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The Tribe of Judah.

Census. At the time of the migration into Egypt while Joseph was still ruling in Egypt Judah had three sons, but so greatly did this family increase that at the first census it numbered 74,600, being first in population of all the tribes. At the second census it numbered 76,500, still retaining its rank as the largest tribe.

Position. Judah's place was on the east side of the tabernacle toward the rising of the sun, with his kinsmen Issachar and Zebulun (2:3-9; 10:14).

Standard. The rabbis say that this standard was of 3 colors, sardine, topaz and carbuncle, on which were inscribed the names of the 3 tribes, bearing the figure of a lion's whelp (Tg, pseudo. Jon. on Num 2:3). According to other rabbinical authority, Judah's standard was green, with the symbol of a lion.

Journeying. "All who were numbered according to their armies of the forces with Judah (Issachar and Zebulun), one hundred and eighty-six thousand four hundred-- these shall break camp first." (Num 2:9)

Representatives. Its representative among the spies, and also among those appointed to partition the land, was Caleb the son of Jephunneh (Num. 13:6).

Interesting Notes. The tribe of Judah, along with Benjamin, remained true to David's line when the tribes split after Solomon's death. Together they formed the southern kingdom of Judah, which at one time included Edom to the southeast.

The Land Division. Except for Simeon, Judah was the southernmost tribe of the Israelites. However, Simeon seems to have been absorbed into Judah at an early date. Judah's eastern border was the Dead Sea, and its western border was the Mediterranean Sea, although the Philistines usually controlled the plain along the sea. Originally, Judah's northern boundary ran from just south of Jerusalem northwest to Kirjath Jearim and Jabneel. To the south Judah's border ran south to the Ascent of Akrabbim, to the Wilderness of Zin, and south from Kadesh Barnea to the Mediterranean. At its longest point Judah was about 153 kilometers (95 miles) in length. At its widest point it was about 45 miles wide, excluding the area controlled by the Philistines. During the period of the divided kingdom, its northern boundary ran north of Jerusalem. Together with Benjamin they formed the southern kingdom of Judah, which at one time included Edom to the southeast.

The Man Judah

Heb. Yehuda, "the Lord be praised"; The word comes from the root meaning "to throw a stone" or "to extend the hands" as in worship.

Gen 29:35 And Leah conceived again and bore a son, and said, "Now I will praise the LORD." Therefore she called his name Judah. Then she stopped bearing.

Judah was the fourth son of Jacob and Leah, and whole brother to Reuben, Simeon, and Levi (older brothers), and Issachar and Zebulun (younger brothers).

In the situation with Joseph, Judah recommended that his brothers sell Joseph to the Ishmaelites instead of taking his life:

Gen 37:26-27 So Judah said to his brothers, "What profit is there if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? "Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother and our flesh." And his brothers listened.

After this Judah moved to Adullam and married the daughter of a Caananite, by whom he had three sons, Er, Onan, and Shelah. Er married a woman whose name was Tamar, but he died childless. Judah then gave Tamar to his second son, Onan, who also died without children. Judah was reluctant to bestow his only surviving son upon this woman and told her to wait until the boy became of age to marry (38:1-11).

One very interesting event that happened in the life of Judah was with Tamar. When she heard that Judah was going to Timnah, Tamar disguised herself as a harlot and, sitting along the roadside, met Judah and became pregnant by him. The result was the birth of two sons, Zerah and Perez (38:12-30). Perez was in the lineage of the Messiah.

Also in the situation with Joseph, when Joseph was ruling in Egypt and there was a famine and it became necessary to go a second time into Egypt for food, he argued with Jacob for not allowing Benjamin to go with them and agreed to be responsible for his safety (Gen. 43:3-10). Also when the cup was found in Benjamin's sack and punishment from the ruler of Egypt seemed imminent, Judah's explanation for his father and brothers and his offer of himself as slave so moved Joseph that he could no longer keep his secret and began to weep (44:16-34).

It was also Judah who was sent by Jacob to smooth the way for him in the land of Goshen (46:28). Nothing more is said of him until he received, along with his brothers, the final blessing of his father (49:8-12).


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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