The Sanctuary: Israel’s Preparation for Service
The First Passover: Preparatory to entering upon the sacred work of constructing the sanctuary, God led the Israelites through experiences designed to strengthen their faith and better qualify them for the task. One of these experiences was their miraculous deliverance from Egyptians bondage and idolatry. When the exact time arrived God laid plain His mighty power to set them free. To mark this great event, in obedience to his command, each household on the tenth day of Abid the first month of the Jewish year, was to select a lamb “without blemish, a male of the first year.” The lamb was kept until the fourteenth day of Abid, when it was slain “in the evening;” between three in the afternoon and sunset. The blood from that slain lamb was sprinkled on the door posts of every house where the Israelites were assembled, then the lamb was “roasted with fire.” “In that night,” the early hours of Abid 15, it was eaten with unleavened bread and bitter herbs (please read Exodus 12:1-9).
The names for each month of the Jewish Calendar are as follows: 1. Abid, 2. Zif, 3. Sivan, 4. Tammuz, 5. Ab, 6. Elul, 7. Ethanim, 8. Bul, 9. Chislev, 10. Tebeth, 11. Shebat, 12. Adar, 13 Adar Sheni Second Adar
- Why were they to eat unleavened bread? Deuteronomy 16:3; Exodus 12:33, 39
Is the bread of our affliction (cast out of Egypt with haste)
The bitter herbs were a reminder of their release from bitter bondage; the unleavened bread was the “bread of affliction; for you came forth in haste;” They were thrust out.
2. Isaiah 53:4-12 describes what event that would soon take place?
The death of Jesus, the Lamb of God
The lamb roasted with fire typified the fiery trails of the “The Lamb of God,” who was “wounded for our transgression,” “oppressed” and “afflicted.” The blood placed upon the doors for the protection of those within, symbolized the blood of Christ, shed to protect them from the power of sin.
This service was called the Passover because, when the Lord smote all the firstborn of the Egyptians, He passed over the house of Israel where the blood had been sprinkled. It was “for a memorial” to be observed in commemoration of their deliverance.
3. How long did God intend that this service should last? Exodus 12:25
It was to be “an ordinance forever” and throughout eternity, those whose sins have been washed away by the blood of Christ, will continue to celebrate their great deliverance.
4. Joshua 5:10 tells of first Passover celebrated in the Promised Land. But for nearly 40 years this was not celebrated. Why? Also see Numbers chapters 11-14
Because of Israel’s unfaithfulness
Two things to explain before we go to this note. The question states “But for nearly 40 years this was not celebrated. The question is why. First let it be noted that the Passover was celebrated the night before the left Egypt. It was also celebrated at Mount Sinai where they stayed for nearly 11 months having arriving 3 months after their departure from Egypt. So they also celebrated a Passover after the construction of the Sanctuary while still camped at Sinai. But just a little while after leaving Mount Sinai when camped at Kadesh, they sent 12 spies into the land of Canaan to spy out the land. Ten came back saying it cannot be taken while two trusted in God and said it was theirs for the taking.
The people rebelled and failed to march forward. Then after being told they had to wait, some from every tribe but Levi attempted to take Canaan by force and the army of Israel was scattered.
This promoted God to with draw some of his protection and so for the remainder of their time in the wilderness which was 38 years, the Passover was not celebrated. Not until they entered the Promised land was the Passover celebrated.
What is meant by this service? The fathers were to explain to their family the divine significance, so even their children could understand. This should be the same for us today; we are to make our teaching plain so that it will be easy to understand. The plagues that came upon Egypt were not against the people of Egypt, but rather their gods, so that the people could see how helpless all their false gods were. Their heathen gods were so helpless to them, they could not even protect the first born of all the people, even in the house of pharaoh.
The gods of Egypt and the purpose of each plague:
The Plagues were designed to destroy the confidence of power and protection the Egyptians believed they were receiving from their idols; all clearly revealed in the following extracts from the Philosophy of the Plan of Salvation.
- The first miracle, authenticating God’s mission for Moses, was Aaron throwing down his staff as directed by Moses; his staff, by the miracle of God, became a serpent. The Egyptian sorcerers, not to be outdone, did the same but were destroyed by the serpent of Aaron’s staff; eating the sorcerer’s serpents. Serpents were objects of worship among the Egyptians; demonstrating in the outset, that their gods could neither help the people or save themselves.
