11 Yahweh Prescribes the Tabernacle. Ex 25-31Exodus - God Makes a Way
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From Dr. Coy Roper in the Truth for Today commentary: “Beginning in Exodus 25, the details of building the tabernacle dominate the remainder of the book. The tabernacle was the moveable sanctuary where God met with His people during the years that Israel spent in the wilderness and for centuries afterward. directions concerning its construction and services were part of the law given by God to Israel through Moses at mount Sinai. Since the work of the priests was so closely related to the tabernacle, instructions regarding the priesthood are also included in these chapters. Exodus 25—31 relates the instructions for building the tabernacle, while Exodus 35—39 describes, often in almost identical language, how those instructions were carried out.”
Take a look at this well-done 3D video of the tabernacle and related items. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mFGsLEpKKk
For this section I will present an outline of each chapter and comment just on specific parts of each.
25:1-9 CONTRIBUTIONS AND COMMISSION
A heart-motivated, freewill offering, out of gratitude, love, and respect.
Extremely generous and valuable. Ex 35:20–29; 38:24-31
Sources: Egyptians’ gifts, enemies’ (Amalekites’) plunder.
More than enough. Had to be restrained! “Stop giving!” Ex 36:3-7
25:10-16 THE ARK OF THE COVENANT
A box or chest about 45” long, 27” wide, and 27” high.
Acacia wood and gold. To be carried via rings and poles.
Holding the testimony (the two tablets), manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded (Num 17:8; Heb 9:4).
Num 10:35-36; Josh 4:5-18; 1 Sam 4-6; 6:19; 2 Sam 6:5-15
Jer 3:16 Ark to be gone after Babylonian invasion in 586 BC?
Rev 11:19 Seen by John in a vision in heaven.
25:17-22 THE MERCY SEAT
“Mercy seat” – Heb. kapporeth = “covering.” Israel’s sins were “covered,” or atoned for, when the blood of a sacrifice was sprinkled on the ark’s “covering” on the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. Lev 16
In Heb 9:5, “mercy seat” renders hilasterion, “propitiatory,” the place where “propitiation” or “appeasement” was offered.
Cherubim (pl. of cherub): angels with faces and wings. Guarded and blocked the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve sinned. Gen 3:24
“There I will meet you.”
25:23-30 THE TABLE OF SHOWBREAD
About 36” long, 18” wide, and 27” high.
N side of the Holy Place. Each week, 12 new loaves of bread were placed here. This “Bread of His Presence” was not to feed Israel’s God (a pagan practice), but to note Yahweh’s continual care and provision. Eaten in the Holy Place each Sabbath by the priests (Lev 24:5–9).
25:31-40 THE GOLDEN LAMPSTAND
S side of the Holy Place, opposite that table. Ornate lampstand, or menorah, patterned after a flowering almond tree. Gave light for the priests serving. Kept well supplied with pure olive oil so that it would not be extinguished. Ex 27:20, 21; 30:7, 8; Lev 24:1–4
A talent was about 75 pounds.
26:1-14 COVERINGS FROM CURTAINS AND SKINS
26:15-30 THE WALLS: THE BOARDS AND THE BARS
26:31-35 THE VEIL, THE INNER CURTAIN
A veil, similar to the inner curtains divided the tabernacle into the Holy Place and the Most Holy, or lit. the Holy of Holies.
Ex 36:35, 36; 2 Chr 3:14; Mt 27:51; Heb 9:3, 24-28; 10:19-25
26:36, 37 THE SCREEN, THE OUTER CURTAIN
Another curtain or veil, without the embroidered cherubim motif, was made to cover the entrance into the Holy Place.
27:1-8 THE BRONZE ALTAR
Largest item, the “altar of burnt offering” (Lev 4:7, 10, 18). In the courtyard. It and its utensils covered in bronze, not gold.
