- The Necessity for It. Revelation is progressive. During the first twenty-five centuries God spoke to individuals at intervals; sometimes a period of hundreds of years intervened. He spoke to Adam after the transgression ( Genesis 3:1-24 ), and to Cain ( Genesis 4:3-15 ; There is no record that He spoke to any one else until He communicated with Noah about one hundred years before the flood ( Genesis 6:1-15 ). He also spoke to Noah after the flood ( Genesis 9:8-17 ). Again the silence was unbroken for fully four hundred years ( Genesis 11:10-32 ; Genesis 12:1-4 ); God called Abraham out of his native country and made him and his family the receptacle of His revelations. He spoke,
- to Abraham repeatedly ( Genesis 12:1-8 ; Genesis 15:8-21 ; Genesis 22:1-18 ),
- to Isaac ( Genesis 26:1-5 Genesis 26:24 ),
- to Jacob ( Genesis 28:10-15 ; Genesis 31:3 ; Genesis 46:1-4 ).
Again the silence was unbroken until he spoke to Moses in the burning bush ( Exodus 3:1-10 ; Acts 7:29-34 ). The order that prevailed was first the natural, afterward the spiritual; or, "first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear" ( Mark 4:28 ). The Israelites had been sojourners and strangers four hundred years. Owing to their ignorance and the natural tendencies of the sinful heart they had fallen into the pollutions of those by whom they had been surrounded. They had drifted away from the one true God. They had, to a certain extent, forgotten the examples of their illustrious progenitors. They needed a manifestation of Jehovah that would at once emphasize his personality, majesty and eternity. God adapted himself to their necessities. Hence He said to Moses: "And let them make me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them" ( Exodus 25:8 ).
- Revelation and Type. The tabernacle with all that pertained to it was a revelation, and was typical of the new and living way ( Hebrews 8:4 Hebrews 8:5 ; Hebrews 9:1-10 ).
- Architect and Plan. This building was not the product of human skill. It was both a revelation and a prophecy. The great Architect said: "Look that thou make them after their pattern, which was showed thee in the mount" ( Exodus 25:40 ).
- The Superintendent. Moses was called into the blazing heights of Sinai ( Exodus 24:12-18 ). The Lord gave him the plan and made him responsible for carrying it out ( Exodus 25:9 ).
- Artisans. The Lord expressly called Bezaleel the son of Uri of the tribe of Judah, and Aholiab the son of Ahisamach of the tribe of Dan, and inspired them for the work ( Exodus 31:1-7 ). They were also empowered to teach others ( Exodus 35:30-35 ). They were assisted by the wise hearted men and women of Israel ( Exodus 35:25 Exodus 35:26 ; Exodus 36:1 Exodus 36:2 ).
- Materials. The material consisted of,
- metals: gold, silver, brass;
- textile fabrics: purple, scarlet and white linen, and cloth made of goats' hair;
- shittim wood.
All these things were obtained directly from the people by a free will offering and with them many other articles that were used in preparing the clothing of the priests and in the worship after its inauguration ( Exodus 25:1-40 ; Exodus 35:1-35 ).
- An Example of Liberality. The liberality of the people was so great that it was necessary for Moses to restrain them ( Exodus 36:5-7 ). What an example and exhortation to Christians!
- The Court. The court was a kind of fence or protection for the tabernacle; it surrounded it ( Exodus 27:9-18 ). The kinds of material used in the construction of the court were,
- and linen ( Exodus 27:9-19 ).
- twenty on the north side,
- ten on the west end,
- twenty on the south side,
- and ten on the east end.
Into these were fitted sixty pillars of brass, and on them were hooks of silver on which were hung curtains of linen. The curtains for the doors were ornamented with needle work, and in this respect differed from the remainder of the hanging which were plain linen ( Exodus 38:8-20 ). The court when completed was, allowing eighteen inches to the cubit, one hundred and fifty feet long, seventy-five feet wide, and seven and a half feet high ( Exodus 27:18 ). The only articles of furniture belonging strictly to the court were,
- the altar of burnt sacrifices,
- and the brazen laver ( Exodus 40:28-30 ).
