1 And you are to make an altar of acacia wood 7 1/2 feet long, and 7 1/2 feet wide; the altar will be square: and its height will be 4 1/2 feet. 2 Make a horn at each of the four corners of the altar so the horns and altar are all one piece. Overlay the altar and its horns with bronze. 3 And make its ash buckets, its shovels, its basins, its flesh hooks, and its fire pans, all its utensils of bronze. 4 Make a bronze grating with a bronze ring at each of its four corners. 5 Fit the grating halfway down into the firebox, resting it on the ledge built there. 6 And you will make poles for the altar, poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with bronze. 7 And the poles will be put into the rings on the two sides of the altar, to carry it.
- The altar was the place where sinful men approached their holy Creator through faith in the promise of a deliverer that God would send.
- Acacia was a desert hardwood that was highly resistant to disease.
- The wood represented the humanity of Jesus Christ. He was totally resistant to sin or corruption.
- Bronze was a symbol of judgment. God can only be approached by the sacrifice that He made through His holy Son.
- The horns were to tie down the sacrifice.
- John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming to him and said, Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.
- John 14:6 Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, except by way of by me.
God showed Moses the pattern for the tabernacle and its furnishings on Mount Sinai
8 Make it hollow with planks as he caused you to see in the mountain; that is how they are to make it. 9 And you will make the court of the tabernacle: for the south side southward there will be hangings for the court of finely twisted linen 150 feet for one side: 10 Its twenty pillars and their twenty sockets will be of bronze; the hooks of the pillars and their sockets will be silver. 11 It will be the same on the north side of the courtyard—150 feet of curtains held up by twenty posts fitted into bronze bases, with silver hooks and rods.
God’s light to the world never goes out
12 The curtains on the west end of the courtyard will be 75 feet long, supported by ten posts set into ten bases. 13 And the width of the court on the east side eastward will be 75 feet long. 14 The courtyard entrance will be on the east end, flanked by two curtains. The curtain on the right side will be 22 1/2 feet long, supported by three posts set into three bases. 15 The curtain on the left side will also be 22 1/2 feet long, supported by three posts set into three bases. 16 For the entrance to the courtyard, make a curtain that is 30 feet long. Fashion it from finely twisted linen, and decorate it with beautiful embroidery in blue, purple, and scarlet. It will be attached to four posts that fit into four bases. 17 All the pillars around the court will be finished with silver bands; their hooks will be of silver, and their sockets of bronze. 18 The length of the court will be 150 feet, and 75 feet wide everywhere, and curtains 7 1/2 feet high of finely twisted linen, and their sockets bronze. 19 All the vessels of the tabernacle in all its service, and all its tent pegs, and all the pins of the court, will be of bronze. 20 And you will command the children of Israel to bring you pure beaten oil olive for the light, to keep the lamp always burning. 21 In the tabernacle of the congregation outside the veil, which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons will keep it in order from evening to morning before the LORD: it will be a statute forever to their generations on the behalf of the children of Israel.
- Oil was a symbol of the Holy Spirit.
- God’s light is always burning for us.
- God lived in the midst of His people.
- He traveled with them.
- His tent was lovely beyond imagining. That is fitting because God is glorious beyond imagining. Revelation 21 describes His eternal city as opulent beyond imagining.
- Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
- John 8:12 Then spoke Jesus again to them saying, I am the light of the world: he that follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
- Psalm 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
The LORD appointed Aaron and his sons as priests
1 And take Aaron your brother and his sons with him from among the children of Israel, that he may minister to me in the priest’s office: Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons. 2 And make holy garments for Aaron your brother for glory and for beauty. 3 And you will speak to all that are wise hearted whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him to minister to me in the priest’s office. 4 And these are the garments they will make; a breastplate, an ephod, a robe, an embroidered coat, a turban, and a belt: and they will make holy garments for Aaron your brother, and his sons, that he may minister to me in the priest’s office. 5 They are to take gold, blue, purple, scarlet, fine linen. 6 And make the ephod of gold, of blue, of purple, of scarlet, and finely twisted linen with skillful work. 7 It will have the two shoulder pieces joined at its two edges; it will be joined together this way. 8 And the interwoven band of the ephod, which is on it will be of the same, according to its work; gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine linen. 9 And you will take two onyx stones, and engrave on them the names of the children of Israel: 10 Six names on one stone, and the other six names on the other stone, according to their birth. 11 With the work of an engraver in stone, like the engravings of a signet, will you engrave the two stones with the names of the children of Israel: you will set them in filigree settings of gold.
