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This is a chronologically-ordered Bible site with commentary on each passage.
The daily summaries are written by Wayne D. Turner, Pastor of Fayette Bible Church in Fayetteville, Georgia

This is the February 20 reading. Select here for a new reading date:


BibleTrack Summary: February 20
<< Ex 24

For New King James text and comment, click here.

Exodus 25-27     Listen Podcast

Takin' up a collection (Exodus 25:1-9)

1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering.
3 And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass,
4 And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats’ hair,
5 And rams’ skins dyed red, and badgers’ skins, and shittim wood,
6 Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense,
7 Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate.
8 And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.
9 According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.

 
 

Moses is still up on the mountain - the trip that began in Exodus 24:12 (see notes), and God is giving him instructions about building a place of worship for the Hebrews. The people are living in tents; so what kind of dwelling place will God have? A tent, of course. Now, think back on Exodus 12:35 (see notes), "And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment:" The Hebrew word for "borrowed" there (shaw-al´) does not necessarily hold the connotation that it will be repaid. The Egyptians gave their valuables to the Hebrews with no expectations of receiving them back; at the time, they were just happy to see the Hebrews go. God is telling Moses to collect those valuables for the building of His place of worship. You will notice in verse 2, "...bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering." It was to be given "willingly."

Incidentally, to say that the tabernacle was the dwelling place of God is not just a figure of speech. Notice verse 8, "And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them." As a matter of fact, at completion we will see God move into the tabernacle in the form of the Shekinah Glory (see article).

 
Layout of the Tabernacle

The Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 25:10-22)

10 And they shall make an ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof.
11 And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about.
12 And thou shalt cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in the four corners thereof; and two rings shall be in the one side of it, and two rings in the other side of it.
13 And thou shalt make staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold.
14 And thou shalt put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, that the ark may be borne with them.
15 The staves shall be in the rings of the ark: they shall not be taken from it.
16 And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee.
17 And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof.
18 And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat.
19 And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof.
20 And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be.
21 And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee.
22 And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.

The first vessel specified to be placed into the new house of God is to be the Ark of the Covenant. The Hebrew word here for "ark" is altogether different from the word used for Noah's big ol' boat. The Hebrew word for Noah's "ark" is "tay-baw´" which is also used in Exodus 2:3,5 to describe the little basket that Moses was floating in when discovered by Pharaoh's daughter. The Hebrew word used here for the "Ark" of the Covenant is "aw-rone´." It means "box." So while the words are identical to us in English, they were not to the Hebrews. You'll notice from verse 16 that this box will contain the tablets that will be given to Moses with the Law inscribed upon them. You'll also notice how elaborately made it is. This 2.25 ft. by 2.25 ft. by 3.75 ft. box is the most sacred vessel in Israel's history. Notice that there was a specific way in which it was to be carried - poles that slipped through rings on the side. That will become significant later on in Israel's history when they engineer their own design for transporting it in II Samuel 6 (see notes), a flawed attempt that ends in death.


  These pictures were taken of a full-scale model of the tabernacle made to specifications located in Timna Park in Israel, 20 miles north of Eilat.

Ark of the Covenant
Picture courtesy of BiblePlaces.com

Where is the Ark of the Covenant today?

The Ark of the Covenant disappeared out of the Most Holy Place prior to the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. It has not been seen since. It did not occupy it's place in either of the two rebuilds of the Temple that followed. There are theories concerning its whereabouts today, but the Temple Institute in Jerusalem makes a convincing argument that they know exactly where it is. You should read this short article located on their web site.

 

The Table of Shewbread (Exodus 25:23-30)

23 Thou shalt also make a table of shittim wood: two cubits shall be the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof.
24 And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, and make thereto a crown of gold round about.
25 And thou shalt make unto it a border of an hand breadth round about, and thou shalt make a golden crown to the border thereof round about.
26 And thou shalt make for it four rings of gold, and put the rings in the four corners that are on the four feet thereof.
27 Over against the border shall the rings be for places of the staves to bear the table.
28 And thou shalt make the staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold, that the table may be borne with them.
29 And thou shalt make the dishes thereof, and spoons thereof, and covers thereof, and bowls thereof, to cover withal: of pure gold shalt thou make them.
30 And thou shalt set upon the table shewbread before me alway.

This Table of Shewbread was a gold-overlaid, four-legged table, also carried by poles slipped through rings on each side. It held the twelve loaves of shewbread (Leviticus 24:1–9, see notes), which were displayed and replaced at the end of each week.

