The Design for Worship Exodus 25-40
Exodus 25-31 The Details of the Tabernacle
The Tabernacle (a tent) was finished exactly one year after the Exodus from Egypt (Exodus 40:2)…9 months after arriving at Sinai (Exodus 40:17; cf. 12:2; 19:1). It was the place where God met His people (cf. 25:8) until the building of Solomon’s Temple (950 B.C.). Fifty chapters detail instructions for the Tabernacle…13 in Exodus, 18 in Leviticus, 13 in Numbers, 2 in Deuteronomy, and 4 in Hebrews. In it’s very design we are taught many spiritual truths (cf. Hebrews 9:23). For instance, it portrays Christ (cf. Hebrews 9:8-12)…
The Outer Court: Herein we see the brazen altar on which the burnt offerings were sacrificed. Remember, Christ is our sin-offering (27:1-8). The laver was there for the cleansing of the priests before they could enter into the holy place to render their service (30:18). Jesus is the water of life.
The Holy Place: Herein was the golden lampstand (25:31-40), typifying Christ, the Light of the world, and the bread of the Presence (25:23-30); for Christ is the Bread of life, and the golden altar of incense (30:1-10), symbolizing Christ's intercession through prayer for us.
Holy of Holies: Now if we draw back the beautiful veil (which typifies the body of Christ), we will see the Ark of the Covenant, the symbol of God's presence. Into this holy of holies, the high priest came only once a year to sprinkle the blood of atonement. The book of Hebrews tells us that Christ is not only our High Priest but that He was our atonement, and so we can go into the holy of holies (the presence of God) at any time with boldness.
The Tabernacle itself: The Tabernacle, with the cloud of glory over it, taught the people that God was dwelling in their midst (25:8).
For a drawing of the Tabernacle see:
For numerous drawings of the Tabernacle, the positioning of the 12 tribes camped around it, and other useful information see:
For a 3D Animation of the Tabernacle see:
For a Jewish description and explanation of the Tabernacle see:
For an explanation of the symbolism of the Tabernacle and its Christian importance see:
Exodus 25:2-9-God tells the people to take up an offering for the construction of a “sanctuary””…let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them". God gives very specific instructions for its construction and purpose.
Exodus 25:10-16-The Ark was a box measuring 3'9"x2'3"x2'3". It held the stone tablets of the Law, a pot of manna, and Aaron's rod (9:4).
Exodus 25:17-The Mercy Seat was the covering (top) of the Ark. It’s purpose was to serve as the place where sins were covered…the place of propitiation.
Exodus 25:18-20-The cherubim (plural of cherub) were figures, or statues, of angels. The cherubim are an order of angels. Their responsibility is to guard access to the holiness of God’s presence. One was attached to each end of the Mercy Seat…facing each other with their wings outstretched forward.
For information on angels see:
For information on cherubs see:
For a Jewish explanation of the cherub see:
What are the names of the angels in the Bible?
Exodus 25:22-"And there I will meet with you...I will speak to you". This was the place where the High Priest would come to hear from God.
Exodus 25:23-30-The Table for the Bread (3'x1.5')...it held the "bread of Presence" which means bread laid before God, in His presence....there was one table with 12 flat cakes arranged in two piles (cf. Leviticus 24:6; John 6:32-35) and certain utensils. These flat cakes/bread represented the 12 tribes of Israel…each one equally loved by God.
Exodus 25:31-40-The Lampstand supplied light so that the priests could minister.
Exodus 26:1-14-The Curtains (three sets) were the sides of the Tabernacle (tent).
Exodus 26:14-The “porpoise skins” are a kind of leather, or animal hide, though there is uncertainty of exactly what is meant.
For an interesting article showing the difficulty of translating this word see:
Exodus 26:15-30-The Boards formed a framework on which the curtains were hung.
Exodus 25:31-37-The Veils (with cherubim embroidered on them)..."the veil shall serve for you as a partition between the holy place and the holy of holies". The ark and mercy seat are in the holy of holies and the table (north side) and lampstand (south side) outside of the holy of holies, in the holy place.
Prayer: Lord, how beautiful and inspiring the Tabernacle must have been. All of our senses would have been involved when we entered…lifting our spirit to a heightened awareness of Your glory and wonder. Father, You have made Your tabernacle among men, You have taken up residence in our lives. Please help me to live constantly in awe of You…no matter where I am, no matter what is happening. You are truly worthy of praise!