Exodus Chapter Twenty Five

Heavenly Furniture

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In our study of Exodus chapter twenty five, we look at the construction of the heavenly furniture that was to be used for worship in the tabernacle.

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Exodus 25:1-7

ADONAI said to Moshe, "Tell the people of Isra'el to take up a collection for me - accept a contribution from anyone who wholeheartedly wants to give. The contribution you are to take from them is to consist of gold, silver and bronze; blue, purple and scarlet yarn; fine linen, goat's hair, tanned ram skins and fine leather; acacia-wood; oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; onyx stones and other stones to be set, for the ritual vest and breastplate.

Now, we see that Moshe and the leaders of Israel are to accept donations of the materials to build the tabernacle and the things needed for proper worship. We see that they are not to compel the people to give but only accept what is freely given and we are reminded that we do not own anything even if it is in our possession. As the creator of everything, God is the only proper owner of anything.

Exodus 25:8 & 9

"They are to make me a sanctuary, so that I may live among them. You are to make it according to everything I show you - the design of the tabernacle and the design of its furnishings. This is how you are to make it.

Here, we have the revelation of the fact that the tabernacle is to be a replica of what is in heaven.

Exodus 25:10-22

"They are to make an ark of acacia-wood three-and-three-quarters feet long, two-and-a-quarter feet wide and two-and-a-quarter feet high. You are to overlay it with pure gold - overlay it both inside and outside - and put a molding of gold around the top of it. Cast four gold rings for it, and attach them to its four feet, two rings on each side. Make poles of acacia-wood, and overlay them with gold. Put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark; you will use them to carry the ark. The poles are to remain in the rings of the ark; they are not to be removed from it. Into the ark you are to put the testimony which I am about to give you. "You are to make a cover for the ark out of pure gold; it is to be three-and-three-quarters feet long and two-and-a-quarter feet high. You are to make two k'ruvim of gold. Make them of hammered work for the two ends of the ark-cover. Make one keruv for one end and one keruv for the other end; make the k'ruvim of one piece with the ark-cover at its two ends. The k'ruvim will have their wings spread out above, so that their wings cover the ark, and their faces are toward each other and toward the ark-cover. You are to put the ark-cover on top of the ark. "Inside the ark you will put the testimony that I am about to give you. There I will meet with you. I will speak with you from above the ark-cover, from between the two k'ruvim which are on the ark for the testimony, about all the orders I am giving you for the people of Isra'el.

In this passage, we see the instructions for the ark of the testimony and we see that that box is acacia wood covered in gold while the top is solid gold that is hammered with two cherubim on it. All of this gold would have made the ark extremely heavy and we see that it was to be carried on two poles that were also made of the acacia wood covered in gold. This was the only way that the ark was to be moved and the poles were to always be with the ark. In Hebrew the cover for the ark is kapporet and it speaks of atonement and the cover is commonly called the mercy seat of God. We see that the presence of God is going to be there and it is where God would speak to Moshe concerning the people of Israel.

Exodus 25:23-30

"You are to make a table of acacia-wood three feet long, eighteen inches wide and eighteen inches high. Overlay it with pure gold, and put a molding of gold around the top of it. Make around it a rim a handbreadth wide, and put a molding of gold around the rim. Make four gold rings for it, and attach the rings to the four corners, near its four legs. The rings to hold the poles used to carry the table are to be placed close to the rim. Make the poles of acacia-wood, overlay them with gold, and use them to carry the table. "Make its dishes, pans, bowls and pitchers of pure gold. On the table you are to place the bread of the presence in my presence always.

In this passage we see the instructions for the construction of a table that was to be used to hold bread and we see that God is speaking to Moshe and that he is responsible for making sure that everything is done according to the instructions of God. This table is to be made of acacia wood and covered with gold as well as being carried by poles made of acacia wood covered with gold. The table is to have a what we would call a crown molding around it and the last part of the passage is really not a very good translation. In the Hebrew text, it speaks of the racks and things to hold the bread instead of dishes, pans, etc and that is because the ancient Hebrew is different from modern Hebrew. If you have ever seen the racks that are used in a modern bakery, that is probably pretty close to the description except that this table was covered in gold.

Exodus 25:31-40

"You are to make a menorah of pure gold. It is to be made of hammered work; its base, shaft, cups, ring of outer leaves and petals are to be of one piece with it. It is to have six branches extending from its sides, three branches of the menorah on one side of it and three on the other. On one branch are to be three cups shaped like almond blossoms, each with a ring of outer leaves and petals; likewise on the opposite branch three cups shaped like almond blossoms, each with a ring of outer leaves and petals; and similarly for all six branches extending from the menorah. On the central shaft of the menorah are to be four cups shaped like almond blossoms, each with its ring of outer leaves and petals. Where each pair of branches joins the central shaft is to be a ring of outer leaves of one piece with the pair of branches -thus for all six branches. The rings of outer leaves and their branches are to be of one piece with the shaft. Thus the whole menorah is to be a single piece of hammered work made of pure gold. "Make seven lamps for the menorah, and mount them so as to give light to the space in front of it. Its tongs and trays are to be of pure gold. The menorah and its utensils are to be made of sixty-six pounds of pure gold. See that you make them according to the design being shown you on the mountain.

Here, we see the instructions for the construction of the menorah or what we would call a lampstand. This was to be made out of a lump of pure gold and it was to be hammered into this lampstand not in pieces but as one piece. Even with all of our technology today, it is impossible for us to accurately describe or make a menorah like this. This menorah was unique in that the light was such that it could be seen beyond the menorah and this speaks of the revelation of God going out to the world. We see that, while Moshe was on the mountain, he saw a pattern for all of this heavenly furniture. Because, we do not have that heavenly pattern, we do not have the ability to accurately reproduce this furniture and that reminds us that it is only going to be through the power of God that the new temple and its furnishings are created.

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