- God filled the wise hearted with the Spirit of Wisdom to make these garments.
- These were beautiful.
- Those who served God closest were dressed according to God’s standards.
- Revelation 1:6 And has made us kings and priests to God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
12 Put the two stones on the shoulders of the ephod for stones of memorial to the children of Israel: and Aaron will bear their names before the LORD for a memorial on his two shoulders.
- This is a picture of Christ standing for us before God right now and carrying us on His shoulders like a lost lamb.
- Isaiah 63:9 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.
- Exodus 19:4 You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to myself.
13 You will make settings of gold 14 with two chains of pure gold at the ends. Make them of woven cord work and fasten the corded chains to the filigree settings. 15 And make the breastplate of judgment with skillful work; make it like the work of the ephod, of gold, blue, purple, scarlet, you are to make it of finely twisted linen. 16 It is to be square and doubled; a span long and a span wide. 17 Set in it settings of stones, four rows of stones: the first row will be a sardius/ruby, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this will be the first row. 18 And the second row will be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond. 19 And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst. 20 And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they will be set in gold in their settings.
- A span was the length of a man’s hand stretched out from tip of thumb to tip of small finger.
- Beryl is a gemstone; blue-green, yellow-pink or white hexagonal prisms.
- Jasper is an impure form of chalcedony colored red.
- The stones mirror the gemstones adorning the foundations of God’s eternal city in Revelation 21.
21 And the stones will be with the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet; each one with his name according to the twelve tribes. 22 And you will make the breastplate chains at the ends of wreathen work of pure gold. 23 And you will make on the breastplate two rings of gold, and will put the two rings on the two ends of the breastplate. 24 And you will put the two wreaths of chains of gold in the two rings that are on the ends of the breastplate. 25 And then you will fasten the other two ends of the two corded chains in the two settings and put them on the shoulder pieces of the ephod at the front of it. 26 And you will make two rings of gold, and put them on the two ends of the breastplate at its edge, on the inner side of the ephod. 27 And make another two rings of gold, and put them on the two sides of the ephod, underneath, toward the front of it, opposite its other joining, above the skillful band of the ephod. 28 And they will bind the breastplate by its rings to the rings of the ephod with a lace of blue, that it may be above the skillful band of the ephod, and so that the breastplate not come loose from the ephod. 29 And Aaron will bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment on his heart when he goes into the holy place, for a memorial before the LORD continually.
- This is an illustration of Christ as he carries our names on His heart as He continually represents us before our heavenly Father.
- Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest that has passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
- Hebrews 7:24 But this man, because he continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. 25 So he is able to save to the uttermost those that come to God by him since he ever lives to make intercession for them.
30 And put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they will be on Aaron’s heart, when he goes in before the LORD: and Aaron will bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually.
- The Urim and Thummim was the method of guidance that God gave the Israel.
- Urim means lights and Thummim means perfections. Its use can be seen in Joshua 7 and 1 Samuel 10.
- Numbers 27:21 And he will stand before Eleazar the priest, who will ask counsel for him according to the judgment of Urim before the LORD: at his word will they go out, and at his word they will come in, both he, and all the children of Israel with him, even all the congregation.
31 And you will make the robe of the ephod all of blue. 32 And there will be an opening in the top of it, in the middle: it will have a binding of woven work around its opening, like the hole of a habergeon, so that it not be torn. 33 And beneath it on its hem you will make pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet, around its hem; and bells of gold between them all around: 34 A golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, on the hem around the robe. 35 And it will be on Aaron to minister: and his sound will be heard when he goes in unto the holy place before the LORD, and when he comes out so that he not die. 36 And you will make a plate of pure gold, and engrave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD.
- The habergeon was a sleeveless chain mail jacket worn under armor.
- The neck of the high priests garment was to be the finished in the same way to keep it from tearing.
- God is most high above all others and these priests and this nation were set apart to God.
- Zechariah 14:20 In that day there will be on the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD’s house will be like the bowl’s before the altar. 21Yes, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah will be holiness to the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice will come and take of them, and boil in it: and in that day the Canaanite will be no longer be in the house of the LORD of hosts.
37 And you will put it on a blue lace to hold it on the turban; it will be on the front of the turban. 38 It will be on Aaron’s forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things which the children of Israel will hallow in all their holy gifts; and it will always be on his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD.
