This week ends with Exodus 26
The first expression of Biblical, community, worship was in a portable location called the Tabernacle (A temporary structure, quite different to the permanent structure of the Temple).
v1: Ten, Biblically, is a number of completion or wholeness. The tabernacle was going to give the children of Israel, in a very holistic way, the proper means to worship G-d in the wilderness. (For us today the fullness of worship is described in John 4:21-24)
· The images of the cherubim (found on the Ark of the covenant) were woven onto this fabric.
v2: The number 28 is made up of 7×4. 7 is the number of sanctification/holiness and 4 is a global number (relates to the world). The sages say that the tabernacle has global significance and is the means to bring worship (sanctification and holiness) to the world.
v3: Most would say that the number 5 speaks of something that is incomplete. This Tabernacle worship is only a pattern of the real tabernacle in heaven. Although there was a degree of fullness to the worship for that time period in the wilderness another day was coming when this worship would be seen as incomplete/lacking in comparison to what is to come (Heb 9:11, 24).
v4-6: Each curtain had 50 (a number of freedom, liberty, jubilee) loops. These loops were not at the top of the curtains but on the border/edges of the sides. Each loop matched up with its sister loop on the next curtain and they were hooked/clasped together.
v7: The goat’s hair curtains formed a tent over the tabernacle.
v8: The goats hair curtains were the same width as those of the tabernacle, but they were two cubits longer.
v9: Double over the sixth – to fold it
v10-11: See v4-6 for explanation. The only difference is that these hooks are now made of bronze/copper and not of gold.
v12: The extra part of the goat hair curtain (half of it, as the other half was taken care of in v9) hung at the back of the tabernacle.
v13: Those additional 2 cubits of length made an overhang on either side of the tabernacle.
· That first layer of the tabernacle was completely covered by this goat hair tent.
v14: Covering =Lid, ie on the roof of the tabernacle, so to speak. Ram’s skin was the first layer of the lid and on top of that a covering of (possibly translated) badger skins (the outmost layer exposed to the elements).
v15: Up to this point we have the material but no support structure for the tabernacle. This verse now deals with that.
· Planks/boards are going to be stood up like pillars, so to speak, in order that the curtains and the tent can be placed/assembled upon them.
v17: Tenons – like a handle which extended from the plank, in order that it could be placed into the ground. The two handles had to be brought together in a unique way and assembled so that they joined together.
v18: This tells us that one of the sides of the curtain was going to be facing south.
v19: 20 planks. Each plank had two sockets = 40 sockets altogether. (40 is the number for transition/change – worship brings change)
v20-21: The other curtain was going to be facing north. Its arrangement was the same as for the south facing curtain.
v22: In Hebrew the word changes here. It’s no longer talking about “sides” but about an “end”. In this case the end of the tabernacle that faced west.
v23-24: The six planks were placed in place and then two additional planks went into the two back corners.
v25: The #8 has to do redemption, with something new (These numbers are Biblically interpreted and are ONLY relevant for Biblical interpretations – they are not numbers that we can take and apply and claim for our everyday lives)
v26-28: These bars secured the tabernacle. Five planks – two on the inside, two on the outside and one in the middle so that the tabernacle was absolutely secure.
v29: Those bars were placed into rings – just like we saw for the table of showbread and the Ark of the Covenant.
v30: We spoke about this pattern in chapter 25:40. The exterior structure is now complete.
v31: This verse starts to tell us about what is going on in the interior.
· This veil separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place (the Holy of Holies) – Matt 27:51
v32: This veil was attached to large hooks, on four gold covered pillars of acacia wood.
v33: This veil divided up the interior of the tabernacle and made a distinction between the two rooms. The Ark of the Covenant was put into the room called the Holy of Holies.
v34: The lid/covering/mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant was also placed into the Holy of Holies.
v35: The table of showbread went into the Holy place – the second room -ie outside of the Holy of Holies. It stood near the northern curtain. The lampstand stood opposite this table, near the southern curtain.
v36: This screen was made/embroidered by a weaver. This tells us that there was something different about this screen.
v37: This screen completes the general structure of the Tabernacle.