breadth of the court on the west side shall be hangings of fifty cubits: their pillars ten, and their sockets ten. 13And the breadth of the court on the east side eastward shall be fifty cubits. 14The hangings of one side of the gate shall be fifteen cubits: their pillars three, and their sockets three. 15And on the other side shall be hangings fifteen cubits: their pillars three, and their sockets three. 16And for the gate of the court shall be an hanging of twenty cubits, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, wrought with needlework: and their pillars shall be four, and their sockets four. 17All the pillars round about the court shall be filleted with silver; their hooks shall be of silver, and their sockets of brass. 18The length of the court shall be an hundred cubits, and the breadth fifty every where, and the height five cubits of fine twined linen, and their sockets of brass. 19All the vessels of the tabernacle in all the service thereof, and all the pins thereof, and all the pins of the court, shall be of brass.
The Altar - Exodus 27:1-8
The Way of Reconciliation of God to man is pictured in the brazen altar.
And thou shalt make an altar of shittim wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad; the altar shall be foursquare: and the height thereof shall be three cubits. 2And thou shalt make the horns of it upon the four corners thereof: his horns shall be of the same: and thou shalt overlay it with brass. 3And thou shalt make his pans to receive his ashes, and his shovels, and his basins, and his fleshhooks, and his firepans: all the vessels thereof thou shalt make of brass. 4And thou shalt make for it a grate of network of brass; and upon the net shalt thou make four brazen rings in the four corners thereof. 5And thou shalt put it under the compass of the altar beneath, that the net may be even to the midst of the altar. 6And thou shalt make staves for the altar, staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with brass. 7And the staves shall be put into the rings, and the staves shall be upon the two sides of the altar, to bear it. 8Hollow with boards shalt thou make it: as it was showed thee in the mount, so shall they make it.
The Laver - Exodus 30:18-21
The Way of Separation is pictured in the laver.
8Thou shalt also make a laver of brass, and his foot also of brass, to wash withal: and thou shalt put it between the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar, and thou shalt put water therein. 19For Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet thereat: 20When they go into the tabernacle of the congregation, they shall wash with water, that they die not; or when they come near to the altar to minister, to burn offering made by fire unto the LORD: 21So they shall wash their hands and their feet, that they die not: and it shall be a statute for ever to them, even to him and to his seed throughout their generations.
The Tabernacle Structure Exodus 26:1-30
30 cubits long, 10 cubits wide and 10 cubits high. 45x15x15 feet, with the Most Holy Place being 10 by 10 by 10 cubits or 15x15x15 feet, a perfect cube. Reminds us of the Holy City that is described in Revelation as being a cube,
Rev 21:16, And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.
Covering One – Fine twined linen, and blue and purple with scarlet – 10 each, 28 cubits by 4 cubits, 5 curtains coupled together, then two groups of five attached together by loops and taches (probably from the word attached)
Covering Two – Goat’s Hair - 11 each, 30 cubits by 4 cubits, 5 curtains coupled together, then six curtains coupled together, then the two groups attached together by loops and taches
Covering Three – Rams’ skins dyed red
Covering Four – Badgers’ skins
Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work shalt thou make them. 2The length of one curtain shall be eight and twenty cubits, and the breadth of one curtain four cubits: and every one of the curtains shall have one measure. 3The five curtains shall be coupled together one to another; and other five curtains shall be coupled one to another. 4And thou shalt make loops of blue upon the edge of the one curtain from the selvedge in the coupling; and likewise shalt thou make in the uttermost edge of another curtain, in the coupling of the second. 5Fifty loops shalt thou make in the one curtain, and fifty loops shalt thou make in the edge of the curtain that is in the coupling of the second; that the loops may take hold one of another. 6And thou shalt make fifty taches of gold, and couple the curtains together with the taches: and it shall be one tabernacle.
7And thou shalt make curtains of goats’ hair to be a covering upon the tabernacle: eleven curtains shalt thou make. 8The length of one curtain shall be thirty cubits, and the breadth of one curtain four cubits: and the eleven curtains shall be all of one measure. 9And thou shalt couple five curtains by themselves, and six curtains by themselves, and shalt double the sixth curtain in the forefront of the tabernacle. 10And thou shalt make fifty loops on the edge of the one curtain that is outmost in the coupling, and fifty loops in the edge of the curtain which coupleth the second. 11And thou shalt make fifty taches of brass, and put the taches into the loops, and couple the tent together, that it may be one. 12And the remnant that remaineth of the curtains of the tent, the half curtain that remaineth, shall hang over the backside of the tabernacle. 13And a cubit on the one side, and a cubit on the other side of that which remaineth in the length of the curtains of the tent, it shall hang over the sides of the tabernacle on this side and on that side, to cover it. 14And thou shalt make a covering for the tent of rams’ skins dyed red, and a covering above of badgers’ skins.
