The Tabernacle

Preached at Borivili assembly, 18 November 2010

By  Nitish Patel

Passage of Reference : Exodus 25:1-9

Chapter 25

1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering. 3 And this[ is] the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass, 4 And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats'[ hair], 5 And rams’skins dyed red, and badgers’skins, and shittim wood, 6 Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense, 7 Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate. 8 And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. 9 According to all that I shew thee,[ after] the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make[ it]

It is very important for every Christian to study the Tabernacle. God devotes fifty chapters in the Bible report instructions concerning the Tabernacle –

  • 13 in Exodus
  • 18 in Leviticus
  • 13 in Numbers
  • 2 in Deuteronomy
  • 4 in Hebrews

The three sections—the outer court, the inner court, and the Holy of Holies. The outer court, a glorified picket fence construction, measured 150 feet in length, seventy-five feet wide, and seven-and-a-half feet high. In the center of the “picket fence” was a tent, forty-five feet long, fifteen feet wide, and fifteen feet high. Willmington

The Tabernacle represents three things –

1. The tabernacle and its sacrifices is a type of the person of the Lord Jesus and His work on Calvary and now as our Great High Priest.

“But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. (Hebrews 9:11-12)

2. The Church as the dwelling place of God

3. A type of Heaven itself.

The Construction:- 

The construction of the Tabernacle is divided into three parts –

  • The directions for the construction of the Tabernacle and its vessels and furniture (Exodus 25:12-27:19)
  • The garments and consecration of the priests (Exodus 28-29)
  • The vessels of approach to God (Exodus 30)

The Offering:-

1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering.

God wanted willing hearts and offerings.

The tabernacle was the production of willing hands and hearts. God’s house was financed by God’s people, and not through suppers, junk sales, and bingo parties. Harold Willmington

3 And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass,

Iron:-

No Iron used . There is one metal mentioned many times in the building of Solomon’s Temple but not in the manufacture of the Tabernacle and that is iron.

“And gave for the service of the house of God of gold five thousand talents and ten thousand drams, and of silver ten thousand talents, and of brass eighteen thousand talents, and one hundred thousand talents of iron.” (1 Chronicles 29:7)

When we study the spiritual meaning of iron we can see why this is so.

Iron is the Hebrew word BAR-ZEL and symbolises the government and rule of God.

“Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the LORD shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee.” (Deuteronomy 28:48)

“And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” (Revelation 19:15)

When the Lord came the first time as represented by the Tabernacle, He came in grace to die for us at Calvary and not to rule with a rod of iron. The Temple represents Christ in His Millennial reign and therefore iron was suitable to use in its construction.

  • He did not come to judge the world
  • He did not come to blame
  • He did not only come to seek
  • It was to save He came

Gold:-

The Hebrew word for gold is ZAH-HAHV

The gold is always a symbol of divine glory of Christ as the Son God.

Not any gold could be used in the Tabernacle, it had to be pure gold. The Hebrew word for pure is TAH-HOHR and is often translated as “clean” (Genesis 8:20, Leviticus 4:12…)

Silver:-

Silver is the Hebrew word is KEH-SEPH

When see how the silver was gathered for the Tabernacle, we understand what it typifies.

All those who were 20 years old and upward and able to go forth to war were numbered (Numbers 1:46) and each one had to pay half a shekel of silver which was used in the construction of the Tabernacle. It was to ransom their souls and silver is a type of redemption.

“When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the LORD, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them. This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs:) an half shekel shall be the offering of the LORD. Every one that passeth among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the LORD. The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls. And thou shalt take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shalt appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls.” (Exodus 30:12-16)

“For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Corinthians 6:20)

“Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.” (1 Corinthians 7:23)

Brass:-

The Hebrew word for brass is N’GHOG-SHETH was actually copper.

Brass speaks of holiness and the righteous judgment of God.

The altar was of brass where the fire burned the sacrifice. The Lord’s feet are like brass when He comes in glory.

“And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.” (Revelation 1:15)

 

4 And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats’ hair,

The various colours represent the different aspects of our Saviour’s person and work.

BLUE:-

Speaks of the heavenly origin and place of Christ.

7x He speaks of Himself as the one who came down from heaven in John’s gospel.

“And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” (John 3:13)

(See John 6: 32, 37, 50, 51, 58).

Blue then is that which is heavenly and eternal (2 Corinthians 5:1).

 

PURPLE:-

Speaks of Royalty.

“And Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, and with a great crown of gold, and with a garment of fine linen and purple: and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad.” (Esther 8:15)

“And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head” (Mark 15:17)

Christ is the Son of David, the true King of Israel and the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Purple is blue and red mixed together. Blue speaking of the heavenly Man and Red speaking of the Man of Calvary who became sin for us. Red is used to speak of God’s judgment of sin.

