The Structure of the Tabernacle

Exodus 25-27 (WEB)

Highlights from this Passage

  • The Lord gives instructions to Moses about how to build the Tabernacle.
  • These instructions include how to make the ark, the table, the lampstand, the altar, and courtyard.

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Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, that they take an offering for me. From everyone whose heart makes him willing you shall take my offering. This is the offering which you shall take from them: gold, silver, bronze, blue, purple, scarlet, fine linen, goats’ hair, rams’ skins dyed red, sea cow hides, acacia wood, oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense, onyx stones, and stones to be set for the ephod and for the breastplate. Let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show you, the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all of its furniture, even so you shall make it.

“They shall make an ark of acacia wood. Its length shall be two and a half cubits, its width a cubit and a half, and a cubit and a half its height. You shall overlay it with pure gold. You shall overlay it inside and outside, and you shall make a gold molding around it. You shall cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in its four feet. Two rings shall be on the one side of it, and two rings on the other side of it. You shall make poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold. You shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark to carry the ark. The poles shall be in the rings of the ark. They shall not be taken from it. You shall put the covenant which I shall give you into the ark. You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold. Two and a half cubits shall be its length, and a cubit and a half its width. You shall make two cherubim of hammered gold. You shall make them at the two ends of the mercy seat. Make one cherub at the one end, and one cherub at the other end. You shall make the cherubim on its two ends of one piece with the mercy seat. The cherubim shall spread out their wings upward, covering the mercy seat with their wings, with their faces toward one another. The faces of the cherubim shall be toward the mercy seat. You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the covenant that I will give you. There I will meet with you, and I will tell you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the covenant, all that I command you for the children of Israel.

“You shall make a table of acacia wood. Its length shall be two cubits, and its width a cubit, and its height one and a half cubits. You shall overlay it with pure gold, and make a gold molding around it. You shall make a rim of a hand width around it. You shall make a golden molding on its rim around it. You shall make four rings of gold for it, and put the rings in the four corners that are on its four feet. The rings shall be close to the rim, for places for the poles to carry the table. You shall make the poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold, that the table may be carried with them. You shall make its dishes, its spoons, its ladles, and its bowls with which to pour out offerings. You shall make them of pure gold. You shall set bread of the presence on the table before me always.

“You shall make a lamp stand of pure gold. The lamp stand shall be made of hammered work. Its base, its shaft, its cups, its buds, and its flowers shall be of one piece with it. There shall be six branches going out of its sides: three branches of the lamp stand out of its one side, and three branches of the lamp stand out of its other side; three cups made like almond blossoms in one branch, a bud and a flower; and three cups made like almond blossoms in the other branch, a bud and a flower, so for the six branches going out of the lamp stand; and in the lamp stand four cups made like almond blossoms, its buds and its flowers; and a bud under two branches of one piece with it, and a bud under two branches of one piece with it, and a bud under two branches of one piece with it, for the six branches going out of the lamp stand. Their buds and their branches shall be of one piece with it, all of it one beaten work of pure gold. You shall make its lamps seven, and they shall light its lamps to give light to the space in front of it. Its snuffers and its snuff dishes shall be of pure gold. It shall be made of a talent of pure gold, with all these accessories. See that you make them after their pattern, which has been shown to you on the mountain.

“Moreover you shall make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, with cherubim. You shall make them with the work of a skillful workman. The length of each curtain shall be twenty-eight cubits, and the width of each curtain four cubits: all the curtains shall have one measure. Five curtains shall be coupled together to one another, and the other five curtains shall be coupled to one another. You shall make loops of blue on the edge of the one curtain from the edge in the coupling, and you shall do likewise on the edge of the curtain that is outermost in the second coupling. You shall make fifty loops in the one curtain, and you shall make fifty loops in the edge of the curtain that is in the second coupling. The loops shall be opposite one another. You shall make fifty clasps of gold, and couple the curtains to one another with the clasps. The tabernacle shall be a unit.

“You shall make curtains of goats’ hair for a covering over the tabernacle. You shall make eleven curtains. The length of each curtain shall be thirty cubits, and the width of each curtain four cubits: the eleven curtains shall have one measure. You shall couple five curtains by themselves, and six curtains by themselves, and shall double over the sixth curtain in the forefront of the tent. You shall make fifty loops on the edge of the one curtain that is outermost in the coupling, and fifty loops on the edge of the curtain which is outermost in the second coupling. You shall make fifty clasps of bronze, and put the clasps into the loops, and couple the tent together, that it may be one. The overhanging part that remains of the curtains of the tent—the half curtain that remains—shall hang over the back of the tabernacle. The cubit on the one side and the cubit on the other side, of that which remains in the length of the curtains of the tent, shall hang over the sides of the tabernacle on this side and on that side, to cover it. You shall make a covering for the tent of rams’ skins dyed red, and a covering of sea cow hides above.

