Exodus 25 - Outline of Exodus (Book Notes menu page)
25:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
25:2 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.
{cp. 2Cor 9:7}
25:3 And this [is] the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass,
25:4 And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' [hair],
25:5 And rams' skins dyed red, and badgers' skins, and shittim wood,
25:6 Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense,
25:7 Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate.
The materials for the Tabernacle were to be offered willingly by the people.
But only a few months earlier, they had been slaves.
How did they acquire the required wealth? See Ex 12:35,36
25:8 And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.
25:9 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].
a sanctuary {ie., a holy place, a set apart place}, that I may dwell among them.-
They could not build a house in which God would reside (1Kings 8:27-30).
Rather, this would be a place where God and man could meet.
the pattern of the Tabernacle -
The importance of this pattern is emphasized by the volume of text dedicated to it, and by the repetition of the pattern.
  • Ch. 25-31 consist of the LORD's instructions for the construction of the Tabernacle.
    These six chapters reveal the design in great detail.
  • Later, another five chapters rehearse these details, during the actual construction and consecration of the Tabernacle (ch. 35-40).
  • Many of the features of the Tabernacle were retained in the design of the Temple in Jerusalem (about 500 years later).
This pattern is an earthly shadow of the heavenly reality. cp. Heb 8:5,6; 9:23,24
The pattern of the Tabernacle illustrates the only means, by which sinners can approach and find acceptance before the Holy God: the Way which He has provided in the Person and work of Jesus Christ.
Because of the richness and importance of the 'types' (pictures) of Christ in the Tabernacle, we intend to present two paths of study on the remaining portion of Exodus. Because the Tabernacle is so rich with pictures of Christ, the reader will find both of these studies profitable. Although similar, each study will uncover additional aspects of His beauty.
  1. Following the order of the text, our paragraph by paragraph study will continue (in the same format as the study of Exodus to this point).
    • This study will consider each element of the Tabernacle as we come upon it in the text, beginning at the heart of the Tabernacle with 'the Ark of the Covenant' and moving outward.
    • This study will provide an overview of the major types of Christ as revealed in the pattern of the Tabernacle.
      To follow this study, continue scrolling down through this page (do not follow the link below).
  2. Following the logical order of an individual's approach to God (beginning outside the Tabernacle and moving inward), a study entitled "Christ in the Tabernacle", by W.W. Rugh (originally published in 1912, as a small book of 40 pages).
    • This study provides greater detail regarding many of the types of Christ, with an emphasis on their application to the lives and ministries of those who are joined to Him.
      To begin this study, click on the above link and progress through the menu of sections. This study can also be accessed directly via the Resource Menu button.
   The Ark of the Covenant (v.10-22) -
25:10 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.
{A cubit is a measure of length, approximately equivalent to 18 inches.}
25:11 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.
25:12 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.
25:13 And thou shalt make staves [of] shittim wood, and overlay them with gold.
25:14 And thou shalt put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark,
that the ark may be borne
{carried} with them.
25:15 The staves shall be in the rings of the ark: they shall not be taken from it.
25:16 And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee.
The Ark of the Covenant - was the actual place of meeting between God and man. v.22
This piece of furniture was in the Holy of Holies, the innermost chamber of the Tabernacle.
  -- In revelation, God starts from Himself and works outward to man.
  -- In salvation, the order is reversed. Christ having left His home in Heaven (the Most Holy Place), came to meet the sinner at the Brazen Altar (ie., the cross), in order to make the way for us to return with Him to His Father's House (Joh 13:3; 14:1-6; 1Pet 3:18).
The Floor Plan of the Tabernacle (to be described as the text unfolds)-
[See the Diagram of the Tabernacle (displays in a new browser window or tab).]
