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1 Then wrought Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whom Yahweh put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that Yahweh had commanded.
2 And Moses called Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whose heart Yahweh had put wisdom, even every one whose heart stirred him up to come unto the work to do it:
3 And they received of Moses all the offering, which the children of Israel had brought for the work of the service of the sanctuary, to make it withal. And they brought yet unto him free offerings every morning.
The form of knowledge and of the truth in the law, (Rom 2:20). The tabernacle study and Mosaic law are full of concealed meanings. It our privilege and joy to seek out the anti-types fulfilled in the Lord Yahoshua and his bride the Elohim of the Age to Come.
They show the terrible majesty and holiness of God, and the impossibility of man saving himself except by strict and reverential and loving conformity to His appointments. These things are revealed in the Gospel; but they become more striking when contemplated over again in the pictures and symbols of the Mosaic example and shadow of heavenly things.
Law of Moses Ch 11
4 And all the wise men, that wrought all the work of the sanctuary, came every man from his work which they made;
Here in the mountain fastnesses, in the wilderness of Sinai, the work commences of building the tabernacle, after the precise pattern has been given to Moses. The work commences with great enthusiasm and harmony, all at One in the work, no divisions, no corrupt work or doctrine to mar the oneness of mind and purpose, as we see in Neh v.1-4.
Craftsmen unite in the work of Yahweh. The picture painted here is of a harmonious company or congregation with a zeal and dedication to serve Yahweh in spirit and in Truth, no speculative opinions, no corrupt spoilers of the work. This does not mean that the individual families all making a contribution did not have problems: from day to day, mundane earthy matters to attend to, but these did not get in the way of the building of the Holy sanctuary of Yahweh, under the expert guidance of Bezaleel and Aholiab.
They all united to a man around the work of the Truth and got on with it, every man according to his ability and means. Like Neh.3, and 4, this chapter stands as a powerful exhort for the oneness and harmony of mind that should exist between brothers and sisters with the common goal of the Kingdom, the One Hope, One Faith, One Body, One Lord (Eph.4). But of course once the journey commenced through the wilderness, the corruption and apostasy set in (Heb.3, 1 Cor. I 0, 2 Thess.2).
Very few were prepared to manifest faith under trial, and of that generation only two entered the land (Joshua and Caleb). The attributes needed for the work (v.1): wise hearted, wisdom, understanding and knowledge of application (know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary).
Finally they needed to be "stirred up" in their hearts and to make a voluntary free will offering to Yahweh, and to implement (do) the work. *
The people bring too much
5 And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which Yahweh commanded to make.
The rearing of the sanctuary will not be accomplished till the age to come, but the materials are meanwhile being brought in: "gold, silver, and precious stones: wood, hay, and stubble". They will all be inspected at the judgment seat, and assorted. When matters have reached this pass--when Christ is actually in the earth, and it is patent to all men that the work of God by him is a reality and not a delusion, there will be sure to be a rush of participants.
"Lord, Lord, open unto us." But by that time, the number has been made up that is needful for the organization of the Kingdom of God: and we may then see the antitype of what happened in Israel's camp after the issue of the invitation to bring in materials.
Law of Moses Ch 11
7 For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much.
Overexuberance in the work. Too much materials were contributed and this had to be restrained. What a rare thing is this. David's exuberance comes to mind (Pslm 5, Pslm.45.1, and Christ himself (Jhn 2.17) "my cup overfloweth," "the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up" (Pslm.69.9). *
'...how do we compare with Israel in this matter? Could it ever be said of us that we bring too much - too much liberality, too much labour in the work, too much devotion to divine things, too much manifestation of love? Is there any possible danger that what we have done for God may be considered an over abundance; or could it possibly be the other way around - too little?
Bro Growcott - God Enthroned in the Ecclesia and in Our Lives *
8 And every wise hearted man among them that wrought the work of the tabernacle made ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubim of cunning work made he them.
The priests entering the holy place would be impressed by the inner magnificence of the tabernacle - as those who stand in the truth are zealously affected by the spirit's teaching in the symbols of Deity manifestation, before, in the flesh, and finally in spirit.
Together with the curtains whose beauty was seen from inside the Holy and Most Holy Place, there were four covering the ten curtains, the curtains of goat's hair (11), and coverings of rams' skins and (outermost) badgers' skins (black). Four is the number of Israel, which they appertain to becoming more beautiful from outside to inward (the king's daughter all glorious within, (Pslm.45.13), God desires the inward beauty of our characters (Hb. 1.3).
