Old Testament: Exodus 26:1-27:21
Exodus 26:1-27:21 Going Loopy
You can go loopy reading all the details for the Tabernacle. But they’re in the Bible. Read v. 26: 1-6 regarding the curtains of linen and you’ll know exactly what I mean.
Recently in a debate on creation vs. evolution, the evolution proponent objected that Noah could not have been skilled enough to build such an intricate ark and that it couldn’t possibly have housed as many animals as the Bible claimed. That person should read the details on the construction of the Tabernacle. You can see where Moses had some Divine help in knowing how to construct it and what to put in it.
The curtains were to be of goat’s hair. More loops. Temple covering of rams’ skins dyed red and porpoise skins (NASB). Talk about the “porpoise-driven life”! Where did they get porpoises around the Red Sea? It’s a word that’s hard to know what the translation would be. Sea cow? Goatskins? Badger? Dolphin (no, not those sweet dolphins!)? It’s hard to know but whatever it would have been waterproof! (The NET Bible notes indicate that there is an abundance of porpoises and dolphins in the Red Sea! Who knew!?)
Exodus 26: 22 – 36
26:15-29 In the 70’s there was a popular expression, “Sock it to me!” Did it come from this passage? Well, don’t be “board,” you can glance through it all. Also, back in that time, Bill Cosby asked the “age old” question, “What’s a cubit?” I guess Moses knew. It was 45.72 centimeters.
26:31-37 A veil had to be made to separate the holiest inner part of the tabernacle, “the holy of holies, from , “the holy place” which was outside the “holy of holies.” It was to be made with cherubim which were a type of angel. The cherubim guarded the garden of Eden after Adam and Eve were kicked out. (Gen. 3:24, “So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.”)
Diagrams of the tabernacle can easily be found online or in study Bibles. It could only be entered by the High Priest once a year. It was torn after the crucifixion to show that believers now have direct access to God (Mark 15:38). The ark (different Hebrew word than the word for Noah’s ark) was a chest that had the Ten Commandment tablets in it along with some manna from the exodus and Aaron’s rod that budded. According to the Bible Knowledge Commentary, the ark was 2’ 3” wide, 3’ 9” long, and 2’ 3” high, based on the cubit as 18”.
The “mercy seat” (“seat of atonement” NIV) was the top covering of the ark. It was the place where sin was forgiven as well as the top of the ark. It was 2’ 3” wide, 3’ 9” long (because it covered the ark . . . duh!)
27:1-7 The bronze altar was in the outer court of the tabernacle. It was a place to offer sacrifices indicating that no one could approach Yahweh without a blood sacrifice. Some believe the bronze represents judgment and the wood used in the altar represents Christ.
It would have been good for Uzzah to have studied verses 4 -7. It could have saved his life (see blog Uzzah, Oopsa). He needed to know how to transport the ark. You can read his rather strange story in 2Sam. 6:3 -8.
27:9-21 The Court of the Tabernacle was rectangular, 75’ x 150’ (vv. 9, 13, 18). The lamp stand with its seven lamps (v. 20, 21, cf. 25:31-39) was to go on a stand by the ark in the Holy of Holies. The people of Israel were responsible to provide the olive oil to keep it lit continually.
God gave detailed instructions to the Israelites on how to make the Temple and how to make the utensils to be used for worship.
New Testament: Matthew 24:1-30
Jesus told two parables to show we should be alert
One was about a wedding feast,
The other of a servant who showed no increase.
Matthew 25:1-30 A Big Talent Show or the Big Show of Talents?
Matthew 25, like Matthew 24, is very, very Jewish.
Mat. 25:1-13 is the story of a Jewish wedding. Jewish tradition held that a groom would be engaged for a year before marriage. The engagement was binding, however, to the extent that a divorce had to be granted to break the bond even though the couple wasn’t living together. The Parable of the Ten Virgins tells the tale of five “bridesmaids” who were prudent and kept enough oil to keep their lamps lit the night before the wedding. Five were “foolish” and didn’t plan ahead by bringing enough oil. No one knew when the groom would come to take away the bride and start the wedding feast. So when the groom actually arrived, it turned out that the five ditzy bridesmaids had to go out and purchase more oil. When they came back, the festivities had already begun and when they rang the doorbell, the groom answered and said, “who are you ditzy girls?” They were left outside.
Jesus was warning the Jews living in the Tribulation to be ready or they’d miss the festivities for His wedding, aka, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. It was by invitation only. Only the saved get in. It is possible that the oil, symbolic of the Holy Spirit in Scripture (cf. Ex. 27: 20, 21 in today’s OT reading!), represents salvation in that only those who are saved and the Holy Spirit (cf. Rom. 8: 9b, “And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ” NIV) will be guests at the Supper.
The word “talent” is used today for abilities and comes from this parable. Back in New Testament times, however, a talent was a measure of weight and in the case a measure of the weight of silver used for remuneration.
Three servants are described. Two use their “talents” for their Boss and make him money. One doesn’t even put it in the bank to earn interest but buries it because he knows his Boss is a “hard man.” When the Boss comes back, he commends the first two employees even though they both make different returns. He condemns the third employee for knowing better but being lazy.
So those who do not use their abilities for God and the furtherance of the Kingdom will lose what they had and the faithful servants will inherit what they lost. V. 30, 31, “For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (NASB). Have you ever heard the expression, “Throw the bums out!”? They will be. Some Jews in the Tribulation will be able to see the signs of the Second Coming but will ignore them. They will cry and break their own teeth because they missed the chance of salvation.
Jesus tells a parable about ten virgin bridesmaids that were supposed to keep on the lookout for the groom. Only five stayed on alert and were ready when he came. This was a warning to Jews to be alert for Christ’s second coming during the seven-year Tribulation.
He told another parable to indicate that believers should be careful to use their abilities to further God’s kingdom and His agenda.