W E S T o---o---o---o---o---o---o---o---o---o | | o o | | | | HOLY OF HOLIES| | o | | o | | +-----+ | | o | | ARK | | o o | +-----+ | o o | | o | |--Second Vail--| | | | | | | | Altar of | | | | | Incense | | | o | | o | | +--+ | Table | o Candle- | O | | | of o S | stick | | | | Show- | N O o | +--+ | bread o O U | | | | R T o | HOLY PLACE | o T H | | First Vail | | H o o---o---o---o---o o | | o o | | o Brazen Laver o | o | o o o o | o | o o | Brazen Altar | | | | | | Entrance | o---o---o---o---o---o---o---o---o---o E A S T
- Entering the Tabernacle. Study the diagram above. Note,
- the court was entered by a door,
- the holy place was entered by a door,
- and the holy of holies was entered by a door.
The people were permitted to enter the court ( Exodus 40:28 Exodus 40:29 ; Leviticus 1:1-3 Psalms 5:7 ; Psalms 84:2 Psalms 84:10 ; Psalms 100:4 ), but they were excluded from the tabernacle on penalty of death ( Numbers 1:51 ). The priests, Aaron's sons, were permitted to enter the holy place ( Leviticus 1:1-17 ; Hebrews 9:6 ), but only the high priest was permitted to enter the holy of holies, and he only once a year ( Leviticus 16:1-34 ; Hebrews 9:7 ). I think we may safely conclude that,
- the court was a type of the world,
- the holy place was a type of the church,
- and the holy of holies, a type of heaven.
Note that men could not enter except through the doors. Three births are here typified:
- the birth of flesh,
- the new birth,
- and the birth from the grave ( John 3:1-13 ; 1 Corinthians 15:35-56 ).
In other words, we enter the world by virtue of the birth of flesh, the church by virtue of the new birth, and heaven by virtue of the birth from the dead.
- Foundation of the Tabernacle. The foundation of the tabernacle was made of silver obtained by taxation; each socket contained one talent ( Exodus 38:25-28 ). The silver sockets were distributed,
- forty on the north side,
- sixteen on the west end,
- forty on the south side,
- and four under the pillars of the second vail ( Exodus 26:15-33 ).
- Important Observations. This wonderful structure excites universal and continual interest among Bible students. Many of the details of the building, and the worship connected with it, are well known; however, the critical reader and student find some difficulties in the architectural details of the building. The tabernacle was, allowing eighteen inches to the cubit, forty-five feet long, fifteen feet wide, and fifteen feet high. The only real difficulties that confront the inquiring student are in reference to the width of the structure, its western wall, and the roof. The tabernacle was typical of the church, and heaven, the New Jerusalem ( Exodus 25:1-40 ; Exodus 26:1-37 Exodus 27:1-21 ; Exodus 28:1-43 ; Leviticus 16:1-34 ; Hebrews 8:1-6 ; Hebrews 9:22-28 ; Hebrews 10:1 Hebrews 10:19 Hebrews 10:20 ). John describes the city of God as follows: "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" ( Revelation 21:16 ). If the holy of holies were ten cubits long, ten cubits wide, and ten cubits high, there is a correspondence between the type and the antitype; otherwise there is not. This view is confirmed by the fact that the holy of holies or oracle in Solomon's temple was symmetrical, and its dimensions were exactly double the dimensions of the holy of holies in the tabernacle ( 1 Kings 6:19 1 Kings 6:20 ). From these considerations it is evident that the holy of holies was symmetrical, hence it was a cube, or ten cubits wide, ten cubits high and ten cubits long. Some overlook the fact that the "corner boards" were real corner boards, and place them on the outside. The solution of this difficulty that places the corner boards on the outside is unreasonable. It is an easy way of getting over the difficulty, but the difficulty still remains. They propose to combine one of the west-end boards with one of the side-boards, and thus make a corner. By doing this, the real corner boards are placed on the outside, and thus become props or stays. You will see by a careful reading of the description of the tabernacle given by Moses that the corner boards were connected with the west-end boards, and that their sockets were counted together ( Exodus 26:22-25 ). That the corner boards were composed of two half boards, each three-quarters of a cubit wide, is evident from the fact that when fastened together, they had under them only the ordinary sockets ( Exodus 26:25 ). Part of these corner boards