The Table of Shewbread (Ex 25:23-30)
It was also called the Table of the Presence.
we will pass through
the door of
the tabernacle and enter the holy place. The priest had at his right hand
the table of shewbread or also referred to as the table of the presence. It
was made of
acacia wood overlaid with pure
gold. Its size was 2 cubits (3 feet) in length by one
cubit (1 1/2 feet) in breadth and a height of 1 1/2 cubits (2 1/4 feet).
Around the table was a border of gold and then a little further in, on the table
top, an additional border which would hold the contents in place. The table had
four legs, and two gold plated
poles were inserted through golden rings attached to the legs for
Exod 25:23-30 "You shall also make a table of acacia wood; two cubits
shall be its length, a cubit its width, and a cubit and a half its height. And
you shall overlay it with pure gold, and make a molding of gold all around. You
shall make for it a frame of a handbreadth all around, and you shall make a gold
molding for the frame all around. And you shall make for it four rings of gold,
and put the rings on the four corners that are at its four legs. The rings shall
be close to the frame, as holders for the poles to bear the table. And you shall
make the poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold, that the table may be
carried with them. You shall make its
dishes, its pans, its pitchers, and its bowls for pouring. You shall make
them of pure gold. And you shall set the showbread on the table before Me
The purpose of the golden table was to hold 12 cakes of bread made of
fine flour. They were placed there in two rows of six, each loaf
representing one of the tribes of Israel (Lev. 24:8).
Lev 24:5-9 "And you shall take fine flour and bake twelve cakes with
it. Two-tenths of an ephah shall be in each cake. You shall set them in two
rows, six in a row, on the pure gold table before the LORD. And you shall put
frankincense on each row, that it may be on the bread for a memorial, an
offering made by fire to the LORD. Every Sabbath he shall set it in order before
the LORD continually, being taken from the children of Israel by an everlasting
covenant. And it shall be for
Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat it in a holy place; for it is most
holy to him from the offerings of the LORD made by fire, by a perpetual
The historian Josephus indicates that the bread was unleavened. This bread is
sometimes referred to as being the 'shewbread' because its literal meaning is
'bread of the face', i.e. bread set out before the face or presence of God.
This is the first mention of the word "table" (communion &
fellowship) in the Bible. (comment)
-It was made of acacia wood overlaid with gold.
-It was 2 cubits long, 1 cubit wide and 1 1/2 cubits high. (the ark was the
-It had a gold molding (crown) all around.
-The molding was the width of a hand (to secure the bread)
-It had a gold ring at each corner leg for the
staves (wood overlaid with gold).
The Four vessels
-There were 4 vessels of pure gold on the table with the bread:
Pans or Spoons (to sprinkle frankincense)
Pitchers (for liquid offerings)
Bowls (vessels containing the frankincense)
Each of the 12 cakes represented one of the tribes of Israel.
-The tables purpose was to show the bread, which were 12 small, flat, round
loaves that were laid out in an orderly fashion so as to be displayed.
Lev 24:5-6 "And you shall take fine flour and bake twelve cakes with
it. Two-tenths of an ephah shall be in each cake. "You shall set them in two
rows, six in a row, on the pure gold table before the LORD.
- Fine Flour (from the earth)
- Baked (agony and suffering)
- Unleavened (nothing artificial)
- Two-tenths (two deals of ten)
Lev 24:7 "And you shall put pure frankincense on each row, that it may be
on the bread for a memorial, an offering made by fire to the LORD.
- Sprinkled with pure frankincense
Lev 24:8-9 "Every Sabbath he shall set it in order before the LORD
continually, being taken from the children of Israel by an everlasting covenant.
And it shall be for Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat it in a holy place;
for it is most holy to him from the offerings of the LORD made by fire, by a
-Every seventh (Sabbath) day, fresh hot loaves were provided by Aaron.
The priests were entitled to eat the old loaves while standing in the Holy
-The frankincense that was removed each week was as a special oblation
(offering) to God.
-12 loaves were the same material, size, and weight (no partiality).
-According to Lev 22, if a priest was unclean he couldn't eat of the
shewbread. No layman, or daughter married to a layman, or a hired servant could
eat of the shewbread. But a purchased slave or those born in his house could.
-According to tradition 8 priests held hands as they changed the bread, and
passed it for fellowship.
-They were to be holy because of the bread
Lev 21:6 `They shall be holy to their God and not profane the name of
their God, for they offer the offerings of the LORD made by fire, and the bread
of their God; therefore they shall be holy.
No Sitting Down
For although the bread was on a table, no priest could ever be seated at that
table or anywhere else in the tabernacle. Priests always stood while they
carried out their duties. There was no place to be seated, no provision for rest
in this pattern of worship and no suggestion that their task was ever completed.
Heb 10:11-14 "And every priest stands ministering daily and offering
repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man,
after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand
of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His
footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being
Num 4:5-8 "When the camp prepares to journey, Aaron and his sons shall come,
and they shall take down the covering veil and cover the ark of the Testimony
with it. Then they shall put on it a covering of
badger skins, and spread over that a cloth entirely of blue; and they shall
insert its poles. On the table of the Presence they shall spread a
blue cloth, and put on it the dishes, the pans, the bowls, and the pitchers
for pouring; and the showbread shall be on it. They shall spread over them a
scarlet cloth, and cover the same with a covering of badger skins; and they
shall insert its poles."
A Type of Christ
The table of shewbread was referred to as the table of the Presence. Gods
light forever shines on His people. The 12 baked cakes of bread spoke of Gods
people who were one with Him as the priests joined together for the fellowship
of eating the bread and becoming one. Jesus referred to Himself as the bread of
life and said if we eat this bread we will live forever. The very nature of
bread is to provide physical sustenance and as you eat the bread and digest it,
it becomes part of you. The very nature of the Word of God is to provide
spiritual sustenance and as it is received it becomes part of our very nature.
Just as the table always speaks of fellowship and communion, so the table of the
shewbread points to Jesus who has made a covenant built on better promises and
provided a blood covenant meal for us to partake that we might all be one in the
John 6:35 And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes
to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst."
Jn 6:51-58 "I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats
of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My
flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world. As the living Father sent
Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of
Me. This is the bread which came down from heaven-- not as your fathers ate the
manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever."
Jn 6:63 "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The
words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life."
Only in the work of Christ as great high priest on behalf of his people was
the work ever finished. His sacrifice was fully effective and was a completed
work. No priest could ever be seated but after his great cry, 'It is
finished', Jesus Christ left the altar of Calvary and sat down at the
right hand of God.
Jesus said, "I am the bread of life."
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..."
Bible History Online
© Bible History Online (https://www.bible-history.com)