Understanding The Bible
Return to "Typology in the Tabernacle, the Priesthood, and the Offerings"
The linen and curtain were hung on posts of acacia wood (60 of them) based in brass sockets. So our Lord's incorruptible and perfect humanity (wood) and walk (linen) judged (brass) sinful men and excluded them. But His grace (curtain and gate) admits them, if they come to the Brazen Altar (Cross), the first article of furniture within enclosure.
Between the Brazen Altar and the Tabernacle proper was a Brazen Laver, used for washing hands and feet (priests) before going into the building to minister.
The actual structure was a rectangular building composed of 48 boards: 20 each lengthwise side, and 6 in the rear, and 2 corner boards. All boards, except possibly 2 corner ones, were l 1/2 cubits broad and 10 cubits high (i.e., about 21 ft.). They were made of wood, overlaid with gold, speaking of our Lord's humanity and deity. They also picture what believers, with new natures, are made in Christ. These boards rested, each on two silver sockets, into which two tenons (speaking of the two "hands of faith") reached down. So we are "hid with Christ in God" when the hands of faith lay hold upon redemption truth (silver). The sockets separated the boards from earth, so Christ's redemption separates us from the world (Gal. 6:l4). The boards were held together and upright by 5 bars on each side, i.e., the grace of God, the number of the earth (4) plus the number of God (1).
The building was in two sections, the front section being the Holy Place in which any priest (whose course it was) would minister. The second section was the Holy of Holies into which only the High Priest could go, and He but once a year on Tom Kippur, the Day of Atonement (Lev. 17). A veil or curtain with the thickness of a hand's breadth (made of the materials described in (4)c and inwrought with figures of cherubim) separated the two sections. This veil hung on four pillars. A similar veil, but without the cherubim, hung on five pillars at the opening of the structures. It has been suggested that the five pillars represent the Grace of God as revealed through the five writers of the five writers of the Epistles (Paul, Peter, James, Jude, John) whereas the four pillars, both at the gate of the outside court and into the Holiest, in view of the fact that the inner veil has been rent (Heb. 10:19-20), represent the Gospels, which tell us of the universality of the availability of the salvation which Christ accomplished.
The structure was covered with four coverings, from outside in:
Badger skins = What Christ was to MAN -- uninteresting, no beauty.
Rams' skins dyed red = What Christ was to GOD.
Ram, a consecrated animal; dyed red; "obedient unto death."
Goats' hair = What Christ was MADE for us.
Goat was for sin-offering; so 2 Cor. 5:21.
Inner set = What God has DONE for Christ -- His glorification.
The whole structure within was pure gold - wherever one looked; so He is "altogether lovely," "no spot in Him," "crowned with glory and honor." How different the believer's view of Christ (here) from that of an outsider's view of Him (unattractive badger or porpoise skins)!
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