Exodus Chapter 26
Verses 1-37: the detailed instructions of the “tabernacle” produced a place of strength and beauty. Each shape and shade and material had significance and meaning, some of which is unknown to us today. When the Hebrew people came to worship the Lord there, they were surrounded by symbols of His holiness and grace (Psalms 27:4; 84:1-2, 4).
“Cherubim” were everywhere in the tabernacle as reminders that God’s angelic host stand ever ready to help (Heb. 9:5).
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.”
“Ten curtains”: The beauty of these curtains could be seen only from the inside, the thick outer protective covering of goats’ hair drapes, and ram and porpoise skins (verse 14), hiding them from the view of anyone except the priests who entered.
The Greek word translated “tabernacle” means any habitation made of green boughs, skin and cloth. A tabernacle, in the realm of godly people, is a place to commune with God. There is a glorious tabernacle in heaven that we are all trying to reach. These ten curtains were to be made of linen. Their color would be blue, purple and scarlet. These Hebrew women were clever in weaving and the design of the cherubim was to be woven into the curtains.
We will take another look here, at the materials for the curtains. “Linen” symbolizes holiness and righteousness. “Blue” means heavenly and shows us God’s love. “Red” and “purple” are godly colors as well. They show us God manifest in the flesh and red shows us the sacrifice of His blood. Purple shows royalty. These ten curtains were for the main tabernacle and not for the outer court.
Exodus 26:2 “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.”
Or fourteen yards.
“And the breadth of one curtain four cubits”: Or two yards; according to the common notion of a cubit being half a yard; but if, as Dr. Cumberland says, the Jewish and Egyptian cubit was three inches longer, this will make a considerable difference in the length and breadth of those curtains, especially in the former.
“And everyone of the curtains shall have one measure”: Be of equal length and breadth.
Exodus 26:3 “The five curtains shall be coupled together one to another; and [other] five curtains [shall be] coupled one to another.”
Five of the ten curtains were to be sewed together, and make as it were one curtain.
“And other five curtains shall be coupled one to another”: The other five were to be joined together in like manner, and so made two large pieces of tapestry of fourteen yards long and ten broad, according to the common account of a cubit, but were much longer and broader.
This was saying that it took five curtains for each side of the tabernacle.
Exodus 26:4 “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.”
The first large curtain, consisting of five sewed together, at the edge of that.
“From the selvedge in the coupling”: Where it was to be coupled with the other great curtain; “loops” or “eyelet holes”, were to be made.Tthese were not wove with the curtains, for they were not to be upon all of them, only at the two outermost of the largest ones, and therefore were made afterwards, probably with the needle.
“And likewise shall thou make in the uppermost edge of another curtain, in the coupling of the second”: Loops also were to be made on the outermost edge of another curtain belonging to the second great curtain, where it was to be coupled with the first.
Exodus 26:5 “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.”
In the first great curtain, or in the outermost of the five that were sewed together.
“And fifty loops shalt thou make in the edge of the curtain that is in the coupling of the second”: As many also were to be made in the outermost of the second great curtain where it was to be coupled with the first.
“That the loops may take hold one of another”: Or rather that they might answer to one another in both curtains; for the “loops” could not take hold of one another, only were made to meet together by the taches, hooks, or clasps put into them, next mentioned.
Exodus 26:6 “And thou shalt make fifty taches of gold, and couple the curtains together with the taches: and it shall be one tabernacle.”
The Authorized Version gives the meaning best. The two curtains, each composed of five “breadths,” were to be united by means of one hundred loops, fifty on each curtain, which were to be coupled together by fifty “taches” or clasps. The loops were to be of the “blue” material used generally in the textile fabrics of the tabernacle (Exodus 25:4; 26:1, 31, 36), and the “taches” or clasps were to be of gold. In this way, the covering of the mishkan was to be completed.
God is showing us in these couplings, that the church is one. This oneness cannot be done by man, but is rather in the Spirit (done by heavenly hands), God Himself. The blue symbolizes heavenly and the gold couplings show us God. The unity of the church is through the workings of God. This tells us that both sides were the same, fifty on each side. Fifty means jubilee and the setting of the captives free.
Exodus 26:7 “And thou shalt make curtains [of] goats’ [hair] to be a covering upon the tabernacle: eleven curtains shalt thou make.”
“Eleven curtains”: The extra length of the outer drapes doubled as a covering for the front and back of the tabernacle structure (verses 9-13).
Exodus 26:8 “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.”
