The Tabernacle

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Further, ram skins and dolphin skins were to be used as further covering for the tabernacle. Various commentaries interpreted the significance of the tabernacle in different ways. Maimonides saw the tabernacle as an image of a royal palace. The Zohar , a mystical text believed to have been written in the 13th century, saw the tabernacle as a reflection of the process of the creation of the universe.


The 19th-century Russian-Jewish commentator known as the Malbim provided a symbolic explanation for the relevance of the tabernacle. It was not that God needed a physical sanctuary on earth, but that each one of us is called to build a tabernacle for God in our hearts, preparing ourselves to become a sanctuary for God.

The portability of the tabernacle foreshadows the future movements of the Jewish people in exile, where they built synagogues and houses of study wherever they migrated. The tabernacle also stands as a symbol of the paradox of divine presence in the world: On the one hand, God is believed to be everywhere — or perhaps, as the Malbim argues, in human hearts — but on the other hand, the tabernacle and later the Temple in Jerusalem and synagogues throughout the world represents a physical location where humans can experience a connection to God.

The Holy Temple in Jerusalem, first built in BCE by King Solomon, became the permanent sanctuary for the Israelites to worship God until it was destroyed and later rebuilt and destroyed again. The tabernacle was the portable sanctuary they used while wandering in the desert.


In , it was reported that possible evidence had been found of the tabernacle in the ancient city of Shiloh, in the West Bank. Archaeologists discovered holes hewn into rock that may have been used for propping up the wooden beams of the tabernacle. Previous research at the site had also found remains of possibly sacrificed animals and evidence of bathing pools where the High Priest may have cleansed himself in preparation to enter the tabernacle.

The entire compound of the tabernacle would fill nearly half the area of a football or soccer field.

What the Tabernacle Looked Like

Why is the tabernacle important? The tabernacle itself, as well as each element in the tabernacle compound, are spiritually symbolic and carry important significance for Christians today.

For starters, the tabernacle helps us better see and understand the pattern of worship our Holy God set forth for us to approach him. Share Flipboard Email. Mary Fairchild is a full-time Christian minister, writer, and editor of two Christian anthologies, including "Stories of Cavalry.

What was the tabernacle of Moses?

The Tabernacle was an earthly place for the ancient Israelites to interact with God. The Courtyard Fence of the tabernacle could be easily dismantled and moved. The Gate of the Court was the only way into the tabernacle. Jesus said the Israelites should build a tabernacle. A tabernacle is a place to learn about God. Jesus would come to the tabernacle. Jesus showed Moses what the tabernacle should look like. He told Moses how to build it.

The Spiritual Significance of the Tabernacle

Jesus told Moses which men should build the tabernacle. Jesus blessed the men so they could do good work. Exodus ; —9 ; — The Israelites obeyed Jesus. They gave gold and silver for the tabernacle.

Amazing! How Jesus is Like the Tabernacle of Moses: How to find Jesus in the OT pt14

They gave animal skins for the roof. The women made beautiful cloth for the walls. Exodus — The Israelites built the tabernacle the way Jesus told them. The tabernacle was like a tent. It had a wall of curtains.

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