Life-Study of Exodusby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Exodus 26:1 and 6 speak of the tabernacle. Verse 1 says, “And you shall make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet.” The latter part of verse 6 says, “The tabernacle shall become one.” In this message we shall begin to consider the four layers of the covering of the tabernacle. The first layer, the innermost layer, was made of ten curtains of fine twined linen.
Most translations use the word tabernacle in 26:1 and 6. However, some versions use the word tent. Actually, the tabernacle was a tent. A tent is a temporary, movable dwelling place used primarily for camping. According to the record of the Bible, the tabernacle, God’s tent, did not have a floor. Because the tent was portable, it was set up on the ground. For a period of forty years, the children of Israel were camping in the wilderness, and God was camping with them. The tents belonging to God’s people were erected around the tabernacle. In the first chapters of Numbers we see that the twelve tribes were camped in four directions around the tabernacle. Hence, in the wilderness both God and the people dwelt in tents.
We know from 26:1 that ten curtains were used in making God’s tent, the tabernacle. Verse 2 gives the dimensions of the curtains: “The length of each curtain shall be twenty-eight cubits, and the width of each curtain four cubits— one measure for all the curtains.” These ten curtains were arranged in two sets of five curtains each. Verse 3 says, “Five curtains shall be joined one to another, and the other five curtains joined to one another.” In verse 4 the “one set” refers to the first five curtains, and the “second set” to the second group of five. Verse 4 says, “And you shall make loops of blue upon the edge of the outermost curtain in the one set, and likewise you shall make them at the edge of the outermost curtain in the second set.” The outermost curtain in each set refers to the edge of the last curtain in the set. Verses 5 and 6 indicate how these two sets of curtains were joined together: “You shall make fifty loops in the one curtain, and you shall make fifty loops at the end of the curtain which is in the second set; the loops shall be opposite to one another. And you shall make fifty clasps of gold, and join the curtains to one another with the clasps, and the tabernacle shall become one.” When the two sets were coupled together, the result was a large sheet which measured forty cubits by twenty-eight cubits. When the tabernacle was erected, this sheet of linen curtains was spread upon the standing boards. Then the linen sheet became a tent.
The tabernacle itself was thirty cubits in length and ten cubits in both width and height. We have seen that the linen sheet measured forty cubits by twenty-eight cubits. This indicates that there was an overhang at the rear and at the sides of the tabernacle. (There was no overhang at the front, for that was the entrance of the tabernacle.) Therefore, there was an overhang of ten cubits at the rear of the tabernacle and of nine cubits on each side. In the Bible the number nine is composed not of four plus five, but of three times three. This points to the Triune God in resurrection. When we visualize the linen sheet spread over the standing boards, we can see a tent with an overlapping on the sides and at the rear.
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