The breadth of them is the same with the linen curtains, but the length of them two cubits more. The reason of which was, that they might hang down lower on either side and better preserve them from any injury.
“And the eleven curtains shall be all of one measure”: As to length and breadth.
This was saying each curtain was 45 feet by 6 feet. This covering of “goats’ hair” could have been made from the skins of the goats sacrificed for sin offerings. At any rate, these skins symbolized the removal of our sins by the Lord Jesus. This was perhaps, why the goats’ hair was used. The second goat of the sin offering was a scapegoat. The sins of the people were put on him and he was driven from the city, while the first goat was killed as a sin offering.
Jesus took our sins upon His body. He became sin for us. We are free from sin, because we took on His righteousness in place of our sins. This goat hair covering went over the linen.
Exodus 26:9 “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.”
The additional “breadth” was to be doubled back upon itself, so giving a sort of finish to the roof in the front of the structure.
This is saying that each side had five of these curtains and the sixth of one side went to the front of the tabernacle.
Exodus 26:10 “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.”
Just in like manner, and in the same place where they were ordered to be put on the linen curtains, only these are not said to be of blue, but perhaps were wrought with goat’s hair. And fifty loops in the edge of the curtain which coupleth the second. These loops were set on each of the curtains where the two large pieces were to be coupled together.
Exodus 26:11 “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.”
As these curtains were coarser, and the loops, so the taches, hooks, or clasps, were made of heavier metal, but answered the purpose of joining and coupling together fully as well. And put the taches into the loops; one end of the hook or clasp into the loop on one of the curtains, and the other end of the hook or clasp into the loop on the other curtain answering to it. And couple the tent together, that it may be one. That the tent or covering over the tabernacle might be one, as the tabernacle by the like means was (Exodus 26:6).
“Brass” has to do with judgment. These connectors next to this goats’ hair (sacrifice for sin), truly went together. Fifty is a spiritual number which has to do with Jubilee and Pentecost. In all of these things combined, we can see God is the Judge. We have been judged guilty. The goat was sacrifice for sin. God accepted the substitute and we have been set free from sin and death.
Exodus 26:12 “And the remnant that remaineth of the curtains of the tent, the half curtain that remaineth, shall hang over the backside of the tabernacle.”
Even after the doubling back, the goat’s hair covering would be half a breadth wider than the linen one. This half-breadth was to be allowed to hang down at the back of the tent.
Exodus 26:13 “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.”
The measure of the entire tabernacle-cloth was about 60 foot by 42. That of the tent-cloth was about 67 foot by 45. When the latter was placed over the former, it spread beyond it at the back and front about 3 ft. (the “half-curtain,” Exodus 26:9, 26:12), and at the sides 18 inches.
We see this covering was like a tent and goes over, as well as around the tabernacle.
Exodus 26:14 “And thou shalt make a covering for the tent [of] rams’ skins dyed red, and a covering above [of] badgers’ skins.”
This was a covering that was put over the curtains of goats’ skin. But whether it went all over them, or only upon the roof of the tabernacle they covered, to keep out the rains from soaking through, is not certain, nor very evident. Jarchi thinks the roof was only covered with this covering of rams’ skins; but others think it more reasonable that the whole was covered with them to preserve from dust and rain.
“And a covering above of badgers’ skins”: Of these skins (see Exodus 25:5), this was a fourth covering of the tabernacle. The first was of linen curtains, the second of goats’ hair, the third of rams’ skins, and the fourth of badgers’ skins, which seems to have been thicker and courser, since shoes were made of them (Ezek. 16:10).
- Judah, as quoted by Jarchi, thinks the two last were but one covering, half of it consisting of rams’ skins and half of it of badgers’ skins. But the text is express that the latter was a covering above and over the former. These several coverings of the tabernacle show the care that God takes of his church and people, and how sufficiently they are provided for. That they may be in safety from all their enemies, being clothed with Christ’s righteousness, and under the purple covering of his blood, and surrounded by his almighty power (see Isa. 4:5).
These “rams’ skins dyed red” depicted the blood that Jesus shed for our sins. The “badgers’ skins” had to do with the outward appearance not being beautiful. All of these skins had something to do with Jesus’ sacrifice for us. It was written of Jesus:
Isaiah 53:2-4 “For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, [there is] no beauty that we should desire him.” “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were [our] faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.”
We can easily see that outward appearance was not what made Jesus beautiful to us, but what was within. This was what we should see in the badgers’ skin here.