were used in making the west wall, and the remainder covered the thickness of the north and south boards, and extended around on the two sides ( Exodus 26:23 ). All of this is clear. Now the question is, how much of these boards was placed on the western wall? Each of the ordinary boards of the tabernacle was twenty-seven inches wide, allowing eighteen inches to the cubit. The corner boards were twenty-seven inches wide, but doubled, so part could be used in the western wall, and part as above indicated. The boards of the tabernacles must have been fully four and one-half inches thick; this is proven by the fact that the boards of each wall were mortised sufficiently to admit a bar that passed through the entire wall ( Exodus 26:28 ; Exodus 36:33 ). There is no difficulty in understanding how the tabernacle was set up, excepting the western end. The western end had six ordinary boards ( Exodus 26:22 ). When these were set up edge to edge, they made a wall nine cubits long. The corner boards were composed of the same amount of material used in an ordinary board. They were cut through the center from end to end, and coupled at the top and bottom so as to form a corner ( Exodus 26:23-25 ). Nine inches of each corner board added to the width of the western wall; four and a half inches rested against the ends of the two sides, and the half of each board extended around on the two sides ( Exodus 26:23 ). The internal width of the holy of holies was therefore ten cubits or fifteen feet. Some scholars think that the tabernacle had a ridge-pole. In order to have a ridge-pole, one will need to draw on his imagination for a west-end support, as east-end support, internal supports, and for the pole itself! It is contended that the curtains alone, across the tabernacle, would have protected it from the rain, but the weight of the curtains was doubtless sufficient to draw them tightly across the tabernacle. The top covering was of seal or porpoise skins, and of course did not admit water. There is only one passage in the law of Moses that favors, even in a remote degree, the supposition of a ridge-pole. This is ( Exodus 26:13 ). Those who think they see a ridge-pole in this passage, find insurmountable difficulties in attempting to set up the tabernacle according to their views. If you will make a little calculation, you will find that the tabernacle with a ridge-pole would have been open at the west end, and that the storm would have had unresisted play upon the ark of the covenant! This also would have admitted light into the holy of holies. God dwells in darkness ( Leviticus 16:2 ; 1 Kings 8:12 ; Psalms 97:2 ). If the tabernacle had a ridge-pole, it remains for those who say it to find the proof.
- Walls. The walls of the tabernacle were made of shittim wood, and were overlaid with gold ( Exodus 26:15-29 ; Exodus 36:20-34 ). There were forty-eight boards which, allowing eighteen inches to the cubit, were fifteen feet high and two feet three inches wide. They were set edge to edge,
- twenty on the north side,
- eight on the west end,
- and twenty on the south side,
thus forming a solid wall on the two sides and west end. The boards were overlaid with gold. They were supported and strengthened by five bars of shittim wood extending along the sides and west end. The middle bar was made to "shoot through" the boards from one end to the other ( Exodus 26:15-29 ; Exodus 27:20-34 ).
- Dimensions. The tabernacle was, allowing eighteen inches to the cubit, forty-five feet long, fifteen feet wide, and fifteen feet high ( Exodus 26:15-26 ).
- Apartments. The tabernacle was divided into two separate rooms by a richly wrought curtain called the vail ( Exodus 26:31-33 ). The first apartment was called,
- the holy place ( Exodus 26:34 ),
- the tent of the congregation ( Exodus 40:26 ),
- and the first tabernacle ( Hebrews 9:6 ),
and was, allowing eighteen inches to the cubit, thirty feet long, fifteen feet wide, and fifteen feet high ( Exodus 26:1-34 ). Its articles of furniture were,
- table of showbread,
- and altar of incense ( Exodus 40:24-27 ).
The second apartment was called,
- the most holy place ( Exodus 26:33 ),
- the holy place within the vail ( Leviticus 16:2 ),
- and holy sanctuary,
and was, allowing eighteen inches to the cubit, fifteen feet long, fifteen feet wide, and feet feet high ( Exodus 26:1-34 ). Its only article of furniture was the ark of the covenant ( Exodus 40:20 Exodus 40:21 ).
