Exodus Bible Study – Week 4 – Part 2 – Chapters 26-28

Note: If you are looking for any posts you have missed including part 1 of this study, you can find the table of contents by clicking here.

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Below are my thoughts for each of the chapters we studied this week along with the answers to the questions I posted in the study guide.

Also, make sure that you get a copy of the coloring page I have pasted below. Have a great weekend!

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Exodus 26

My thoughts on this chapter…

What I love about this chapter is the symbolism and how easily it’s compared the book of Hebrews. As I was reading it, I found verse after verse that helped me to understand the details of the tabernacle. In particular the curtain that divided the Holy of Holies from the rest of the tent. Hebrews chapter 10 is especially good for gaining a deeper understanding.

Questions and Answers…

The tabernacle was a means for God to dwell among His people. Where else in scripture do we see God dwelling among His people?

The Bible says the Word [Jesus] was flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). The Greek word for “dwelt” in this passage is skenoo (Strong’s G4637) which literally means, “to abide or live in a tabernacle.”

And so we see that Jesus dwelt among His people in the New Testament.

Comparing this chapter to 2 Corinthians 6:16, 1 Corinthians 3:16, and Ephesians 4:15-16
what symbolism can we draw from this chapter?

We are the temple of the Holy Ghost, both collectively as a church and also individually.

Ephesians 4:16 says, “From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”

And so we have come to learn that each and every part of this “tabernacle” we call the church is vital to the body of Christ. Every personality and every gift is designed according to plan.

In Exodus 26 we see a chapter that is rich in detail—yet every detail has a unique purpose. In the same way, we each have a unique purpose in the body of Christ.

This chapter is rich in detail. From the type of fabric they used, to the color of dye, the number of loops on the curtains, and the way that they were fastened together… why do you suppose God wanted us to read these details?

It’s important to know that our God is detailed, specific and thoughtful. He’s gone to great length to create us—from the number of hairs on our head to the fingerprints that make us unique.

Even though we don’t understand at times why things should be done a certain way, we can trust in His wisdom, His design, and His purpose.

Many of these details are a shadow of things to come–things we might not understand yet, and some things that we do. And so we walk in faith trusting His will in lieu of our own.

Moses followed God’s detailed and specific instructions. What can we learn from his example?

To trust in God’s plan and to walk according to His will at all times.

The Bible gives us specific instruction for living. Even though sometimes we might think it makes more sense to do things our way, or that following a different path is easy, we can learn from Moses who demonstrated His faith by following God’s Word.

Pay attention to verses 31-33. Here we see a curtain dividing the Holy of Holies from the rest of the tabernacle. What do we learn about this curtain in the New Testament? For example, what did this veil typify? What happened to the veil the moment Jesus died? How was the curtain made void?

Hebrews 6:19-20
Matthew 27:51
Hebrews 9:19-22

In the tabernacle, there was a curtain that divided the Holy of Holies from the rest of the tent. In one section of the tabernacle, men were permitted to enter, however only the High Priest was allowed on the other side of the curtain (once a year) where they met with God to make atonement for the sins of the people. This is also where the mercy seat (Ark of the Covenant) was placed. This practice of atonement didn’t cleanse them from sin, but rather it pointed to the One who would redeem them by His blood. Hebrews chapter 10 points out that if they had ceased to make this sacrifice year after year, the people wouldn’t have been aware of their sin. “But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.” (Hebrews 10:3)

For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. – Hebrews 10:1

In the new covenant Jesus made atonement for our sins. He became the One sacrifice for our sins forever. The moment He died, the curtain was torn from top to bottom which signified that by His flesh, He had opened the door between God and man. Both Jews and Gentiles could approach the throne of God by faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.

“Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh.” – Hebrews 10:18-20

What did this curtain look like?

The veil that separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the tent is found in verse 31:

“And thou shalt make a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubims shall it be made.”

 

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Exodus 27

My thoughts on this chapter…

I wasn’t expecting to find so much symbolism in the brazen altar, but the more I started digging, the more scriptures I found. Just as the cross is a prominent aspect of the Christian faith, so was the brazen altar upon which their sacrifices were made.

The Bible calls us to carry our cross, which is to say that we must become a living sacrifice, pointing to the One who sacrificed Himself for our sins.

Scripture after scripture instructs us to deny ourselves daily. These are the sacrifices we bring to the altar–complete surrender to His will, dependence on Him, and joy in thanksgiving which is only by faith.

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. Matthew 16:24

Questions and Answers…

What were the dimensions of the altar?

The length of a cubit was based on the distance between the elbow and the fingertips, and so the original length of the cubit is not certain. However, it’s generally estimated about 18 inches. Therefore the size would be about 7.5’long x 7.5’ wide x 4.5 high

What does the word altar mean?

A raised platform where sacrifices are offered.

What might be considered the altar of the New Covenant? Can you think of any scripture to support this?

God instructs Moses to build two altars—the brazen altar which we read about in this chapter, and the altar of incense found in chapter 30.

The brazen altar in the courtyard is the place where animal sacrifices were burned and their blood was poured out. According to Leviticus 1:3-4, the sinner would bring an offering from his herd–a male without blemish, and then he would lay his hand on the head of the offering.

By laying his hand upon the head of the offering, the person was identifying with the sacrifice. His sin and guilt was being moved from himself to the animal. The priest would then slaughter the animal, sprinkle its blood in front of the veil of the Holy Place, burn the sacrifice, and pour the rest of it at the bottom of the altar. (www.the-tabernacle-place.com)

The symbolism of this altar is rich as it points directly to the cross where Jesus shed his blood for our sin.

Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. – 1 Peter 2:24

What’s interesting about this is altar is how the “sin offering” was made, according to Leviticus it was taken outside the camp to be burned, unlike other offerings that were burned within the camp.

