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EXODUS 25-31


  1. I have chosen not to do a detailed verse-by-verse exegesis of these chapters. I am theologically wary of trying to make the tabernacle applicable to the Christian life.

  2. This is interesting in understanding Israel's worship practices and procedures. The tabernacle was a physical way to express the transcendence and immanence of God (see Outline V).

  3. Most of the details of the tabernacle are not meant to convey theological truth. Jesus is the new tabernacle/temple! He, not Israel or her sacrificial system, is the focus of NT revelation. God used them to reveal Himself but now Jesus is the full revelation.

  4. I have done a Special Topic on each of the following vocabulary and concept words in alphabetical order. Check a Bible Dictionary.
    13. SPECIAL TOPIC: LAVER (of Bronze)
    15. SPECIAL TOPIC: NASB - "PORPOISE SKINS" (cf. Exod. 25:5)

  5. I have included a chart of the marching order of the Israeli camp and the layout of the tabernacle. I received this in a seminary class at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, but I do not remember which class or who drew it.

EXODUS 25-31


  1. Building materials needed, Exod. 25:1-9

    1. Metals
      1. Gold (BDB 262)
      2. Silver (BDB 494)
      3. Bronze (BDB 638)

    2. Cloth materials
      1. Blue (BDB 1067)
      2. Purple (BDB 71)
      3. Scarlet (BDB 1040)
      4. Fine linen (BDB 1058 II)

    3. Building materials
      1. Goat hair (BDB 777)
      2. Ram's skin, dyed red (BDB 736 CONSTRUCT BDB 17)
      3. Porpoise skins (NASB)
      4. Acacia wood (BDB 781 CONSTRUCT BDB 1008)

    4. Assorted materials
      1. Oil (BDB 1032)
      2. Spices (BDB 141)
      3. Incense (BDB 882 CONSTRUCT 702)
      4. Precious stones (BDB 571)

  2. Design of the Ark, Exod. 25:10-22 (see SPECIAL TOPIC: ARK OF THE COVENANT)

    1. Acacia wood

    2. 1½ cubits by 1½ cubits by 1½ cubits (see SPECIAL TOPIC: CUBIT)

    3. Covered with gold inside and out

    4. Molding for outside

    5. Four gold rings so as to carry it with golden poles of acacia wood permanently attached to the four gold legs

    6. Special lid for the Ark called "Mercy Seat" (see SPECIAL TOPIC: MERCY SEAT)
      1. two gold cherubim facing each other with wings meeting in the center (see SPECIAL TOPIC: CHERUBIM)
      2. each cherubim was made of one piece, overlaid with gold

    7. Ark is the place where God meets man

  3. Design of Table of the Bread of the Presence, Exod. 25:23-20

    1. Acacia wood

    2. 2 cubits by 1 cubit by ½ cubit

    3. Overlaid with gold

    4. Wide golden rim

    5. Four gold rings so as to carry it with golden poles of acacia wood attached to the four gold legs

    6. Utensils of gold
      1. dishes or platters
      2. pans
      3. jars
      4. bowls

    7. Bread of the Presence placed on the table (12 loaves)

  4. Design of the Lampstand, Exod. 25:31-30; 27:20-21

    1. Of gold

    2. One main shaft with three branches on each side

    3. The end of each of the seven shafts had three cups like an almond blossom and the central shaft had four cups

    4. Utensils of gold

    5. Clean oil from olives

  5. Details of the Curtains, Exod. 26:1-14

    1. Of twisted linen
      1. ten in number
      2. blue, purple, and scarlet
      3. had picture of cherub on them
      4. length of each was 28 cubits and width was 4 cubits
      5. they were joined with gold clasps in two sets of five curtains each
      6. they were attached by 100 blue loops

    2. Of goats' hair
      1. for covering of the inner tent
      2. eleven in number
      3. length of 30 cubits and width of 4 cubits
      4. the eleven curtains in two sets of five and the extra to lap over the front of the tent (½ of another for the back)
      5. held in place by 100 blue loops made of bronze

    3. Of ram's skins dyed red and porpoise skins
      1. this is another covering
      2. possibly the material for the roof
      3. possibly leather bags with which to carry the tent

  6. Details of Inner Structure, Exod. 26:15-20

    1. The boards
      1. of acacia wood overlaid with gold
      2. length was 10 cubits and width was 1½ cubits
      3. two tenons (bottom fasteners)
      4. 20 boards on each of two long sides and 6 on back with double on the corners
      5. fitted into silver sockets

