Every piece of the Tabernacle of Moses
refers to Jesus.
"The temple Jesus was speaking about was
his body." (John 2:21)
"The body of Christ, in and by which he
made atonement, was the greater
and more perfect tabernacle." (Heb 9:11)
Tabernacle means 'dwelling' or 'tent'.
The Tabernacle of Moses was the
dwelling for God himself until Jesus came. Jesus was the tabernacle personified
and was the dwelling for God until the day of Pentecost where everyone could
receive this same blessing. Although the Tabernacle of Moses was later replaced
by the temples of Solomon and Herod, it still remains the type by which the
others are measured. All references to tent or temple are therefore also
applicable to the Tabernacle of Moses.
The tabernacle was to be a palace, the
royal residence of the King of Israel, God Himself, in which He was to dwell
among His people, receive their petitions, and issue His responses. But it was
also to be a place of worship, in which God was to record His name and to
enshrine the mystic symbols of His presence. (JFB)
The Outer Court
The Tabernacle of
Moses was a two-room tent that was erected inside an
enclosure, known as the Outer Court, where the sacrifices took place.
The Outer Court of the tabernacle
of Moses was made up of bronze posts or pillars, connected by silver rods and
hung with fine linen curtains. Each pillar was held secure by cords fastened to
brass tent pins. The Outer court had a length of 50 yards and a width of 25
yards. In it stood the altar where the sacrifices were made and the wash basin
where the priests could cleanse themselves ceremonially before entering the tent
or tabernacle itself. There were ten pillars on the East and West sides and
twenty pillars on the North and South sides. The gate was on the east side.
The silver parts of the
enclosure and the tabernacle of Moses were made from silver
that was obtained from ransom that was paid because the people were counted.
"The silver from the census of the
community weighed 7,550 pounds, weighed according to the official standard. This
amount equalled the total paid by all persons enrolled in the census, each one
paying the required amount, weighed according to the official standard. There
were 603,550 men twenty years old or older enrolled in the census." (Exo
God had instructed that
if the people of Israel be counted,
a ransom of silver had to be paid for their souls.
"When you take a census of the people of
Israel, each man is to pay me a price for his life, so that no disaster will
come on him while the census is being taken. (Exo 30:12)
This decree was ignored
by King David, with disastrous results.
"So the LORD sent an epidemic on Israel,
which lasted from that morning until the time that he had chosen. From one end
of the country to the other seventy thousand Israelites died." (2Sa
- Pieter de Waal
Silver was the currency
used to pay for the life of a man.
(Joseph was sold for twenty silver pieces and Jesus for thirty silver pieces.)
In the New Testament
the ransom for our lives is already paid.
"For you know what was paid to set you
free from the worthless manner
of life handed down by your ancestors. It was not something that can be
destroyed, such as silver or gold; it was the costly sacrifice of Christ, who
was like a lamb without defect or flaw." (1Pe 1:18-19)
- Pieter de Waal
The white linen wall of the outer
court stood in stark contrast to all the black tents surrounding it and is a
clear picture of Christ's righteousness in the midst of a crooked and perverse
The brass tent pins of
the Tabernacle of Moses also speaks of Christ.
Brass is resistant to rust and corrosion,
speaking of the incorruptible life of Christ.
Brass normally speaks of suffering. The pins were buried in the ground but also
from the ground, speaking of his death and resurrection.
The Outer court served to preserve the
sanctity of the tabernacle of Moses and to keep the wild animals a bay. It also
drew a distinct line of demarcation between the camp on the outside and the
tabernacle on the inside. God clearly draws a line between the church and the
world and He calls for a life of separation.
The Tabernacle of Moses
Tabernacle of Moses itself was also constructed out of bronze pillars and
silver rods, but instead of using linen, was made from frames of acacia wood,
overlaid with gold.
"Make upright frames for the Tent out of
acacia wood." (Exo 26:15)
Note that the
frames had to be upright, that is, standing up.
This relates closely with the armor of God.
"Put on all the armor that God gives you,
so that you will be able to stand up against the Devil's evil tricks."
Both the frames and the
crossbars were covered with gold.
"Cover the frames with gold and fit them
with gold rings to hold the crossbars, which are also to be covered with gold."
In the same way, when you
enter into Christ, He will clothe you with His divine nature.
The frames were held
together with crossbars in groups of five.
"Make fifteen crossbars of acacia wood,
five for the frames on one side of the Tent,
five for the frames on the other side, and five for the frames on
the west end, at the back." (Exo 26:26-27)
In the same manner, the
five gifts of ministry to the church, holds the church together.
"It was he who "gave gifts to people"; he
appointed some to be apostles, others to be prophets, others to be evangelists,
others to be pastors and teachers. (Eph 4:11)
The frames of the
tabernacle were then covered with various animal skins.
"Make a cover for the Tent out of eleven
pieces of cloth made of goats' hair. (Exo 26:7)
"Make two more coverings, one of rams'
skin dyed red and
the other of fine leather, to serve as the outer cover. (Exo 26:14)
All of these were obtained
through the killing of animals. Typically the
goat was used as the sacrificial animal. The red dye also speaks of blood.
Christ is the sin offering that was sacrificed on our behalf.
The tabernacle of
Moses was divided into two parts.
The Holy Place
The outer room of the tabernacle of
Moses housed a table with bread loaves
on it, a seven-branched lamp-stand and an altar for burning incense.
This part of the tabernacle was also referred to as the Holy Place.
The Holy of Holies
The inner room of the tabernacle of
Moses contained the ark of the covenant which held
the tablets of stone with the ten commandments. This part of the tabernacle was
called the sanctuary or the Holy of Holies. This is where God manifested
Everyone is welcome to come to
Christ and have their sins forgiven, even if they don't proceed to higher duties
in God's Kingdom.
This is revealed to us by the fact that
the Outer Court
was open to all, but the Holy Place could only be entered by priests and
the Most Holy place of the tabernacle of Moses only by High
- Pieter de Waal