  Table of Shewbread
Picture courtesy of BiblePlaces.com

The Lampstand (Exodus 25:31-40)

31 And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be made: his shaft, and his branches, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, shall be of the same.
32 And six branches shall come out of the sides of it; three branches of the candlestick out of the one side, and three branches of the candlestick out of the other side:
33 Three bowls made like unto almonds, with a knop and a flower in one branch; and three bowls made like almonds in the other branch, with a knop and a flower: so in the six branches that come out of the candlestick.
34 And in the candlestick shall be four bowls made like unto almonds, with their knops and their flowers.
35 And there shall be a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, according to the six branches that proceed out of the candlestick.
36 Their knops and their branches shall be of the same: all it shall be one beaten work of pure gold.
37 And thou shalt make the seven lamps thereof: and they shall light the lamps thereof, that they may give light over against it.
38 And the tongs thereof, and the snuffdishes thereof, shall be of pure gold.
39 Of a talent of pure gold shall he make it, with all these vessels.
40 And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount.

Now this piece isn't overlaid with gold; it's made with nothing but gold. Again, I find it amusing that much, if not all, of this gold originally belonged to the Egyptians. Now we see why God told the Hebrews to take it with them. This lampstand (candlestick) has seven branches. Incidentally, the Chanukkah candlestick that you see around Christmas in the home of Jews is not this one. That's an extra-biblical, special-purpose candlestick that had it's origin after the completion of the Old Testament and has eight branches instead of seven. It was specifically designed for a purpose and was not intended to be a replacement for the lampstand of Exodus 25:31-40.

It should be noted, however, that the lampstand specified here with seven candles was designed for tabernacle/temple purposes. Observant Jews reserve this design for this purpose only. Candlesticks that appear in synagogues typically do not have seven candles.

  Lampstand
Picture courtesy of BiblePlaces.com

The Tabernacle and the Tent (Exodus 26)

1 Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work shalt thou make them.
2 The length of one curtain shall be eight and twenty cubits, and the breadth of one curtain four cubits: and every one of the curtains shall have one measure.
3 The five curtains shall be coupled together one to another; and other five curtains shall be coupled one to another.
4 And thou shalt make loops of blue upon the edge of the one curtain from the selvedge in the coupling; and likewise shalt thou make in the uttermost edge of another curtain, in the coupling of the second.
5 Fifty loops shalt thou make in the one curtain, and fifty loops shalt thou make in the edge of the curtain that is in the coupling of the second; that the loops may take hold one of another.
6 And thou shalt make fifty taches of gold, and couple the curtains together with the taches: and it shall be one tabernacle.
7 And thou shalt make curtains of goats’ hair to be a covering upon the tabernacle: eleven curtains shalt thou make.
8 The length of one curtain shall be thirty cubits, and the breadth of one curtain four cubits: and the eleven curtains shall be all of one measure.
9 And thou shalt couple five curtains by themselves, and six curtains by themselves, and shalt double the sixth curtain in the forefront of the tabernacle.
10 And thou shalt make fifty loops on the edge of the one curtain that is outmost in the coupling, and fifty loops in the edge of the curtain which coupleth the second.
11 And thou shalt make fifty taches of brass, and put the taches into the loops, and couple the tent together, that it may be one.
12 And the remnant that remaineth of the curtains of the tent, the half curtain that remaineth, shall hang over the backside of the tabernacle.
13 And a cubit on the one side, and a cubit on the other side of that which remaineth in the length of the curtains of the tent, it shall hang over the sides of the tabernacle on this side and on that side, to cover it.
14 And thou shalt make a covering for the tent of rams’ skins dyed red, and a covering above of badgers’ skins.
15 And thou shalt make boards for the tabernacle of shittim wood standing up.
16 Ten cubits shall be the length of a board, and a cubit and a half shall be the breadth of one board.
17 Two tenons shall there be in one board, set in order one against another: thus shalt thou make for all the boards of the tabernacle.
18 And thou shalt make the boards for the tabernacle, twenty boards on the south side southward.
19 And thou shalt make forty sockets of silver under the twenty boards; two sockets under one board for his two tenons, and two sockets under another board for his two tenons.
20 And for the second side of the tabernacle on the north side there shall be twenty boards:
21 And their forty sockets of silver; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board.
22 And for the sides of the tabernacle westward thou shalt make six boards.
23 And two boards shalt thou make for the corners of the tabernacle in the two sides.
24 And they shall be coupled together beneath, and they shall be coupled together above the head of it unto one ring: thus shall it be for them both; they shall be for the two corners.
25 And they shall be eight boards, and their sockets of silver, sixteen sockets; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board.
26 And thou shalt make bars of shittim wood; five for the boards of the one side of the tabernacle,
27 And five bars for the boards of the other side of the tabernacle, and five bars for the boards of the side of the tabernacle, for the two sides westward.
28 And the middle bar in the midst of the boards shall reach from end to end.
29 And thou shalt overlay the boards with gold, and make their rings of gold for places for the bars: and thou shalt overlay the bars with gold.
30 And thou shalt rear up the tabernacle according to the fashion thereof which was shewed thee in the mount.
31 And thou shalt make a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubims shall it be made:
32 And thou shalt hang it upon four pillars of shittim wood overlaid with gold: their hooks shall be of gold, upon the four sockets of silver.
33 And thou shalt hang up the vail under the taches, that thou mayest bring in thither within the vail the ark of the testimony: and the vail shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy.
34 And thou shalt put the mercy seat upon the ark of the testimony in the most holy place.
35 And thou shalt set the table without the vail, and the candlestick over against the table on the side of the tabernacle toward the south: and thou shalt put the table on the north side.
36 And thou shalt make an hanging for the door of the tent, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, wrought with needlework.
37 And thou shalt make for the hanging five pillars of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold, and their hooks shall be of gold: and thou shalt cast five sockets of brass for them.