Outwardly we are black, sins flesh, but inwardly comely (Song. 1,.5). The aspect of the ram and the goat represent aspects of the divine character (procreative and independence of mind). At the heart is seen the manifestation of the glorious cherubim which were woven into the tapestries of the 10 ten curtains representing complete God manifestation, the white linen, blue purple and scarlet reinforcing this purpose of Yahweh to manifest himself in a faithful Israelitish company developed out of Adam's race. *
9 The length of one curtain was 28 cubits, and the breadth of one curtain 4 cubits: the curtains were all of one size.
One faith, One Hope, One Baptism
The ten linen curtains, two groups of five-two groups knit together by fifty golden fasteners. Here again is the double five symbol, and the fifty fasteners of gold turn our mind immediately to Pentecost - the connecting link between Jew and Gentile.
These ten curtains were of the same material as the veil-blue, scarlet, purple and fine twined linen, worked with cunning work of Cherubim. These ten curtains are the Christ-Body, as the veil is the Christ-Head. They alone are the true tabernacle. The rest is simply temporary scaffolding and covering. *
12 Fifty loops made he in one curtain, and fifty loops made he in the edge of the curtain which was in the coupling of the second: the loops held one curtain to another.
These were 50 loops fastened with gold taches in the case of the ten curtains, binding them together as one harmonious whole (v .12,13), speaking of true fellowship (Eph.4.1-5, Eph.2.19-22). *
13 And he made fifty taches of gold, and coupled the curtains one unto another with the taches: so it became one tabernacle.
14 And he made curtains of goats' hair for the tent over the tabernacle: eleven curtains he made them.
The goat's hair curtains (11 of them) were likewise joined by 50 loops, these with brass taches, representing the flesh and blood sin nature we all bare or our common humanity which is a basis of union, but not everlasting union. This can only be brought about by higher principles of a tried and precious faith of the gold seen in the taches of the inner 10 curtains.
We have to progress from the flesh to the spirit, for to be carnally minded is death. Beware that our decisions of unity are not based on the reasoning of the flesh and mere social considerations of friendship and amity. Rather than being prepared to suffer in the wilderness for Christ (Rev.11, Hb.11).
Fifty is the Jubilee number when in the great Jubilee all will be fulfilled. *
15 The length of one curtain was 30 cubits, and 4 cubits was the breadth of one curtain: the eleven curtains were of one size.
The second layer was of goats' hair-eleven curtains and slightly larger each way than the linen covering. These are in two uneven groups, five and six. They are united, not by golden fasteners but by brass fasteners-fleshly fasteners. This second layer of goats' hair is the earth that helps the woman - the natural goat class. They obscure the true linen curtains. This is all the world can see of the Tabernacle. *
Bro Growcott elicits a different meaning from the goat's hair representation to Bro Lister (v14). Though the intended meaning of the shadow may be uncertain, the spiritual lessons of both views presented are equally valid.
16 And he coupled 5 curtains by themselves, and 6 curtains by themselves.
17 And he made 50 loops upon the uttermost edge of the curtain in the coupling, and 50 loops made he upon the edge of the curtain which coupleth the second.
18 And he made 50 taches of brass to couple the tent together, that it might be one.
The five - the Word or law of God- unequally yoked together with the six by fleshly brazen fasteners - the number of man and of the flesh. Here we can see the unequal yoking of some who claim to be God's people with the world. This covering is useful in its place as a temporary shield, but it is not the true eternal Tabernacle.
It is very easy to belong to this half and half class. Many of us will find in the end that that is where we have been-half in and half out, half in the Tabernacle (half in the Truth) and half in the world - the five yoked with the six, an unequal yoking. When the Son of Man comes, his sad but necessary task will be to separate the sheep from the goats. *
19 And he made a covering for the tent of rams' skins dyed red, and a covering of badgers' skins above that.
The third layer was ram skins dyed red. Here is blood, aggression, the power of the sword. Here, clearly are the powers of the world whose sole real purpose in existence, though they know it not, is for the protection of the Tabernacle.
