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Bible Commentaries
Exodus 25

Gaebelein's Annotated BibleGaebelein's Annotated

Verses 1-40

3. The Tabernacle and the Priesthood

CHAPTER 25 The Tabernacle

1. The freewill offering and the materials (Exodus 25:1-9 )

2. The ark (Exodus 25:10-22 )

3. The table of showbread (Exodus 25:23-30 )

4. The golden candlestick (Exodus 25:31-40 )

This is another intensely interesting portion of this great book. To give a few annotations and hints on the tabernacle is an extremely difficult task, for there is such a wonderful mine of wealth here that a book of hundreds of pages could not contain all.

The tabernacle concerning which the Lord instructed Moses was the earthly place of worship of Israel; it was the means of a continued relationship of a holy God with a sinful people. But besides this the tabernacle and its worship foreshadow in the completest way the Person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ. The epistle to the Hebrews bears witness to this. The types in the tabernacle are simply inexhaustible. The word “tabernacle” in the Hebrew is mishkan, which means dwelling-place. The construction and arrangement were not left to man. God gave Moses the instructions and showed to him a pattern.

The materials are mentioned first, and they are to be supplied by His willing people. The Hebrew expression is literally, “every one whom his heart drove.” Only His people, not strangers, could furnish the material. And they had to give with the heart. The same principle holds good in the New Testament. The support of the Lord’s work by unsaved people and the methods of the world are wrong; they have not the blessing of God. We do not touch upon the materials now, but shall do so later.

The ark of shittim wood is the first thing mentioned. Man builds differently. Man lays first a foundation, builds the walls, works from the outside to the inside. God begins within. The ark with the mercy seat is where Jehovah dwelt, “between the Cherubim.” It is, therefore, a type of Christ. The shittim wood, that is, acacia, grows in the desert, out of a dry ground (Isaiah 53:2 ). It is of all the wood the most durable, almost imperishable. We have in it the type of the humanity of Christ. The gold which covered it is typical of His deity. The mercy seat fitted the ark. It was of the same dimensions as the ark. The Hebrew word is kapporeth, which means covering, and has reference to atonement. The two cherubim faced each other and looked down upon the mercy seat, where the blood was sprinkled. They are always seen in the Word in connection with the throne (Ezekiel 1:0 ; Revelation 4:0 ). Beautiful is Exodus 25:22 .

The table of Showbread still tells us of Christ, for it is of the same material as the ark. What was on the table, the showbread and all its blessed lessons we shall consider in Leviticus. The table and the bread are typical of Christ, who sustains us in fellowship with God.

The golden candlestick is the next article of furniture described. It was of pure gold. Three times almonds are mentioned. From the book of Numbers we learn that the almond, on the blossoming rod of Aaron, is the type of Christ in resurrection. The candlestick typifies Christ in heaven’s glory, outshining the glory of God. It also is the type of Him, risen from the dead, giving the Holy Spirit, who is seen as the sevenfold Spirit in the candlestick. See and compare with Revelation 1:4 ; Revelation 1:13 ; Revelation 1:20 ; Revelation 3:1 and Revelation 4:5 .

Bibliographical Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on Exodus 25". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gab/exodus-25.html. 1913-1922.
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