The diagram below is not to scale.
    |                                           |
    |      ________________           C         |  
    |      | A    :  [2]   |                    | 
    |      |      :        :                    :
    |      |  [1] :[4]  B  :   [5]        [6]   :     Eastward side
    |      |      :        :                    : c
    |      |______:__[3]___|                    |
    |             a        b                    |
    |___________________________________________| d
  • Furniture: 1. Ark, 2. Table of Showbread, 3. Lampstand,
    4. Golden Altar of Incense, 5. Brazen Laver, 6. Brazen Altar
  • Areas: A. the Holy of Holies, B. the Holy Place, C. the Court
  • Curtains: a. the Veil, b. the Door, c. the Gate, d. Curtain of the outer court,
    Not shown: the Coverings, several layers forming a tent, supported by the boards which formed the walls of the Holy of Holies and the Holy Place.
As illustrated by the design of the Tabernacle, men are excluded from God's presence, because of sin. There is no access to His presence except by way of the Gate, and the Altar of Sacrifice.
The pattern of the Ark of the Covenant...
shittim {acacia} wood - grows in the desert, and is nearly impervious to rot.
This speaks of the humanity of Christ, "a root out of dry ground" (Isa 53:2) and "a Branch" out of the stump of Jesse (Isa 11:1).
He was fully human, knowing weariness, hunger, thirst, sorrow, and death.
Yet, He was without sin. Heb 4:15
gold - speaks of the deity of Christ. He is fully God. Joh 1:1; 14:1,9; Col 2:9
wood overlaid with gold - speaks of Christ as one Person with two distinct natures.
Neither nature was distorted or diluted by the other.
That is, He was no less God because He became a man; neither was He any less a man because He was God. cp. Joh 1:14; 1Tim 3:16
the staves - (with which each of the pieces of furniture were equipped) were for portability.
The staves of the Ark would not be removed until Israel was in the Land, and the Ark rested in Solomon's Temple (Psa 132:8; 1Kings 8:6-8).
thou shalt put into the Ark...-
An ark is a container to preserve intact whatever is put into it (eg., Noah's ark preserved his family and many animals. An ark of bulrushes preserved baby Moses, Ex 2:1-3).
This ark would eventually contain three things (See Heb 9:4):
  1. the tables of the Testimony (v.16) - The Ark of the Covenant would "preserve the Covenant unbroken in the midst of an erring people." [CHM]
    This also speaks of Christ. Psa 40:8; Mat 5:17
  2. a pot of manna (Ex 16:33,34) - This speaks of Christ, the Bread of life, that came down from heaven to be broken, that we might live. Joh 6:32-35
  3. Aaron's rod that budded - (a dead stick which came alive, showing that God had chosen Aaron and his family as His priests, Num 17:8-10).
    This speaks of Christ's resurrection, which demonstrates His continuing priesthood. (Acts 13:33-35; Rom 1:3,4; Heb 5:5)
25:17 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.
25:18 And thou shalt make two cherubims [of] gold,
[of] beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat.
25:19 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.
25:20 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.
25:21 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.
25:22 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 Mercy Seat - rested on top of the Ark, but it was much more than a lid.
It is described separately, almost as a separate piece of furniture, but there could be no place for the Mercy Seat apart from the Ark.
I will meet with thee... from between the two cherubim...-
  • Here, between the golden cherubim, above the Mercy Seat, the visible glory of God glowed within the Holy of Holies, unseen by men (Psa 80:1).
    It was an awesome place. Only the high priest could approach, and he only once a year, on the Day of Atonement. He dare not approach without proper preparation. On that day, he must present blood, shed for the remission of sin (Lev 16:2-19).
  • Here is a picture of heavenly realities. cp. Isa 6:1-3; Rev 4:6-8
    If we are to meet with God, we must be Holy as He is Holy.
    But the truth is that we are not.
    The Law of God condemns us (Rom 3:20). The eye of God knows us (Psa 90:7,8).
    We cannot approach... we need mercy.
    It is for this mercy that the publican prayed (Luke 18:13, literally: "God be 'mercy seated' toward me a sinner.")
    That mercy is provided through the blood of Christ. (See Rom 3:23-25, note that the word for "propitiation" is translated "mercyseat" in Heb 9:5.)
  • This is the only possible meeting point for God and man. Christ is our peace with God.
    In Him "mercy and truth are met together" (Psa 85:10,11).
    Upon the blood sprinkled Mercy Seat, there is Mercy for the sinner,
    while beneath (within the Ark), God's Truth (represented by the tables of the Testimony) remains unbroken.