You will notice from the specifications the extreme detail given to the construction of this special tent. This will be known by Israel as God's dwelling place. It's very colorful. Inside, it is divided into two special rooms, the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place. Exodus 26:33-34, "And thou shalt hang up the vail under the taches, that thou mayest bring in thither within the vail the ark of the testimony: and the vail shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy. And thou shalt put the mercy seat upon the ark of the testimony in the most holy place." The Ark of the Covenant goes into the Most Holy Place.

 

Ark of the Covenant Photo
Picture courtesy of BiblePlaces.com

 

Ark of the Covenant Photo
Picture courtesy of BiblePlaces.com

 

Tabernacle
Picture courtesy of BiblePlaces.com

The Brazen Altar (Exodus 27:1-8)

1 And thou shalt make an altar of shittim wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad; the altar shall be foursquare: and the height thereof shall be three cubits.
2 And thou shalt make the horns of it upon the four corners thereof: his horns shall be of the same: and thou shalt overlay it with brass.
3 And thou shalt make his pans to receive his ashes, and his shovels, and his basons, and his fleshhooks, and his firepans: all the vessels thereof thou shalt make of brass.
4 And thou shalt make for it a grate of network of brass; and upon the net shalt thou make four brasen rings in the four corners thereof.
5 And thou shalt put it under the compass of the altar beneath, that the net may be even to the midst of the altar.
6 And thou shalt make staves for the altar, staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with brass.
7 And the staves shall be put into the rings, and the staves shall be upon the two sides of the altar, to bear it.
8 Hollow with boards shalt thou make it: as it was shewed thee in the mount, so shall they make it.

Here's the Brazen Altar. Notice how large it is: Exodus 27:1, "And thou shalt make an altar of shittim wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad; the altar shall be foursquare: and the height thereof shall be three cubits." That's big - 7.5 feet square and 4.5 feet high. Of course, it will be positioned outside in the courtyard. That's where the animal sacrifices will take place. You'll see in verse 4 that Moses had his own "network." Actually, that's the grate that goes on the top of the altar. Oh, and you'll also notice that this will be carried by poles through rings as well.

  Altar
Picture courtesy of BiblePlaces.com

The Courtyard of the Tabernacle (Exodus 27:9-21)

9 And thou shalt make the court of the tabernacle: for the south side southward there shall be hangings for the court of fine twined linen of an hundred cubits long for one side:
10 And the twenty pillars thereof and their twenty sockets shall be of brass; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets shall be of silver.
11 And likewise for the north side in length there shall be hangings of an hundred cubits long, and his twenty pillars and their twenty sockets of brass; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets of silver.
12 And for the breadth of the court on the west side shall be hangings of fifty cubits: their pillars ten, and their sockets ten.
13 And the breadth of the court on the east side eastward shall be fifty cubits.
14 The hangings of one side of the gate shall be fifteen cubits: their pillars three, and their sockets three.
15 And on the other side shall be hangings fifteen cubits: their pillars three, and their sockets three.
16 And for the gate of the court shall be an hanging of twenty cubits, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, wrought with needlework: and their pillars shall be four, and their sockets four.
17 All the pillars round about the court shall be filleted with silver; their hooks shall be of silver, and their sockets of brass.
18 The length of the court shall be an hundred cubits, and the breadth fifty every where, and the height five cubits of fine twined linen, and their sockets of brass.
19 All the vessels of the tabernacle in all the service thereof, and all the pins thereof, and all the pins of the court, shall be of brass.
20 And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always.
21 In the tabernacle of the congregation without the vail, which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall order it from evening to morning before the LORD: it shall be a statute for ever unto their generations on the behalf of the children of Israel.

Here's the courtyard around the tent. It's 150 feet by 75 feet; that's quite a large area. This is where the people will meet the priest for the sacrificing of their offerings on the Brazen Altar.

  Altar
Picture courtesy of BiblePlaces.com


For commentary on another passage, click here.


Copyright 2003-2011 by Wayne D. Turner