Chapter 110

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Nelsonís Illustrated Bible Dictionary: gold = A soft, bright yellow metal, gold was one of the first metals known to man. It could be used in its pure state without smelting. It never tarnishes Ė a property that makes it ideal for jewelry. This metal was extremely malleable; it could be hammered into thin strips and delicate objects (Exo 39:3). Gold is mentioned over 500 times in the Bible, more than any other metal.

Websterís New Universal Unabridged Dictionary: tarnish = 1. to dull the luster of (a metallic surface), esp. by oxidation; discolor. 2. to diminish or destroy the purity of; stain; sully: The scandal tarnished his reputation. 3. to grow dull or discolored; lose luster. 4. to become sullied. 5. a stain or blemish.

Commentary: The three metals used in the tabernacle, and the shittim wood, are basic symbolic keys to understanding the nuances of the tabernacle. The shittim wood, representing men, was derived from felled shittim trees that were especially noted for the hardness of their wood and their thorny bark. These three metals, and the shittim wood are together four hard things that form the structural components of all the furniture of the tabernacle.


(Exo 25:1-5) And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering. And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass, And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair, And rams' skins dyed red, and badgers' skins, and shittim wood,

gold = Heb: to shimmer; gold; (fig.) something gold colored (that is, yellow).

a. Commentary: in the tabernacle, gold represents the glory of God, and gold is the covering of God, i.e., love.

silver = Heb: silver (from its pale color); by implication money.

b. Commentary: the metal of redemption (Exo 38:25), in the construction of tabernacle, silver represents Jesus Christ, i.e., redemption.

brass = Heb: copper; hence, something made of that metal, that is, coin, a fetter; (fig.) base (as compared with gold or silver): - brazen, brass, chain, fetter, filthiness /// (perhaps in the sense of ringing, that is, bell metal; or from the red color of the throat of a serpent (H5175) when hissing); coppery, that is, (fig.) hard: - of brass.

c. Commentary: in the tabernacle, the interchangeable "brazen" and "brass" metal is described as "base" and "filthiness," and with the additional derivative association of the "serpent" (Gen 3:1) represents sin.

shittim = Heb: (sticks of wood); the acacia tree (from its scourging thorns) /// (properly to pierce); to flog; a goad: - scourge /// a lash (literally or figuratively): - scourge, whip.

d. Commentary: trees represent men in the Bible (Psa 1:3). The acacia tree grew predominately east of the Jordan river (in the wilderness) and was noted for the hardness (density) of its wood, and its piercing thorns. This analogy applied to men is quite clear.


(Exo 25:10,11) And they shall make an ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half [5 feet] shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half [3 feet] the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half [3 feet] the height thereof. And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within [Heb: inside] and without [Heb: outside] shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about.

tabernacle = Heb: a residence (including a shepherdís hut, the lair of animals, figuratively the grave; also the Temple); specifically the Tabernacle (properly its wooden walls): - dwelleth, dwelling (place), habitation, tabernacle, tent.

ark = Heb: (in the sense of gathering); a box: - ark, [treasure] chest, coffin.

a. Commentary: whereas Noahís ark (Heb: tebah) was merely a "box" in Hebrew, this ark (Heb: aron) in the tabernacle can be a lot more than a box.

Commentary: As we walk into the tabernacle compound, the two pieces of open-air courtyard furniture that we encounter are first the brazen/brass altar of sacrifice which is composed of shittim wood (us) covered with brass (sin), and continuing our walk, secondly we encounter the brazen/brass laver of cleansing which is composed entirely of the brass (sin) of the Hebrew womenís melted mirrors, i.e., polished brass looking-glasses (pride) taken from the Egyptians. Both the two latter articles of furniture are positioned in the open courtyard of the compound but outside the tabernacle and are therefore exposed to and influenced by worldly elements. The brazen/brass altar represents our "justification" (Jesus Christ), and the brazen/brass laver represents our "sanctification" (the Holy Spirit), thus together painting the picture of a carnal Christian still inordinately influenced by the world (i.e., a Christian in grade-school, hopefully advancing, but at present a sheep).

Commentary: Gold (Godís love: "God is love" 1 John 4:8,16) only appears inside the covering of the tabernacle which has no windows, so designed that worldly outside influences cannot enter in (a spiritual thing); those persons that do enter in (a spiritual thing) to the tabernacle (priests - shepherds) do so on the accomplished basis of their understanding of their Christian (priestly) education (roughly equivalent of high-school to college) within the endless (?) curriculum of The University of God, and are believing Christians. Of the five pieces of furniture that are inside the tabernacle, three in the Holy Place and two in the Most Holy Place, three pieces are composed of shittim wood (us) covered with gold (Godís love) and two are composed of pure gold (the Holy Spirit: Godís action love).

Commentary: Inside the Holy Place of the tabernacle to our right we find the table of showbread (Jesus Christ - ears) composed of shittim wood (us) covered with gold (Godís love); the table has four legs and two crowns representing Jesus Christ as the composite Son of God and Son of man. Directly across from the table of showbread is positioned the flaming fire of the golden candlestick (the Holy Spirit: Godís action love Ė eyes) composed of pure gold actively illuminating the Word of God (the twelve loaves of showbread) which are displayed upon the table of showbread. Advancing forward to the middle of the Holy Place in front of the veil of separation (now torn asunder from top to bottom), we perceive the golden altar composed of shittim wood (us Ė mouth, nose) covered by gold (God"s love) and representing the vocalized prayers, praise and worship of the saints (mouth) wafting upwards a sweet savor (nose) to the Lord. At this point, our bodies lay prostrate before our Lord, our feet at the brazen altar and our head completely inside the tabernacle.

Commentary: Inside the Most Holy Place of the tabernacle we observe the ark (treasure chest) of the covenant/testimony which is composed of shittim wood (us) covered inside and outside with gold (Godí love). And inside the ark of the covenant/testimony (inside us) are the two tables of stone presenting the ten commandments (God the Father), and the golden pot of manna (God the Son), and Aaronís rod that miraculously budded (God the Holy Spirit in action). The mercy seat is in a rectangular form to perfectly fit atop the ark of the covenant/testimony, with the two cherubims (always rendered in the plural - angels), one of the cherubims at each end of the seat facing inward and downward, gazing upon the ark. The mercy seat and the two cherubims are composed all of one piece of pure gold (the Holy Spirit), and positioned upon the ark of the covenant/testimony, and God Himself in His Shekinah glory dwells ("above") the mercy seat between the two cherubims upon the ark of the covenant (us), upon the heavenly throne.


(Exo 25:20-22) And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be. And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.