And finally, the fourth outer layer of badger or seal skins, just a final natural outer covering laid over all. This final covering is nature or creation itself. The lesson is that all things are for the sake of God's elect - all creation is for their good. Great nations come and go just to forward slightly God's purpose with His people. Are we worthy to be the center of the purpose of creation? The fine linen will finally be found to be so worthy, and there is no reason why we should not be among them, if we make this the sole and consuming desire of our lives. *
Again Bro Growcott draws different meanings from the representative curtains to Bro Lister's conclusions.
20 And he made boards for the tabernacle of shittim wood, standing up.
Why standing up? Why were not the boards lying down horizontally as in any ordinary construction? Could we possibly miss the meaning and the lesson? Are we standing up? Standing up for the Truth? Standing up for the work of the Lord? Standing up to the full stature of the perfect man in Christ Jesus? Paul says, "Put on the whole armour of God . . . that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth" (Eph. 6:13, 14).
"The evil day" that can prevent us from being found standing at the end can come in many deceptive ways - some very pleasant to the flesh, not perceivable to the natural eye as evil at all, only evil in their final consequence. We must keep standing, even when weary and it is much more pleasant to lie down with the world.
The boards were not only standing, but they were standing close together - shoulder to shoulder, no space between them. They were knit together on each side of the Tabernacle by five bars, and each board reached down two tenons (the original word is hands) -two hands into silver foundation sockets of redemption in Christ. Each board was covered and preserved by the pure gold of present faith and future immortality. The sockets of silver supported the boards, and they separated them from the earth.
The boards had originally been trees, rooted naturally in the earth, but they had been selected and cut down - brought low, stripped of all their branches and natural glory-shaped, trimmed, smoothed, and dressed to fit God's pattern, and then overlaid with purest gold. Now they had no connection with the desert upon which they stood, but a very close and intimate connection with one another and with the pure silver sockets of redemption, and with the glorious curtains of righteousness and beauty. They were fitly framed together and builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. They were all perfectly equal in height, for one is their master and they are all brethren.*
*Bro Growcott - God Enthroned in the ecclesia
24 And forty sockets of silver he made under the twenty boards; two sockets under one board for his two tenons, and two sockets under another board for his two tenons.
We are impressed with the compactness of the Tabernacle. It was all separate pieces easily taken apart for removal, and yet full provision was made for knitting and bonding it together firmly that it should be a unity, one Tabernacle. Bonding, linking, stabilizing, joining together is a prominent feature throughout all its construction. We can readily see in natural things that the more firmly anything is bound together the stronger it is, the more it can withstand, the more it can accomplish; but do we perceive the importance, the absolute necessity of this in spiritual things? *
30 And there were eight boards; and their sockets were sixteen sockets of silver, under every board two sockets.
The Boards and Sockets. There were 48 boards [v20-30] of acacia (shittim) wood vertically arranged, all together, which gave rigidity to the whole structure. They were fixed together by forty mortice and tenon joints, 2 sockets along one side of the plank corresponding with two tenons on the opposing plank giving a firm rigid wall to the sacred sanctuary. This work would have been executed by experienced carpenters, using sharp chisels and mallets, having first produced the planks from the accacia or shittim tree, eliminating all thorny materials that scratch and tear.
These were thorny trees that grew in the desert - but even so they could have been brought out of Egypt. The mortice and tenon joints were lined with silver (v.24). The symbology here is flesh (shittim wood) united by the principles of atonement (self sacrifice). Bars. On each side there were five bars, slotted through gold rings, the middle bar passing through the entire length of the structure (faith, hope and agape love penetrating our hearts).
Inside, no wood was seen, since the boards were entirely covered with gold, which would have shone brilliantly in the Holy Place from the illumination of the 7 branched lampstand, and from the Shekinah glory in the Most Holy (v.33.,34). 12x4 = 48 = Israel of God who uphold the Truth individually and ecclesially. Great is the mystery of godliness, the pillar and ground of the Truth, shining forth the light of Yahweh's Word. *
33 And he made the middle bar to shoot through the boards from the one end to the other.
The boards were knit together by five bars on each side-four bars through the golden rings on each board, and a fifth bar right through the center of the boards.
Here is a strange combination of the four - five symbol; four visible bars and one hidden one, making five. What is it that holds the ecclesia together, that makes it a unit, that changes it from a number of boards standing precariously alone, to one firm Tabernacle - the House of God?
