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Welcome back to week six of our Exodus Bible study. If you haven’t done so already, feel free to jump in and join us. You’ll find everything you need to get started, including a copy of the Bible study guide on our intro post. Click here to go there now.
Please note: If you have trouble keeping up with all of the questions in the study guide, I would suggest that you read a chapter and choose 2 or three questions/day. You don’t have to answer every question, and in fact, you could save those for the next time you go through the study. The questions are designed to help you dig deeper–not overwhelm you. So enjoy yourself and dig into God’s word!
Exodus 26-30 – Questions and Answers
Exodus Chapter 26
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?
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.”
Exodus Chapter 27
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.
Exodus Chapter 28
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.
Exodus Chapter 29
Questions and Answers…
What was the purpose of this ceremony?
To consecrate (set apart) Aaron and his sons for the priesthood.
In verse 12, the blood was poured out on the altar. What was this a symbol of?
Righteousness comes by faith. It’s not something we can attain on our own, as it’s only through faith in the blood that we’re consecrated and free.
Matthew 26:28 says, “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” The Greek word for shed here is “ekcheo” which is translated as pour out, gush out, and spill. (Strong’s G1632)
In the same way, the priesthood wasn’t attained by good works. It was a position appointed by God through His grace. They were sanctified by the blood that was poured out on the altar, as a symbol of Jesus’ blood was poured out for us.
Also see in verse 37 where it says, “and it shall be an altar most holy: whatsoever toucheth the altar shall be holy.”
By touching the altar, they put their faith in it, just as some would cling to the horns of the altar for safety and refuge we cling to our Lord.
What similarities do we find in Exodus 29:10-14 and Hebrews 13:11-14?
Sin offerings were handled different than other offerings as they symbolized the death of Christ for the remission of sins. The flesh was burned outside the camp which symbolized the crucifixion of Christ which took place at Calvary, outside the city of Jerusalem.
John 19:20, “for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city.”
What three things were burnt on the altar? Why do you think that was?
A Bull – a sin offering
A Ram – a burnt offering (a pleasant fragrance)
A 2nd Ram – a wave offering Exodus 29:19-28
The sin offering symbolized Christ taking away our sin. “And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.” – 1 John 3:5
The burnt offering symbolized a sacrificial life that is pleasing to God. “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour.” – Ephesians 5:2
The wave offering that was unique–blood was placed on their ears, their thumbs of the right hand, and toes. To me this is symbolic of the Holy Spirit moving in the life of a believer as one listens to and is led by the Holy Spirit.
“But when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.” – John 16:13
In what ways are we sanctified and cleansed? See Ephesians 5:26 & Titus 3:5 & Revelation 1:5
Sanctified and cleansed by washing of water by the Word.
According to His mercy He saved us by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.
He washed us from our sins in His own blood.
We see from verse 38-39 that each and every day a lamb was to be sacrificed in the morning and another in the evening. Why has this changed, and what can this teach us about our lives?
Matthew Henry writes, “A lamb was to be offered upon the altar every morning, and a lamb every evening. This typified the continual intercession which Christ ever lives to make for his church. Though he offered himself but once for all, that one offering thus becomes a continual offering. This also teaches us to offer to God the spiritual sacrifices of prayer and praise every day, morning and evening.”
Exodus Chapters 30-31
(31 is included this week, because these two chapters are grouped together)
Questions and Answers…
We see that incense was burned daily in the tabernacle. What do you think this was symbolic of? If you aren’t sure, you can try Googling “incense in the Psalms.”
In Psalm 141:2 David compares incense to prayer, “Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.”
What can this teach us about our lives?
Aaron burned the incense every morning and every night, which is a reminder to be in prayer at all times.
Who was counted in the census?
Everyone aged 20 and up.
In Exodus 30:11-12 why was a ransom required?
It was a symbol to them that their sin came with a cost. Every soul was guilty and therefore every soul was required to pay the same price.
Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
What was the money used for?
To maintain the tabernacle they were building
What was this ransom symbolic of?
This ransom pointed to Christ who paid the price for our sin in full.
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. – 1 Timothy 2:5-6
What would happen to Aaron and his sons if they didn’t wash?
If they didn’t wash with water, they would die when they came to the altar to minister.
What particular instruction about the incense to we find in verse 37?
The mixture was holy, therefore they weren’t allowed to use the ointment or the recipe for personal use.
How did God equip Bezalel? Who did He appoint to help him?
He was filled with the Holy Spirit, and was given the gifts of wisdom and skill so he could build the tabernacle. God also appointed Aholiab of the tribe of Dan and gave wisdom to workmen that would help them as well.
What instructions were given regarding the Sabbath?
That they would keep the Sabbath. God wanted to ensure that they would work six days and rest on the Sabbath, and so He instructed them before they set out to work.
After God finished speaking to Moses, what did He give him?
Two tables of stone written with His own finger.