Understanding The Bible
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W. W. Rugh,
Bible Institute of Philadelphia
40 Page Printed Devotional Guide
1st Edition 1912
Typical Teaching of the Tabernacle
Exodus 25 to 31
The Tabernacle as a Whole
Jehovah designed His own sanctuary and set it up in the midst of Israel's camp as His dwelling place, meeting place, and revealing place.
From His Tent, canopied by the Cloud, and enclosed by the Court with its hangings of fine twined linen, the Redeemer of Israel looked eastward upon the tents of the priests, the family of Aaron, encamped immediately in front of the Tabernacle to guard it as the sacred dwelling place of the Holy One of Israel, and also to minister in it, as worshippers, in behalf of the congregation of Israel. Eastward in the rear of the priests' camp was the camp of Judah, the tribes of Judah, Issachar and Zebulun. Numbers 3:38, 39; 2:1-9.
On His right hand, to the south, the Kohathites pitched their tents that they might be near to minister. As one of the families of the tribe of Levi, separated unto Jehovah for the service of the Tabernacle instead of all the firstborn of Israel, they had the charge of the vessels of the sanctuary. Exodus 32:25-29; Numbers 3:5-20, 27-32. South of the Kohathites was the camp of Reuben, the tribes of Reuben, Simeon, and Gad.
In the rear of the Tabernacle, to the west, was the camp of the Gershonites, the family of Levites who had the charge of the Tent and its coverings, and the hangings of the Court, with the Gate and the Door. Numbers 3:21-26. West of the Gershonites was the camp of Ephraim, the tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin, descendants of Jacob and Rachel.
North of the Tabernacle were the tents of the Merarites, who had the charge of the boards, bars, pillars, sockets, pins, and cords of the Tabernacle. Numbers 3:33-37. To the north of the Merarites was the camp of Dan, the tribes of Dan, Asher, and Napthali. Num. 2:25-31.
With what unsearchable wisdom and marvelous grace the Lord grouped His people about Himself as worshipers, workers, and warriors. The worshipers, the priests, and the workers, the Levites were encamped close about the Tabernacle to minister in and to care
for Jehovah's Tent. The camps of the warriors were outside the camps of the worshipers and workers to guard them.
How glad we are that the Holy Spirit has told us so much about these groups of Israelites, for every one of His redeemed ones now are worshipers, workers, and warriors, and all these things were written for us. If we have learned to enter His blessed presence as worshipers, we may live there a life of service for others, and clad with the whole armor of God we may be victorious warriors. I Peter 2:5, 9; Ephesians 2:10; 6:10-18.
As the God of Israel, the Tabernacle was for Jehovah a sanctuary, a place set apart, a holy place, the dwelling of Him who is absolutely and eternally holy. It is in His sanctuary we may understand His way and obtain help from Him. Palms 73:16, 17; 20:2; 96:6.
As the Leader of His people, the Tabernacle was Jehovah's pavilion, in which His redeemed ones might hide in the day of trouble. Psalms 27:5; Colossians 3:3.
As the King of Israel, Jehovah was enthroned in the Tabernacle as His palace. From the glorious King, who dwelt in between the cherubim over the Mercy-seat, Moses and the high priest received the statutes for Israel. Isaiah 43:15; Psalms 80:1; 99:1; Exodus 25:22.
As the Father of His people, the Tabernacle was the house of the Lord, in which His children might enjoy fellowship with Him. Deuteronomy 32:6; I Chronicles 29:10; Ps. 27:4.
Thus Jehovah dwelt in the midst of the people whom He had redeemed and brought near to Himself. His presence, manifest in the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, guided and protected them, and illuminated their pathway all through their wilderness journey from Egypt to Canaan. Psalms 78:14, Nehemiah 9:18, 19.
By W. W. RUGH, Associate
Dean, Bible Institute of Pennsylvania
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