Verses 15-29: The frame or trellis work, on which the curtains and outer coverings were draped, also received precise instruction. The portability of the whole structure was obvious. Throughout the wilderness wanderings, it could be quickly dismantled and readied for transport, and just a rapidly re-erected.
Exodus 26:15 “And thou shalt make boards for the tabernacle [of] shittim wood standing up.”
The various coverings which have been described had it for their object to roof over and protect an oblong chamber or “dwelling,” within which God was to manifest Himself and to be worshipped. The directions which follow (Exodus 26:15-33), are for the construction of this chamber. It was to be enclosed by boards of shittim wood, fifteen feet high by two feet three inches wide, which were to be plated with gold, and made to stand upright by being inserted into solid sockets of silver. The two sides were to contain, each of them, twenty such boards, and thus to be forty-five feet long, while the connecting wall was to be composed of six such boards, together with two corner posts (Exodus 26:23), giving it a length, probably, of ten cubits, or fifteen feet.
“Boards . . . of shittim wood”: On the possibility of boards fifteen feet long by two feet three inches wide being cut from the Acacia seyal (see the note on Exodus 25:5).
Exodus 26:16 “Ten cubits [shall be] the length of a board, and a cubit and a half [shall be] the breadth of one board.”
Each board would therefore be about 15 ft. long and 27 inches wide.
Exodus 26:17 “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.”
Every board was to be so cut and shaped at the lower end of it, as to have, as it were, “two hands”, as in the original, to enter into, lay hold on, and fasten in mortises.
“Set in order one against another”: At a proper distance from each other, as the rounds of a ladder.
“Thus shalt thou make for all the boards of the tabernacle”: Each one was to have two tenons.
These boards that support the sides of the tabernacle were 15 ft. high and 27 inches wide. These “tenons” were like dowel pins that fit them together. These boards made of wood were to strengthen the sides of the tabernacle.
Exodus 26:18 “And thou shalt make the boards for the tabernacle, twenty boards on the south side southward.”
As in the manner which has been described so in numbers as follows:
“Twenty boards on the south side southward”: Which being a cubit and a half broad, made the length of the tabernacle fifteen yards according to the common account; but if these were cubits of twenty one inches, then its length was much greater.
These “twenty boards” 27 inches each, would cover 45 feet which was exactly the length of the tabernacle per side. The whole tabernacle was 45 feet by 15 feet. Fifteen by 30 was the Holy place and 15 by 15 the Most Holy place. The Holy place and the Most Holy place together (which made up the tabernacle) were 45 feet by 15 feet.
Exodus 26:19 “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.”
Each “socket” was to receive one of the “tenons.” As there were twenty boards (Exodus 26:18), and two tenons to each board (Exodus 26:17), the sockets had to be forty.
“Silver” is symbolic of redemption. There was redemption between God and the sinful earth out there in the wilderness. These sockets were on the ground under the boards.
Exodus 26:20 “And for the second side of the tabernacle on the north side [there shall be] twenty boards:”
The direction of the tabernacle was east and west. At the east end was the entrance into the holy place, and at the west end the holy of holies; and the two sides were north and south; and as on the south side, so on the north.
“There shall be twenty boards”: Just the same number as the laws of building required.
Exodus 26:21 “And their forty sockets [of] silver; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board.”
Answerable to the twenty boards, for their two tenons to be placed in as in mortises. Two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board. And so under all the boards on the north side as on the south.
These were more literally bases or foundations. Each base weighed a talent, that is, about 94 lbs. (see Exodus 38:27), and must have been a massive block. The bases formed a continuous foundation for the walls of boards, presenting a succession of sockets or mortises (each base having a single socket), into which the tenons were to fit. They served not only for ornament but also for the protection of the lower ends of the boards from the decay which would have resulted from contact with the ground.
This was a repetition (of verses 18 and 19), except it was on the opposite side of the tabernacle.
Exodus 26:22 “And for the sides of the tabernacle westward thou shalt make six boards.”
Or the ends of it, on the east and west, and this account begins at the west.
“Westward thou shalt make six boards”: So that the breadth of the tabernacle was but nine cubits, or four yards and a half, according to a common cubit. But two boards more placed at the two corners of the sides, next observed, added to the breadth of it.
Exodus 26:23 “And two boards shalt thou make for the corners of the tabernacle in the two sides.”
Which were of another fashion than the former, as may be gathered both from the distinct nomination and use of them, and from the laws of building. And whereas the rest were but single boards, these were double, for greater strength and for the convenience of joining them together.