- The second miracle (first plague) was directed against the river Nile, another object which they regarded with religious reverence. This river they held sacred, as the Hindu’s do the Ganges; and even the fish in its waters they revered as objects of worship. They drank the water with reverence and delight, and supposed that the divine efficacy dwelt in its waves to heal diseases of the body. The water of this, their cherished object of worship, was turned to blood.
- The third miracle (second plague) caused the waters of the Nile to produced legions of frogs, infesting the whole land, becoming a nuisance and a torment to the people. Thus their idol (the river Nile), by the power of the true God, turned into a source of pollution to its worshipers.
- By the fourth miracle (third plague), each plague increasing in power and severity upon the land of Egypt; lice came upon both man and beast. It should be noted that no one, while contaminated with lice, could approach the altars of sacrifices. The priests, to guard against the slightest risk of contamination, wore only linen garments, and shaved their heads and bodies every day. The severity of this miracle (plague) as a judgment upon Egyptian idolatry prevented, while it lasted, any act of worship from being performed. So powerfully was this felt that even the magicians exclaimed; “this is the finger of God.”
- The fifth miracle (fourth plaque) was designed to destroy the trust of the people in Beelzebub, the fly-god, who was revered as their protector from swarms of ravenous flies, which infested the land during the dog-days of summer. Prior to this the flies were removed by Beelzebub after appeasing him with sacrifices. However, with this forth plague, the flies were not removed as they had before. This forced the people to look for other gods for the removal of the flies, which was only removed by the power of the Most High God.
- The sixth miracle (fifth plague) destroyed the cattle, except those of the Israelites; aimed at the destruction of the entire system of brute worship. This system; degrading, shameful and cruel; became a monster, of many heads, in Egypt. They had their sacred bull, and ram, and heifer, and goats, and many others; all were destroyed by the agency of the God of Moses. Thus, by one act of power, Jehovah manifested his own supremacy, and destroyed the very existence of their brute idols.
- The seventh miracle (sixth plague) fell on the Egyptian practice of human sacrifice; occasionally offered when they desired to appease Typhon, the equivalent of an evil god. These victims were burned alive, their ashes then gathered together by the officiating priests, and thrown up into the air; this to avert evil from every place that an atom of ash wafted to. By the direction of Jehovah, Moses took a handful of human ash from the furnace (which likely during this time, was used frequently by the Egyptians, to turn aside the plagues with which they were smitten.) Moses cast the ash into the air, as they were accustomed to do; instead of averting evil, boils and blains fell upon all the people of the land. Neither king, nor priest, nor any of the people escaped. Thus the bloody rites of Typhon became a curse to the idolaters; the supremacy of Jehovah was affirmed, and the deliverance of the Israelites insisted upon.
- We will skip for a moment the eighth and tenth miracles (seventh and ninth plagues) and speak for the moment about the ninth miracle (the eighth plague.) This was directed against the worship of Serapis, thought to lend protection to the Egyptians from the destructive clouds of Locusts that would come upon the land of Egypt. But now the locusts came in clouds as an overshadowing curse; they blighted the fruits of the field, de-leafed the forest, and striped the meadows of grass, to feed what animals remained. At the command of Moses these terrible insects came; leaving also at only his bidding. This showed the impotence of Serapis; teaching the folly of trusting in any other protection than the God of Israel.
- The eighth and tenth miracles (seventh and nine plagues) were directed against the worship of Isis and Osiris; to whom, along with the river Nile, were awarded the first place, in the long catalogue of their idolatry. Let us note that against the worship of the Nile, two plagues (miracles) were directed, and likewise two against Isis and Osiris because they were supposed to be the supreme gods. Many placed the Nile first, as they said it had power to water Egypt independently of the actions of the elements. These idols were originally the representatives of the sun and moon; they were believed to control the light and the elements; and their worship prevailed, in some form, among all the early nations. The miracles directed against the worship of Isis and Osiris; must have made a deep impression on the minds of both the Israelites and the Egyptians. In a country where rain seldom falls, where the atmosphere is always calm, and the light of the heavenly bodies always continued; what was the horror pervading all minds during this elemental war described in the Hebrew record? During the long period of three days and three nights, while the gloom of thick darkness settled, like the outspread pall of death, over the whole land; God summoned nature to proclaim him the true God; the God of Israel asserted his supremacy, and exerted his power to degrade the idols, destroy idolatry, and liberate the descendants of Abraham from the land of bondage.
