Exodus Chapter 26

The Tabernacle

    • The Lord gave Moses the instructions for the building of the Tabernacle. It was to be made from 10 curtains decorated with blue, purple, and scarlet thread and embroidered with cherubim. The curtains would each be 42 feet long and 6 feet wide. 2 sets of 5 curtains were to be joined together to make 2 long curtains. The ends of each of these 2 curtains were to have loops and golden clasps so that they could be fastened together and the Tabernacle would appear to be made of one continuous piece of fabric.

      • Guzik makes this observation, “The plans for the tabernacle were revealed to Moses from the inside out, starting with the interior furniture and then working out. We approach the sanctuary from the outside in, but God builds the sanctuary from the inside out. He works in His people according to the same pattern.”

      • “The designs on this covering were visible only from the inside of the tabernacle. Therefore, on the inside of the tabernacle, one saw cherubim all around – as one would see in heaven (Psalm 80:1, Isaiah 37:16, and Ezekiel 10:3).” (Guzik)

    • They were to make 11 curtains out of goat hair cloth measuring 45 feet long by 6 feet wide as a tent covering for the Tabernacle. 5 curtains were to be joined together into one, then the remaining 6 curtains were to be joined together as one piece. These curtains would also have loops and golden clasps so that they could be joined together as one continuous piece. This tent covering would extent 3 feet longer than the first fabric covering in the front and back of the Tabernacle and 18 inches longer on the sides. Finally, these fabric coverings would be protected by a leather overlay.

      • “Therefore, the fine linen layer – the “heavenly” set of coverings – was completely obscured and overlapped by the dark covering of goats’ hair. It was not open to observation, even in part. Heaven remained hidden to all except those who entered in through the door of the tabernacle…The outer covering of badger skins (or, perhaps porpoise or sea-cow skins) was a durable and water resistant outer covering. It wasn’t particularly beautiful to look at, but it was extremely comfortable. ” (Guzik)

    • The frame of the Tabernacle was to consist of 20 framed sections to support the south side of the Tabernacle and 20 to support the north side, each 15 feet high and 27 inches wide, made of gold overlayed acacia wood and with 2 pegs under each frame. Eighty silver bases (40 for the south end of the Tabernacle and 40 for the north end) were to be made (two per wooden frame) which the pegs of each frame fit securely into. Six more wooden frames were to be made to support the rear of the Tabernacle (the west side), then an additional 2 wooden frames (one for each rear corner). These rear frames would be set in 16 silver bases.

      • “Apparently each of these bases stood beneath the junction where the frames met. The right peg of one frame and the left peg of the next frame went into one base…” NLT Illustrated Study Bible

      • “Each board (frame) rested on two sockets of silver, each socket made with one talent of silver. Therefore each board rested on a base of 264 pounds (120 kilos) of silver.” (Guzik)

    • 15 crossbars of gold overlaid acacia wood were to be made (5 for the north, 5 for the south, and 5 for the west). A central crossbar would run halfway up the frames from one end of the Tabernacle to the other. These crossbars would be held by golden rings.

    • The Lord told Moses to set up the Tabernacle according to the plans he was shown while he was up on the mountain.

      • “The repetition of this phrase (Exodus 25:9, 25:40 and here in 26:30) suggests that Moses received a vision of exactly how the tabernacle should look. He had to communicate this vision to the craftsmen who did the actual building.” (Guzik)

    • A special curtain was to be made for the inside of the Tabernacle. It was to be decorated with blue, purple, and scarlet thread and embroidered with cherubim. This curtain was to be hung on golden hooks attached to 4 acacia wood posts set in 4 silver bases. This curtain was the barrier between the “Holy Place” and the “Most Holy Place.” The Ark of the Covenant with its cover (the place of atonement) was to be placed in the room behind this curtain (the Most Holy Place). The room in front of the curtain, the Holy Place, was to hold the table and the lampstand (which would be placed on the south side of the room.)

      • Guzik elaborates, “The veil separated the tent into two compartments. The first compartment was the holy place, which was the larger room, first entered, with the table of showbread, the lampstand, and the altar of incense. The second compartment was the Most Holy place, a smaller room with the Ark of the Covenant…This veil was a barrier, and no priest could go beyond the veil into the Most Holy place except the high priest. He could only enter once a year, and that on the Day of Atonement.”

      • Guzik adds, “In the temple, this veil was torn from top to bottom at the death of Jesus (Matthew 27:51), showing that through His death, there is no longer a barrier to the Most Holy place…Now the Most Holy Place is open to us: brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is His flesh (Hebrews 10:19-20). The torn veil of Matthew 27:51 also symbolizes the broken body of Jesus, through which we have access to the Most Holy Place.”

      • “The table of showbread was on the north side of the tabernacle (on the right as one entered the tabernacle) and the lampstand was toward the south (on the left as one entered the tabernacle)…The furniture in the holy place spoke of three great obligations of walking with God: prayer (the altar of incense), fellowship (the table of showbread), and to receive illumination (the lampstand).”

    • Another curtain was to be made for the entrance to the Tabernacle. This curtain was also to be decorated with blue, purple, and scarlet thread and embroidered with beautiful designs and it was to be hung from golden hooks attached to 5 golden overlaid acacia wood posts set into 5 bronze bases.