- The turban was the headdress or hat. Aaron was the picture of our Great High Priest who bore our iniquity.
- God considers our gifts holy.
- Christ bore our iniquity.
- 1 Peter 2:24 Who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose wounds you were healed.
- Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and forever.
39 And you will embroider the coat of fine linen, and make the turban of fine linen, and make the belt of needlework. 40 Make coats for Aaron’s sons, and make belts for them and make caps for them, for glory and for beauty. 41 And put them on Aaron your brother, and his sons with him; and anoint them, and consecrate them, and sanctify them so that they may minister to me in the priest’s office. 42 And make them linen drawers to cover their nakedness; they will reach from the loins to the thighs: 43 And they will be on Aaron, and on his sons, when they come into the tabernacle of the congregation, or when they come near the altar to minister in the holy place so that they not bear iniquity and die: it will be a statute forever to him and his seed after him.
- It was the highest honor in the nation to serve God.
- It was a great gift when, after Jesus’ crucifixion, God tore the veil in the temple.
- Up to that time when anyone approached the Lord without proper clothing or consecration he was struck dead.
- After sins were paid for, whosoever will may come.
- The total accessibility of God that Jesus Christ purchased for mankind is available through faith.
- God’s holiness was no longer a barrier—His holiness was satisfied by the blood of His Son for our sin.
- Matthew 27:51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks split;
- 1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
- Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
1 And this is the thing that you are to do to them to set them apart/make them holy, to minister to me in the priest’s office: Take one young bull and two rams without blemish, 2 And unleavened bread, and unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers spread with oil: make them of fine wheat flour. 3 And put them into one basket, and bring them in the basket with the bull and the two rams. 4 And you will bring Aaron and his sons to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation and will wash them with water. 5 And take the garments, and put on Aaron the coat, the robe of the ephod, the ephod, and the breastplate, and wrap him with the skillfully woven belt of the ephod:
- In this ceremony a complete bath was done by someone else.
- This pictures Christ’s cleansing of the believer at salvation.
- His cleansing is total.
- We cannot do it ourselves.
- God cleanses our hearts.
- Then partial cleansing was done later at the bronze laver and represented our cleansing by confession of personal sins as they occur.
- He then clothes us.
- 1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
- Genesis 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
6 And you will put the turban on his head, and put the holy crown on the turban. 7 Then take the anointing oil, and pour it on his head to anoint him. 8 And you will bring his sons, and put coats on them. 9 And wrap them with belts, Aaron and his sons, and bind the caps on them: and the priest’s office will be theirs for a perpetual statute: and fill the hand of Aaron and his sons. 10 And you will cause a bull to be brought before the tabernacle of the congregation: and Aaron and his sons will put their hands on the head of the bull.
- The anointing oil represented the Holy Spirit.
- We serve God through His Holy Spirit.
- Jeremiah 23:6… and this is his name by which he will be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
11 And you will kill the bull before the LORD by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 12 And take of the blood of the bull and put it on the horns of the altar with your finger, and pour all the blood beside the bottom of the altar. 13 And take all the fat that covers the innards, and the midriff that is above the liver, and the two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, and burn them on the altar. 14 But the flesh of the bull with its skin and its dung, you will burn with fire outside the camp: it is a sin offering. 15 You will also take one ram; and Aaron and his sons will put their hands on the head of the ram. 16 And kill the ram, and take his blood, and sprinkle it around on the altar. 17 And you will cut the ram in pieces, and wash his innards, and its legs, and put them in pieces by his head. 18 And burn the whole ram on the altar: it is a burnt offering to the LORD: it is a sweet aroma, an offering made by fire to the LORD. 19 And you will take the other ram; and Aaron and his sons will put their hands on the head of the ram. 20 Then kill the ram, and take of his blood, and put it on the tip of the right ear of Aaron, and on the tip of the right ear of his sons, and on the thumb of their right hand, and on the great toe of their right foot, and sprinkle the blood around on the altar.
- Placing the hands on the head of the living sacrifice signified the transfer of sins to the animal.
- God never goes easy on sin.
- Christ paid a terrible price that the power of sin over us might be broken.
- Like the fire consumed the sacrifice, Christ’s human life was totally consumed for our sins.
- The blood placed on the ear, hand, and foot signified holiness or separation to God in all that the person heard (on the ear), all that he did (thumb of the right hand), and everywhere he went (toe of the right foot).