    2. The bars to hold the boards in place
      1. of acacia wood overlaid with gold
      2. five on each side
      3. attached by using gold rings at the middle of the boards

  7. Details of the Inner Veil, Exod. 26:31-35

    1. Of twisted linen of blue, purple, and scarlet

    2. Had picture of a cherub (see SPECIAL TOPIC: CHERUBIM)

    3. Hung on four pillars of acacia wood overlaid with gold and golden hooks placed in silver sockets

    4. Form the partition of the inner tent into Holy of Holies and Holy Place

    5. Ark behind veil; all other furniture in front
      1. Table of the Bread of the Presence towards the north
      2. Lampstand toward the south

  8. Details of the Outer Veil, Exod. 26:36-37

    1. Made of blue, purple, and scarlet

    2. Hung on five pillars of acacia wood overlaid with gold and golden hooks placed into sockets of bronze

  9. Details of the Altar of Sacrifice, Exod. 27:1-8 (see SPECIAL TOPIC: SACRIFICIAL SYSTEMS OF THE ANE)

    1. Of acacia wood

    2. Length of 5 cubits by 5 cubits by 3 cubits

    3. Raised corners called horns

    4. Overlaid with gold

    5. Utensils of bronze

    6. Grating of bronze connected by bronze rings

    7. Carried by acacia poles overlaid with gold

  10. Details of the Courtyard of the Tabernacle, Exod. 27:9-19

    1. On the south and north
      1. hangings of fine twisted linen 100 cubits long and 5 cubits high
      2. hung on 20 pillars with sockets of bronze
      3. the connectors of the curtains shall be silver

    2. On the west side
      1. hangings of fine twisted linen 50 cubits long and 5 cubits high
      2. hung on 10 pillars with sockets of bronze
      3. the connectors of the curtain shall be silver

    3. On the east side
      1. two sets of hangings 15 cubits by 5 cubits of fine twisted linen
      2. hung on 3 pillars with sockets of bronze
      3. the connectors of the curtain shall be silver

    4. The gate
      1. a screen of 20 cubits
      2. of blue, purple, and scarlet material and fine twisted linen
      3. hung on 4 pillars with sockets of bronze
      4. connectors of silver

  11. Details of Aaron's Priestly Garments, Exod. 28:1-7 (summary of items, Exod. 28:4 and materials, Exod. 28:5)

    1. The ephod, Exod. 28:6-13
      1. of gold and blue, purple, and scarlet material and fine twisted linen
      2. two shoulder pieces to attach it
      3. two onyx stones
        1. names of the sons of Jacob
        2. set in gold
        3. placed on shoulders
        4. stones for a memorial
      4. attached by two intricate gold chains

    2. The breastplate of judgment, Exod. 28:15-30
      1. same material as ephod (cf. Exod. 28:6)
      2. a square on one span in length and width, folded double
      3. four rows of three stones representing each tribe, set in gold filigree
        1. ruby
        2. topaz
        3. emerald
        4. turquoise
        5. sapphire
        6. diamond
        7. jacinth
        8. agate
        9. amethyst
        10. beryl
        11. onyx
        12. jasper
      4. connected securely by 4 gold rings and a blue cord
      5. stones as a memorial over Aaron's heart
      6. breastplate contained the Urim and Thummim (a way of determining the will of God, possibly like dice)

    3. The robe of the ephod, Exod. 28:31-35
      1. all of blue
      2. special heavy weaving around the neck opening
      3. the hem of blue, purple, and scarlet pomegranates interspersed with golden bells

    4. The turban, Exod. 28:36-39
      1. the gold plate
        1. engraved "Holy to the Lord"
        2. fastened by a blue cord to the front
        3. it is related to the holiness of the sacrifices
      2. turban
        1. of fine linen
        2. to be anointed along with tunics, caps, and sashes

  12. Details of the consecration of the Priests, Exod. 29:1-16

    1. Sacrifices and procedures
      1. one young bull, Exod. 29:1,10-14
      2. two rams, Exod. 29:2,15-28,31-34
      3. unleavened bread of wheat flour
      4. unleavened cakes mixed with oil
      5. unleavened wafers spread with oil

