The materials were specified exactly by God. Any deviation would bring
THE HOLY MATERIALS
must remember that the Israelites came out of Egypt as the people of God. They
were descendants of Abraham, the first Hebrew. It is important to keep in mind
the oath that God swore as He was cutting the
covenant with Abraham:
Gen 15:13-14 Then He said to Abram: "Know certainly that your descendants
will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they
will afflict them
four hundred years. "And also the nation whom they serve I will judge;
afterward they shall come out with great possessions.
And with great possessions they came out indeed, as it says:
Exod 3:20-22 "So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all
My wonders which I will do in its midst; and after that he will let you go. "And
I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be,
when you go, that you shall not go empty-handed. "But every woman shall ask of
her neighbor, namely, of her who dwells near her house, articles of
silver, articles of
gold, and clothing; and you shall put them on your sons and on your
daughters. So you shall plunder the Egyptians."
Exod 12:35-36 Now the children of Israel had done according to the word
Moses, and they had asked from the Egyptians articles of silver, articles of
gold, and clothing. And the LORD had given the people favor in the sight of the
Egyptians, so that they granted them what they requested. Thus they plundered
As the Israelites came to
Mount Sinai the Lord instructed them as to what they were to bring as a
free-will offering (spontaneous and voluntary giving) so that they could build
the tabernacle. Notice what God spoke concerning His dwelling place the
Tabernacle: (very important verses)
Ex 25:1-9 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: "Speak to the children
of Israel, that they bring Me an offering. From everyone who gives it willingly
with his heart you shall take My offering. "And this is the offering which you
shall take from them: gold, silver, and bronze; "blue,
fine linen, and goats' hair; "ram skins dyed red,
badger skins, and acacia wood; "oil for the light, and
spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense; "onyx stones, and
stones to be set in the ephod and in the
breastplate. "And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.
"According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and
the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it.
These materials are listed exactly as god had specified (nothing more and
nothing less) because they would each have specific symbolic meaning relating to
the true Tabernacle in Heaven and Jesus Christ. Nothing could be left to chance
or man's imagination because if the Lord is to dwell here and pitch His
tent with man, then man is to approach Him His way and no exceptions. The
details of its construction would pattern in a temporal way, what God would one
day do permanently through Jesus Christ. The Tabernacle would become a visible
model of how we come to God through Jesus. Let's look now at the materials to be
used in the construction of the Tabernacle and keep in mind that we must examine
the symbolism from a Hebraic backdrop. The Old Testament is filled with
figurative language that can be interpreted in the light of the context of the
Materials (ordered by God)
According to Ex 38 they gave 2,800 lbs. of gold. Pure Gold throughout the
scriptures speaks of divinity, that which cannot be reproduced by man. Gold is
made by God and comes down from God. Gold speaks of the deity of Jesus Christ.
It typifies the divine glory of the Lord Jesus as "the Son of God" and "God the
Son". According to Ex 38 they gave 2,800 lbs. of gold.
Jesus was none other than Jehovah in the flesh. He is "Malach Yaweh," Jehovah
the King. When Isaiah saw the Lord high and lifted up as the King in all His
glory John in the New Testament tell us that it was Jesus that he saw:
John 12:41 These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory and spoke of
Silver came to 9,600 lbs. Throughout the Scriptures, silver figuratively
speaks of redemption. It was always used as redemption money:
Ex 30:16 "And you shall take the redemption money of the children of
Israel, and shall appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of meeting, that
it may be a memorial for the children of Israel before the LORD, to make
atonement for yourselves."
The tabernacle stood upon
sockets of silver. Both Joseph and Jesus were sold for silver. Judas was
paid off in silver as the Scriptures said. Silver is redemption money. Silver is
symbolic of the redemption that comes through Jesus Christ and Him alone. It
prefigures the preciousness of Christ as the ransom for sinners. Notice also
that there is no silver mentioned in heaven. The people will already have been
Mark 10:45 "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to
serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
A total of 6,700 lbs. of
bronze was given for use in those places where exceptional strength and heat
resistance was important. Bronze has a melting point of 1,985 degrees. It was
important in the altar where intense heat was present. They brought bronze not
brass. Brass comes from a mixture of copper and tin where bronze comes from
copper and zinc.
Bronze represents judgment. When Moses raised the bronze serpent it spoke of
the power of the serpent being judged through the raising of the Son of God:
Num 21:9 So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so
it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he
Bronze typifies the divine character of Christ who took upon Himself the fire
of God's wrath, holiness and justice by becoming a
2 Cor 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might
become the righteousness of God in Him.
Matt 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice,
saying, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is, "My God, My God, why have You
Woven into or embroidered on the linen were
blue, purple, and scarlet threads. The Hebrew word for blue means shellfish.
A brilliant dye was excreted from this mollusk. This bright color is always
mentioned first. Man needed something to suggest the idea of heaven as a place
from which God reveals Himself more fully than on earth. Therefore the color
blue represents heaven, the color of the sky. Blue was always mentioned
throughout the tabernacle to remind man that his destination is heaven and
because of our Redeemer we are destined to be in God's Presence. Blue speaks of
that which comes down from above ("from above" is a Jewish idiom for heaven).
