|1460's B.C. (?) - Moses and Israelites Build the 'Tabernacle' Per Design Specifications Given By God|
|Written by Dan Curry|
|Sunday, 05 April 2009|
Ancient Israel Builds The Tabernacle In the Wilderness Per God's Design
In Exodus Chapter 26 of the Bible we find that the infant nation of Israel, having fled Egypt, finds itself in the desert. They need to build a place to worship, because they are in an almost uninhabited land that will be called the Sinai Peninsula one day. And even in those times it is apparently known as the Desert of Sin, which is pretty strange, if you are an English speaker. And they are going to be wandering it for 40 years, as things turn out. So they need a 'portable' place to worship.
God, being the point of their worship, not only knows about this need, but also has plans, very specific plans, for the design of this Tabernacle in the desert. He knows just how he wants every part of it to be built. It will be a large tent, which can be readily assembled, disassembled, and carried. And He knows just what materials He wants it built out of. It will also, in it's design, be a shadowing of something to be built later on earth (the Jewish temple first to be built by Solomon in about 400 years hence), but also a semblage of something which exists in heaven.
And in some cases, the choice of materials would seem very odd indeed; at least if you weren't looking backwards in time, like we are today, with a knowledge of Jesus. Let's look at some of the passages with that in mind:
1) Exodus 26, v:1,2
"Make the tabernacle with ten curtains of finely twisted linen and blue, purple and scarlet yarn, with cherubim worked into them by a skilled craftsman. All the curtains are to be the same size - twenty-eight cubits long and four cubits wide."
Comment on Exodus 26, v. 1,2
The curtains: A 28 cubit x 4 cubit dimension is the same as a 7 x 1 ration of length to heigth. And 7 + 1 = 8. How would numerology see those numbers?
The number 1 is generally considered to be a number relating to God the Father, who is ONE God, and who is First, etc. It is a number of unity. For instance: "Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One." Deut 6, v. 4
The number 7 is a number related to perfection and completion, and to rest. To 'Spiritual Perfection', some sources suggest. And a lot of sevens exist in the creation. We say the week is 7 days long. The creation and the Sabbath day of rest afterwards were seven days in all. Rainbows have 7 colors. Jesus speaks to 7 churches, in the Book of Revelation. There are 7 lamps before the throne of God. There are 7 spirits of God, as it says in Rev 4:5. Those are a few of a large number of examples.
The number 8 is thought to relate to Jesus. Noah's Ark preserved the remnant, and they were 8. Like the Ark during the flood, Jesus will be the means of preservation and salvation for those humans allowed into heaven.
Also, the son of a Jewish family was traditionally circumsized on his 8th day, by God's command. Their son's foreskin was cut off of his male member, revealing his 'source of new life', in a way. And obviously, the cutting off of a foreskin is 'a sacrifice that only a son can make.' So, human circumcision is the cutting off of the flesh of a human son. By comparison, Jesus (God's son) was crucified (cut off in the flesh). Then he rose on the 8th day of the week, meaning Sunday, if that tradition is correct. We do for certain know that Jesus's friends went to his tomb on the first day of the week and found him missing from it.
Also, we all had to learn about Roman numerals in school, right? Well, the Greek language used certain letters of their alphabet to equate to certain numbers in the same way as the Romans would later. And if you spell 'Jesus' in the Greek, and then add up the numbers associated with those letters, it adds up to 888.
As for the finely twisted linen that the tabernacle is made of (fine linen) - it is what the perfected Jesus is described as wearing in more than one place, and what the saints shall wear also, according to prophesy. And the Levite priests were told to wear garments made of it. It is a pure, clean, and white material.(see Exodus 28:42) The tabernacle wore what Jesus would wear one day.
Then Exodus 26, v: 3 - 6 goes on to say more about the design of this tabernacle. It says that the assemblers of the tabernacle should join 5 curtains end to end, then do the same with another 5. Then the end of each stitched-together set of 5 curtains should be fitted with 50 loops, blue in color (50 loops on one end of each set of 5 curtains). Then, 50 clasps of gold should be formed, to join the 50 loops of the two curtain sets. This long curtain, two curtain sets clasped together, will serve as the wall of the tabernacle it says.
