(Exodus, Chapter 25. 1-9).
is not here Israel seeking to provide a dwelling-place for God, as in
David's case (Ps. 132. 1-5), but God desiring a dwelling-place for
Himself amongst them. Man naturally desires not the presence of God
with him here on earth, but God in the riches of His grace seeks to
dwell with men. We must remember when this request from God was made.
In the twentieth chapter, we have the giving of the law, in the three
following chapters further precepts, then in chapter 24, Moses, Aaron,
Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders were called up unto mount
Sinai. "And the glory of Jehovah abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud
covered it six days: and on the seventh day He called unto Moses out of
the cloud. And the sight of the glory of Jehovah was like devouring
fire. And Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights." There,
shut in with God, he receives directions concerning the Tabernacle.
Thus the law includes within itself "a shadow of good things to come,"
and patterns of things in the heavens were given on mount Sinai.
is in the heart of man God desires His dwelling-place, hence it was
from those who offered "willingly with the heart" His offering was to
be taken. Where there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according
to that a man hath. The widow's two mites given out of her penury, were
more acceptable to God than the offerings of the rich out of their
Verse 3. "And this is the offering (heave-offering) ye shall take of them."
are two kinds of offerings frequently mentioned. The wave-offering
which was made to pass and re-pass before the eye of Jehovah, and the
heave-offering which was lifted up to God and presented to Him. In this
case it is the "heave-offering" (see margin of The Englishman's Bible).
the original there are two distinct terms employed for tent and
tabernacle; in our Authorized Translation these terms are frequently
confused, but the Spirit of God always uses them with precision. The
tent (ohel) is the ordinary term for transitory habitations in the
desert; hence "to dwell in tents" is characteristic of pilgrimage. The
Tabernacle mishcahn, from shahcan, "to dwell," is more immediately
connected with the presence of God. As God says in verse 8, "Let them
make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them." God's dwelling-place
among men must be holy, for holiness becometh God's house for ever.
the original Scriptures the term employed is "The Tent of the
congregation." It is never written "Tabernacle of the congregation,"
although frequently so translated. The term "Tent of the congregation"
is connected with the assemblage of God's people, at the door or
entrance, where God promised to meet with them. The children of Israel
were to encamp far off, round about the Tabernacle, thus leaving ample
space in front and around, for the congregation to assemble. Those who
brought a sacrifice entered the court, and killed and cut it into its
pieces on the north side of the altar; the priests only were allowed to
enter into the Sanctuary.
is the emblem of that which is divine, divinely excellent and precious,
and reminds us of GOD THE FATHER.
is typical of atonement and atonement price. "Ye were not redeemed with
corruptible things such as silver or gold but with the precious blood
of Christ" (1 Peter 1.18,19). The children of Israel when numbered,
were required to give a half shekel of silver as a ransom for the soul,
unto Jehovah (Exodus 30. 11-16). This brings the SON OF GOD to our
BRASS is the
emblem of stability and enduring strength, as iron is the emblem of
overcoming strength. "Thy shoes shall be iron and brass, and as thy day
thy strength shall be" (Deut. 33.25), reminding us of the divine,
eternal SPIRIT. "Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith
Jehovah of hosts" (Zech. 4. 6). And "strengthened with might by His
Spirit in the inner man" (Eph. 3.16). The boards of the Tabernacle were
overlaid with GOLD. The sockets of the Tabernacle were of SILVER. And
the sockets for the Court were of BRASS. In Nebuchadnezzar's image
there was the same order - gold, silver, brass. In light there are
three primary colours - yellow, red, and blue. The gold corresponds
with the yellow, as emblematic of God the Father; the silver with the
red, as typical of the Son of God, His incarnation and atoning blood;
the brass corresponds with the blue, as emblematic of the Holy Spirit,
and His regenerating and resurrection power. First, divine sovereignty;
second, redemption by Christ Jesus; third, sanctification by the
Verse 4. "And blue, and purple, and scarlet."
according to the root of its Hebrew name, signifies "perfection"; it is
also the colour of the heavens above, typical of that which is
spiritual, heavenly, and perfect.
Hebrew tôlahath shanee, or the splendour a worm, typical of earthly
dignity and glory, as Jesus Christ was born King of the Jews, and heir
of David's royal throne.
is a combination of scarlet and blue, reminding us of the union of the
earthly dignity and the heavenly perfectness in the Melchisedec
priesthood of the Lord Jesus, who will sit as a priest upon His throne.
is symbolized by the Tabernacle in the wilderness? The first
explanation is given in John 1.14, "The Word was made flesh and
tabernacled among us." We have seen that in the Hebrew, the terms
"tent" and "tabernacle" are distinct, but in the Greek one word is used
for both, so the Lord Jesus was at once the Tabernacle in which God
dwelt, and the Tent in which He sojourned among men, during the
thirty-seven years of His life on earth. (For we must not leave out of
account the four years of His infancy, before A.D. commenced).
a secondary sense, the Tabernacle in the wilderness is a type of the
Church of the present dispensation from Pentecost to the return of the
Lord Jesus. In Christ Jesus, Jew and Gentile are now builded together
for a habitation of God through the Spirit (Eph. 2.22). The Temple of
Solomon is the type not only of the Church, but of the whole of the
redeemed in resurrection and heavenly glory.