- The eleventh miracle (tenth plague): The Almighty, after having fully revealing himself as the true God by miraculous agency, pursued those measures in the exercise of his power; these were directly adapted to destroy the various forms of idolatry that existed in Egypt. The eleventh and final miracle (the tenth plague), was a judgment; ordered to make very clear in the minds of all mankind; the God of Israel is The Most High God, who is in control of the world, and has the right to execute judgment in all the earth.
Deliverance was at Midnight; it was then that all firstborn of Egypt were slain. There was not a house in all of Egypt in which there was not one dead. It was then that all Egypt was aroused, and the king sent Moses an urgent command to leave the land in haste. Finally, Pharaoh feared that if the Israelite people stayed any longer; not one Egyptian would remain alive (Exodus 12:29-33).
5. God was preparing a way for his people to worship; God instructed Moses to have the people do what, before they left Egypt? Exodus 12:2, 3.
Ask their Egyptian neighbors for Articles of Gold and Silver
Verse 3 states that the Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. The result was that the Egyptians gave to the Israelites gold, silver and jewels of gold; whatever they asked the people gave to them.
6. In Genesis 15:13, and 14 what was Abraham told about his descendants?
be strangers in a foreign land, afflicted but at the end they would come out with great possessions
It is interesting that this new revelation of the Lord differs from previous ones, both in form and in substance, it constitutes another distinct turning point in Abraham’s life. The remarkable phrase “The word of the Lord” (Yahweh Jehovah) used in Genesis 15:1, is used here for the first time. This phrase, inseparably connected with the work of prophets, is most fitting for this divine revelation to Abraham. In Genesis 20:7 God himself refers to Abraham as a prophet of God.
This vision or revelation from God made it clear that Abraham and his descendants were not to take immediate possession of Canaan. I am sure Abraham wondered many times, how much longer he would have to remain a stranger in the Land of Promise; now he is told that it would be another 400 years.
For further study of this prophecy see Galatians 4:29; Genesis 21:9; Genesis 27:41-43; Genesis 31:2, 21, 29; Genesis 37:38; Genesis 39:20 and Exodus 1:8, 12.
Four hundred years. The questions to be answered are: (1) Is this the time of affliction or the time of sojourning, or both? (2) How are these 400 years related to the 430 of Exodus 12:40, 41 and Galatians 3:16, 17? The first question hinges upon a solution to the second.
The statement in Exodus 12:40, “the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years,” seems to imply that the Hebrews actually spent 430 years there; from Jacob’s entry to the Exodus. It is evident that this cannot be the meaning based on Galatians 3:16, 17, where it is stated that the law was broadcast at Sinai 430 years after the covenant between God and Abram. If Paul refers to the first promise made to Abram in Haran (Genesis 12:1–3), the 430 years began when Abram was 75 years old (Genesis 12:4). The 400 years of affliction would then begin 30 years later, when Abram was 105 and his son Isaac 5 years old (Genesis 21:5). This would be about the time Ishmael, who “was born after the flesh persecuted him [Isaac] that was born after the Spirit” (Galatians 4:29; Genesis 21:9–11).
The exact time from the call of Abram to Jacob’s entry into Egypt was 215 years (see Genesis 21:5; 25:26; 47:9), which would leave 215 years (of the 430) as the actual time the Hebrews spent there. For this reason, the 430 years of Exodus 12:40 must include the sojourn in Canaan as well as that in Egypt, from Abram’s call to the Exodus. The LXX renders Exodus 12:40 thus: “And the sojourning of the children of Israel, while they sojourned in the land of Egypt and the land of Canaan, was four hundred and thirty years.” The land of Canaan was so dependent upon Egypt during the patriarchal period that Egyptian kings actually considered it theirs and referred to it as such. During the Eighteenth Dynasty, whose kings controlled both Palestine and Syria, Moses could appropriately include Canaan in the term Egypt as used in Ex. 12:40.
That nation. Without revealing the name of the nation referred to, the prophecy points to the time of the plagues that came upon Egypt (see Exodus 6:6).