Boards – Ten cubits long, 15 feet, 1.5 cubits wide, 27 inches, 2.25 feet, two tenons in each board, 20 boards on the south side, 20 boards on the north side, 6 boards on the west side, 2 corners also shall be made, 5 connecting bars shall be made on the south, north and west sides, middle bar reaching from end to end, these are inserted in rings of gold that are attached to the boards
15And thou shalt make boards for the tabernacle of shittim wood standing up. 16Ten cubits shall be the length of a board, and a cubit and a half shall be the breadth of one board. 17Two tenons shall there be in one board, set in order one against another: thus shalt thou make for all the boards of the tabernacle. 18And thou shalt make the boards for the tabernacle, twenty boards on the south side southward. 19And thou shalt make forty sockets of silver under the twenty boards; two sockets under one board for his two tenons, and two sockets under another board for his two tenons. 20And for the second side of the tabernacle on the north side there shall be twenty boards: 21And their forty sockets of silver; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board. 22And for the sides of the tabernacle westward thou shalt make six boards. 23And two boards shalt thou make for the corners of the tabernacle in the two sides. 24And they shall be coupled together beneath, and they shall be coupled together above the head of it unto one ring: thus shall it be for them both; they shall be for the two corners. 25And they shall be eight boards, and their sockets of silver, sixteen sockets; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board. 26And thou shalt make bars of shittim wood; five for the boards of the one side of the tabernacle, 27And five bars for the boards of the other side of the tabernacle, and five bars for the boards of the side of the tabernacle, for the two sides westward. 28And the middle bar in the midst of the boards shall reach from end to end. 29And thou shalt overlay the boards with gold, and make their rings of gold for places for the bars: and thou shalt overlay the bars with gold. 30And thou shalt rear up the tabernacle according to the fashion thereof which was showed thee in the mount.
The Veil and the hanging for the door to the tabernacle – Exodus 26:31-37
The veil between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place - And thou shalt make a veil of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubims shall it be made: 32And thou shalt hang it upon four pillars of shittim wood overlaid with gold: their hooks shall be of gold, upon the four sockets of silver. 33And thou shalt hang up the veil under the taches, that thou mayest bring in thither within the veil the ark of the testimony: and the veil shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy.
34And thou shalt put the mercy seat upon the ark of the testimony in the most holy place. 35And thou shalt set the table without the veil, and the candlestick over against the table on the side of the tabernacle toward the south: and thou shalt put the table on the north side.
The Veil at the entrance to the Holy Place - And thou shalt make an hanging for the door of the tent, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, wrought with needlework. 37And thou shalt make for the hanging five pillars of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold, and their hooks shall be of gold: and thou shalt cast five sockets of brass for them.
The Table of Showbread – Exodus 25:23-30
The Way of Satisfaction is pictured in the table of showbread.
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. 24And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, and make thereto a crown of gold round about. 25And thou shalt make unto it a border of an hand breadth round about, and thou shalt make a golden crown to the border thereof round about. 26And thou shalt make for it four rings of gold, and put the rings in the four corners that are on the four feet thereof. 27Over against the border shall the rings be for places of the staves to bear the table. 28And thou shalt make the staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold, that the table may be borne with them. 29And thou shalt make the dishes thereof, and spoons thereof, and covers thereof, and bowls thereof, to cover withal: of pure gold shalt thou make them. 30And thou shalt set upon the table showbread before me alway.
The Showbread - Leviticus 24:5-9
And thou shalt take fine flour, and bake twelve cakes thereof: two tenth deals (same as an ephah which is .62 bushels, therefore 20% of .62 bushel, .12 of a bushel per bread) shall be in one cake. 6And thou shalt set them in two rows, six on a row, upon the pure table before the LORD. 7And thou shalt put pure frankincense (aromatic resin) upon each row, that it may be on the bread for a memorial, even an offering made by fire unto the LORD. 8Every sabbath he shall set it in order before the LORD continually, being taken from the children of Israel by an everlasting covenant. 9And it shall be Aaron’s and his sons’; and they shall eat it in the holy place: for it is most holy unto him of the offerings of the LORD made by fire by a perpetual statute.
The Candlestick – Exodus 25:31-38
The Way of Illumination is pictured in the golden candlestick.
And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be made: his shaft, and his branches, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, shall be of the same. 32And six branches shall come out of the sides of it; three branches of the candlestick out of the one side, and three branches of the candlestick out of the other side: 33Three bowls made like unto almonds, with a knop and a flower in one branch; and three bowls made like almonds in the other branch, with a knop and a flower: so in the six branches that come out of the candlestick. 34And in the candlestick shall be four bowls made like unto almonds, with their knops and their flowers. 35And there shall be a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, according to the six branches that proceed out of the candlestick. 36Their knops and their branches shall be of the same: all it shall be one beaten work of pure gold. 37And thou shalt make the seven lamps thereof: and they shall light the lamps thereof, that they may give light over against it. 38And the tongs thereof, and the snuffdishes thereof, shall be of pure gold. 39Of a talent (75 lbs per talent) of pure gold shall he make it, with all these vessels. 40And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was showed thee in the mount.
