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Bible Commentaries

Kingcomments on the Whole Bible

Exodus 40

Verses 1-16

How to Set up the Tabernacle

The moment of its establishment heralds a new beginning: “The first day of the first month.” The often-repeated use of anointing oil (Exodus 40:9-1 Kings :; Exodus 40:13Exodus 40:15) recalls our incessant need for the grace and guidance of the Holy Spirit, without whom the finest work is unacceptable to God. Only what emerges in our lives as the fruit of the Holy Spirit is valuable to God.

In Exodus 40:16 we read the starting point, which keeps coming back: to do everything as the LORD has commanded and not to act according to one’s own insight.

Verses 17-33

Moses Erects the Tabernacle

The workers prepared everything, but Moses erects the house of God. Not only does he erect it, he also performs a service in it. Thus we see that when he has placed the table in the holy place, he also arranges the bread on it before the LORD. We see the same with the lampstand. When he has put it in its place, he lights the lamps before the LORD. And when he has put the golden altar in its place, he burns fragrant incense on it. After placing the altar of burnt offering he offers the burnt offering and the meal offering on it. When he has placed the laver, he puts water in it for washing, and then he and Aaron and his sons wash their hands and their feet.

Moses sets an example in everything as a servant in God’s house (Hebrews 3:5), he ordains the service. He acts as a builder and also as a priest, among whom he is counted, although he is not appointed as such by the LORD (Psalms 99:6). He is a picture of the Lord Jesus, Who is also greater than Moses, for Christ is “Son over His house, whose house we are” (Hebrews 3:6).

We also see in the example that Moses also gives an example for us. It is not only important that we know what the house of God represents, that we can describe and know how to behave, but it is just as important that we also do our service in it. What we know we must also put into practice. Then when we teach others about the church it will also have value and be imitated.

Verses 34-38

The Cloud Fills the Tabernacle

A mighty moment occurs, the goal of all previous work: God comes to dwell with His people. The cloud, the symbol of God’s presence, takes possession of the tabernacle. What He later says to Ezekiel regarding the temple applies from now on to the tabernacle: “[This is] the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell among the sons of Israel forever” (Ezekiel 43:7). For the new temple this applies “forever”. For the tabernacle this applies until the moment the ark is captured by the Philistines. Then it is “Ichabod”, which means “the glory is gone” (1 Samuel 4:21-Song of Solomon :). The glory returns when Solomon finishes building the temple (1 Kings 8:10-:). However, the glory disappears again from the temple because of the sin of the people (Ezekiel 8:4; Ezekiel 9:3Ezekiel 10:4; Ezekiel 10:18Ezekiel 11:23).

But when the Lord Jesus is born, in Him the glory of God appears again on earth to dwell among His people: “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). However, this glory was rejected in the rejection of the Lord Jesus.

After His resurrection and ascension, the glory of God came to dwell again on earth in the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. He dwells in this time in the church as a whole (Ephesians 2:21-Song of Solomon :; Acts 2:1-Numbers :) and in the body of the individual believer (1 Corinthians 6:19).

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Kingcomments on the Whole Bible © 2021 Author: G. de Koning. All rights reserved. Used with the permission of the author
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Bibliographical Information
de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op Exodus 40". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kng/exodus-40.html. 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniƫl', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.