Exodus Chapter 40

Setting Up the Tabernacle

    • The Lord spoke to Moses telling him to set up the Tabernacle on the first day of the new year.

      • Guzik notes, “This indicates that it was a year since Israel came out of Egypt. This was an amazing year in the history of Israel.”

    • The Lord recounted how the Tabernacle and its furnishings were to be arranged: the Ark of the Covenant behind the inner curtain (in the Most Holy Place); the table with its utensils, the lampstand, and the incense altar in front of the inner curtain; the curtain at the entrance to the Tabernacle; the washbasin in front of the Tabernacle entrance; the burnt offering altar in front of the washbasin; and the curtains creating an enclosed courtyard outside the Tabernacle.

  • The Lord told Moses to anoint the Tabernacle and everything in it along with the altar for burnt offerings and its utensils with the anointing oil so that they would be holy.

  • The Lord then told Moses to bring Aaron and his sons to the tent entrance to wash them. Then to dress Aaron in his priestly garments, anoint and consecrate him, then do the same with Aaron’s sons. The anointing of Aaron and his sons inaugurated a permanent priesthood throughout their generations.

      • Guzik notes, “In this section (Exodus 36-40), these words (or something similar) are repeated at least 19 times. The obedience had to be complete and exact – and it was.”

  • Moses did everything just exactly as the Lord had commanded him to do.

      • Guzik reminds us that this earthly Tabernacle that the Lord instructed Moses to build is the reflection what is in heaven, “When the tabernacle was finally assembled, it was an earthly model of a heavenly reality. Since Moses was instructed to build and arrange everything according to pattern, it isn’t surprising that we see elements of this tabernacle arrangement in the Bible’s descriptions of heaven.

· In Revelation 4:1-6, the Ark of the Covenant (representing the throne of God), the lampstand, and the laver all correspond to a heavenly reality.

· In Revelation 8:2-4, the altar of incense in heaven is mentioned.

· In Isaiah 6:1-7, the tabernacle structure is implied by the mention of the temple, and the brazen altar is described.

· In Hebrews 9:23-24, it tells us that at some point in time (after the cross), Jesus entered the heavenly reality represented on earth by the tabernacle, and appeared in the presence of God to offer a perfect atonement for our sins. Therefore, every time before this event, when the High Priest made atonement in the earthly tabernacle, it was “play acting” – and looking forward to – the perfect atonement the Son of God would offer.”

The Lord’s Glory

    • Then, the cloud covered the Tabernacle and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle. Moses couldn’t go into the Tabernacle because the glory of the Lord filled it.

      • “The same thing happened when Solomon completed and dedicated the temple – the glory of God so filled the temple they couldn’t stay in it (1 Kings 8:10-11).” (Guzik)

    • While the cloud covered the Tabernacle the Israelites would remain where they were. But, when the cloud lifted, the Israelites would follow it. The Lord’s cloud hovered over the Tabernacle during the day and at night a fire glowed from inside the cloud so that the Israelites could see it. This continued throughout their journey.

      • Cole writes, “The book ends with the fulfillment of the promise of Exodus 29:45. YHWH is living among His people: the theology of the presence of God has become the fact of His presence.”