Though many things can unite temporarily and carnally, there is only one thing that can unite spiritually and eternally, and that is the Truth, the law, the Word of God. Here are four manifested bars clasped to each board by a golden ring of faith - the universal Cherubim gospel of Christ, and one hidden bar shot through the wall from end to end and hidden in the heart of every board - the foundation of all, the law of God in the heart, making five in all.
Bars are to bind together, to keep out that which does not belong, to give protection and security, rigidity, stability. They are a girding and a strengthening-loins girded with the Truth Only the Truth can accomplish all this. *
The Beautiful Veil and four pillars.
35 And he made a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen: with cherubim made he it of cunning work.
The cherubic veil was one piece of tapestry, made of interwoven blue, purple and scarlet and fine twined linen, representing the principles of God manifestation interwoven into the warp and woof of our daily lives, and pointing forward to Christ who rent the veil of his flesh, opening the way into the Most Holy by his followers (Mtt.27 .51, Hb.10.19,20).
This word needlework or embroidery occurs nine times in the Scriptures, eight times in connection with the Tabernacle, and once in that remarkable prophetic passage in Psalm 139 concerning Christ. "I will praise thee for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works . . my substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought" (that is the word embroidered-skillfully and beautifully worked) "in the lowest parts of the earth" (Psa. 139:14,15). This is the same word as the embroidery of the Cherubim upon the veil and the curtains.
When Christ died, when the sacrifice was complete, this veil was miraculously rent asunder-the way into the Holiest was opened - Mosaic shadows were at an end. He said, "It is finished" (John 19:30) - completed, perfected. At that moment all the marvelous imagery of the Mosaic Tabernacle reached its climax and fulfillment. The world's hopeless darkness had been turned into joyful light; sin had been conquered; death had been destroyed; truth and holiness were victorious, and the grave had lost its power.
Paul said, in summing up his wonderful exposition of the Mosaic patterns to the Hebrew brethren, "Having therefore, brethren, boldness (or confidence) to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled (with the sacrificial blood) from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water (in the laver). Let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works" (Heb. 10:19-22, 24).
We note how he combines the sublime with the practical - highest vision of the future with the most pressing command for the present - love and good works; a beautiful all sufficient combination - love and good works.
How do we provoke any one to love and to good works? To provoke is to stir up to activity, either for good or otherwise. We provoke to love and to good works by manifesting love and good works. Love begets love and nothing else will. Love can not be commanded; it must be taught, manifested, exemplified.
There is no point in merely preaching these things; we must manifest them, praying that God will provide vessels for picking up the radiations and carrying them on. Paul continues: "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together." This is vital, and it does not just mean Sunday morning; it must be an eager,constant, basic way of life. "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together" (Heb. 10:25).
If we do not assemble when there is opportunity to assemble - Sunday morning, Sunday evening, mid-week, (let us speak frankly) we are the most blind and foolish of all blind fools. What do we think the way of life is? A once-a-week ritual, like Christendom? Indeed many in the assemblies of Christendom could put us to shame. If our heart is not with the ecclesial activities always and our bodies whenever possible, we are living a lie and deceiving ourselves. "Not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together ... but exhorting one another, and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."
Earlier in the Epistle (Heb. 3:13) he says, "Exhort one another daily." Now he says, "...as the day approaching," and certainly we are at that era. "So much the more," we should bear this in mind, in case we feel that a couple of evenings a week is too much to interfere with our personal pleasure or worldly activities.
To the real children of God - those few whom He will acknowledge in the end - the Truth is their whole life-daily, hourly, constantly. They always abound in the work of the Lord. Their heart is always in the Truth and the brotherhood. They grieve when they have to miss any ecclesial activity, knowing that the body needs all its members to be healthy and to function.
Let us prayerfully strive to be among the few chosen from the many that are called. *
36 And he made thereunto four pillars of shittim wood, and overlaid them with gold: their hooks were of gold; and he cast for them four sockets of silver.
The four golden pillars testifying to this are the four gospel records. The high Priest entered beyond the Veil once a year on the day of Atonement but Christ once by the offering of himself entered into the Most Holy of all obtaining eternal redemption for himself and us, if we are faithful (Hb.9.7-12).
37 And he made an hanging for the tabernacle door of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, of needlework;
The beautiful Door. This was the only way into the Holy Place and Most holy beyond, which is Christ, the door (Jhn. 10.1 ,2, Gen.3.24, Rev.7.l3-17)
* Bro Richard Lister
The Apocalyptic Messenger, Jan 2017