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The Tribe of Ephraim.

Census. According to the genealogical list (chap. 46) at the census in the wilderness of Sinai (Num. 1:32-33; 2:19) its numbers were 40,500, ranking tenth, and at the second census, had decreased to 32,500, ranking eleventh.

Position. The position of the sons of Joseph and Benjamin was on the west side of the Tabernacle (2:18-24).

Standard. According to rabbinical authority the standard of Ephraim was a golden flag on which the head of a calf was depicted.

Journeying. "All who were numbered according to their armies of the forces with Ephraim (Benjamin and Manasseh), one hundred and eight thousand one hundred-- they shall be the third to break camp." (Num 2:24).

Representatives. At Sinai the head of Ephraim was Elishama, the son of Ammihud (1:10). The representative of Ephraim among the spies was the great hero "Hoshea, the son of Nun," whose name was changed by Moses to the more distinguished form (Joshua).

Interesting Notes. Joshua was of the tribe of Ephraim. From the early days, the tribe of Ephraim was an influential force in Israel, being highly commended by Gideon (Judg. 8:2), and including such key religious and political centers as Bethel and Shechem. Following the revolt of the ten tribes after Solomon's rule, Ephraim became a leader in the northern kingdom of Israel (1 Kin. 12:25-33). Often the name Ephraim was used for Israel because of the many members of this tribe and its leadership role. The Hebrew prophets, especially Hosea, chastised the tribe for idolatry (Hos. 4:17), spiritual unfaithfulness (8:9-10), and relationships with heathen nations (12:1). Ephraim was involved in an alliance with Syria against Judah and King Ahaz (2 Chr. 28:5-8; Is. 7:3-9). In 722 B. C., the northern kingdom of Israel was taken into captivity in Assyria. This seemed to be the end of the tribe of Ephraim, but the Lord would not forget them. Through the prophet Jeremiah, He declared that these people were still His "dear son" and He would have mercy on them (Jer. 31:20). Years later, after God's people returned to their homeland following a long period of captivity in Babylon, "children of Ephraim" settled in Jerusalem (1 Chr. 9:3).

The Land Division. This tribe settled a territory bounded on the north by the territory of Manasseh (west of the River Jordan) and on the south by the territories of Dan and Benjamin (Josh. 16:5-10).

The Man Ephraim

Heb. efray-im; "fruitful"). The second son of Joseph by Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera born during the seven years of plenty.

Gen 46:20 And to Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, whom Asenath, the daughter of Poti-Pherah priest of On, bore to him.

One incident in Ephraim's history is the blessing of his grandfather, Jacob. Contrary to the intention of Joseph, Ephraim was preferred before Manasseh (first born) by Jacob, and upon him was conferred the birthright blessing:

Gen 48:17-19 Now when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him; so he took hold of his father's hand to remove it from Ephraim's head to Manasseh's head. And Joseph said to his father, "Not so, my father, for this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head." But his father refused and said, "I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great; but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations."


Copyright 1998 The Bible Knowledge Accelerator

The Tabernacle of Moses in Ancient Israel


The Bronze Altar The Bronze Laver The Golden Lampstand

The Cherubim The Tabernacle of Moses in the Wilderness The Cherubim

The Golden Table of Shewbread The Golden Altar of Incense The Ark of the Covenant

"And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among (in) them" - Exodus 25:8

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..."



The Tabernacle

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