    2. Wash Aaron and sons at the door of the tent

    3. Dress Aaron and sons in priestly garments

    4. Anoint Aaron and sons with oil

    5. Special offerings for seven days, Exod. 29:35-36

  13. Details of the Altar of Incense, Exod. 30:1-10

    1. Of acacia wood overlaid with gold

    2. Length of 1 cubit width of 1 cubit and height of 2 cubits

    3. Like the altar of sacrifice it shall have four horns at the corners

    4. Four rings of gold to carry it, attached to the legs

    5. To be placed in front of the veil before the Holy of Holies (cf. Heb. 9:4)

    6. Incense to be placed on it every morning as the priest trims the lamps

    7. Not for sacrifice of any kind (coals only to be taken from the sacrificial altar)

    8. Used in special way on the Day of Atonement

  14. Details of How to Support the Tabernacle, Exod. 30:11-16

    1. Take a census of males 20 years and older

    2. Each to give ½ shekel for ransom against plagues (cf. Exod. 30:12,15)

  15. Details of the Laver, Exod. 30:17-21

    1. Made of bronze (size is uncertain)

    2. Placed between inner tent and sacrificial altar

    3. Filled with water for washing the priests' hands and feet before they entered the inner tent

  16. Details of Holy Anointing Oil, Exod. 30:22-33 (see SPECIAL TOPIC: "ANOINTING" IN THE BIBLE)

    1. From the finest spices
      1. myrrh, 500 shekels
      2. fragrant cinnamon, 250 shekels
      3. fragrant cane, 250 shekels
      4. cassia, 500 shekels
      5. olive oil, one hin

    2. Used to anoint the furniture of the Holy Place and the Altar of Sacrifice and their utensils

    3. Used to anoint Aaron and his sons (the priests; see SPECIAL TOPIC: "ANOINTING" IN THE BIBLE)

    4. Warning against duplicating the ingredients for a profane purpose or person

  17. Details of the Incense, Exod. 30:34-38

    1. Contents of spices (equal parts)
      1. stacte
      2. onycha
      3. galbanum
      4. frankincense

    2. For incense altar in the Holy Place

    3. Warning against duplication

  18. Artisans for the Tabernacle, Exod. 31:1-18

    1. Bezalel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah
      1. filled with the Spirit
      2. special talents
        1. wisdom
        2. understanding
        3. knowledge
        4. craftsmanship
          (1) in metal
          (2) in stone
          (3) in wood
          (4) in assorted crafts

    2. Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan
      1. also filled with the Spirit
      2. helper of Bezalel

    3. The two gifted craftsmen are to make or supervise the construction of
      1. tent of meeting
      2. the ark of testimony
      3. the mercy seat
      4. all furniture of the tent
        1. the Table of the Bread of the Presence (see SPECIAL TOPIC: BREAD OF THE PRESENCE)
        2. the lampstand (see SPECIAL TOPIC: LAMPSTAND)
        3. the altar of incense (see SPECIAL TOPIC: ALTAR OF INCENSE)
        4. the altar of burnt offerings (see SPECIAL TOPIC: ALTAR OF BURNT OFFERINGS)
        5. the laver (see SPECIAL TOPIC: LAVER)
        6. the priestly garments
        7. the anointing oil
        8. the fragrant incense


  1. Metals

    1. gold

    2. silver

    3. bronze

    4. Those metals seem to be used in a select pattern. The gold is for those items closest to the Holy of Holies and bronze for those parts of the tent farthest away.

  2. God reveals to Moses the exact pattern

    1. Exodus 25:9,40

    2. Exodus 26:30

    3. Exodus 27:8

    4. Exodus 31:11

  3. The Tabernacle is portable

    1. Ark of Testimony, Exod. 25:12-15

    2. Memorial, Exod. 28:29

    3. Statute forever, Exod. 28:43

    4. Perpetual statute, Exod. 29:9

    5. Perpetual covenant, Exod. 31:16

    6. Daily sacrifice of lamb, Exod. 29:42

    7. Perpetual incense, Exod. 30:8

    8. Incense altar used in ritual of Day of Atonement, Exod. 30:10

    9. Atonement money from every male 20 years and older, Exod. 30:16

    10. Priests shall wash their hands and feet before entering inner shrine, Exod. 30:21

    11. Anointing of priests, Exod. 30:31

    12. Observe Sabbath, Exod. 31:13,16

  4. YHWH, their covenant God, is with them (see SPECIAL TOPIC: COVENANT)

    1. Dwell among them
      1. Exod. 25:8
      2. Exod. 29:45-46

    2. Meet with them
      1. Exod. 25:22
      2. Exod. 29:43
      3. Exod. 30:6,36

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