Of the remaining sixteen chapters in Exodus, we will only consider a few of them in great detail. The majority of information contained in these chapters pertains to the preparation for and actual construction of the tabernacle and items therein. There are some lessons we will make note of along the way, but we will do a lot of summarizing for the remainder of our study of this book.
Exodus 25 begins with God instructing all of Israel to bring Him an offering willingly from the heart. The people would bring gold, silver, bronze, thread, fine linen, goats' hair, ram skins dyed red, badger skins, acacia wood, oil, spices, onyx stones, etc. Why would these former slaves have such possessions? Because the Egyptian people blessed them with numerous gifts when they left Egypt (cf. Exo. 12:35,36).
God would provide instructions for how a sacred place (i.e., the tabernacle) should be built that He might dwell among them. The tabernacle would be a place of worship and a visual reminder of Jehovah's presence. It was important that every detail be just right. God stressed the importance of following the pattern He provided - "According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it" (Exo. 25:9; cf. 25:40; 26:30; Num. 8:4). The level of detail God provided for each aspect of the tabernacle, its furniture, and worship therein, abundantly proves that details matter to God (e.g., Matt. 23:23). Christians today should be mindful of the pattern God has revealed for us to walk in (cf. II Tim. 1:13).
- Exodus 25:10-22 - The Ark of the Testimony (or Ark of the Covenant)
This beautiful box would be made of acacia wood and completely overlaid in pure gold. The ark would be about 19 cubic feet in size (3.75' x 2.25' x 2.25') and would hold the Testimony which God gave them. The mercy seat would consist of cherubim of gold with outstretched wings facing one another, and would rest on top of the ark (like a lid, it would seem). God declared that "I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony, about everything which I will give you in commandment to the children of Israel" (25:22).
- Exodus 25:23-30 - The Table for the Showbread
- Exodus 25:31-40 - The Gold Lampstand
- Exodus 26 - The Tabernacle Structure
Instructions are given regarding the curtains of fine woven linen, the covering (or roof) of animal skins over the tent structure, the walls made of acacia wood, and the veil that would divide the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place.
- Exodus 27:1-8 - The Altar of Burnt Offering
This altar would be made of acacia wood and covered with bronze. Details were given regarding the horns of the altar as well as the utensils that were to be used.
- Exodus 27:9-19 - The Court of the Tabernacle
This includes details regarding the entry gate, the utensils of bronze, the hangings that go with the pillars, sockets, hooks, and bands of silver, and finally the overall dimensions of the tabernacle (150' x 75').
- Exodus 27:20,21 - The Care of the Lampstand
- Exodus 28 - Garments for the Priests
"And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty. So you shall speak to all who are gifted artisans, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron's garments, to consecrate him, that he may minister to Me as priest. And these are the garments which they shall make: a breastplate, an ephod, a robe, a skillfully woven tunic, a turban, and a sash. So they shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother and his sons, that he may minister to Me as priest" (28:2-4). The remainder of the chapter provides detailed instructions regarding each of these articles of priestly clothing.
There are some interesting type/anti-type relationships in these chapters, but it would be more appropriate to explore them in a study of the book of Hebrews.