Ancient Near East
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THE OUTER COURT
(1) An outer court enclosed by curtains supported on pillars. It was oblong in shape and the entrance was on the east side.
(2) The altar of sacrifice (bronze altar) was within the court, facing the entrance.
(3) The Tabernacle itself was located at the western part of the court. The Tabernacle was divided by a veil or hanging curtain into two chambers.
The first chamber was called the Holy Place, it contained the Table, Lampstand, and Altar of Incense. Only priests were allowed into this section.
The second chamber was called
the Holy of Holies, it contained the Ark of the
The High Priest the Holy of Holies only once a year on the Day of Atonement.
The objects closest to the Holy of Holies were constructed of precious metals
and cloths. Those farther off were of
bronze and ordinary woven materials. The Tabernacle was covered by a tent
and cloth covers.
he tabernacle sanctuary stood in the western half of a rectangular courtyard whose dimensions were 100 x 50 cubits (150 feet x 75 feet). The tabernacle was situated from East to West with the entrance facing East. The visible cloud of God descended down upon the tabernacle:
Exod 40:38 For the cloud of the LORD was above the tabernacle by day, and fire was over it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.
Any common Israelite could enter the courts but only the priestly tribe could
go beyond and into the Tabernacle and only the high priest could go beyond still
into the holy of holies once per year on Yom Kippur, The Day of Atonement.
The Approach to God
The words of God to Moses were very specific about how they were to approach God. They had never approached God while they were slaves in Egypt but sat at a table with Him at the Passover deliverance in their homes eating in haste as they were exiting the land of bondage and preparing for the journey to the land of promise. But in the meantime God had revealed Himself in His holiness at Mount Sinai and in their stark horror they were brought to an awareness that No Man could approach God except Moses who was their leader. But God wanted them all to be a kingdom of priests and approach Him so that there could be an ongoing relationship as with a husband and a wife.
Therefore God revealed to them a pattern of worship that was consistent with His holiness, and also make it possible for sinful man to enter His presence. It was in the entire pattern of tabernacle worship that God began to reveal all that was involved in the blood of a sacrifice and atonement which they had been familiar with but not entirely.
It started with the awareness of sin in the individual person's life. So when an Israelite recognized that he had sinned and that this separated him from his God, if he wanted to be forgiven he made his way to the God appointed place, the tabernacle.
When he approached it he found that a wall of white linen formed a barrier against him. all the way around for 300 cubits (450 feet) except one stretch of 20 cubits (30 feet) that was different. It was known as The Entrance Gate. It was not formed of white linen but was multi-colored in woven white, blue, purple and red. It was distinctive, and marked out the one way by which a sinner could gain access to the court of God's house. (See The Entrance Gate).
Ps 84:2 My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
Ps 84:10 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
The Purpose and Heart of the Law - A Devotional Message
Blood Atonement - A Bible Study
The Tabernacle of Ancient Israel was a sanctuary which was given in a vision to Moses as a pattern and constructed by the children of Israel. God's promise was that He would dwell within the Holy of Holies above the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant.
Why Study the Tabernacle?
A) 50 Chapters Mention The Tabernacle
Because at least 50 chapters (13-Ex, 18-Lev, 13-Num, 2-Deut, 4-Heb) in the Bible tell of the construction, the ritual, the priesthood, the carrying of the tabernacle, and the meaning of it all. Also many other places in Scripture speak in figurative language concerning the tabernacle. In many Bible studies this subject is overlooked and considered insignificant.
B) The Tearing of the Veil
God Himself thought so much of the importance of the type, as shown by the tearing of the veil:Matt 27:50-51 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split,
If we don't understand the meaning in Scripture of the holy of holies and the veil we miss out on extremely significant information concerning exactly what Christ's death meant to sinful mankind.
C) The Tabernacle is a Type of Christ:
Remember what the Word says, "all Scripture is given by inspiration (God-breathed) of God..." When we look at the Bible we must remember that it is completely God-breathed. When we look at each Word we must remember that every Word is specifically God-breathed. That was the view of Christ when it came to the Scriptures, that was the view of the apostles, and that must be our view. This is the very Word of God. It doesn't just contain the Word of God, or just point to religious experience, this is the Word of God.
Is it any wonder then that each and every detail and Word about the tabernacle has spiritual significance? As we look to the tabernacle structure itself and its unique pieces of redemptive furniture there is great symbolism and typology found in them. Remember, everything was a finger pointing to the Messiah. The tabernacle, as a type, designed specifically and in detail by God, would point to the character and aspects of the ministry of Christ. The more we become familiar with the tabernacle the more we become familiar with Christ and all that He means to us. What a great reason to become familiar with the Scriptures concerning the tabernacle.
Heb 10:20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh,
Col 2:17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.
Jn 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
D) It is a Representation of the True Tabernacle in Heaven:
The Lord wants us to be aware of His nature and character. Even the angels don't fully understand the nature and character of God but they learn from watching His dealings with His church (Eph 3). Things are really happening in the heavenly dimension and the Lord wants to reveal to us what took place in heaven after the resurrection of Christ. There is a real tabernacle in the heavenlies and Christ really appeared before the throne of heaven as the Lamb of God (Rev 5). There is no doubt that some of these things are a mystery but the more we draw close to God and His Word the more He draws close to us.
Heb 9:11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation.
E) The Presence Within the Holy of Holies Dwells Within the Believer in Jesus:
Jesus said I am the temple (Mishkan) of God. When the glory (Heb. Sh'chinah) would come down like a tornado or funnel right through the roof of the holy of holies and the Presence would manifest on the mercy seat between the cherubim after the blood was sprinkled, that was the mishkan. That Presence was what Jesus said dwelt within Him. And in fact Paul said about the church, "Know ye not that you are the temple (Mishkan) of God?" We, as the body of Christ, have the same Presence dwelling within us. God doesn't dwell in buildings now but within His people.
1 Cor 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
F) Its teaching covers in type almost all of New Testament truth.
The study of the tabernacle is so rich in meaning to the Christian and so pregnant with Messianic significance that we can spend a lifetime in the study of it and only begin to understand the riches and the depth of truth that lies within the study of the tabernacle.Rom 15:4 "Whatever things that were written before were written for our learning."
G) Studying the Tabernacle will absolutely strengthen our faith in the Bible.
Be assured that anyone who has delved into the wonderful details of the tabernacle will confess that the Bible is more than just a book. No man could have thought of this. The Bible is the Word of God.
"all Scripture is given by inspiration of God..."
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The Children of Israel