Come out with great substance. This promise was remarkably fulfilled in the miraculous deliverance of the Hebrews from bondage, and in the immense wealth they carried with them (Exodus 12:36).
By the time they were commanded to leave, every arrangement had been made for their departure. The people had been divided into companies under appointed leaders. Every man and woman had visited their Egyptian master and claimed a payment for their unpaid labor. The Lord gave them such favor in the sight of the Egyptians that it was written that they ruined the Egyptians. Thus was fulfilled the prophecy given to Abraham that they would be thrust out of Egypt with great substance (Genesis 15:13, 14).
The term Selfsame Day should be clearly understood; the expression applies not only to the 430 years of sojourning (Exodus 12:40) but also to the 400 years of bondage (Genesis 15:13). Both periods ended on the selfsame day. On that very day God laid plain His power to fulfill His promise. He brought them forth from Egypt by Strength of hand (Exodus 13:14). God is wonderful at numbers (Daniel 8:13 margin). He foreknows every event and the exact time when it will occur; He makes no mistakes in His plans.
7. Exodus 12:39 describes the children of Israel doing what?
stopping to prepare unleavened cakes of the dough they had brought with
Three days after their departure brought the children of Israel to a place by the red sea. With the sea before them, and steep Rocky Mountains on two sides of them, they were trapped. Pharaoh, alerted by his guards stationed by the sea, came in pursuit of the Israelite people.
8. What was God’s command to the children of Israel when faced with these conditions? Exodus 14:15
to go forward
To make this possible, another mighty miracle was done by God. The guiding cloud, passed between the two armies, becoming a pillar of darkness to Pharaoh’s army. But light to Israel. “All night God held the waters of the sea in check as Israel passed over on dry ground. In the morning watch, (the watch just before dawn) the entire army of Pharaoh attempted to follow, and was drowned by the Red Sea (see Exodus 14:10-31).
During the plagues as the manifestation of God’s power had kindled faith in the hearts of the Israelites, and had struck terror to their oppressors, the Egyptians; the Israelites had gradually assembled themselves in the land of Goshen. It was there they had begun to offer sacrifices and keep the Sabbath again. The people truly became sorry for their lack of faith and offered sacrifices for the forgiveness of sin. When the Red sea was parted it was a type (or symbol) of baptism for the entire Israelite nation.
In commemoration of this event Moses, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote one of the most remarkable songs on record; a song that still bears his name. He directed that “The Song of Moses” be commit to memory, teaching it also to their children and their children’s children. It was not to be forgotten, it was to testify against them as a witness, when they should depart from God (Deuteronomy 31:19-22). While it expressed thanksgiving to God for His deliverance, it also pointed forward; not only to the earthly sanctuary but also to the heavenly sanctuary. Exodus 15:17, 18.
The Song of Moses
I will sing unto the Lord, for He
Hath triumphed gloriously,
Pharaoh’s chariots and his host . . . his chosen
Captains also are drowned in the Red Sea.
The Lord . . . is become my salvation:
He is my God and I will prepare him a habitation
(The Earthly Sanctuary) . . .
Thou shalt bring them in and plant them in the
Mountain of thine inheritance,
In the place, O Lord, which Thou hast
made for Thee to dwell in,
In the Sanctuary, O Lord
Which thy hands have established.
(the heavenly sanctuary) (Exodus 15:1, 2, 4, 17)
It was truly a day of great rejoicing. In the book of revelation is the Antitype, which is the song of Moses and the Lamb (Revelation 15:2, 3). It will be sung around the eternal throne when all the enemies of God’s people are destroyed, and His eternal sanctuary is established. What a day of rejoicing that will also be; far exceeding the joy of that morning on the other side of the Red Sea.
9. Upon reaching mount Sinai, what were the people to do? Exodus 19:10, 14
consecrate themselves and wash their clothes
Israel reached Mount Sinai, it was here they camped before the mount, where they were to remain about one year. On Sivan 3 and 4 (the third month of the Jewish Calendar) they were to spend their time washing their clothes and sanctifying themselves. This was the necessary physical and spiritual preparation to meet with God, who on the third day, Sivan 5, after their arrival, was to appear in the thick cloud on Mount Sinai and speak His law to the hearing. Exodus 19:9; Deuteronomy 4:10-13The first Pentecost: The word Pentecost means fiftieth and is so named because this ordinance was to be celebrated on the fiftieth day from “the morrow after.” The ceremonial Sabbath, was after the day that Passover was eaten. It also goes by the name “feast of weeks,” because it was celebrated when “seven Sabbaths” had been completed or “seven full weeks” or as some documents describe it as “a week of Sabbaths”.