Even the whole bullock shall he carry forth without the camp unto a clean place, where the ashes are poured out, and burn him on the wood with fire: where the ashes are poured out shall he be burnt. – Leviticus 4:12

This is different than verse 10 which uses the Hebrew word, qatar meaning, to burn incense or make sacrifices smoke. (Strong’s H6999)

This sin offering, was symbolic as we compare it to these verses in the book of Hebrews:

The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. 12 And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood.13 Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. 14 For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. – Hebrews 13:11-14

This brazen altar was also the place where “burnt offerings” were made (Leviticus 1) symbolizing our total surrender to God “grain offerings” (Leviticus 2) symbolizing our dependence on God, and the “peace offerings” (Leviticus 3) symbolizing the sacrifice of thanksgiving which offers peace to those who trust in God.

In verse 9, we read about the courtyard of the tabernacle. Can you find three Psalms that mention the court or courtyard?

For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. – Psalm 84:10

Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts. – Psalm 96:8

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. – Psalm 100:4

In chapter 25, we talked about the lampstands and what they might symbolize.

What comparison can draw between verse 21 and Matthew 25:1-13?

Just as Aaron and his sons had to keep their lamps burning, we must always be living out our faith. As the Holy Spirit (the oil of our lamp) guides us we must be ready and willing to follow God’s truth.

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Exodus 28

 

My thoughts on this chapter…

I’ve read this chapter through many times, but after reading again tonight, I felt that it was important to rightly divide scripture so to speak. What we see in this chapter are priestly garments for Aaron and his sons. But take note—their garments aren’t alike. Some of the scriptures point directly to Aaron as the high priest while others are for his sons who were regular priests.

For example, we see in verses 36-38 that Aaron had a gold plate on his forehead that was engraved, “Holiness to the Lord.” This signified that as the High Priest he (symbolically) took on the iniquity and the judgment of his people.

“And it shall be upon Aaron’s forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the Lord.” – Exodus 28:38

As our high priest, Jesus Christ took on the judgment, the sin, and the iniquity of His people. This isn’t something that we as priests of the new covenant are called to do, nor are we qualified as there is only One who takes away sin.

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” – Isaiah 53:6

Questions and Answers…

What were Aaron’s son’s names?

Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar

What office was given to Aaron and his sons?

Aaron was the High Priest, and his sons were priests.

What are the six garments the workers were instructed to make for them?

An ephod, a breastpiece, a robe, a woven tunic, a turban, and a sash.

Who was appointed as The High Priest of the new covenant? Hebrews 4:14-16

Jesus is our high priest.

Who has been chosen for the priesthood in the new covenant according to 1 Peter 2:5-9? And what two things are those priests expected to do?

Those who put their faith in Jesus are a chosen people, a royal priesthood.

We are to obey the word and declare the praises of God.

What is an ephod?

A sleeveless garment with two shoulder straps that are fastened in the front.

What was engraved on the onyx stones? Why?

The names of the sons of Israel were engraved on them. Aaron was to bear their names on his shoulders as a memorial before God.

What else was engraved?

The stones on the breastplate were also engraved.

Matthew Henry writes, “The high priest had the names of the tribes, both on his shoulders and on his breast, which reminds us of the power and the love with which our Lord Jesus pleads for those that are his. He not only bears them up in his arms with almighty strength, but he carries them in his bosom with tender affection.”

The front of the turban had a gold plate which was also engraved, “Holiness to the Lord.”

What was the Urim and Thummim used for? Where was it placed?

They were placed in the breastpiece, over the heart.

In his book, Finding the Will of God, Bruce K. Waltke writes, “The priest could use the urim and thummin to determine God’s will in a particular situation. We are not exactly sure what the urim and thummin were, but the priest carried in his breastplate perhaps two sticks or stones, one white and the other black, that would give a yes or no answer to a specific question. Should Israel be preparing for battle, they would somehow shake or toss the sticks. If they turned up black the Israelites would not go to battle, and if they turned up white they would proceed into battle with the knowledge that they were in the will of God.”

Why were bells sewn to the bottom of the robe?

There’s a story that’s circulated for years which says that the High Priest went into the Holy of Holies with a rope around his ankle. If the priest were to die while he was behind the curtain, the bells would cease to make noise. The dead priest would then be pulled out by the rope.

This story whether true or not isn’t found in scripture, or ancient history, and is therefore disputed by many.

We do know however from verse 35, that these bells had a life force. “And it shall be upon Aaron to minister: and its sound shall be heard when he goes in unto the holy place before the LORD, and when he comes out, that he die not.” The bells symbolized a constant communication between God and man that sustained the life of the High Priest. In the same way prayer is constant communication with God that sustains and quickens the spiritual life of every believer. As we see from scripture, Jesus was in constant communication with God and would withdraw to lonely places and pray.

Compare verses 36-38 with 1 Peter 1:13-16. What symbolism if any do you see?

As a High Priest, Jesus was holy and set apart for God. His life was dedicated to pleasing His Father and fulfilling God’s will in His life.

Those that follow the Lord, imitate Him, and so we are called to be holy as he is holy. We’re a royal priesthood set apart for the work of the Lord, and so our lives must reflect that.

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Written by Darlene Schacht

I'm an Evangelical Christian whose number one priority is to serve Jesus Christ in every area of my life. My husband Michael and I live in Manitoba Canada. Married 25 years, we have four children (three still at home), a bird and two pugs who are everyone's babies, especially mine! Our lives are basically surrounded with three things: our faith, music and everything books. I’m an award winning and New York Times best-selling author who is nothing without the grace of God. Facebook: timewarpwife Twitter: timewarpwife Pinterest: timewarpwife

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