This week’s parashah is entitled Terumah, meaning “offering or gift” and covers Exodus 25:1- 27:19. This parasha focuses on the materials needed for the building of the Tabernacle and its furnishings.
Moses said to the whole community of Israel, “this is what your God has commanded. You are to take a sacred offering for the Lord; let only those with willing and generous hearts present the following gifts to Adonai.”
2,200 pounds of gold, 7,545 pounds of silver, and 5,310 pounds of bronze were given by the people.
Cloth, of blue, purple and scarlet: Blue representing the heavens. Purple representing royalty and scarlet a representation of sin, as the prophet declares in Isaiah 1:18. They were also to bring goat’s hair and fine linen, the leathers of rams and badger skins, acacia wood, olive oil, spices, and jewels of onyx stones.
The purpose of the contributions was to make the Tabernacle and all that is contained within. This included the ark, the table of showbread, the lampstand, the altar of incense, the anointing oil and sweet incense, the altar of burnt offering, the laver, and the garments for the priests who served in the Tabernacle.
The Tabernacle expressed the compassion and eternal desire of Adonai for His people. God is ever-seeking to dwell with His chosen people. “The Word became human and Tabernacled among us” (John 1:14). The Tabernacle was to be located with the people. When the people moved, the Tabernacle was to move as well.
The remainder of this chapter addresses the building of the rest of the items for the Tabernacle.
The first item discussed is the ark with its atonement cover. It is the most sacred, and the only piece that was placed within the veil of the Holy of Holies. The ark was made of acacia wood and overlaid with pure gold both inside and out. The ark was approximately 45 inches long, 27 inches high and 27 inches wide.
The atonement cover was the lid covering the ark, which was made only of pure gold. On the atonement cover were two cherubim facing each other, but looking down on the ark; they also were made of a solid piece of pure gold. This is the place where God would commune with his people.
The table of showbread was made of acacia wood veneered with gold; it measured 3 feet long, 18 inches wide and 18 inches high and was to be carried by gold-covered poles in the same manner as the ark.
A frame about 3″ inches wide around the edge of the table would keep objects from falling off.
On the table, to be positioned on the north side of the Holy Place, were 12 loaves of bread, to be placed in two stacks of 6, and replaced on each Sabbath. Golden plates and ladles, pitchers, and bowls for drink offerings were also to be placed on the table.
The Golden Lampstand was hammered out of about seventy-five pounds of gold. It was undoubtedly a beautiful work of art with its six branches and the central shaft made it seven lamps, decorated with almond flowers, buds, and blossoms, which were fed pure oil of pressed olives.
The Golden Lampstand was the only source of light available in the Holy Place. This light allow the priests to serve before the Lord.
In chapter 27, we read that “Aaron and his sons shall place this eternal flame in the outer holy room, tending it day and night before the Lord”.
This is also the first mention of the priesthood and a sort of introduction to the next chapter which details the priesthood.
Today God’s teachers and preachers are to illuminate His truths and bring the light of his word to a dark and lost world.
Chapter 26: Within the Tabernacle were colorful curtains of linen, hung upon the wooden framework. God built beauty into the walls and ceiling of the Tabernacle, not only with the colors used, but also with the images of the cherubim on the curtains. The next covering was of woven goat’s hair. Then came two protective coverings of ram’s hide dyed red and leather-like badger’s skins.
The framework boards of acacia wood, 15 feet long and 27 inches wide, were to be veneered with gold. All that gold veneering of the boards would make the inside of the Tabernacle splendorous and magnificent in appearance.
Silver sockets were necessary to hold the structure level and secure it on the desert ground. The silver for these sockets came from the “redemption price” given by each male who was twenty years old or older.
The Tabernacle boards rested on silver sockets, and the curtains hung from silver hooks. The basis for our worship today is the redemption that we have only through Messiah.
The last part of this chapter focuses on the two veils which served as curtain doorways: The outer veil was the doorway into the Tabernacle; the inner veil was the doorway into the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle.
Chapter 27 discusses the altar for the sacrifices, the Court of the Tabernacle and further information on the oil for the lamps, which I detailed earlier.
The basic purpose of the altar was for the burning of the sacrifices. The great foreshadowing in this altar is Yeshua on the Cross. There Messiah experienced the fires of judgment; He offered Himself as a sacrifice for our sins.
The court of the Tabernacle contained a fence which went completely around the Tabernacle. The courtyard was 100 cubits by 50 cubits. The Tabernacle, being 45 by 15 cubits, had a good size courtyard surrounding it.
In conclusion, the Tabernacle, the ark and table were made of acacia wood, perhaps to typify the human nature of Yeshua; but acacia is a non-rotting wood, which resists the worm.
Truly, in Messiah there was no corruption in Lis life by way of sin, and no corruption contaminated Him in death. Wood is a thing that grows out of the earth, even as Yeshua sprang up like a root out of dry ground.
So, the Tabernacle, the ark and the table of showbread had to be made of the best kind of wood. Yet though made of wood, they did not appear to be so, being overlaid with pure gold, just as the Deity, or, if you will, the perfect righteousness of Yeshua was the only thing that could be seen.
The Tabernacle, the ark, and table were of acacia wood, yet it was a Tabernacle of gold; and Yeshua, who was truly man was just as truly God.
Messiah is the true representation of the Tabernacle, ark, lampstand and table of showbread for us. It is only through Messiah that we tabernacle with God.
The ark of His atonement makes the forgiveness of sins possible for us; His lampstand is the glorious presence that lights this world as He also provides us with the sustenance of the bread of his Living Word