27:9-19 THE COURT
Rectangular courtyard space, 150 ft. by 75 ft. Outer hangings were 7.5 ft. tall, high enough to block viewing into courtyard.
27:20, 21 THE OIL FOR THE LAMP
Clear oil of beaten olives gave off almost smoke-free light.
28:1-5 THE PRIESTS IDENTIFIED
28:6-14 THE EPHOD AND THE ONYX STONES
Ephod – Heb. A vest, perhaps like an apron or kilt. For its construction see Ex 39:2-7. Worn over the robe. Breastpiece was then attached to the ephod. Cf. Lev 8:7.
“Ephod” in OT is also used of an idol (Jud 8:27; 18:14, 17, 18, 20) or a simple linen garment which was evidently the priests’ typical daily clothing (1 Sam 2:18; 14:3; 22:18).
The front and back of the ephod were joined with shoulder pieces. Two onyx stones, in settings of gold filigree, were placed on these shoulder pieces. The word for “onyx” refers to a very precious stone which could shine with the luster of fire—unlike the onyx known today. Engraved on each stone: the names of six sons of Israel, according to their birth.
28:15-30 BREASTPIECE AND URIM AND THUMMIM
Breastpiece: most imp. part of ephod; description given more space.
About 9 inches square. Folded double as pocket for Urim and Thumm.
On the breastpiece were mounted twelve gemstones in four rows: (1) ruby, topaz, emerald; (2) turquoise, sapphire, diamond; (3) jacinth, agate, amethyst; and (4) beryl, onyx, and jasper (see 39:10–14). These stones to be engraved with the 12 sons (tribes) of Israel.
Rings of gold and cords: to fix the breastpiece to the ephod.
Urim (“lights”) and Thummim (“perfections”): perhaps stones, cast like lots to reveal God’s will and answers to questions in times of crisis (Num 27:21; Dt 33:8; 1 Sam 28:6; Ezra 2:63; Neh 7:65). The man who possessed them was shown to be the true high priest.
28:31-35 THE ROBE
28:36-39 GOLD PLATE, TUNIC, TURBAN, AND SASH
28:40-43 TUNICS, SASHES, CAPS, LINEN BREECHES
29:1-37 CONSECRATION OF THE PRIESTS
Materials: bull, 2 rams, unleavened bread, cakes, and wafers in basket.
Washing and dressing Aaron and sons. Anointing Aaron.
Offering the bull, then the first ram and second ram.
Daubing with blood: ear to hear, hand to work, foot to walk God’s way.
29:38-42 THE CONTINUAL DAILY OFFERINGS
Ephah: 4 to 6 gallons. Hin: 6 to 8 pints.
29:43-46 RESULTS / CONSECR’N: GOD’S PRESENCE
I will meet with you. I will consecrate you. I will dwell with you.
They shall know I am Yahweh their God!
30:1-10 THE ALTAR OF INCENSE
18 inches long, 18 inches wide, 36 inches high, with horns. Incense to burn continually. Altar to be cleansed annually with atonement blood.
30:11-16 THE TAX REQUIRED
Half a shekel (5.7 grams or .2 ounces) as  atonement money,  tabernacle service, and  a memorial.
30:17-21 THE BRONZE LAVER
Mandatory washing of priests’ hands and feet, lest they die.
30:22-33 THE ANOINTING OIL
30:34-38 THE INCENSE
Both “Holy” – formula used only for this exact purpose.
31:1-11 THE BUILDERS AND THE BUILDING PLANS
Bezalel: Spirit-filled with wisdom and skill in craftsmanship.
Oholiab: appointed with him. All others: God-given skill.
Listing all tabernacle-related items to be constructed.
31:12-17 THE SABBATH COMMAND REPEATED
Emphasized again: God’s requirement of rest and reflection.
Emphasized again: God’s creation of heaven and earth in six days.
31:18 THE CONCLUSION OF THE LAW
Moses given the two tablets, “written by the finger of God.”