The Boards (Ex 26:15-16)
framework of the central tabernacle came first, on which a series of
hangings would be placed over the framework to form the completed
tent. To build up this portable structure it was first necessary to make 48
upright supports each of which was ten cubits (15 feet) long by 11/2 cubits (27
Exod 26:15-16 "And for
the tabernacle you shall make the
acacia wood, standing upright. "Ten cubits shall be the length of a board,
cubit and a half shall be the width of each board.
Note: The original Hebrew word qereshim has been found on a Canaanite tablet
describing the 'throne room' of the deity El which was built of frames.
Exod 26:26-28 "And you shall make
bars of acacia wood: five for the boards on one side of the tabernacle, five
bars for the boards on the other side of the tabernacle, and five bars for the
boards of the side of the tabernacle, for the far side westward. The middle bar
shall pass through the midst of the boards from end to end."
They were not planks but framed boards.
The tabernacle boards were not solid wooden planks but actually frames made
up of two long boards, which were connected, to the top, middle and base by
cross-rails. Apart from the fact that the acacia trees in Sinai do not grow
large enough to provide a plank 27 inches wide, frames would have advantages
over solid planks. They would be much lighter when erected. Also, the open
construction would allow the inner curtain with its fine material and figures of
cherubim to be seen from inside. These frames were cut down, stripped,
dried, and then overlaid with pure
gold. (Adorned not with their natural beauty, but with that precious gold,
they were partakers of something outside of themselves, the divine gold). When
these frames were placed in the upright position there were 20 along the north
side and 20 along the south, whereas the rear wall had only 8 frames, two of
which were used on the western corners as a kind of buttress.
Curtain material was seen through the boards.
Exod 26:22-23 "For the far side of the tabernacle, westward, you shall
make six boards. And you shall also make two boards for the two back corners of
The front of the tabernacle had no frames since this was
the entrance, and was supported by five pillars of acacia wood overlaid with
gold and set in
Exod 26:36-37 "You shall make a screen for
the door of the tabernacle, woven of
scarlet thread, and fine woven linen, made by a weaver. And you shall make
for the screen five pillars of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold; their
hooks shall be of gold, and you shall cast five
sockets of bronze for them."
When an upright frame was placed on end was placed in two sockets of
silver, each of which weighed about 35 kg. Each socket was so designed that
an extension of one side arm of the frame could fit into it in the form of a
tenon. These silver sockets then formed a continuous foundation around the three
sides of the framework.
It is interesting to note that the sockets of silver were mentioned first in
They were extremely valuable (a talent of silver each, very costly) and
supported the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place, it was God's requirement that
this precious metal should be the foundation for the structure. Since the silver
foundation was buried in the earth it could not be seen by human eyes (Man is
not able to see the full value of redemption).
In the new
covenant Paul the apostle says that like an expert builder he was laying a
foundation. Then he adds that the foundation is not a system of beliefs but a
1 Cor 3:11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid,
which is Jesus Christ.
It is not easy to recognize the great worth of the foundation on which the
Church stands. In fact Jesus Himself indicated that most of the world would miss
The row of frames were held together by golden rings at the top, bottom and
middle of the frame, through which supporting bars of acacia wood were inserted.
Five bars were used on each side, with the middle bar running from end to end
along the entire length of one side. The other two bars used with the top rings
and those for the bottom rings ran halfway along each side, and in this way the
wall was made very solid.
Exod 26:26-30 "And you shall make bars of acacia wood: five for the
boards on one side of the tabernacle, five bars for the boards on the other side
of the tabernacle, and five bars for the boards of the side of the tabernacle,
for the far side westward. The middle bar shall pass through the midst of the
boards from end to end. You shall overlay the boards with gold, make their rings
of gold as holders for the bars, and overlay the bars with gold. And you shall
raise up the tabernacle according to its pattern which you were shown on the
They were fitly bound together (the boards were not divided but fitly bound
together and kept together by their bars, rings, and sockets, they were truly
Each of the 48 boards had two tenons at the foot. What they were exactly like
nothing is mentioned. The Hebrew word for "tenons" means "hands". Possibly they
were two fixtures spreading themselves out like two hands, one on each side at
the bottom of each board. They were fastened within the silver sockets.
While standing in the holy place everything not visible below ground level
was of silver and everything that could be seen above the ground was golden even
though the framework was acacia wood overlaid with gold.
We have already noticed that frames did not enclose the front because it was
the entrance. It had five pillars overlaid with gold and a curtain hung. Two
thirds of the way into the building there was a similar construction on which
the veil hung but here only
four pillars were used and these were sunk into silver bases. This formed
the internal division between the larger room which was called the Holy Place
and the smaller one known as the Most Holy Place or
the Holy of Holies.
1 Pet 1:18-19 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things,
like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your
fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and
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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