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WHAT is the Tabernacle?
In Hebrew it is called the "Mishkan" משכן, which means dwelling place from the root word שכן. In the Jewish Torah it refers to a portable dwelling place custom designed by God Himself.
WHY did God have the people of Israel build the Mishkan?
God desired to dwell among them Ex. 25:8 “Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them.”
God is holy and cannot be seen with human eyes. Ex 33:20 “But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”
God wanted Israel to know Him Ex. 29:45 Then I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God. (He desires intimacy, in which truth and honesty are essential. )
WHO built it? The instructions were given by the LORD to Moshe who gave them to Betzalel and Aholiav who instructed the craft leaders of Israel to build it.
The Copper Altar was the first item you would run into when entering the courtyard gate. It was unavoidable. This is where thousands of sacrifices by Israel took place yearly. Only Cohenim or Priest were allowed to make sacrifices to God.
This altar was most likely made of copper for three reasons.
1. Brass was not invented until 500 B.C. and the Tabernacle was built in 1445 B.C. So that seems to eliminate brass as being a possibility. Additionally, brass would have looked too much like gold and would have defeated the purpose of having a common humble look on the outside of the Tabernacle, which represents Yeshua.
2. Deuteronomy 8:9 speaks of digging copper (our word נְחֹֽשֶׁת Nachoshet) out of the hills. This could not have been translated bronze or brass as these alloys have to be man made and do not exist naturally.
3. Bronze is a possible translation, although it is important to note that bronze is 88% copper.
Leviticus 17:11 states and Hebrews 9:22 confirms, "...without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin" But in Hebrews 10:4 says, "It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins." So what kind of blood was necessary to take away sin forever? We find the answer in 1 John 1:7 "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin." Praise God for Yeshua's shed blood for the forgiveness of sin!
Hebrew Name: מִזְבַּח הַנְּחֹשֶׁת Mizbach Hanachoshet
Dimensions: 5 RECs (8.59 FT) square and 3 RECs (5.16 FT) tall walls. Horns are about .5 RECs (10.3") Tall. Total Height c. 6 FT.
Above is a picture of a Royal Egyptian standard in the Liverpool Museum in London.
THE CUBIT DISPUTE
There are many Cubit (אמה Amah in Hebrew) standards that have developed since the time of Noah. So which one was used to build the Mishkan?
Located near Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey there exist a boat shaped structure that many believe is the remains of Noah’s Ark. The length of this structure is exactly 515.5 feet. When divided by the 20.62” Royal Egyptian Cubit, it equals exactly 300, the same length of cubits that God told Noah to build the Ark. This is only one among dozens of other evidences that this structure is actually Noah's Ark. If it is, then the Cubit of Noah is indeed the Cubit used by Moses to construct the Mishkan. The royal Egyptian Cubit would also have been the Noahic Cubit passed down from Noah to Ham, who then passed it down to Mitzraim, the father of Egypt.
God has preserved His standard!
Even Solomon's temple was built using the royal Egyptian Cubit although there was evidently a new standard Cubit being used already!
2 Chronicals 3:3 The foundation Solomon laid for building the temple of God was sixty cubits long and twenty cubits wide (using the cubit of the old standard). God's word is our standard and it does not change. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished Matt. 5:18
The menorah is a primary symbol for the Jewish people, far more ancient than the Magen David, the Star (Shield) of David. The seven branched menorah (lampstand) of the ancient Holy Temple is widely recognized as an organic, botanical image, a variety of salvia or “menorah plant.” Wellspringsofwisdom.comTHE BASE DISPUTE
There are many ancient images of the menorah that portray it either with a hexagon base, round base, or tripod base. It is not certain which one is correct, but many carvings and images of tripod style have been discovered.
Here on earth, we need natural light in order to see. But in the Holy of Holies where God dwells, one does not need natural light to see. God, Who is enthroned between the cherubim, is light Himself, the shekinah Glory. So when the High Priest entered on the day of Yom
Kippur once a year, he did not need to bring a lamp because the light of God's presence illuminated the Holy of Holies.
There are seven removable lamps in the shape of almonds on the menorah. The number seven has been significant not only in Israel but in several other nations in history. It signifies completion and perfection.
God created heaven and earth and 6 days and rested on the 7th. The very first day God said let there be light, and there was light, not just for that day, but for all seven days, and every week since then.
The priests were required to be faithful in lighting the menorah, just as God is faithful in bringing us the light of the sun and moon everyday, seven times a week.