10. Exodus 34:22, Deuteronomy 16:9, 10, 16 and 17 describe when and how the feast of weeks should be celebrated. When should it be celebrated, and what other feasts should be celebrated; what should be brought to the feast of weeks?
- The Passover, or the feast of unleavened bread
- Feast of Weeks (Pentecost)
- The feast of Tabernacles
- Shall not come empty handed (give an offering as they had been blessed)
The first Pentecost fell on Sivan 5, the third day, after Israel’s arrival at Sinai.
11. On the third day, which was the 5th day of the month of Sivan, what happened? Exodus 19:16
thunders and lightings and a thick cloud on the mountain and the sound of the trumpet was very loud
Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God. Although these feasts, we have briefly mentioned, were important for the lives of the Israelite people; it is important to stop, remember which day is God’s special day.
12. In Genesis 2:1-3 and Exodus 20:8-11 we learn which day is God’s special day; what day is it?
The Seventh day (The Sabbath Day)
Genesis 2:2, 3 says that God rested, blessed, and sanctified the seventh day. He rested from all his creation work, and set the day aside from all others; making it a Holy day. In verse 3 the word, (baw rak) means to bless or set aside, and the word (Kaw dash) which we translate (sanctified) means to make holy. God set, upon the seventh day of the creation week, this one day apart from all other days and made it a Holy day; a special day in which we are to lay the burden of work aside and spend it with him and in his service.
13. Where did the people take their stand? Exodus 19:12
outside the bounds that had been set up by Moses
14. Psalms 68:17, Deuteronomy 33:2 and Psalm 18:9 describes this scene, how was it described?
- Chariots of God
- Thousands of thousands (angels)
- The Lord was among them
- God shown Forth
- Came with 10,000 saints (angels)
- Came with a fiery law
- With darkness under His feet
Mount Sinai was altogether in smoke because the Lord descended on it in fire; the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, the whole mount quaked greatly, a trumpet sounded long and grew louder and louder so that all the people trembled. This manifestation of divine power and glory indicated that God had something of great importance to say to his people.
Out of the cloud a voice, like a trumpet blast, was heard (Exodus 19:16). “Christ and the Father, standing side by side, proclaimed God’s divine law, the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17). Because of the fiery display about the cloud, Moses fittingly declared, “From His right hand went a fiery law” (Deuteronomy 33:2). So awe filled, so awe-inspiring was God’s voice that even Moses said, “I exceedingly fear and quake” (Hebrews 12:21). Since God’s voice had spoken the world into existence, He had never addressed the people in this manner. In fact, this is the only time, with audible voice, God ever addressed His assembled people on earth. It was an event well calculated, to inspire in man the seriousness and sacredness of the law of God; His eternal Law that governs the entire universe.
As the Passover was to be both commemorative and typical, not only pointed back to the deliverance from the bondage of Egypt; it also pointed forward to a greater deliverance, which Christ was to accomplish; freeing His people from the bondage of sin. So also Pentecost was both commemorative and typical. As a commemorative, Webster dictionary says “it was instituted to be a memorial of the gift of the law on the fiftieth day after Israel’s departure from Egypt.”
To this, many Bible commentaries agree, and most of the later Jewish commentaries. From that time Pentecost was to be an annual reminder of Israel’s covenant with God to obey His law (Exodus 19:8 and 24:7), and of their sacred obligation to teach it to all the nations. As typical, it pointed forward to the time when Christ’s representative, the Holy Spirit, was to set apart the Christian church; to carry to the whole world, to every nation under heaven, a knowledge of the law as fulfilled in Jesus Christ, its Author (Acts 2:5-12; Matthew 5:17).
At this first Sabbath morning service at Sinai, the congregation consisted of the entire body of God’s chosen people. God himself was the Speaker; His sermon, brief but emphatic, was His eternal law: The Ten Commandments – spoken in the hearing of the whole assembly (Exodus 19:9; and 20:22). This memorable occasion was certainly the most outstanding Sabbath Morning service ever held on this Earth.