“You shall make the boards for the tabernacle of acacia wood, standing upright. Ten cubits shall be the length of a board, and one and a half cubits the width of each board. There shall be two tenons in each board, joined to one another: thus you shall make for all the boards of the tabernacle. You shall make twenty boards for the tabernacle, for the south side southward. You shall make forty sockets of silver under the twenty boards; two sockets under one board for its two tenons, and two sockets under another board for its two tenons. For the second side of the tabernacle, on the north side, twenty boards, and their forty sockets of silver; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board. For the far side of the tabernacle westward you shall make six boards. You shall make two boards for the corners of the tabernacle in the far side. They shall be double beneath, and in the same way they shall be whole to its top to one ring: thus shall it be for them both; they shall be for the two corners. There shall be eight boards, and their sockets of silver, sixteen sockets; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board.

“You shall make bars of acacia wood: five for the boards of the one side of the tabernacle, and five bars for the boards of the other side of the tabernacle, and five bars for the boards of the side of the tabernacle, for the far side westward. The middle bar in the middle of the boards shall pass through from end to end. You shall overlay the boards with gold, and make their rings of gold for places for the bars. You shall overlay the bars with gold. You shall set up the tabernacle according to the way that it was shown to you on the mountain.

“You shall make a veil of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, with cherubim. It shall be the work of a skillful workman. You shall hang it on four pillars of acacia overlaid with gold; their hooks shall be of gold, on four sockets of silver. You shall hang up the veil under the clasps, and shall bring the ark of the covenant in there within the veil. The veil shall separate the holy place from the most holy for you. You shall put the mercy seat on the ark of the covenant in the most holy place. You shall set the table outside the veil, and the lamp stand opposite the table on the side of the tabernacle toward the south. You shall put the table on the north side.

“You shall make a screen for the door of the Tent, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, the work of the embroiderer. You shall make for the screen five pillars of acacia, and overlay them with gold. Their hooks shall be of gold. You shall cast five sockets of bronze for them.

“You shall make the altar of acacia wood, five cubits long, and five cubits wide. The altar shall be square. Its height shall be three cubits. You shall make its horns on its four corners. Its horns shall be of one piece with it. You shall overlay it with bronze. You shall make its pots to take away its ashes; and its shovels, its basins, its meat hooks, and its fire pans. You shall make all its vessels of bronze. You shall make a grating for it of network of bronze. On the net you shall make four bronze rings in its four corners. You shall put it under the ledge around the altar beneath, that the net may reach halfway up the altar. You shall make poles for the altar, poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with bronze. Its poles shall be put into the rings, and the poles shall be on the two sides of the altar when carrying it. You shall make it hollow with planks. They shall make it as it has been shown you on the mountain.

“You shall make the court of the tabernacle: for the south side southward there shall be hangings for the court of fine twined linen one hundred cubits long for one side. Its pillars shall be twenty, and their sockets twenty, of bronze. The hooks of the pillars and their fillets shall be of silver. Likewise for the length of the north side, there shall be hangings one hundred cubits long, and its pillars twenty, and their sockets twenty, of bronze; the hooks of the pillars, and their fillets, of silver. For the width of the court on the west side shall be hangings of fifty cubits; their pillars ten, and their sockets ten. The width of the court on the east side eastward shall be fifty cubits. The hangings for the one side of the gate shall be fifteen cubits; their pillars three, and their sockets three. For the other side shall be hangings of fifteen cubits; their pillars three, and their sockets three. For the gate of the court shall be a screen of twenty cubits, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, the work of the embroiderer; their pillars four, and their sockets four. All the pillars of the court around shall be filleted with silver; their hooks of silver, and their sockets of bronze. The length of the court shall be one hundred cubits, and the width fifty throughout, and the height five cubits, of fine twined linen, and their sockets of bronze. All the instruments of the tabernacle in all its service, and all its pins, and all the pins of the court, shall be of bronze.

“You shall command the children of Israel, that they bring to you pure olive oil beaten for the light, to cause a lamp to burn continually. In the Tent of Meeting, outside the veil which is before the covenant, Aaron and his sons shall keep it in order from evening to morning before Yahweh: it shall be a statute forever throughout their generations on the behalf of the children of Israel.

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