The Tabernacle of Moses

 

The Tabernacle

Every piece of the Tabernacle of Moses refers to Jesus

“The temple Jesus was speaking about was his body.” (John 2:21)

“The body of Christ, in and by which he made atonement, was the greater and more perfect tabernacle.” (Heb 9:11)

Tabernacle means ‘dwelling’ or ‘tent’.

The Tabernacle of Moses was the dwelling for God himself until Jesus came. Jesus was the tabernacle personified and was the dwelling for God until the day of Pentecost where everyone could receive this same blessing. Although the Tabernacle of Moses was later replaced by the temples of Solomon and Herod, it still remains the type by which the others are measured. All references to tent or temple are therefore also applicable to the Tabernacle of Moses.

The tabernacle was to be a palace, the royal residence of the King of Israel, God Himself, in which He was to dwell among His people, receive their petitions, and issue His responses. But it was also to be a place of worship, in which God was to record His name and to enshrine the mystic symbols of His presence. (JFB)

The Outer Court

The Tabernacle of Moses was a two-room tent that was erected inside an enclosure, known as the Outer Court, where the sacrifices took place.

The Outer Court of the tabernacle of Moses was made up of bronze posts or pillars, connected by silver rods and hung with fine linen curtains. Each pillar was held secure by cords fastened to brass tent pins. The Outer court had a length of 50 yards and a width of 25 yards. In it stood the altar where the sacrifices were made and the wash basin where the priests could cleanse themselves ceremonially before entering the tent or tabernacle itself. There were ten pillars on the East and West sides and twenty pillars on the North and South sides. The gate was on the east side.

The silver parts of the enclosure and the tabernacle of Moses were made from silver that was obtained from ransom that was paid because the people were counted.

“The silver from the census of the community weighed 7,550 pounds, weighed according to the official standard. This amount equalled the total paid by all persons enrolled in the census, each one paying the required amount, weighed according to the official standard. There were 603,550 men twenty years old or older enrolled in the census.” (Exo 38:25-26)

God had instructed that if the people of Israel be counted, a ransom of silver had to be paid for their souls.

“When you take a census of the people of Israel, each man is to pay me a price for his life, so that no disaster will come on him while the census is being taken. (Exo 30:12)

This decree was ignored by King David, with disastrous results

“So the LORD sent an epidemic on Israel, which lasted from that morning until the time that he had chosen. From one end of the country to the other seventy thousand Israelites died.” (2Sa 24:15)

 

Silver was the currency used to pay for the life of a man.  (Joseph was sold for twenty silver pieces and Jesus for thirty silver pieces.)

In the New Testament, the ransom for our lives has already been paid.

“For you know what was paid to set you free from the worthless manner of life handed down by your ancestors. It was not something that can be destroyed, such as silver or gold; it was the costly sacrifice of Christ, who was like a lamb without defect or flaw.” (1Pe 1:18-19)

The brass tent pins of the Tabernacle of Moses also speaks of Christ.

Brass is resistant to rust and corrosion, speaking of the incorruptible life of Christ. Brass normally speaks of suffering. The pins were buried in the ground but also emerged from the ground, speaking of his death and resurrection.

The Outer court served to preserve the sanctity of the tabernacle of Moses and to keep the wild animals a bay. It also drew a distinct line of demarcation between the camp on the outside and the tabernacle on the inside. God clearly draws a line between the church and the world and He calls for a life of separation.

The Tabernacle of Moses

The Tabernacle of Moses itself was also constructed out of bronze pillars and silver rods, but instead of using linen, was made from frames of acacia wood, overlaid with gold.

“Make upright frames for the Tent out of acacia wood.” (Exo 26:15)

Note that the frames had to be upright, that is, standing up. This relates closely with the armor of God.

“Put on all the armor that God gives you, so that you will be able to stand up against the Devil’s evil tricks.” (Eph 6:11)

Both the frames and the crossbars were covered with gold.

“Cover the frames with gold and fit them with gold rings to hold the crossbars, which are also to be covered with gold.” (Exo 26:29)

In the same way, when you enter into Christ, He will clothe you with His divine nature.

The frames were held together with crossbars in groups of five.

“Make fifteen crossbars of acacia wood, five for the frames on one side of the Tent, five for the frames on the other side, and five for the frames on the west end, at the back.” (Exo 26:26-27)

In the same manner, the five gifts of ministry to the church, holds the church together.

“It was he who “gave gifts to people”; he appointed some to be apostles, others to be prophets, others to be evangelists, others to be pastors and teachers.  (Eph 4:11)

The frames of the tabernacle were then covered with various animal skins.

“Make a cover for the Tent out of eleven pieces of cloth made of goats’ hair. (Exo 26:7)

“Make two more coverings, one of rams’ skin dyed red and the other of fine leather, to serve as the outer cover. (Exo 26:14)

All of these were obtained through the killing of animals. Typically the goat was used as the sacrificial animal. The red dye also speaks of blood. Christ is the sin offering that was sacrificed on our behalf.

The tabernacle of Moses was divided into two parts.

The outer room of the tabernacle of Moses housed a table with bread loaves on it, a seven-branched lamp-stand and an altar for burning incense. This part of the tabernacle was also referred to as the Holy Place.

The inner room of the tabernacle of Moses contained the ark of the covenant which held the tablets of stone with the ten commandments. This part of the tabernacle was also called the sanctuary or the Holy of Holies. This is where God manifested his presence.

Everyone is welcome to come to Christ and have their sins forgiven, even if they don’t proceed to higher duties in God’s Kingdom.

This is revealed to us by the fact that the Outer Court was open to all, but the Holy Place could only be entered by priests and the Most Holy place of the tabernacle of Moses only by High Priests.

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