The people were afraid and cried unto Moses that he be the one to speak to them; although God had more to say, He heard their cry. He listened to their request, in His compassion and tender mercy, did not scold them for their fear; he understood their distress as He always understand our troubles. God did not ignore their plea, instead of speaking to them directly, He called Moses to Him; giving Moses specific directions for building an altar.
15. God instructed Moses to tell the people of certain things that they should do. What was set before them? Exodus 20:22 and Exodus 21:1
The reality is that when reading the Bible, there should be no chapter division between chapter 20 and 21. It should be read in continuance because it was God speaking before the assembly and then to Moses to give the people further instruction. This change in chapters well illustrates the fact that the division of the Bible into chapters is man-made and not inspired.
Exodus 21, 22 and 23 are the Judgements that were dictated to Moses who wrote them in a book. These civil laws were called Judgments because they were to guide Israel to manifest justice, in manner, regarding their relationship to one another. Moses read these civil laws to the most influential of the people who promised (or made covenant) to obey. Thus ended this never-to-be-forgotten Sabbath Day (Exodus 24:3-7).
Early in the morning of Sivan 6 an altar was built under the hill, according to the directions God had given Moses. On it, sacrifices were offered, and the covenant duly ratified (Exodus 20:24-26; 24:4-8). The glory of God, which to Israel looked like blazing fire, still rested on the top of the mount, and for six days the cloud covered it (Exodus 24:16, 17). During this time, Moses, with seventy elders and a few others whom God called, went into the cloud; they spent their time in heart-searching, meditation, and prayer. To Moses this was a time of preparation for closer communion with God. While all the people saw the glory of God, these chosen ones were given a closer view. The God of Israel was above them; under his feet they saw “as it were a paved work of sapphire stone (a sky-blue stone, one of the most valuable and lustrous of the precious gems), and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness” (Exodus 24:1, 3, 10).
At the close of the sixth day, “On the Seventh day, Sivan 12 which was the Sabbath, Moses, at the divine call of God, went alone into the midst of the cloud where God was.” Since it is true that the seventh-day, Sivan 12, the day Moses went into the presence of God, was the Sabbath; is it not equally true that the previous seventh day, the day God spoke His law from Sinai, was the Sabbath? Moses remained in the mount forty days and forty nights (Exodus 24:18). During this time, he received the tables of stone and complete directions for making the sanctuary, the earthly dwelling place for God.
16. Hebrews 9:23 and Hebrews 9:9-11 tell us what about this Sanctuary?
- A figure for the time then present
- Representation of a greater and more perfect tabernacle
- That was made without hands (heavenly sanctuary)
- A miniature representation of the tabernacle (sanctuary) in heaven
During this time Moses was in the cloud, Exodus chapters 25 – 31; here given are the instructions, received by Moses, for the construction of the tabernacle. They are there for us to better learn, and eventually to understand, how it all pointed to Christ and showed Christ’s ministry here on earth and in heaven.
In the books of Exodus and Hebrews the word “Pattern” is used. Scholars believe that the word pattern indicates a model, or type of system, used to illustrate an object lesson or represent something that is also happening at another place or time.
We find this to be true; God presented before Moses a miniature model of the heavenly Sanctuary, and commanded him to make all things according to the pattern shown him, in the mount. This makes it even more clear, that when Moses was in the mount, God showed him a miniature model of the heavenly sanctuary, and then dictated instruction, which he wrote in a book as a guide, for the construction of the earthly sanctuary. In this sense, both the model and the book were the pattern.
17. Hebrews 8:5 tell us this about the sanctuary?
Copy or shadow of the heavenly
See that you make all things according to the pattern shown
Exodus 25:9, 40 also bring this to life and as we have already noted, the various parts of the building itself also symbolized His redemptive work. If this was not true, why did the Divine Architect give so much space in the Bible, giving such minute descriptions of each part, for this spiritual object lesson? Why did He require such exactness of detail, such skill, such wisdom and perfection in the execution of His plan? Why was He so particular to admonish Moses, and frequently to repeat the command, “look that thou make them after the pattern which was showed thee in the mount?” Eighteen times in Exodus 39 and 40 it is stated; the details of the sanctuary building were made “as the Lord Commanded Moses.”
Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary states it this way: “It is impossible to account for the circumstances of God’s descending to such minute details, except on the assumption that the tabernacle was to be a typical character.”
Interestingly, the structure, the furniture shown in the tabernacle, and the description of which, with its contents and rituals; occupies more room in the Bible, than any other single object or subject in the Old or New Testament. There must be a reason for it! Every detail of the tabernacle is described, seven times it is reference, made to the pattern shown in the mount; emphasizing that fact, in no respect, however minute, was ‘that pattern’ to be disregarded.
18. Proverbs 30:5 tells us what about the word of God? See also Psalms 12:6.
It is pure
19. Exodus 25:9, 40; Exodus 25:30; Exodus 27:8; Numbers 8:4; Acts 7:44; Hebrews 8:5 and I Chronicles 28:11, 12, 18, and 19 all tell us what about the Sanctuary?
That it was based upon the pattern Moses had seen
What does all this mean? It is not, that God would thus emphasize, the importance of its study? In the space occupied pertaining to the sanctuary and its service, many things are repeated. Surely God does not multiply words without a purpose. So, why then the repetition? Why did God repeat Pharaoh’s dream about the years of plenty and the years of famine? It was repeated twice because it is established by God; he wants to be sure we don’t miss what he is saying (Genesis 41:32). The dream Pharaoh received contained information vital to the physical and temporal life of the king and the nation of Egypt. The sanctuary contains truth that is vital to our spiritual and eternal life. In repeating, God would have these truths to be established. For this reason, the student must dig, and dig deep, to find the hidden treasures wrapped up in the sanctuary and its service.
20. Colossians 2:17 calls the earthly Sanctuary a?
A shadow of things to come, but the substance of Christ
The sanctuary has been fittingly called a shadow picture of Christ. Paul speaks of it as a shadow to come and the one coming is Christ.
But it is more than a shadow picture of Christ, it is also a shadow picture to teach us about God the Father and God the Holy Spirit; along with the ministering angels and their roles in the work of salvation. It also represents the experience of every true believer, as well as of the church, in all its generations; all compose the building fitly framed together unto a holy temple of the Lord for a habitation of God through the spirit. (Ephesians 2:21, 22); a dwelling place of God, a temple of the Holy spirit (I Corinthians 6:19).
21. As the interview between Moses and God ended, God left Moses with a warning. What warning did God give? Exodus 31:13, 14
Not to work on the Sabbath
God was concerned that in their enthusiasm to work on the Sanctuary, they would forget the sanctity of the Sabbath, and profane the Sabbath by working on the Sanctuary on his Holy Day. The same holds true for us today. It was a stern warning to the Israelites of old, and remains as a warning to all of us today. My Sabbaths ye shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations; that you may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. You shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you.
This was the climax of that long and very important interview between God and Moses.
Although Israel had seen the Glory of God that rested on the Mount Sinai, and had heard the voice as he spoke His law; God did not trust his precepts to the memory of a people who were prone to forget his requirements. Hence, he wrote them upon Tables of Stone.
22. What was the final act of God on Mount Sinai? Exodus 31:18
Gave to Moses the two tablets of the Testimony
This testimony was the Ten Commandments, which God wrote with his own finger. The only stone mentioned, in the description of His presence on Mount Sinai, is the precious sapphire stone, a blue sapphire stone. The stone was like the body of heaven in his clearness. How fitting that on the stone which formed the paved work, the foundation under the feet of God, when He spoke His law; should be written on this stone.
23. Numbers 15:37-40 gives us further an object lesson on how God instructs the people to remember his law. What was the object?
tassels with blue thread in the corner of their garments
The tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved upon the tables. Graven, that is, cut or carved in sunken pattern, impressed deeply or indelibly similar to cloisonné (kloizn a) work, for which Chinese artists have been famous. What an excellent illustration for this indelible character of God’s law. It cannot be erased; it cannot be changed; it is the writing of God.
Moses turned, and came down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand (Exodus 32:15). When, because of the apostasy of Israel, these tables were broken; Moses, at the command of God, cut two tables like the former one. Then early in the morning he went up into Mount Sinai and took in his hand the two tablets of stone. Upon them God consented to write again the words that were on the former tables. Is not this a marvelous illustration of God’s patience and mercy toward those who break His law.