fine linen, and goat's hair, and rams' skins dyed red, and badgers'
skins and shittim wood." Exod. 25. 4, 5.
these materials we have symbolically presented God's estimate of the
human nature of the Lord Jesus Christ as Son of Man.
fine linen, Hebrew, sheesh, signifying white, corresponding with the
fine flour of the meat or gift-offering, nothing coarse or uneven. The
pure, sinless humanity of the Lord Jesus, the Woman's seed, the
Virgin's son, "that holy thing" begotten of the Holy Ghost, and called
the Son of God. Though made in all points like unto His brethren, yet
without sin; holy, harmless, undefiled. The finest texture woven in
the goat's hair. In the parable of the sheep and goats in Matthew 25.
32, the sheep represent the righteous, and the goats the wicked. In the
sin-offering, it was generally the kid of the goats that was to be
offered. Romans 8.3, beautifully explains this. "God sending His own
Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the
flesh." It was not in sinful flesh but "in the likeness of sinful
flesh" that Jesus came. "He knew no sin." He was "found in fashion as a
man ;" hence he experienced hunger and thirst, sat weary at the well,
fell asleep in the storm after the labours of the day. God never
suffered His Holy One to see corruption, neither by disease in life nor
decay after death. God not only numbered Him with transgressors on the
tree, and made His soul an offering for sin, but in the person of Him
who was Made in the likeness of sinful flesh though Himself sinless,
God condemned and executed judgment on sin in the flesh. Hence there is
"no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus," neither because of
actual transgression, nor of duty omitted, nor for that inward
depravity which they are conscious of. For the judgment of "sin in the
flesh" has been borne in the sinless person of Immanuel on the Cross.
On the great day of atonement, the sacrifice of the bullock, whose
blood was brought into the Holiest, was for Aaron and his house,
typical of Christ and the Church. (See Heb. 3.6). The goat was on
behalf of Israel, and the scape-goat prefigured the putting away of
Israel's sins nationally, on the ground of the new covenant. (See Jer.
"Rams' skins dyed red." The bullock represents Christ in service, the
lamb in His meekness and gentleness, and the ram in His public
testimony. As the lamb He increased in wisdom and stature and in favour
with God and man; but as the ram, the world hated Him, because He
testified of it that the works thereof were evil. It was to be "rams'
skins dyed red," because He was not only the Faithful Witness in life,
but sealed the testimony with His blood. The "coats of skin" with which
God clothed our first parents in Eden, foreshadowed this. And Joseph's
coat of many colours, which his brethren took and dipped in the blood
of a kid of the goats and presented to their father, was likewise
typical. The rider on the white horse in Revelation 19, is clothed with
"a vesture dipped in blood," which probably has a twofold meaning;
symbolical at once of His own atoning death, and of judgment which He
executes on His foes.
"And badgers' skins." The term badgers' skins occurs elsewhere only in
Ezekiel 16. 10, "And shod thee with badgers' skins," hence used where
strength and durability were required. It was the external covering of
the Tabernacle. This suggests the outward appearance of Jesus of
Nazareth, the Son of Joseph, who, whilst the foxes had holes, and the
birds of the air had nests, had not where to lay His head; having no
form nor comeliness, but despised and rejected of men. His outer
garments were divided among the soldiers who nailed Him to the tree. He
was a stranger and a pilgrim here.
"And shittim wood." Wood from the wilderness of Shittim, typical of
human nature; in the case of Christ, of sinless humanity. The children
being partakers of flesh and blood, "He Himself likewise took part in
the same" (Hebrews 2.14). "He was made in all points like unto His
brethren, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4.15).
Tabernacle and Tent may also be regarded as typical of the Church in
its present wilderness condition. "For whatsoever things were written
aforetime were written for our learning" (Rom. 15.4).
the "fine linen," typical of the Church, looked at in the Spirit,
regenerated and sanctified by the Holy Ghost, and conformed to the
example of Christ.
the "goats' hair," emblematic of what we truly are in the flesh, whilst
Christ was only made in the likeness of it. It is also similar to the
two wave loaves baken with leaven (Lev. 23.17), representing the Church
of the present dispensation, composed of Jew and Gentile, not sinless
according to the flesh, but conscious of and confessing the law of sin
which is in their members. (Romans 7.)
"Rams' skins dyed red." As in Leviticus 23, the two wave loaves were
accompanied by various sacrifices, so here the goats' hair curtains
were covered over with the rams' skins dyed red. Thus while we confess
our sinfulness, we realize that the blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son,
cleanseth us from all sin; that our iniquity is forgiven, our sin
the "badgers' skins." Whilst seeking a city yet to come, we confess
that we are strangers and pilgrims here.
"Shittim wood." Though now by divine grace children of God, yet having
been born in sin, shapen in iniquity, and by nature children of wrath
even as others, there was need of the regenerating power of the Holy
Ghost, and of redemption through the blood of the Lamb. The Church is
composed of sinners saved by grace.