- Coverings. The tabernacle had four distinct coverings:
- the first or inner covering,
- the goats' hair covering,
- the covering of rams' skins dyed red,
- the covering of badgers' skins ( Exodus 26:1-14 ).
The material used in the construction of the first or inner covering was fine twined linen; blue, purple and scarlet in color, and it was elaborately ornamented with figures of cherubim. Ten curtains, each, allowing eighteen inches to the cubit, forty-two feet long and six feet wide, were embraced in this inner covering ( Exodus 36:8 Exodus 36:9 ). These ten curtains were formed into grand curtains ( Exodus 26:3 ; Exodus 36:10 ). The two grand curtains thus formed were coupled together with fifty loops of blue and fifty taches of gold ( Exodus 36:10-13 ). It will be seen by measurement that the tabernacle was, allowing eighteen inches to the cubit, forty-five feet long, fifteen feet wide and fifteen feet high ( Exodus 26:15-26 ). Now, measure the cherub covering allowing eighteen inches to the cubit and you will find that it was sixty feet long and forty-two feet wide ( Exodus 36:8-13 ). Notice also that the cherub covering was placed on the tabernacle with the surplus in length hanging over the west end ( Exodus 26:1-33 ). A part of this covering, forty-five feet long and fifteen feet wide, was necessary to cover the top of the tabernacle; and there was a surplusage of thirteen and half feet on each side and fifteen feet at the west end besides the corner surplusage ( Exodus 26:1-37 ; Exodus 36:8-38 ). Note that from the east end of the tabernacle to the taches uniting the two grand curtains, directly above the second vail, the distance was thirty feet ( Exodus 26:1-33 ). The second covering was constructed of a cloth made of goats' hair ( Exodus 36:14 ). It embraced eleven curtains, each of which, allowing eighteen inches to the cubit, was forty-five feet long and six feet wide ( Exodus 36:14 Exodus 36:15 ). Two grand curtains were made out of the eleven goats' hair curtains; the first combination embraced five of the smaller curtains and the second combination embraced six ( Exodus 36:16 ). The two grand curtains thus formed were united by fifty loops and fifty taches of brass ( Exodus 36:17 Exodus 36:18 ). The sixth curtain was doubled in the forefront of the tabernacle ( Exodus 26:9 ). Allowing eighteen inches to the cubit and the goats' hair covering was sixty-six feet long and forty-five wide ( Exodus 36:14-18 ). The second covering was placed on the tabernacle so that once small curtain extended over the front and the remainder extended over the sides and west end. The part of this curtain required to cover the top of the tabernacle was forty-five feet long and fifteen feet wide. The surplusage on the north and south sides and west end extended to the ground ( Exodus 26:15-25 ; Exodus 36:14-19 ). The third covering was made of rams' skins dyed red and the fourth or top covering was made of badgers' skins ( Exodus 36:19 ).
Diagram of the Ten Cherub Curtains. Showing how much was required to cover the walls and ceiling of the Tabernacle, and how much was left over.
One Grand Curtain of Five. One Grand Curtain of Five. | Surplusage | For back Wall | Surplusage | 1 | 10 cubits by 9 | of the | 10 cubits by 9 | 1 | not required | Holy of Holies | not required | 2 | to cover | 10 | to cover | 2 | any place. | cubits square | any place. | | For length of | For length of | For length of | | South Wall | Roof | North Wall | 4 | of | of | of | 4 | Holy of Holies | Holy of Holies | Holy of Holies | 5 | 10 cubits | 10 cubits | 10 cubits | 5 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ | For length | For length | For length | 1 | of | of | of | 1 | South Wall | Roof | North Wall | 2 | of | of | of | 2 | Holy | Holy | Holy | 3 | Place | Place | Place | 3 | 20 cubits | 20 cubits | 20 cubits | 4 | | | | 4 | Depth of Wall | Breadth of Roof| Depth of Wall | 5 | 9 cubits | 10 cubits | 9 cubits | 5 One Grand Curtain of Five. One Grand Curtain of Five.
Waved lines indicate where the two great curtains were united by loops and taches.