    But, if the Mercy Seat represents Christ, why was it made of pure gold (with no wood)?
    Where is the humanity of the Saviour?
    It is in His blood, presented there in our behalf. cp. Rev 5:1-6,9-10
I will commune with thee...-
At the Mercy Seat, we find more than forgiveness of sin.
Because His blood has purged away sin, and provided peace with God (Rom 5:1,2),
communion with God is the believer's privilege and joy (cp. Num 7:89; 1Joh 1:3-7).
The next items of furniture speak of this communion between God and man.
   The Table of Showbread (v.23-30) -
25:23 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.
25:24 And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold,
and make thereto a crown of gold round about.
25:25 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.
25:26 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.
25:27 Over against the border shall the rings be for places of the staves to bear the table.
25:28 And thou shalt make the staves [of] shittim wood, and overlay them with gold,
that the table may be borne with them.
25:29 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.
25:30 And thou shalt set upon the table shewbread before me alway.
a table... of wood overlaid with gold.- This speaks of the humanity & deity of Christ.
showbread - speaks of Christ, the bread of life.
  • The manna within the Ark speaks of Him as the source of life (Joh 6:32,33).
    The showbread on the Table speaks of Him as the sustainer of life (Joh 6:34,35).
  • 'Showbread' is translated from HB= lechem paniym, lit., 'bread of presence'
    (cp. Ex 33:14,15, "If thy presence {HB= paniym} go not with me..."}.
    The believer is nourished by feeding upon His Word, in communion with Him.
    cp. Isa 55:1-3; 1Pet 2:2,3; Rev 3:20
  • Showbread was to be eaten only by the priests.
    So, Christ nourishes the believer-priest. 1Pet 2:9; Rev 1:6
   The Lampstand (v.31-40) -
25:31 And thou shalt make a candlestick {ie., lampstand} [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.
25:32 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:
25:33 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.
25:34 And in the candlestick [shall be] four bowls made like unto almonds,
[with] their knops and their flowers.
25:35 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.
25:36 Their knops and their branches shall be of the same:
all it [shall be] one beaten work [of] pure gold.
25:37 And thou shalt make the seven lamps thereof:
and they shall light the lamps thereof, that they may give light over against it.
25:38 And the tongs thereof, and the snuffdishes thereof, [shall be of] pure gold.
25:39 [Of] a talent of pure gold shall he make it, with all these vessels.
a talent - was the largest Hebrew unit of weight,
consisting of 3,000 Hebrew shekels, and corresponding to approximately 100 pounds (U.S.).
The weight of gold or silver also determined monetary value.
thou shalt make a candlestick {HB= menorah, lampstand} -
  • of pure gold - this speaks of Christ, in His deity, as the source of Light. cp. 1Joh 1:5; Joh 1:1-5,9
  • {with} seven lamps {one on the stem and one on each of the six branches} -
    This reminds us that the seven-fold Spirit of God rests upon Christ (Isa 11:2).
    As seven speaks of completion or perfection, the seven lamps speak of the completeness of Christ's wisdom and knowledge, with which He illuminates believers (1Cor 1:24,30; Eph 1:17-20).
       Apparently, the four bowls (in v.34) were reservoirs of oil. The center lamp was supplied from one bowl, while each of the three pairs of branches were supplied by separate bowls. Perhaps the four bowls correspond with the four Gospel accounts, which speak of the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ, who is the Light of the world (eg., Joh 8:12; 12:46).
  • {to} give light over against it.- All natural light was excluded from the inside of the Tabernacle.
    This is also the condition in the Heavenly city of God. cp. Rev 21:23,24
    The beauty of the Lampstand was revealed in its own light, as it illuminated the Holy Place.
  • The lamps were fueled with oil (Ex 27:20,21) -
    Oil speaks of the Holy Spirit...
25:40 And look that thou make [them] after their pattern,
which was shewed thee in the mount.

Again, the LORD emphasized adherence to His design, to ensure that everything about the Tabernacle would accurately depict the way of salvation in the Person and work of the Savior. Heb 8:4-6; 9:24

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