Remember when the woman touched the blue hem of Jesus' garment? We see the
loveliness of the blue in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ who was not only
heavenly in His origin but in His very nature and ways.
Jn 3:31 "He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth
is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all.
The Hebrews would get this color from mixing blue and scarlet together. This
deep red-purple color was a color of royalty (Kingly).
Judg 8:26 ornaments, pendants, and purple robes which were on the kings
of Midian, and besides the chains that were around their camels' necks.
The color purple typifies Jesus as King of king's and Lord of lord's, but
there is another important truth. The mixing of blue and scarlet. Blue speaks of
that which comes down from above, and scarlet, as we shall see, represents blood
and death, sacrifice. Purple is a combination of both, which speaks of Christ as
both God and Man, the Man who came from heaven to die. In some mysterious way He
took upon Himself the likeness of sinful flesh.
Isa 33:17 Your eyes will see the King in His beauty; they will see the
land that is very far off.
'Scarlet thread' (Sacrifice)
The scarlet was derived from an Eastern insect (worm) that infests certain
trees. It was gathered, crushed, dried, and ground to a powder that produced a
brilliant crimson hue. Scarlet speaks of sacrifice and typifies Christ in His
sufferings. The crucifixion Psalm 22 quotes Jesus as saying - "I am a worm". God
somehow took upon Himself a body of flesh and blood and then died giving His
life as a ransom for us all by being crushed in the mills of God's justice.
Eph 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself
for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
Heb 9:26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the
world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by
the sacrifice of Himself.
Fine Twisted Linen
'Fine Linen' (Purity)
The linen was most interesting. Made from Egyptian flax, it was finely woven,
brilliantly white, and bore a special name, "byssus". This material was used for
garments for royalty and persons of rank and has been found in the tombs of the
Pharaohs. Linen in one tomb was found to have 152 threads per inch in the warp
and 72 threads per inch in the woof. White linen always speaks of purity and
Rev 15:6 And out of the temple came the seven angels having the seven
plagues, clothed in pure bright linen, and having their chests girded with
Rev 3:5 "He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not
blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My
Father and before His angels."
Rev 19:14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean,
followed Him on white horses.
The fine-twined, white linen speaks of righteousness and typifies Jesus, the
Son of Man, spotless, pure, and sinless.
I Jn 3:3-5 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just
as He is pure...and you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and
in Him there is no sin.
'Goats Hair' (Cursed sin offering)
Goats were common in those days for their milk, their meat, their skin which
was used for many things such as water bottles, etc., and their hair, which was
very long, dark and course, was spun and woven into cloth. The
goat was a sacrificial animal. The Goat's Hair covering was the first above
the tabernacle curtain. This drab color tells us of Jesus in His humility and
poverty. Goatskins were worn by the poor and throughout the Bible represented
Heb 11:37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were
slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being
destitute, afflicted, tormented--
Lk 9:58 And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air
have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."
And the hair speaks of Christ as the separated One, just as the hair must be
separated from the goat, so Christ had to sacrifice His own covering in order to
provide a covering for others.
Another interesting point about the goat is that it was used on the Day of
the high priest completed the blood sprinkling in the holy of holies he
would go into the court of the tabernacle and lay his hands on the head of the
scapegoat, confessing over it all the sins of the people. The goat was then led
away, by a man standing ready, into the wilderness, and there let free, to
signify the carrying away of Israel's sins which God had forgiven. This reminds
us of Jesus, humble and poor, becoming a curse for us, that we might have our
sins carried away into the land of forgetfulness.
2 Cor 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we
might become the righteousness of God in Him.
'Rams skins dyed red' (Substitutionary sacrifice)
A ram is a grown male
sheep and the head of the flock. A shepherd may have one or two rams in a
flock of ewes to promote uniformity. The ram is forever in the eyes of the Jew
as the substitute animal, faithful unto death. This is of course because God
provided a ram as a substitute for Isaac on that day when Abraham's faith was
Gen 22:12-13 And He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do
anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld
your son, your only son, from Me." Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and
there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its
horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a
burnt offering instead of his son.
The ram's skins were dyed red to represent the sacrifice of a substitute. So
Jesus as the head of the human race, the last Adam, sacrificed His own life as a
substitute for all who would put their trust in Him.
Heb 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels,
for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace
of God, might taste death for everyone.
Heb 2:17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that
He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to
make propitiation for the sins of the people.
Jn 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The
Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
'Badger skins' (Outward appearance-unattractive)
Badger skins were the final covering, the outer covering that everyone saw.
They were tough and course and very plain in their appearance. But how does this
speak of Christ? It speaks of what Christ was to man. There was no outward
beauty to the tabernacle proper, so it was with Christ when He came to earth
when He pitched His tabernacle among men. As the prophet foretold:
Is 53:1-2 Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the
LORD been revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a
root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there
is no beauty that we should desire Him.
