Complete Study Of The Tabernacle


The Tabernacle was a structure built by the children of Israel under the supervision of Moses, around 1450 B.C. The first five books of the Bible were written down by Moses; they are called the Torah, the Hebrew word for ‘law’. Jesus said ‘He had come not to abolish the law, but to fulfil it’, Matthew 5:17.

John, one of Jesus’ disciples, tells us that “the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ”, John 1:17.

The word ‘truth’ here is alethia in Greek, meaning ‘reality’. The ‘truth’ John speaks of is ‘Jesus Christ as the Word, who was God and who became flesh and tabernacled among us’. John 1:1 / John 1:14.

(The Greek word sometimes translated as ‘dwelt’ here is more literally translated as ‘tabernacled’).

Therefore, the Tabernacle is a picture, a foreshadow of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the book of Exodus, when God dictates to Moses the detailed design of the Tabernacle (some 1450 years before the birth of Jesus), He speaks forth a description of just who and what the coming Messiah (the Christ) would be.

In the four gospels, particularly in John’s account, Jesus shows Himself to be the reality of every item in the Tabernacle. The real Tabernacle of God with men is therefore the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Children of Israel

Israel was the name God gave to Jacob in Genesis 32:28. He had twelve sons: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Zebulun, Issachar, Dan, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Joseph and Benjamin. Eventually, the families of these sons became the twelve tribes of Israel, each tribe being named after the respective son of Jacob (Israel).

The “children of Israel” who left Egypt were, therefore, the descendants of the twelve sons of Jacob, whose name God had changed to Israel. After Exodus 32, the tribe of Levi was appointed to special service in the Tabernacle. Levi’s place among the twelve tribes was filled by allowing the two sons of Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh) to each become a tribe.

The layout of the Tabernacle and the materials of its construction were specified in great detail to Moses by God at Mount Sinai, a few weeks after the children of Israel had left hundreds of years of slavery in Egypt (the Exodus).

The Tabernacle was a portable construction, made by wise, skilful workmen and transported by one tribe (the Levites) through the 40 years in the desert wilderness and on into the land of Canaan.

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Complete Study Of The Tabernacle