The Oil for the Candlestick – Exodus 27:20
And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always. 21In the tabernacle of the congregation without the veil, which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall order it from evening to morning before the LORD: it shall be a statute for ever unto their generations on the behalf of the children of Israel.
The Altar of Incense – Exodus 30:1-10
The Way of Intercession is pictured in the altar of worship or altar of incense.
And thou shalt make an altar to burn incense upon: of shittim wood shalt thou make it. 2A cubit shall be the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof; foursquare shall it be: and two cubits shall be the height thereof: the horns thereof shall be of the same. 3And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, the top thereof, and the sides thereof round about, and the horns thereof; and thou shalt make unto it a crown of gold round about. 4And two golden rings shalt thou make to it under the crown of it, by the two corners thereof, upon the two sides of it shalt thou make it; and they shall be for places for the staves to bear it withal. 5And thou shalt make the staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold. 6And thou shalt put it before the veil that is by the ark of the testimony, before the mercy seat that is over the testimony, where I will meet with thee. 7And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he dresseth the lamps, he shall burn incense upon it. 8And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the LORD throughout your generations. 9Ye shall offer no strange incense thereon, nor burnt sacrifice, nor meat offering; neither shall ye pour drink offering thereon. 10And Aaron shall make an atonement upon the horns of it once in a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonements: once in the year shall he make atonement upon it throughout your generations: it is most holy unto the LORD.
The Ark of the Covenant – Exodus 25:10-22
Ark of the Testimony
Ark of the Covenant
Ark of the Covenant of the Lord
Ark of the Covenant of God
Ark of the Covenant of the Lord God
Holy Ark of God
Ark of Thy Strength
Ark of the Lord
Ark of Shittim Wood
So once through the veil we are now in the Way of Communion that is pictured in the Ark of the Covenant.
And they shall make an ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof. 11And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about. 12And thou shalt cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in the four corners thereof; and two rings shall be in the one side of it, and two rings in the other side of it. 13And thou shalt make staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold. 14And thou shalt put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, that the ark may be borne with them. 15The staves shall be in the rings of the ark: they shall not be taken from it. 16And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee. 17And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof. 18And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. 19And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof. 20And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be. 21And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. 22And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.
This ark or box was most beautiful for it was overlaid with pure gold and topped by a cover over which stood two angels facing each other and looking downward.
Within the box were three items, a golden pot of manna reminding the children of Israel of God’s provision, Aaron’s staff or rod that had budded reminding the children of God’s authority, and the two stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments were written reminding the children of God’s requirement to obey His law.
These three articles were preserved in the ark throughout Israel’s history as an symbol of man’s sins and shortcomings, a reminder of how they rejected God’s provision, authority and right standard of living.
It pointed to man as a helpless sinner, undone, pedantic (lacking judgment), and without hope in anything that man could do.
It may have been uncomfortable to think that God’s splendor was so close to the three articles associated with man’s sinfulness.
But this is where God’s provision comes in.
When God looked down from His presence above the ark, He did not see the reminders of sin.
They were covered by a necessary object — the atonement cover or mercy seat.
Jesus Christ has become our permanent atonement cover.
Through Jesus’ blood, our sins have been covered over.
When God looks at us, He doesn’t see our sin, but He sees His provision: His own Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus lay down His life for us as an innocent sacrifice so that God would look on us and see His perfection.
The atonement cover was God’s throne in the midst of the Israelites.
God is on His throne today in heaven and Jesus, our high priest, is at His right side.
Above the atonement cover was God’s dwelling place in the tabernacle. for God said to Moses in:
Exodus 25:22, And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.
Above the ark and the atonement cover, God appeared in His glory light which no man can approach unto.
This light is sometimes referred to as the Shekinah glory which means tabernacle glory and refers to the presence of the Lord.
The Day of Atonement – Leviticus 16
And the LORD spake unto Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they offered before the LORD, and died; 2And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the veil before the mercy seat, which is upon the ark; that he die not: for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat. 3Thus shall Aaron come into the holy place: with a young bullock for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering. 4He shall put on the holy linen coat, and he shall have the linen breeches upon his flesh, and shall be girded with a linen girdle, and with the linen mitre shall he be attired: these are holy garments; therefore shall he wash his flesh in water, and so put them on.