The first thing to note about the Menorah is that it is a source of light. The oil lamp is one of the most ancient inventions that is still used today. The concept is very simple-a vessel, oil, and a wick. God commands us to be a light, it's a simple command, but we need the oil of the Holy Spirit to fuel our flame.
Hebrew Name: מְנֹרַת Menorah
Dimensions: Unspecified. The Mishkan Menorah is 3 RECs (5.16 FT) tall and c. 2.5 RECs (4.3 FT) wide.
The Altar of Incense was a platform that the Levite priests used to burn sweet smelling incense to the LORD God of Israel. It was a special mixture of resins that God commanded should only be used for His house, and not for personal use.
THE INCENSE DISPUTE
What is the true biblical formula for the golden alter incense?
“It is likely the specific ingredients and process for making sacred incense was a closely guarded secret. The scriptures dictate that its use was purely for holy purposes. It was not to be made for personal use, at the risk of being cutoff from the entire community (Ex. 30:38).”
Exodus 20:34 The LORD said to Moses, “Take sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum, sweet spices with pure frankincense (of each shall there be an equal part)
Revelation 8:4 says,
“The smoke of the incense, mixed with the prayers of God’s holy people, ascended up to God from the altar where the angel had poured them out.”
And Psalm 141:2 says,
“May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.”
The spiritual meaning of the altar of incense is that the prayer from a pure heart of faith is like a sweet fragrance to God. On the flip side, I imagine that insincere, half hearted, faithless prayers are like the smell of something like raw sewage to God. It is obnoxious and detestable.
Hebrew Name: מִזְבַּח הַקְּטֹֽרֶת Mizbach Haqetoret
Dimensions: 1 REC (20.62") squared and 2 RECs (41.24") Tall
The Table of Shewbread, or the Table of the Presence held twelve loaves of bread set apart to be eaten only by the Levite Priests. On top of the loaves were bowls of frankincense to burn on the Altar of Incense.
So what was the recipe for the holy bread? Short answer: It has been lost or kept secret. Eli Saidel, a Jewish baker who lives in Israel, whom I've spoken with, was entranced by the holy bread and set out on a journey to find out exactly how it was made. He said,
“They had to be prepared and baked quickly because they were unleavened, like matzah.
Each loaf weighed 3 to 4 Kilograms (6.614 to
8.818 LBS according to some opinions, and as much as seven kilos (15.45LBS) according to others. Now that's a heavy loaf!
According to tradition, the Garmu family managed the baking process, ensuring that the bread was prepared properly. The work of baking, preparing and removing the showbread from the ovens required great skill, and the Garmu clan kept their trade secrets within the family.
When tempted in the wilderness by Satan to turn stones into bread, Jesus answered in the words of Deuteronomy 8:3, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”
Again in John 6:35 “...Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry…”
Jesus has given us himself as our daily bread, to know him and the Father so that we can find joy and peace in Him.
Hebrew Name: שֻׁלְחַן הַפָּנִים Shulchan Hapanim
Dimensions: 1 REC (20.62") wide, 2 RECs (41.24") long, 1.5 RECs (31.93") tall.
Exodus 30:20-21 Says," Whenever they enter the Tent of Meeting or approach the altar to minister by presenting an offering made by fire to the LORD, they must wash with water so that they will not die. 21Thus they are to wash their hands and feet so that they will not die; this shall be a permanent statute for Aaron and his descendants for the generations to come.”
According to timesofindia.com, water stored in a copper vessel has the ability to kill all the microorganisms like molds, fungi, algae and bacteria, present in the water that could be harmful for the body.
Studies have shown that storing water in copper vessels ensures the elimination of harmful bacteria such as E. Coli, Salmonella, and Vibrio Cholerae. This helps ensure that the water is safe to use. Copper vessels can be especially useful when traveling to developing countries with questionable water quality.
Hebrew Name: כִּיּוֹר נְחֹשֶׁת Kior Nachoshet
Dimensions: Unspecified in Scripture. The Mishkan Laver is 1.5 RECs (31") wide, the base is .75 REC (15") in diameter.
What did the Ark of the Covenant look like? This is a question that many scholars, archeologist, and theologians have asked for centuries.
The most common design you will find on Google images when looking up the Ark of the Covenant are ones with the cherubim on top of the Kapporet. The Temple institute in Jerusalem puts the angels on the top of the Kapporet leaning into the middle. There doesn't seem to be room for a King on either of the first two. One of Catholic design has the cherubim kneeling beside the Ark with mother Mary standing behind. This design contradicts the Bible description because the angels are not looking down at the Kapporet. But what did the Ark of the Covenant really look like? Is there anything in the Bible or archeology that might give us an idea?