What was Jesus to the Jews? nothing but a course, hard badger skin. What is
Jesus to the world today? nothing but a course, hard badger skin. But to those
of us who have opened up our hearts to Him He is much much more. He is the
"altogether lovely One", He is the "Rose of Sharon", the "Lily of the Valley",
and the "Fairest among 10,000" to our souls. If anyone desired to look beyond
the outer flesh covering they would see the transfiguration of Christ's glory.
"Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" Jesus says, "Come and see".
Jn 1:10-14 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and
the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of
God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the
will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 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.
'Acacia Wood' (Incorruptible humanity) also called Shittim Wood
The Shittah tree grew in the deserts of Sinai, and the deserts around the Dead
Sea. The wood is hard, very heavy, indestructible by insects, and has a fine,
beautiful grain. It was remarkably luxuriant in dry places, sometimes attaining
a height of twenty feet. It had lovely yellow flowers and its insect-resisting
was used in making mummy cases. This Acacia wood undoubtedly
speaks of the incorruptible humanity of Christ, for we are told that His
humanity would never see corruption.
Ps 16:10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will You allow
Your Holy One to see corruption.
He was the truly human One, "the man Christ Jesus". The Bible calls Him, "the
son of Mary", and the "son of man". A body was prepared for Him:
Heb 10:5 Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: "Sacrifice
and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me.
And that body He still possesses in a glorified form. "This same Jesus" is in
heaven right now and one day will return for us and glorify us also:
1 Jn 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been
revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be
like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
Rom 8:18-21 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not
worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the
earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons
of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because
of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be
delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the
children of God.
'Oil' (The Spirits anointing)
The oil was obtained by crushing the olive berries of the land. Oil, as we
know, was the liquid used when the prophet, priest, and king were anointed in
Old Testament times. And because of passages like:
1 Jn 2:20-21 20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all
1 Sam 16:13 Then Samuel took the
horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of
the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to
Is 32:15 Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness
becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is counted as a forest.
We have scriptural authority for seeing the oil as a type of the Holy Spirit.
In the Bible the olive tree is symbolic of many things:
Hos 14:6 His branches shall spread; his beauty shall be like an olive
tree, and his fragrance like Lebanon.
Ps 52:8 But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust
in the mercy of God forever and ever.
Judg 9:9 But the olive tree said unto them, Should I leave my fatness,
wherewith by me they honour God and man, and go to be promoted
over the trees?
The Holy Spirit, then, as olive oil, is the One who possesses all that man
needs for life and godliness. Richness, fertility, and beauty are all His in an
abundant measure. Jesus was anointed by God as prophet, priest, and king.
Everything Christ did was filled with richness, fertility, and beauty because He
was the temple of the Holy Spirit and filled with all fulness:
Jn 3:34 "For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does
not give the Spirit by measure.
It is interesting that the olives weren't beaten or pressed but crushed. So
Jesus was crushed in the Garden of Gethsemane (Heb. Oil Press) and then by the
very wrath of God on a Roman cross, as the Scriptures say:
Is 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to crush him; he hath put him to
grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed,
he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his
The anointing oil was restricted for tabernacle use only, anyone violating
the command was put to death. The olive oil was to be pure and nothing but pure
because it represents the HOLY Spirit of Christ. The word "Christ" is the Greek
word for the Hebrew "Mashiach" (Messiah) which means "the anointed One". It
literally means "to smear" as with oil. The oil was also used to anoint the Holy
Tabernacle and its furniture, and to light the golden lampstand.
'Spices for the oil and incense' (Sweet smelling fragrance to God)
There were three spices to be added to the
frankincense and oil:
Ex 30:34 And the LORD said to Moses: "Take sweet spices,
galbanum, and pure frankincense with these sweet spices; there shall be
equal amounts of each.
A powder from the hardened drops of the fragrant resin found in the bark of
the Myrrh bush. The word means "a drop".
A powder from the horny shell cover of a clam-like mollusk found in the Red
Sea. When burnt, this powder emits a penetrating aroma. The Hebrew word means-
"aromatic shell". The Red Sea is an isolated warm water pocket of the Indian
ocean and is known for its peculiar subspecies of mollusks.
A brownish pungent resin that exudes from the lower part of the stem of a
Ferula plant. This herb plant is found at the Mediterranean Sea and has thick
stalks, yellow flowers, and fern-like green foliage. It has a musky, pungent
smell and is valuable because it preserves the scent of a mixed perfume, and
allows of its distribution over a long period of time.
In these spices or perfumes we see Jesus as the sweet smelling aroma bringing
joy to the Father's heart. When mixed with the olive oil we see the sweet
illuminating work of the Spirit of Christ, and when mixed with frank-incense we
see the sweetness of prayer as a "sweet smelling aroma in God's nostrils". How
fitting that these perfumes would point to Christ.
Jn 8:29 "And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me
alone, for I always do those things that please Him."
Eph 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself
for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
2 Cor 2:15-16 15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who
are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the
aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to
life. And who is sufficient for these things?
THE TABERNACLE OF ANCIENT ISRAEL
"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
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
thought so much of the importance of the type, as shown by the tearing of the
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
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
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
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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