The red heifer – the judgment of sin Numbers 19:2-9

The red water – the judgment of Moab 2 Kings 3:22

The red garment – the judgment of the Gentiles Isaiah 63:2

The red horse – the judgment of the world Revelation 6:4

The red dragon – the judgment of Satan Revelation 12:3, 20:2-10

The Lord Jesus is fit to sit on the throne for He has suffered first.

Scarlet:-

The colour scarlet is the distinctive colour, it stands out, it catches the eye. The children of the virtuous woman are said to be clothed in scarlet (Prov. 31.). It is interesting to note that the scarlet dye is made from the crushed bodies of the worm Coccus Illicus, the female of this creature attatches its body firmly to a tree, spreads scarlet dye around itself, gives birth to its eggs, then dies, its dead body remaining as a protection for the eggs until they hatch, and begin their new life. How suggestive this is of our Lord Jesus, who in life and in death, was absolutely distinctive. Denying Himself constantly, living for others, and finally dying for others on the tree, for you and for me! Shedding His precious blood so that we might have life, “Hallelujah what a Savior!” C E Wigg

Scarlet is the dye of a worm which is crushed to produce the colour. It speaks of Redemption by blood.

It is translated as “worm” –

“Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 41:14)

“But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered.” (Jonah 4:7)

The Lord could say in the cross “I am a worm and not man” (Psalm 22)

Christ is the Son of Abraham and suitable for sacrifice.

Scarlet seems in some way to connect with Israel. It is mentioned in the pledge given to Rahab of her security when Israel would take the City. It is descriptive of national glory in the days of Saul, when the daughters of Israel were clothed in gold and scarlet. And the fact that our Lord is spoken of as clothed in a scarlet robe in that Gospel where He is portrayed as Son of David would seem to indicate its use in Jewish royalty. Its significant rise in the ritual, when along with cedar wood and hyssop it was cast into the burning of the heifer, speaks of the end of all man’s glory in the cross (Gal. 6). The Woman clothed in purple and scarlet (Rev. 17) indicates, as is well known the daring character of the professing system at the close, assuming the right of Christ both in Israel and among the Gentiles. McBroom

 

FINE LINEN:-

Speaks of the Lord’s spotless humanity. Christ as the Son of Man. This is set forth by Luke’s gospel.

“And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” (Revelation 19:8).

Goats’ hair:-

Two goats was used on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16). One had the sins of the nation confessed over it and it was led far into the wilderness by a strong man and the other was slain and its blood sprinkled on the mercy seat. Both typify Christ as our substitute.

Prophets wore a garment of hair whether camel like Elijah or goat. Like them we are to proclaim the person and work of Christ.

Cf. Zechariah 13:4, “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough (literally ‘hairy’) garment to deceive”

5 And rams’ skins dyed red, and badgers’ skins, and shittim wood,

Rams’ skins dyed red:-

The ram when sacrificed is called elsewhere the ram of consecration. It typifies Christ willingly going to the cross to shed His blood for us.

“Also thou shalt take of the ram the fat and the rump, and the fat that covereth the inwards, and the caul above the liver, and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, and the right shoulder; for it is a ram of consecration” (Exodus 29:22)

Badgers’ skins:-

It is not clear what this animal is as badgers are not known to live there. It is thought to be some kind of marine animal such as the skin of a dolphin or porpoise which are of a dark unattractive colour. This was placed as the outside covering of the tabernacle.

This skin reminds us of what

“For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.” Isaiah 53:2

Shittim wood:-

In the desert, only the palm tree and acacia tree grown large enough to be cut into boards. It is thought that  acacia wood was used in the tabernacle.

Shittim wood typifies the true humanity of the Lord Jesus.

6 Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense,

Oil for the light:-

Oil in the Scripture is a type of the Holy Spirit.

spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense,

Spices speak of Christ in His fragrant life here on earth.

7 Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate.

The stones represent the beauties of Christ which the believer is seen in. They were upon two places on the high priest. They are on his shoulders and upon his breast. Christ as our Great High Priest has us upon His shoulders like the shepherd carries his sheep and upon His heart of love.

Onyx stones:-

and stones to be set in the ephod,

and in the breastplate.

8 And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.

God never dwelt on earth with His people until after the Red Sea was crossed — until redemption in figure was accomplished. He visited Adam in the garden, appeared to and communicated with the patriarchs; but until He had redeemed His people out of Egypt, nothing is said of making a sanctuary in which He might dwell. The Tabernacle was thus a proof of redemption, and the sign that God had brought a redeemed people into relationship with Himself, He being the Centre round whom they were gathered. (Edward Dennett)

9 According to all that I show thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.

Moses had to follow and exact pattern and not his own ideas. Many Christians need to learn from this today and not set up their own ideas of a dwelling place for God but rather go to the New Testament for church truth.

Nitish Patel

The Tabernacle : By Bro. Nitish Patel
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