Aron in ancient Hebrew literally means chest, container, or any man made enclosure that holds something of value.
The name “Ark of the Covenant” simply became known as the title of the whole work. There are actually three main parts to this work.
LOCATION OF THE CHERUBIM
18 And make two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover. 19 Make one cherub on one end and the second cherub on the other; make the cherubim of one piece with the cover, at the two ends. 20 The cherubim are to have their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim are to face each other, looking toward the cover. Exodus 25:18-20
The Hebrew word קָצָה only carries one idea in the whole Bible-it means the extreme end, outskirt, border, or edge of something. So all of the cherubim that are on top of the kapporet do not match the Biblical description. Furthermore, cherubim do not belong on the throne seat of Adonai. They belong beside it like a royal guard ready to protect and serve. They bow their heads in reverence to the King and keep watch over the place of blood.
THE ARK, THE ALTAR, AND THE THRONE
The Ark served three purposes. It was the chest for the Covenant written on two tablets of stone, an altar for blood on Yom Kippur, and a throne for Adonai. The Bible does not say this explicitly in Exodus 25, but other passages make reference.
It was an Ark (or Chest). “Have them make an ark of acacia wood-two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high.
It was an Altar. “He shall then slaughter the goat... and take its blood behind the curtain... He shall sprinkle it on the atonement cover and in front of it.” Leviticus 16:15
It was a Throne...and they brought back the ark of the covenant of the LORD Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim.
1 Samuel 4:4
A more complete name for the whole work might be
"The Ark of the Covenant, Altar Cover, and Throne of Adonai".
YESHUA-PROPHET, PRIEST, AND KING
Yeshua fulfilled three offices in His earthly ministry, that of prophet, priest, and king. Each one of these offices were officiated by the anointing of oil upon the head of the individual.
In Luke 4:18 Yeshua reads Isaiah 61:1 in His own synagogue in Nazareth. He said, “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor…
No human being anointed Yeshua as Mashiach. Neither did any human confer on him any title or office. His Father spoke at his baptism saying, “This is my Son whom I love. In him I am well pleased.” To be the one and only Son of God was the greatest title the Father could proclaim about Him.
Beside being the one and only Son of God, Yeshua also fulfilled the office of Prophet, Priest, and King.
Prophet- “For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. Acts 3:22
Priest- “Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 6:20
King- “Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. John 18:37
Therefore He is qualified to demand compliance to the moral standards of the Covenant Law, make atonement for sin against God, and to rule as King with His Father in heaven.
Hebrew Name: אֲרוֹן בְּרִית־יְהוָה Aron Brit Adonai
Dimensions: The Chest was 1.5 RECs (31.93") wide, 2.5 RECs long, and 1.5 RECs (31.93") Tall. The Mishkan Cherubs are 3.5 RECs (6.01 FT) the standard height of a modern day man.
The Holy of Holies was the royal chamber where the Ark of the Covenant rested and where God Ruled as King of Israel. There were 50 golden clasps that joined two parts of five linen curtains together in the middle. The Curtain was draped over the structure. There were also 50 copper clasps that join the 5 goat hair curtains to 6 goat hair curtains. When you look at how the layers lay over the tabernacle, we see that the separation falls right in front of the Holy of Holies. God was making a statement. He did not need man to serve Him. He is the sovereign and self sustaining God of the universe.
The Holy of Holies foreshadows the New Jerusalem mentioned in the book of Revelation. The city is massive, 458,333 times larger. Notice that the Holy of Holies only has three entrances on the east side (One for each clan of Levi) whereas New Jerusalem has three entrances on all four sides, twelve in all. Every tribe, tongue, and nation of the world who have put their trust in Yeshua for salvation will enter through these gates.
An interesting verse, Revelation 8:3 says, “Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people,on the golden altar in front of the throne.” In this verse we see the altar of incense is in front of the throne, whereas originally it stood just east the holy of holies in front of the veil. Why is this significant? Because the blood of Jesus makes it possible for us to enter the throne room and speak to God directly through prayer which is represented by the burning incense.
Hebrew Name: קֹדֶשׁ הַקֳּדָשִֽׁים Kodesh Hakodeshim
Dimensions: 10 RECs (17.18 FT) Cubed. 1000 cubic RECs, one for every year of the Millenial reign of Yeshua.