In (verse 22, this covered 13 1/2 feet of the 15 feet); so (in verse 23), the boards in the corners connected the west and the north and south sides.
Exodus 26:24 “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.”
At the bottom of the boards or planks.
“And they shall be coupled together above the head of it unto one ring”: At the top of the boards there was a ring, to which they were coupled and fastened, and so at the bottom of them, though not expressed. Some understand this of all the planks, both at the two sides and at the west end; but it seems rather to respect only the corner planks, since it follows:
“Thus shall it be for them both, they shall be for the two corners”: Which were coupled and joined alike at each corner as if they were twins, as the word used signifies. Or the meaning is, that these were double boards, and so like twins, which were so closely put together that they seemed but one board. This was done so that the corners might be thicker and stronger. This Added for the greater overall firmness of the building.
This was just telling that these two corners were connected to the sides by coupling them at the top and bottom.
Exodus 26:25 “And they shall be eight boards, and their sockets [of] silver, sixteen sockets; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board.”
Six were at the west end and one at each corner, northwest and southwest.
“And their sockets of silver, sixteen sockets”: The same as those for the boards on both sides north and south. They were of the same metal, silver; and they were two under one board, to receive its two tenons as follows:
“Two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board”: And so, under all eight, and which sockets joining with those of the two sides, and in all made ninety six, were the basis and foundation of the tabernacle. And was a figure of Christ, the only foundation of his church and people. And the several tenons of the boards joined into those sockets of silver may denote the union of the members of Christ and ministers of his word to him. And their dependence on him.
This “eight” was the six plus the two corner boards.
Exodus 26:26 “And thou shalt make bars [of] shittim wood; five for the boards of the one side of the tabernacle,”
The corner boards appear to have been of such width, and so placed, as to add 18 in. to the width of the structure, making up with the six boards of full width (Exodus 26:22), about 15 ft. in the clear (see Exodus 26:18). The “ring” was so formed as to receive two bars meeting “beneath” and “above” at a right angle.
Exodus 26:27 “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.”
Suppose the north, these bars were disposed of in the same manner as those on the south side.
“And five bars for the boards of that side of the tabernacle”: Or the end of it, the west end, as follows:
“For the two sides westward”: That is, the two corners at the west end, the southwest and the northwest corners. And these five bars reached from the one to the other, two at the upper part of the boards, and two at the lower part, and one in the middle.
Exodus 26:28 “And the middle bar in the midst of the boards shall reach from end to end.”
Not within the thickness of the boards, as the Jews conceive, but in the length of them; as appears.
- Because this bar, as well as the rest, was gilded (Exodus 26:29), which was frivolous if it were never seen.
- Because all the bars had rings made to receive and hold them up (Exodus 26:29).
Exodus 26:29 “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.”
Not merely gild them, but cover them with thin plates of gold. And which, because it would take up a great quantity of gold, and make the boards very heavy, unless the plates were very thin, when they were taken down and carried from place to place. Some have thought they were only glided.
“And make their rings of gold, for places for the bars”: These were made of solid gold, and were as staples to let the bars into: and, according to Jarchi, there were two rings to every board.
“And thou shalt overlay the bars with gold”: Cover them with plates of gold. And these bars and staples of gold show how compact and firm the church of God is, through his almighty power, as well as how glorious and splendid it is by his grace.
These gold plated shittim wood poles fit into the gold rings to strengthen the walls of the tabernacle. As we have said before, this wood (worldly), could not be exposed in the near presence of God, so they had to be pure gold plated.
Exodus 26:30 “And thou shalt rear up the tabernacle according to the fashion thereof which was showed thee in the mount.”
“According to the fashion”: Again (25:40), the warning was sounded that the blueprint must be carefully followed. Nothing was to be left to human guesswork, no matter how skilled the craftsmen might have been.
This tabernacle was fixed where it could be quickly assembled or disassembled. These dowels in each board just fit together tightly and the poles gave it extra strength, when they were run through the gold rings. Moses was cautioned again, that the tabernacle must be raised the same way every time, just like he had been shown by God.
Verses 31-34: A veil, similar in design to the inner curtains (see note on 26:1), divided the tabernacle into the Holy Place and the Most Holy, or literally the Holy of Holies.
