The Tabernacle – Introduction Part 1

Exodus 25 – 40

A. its great significance

2 chapters -> creation Gen. 1-2

13 chapters -> tabernacle Ex. 25-31, 35-40; 2 distinct accounts, one of the description and instructions given to Moses, the other of its actual construction and erection

reference 7x to God commanding Moses to make it according to the model God had showed him: Exodus 25:9; Exodus 25:40; Exodus 26:30; Exodus 27:8; Numbers 8:4; Acts 7:44; Hebrews 8:5

connection with the rest of Scripture, especially Hebrews ( 8:1-10:18 ) and the superiority of Christ’s priestly ministry

B. the significance of types

shadows that provide illumination for other Biblical concepts Hebrews 8:4-5

both symbols and types are present

symbol – a sign, no time reference, usually repeated, displaying qualities or features of the real thing and representative of it. Hebrews 9:9-10

type –

“an image, represents something future, bears some point of resemblance to the antitype, designed and appointed by God to represent the thing typified.” Terry, Biblical Hermeneutics, pp. 244-248

“a divine enactment of future redemption.” Payne, Theology of the Older Testament, p.357

“Types are symbolical institutes expressly appointed by God to prefigure to those among whom they were set up certain great transactions in connection with that plan of redemption which, in the fulness of time, was to be unfolded to mankind.” L. Alexander quoted in Payne, Theology of the Older Testament, p.358

Most important is how does Scripture represent the thing – is it plain from the Biblical record that God intended the thing to serve as a type? It must have a redemptive quality that elicits worship and that serves as a pictorial enactment which made sense to its contemporaries. Finally, in order to be a type rather than a symbol, it must have a future reference; its full meaning cannot be limited to its immediate context.

C. the types represented

1. the heavenly dwelling place of God Hebrews 9:23-24

the true holy place – heaven itself, the presence of God (lit. before the face of God) Hebrews 12:22-24

the reality of which man-made (although God-designed and mandated) holy places are the antitype (the copies)

2. God dwelling among his people Exodus 25:8 Exodus 29:45-46 Matthew 1:23 John 1:14

dwell – shakan – emhasizing nearness, immanence (yashab – alludes to God’s dwelling in heaven, emphasizing his loftiness, transcendence)

immanent yet within boundaries – dwelling with his people but in the thick darkness of the Most Holy Place Exodus 25:22 Exodus 26:33-34

accessible yet with conditions Leviticus 16:2 ff

his presence outwardly signified Exodus 40:34-38

3. God and his people in relationship Exodus 29:42-46

I will meet; I will consecrate; I will dwell; I will be; they will know

D. God’s place in it

He made the plans

of its construction (see references above)

no opportunity for man’s innovation Exodus 25:9 – make it according to what God showed Moses

simple in its construction, but of precise and finely crafted workmanship Exodus 31:2-6

He set the terms

of His use of it Exodus 25:8 Exodus 25:21-22

of approach for His people Exodus 26-31


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