Exodus 21-32

Exodus 21-32

The Tabernacle The High Priest The Ark of the Covenant The Clothing of the Priests and High Priest

Every Israelite is directed to make a fringe in the border of his garment, of dark-blue purple thread. When he looks at the fringe he is to remember the commandments of God and to keep them. The testimony of God was also found in the pomegranates and bells attached to the high priests

robe. The pomegranate with its pleasant odor, sweet and refreshing juice, and the richness of its delicious kernel, were symbols of the word and testimony of God as sweet and pleasant spiritual food. The bells were symbols of the sounding of this word, or

the revelation and proclamation of the word. The pattern for the official clothing of the high priest, or presiding head of the Aaronic Priesthood (not the Melchizedek Priesthood office of high priest), like that for the tabernacle, was given by revelation and had symbolic as well as practical significance. It consisted of the following

items: Ephod: Worn over a blue robe, was made of blue, purple, and scarlet material, with designs of gold. It was fastened at each shoulder and around the waist. In gold settings on each shoulder were onyx stones engraved with

the names of the twelve sons of Israel as a memorial as the priest served before the Lord. The symbolism was that the priest (the Lord) carried Israel on his shoulders (Exodus 28:12). The Lord directed that they were not to wear ordinary clothing during their service, but they were to have holy garments.

Fastened to the ephod was a breastplate into which the Urim and Thummim could be placed (Exodus 28:15-30). The Breastplate It attached to the ephod with golden chains and ouches (fasteners). It was made of fabric. It was twice

as long as it was wide and when folded became a square pocket unto which the Urim and Thummim was placed. Upon the exposed half of the breastplate were precious stones inscribed with the names of each of the tribes of Israel.

Thus, the high priest bore the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart for a memorial before the Lord continually. The Robe It was blue (heavenly origin) and was woven without

seams with a hole (spiritual integrity) for the head to go through. Jesus was in a similar seamless garment prior to his crucifixion. Along the hem of the robe were placed, alternately, bells and fringes woven to look like pomegranates.

The Golden Diadem and the Mitre The Mitre (or hat, or bonnet) was made of fine linen and worn by each priest. In addition, the high priest wore a golden band on the

front of his miter, upon the forehead. Engraved on the band were the words Holiness to the Lord, signifying, first that the high priest should be characterized by this attribute, and, second, that Christ, the Great High Priest, would be perfectly holy before God.

The floor plan of the Tabernacle revealed that the structure was oblong with three zones of holiness. In ascending order, the three zones were: 1. The outer court yard, often called the court of the congregation.

2. The holy place. 3. The holy of holies. Veil #1 symbolized overcoming fallen

conditions, Veil #2 Celestial Entering

Exodus 26:31-37 veils Two The two veils, or hangings for the door,

described here are the outer door to the tabernacle (the front entrance) and the veil which separated the holy place, or first room, from the inner Holy of Holies. This latter veil is properly called the veil of the tabernacle. Purpose: From being alienated from God, to

one of full companionship. Holy of Holies = Celestial, gold, presence of God Holy Place = Terrestrial, gold Courtyard = Telestial, the world, bronze, overcoming the obstacles of mortality

The floor plan showed that the Tabernacle-which was 50 cubits by 100 cubits-could be divided into two equal squares. The first zone of holiness-the outer courtyard-lied in the first square with the altar of sacrifice as the central

sacred furnishing. The second and third zones of holiness -the holy place and holy of holies-lay in the second square with the ark of the covenant at the center of the square (Nahum M. Sarna, Exodus [JPS Torah Commentary]).

The Floor Plan, Two Squares Tabernacle Cut Away The Courtyard

Entrance into the courtyard was through a multi-colored gate The Altar of Burnt Offering 7 by 7 by 5 feet. It had four horns. It was made of shittim

wood and overlaid with brass. Represented obedience and sacrifice. Holy Instruments of Sacrifice The pan was a large brazen dish placed under the altar to receive the ashes as they fell through.

Brazen fire shovels were used for emptying the pans. The basins were receptacles used to catch the blood from the sacrifice. The flesh-hook was a three-pronged hook that the priest used to dip into the sacrificial container. That which he brought up was to be kept for himself.

The fire-pan was the container in which was kept the continuously burning fire for sacrifice. This is where the Priest cleansed and washed preparatory to entering the Tabernacle. It was made of brass. Symbolic of baptism and the remission of sin. In Solomons day, the laver was set on the backs of twelve

oxen (I Kings 7:23-26). The Holy Place Three sacred furnishings were located in the Holy Place: 1. The altar of incense was placed before the veil.

2. The Menorah or candelabra was placed on the north side. 3. The table of shewbread (Hebrew for "bread that was always present") was located on the south side. It stood directly in front of the veil. It was made of shittim wood

covered with gold. Hot coals were placed on the altar, and every morning and evening the high priest would burn incense. Symbolizing that one can approach the presence of God only through prayer (Rev. 5:8; 8:3-4; Psalm 141:2). The Altar of Incense

Altar of Incense The Menorah or Golden Candlestick (solid gold). It was the source of light in the Tabernacle. It represented the perfect light of Christ and the seven periods of creation. It was

always burning. The seven cups were filled with olive oil. (Exodus 25:31-40; 37:17-24) The number seven-connoting wholeness or perfection. The Lord is the perfect light! Other scriptures indicate that olive oil represented the Holy Spirit, probably because it

provided fire, heat, and light when burned in the lamps (Doctrine & Covenants 45:56-57). Thus, the sacred menorah was a type or symbol of the true source of spiritual light, namely the Holy Ghost as he bears witness of the Father and the Son.

It was made out of shittim wood and was overlaid with gold. There were twelve loaves of bread. A wine bottle and cups were present. It has parallels with the Sacrament. The Priest replaced the twelve loaves every Sabbath. They were then allowed to eat the old bread (Exodus 25:23-30; 37:10-16).

The Table of Shewbread The table of Shewbread with bread. They were very large because of the fine flour used. They would have weighed over ten pounds each.

The Holy of Holies and the Ark of the Covenant The most important sacred furnishing was the ark of the covenant placed in the Holy of Holies. According to the biblical account, the ark was a box with a

covering. On the covering were two cherubs. What were cherubs? The following are pictures of cherubs which have been found at archaeological sites in the Middle East. So what was the Ark of the Covenant?

The throne of God! What did it look like? We can only guess! By using the ancient artifacts as a guide, the

following is a possible depiction of the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark of the Covenant was made of acacia wood and was overlaid with gold. It stood 2 feet three inches high, 3 feet nine inches long and two feet three

inches wide. It was viewed with the greatest of reverence. The Mercy Seat was symbolic of the Atonement. Three things were carried in it: 1. Pot of Manna

2. Rod of Aaron 3. The Tablets Exodus 25:10-22; 37:1-9 The god Anubis as a jackal lying on a funerary chest, from the tomb of Tut-ankh-Amon at Thebes (about

1361-1355 B.C.). Note that a god is pictured as sitting on an ark. This is what the Ark of the Covenant is portraying (James Pritchard, Ancient Near Eastern Pictures Relating to the Old Testament).

Cherubim guarding a tree of life ("Angel" in The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible). Often, Cherub formed the thrones of kings. Daniel before King Nebuchadnezzar.

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