Exodus 26:31 “And thou shalt make a veil [of] blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubims shall it be made:”
The use of this, as follows, was to divide the holy place from the most holy place in the tabernacle. It has its name from hardness, it being very stiff and strong, for it was made of thread six times doubled, and was four fingers thick, as the Jewish writers say. This vail may represent the sin of man, which separates between God and man, was removed by the death of Christ when the vail was rent, and so the way to heaven opened. Or the obscurity of the legal dispensation, the Gospel being veiled under the shadows of the law, and the way into the holiest of all then not so manifest, and particularly the ceremonial law, which separated between Jew and Gentile. And is now abolished by the death of Christ. Or rather it was typical of the human nature of Christ, his flesh, called in allusion to it the vail of his flesh (Heb. 10:20).
“Of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work”: It seems to have been made of the same materials, and in the same curious manner of workmanship with the curtains of the tabernacle (Exodus 26:1). And was itself no other than a curtain, and so it is interpreted by some Jewish writers. It being made of “fine linen” denotes the purity of Christ, of his nature, life, and righteousness; of “twined linen”. His strength, courage and steadiness; “of blue, purple, and scarlet”. The several graces of the Spirit, with which his human nature was adorned, his flaming zeal for his Father’s glory and the good of his people. His bloody wounds, sufferings, and death, the preciousness of his blood, the dignity of his person, and his glorious exaltation. Purple and scarlet being the colors wore by kings.
“With cherubim shall it be made”: Signifying either the ministration of angels to him in his incarnate state, or the mission of Gospel ministers by him (see Psalm 139:15).
Exodus 26:32 “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.”
For it was ten cubits long, and as many broad; and being of such a stiffness and thickness as it was, required so many pillars to support it. These pillars may signify the deity of Christ, which is the support of his human nature, and in which it has its personal subsistence, and gives all its actions and sufferings virtue and efficacy. And being of “shittim wood”, which is incorruptible, may denote his eternity, and being covered with gold, his glory.
“Their hooks shall be of gold”: Which were upon the tops of the pillars on which the vail was hung: and the pillars were:
“Upon the four sockets of silver”: Which were properly the pedestals or feet of the pillars; and these sockets, into which the pillars were let and placed, and the hooks the vail hung by, may hint to the union of the two natures in Christ. Who is God and man in one person, God manifest in the flesh (see SOS 5:15).
Here, we see the “silver” was on the ground between God and the sinful earth. This “veil of blue, purple, scarlet and fine twined linen” was symbolic of Jesus’ flesh.
(Hebrews 10:20), tells us explicitly that this veil symbolizes Jesus’ flesh.
Hebrews 10:20 “By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;”
We spoke earlier about “blue”, “purple” and “red” being God’s special colors, and “linen” means righteousness; so it is not difficult to see the symbolisms here.
Exodus 26:33 “And thou shalt hang up the veil under the taches, that thou mayest bring in thither within the veil the ark of the testimony: and the veil shall divide unto you between the holy [place] and the most holy.”
The “taches” meant are the links whereby the two portions of the inner covering were connected together (Exodus 26:6). If “under the taches” means directly under them, we must regard the mishkân as divided into two chambers of equal size. It is possible; however, that “under” may be used with some vagueness, and that the “Holy of Holies” may in the tabernacle, as well as in the Temple, have been only half the size of the outer chamber.
This “veil” was between the holy place and the most holy place and no one entered there, except the high priest. The high priest had to be properly attired and bring blood to put on the mercy seat. If the high priest entered unworthily, God killed him.
Exodus 26:34 “And thou shalt put the mercy seat upon the ark of the testimony in the most holy [place].”
The sole furniture of the most holy place, or “Holy of Holies,” was to be the ark, with its covering of the mercy-seat. In the “Holy Place” without the vail were to be the “table of shewbread” against the north wall, and the “golden candlestick” opposite to it, against the south wall. Intermediate between them, but advanced nearer the vail, was to be the “golden altar of incense” (Exodus 30:6; 40:26), which, however, is not here mentioned.
The only furniture in the Holy of Holies was the Ark of the Covenant. As we said before, the ark was like a box. It was covered inside and out with 24 karat gold. It contained the stones the Ten Commandments were written on, the Manna and Aaron’s rod that bloomed. The ark was covered with the mercy seat which was 24 karat solid gold. The Cherubims overlooked the mercy seat. The presence of God was between the Cherubims above them and the mercy seat.
Exodus 26:35 “And thou shalt set the table without the veil, 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.”
The table of shewbread (see Exodus 25:23). This was not to be within the vail, but without it, in the holy place. And the candlestick opposite the table, of which (see Exodus 25:31). Signifying, that in the church of God, in the present state of things, which the holy place was an emblem of (there are both food and light); the candlestick was placed.