To comment on this, it could be noticed that the number 50 is the number of Jubilee. A Jubilee year was a special year - occurring every 50 years, when a new beginning was announced for the Jewish people concerning things like money and debts. It was a year of celebration, a year of returning to once sold property, a year of forgiveness of debts, a year of rest from labor. It is the end of 7 x 7 weeks of years (it comes after every 49 years have passed.)
Additionally, it is believed that the beginning of the Christian church as an Earthly group of believers (the foundational day of the 'church', when the Holy Spirit first fell as fire upon Jesus's Apostles), fell upon the 50th day after Jesus's crucifixion. So, if you think of the walls of the tabernacle as the walls of a church, emanating from where the two long curtains are clasped together, then the 'church' structure that is the tabernacle originated from a '50', and wrapped around to encompass all the believers (of the old Jewish faith). In like manner, the group of believers bound together by Jesus received the Spirit and went out into the world, as Jesus's Church, to encompass all men who would hear and believe. Jesus is like a Jubilee - he erases the debts of sin, he sets free hostages, he restores what was lost.
The Book of Genesis also has a relation to the number 50. It has 50 chapters. I have been thinking lately, for a variety of reasons, that the Book of Genesis might contain a prophetic 'type' or 'prophetic outline' of all Jewish and Christian history, aside from also being a true historical account of God's activities concerning man during those years which it covers.
n light of tha fact that the book of Genesis, the Tabernacle of the Israelites, and the formation of the Christian Church on Pentecost all have a connection to the number 50, lets conjecture a little. I just described how the two distinct parts of the Tabernacle's visible linen walls were clasped together by 50 loops and clasps. These clasps were placed in the center of the long continuous wall that the two curtains combined to form. Well, similarly, if the Book of Genesis contains a 'type' or a 'foreshadowing' of human history, let's look at the center of the Book of Genesis. That would be Chapters 25 and Chapters 26 of Genesis, because half of 50 chapters is 25 chapters.
These Chapters (chapters 25 and 26) contain 'elements' also found in the time of Jesus's ministry on Earth (considered by Christian's to be the centerpoint of history in some respects). For instance, Isaac the son of Abraham is described in chapter 25. Who is more like Jesus than Isaac? He was the long awaited and long ago promised son of Abraham. Jesus was the promised and long awaited seed of David offered to the Jewish nation. There was even an acting out of a human sacrifice of Isaac on a mountain.
Abraham was told to sacrifice Isaac on the top of a certain hill, believed to be Mt Zion, and Abraham just did as God said, despite how he might have felt about it. He almost went through with it - and Isaac was willing to submit to death at his father Abraham's hand - but Abraham was stopped at the last second. God had just wanted to see if Abraham would do it. And about 2000 years later, God let His own son, Jesus, be sacrificed on Mt Zion. But death was not allowed to hold Jesus for long, and now God has made Him our King - the King of all men.
Here, from the Psalms, is a picture of God instilling Jesus as King on Zion, in a future time. God's enemies wish they could prevent it, but they cannot:
Psalm 2 v. 4: "The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. Then he rebukes them in his anger, and terrifies them in his wrath, saying "I have instilled my King on Zion, my holy hill."
The name Isaac means 'he laughs'. And it is a fitting name. The Father 'laughs' at all of His enemies attempts to stop Him from accomplishing His plans. Isaac was the son long promised to Abraham, the son through whom the descendents of Abraham would be named, the son that was almost the 'sacrifice' on the mountain that was not actually killed due to God's intervention. And Jesus was almost killed, by crucifixion, but God would not tolerate it that death should hold His Son, so he gave His son Jesus power to both lay down His life for man, and to take it back up again.
Isaac is in the middle of those 50 chapters like Jesus is the centerpoint of human history, and like those 50 clasps are the centerpoint of the Tabernacle wall. Those two curtains, stretching away in their different directions from the very back of the Tabernacle, where the holiest room was, continued on to wrap around and form the walls of the tabernacle. They originate from the same source: the 50 clasps of gold.
Psalm 50, as a point of interest for us to to consider, has three basic parts. The center part speaks of how God feels about His peoples sacrifices, thanks offerings, and burnt offerings.
