Tabernacle – Completion and Setup

Exo 39:32-43 Exo 40:1-38

See also Leviticus 8 and 9, Numbers 7 thru 9

A. Inspection Exo. 39:32-43

1. components brought to Moses in “kit form” along with consumable supplies

2. only the lampstand was assembled

the lamps “set in order” or arranged

3. inspected and examined by Moses

“The one thing that counted in that inspection, was going by the pattern. No departure from it was allowed by God. He gave skill and wisdom to Bezaleel to carry out a divinely-given plan, and the blessing was the reward for keeping close to it. So will it be in the day of the Judgment Seat of Christ. It will not be “Well done, good and successful servant,” but “good and faithful servant.”

If God was so particular that Moses should make everything “according to the pattern” when it was the Tabernacle, which was only the shadow, will He be less so when it is the Church, which is the reality? Surely not! Yet how many Christians seem to regard it as a matter of indifference whether or not they go by the Word of God as to their worship and service.” William J. McClure, Tabernacle Types and Teachings

4. finished components corresponded to divine instruction

demonstrates the effectiveness of God’s equipping those involved with manufacture Exo. 31:1-11

B. Assembly and Setup Exo. 40:1-8 Exo. 40:16-33

1. credited to Moses; just as Bezaleel and Aholiab had help, so Moses must have also

2. commenced on New Year’s Day, year 2 of the Exodus (see v. 2 & 17)

3. the tabernacle tent with its walls first, then furnishings and veils/screens from the inside out

4. followed by furnishings of the outer court after which the curtain and gate defining the courtyard were erected

5. included first actual use

a. lighting the lamps, burning incense, offering burnt and grain offerings, setting up and filling the laver with water (see v. 25, 27 & 29)

b. not all on the first day; again, Moses’ function may have been limited to instruction and oversight, not actual performance of duties

i. nothing would have been used until after its consecration/anointing v. 9

C. Consecration Exo. 40:9-15

1. instructions given

a. for the priests – Exo 28:41; 29:1-35; 40:12-15

b. the tabernacle and contents – Exo 29:36-37; 40:9-11

2. instructions followed

a. for the tabernacle and contents – implied in Exo. 40:33; declared in Lev. 8:10-11 & Num. 7:1

b. for Aaron and his sons – Lev. 8

3. related but significantly different ritual followed immediately for the Levites Num. 8:5-22

a. Levite duties enumerated in Num. 4:1-33

4. week-long ritual for consecrating Aaron and his sons

a. tabernacle set up on New Year’s Day

b. consecration ritual followed for 7 days

i. could have commenced on New Year’s if the crew was large enough to erect the tabernacle in a short period of time

c. on the 8th (?) day of the year Aaron and his sons began their ministry Lev. 9:1-22

d. on the 14th day of the year Passover celebration began Num. 9:1-14

D. God’s Blessing Exo. 40:34-38

1. evidenced by

a. the cloud over the tent of meeting Exo. 40:34-35; Num. 9:15-16

b. God’s glory filling the tabernacle (see also Lev. 9:23)

c. fire that consumed the burnt offering Lev. 9:24

2. followed meticulous obedience to God’s command

a. 19 times from Ex. 38:22 on – they did it “just as the Lord commanded”

3. manifestation of God’s presence different from what Moses had previously experienced

a. burning bush Exo. 3:1-6

b. on the mountain Exo. 33:18-23; 34:5-7, 29-35

c. see other examples

4. fulfillment of God’s promise to dwell among his people Exo. 25:8; 29:45-46

a. indication of future blessing – Emmanuel, God with us Matt. 1:23

1. The tabernacle of God will be with men, and he will dwell among them (Revelation 21:3-4). His glory will fill it. “The glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof” (Revelation 21:23).

2. This glory will be no longer unapproachable. We shall be able to endure the sight. “His servants shall serve him, and they shall see his face” (Revelation 22:3-4). We shall receive the Vision.

3. This, however, will only be when earthly conditions have been exchanged for heavenly. “This corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:53). Till that hour arrives, we must be content to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7), seeing only “as through a glass darkly” (1 Corinthians 13:12). Pulpit Commentary

For seeing that God dwells in light that is inaccessible, Christ must intervene. Hence he calls himself “the light of the world;” and in another passage, “the way, the truth, and the life.” None cometh to the Father (who is the fountain of life) except by him; for “no man knoweth who the Father is but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.” For this reason, Paul declares, “I count all things as loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.” …Paul further declares, that in the person of Christ the glory of God is visibly manifested to us, or, which is the same thing, we have “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (1Ti 6:16; John 8:12; 14:6; Luke 10:22; 1Cor 2:2; Acts 20:21; 26:17,18; 2Cor 4:6) It is true, indeed, that faith has respect to God only; but to this we should add, that it acknowledges Jesus Christ whom he has sent. God would remain far off, concealed from us, were we not irradiated by the brightness of Christ. All that the Father had, he deposited with his only begotten Son, in order that he might manifest himself in him, and thus by the communication of blessings express the true image of his glory. Since, as has been said, we must be led by the Spirit, and thus stimulated to seek Christ, so must we also remember that the invisible Father is to be sought nowhere but in this image. For which reason Augustine treating of the object of faith, (De Civitate Dei, lib. 11, ch. 2), elegantly says, “The thing to be known is, whither we are to go, and by what way;” and immediately after infers, that “the surest way to avoid all errors is to know him who is both God and man. It is to God we tend, and it is by man we go, and both of these are found only in Christ.” Calvin, Institutes, III.2.i

Order of Inspection
Exo. 39:33-41

Order of Assembly
Exo. 40:18-33

  1. tent
  2. clasps
  3. planks
  4. crossbars
  5. posts
  6. bases
  7. ram skin covering
  8. manatee skin covering
  9. veil
  10. ark with poles and atoning cover
  11. table, utensils, and Presence bread
  12. lampstand, lamps, utensils, and oil
  13. golden altar
  14. anointing oil
  15. incense
  16. tabernacle door (screen)
  17. brazen altar, grate, poles, and utensils
  18. laver and stand
  19. courtyard hangings, posts and bases
  20. courtyard gate, ropes, and tent pegs
  21. miscellaneous equipment
  22. priestly garments
  1. bases
  2. planks
  3. crossbars
  4. posts
  5. tent
  6. coverings
  7. contents of the ark
  8. poles for the ark
  9. atoning cover
  10. veil
  11. table and bread
  12. lampstand and lamps
  13. golden altar with incense
  14. tabernacle door
  15. brazen altar and offerings
  16. laver and stand
  17. courtyard hangings
  18. courtyard gate

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