5And he shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering. 6And Aaron shall offer his bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make an atonement for himself, and for his house. 7And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 8And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat. 9And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD’S lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering. 10But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness. 11And Aaron shall bring the bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and shall make an atonement for himself, and for his house, and shall kill the bullock of the sin offering which is for himself: 12And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the LORD, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the veil: 13And he shall put the incense upon the fire before the LORD, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is upon the testimony, that he die not: 14And he shall take of the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it with his finger upon the mercy seat eastward; and before the mercy seat shall he sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times.
15Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the veil, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat: 16And he shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness. 17And there shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when he goeth in to make an atonement in the holy place, until he come out, and have made an atonement for himself, and for his household, and for all the congregation of Israel. 18And he shall go out unto the altar that is before the LORD, and make an atonement for it; and shall take of the blood of the bullock, and of the blood of the goat, and put it upon the horns of the altar round about. 19And he shall sprinkle of the blood upon it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it, and hallow it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel.
20And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat: 21And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: 22And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness. 23And Aaron shall come into the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall put off the linen garments, which he put on when he went into the holy place, and shall leave them there: 24And he shall wash his flesh with water in the holy place, and put on his garments, and come forth, and offer his burnt offering, and the burnt offering of the people, and make an atonement for himself, and for the people. 25And the fat of the sin offering shall he burn upon the altar. 26And he that let go the goat for the scapegoat shall wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in water, and afterward come into the camp. 27And the bullock for the sin offering, and the goat for the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the holy place, shall one carry forth without the camp; and they shall burn in the fire their skins, and their flesh, and their dung. 28And he that burneth them shall wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in water, and afterward he shall come into the camp.
29And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you: 30For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD. 31It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever. 32And the priest, whom he shall anoint, and whom he shall consecrate to minister in the priest’s office in his father’s stead, shall make the atonement, and shall put on the linen clothes, even the holy garments: 33And he shall make an atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement for the tabernacle of the congregation, and for the altar, and he shall make an atonement for the priests, and for all the people of the congregation. 34And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as the LORD commanded Moses.
The Budding of Aaron’s Rod Numbers 17:1-11
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2Speak unto the children of Israel, and take of every one of them a rod according to the house of their fathers, of all their princes according to the house of their fathers twelve rods: write thou every man’s name upon his rod.
In gathering rods, and inscribing each with the name of a tribe, and on Levi’s rod inscribing Aaron’s name, God would declare which tribe possessed priestly authority by choosing one of the rods. This was the issue at hand in light of Korah’s rebellion.
3And thou shalt write Aaron’s name upon the rod of Levi: for one rod shall be for the head of the house of their fathers. 4And thou shalt lay them up in the tabernacle of the congregation before the testimony, where I will meet with you. 5And it shall come to pass, that the man’s rod, whom I shall choose, shall blossom: and I will make to cease from me the murmurings of the children of Israel, whereby they murmur against you. 6And Moses spake unto the children of Israel, and every one of their princes gave him a rod apiece, for each prince one, according to their fathers’ houses, even twelve rods: and the rod of Aaron was among their rods. 7And Moses laid up the rods before the LORD in the tabernacle of witness.
8And it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds.
When Moses checked on the rods the next day, Aaron’s rod - and only Aaron’s rod - had sprouted. It not only sprouted, it had put forth buds. It had not only put forth buds, it had produced blossoms. It had not only produced blossoms, it had yielded . . . almonds. It had not only yielded almonds, it yielded ripe almonds!
i. This was a place where a "small" miracle would have been convincing. After all, God could have merely made a little green sprout come forth from Aaron’s rod alone, and that would have - or should have - been enough.
ii. But God gave, as in the words of Acts 1:3, many infallible proofs, to demonstrate His approval of Aaron’s leadership. God gives us more than enough evidence; our problem is a lack of willingness to see what He has made clear.
iii. "We are probably to understand that some parts were in bud, other in bloom and others had fruited." (Wenham) Fruit from a godly leader may come in all different stages.
iv. There is nothing remarkable about a piece of wood with buds, blossoms, or fruit on it. But a piece of dead wood with all these things appearing in one night after sitting in a tent is remarkable. "Miracles in the Bible are often of this sort: natural events in unnatural conditions, timing, and placement."
9And Moses brought out all the rods from before the LORD unto all the children of Israel: and they looked, and took every man his rod. 10And the LORD said unto Moses, Bring Aaron’s rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the rebels; and thou shalt quite take away their murmurings from me, that they die not. 11And Moses did so: as the LORD commanded him, so did he.
Bring Aaron’s rod back before the Testimony: Aaron’s rod was to be kept in the ark of the covenant, as another example of Israel’s failure and rebellion. When God looked down from heaven into the ark, He saw emblems of Israel’s sin: The tablets of law they broke, the manna they complained about, and Aaron’s rod meant to answer their rebellion. The covering blood of sacrifice was applied to the lid covering over these reminders of Israel’s sin, so God "saw" the blood "covering" their sin, and atonement was made.