“On the side of the tabernacle, toward the south”: According to Jarchi, two cubits and a half from the side of it:
“And thou shalt put the table on the north side”: Of the tabernacle, directly opposite the candlestick, two cubits and a half from the south side, as the same writer says.
We see that the candlestick of beaten gold and the table covered with 24 karat gold (which held the twelve loaves of bread) were just outside the veil and were in the Holy Place. We said before the candlestick and the bread were both symbolic of Jesus. Jesus, when He died on the cross, tore the temple curtain in two from the top to the bottom and opened the way into the Most Holy Place for you and me.
Exodus 26:36 “And thou shalt make a hanging for the door of the tent, [of] blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, wrought with needlework.”
“Hanging”: Another curtain or veil, without the embroidered cherubim motif, was made to cover the entrance way into the Holy Place.
“The door of the tent”: This was a tent of meeting. Here the people’s representatives, the priests and Moses in particular, met with Yahweh and He with them. Here the dispute between Aaron, Miriam and Moses was arbitrated (Num. 12:4). The instruction about the daily offerings state that at the door of the tent of meeting the lambs shall be offered morning and evening, and “where I will meet you, to speak there unto thee” (29:42).
Here Yahweh spoke with Moses “face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend” (Exodus 33:9-11). He also met with the people here: “and there I will meet with the children of Israel” (Exodus 29:43). It seems that individuals could hear from Yahweh in response to their seeking Him at the door of meeting (in Exodus 33:7). This is the place where the entire contents of Leviticus are represented as being delivered to Moses by Yahweh (Lev. 1:1). This was the place where Yahweh and His people met. All had access to Him.
Exodus 26:37 “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.”
One at each corner of the entrance into the tabernacle, and the other three at a proper distance from each other, so as to make four ways for the priests to enter in at. As there might very well be, since there was a breadth of ten cubits, or five yards or more.
“And overlay them with gold”: With plates of gold, for a gild would soon wear off by continual use in passing in and out. This is to be understood not of the whole pillars, but of the chapiters, heads, tops, or knobs of them, and of their fillets or girdles. In some parts of them the wood appearing, as is plain from Exodus 36:38.
“And their hooks shall be of gold”: On which the hanging, covering, or vail was hung.
“And thou shalt cast five sockets of brass for them”: For the pillars to stand upon them, and were of a harder metal than those on which the pillars for the vail before mentioned. That being the entrance into the holy of holies, where the divine Majesty dwelt, this into the holy place where the priests did their service.
Jesus is the door to heaven, there is no other way. We see Jesus, here in this curtain. This time it showed Him as the door. The “sockets of brass”, showed that Jesus is the Judge of the world. The number five indicates grace. In (Isaiah chapter 9), we read of the five names of grace for Jesus.
Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
This curtain was held up by five pillars (these names).
Exodus Chapter 26 Questions
1. What kind of material were the ten curtains of the tabernacle made of and what colors?
2. What does “tabernacle” mean?
3. What does “linen” symbolize?
4. What does “blue” symbolize?
5. What does the “red” color show us?
6. How long should each curtain be in verse 2?
7. Where were the loops of blue to be taken from?
8. How many loops and taches should be connected?
9. The unity of the church is through ___________.
10. The curtains of goats’ hair were what size?
11. What did the goats’ hair symbolize?
12. What was the second goat of a sin offering called?
13. This sixth curtain, that was to be doubled in the forefront of the tabernacle, was what?
14. What does “brass” have to do with?
15. What does the number fifty mean? (Two things)
16. In verse 12, the covering was like a _________.
17. The rams’ skins were dyed what color?
18. What was the last skin covering outside the tabernacle?
19. What did these red rams’ skins depict?
20. What makes Jesus beautiful to believers?
21. What was the length and breadth of the wall boards?
22. What were they made of?
23. What were the tenons?
24. Twenty boards, 27 inches, will cover what space?
25. What were the dimensions of the whole tabernacle?
26. What were the forty sockets under the boards made of?
27. What does that mean to us?
28. These gold plated shittim wood poles helped in what way?
29. What was the veil between the Holy Place and Most Holy Place made of?
30. What was it symbolic of?
31. Who could enter?
32. What must he have with him?
33. Where were the candlestick and the table of shewbread located?
34. This hanging for the tent door showed us what?
35. Name five names of Jesus that shows us His grace.
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