The Symbolism in the Tabernacle Furnishings

Information below from the Ancient Israel: A Thematic Unit Study


Old Testament Significance

New Testament Lessons

Ark of the Covenant

Mercy Seat

A symbol of God’s law, the Ark was made of wood covered with gold. The Ark was the throne of God where His glory rest on the Mercy Seat (top), a symbol of His mercy. The sacrificed blood was sprinkled on the Ark to cover the sins of the people.

The phrase “Mercy Seat” also means “propitiation.” Jesus is the propitiation for us today (Romans 3:25; I John 2:2.) His blood was shed to cleanse our sins. We come to God through Him and offer our spiritual sacrifices (I Peter 2:5,9).

The Inner Veil

The Inner Veil hung between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies and was passed only once a year by the High Priest on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16).

Hebrews 10:19-20 teaches that this Veil represents Christ’s body which was given for us on the cross. When He offered up His spirit, the veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom, thus allowing anyone to come at any time into God’s presence (Matthew 27:50-51).

Altar of Incense

Incense was continually burned at this altar that stood before the veil separating the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies. The High Priest was to make atonement on its horns once a year before entering the Holy of Holies.

The Altar of Incense was a symbol of prayer. Christians are to be continually in prayer (Romans 12:12).

Table of Showbread

A symbol of God’s providence, the Table held the twelve loaves of bread that were a reminder that the tribes were constantly in the presence of God and that God saw all that they did (Leviticus 24:5-9). The bread also reminded the people that God fed His people.

God provides what we need (Matthew 6:25-34). We as Christians are daily in God’s presence. We are to “feed on” God’s truth (Matthew 4:4). Jesus is the Bread of Life (John 6:35).

Golden Lampstand

Symbolizing light from God, the intricately patterned Lampstand was to give light continually, fueled by clear olive oil (Exodus 27:20)

Rev. 1:12-20 indicates local churches are represented by golden lampstands. Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12). Christians are to be a light to the world, also (Matthew 5:14).

Bronze Altar

The Bronze Altar stood in the courtyard of the Tabernacle. This is where the animals were sacrificed to cover the sins of the Israelite people.

Jesus’s death on the cross was the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. He is pictured in all the sacrifices God commanded Israel to bring (Leviticus 1-5; Hebrews 10:1-14).

Internet Sources

  • What The Bible Says About The TabernacleThe Tabernacle, its blueprint, and its priesthood—taken fromWhat The Bible Says About The Tabernacle, by Alpha-Omega Ministries, Inc.
  • Tabernacle Home Page Details the layout, structure, and furnishings of the Tabernacleand relates the pictures from the book of Exodus to Jesus Christ.
  • Tabernacle – MSN Encarta – Brief encyclopedia article describing the Tabernacle..
  • Tabernacle or Tent of Meeting – Bible Tutor – A detailed description and diagram of the size and contents ofthe Tabernacle.
  • Church Inside The Tabernacle –Explains how the biblical types issuing forth from the Tabernacle of Moses are an exact typical prefiguration of the body of Christ.
  • The Tabernacle Revealed! – Study guide explaining how life flows from the Holy of Holies (Spirit) into the Holy Place (Soul) and out to the Outer Court (Body), resulting in complete redemption
  • The Tabernacle – Ward R. Williams, Ph.D., from the University of Minnesota, explains the Tabernacle and its message.
  • the Lamp of God: Menorah by Robert Somerville. – A booklet presenting a study on the scriptural symbolism of the Menorah from both the Old and New testaments. You will discover that this lamp-stand symbolizes many things such as the Nation of Israel, the Church, the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, the Seven Spirits of God, even the Lord Jesus Christ himself as the light of the world. It is believed by many that a menorah was on public display in each of the first-century churches.

Comments (11)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Pam says:

    Thanks for sharing great insights on the meaning and importance of a tabernacle to us Christians. We all have to respect the tabernacle because it symbolizes Jesus Christ body and church as one.

  2. I finished the Day 6 reading for #B90days intrigued by the Tabernacle. I've found some interesting links including: http://t.co/ljrjisO

  3. I finished the Day 6 reading for #B90days intrigued by the Tabernacle. I've found some interesting links including: http://t.co/ljrjisO

  4. alexa008 says:

    i want to say thank you for sharing this post, i like reading words from the bible.

  5. Hello, I also have mine own blog and I want to write on it what I found on yours. You wrote interesting things and I want to use your words on my site. Is it posiible? Greeting.

  6. John says:

    I’m glad you liked the material. The reoasn I wrote that is that I was becoming increasingly frustrated at the injustice being done towards God, and tolerated against “the OT God” (as if he weren’t the same yesterday, today, and forever). God is good all the time. Take care & God bless

  7. Carolyn Brown says:

    I am trying to put something together for my son for teaching on the Feasts and the Tabernacle. Do you have any ideas?

  8. Errol Bartholomew says:

    Your description of the Tabernacle’s articles of furniture is good but incomplete. You did not mention the laver which is used for cleansing.

Leave a Reply

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.

CommentLuv badge