Chapter 25

Offerings to Build the Tabernacle

    • The Lord told Moses to take up an offering from all the Israelites that felt moved to give in order to build a sanctuary for Him to live among them. The offerings should be gold, silver, and bronze; blue, purple, and scarlet yarn; fine linen and goat hair; red dyed ram skins and fine leather; acacia wood; oil and spices; onyx and gemstones. The Lord said that He would show him how the tabernacle and all of its furnishings should be designed.

      • Guzik notes, “God only wanted contributions from those who gave willingly. God is not interested in coerced or manipulated giving. In the New Testament this idea is echoed in 2 Corinthians 9:7: So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”

      • The HCSB makes a note here about translation error in some Bible versions, “The Hebrew word for bronze is translated “brass” by the KJV and other versions published prior to the middle of the 20th century. However, “brass” is inaccurate. Bronze, a mixture of copper and tin, was widely used in the ancient Near East. Brass, a mixture of copper and zinc, was not available in ancient western Asia. Bronze is what the Israelites were to give as an offering for the construction of the tabernacle.”

      • Where did the Israelites get the colors to die the yarn? Guzik makes an interesting note in his commentary. For blue: “The dye for this color was extracted from a shellfish, seemingly in several different hues.” For purple: “The dye for this color came from the murex snail. It was a purple-red color.” For scarlet: “The dye for this color came from the dried and powdered eggs and bodies of a particular worm (coccus ilicis) which attaches itself to the holly plant.”

      • “The purpose of the tabernacle was to be the dwelling place of God. The idea was not that God exclusively lived in that place, but that it was the specific place where men could come and meet God.” (Guzik)

      • “The pattern of the tabernacle was according to a heavenly reality. It was a copy and shadow of the heavenly things (Hebrews 8:5). Therefore, it had to be made according to exact dimensions, being somewhat of a “scale model” of the area around God’s throne in heaven.” (Guzik)

The Ark

    • The ark was to be 45 inches long, 27 inches wide, and 27 inches high, made of acacia wood overlayed with pure gold. It was also to have gold rings attached so that poles (also made with gold overlayed acacia wood) could be inserted into the rings to carry the ark. The carrying poles were never to be removed from the rings. The finished ark was to contain the stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant which He would give to them.

      • “The first item God told Moses to build was the ark, later called the Ark of the Covenant. This was the most important single item associated with the tabernacle, modeled after the throne of God in heaven.” (Guzik)

      • “God told Moses to build the Ark of the Covenant to hold the law even before the law was given. Later, God would instruct Israel to put other things in the Ark as well – the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant (Hebrews 9:4).” (Guzik)

    • Then make a gold lid for the ark (called the mercy seat) 45 inches long and 27 inches wide. It should have a gold cherubim on each end facing each other and looking down with their wings spread above it as if they are protecting it. Put the cover on the ark and that will be the place that I will meet with you to talk and give you My instructions for the people.

The Table

    • The Lord told Moses to make a table 36 inches long, 18 inches wide, and 27 inches high out of acacia wood, overlayed with gold and with gold molding. This table was also to have golden rings so that it could be carried by acacia wood poles overlayed with gold. He also told Moses to make plates, cups, pitchers, and bowls out of gold for pouring drink offerings. The Bread of the Presence (or showbread) was to remain on the table at all times.

      • “According to Leviticus 24:5-9, showbread was made of fine flower, and twelve cakes of showbread – one for each tribe of Israel – set on the table, sprinkled lightly with frankincense. Once a week, the bread was replaced and normally only priests could eat the old bread…On the table of showbread were set twelve loaves of showbread – literally, ‘bread of faces.’ This was bread associated with, and to be eaten before, the face of God. ” (Guzik)

      • Morgan writes, “In the East a table was always the symbol of fellowship. Thus the people were reminded of the possibility created of constant communion with God.”

The Lampstand

    • The Lord told Moses to make a lampstand of pure gold all in one piece with a central shaft and six branches going out from the center, three on each side. Each of the six branches was to end in a lamp cup shaped like an almond blossom. Seven lamps were to be made for the lampstand and placed so that their light reflected forward. The lamp snuffers and trays were also to be made of gold. It would take 75 pounds of gold to make the lampstand and its accessories.

    • The Lord then told Moses to be sure that he made everything following the plans that He had shown him while they were together up on the mountain.

      • “The tabernacle represented the court of God’s throne, and Revelation 4:5 describes Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. The seven lamps represent the presence of the Holy Spirit in heaven.” (Guzik)

      • “The principle first mentioned in Exodus 25:9 – that the tabernacle and its furnishings were to be built according to the specific, revealed pattern – is here again emphasized. It had to be a proper representation of the heavenly reality.” (Guzik)