And I don't wish to confuse things too much, (and this is pretty much all conjecture) but since the tabernacle was basically the early form of a 'church' building, do you suppose that Jesus could be associated with the 50 golden clasps, and the linen walls going off each way from the clasps might be like the Eastern chuch and the Western church branches that would one day come, wrapping themselves around the people of God whereever they might be in the world? Just a thought.
There are other interesting construction features of the Tabernacle. The outermost covering layers of the Tabernacle are of very peculiar material choices, for instance. God alone knows why he chose these things, but though this Tabernacle was built about 1500 years before Jesus came, it's construction certainly seems to allude to things about Jesus, and about Christianity.
The materials specified in Exodus 26 to cover the outside of the Tabernacle are
1) 'Goat hair' curtains (Exodus 26:7). Jesus became a 'scape goat' for our sins, taking them upon Himself, though He was personally guilty of no sin. Also, Jacob received his father Isaac's blessing, when Isaac was old and blind, by wrapping the hairy skin of a goat over his forearm. His father, suspicious, insisted on feeling the arm to make sure it was Esau that was getting the blessing. Isaac had intended to bless his oldest son Esau, after all. That's how it was usually done in those days.
The voice he heard from Jacob must not have been convincing. But when he felt that goat hair, he was satisfied. It felt like the arm of Jacob's hairy brother, Esau. It was good enough proof for blind Isaac. He blessed the one for whom it had not been intended (Jacob, the deceiver) because of the goat hair he felt. In the same way, God our Father promises to 'blindly' count the righteousness that Jesus will cover His followers with as being 'good enough'. He will forgive and bless you if you carry this covering - the covering given by Jesus, our 'scape goat'. The Gentiles became the 'deceiver', because they accepted the atonement of Jesus's blood, believing he really was the Messiah and the Son of God, when their Jewish brothers would not.
2) Ram's skins dyed RED were another outer layer used (Exodus 26:14) and we can easily see how Jesus, an adult male at the time of His crucifixion, could be suggested or hinted at by a ram skin dyed red. Jesus was the 'Lamb of God' and red is the color of blood. A sacrificed ram would of course have a red ram's skin, a skin covered with blood.
John the Baptist saw Jesus walking near him at Bethany, where John was baptizing. He had already baptized Jesus. And seeing Him again, he said "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world." John 1:29 NIV
Then, at that same time, John further testified "I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, "The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit." I have seen and I testify that this is the son of God." John 1:34 NIV
Jesus as a bloody red lamb skin who covers his people....why not?
3) Another covering was made of the hide of 'sea cows'. Or some translations have determined that the specified word means 'badger skins'.
Strangely, either way, no matter which is right, it could be meaningful concerning Jesus.
If the skin was from manatee like creatures, dungongs or sea cows, then here is a creature that has been immersed in water, since it lives in water. A baptized Christian also must become immersed in water. And that counts as a sign of our cleansing. Jesus himself was immersed in water. He was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River.
And if this covering was a badger, here is a creature that can spend time beneath the earth, and re-emerge alive, as Jesus did after his crucifixion and burial. He spent 3 days and 3 nights in the grave, we are told. Yet, he came out of that burial tomb alive, and was seen alive by many.
I always regret it when translators arrive at different results concerning Holy Scripture, but the cases are few enough, and the message of what it takes to be saved seems to be unaffected by these incidents. Still, God's enemies will always seize upon anything they can to discredit the entirety of the word of God, and so it is always unfortunate in a sense when translation teams disagree. But, Israel is a land with both badgers, and a sea coast. So both badgers and sea-cows skins are a possibility to be used as a covering on the Tabernacle in the 1400's B.C.
And oddly, if you look at an anatomical view of the human innards from the posterior, the way that the human lungs sort of drape over the liver, but not all the way, leaving a bit of liver showing, is a bit like a 'sea-cow' hide draped over a 'red lamb skin' might look. And we, made in the image of God and of the things of God, may just have a bit of the 'temple architecture' designed into us. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, if we are a baptized Christian. Jesus does dwell in the hearts of His people.
That's a few of the Tabernacle's interesting features, and I'll be adding more to this section, God willing.
|Last Updated ( Monday, 06 May 2013 )|
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