Diagram of the Eleven Goat Hair Curtains. Showing the size of the Curtains, how they were fastened together, how much was required to cover the Tabernacle, and how much hung over on the ends and sides of the Tabernacle.
One Grand Curtain of Five. One Grand Curtain of Five. | Surplusage | For Back Wall | Surplusage | 1 | Square | | Square | 1 | of 10 cubits | 10 cubits | of 10 cubits | 2 | not required to| square | not required to| 2 | cover any place| | cover any place| | For | For | For | | length of | length of | length of | 4 | South Wall of | Roof of | North Wall of | 4 | Holy of Holies | Holy of Holies | Holy of Holies | 5 | 10 cubits | 10 cubits | 10 cubits | 5 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ | For length | For length | For length | 1 | | of | | 1 | of the | Roof | of the | 2 | | | | 2 | South Wall | of | North Wall | 3 | of | | of | 3 | Holy Place | Holy Place | Holy Place | 4 | 20 cubits | 20 cubits | 20 cubits | 4 | Depth of Wall | Breadth of Roof| Depth of Wall | 5 | 10 cubits | 10 cubits | 10 cubits | 5 | 4 cubits | The sixth | 4 cubits | 6 | | curtain* | | 6 One Grand Curtain of Six. One Grand Curtain of Six.
* "And shalt double the sixth curtain in the fore front of the tabernacle."
Waved lines indicate where the two great curtains were united by loops and taches.
- Doors and Furniture of the Court and Tabernacle. In treating these subjects it is best to begin at the east and study as we advance.
- We first approach the court gate. It was, allowing eighteen inches to the cubit, thirty feet wide and seven and a half feet high; the curtain, which was beautifully ornamented, rested upon four pillars supported by four brazen sockets, and the hooks like the other hooks of the court were made of silver ( Exodus 27:12-17 ).
- The altar of burnt sacrifices was made of shittim wood and overlaid with brass. It was, allowing eighteen inches to the cubit, seven and one half feet long, seven and one half feet wide, and four and one half feet high. Its utensils were ash pans, shovels, basins, flesh hooks and fire pans made of brass ( Exodus 38:1-3 ). It was designed for convenience in transportation through the wilderness ( Exodus 27:1-8 ; Exodus 38:1-4 ). The principal offerings presented upon this altar were burnt offerings ( Leviticus 1:1-17 ), meat offerings ( Leviticus 2:1-16 ; ( Leviticus 3:1-17 ), sin offerings ( Leviticus 4:1-35 ; offerings ( Leviticus 5:1-9 ; Leviticus 6:1-7 ). Moses intimated that men might in the future of Israel, flee to the altar for protection from their enemies ( Exodus 21:14 ). The altar was located upon the entrance to the court and the laver ( Exodus 40:29 Exodus 40:30 ).
- The laver is not described and its dimensions are not given. It was made of the looking-glasses of the women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation ( Exodus 38:8 ). Aaron and his sons were required, on penalty of death, to wash their hands and feet in the laver before entering the tabernacle ( Exodus 30:18-20 ). It was located between the altar of burnt sacrifices and the entrance to the tabernacle ( Exodus 40:30 ).
- The door of the tabernacle or first vail was, allowing eighteen inches to the cubit, fifteen feet wide and fifteen high ( Exodus 26:1-37 ). It was made of blue, purple, scarlet and fine twined linen, and was beautiful in composition. It was supported by five pillars set in five sockets of brass; the hooks upon which it was fastened were of gold ( Exodus 26:37 Exodus 26:38 ).
- The table of showbread was, allowing eighteen inches to the cubit, three feet long, one foot and a half wide and two feet three inches high. It was made of Shittim wood overlaid with gold, and was furnished with rings and staves for transportation. Its dishes, spoons, covers and bowls were made of pure gold ( Exodus 25:23-29 ). Showbread was kept upon the table continually ( Exodus 25:30 ). It was renewed, removed and eaten by the priests ( Leviticus 24:5-9 ). The table was located in the holy place on the north side ( Exodus 40:22 ).
