7.3. A Shadow of the Heavenly

Even if some of the details of the camp of Israel differ from those shown above, it would appear that the camp is intended as a shadow of the heavenly throne room. God’s shekinah glory dwells between the cherubim over the mercy seat above the Ark in the tabernacle. Around the tabernacle the Levites (priests) are camped. Around the Levites are the four camps of Israel, each with a standard bearing one of the faces of the cherubim seen by Ezekiel. These picture aspects of heaven.

Camp of Israel as a Shadow of Heaven
EarthlyHeavenly
Tabernacle in the Wilderness (Ex. Ex. 25:9; Ex. 26:1) Temple in Heaven (Rev. Rev. 7:15+; Rev. 11:19+; Rev. 14:15-17+; Rev. 15:5-6+, Rev. 15:8+; Rev. 16:1+, Rev. 16:17+)
Ark of the Testimony (Ex. Ex. 25:10) Ark of the Testimony (Rev. Rev. 11:19+)
Cherubim upon the Ark (Ex. Ex. 25:18) Cherubim in Heaven around the Throne (Eze. Eze. 1:10; Rev. Rev. 4:6-7+)
Levites (priests) around the Tabernacle (Num. Num. 1:52; Num. 2:17) Elders (priests) around the Throne (Rev. Rev. 4:4+)
Standards of the Camps around the Tabernacle (Lion, Ox, Man, Eagle) Faces of the Cherubim around the Throne (Eze. Eze. 1:10; Rev. Rev. 4:7+)

It is our view that the camp of Israel in the wilderness is an intentional shadow of the four faces of Ezekiel’s cherubs (Eze. Eze. 1:10) and the likenesses of John’s living creatures (Rev. Rev. 4:7+) which, in turn, reflect the four primary roles of the Messiah which the gospels record. In their proximity to the throne of God, the faces of the cherubim provide an “echo” or “reflection” of these roles.