This week’s parasha is entitled Pekudei which means “accounting of.” It covers Exodus 38:21-40:38.
Moses commanded the Levites to write down everything that was used to make the Tabernacle of Testimony. Ithamar, son of Aaron, was in charge of keeping the list. (verse 21). These are the amounts of the materials used for the tabernacle.
Two things here, first, later on in Deut (9:10) Moses was given “two stone tablets inscribed by the finger of God. On them were all the commandments the Lord had proclaimed).” These tablets were kept in the Tabernacle and they formed the basis for God’s relationship with His people, it was this material pledge that God would cause His Name, His manifested presence, to dwell there.
Secondly, we would do well to remember that the Word of God is more precious than all the gold and silver that it took to make the Tabernacle. God’s Word is the true wealth in the tabernacle.
Bezalel made everything the Lord had commanded Moses. Also, Oholiab helped him.
Oholiab was a skilled worker and designer. He was skilled at weaving fine linen and blue, purple, and red yarn. Bezalel and
Oholiab were both anointed with wisdom and the ability to perform this work.
Now that the work had begun, an inventory of the materials that were contributed was compiled by the Levites.
The statistics reveal the grandeur and expensiveness of Israel’s center of worship. The materials included a little over a ton of gold, almost four tons of silver, and about two-and-one-half tons of bronze.
That bronze was used to make the bases at the entrance of the Tabernacle. They also used the bronze to make the altar and the bronze grating, to make all the tools and dishes for the altar. The bases for all the curtains around the courtyard and for the tent pegs.
The garments for the priests were made by Bezalel and his crew.
The report here is mostly about the garments of the high priest. His garments were the most involved while the garments of the other priests were rather plain.
Bezalel made the ephod of gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine-twined linen. The ephod was the outer garment and was a thing of beauty. There was gold thread interwoven into the material. The major notation about the ephod is the breastplate. It included twelve jewels to represent each tribe of Israel and was attached to the ephod with gold attachments.
He made the robe of the ephod”. The color was pure blue, it reflected the clear canopy of heaven. The high priest ministered in a sky-blue robe. Just as Messiah brings all of heaven to our thoughts. There were attachments to the hem of the robe. “A bell and a pomegranate, round about the hem of the robe”.
A number of articles are mentioned briefly at the end of this section on the priests’ garments. They include the “coats of linen . . .The miter . . . bonnets . . . breeches . . . plate of the holy crown . . . engravings of a signet, HOLY TO THE LORD.” Some of these articles (coats of fine linen, bonnets, and breeches) were worn by all the priests, not just the high priest.
So, all the work on the Holy Tent, that is, the Tabernacle, was finished. The Israelis did all this work exactly as the Lord had commanded Moses.
Moses closely inspected all the work and saw that it was done exactly as Adonai had commanded. So, Moses blessed the people.
Then the cloud covered the Holy Tent, and the Glory of the three-in-one God filled the Tabernacle so powerfully. That Moses couldn’t enter into the Tent of Meeting because the weight of the Shekinah glory had settled on it and filled the tabernacle.
Closing thoughts: Did you know that there are two Greek words which came to be used to denote the Temple? One word meaning the Temple buildings,
while the other word was used only for the Holy of Holies; and it is a fascinating fact that in the New Testament, where the expression “temple of God” is used for Messianic Jews or Christian believers, either collectively or individually, the Greek word is that which refers to the Holy of Holies itself.
And did you know that just as the tabernacle of old was a three-fold structure, so indeed are we by our very constitution as human beings?
Corresponding to the “Outer Court” is the body. The outer court is where the washing and sacrifices were carried out. Today, we must be wash by the water and the blood of Messiah, and we must crucify our flesh daily.
Corresponding to the “Holy Place” is the soul. The soul is the intellect, will and emotions of a human being.
Our intellect must learn of the word and character of God. And our will must, by faith, surrender to God’s perfect will. When this is accomplished, the emotions of man are joyful, peaceful, and loving toward his God and King.
The Holy Place is where our souls labor to enter into the presence of God. We go to the table of showbread and feed on the bread of His Presence, then we go to the Golden lampstand and let God’s illuminating glory light our path and hearts. And, it is at the Golden Altar of Incense where we enter into our highest calling which is holy and sincere prayer.
Corresponding to the “Holy of Holies” is the human spirit; and once we are in the Holy of Holies all we can do is abide in His Presence. It is here in the innermost part of our being that God has made His dwelling place, transforming us into His living temples through the giving of the Holy Spirit, who lives in us.
My heart explodes with gratitude and thankfulness when I consider how a Holy God is drawing us closer to himself. And has made us His Temple.
A poem reads:
“O joy of joys, O grace of grace,
That God should condescend
To make my heart His dwelling-place”!