- The candlestick was made with an upright shaft, and with six branches coming out of each side. Upon each branch there were three bowls made like almonds, and a knop and a flower; but on the candlestick (the shaft) there were four bowls made with their knops and flowers. There were seven lamps, one upon each of the branches, and one on the central shaft. These were lighted, and furnished light for the holy place ( Exodus 25:31-40 ; Exodus 30:8 ; Leviticus 24:1-3 ). It was located in the holy place, on the south side ( Exodus 40:24 ).
- The altar of incense was, allowing eighteen inches to the cubit, one foot and a half long, one foot and a half wide, and three feet high. It was made of shittim wood, and overlaid with gold. It was furnished with staves and rings for transportation ( Exodus 30:1-5 ). The altar was located in the holy place before the vail ( Exodus 40:26 ).
- The second vail separated the holy place from the most holy place ( Exodus 26:33 ). It was made of blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen, and was elaborately and gorgeously ornamented with figures of cherubim. It was supported by four pillars of shittim wood, overlaid with gold, resting on four sockets of silver; the hooks upon which it was hung was made of gold ( Exodus 36:35 Exodus 36:36 ).
- The ark of the covenant was, allowing eighteen inches to the cubit, three feet nine inches long, two feet three inches wide, and two feet three inches high. It was made of shittim wood, and was overlaid within and without with pure gold. It was furnished with rings and staves or transportation. The lid of the ark, which was made of solid gold, was called the mercy seat. On the ends of the mercy seat there were cherubim facing each other, with their wings spread out on high ( Exodus 25:10-21 ). Here the Lord met and communed with them ( Exodus 25:22 ). In the time of Moses there were deposited in this ark the golden pot that had manna ( Exodus 16:33 Exodus 16:34 ), the tables of the covenant ( Deuteronomy 10:1-5 ), Aaron's rod that budded ( Numbers 17:1-13 ; the book of the law ( Deuteronomy 31:24-26 ). This sacred chest was called "the ark of the covenant" because the tables of the covenant were deposited in it ( Deuteronomy 9:9-12 ; Deuteronomy 10:1-5 ). It was located in the most holy place ( Exodus 26:33 Exodus 26:34 ; Exodus 40:20 Exodus 40:21 ).
- Setting Up the Tabernacle. When the work was done, Moses inspected it and blessed the workmen for their success ( Exodus 39:42 Exodus 39:43 ). When the tabernacle was set up, and the furniture placed in order, the Lord recognized it as His house by covering it with a cloud and filling it with His glory ( Exodus 40:1-34 ). The time occupied in the construction of the tabernacle was about seven months: It was thirty days from the departure from Rameses to the encampment in the wilderness of Sin ( Exodus 12:37 ; Exodus 16:1 ; Numbers 33:3 ). It was twenty days from the entrance into the wilderness of Sin to the giving of the law ( Exodus 16:1 Exodus 19:1-25 ; Exodus 20:1-17 ). Moses went part of the way into the mount and waited six days ( Exodus 24:12-18 ). He was in the mount forty days at his first ( Exodus 24:18 ). There was an interval of about two days between the first and second visits ( Exodus 32:15 Exodus 32:30 ; Exodus 34:1 Exodus 34:2 ). Moses was in the mount (40) days the second time ( Exodus 34:28 ) (30 + 20 + 6 + 40 + 2 + 40 = 138 days), or four months and eighteen days. It was eleven months and fifteen days from the departure from Rameses to the erection of the tabernacle ( Exodus 12:48 ; Exodus 40:17 ; Numbers 33:3 ); eleven months and fifteen days minus four months and eighteen days equals six months and twenty-seven days. The date of the setting up of the tabernacle is easily determined.
- It was (130 + 105 + 90 + 70 + 65 + 162 + 65 + 187 + 182 = 1056) one thousand and fifty-six years from the creation of Adam to the birth of Noah ( Genesis 5:3-29 ).
- It was (500 + 100 + 2 = 602) six hundred and two years from the birth of Noah to the birth of Arphaxad ( Genesis 5:32 ; Genesis 7:6 ; Genesis 11:10 ).