- John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming unto him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.
- Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
21 And you will take from the blood that is on the altar, and from the anointing oil, and sprinkle it on Aaron, on his garments, on his sons, and on the garments of his sons with him: and he will be made holy, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons’ garments with him. 22 Also take the fat and the rump from the ram, and the fat that covers the innards, and the midriff above the liver, and the two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, and the right shoulder; for it is a ram of consecration: 23 And one loaf of bread, and one cake of oiled bread, and one wafer out of the basket of the unleavened bread that is before the LORD: 24 And put it all in the hands of Aaron, and in the hands of his sons; and wave them for a wave offering before the LORD. 25 And you will receive them of their hands, and burn them on the altar for a burnt offering for a sweet aroma before the LORD: it is an offering made by fire unto the LORD. 26 And take the breast of the ram of Aaron’s consecration, and wave it for a wave offering before the LORD: and it will be your part.
- This was their food.
- John 6:35 And Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life: he that comes to me will never hunger; and he that believes on me will never thirst.
27 Set aside as holy the parts of the ordination ram that belong to Aaron and his sons. This includes the breast and the thigh that were lifted up before the LORD in the ordination ceremony. 28 And it will be Aaron’s and his sons’ by a statute forever from the children of Israel: for it is a heave offering: and it will be a heave offering from the children of Israel of the sacrifice of their peace offerings, even their heave offering to the LORD. 29 And the holy garments of Aaron will be his sons’ after him, to be anointed in, and to be consecrated in them. 30 And that son that is priest in his place will put them on seven days, when he comes into the tabernacle of the congregation to minister in the holy place. 31 And you will take the ram of the consecration, and boil its flesh in the holy place. 32 And Aaron and his sons will eat the flesh of the ram, and the bread that is in the basket, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 33 And they will eat those things with which the atonement was made, to consecrate and to sanctify them: but a foreigner is not to eat of it because they are holy. 34 And if any of the flesh of the consecrations, or of the bread remains until the morning, then you will burn the remainder with fire: it will not be eaten because it is holy. 35 You will do this to Aaron and to his sons, according to all things that I have commanded you: seven days will you consecrate them.
- These things were holy because they are a symbol of the great price God was willing to pay to save us from our sin so that we might be with Him forever.
- God has replaced our guilt with Christ’s innocence.
- When the Father looks at His children He does not see our imperfections but the perfection of Jesus.
- Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
36 And every day you will offer a bull for a sin offering for atonement: and you will cleanse the altar, when you have made atonement for it you will anoint it to sanctify it. 37 Seven days you are to make atonement for the altar to sanctify it; it will be a most holy altar: whatever touches the altar will be holy. 38 Now this is what you will offer on the altar; two lambs of the first year day by day continually. 39 You will offer the one lamb in the morning; and you will offer the other lamb at evening: 40 And with the one lamb a tenth measure of flour mingled with the fourth part of an hin of beaten oil; and the fourth part of an hin of wine for a drink offering. 41 And you will offer the other lamb at evening, and will do to it according to the food offering of the morning and like its drink offering for a sweet aroma, an offering made by fire to the LORD. 42 This will be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD: where I will meet you, to speak there to you. 43 And I will meet there with the children of Israel, and the tabernacle will be sanctified by my glory.
- God meets with His children.
- His glory sanctified the tabernacle.
- Ezekiel described His glory.
- Ezekiel 1:26 And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and on the throne was the likeness of a man above upon it. 27 And I saw as the color of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from his loins upward, and from his loins downward, I saw the appearance of fire, and it had brightness around it. 28 Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain was the appearance of the brightness around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.
44 And I will sanctify the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar: I will sanctify also both Aaron and his sons to minister to me in the priest’s office. 45 And I will dwell among the children of Israel and will be their God. 46 And they will know that I am the LORD their God, that brought them out of the land of Egypt, to dwell among them: I am the LORD their God.
- Sanctify means ‘to set apart.’
- He dwells among us.
- He is our God.
- God has brought us out of all that is wrong and painful into the pure, infinite joy of His presence.
- Jeremiah 10:10 But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth will tremble, and the nations will not be able to abide his indignation.
- Ephesians 3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fullness of God.
- Psalm 16:11 You will show me the path of life: in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
SUMMARY: Exodus 27-29
- God showed Moses the pattern for the tabernacle and its furnishings at Mt. Sinai
- God's light to the world never goes out
- God appointed Aaron and his sons as priests