The Tabernacle Structure

Exodus 26 – Lesson 4


The Tabernacle was constructed according to a Divine plan. God was the Architect and Moses, the General Contractor. There were many skilled workers used. Bezaleel was the foreman. This man was specially endowed with the Holy Spirit. Similarly, we are workers together with Christ in building His Church, but it is not so much working for the Lord as it is working with Him.

Note the measurements of the structure:

    - 45 feet long, 15 feet wide, and 15 feet high

    - The Holy Place was 30 feet long

    - The Holy of Holies was a perfect cube, 15 feet in all directions

(Note the smallness of the chamber). It is also interesting to note that the New Jerusalem is 1,500 miles cubed (See Revelation 21:16). 


The Holy Place

The boards were made of acacia wood and overlaid with gold. They were seated into silver sockets. There was no brass used in the construction of this holy place of worship. One exception is in the construction of the five pillars of the door. There is no room for Divine judgment here. All debts have been paid at the Brazen altar. The priest has also washed off the Brazen Laver and is qualified to worship God in the Tabernacle.

These priests represent believers today. All believers are priests (See Revelation 1:6, 5:10 and 1 Peter 2 – royal, holy priesthood). We have the right and the privilege to worship God in the holiest. Our sins have been dealt with at the cross and the washing of water by the Word washes us.

The High Priest, beginning with Aaron, is a type of Christ, our High Priest, “who ever liveth to make intercession for us.” The absence of brass reminds us of the absence of judgment or condemnation for the believer who has had the blood applied at the Cross and has come to the Word for cleansing. See Romans 8:1, “No condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.” 


The Boards

When we think of the boards covered with gold we think of the Lord, human and divine. Gold is representative of the deity of the Lord. It is practically indestructible. When subjected to the fire, it becomes more refined. In the fire of God’s judgment on the Cross He did not falter, but was gloriously victorious.

The boards also represent the believers. There are many boards (50). They are interlocked with silver, which represents the redemptive work of Christ. This is what binds us together in Christ. The boards also rested in “sockets of silver.” We rest on the redemption provided by Christ.

The wooden boards overlaid with gold speak to us of our humanity clothed with divinity - Divine righteousness - Justification. “So dear, so very dear to God.” We will not realize this fully until we see Him face to face. Then, “we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” 


The Bars

The Tabernacle proper was bound together by five bars on either side. This is a picture of the Lord binding His people together. The number “5” represents the grace of God. We are bound together as one, by the grace of God. Built together for a habitation of God through the Spirit. See Ephesians 2:22. Five tenants to keep hold of in two sockets of silver. One socket would not be as stable as two.

In the atoning work of Christ there are two great fundamental truths presented: (1) The finished work of Christ on the Cross and (2) The glorious resurrection of Christ from the grave. The two Emmaus disciples were transformed when they recognized the risen Savior (His death and resurrection). No wonder the big heavy boards of the Tabernacle stood up on such a secure foundation as the twin sockets of silver.

As already was stated, when the boards were placed together they were bound with five bars. Note the unusual arrangement. Two bars were bolted at the top. The miracle bar was in the midst of the boards from end to end (see Exodus 26:28). It was ground and set into the boards, out of sight. The bars typify the gifts given by the ascended Lord. The two bars at the bottom represent the Apostles and Prophets, the foundation of His Church (See Ephesians 2:20). The bars at the top represent the gifts of pastor and teacher. The middle bar, unseen, represents the Holy Spirit in the midst of His people.  


The Door

Jesus said, “I am the door.” Jesus is the door for salvation and also to the worship of God, to fellowship and communion with Him. John 10:7 says, “I am the door of the sheep.” He is the door for both believers and unbelievers alike. The fine-twined linen of the door hanging represents Christ. Jesus said to His disciples, “No man cometh unto the Father but by Me.” See John 14:6. 

The Pillars

There were five pillars for the door. These pillars speak of the Lord, for they were wood covered with gold. These pillars were set in sockets of brass, speaking of His victory over our judgment that was placed upon Him. We read in Isaiah 9:6 of five names given to our Lord: (1) Wonderful, (2) Counselor, (3) The Mighty God, (4) The Everlasting Father, and (5) The Prince of Peace.


The Curtains

There were four layers of material that covered the Tabernacle. The two inner layers were called curtains. The two outer layers were called coverings. 

The First Curtain

The first curtain was visible from the inside. This was what the Priests saw. It was made of fine-twined linen (typical of the purity of Christ). The colors blue, purple, and scarlet were woven into this. What does all this mean? The picture here is representative of Christ. We see Christ everywhere. We see His righteousness and holiness in the colors of the fine-twined linen:

The Blue: Son of God (John)

The Purple: The King (Matthew)

The Scarlet: The Servant (Mark)

The White: Son of man (Luke)

Also woven into the curtain were Cherubim. Why the Cherubim? Cherubim speak of the guardians of God’s holiness. This is supported by the fact that Cherubim were placed at the East entrance of the Garden of Eden to guard the tree of Life, after Adam had sinned. 

The Second Curtain

The second curtain was made of goat hair. It was completely hidden from the priest in the Tabernacle. The Palestinian goat was black. Its hair depicts the blackness of sin - the sin of mankind. The goat is invariably used in a bad sense throughout Scripture (the separation of sheep from goats in Matthew 25:32 for example). Goats were only used for a sin offering (See Leviticus 16:5).

The Coverings

Rams skins dyed red were used to completely cover the goat hair curtains. Goat hair is typical of Christ as prophet. [Prophet, Priest, King motif: Prophet – He was a prophet on earth. Priest – He is a Priest today in Heaven. King – He will be the King when He returns to earth.] Zechariah 13:4 and 8 show that the rough heavy garment was the mark of a prophet. Note that when King Ahaziah was told that the man who wanted to see him was a hairy man (i.e. wearing a hairy garment), he knew it was Elijah (note also: John the Baptist – hairy garment – leather girdle).

This is a beautiful picture of the blood of Jesus Christ covering the sins of the world. Christ’s blood shelters the Christian and covers his sins. It also speaks of consecration – signifying the possible length of a consecration. Think of the ram of consecration - Christ, being the perfect example of consecration.

Outer Covering: Badgers Skins – dolphin and seal skin. The color of these skins has not been revealed in Scripture. To the observer, it must have been unattractive. The badgers’ skins protected the Tabernacle from the elements. So Christ also shields His own from the onslaughts of Satan. The Tabernacle is a picture of Christ. The world saw in Him no form or comeliness, or beauty. As the beauty of the Tabernacle was on the inside, the beauties and excellencies of Christ are on the inside; how precious to those who have been redeemed by His blood.