- It was (35 + 30 + 34 + 30 + 32 + 30 + 29 = 220) two hundred and twenty years from the birth of Arphaxad to the birth of Terah ( Genesis 11:12-24 ).
- It was (205) two hundred and five years from the birth of Terah to his death, or Abram's entrance into Canaan ( Genesis 11:32 ; Genesis 12:1-5 ).
- It was (430) four hundred and thirty years from Abram's entrance into Canaan to the exodus ( Genesis 12:1-5 ; Exodus 12:40 Exodus 12:41 ; Galatians 3:17 ).
- It was (11) eleven months and (15) fifteen days from the exodus to the setting up of the tabernacle ( Exodus 12:40 Exodus 12:41 ; Exodus 16:1 ; Exodus 19:1 ; Exodus 40:2 Exodus 40:17 ; Numbers 33:3 ).
(1056 + 602 + 220 + 205 + 430 + 11 months + 15 days = 2513 years, 11 months and 15 days). It was, therefore, two thousand five hundred and thirteen years, eleven months and fifteen days after the creation of Adam.
Terms Used to Describe It. The tabernacle was called,
- the tabernacle of testimony ( Exodus 38:21 ; Numbers 1:50 Numbers 1:53 ; Numbers 10:11 ),
- the tent of the testimony ( Numbers 9:15 ),
- the tabernacle of witness ( Numbers 17:7 Numbers 17:8 ),
- the tent of the congregation ( Exodus 40:7 Exodus 40:22 Exodus 40:35 ),
- the sanctuary ( Exodus 25:8 ; Leviticus 21:12 ; Hebrews 9:1 ),
- and the tabernacle of the congregation ( Exodus 40:12 ; Leviticus 1:1 ; Numbers 1:1 ).
- Cost. The tabernacle was a very expensive building. It is difficult to accurately estimate the cost, but the careful reader will see ( Exodus 38:21-31 ) that its grandeur was compatible with the dignity, majesty, and glory of the Light that shone between the cherubim.
- Typical Significance. It is easy to see in the New Testament that the tabernacle and its belongings were considered as typical. However, it is doubtful if many of those who worshipped at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation saw beyond the bleeding victim and smoking sacrifice. With the light of Jesus Christ shed upon the history of the past, we can safely say that the law and tabernacle considered as a whole, prefigured or foreshadowed good things to come ( Hebrews 8:1-5 Hebrews 9:1-10 ; Hebrews 10:1 ).
- The court was a type of the world ( Exodus 27:9-18 ; Revelation 11:1 Revelation 11:2 );
- the altar of burnt sacrifices was a type of the Cross of Christ ( Exodus 40:29 ; John 12:32 John 12:33 );
- the laver was a type of Christ ( Exodus 30:18-21 ; 1 John 1:7 ; 1 Peter 1:22 );
- the first vail or door was a type of the dividing line between the world and the Church ( Exodus 26:36 Exodus 26:27 ; John 3:5 ; Acts 2:38 ; 1 Corinthians 12:13 );
- the holy place was a type of the Church ( Exodus 26:33 ; Hebrews 8:2 );
- the showbread was a type of Christ ( Exodus 40:4 ; Leviticus 24:5-9 ; Matthew 28:20 ; John 6:48-63 );
- the candlestick was a type of Christ and the light of the gospel in the Church ( Exodus 40:7 ; Leviticus 24:1 Leviticus 24:2 ; John 1:4-9 ; John 3:20 John 3:21 ; 2 Corinthians 4:4-6 );
- the altar of incense was a type of our worship ( Exodus 30:1-10 ; Malachi 1:11 ; Revelation 8:3 );
- the second vail was a type of the dividing line between the Church and heaven ( Exodus 26:39 ; Hebrews 10:19-21 );
the holy of holies was a type of heaven ( Exodus 26:33 ; Hebrews 9:24 );
- the mercy seat was a type of our mercy seat which is in heaven ( Exodus 25:10-22 ; 1 Timothy 2:5 1 Timothy 2:6 ; Hebrews 4:14-16 );
- and the light that filled the tabernacle was a type of the Holy Spirit who fills the Church ( Exodus 40:33-38 ; 1 Corinthians 3:16 1 Corinthians 3:17 ).