The Torah portion for this week is called, תְּרוּמָה Terumah – Strong’s H8641 and means ‘contribution, offering or gift; i.e. what is given or set aside as a special, voluntary contribution to a person, deity, or cause in worship, either a whole of something or a part’.
It comes from the root word, רוּם rûm – Strong’s H7311, which means, ‘to be high or exalted, lifted up, raise, contribute’. יהוה spoke to Mosheh and told him to speak to Yisra’ĕl and tell them that they should take up a contribution for יהוה – from everyone whose heart moved them!
And so, as we look at the instructions for this portion, that were given for the tabernacle and its furnishings, we see that the commitment to bringing a contribution toward the building of this tabernacle, had to come from the heart!
We too, as His Temple, are to bring our lives as a contribution, in offering up that which we have – not under compulsion, but rather because our heart moves us to do so!
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 9:7 “Let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not of grief or of necessity, for Elohim loves a joyous giver.”
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘offering’ is תְּרוּמָה terumah – Strong’s H8641, which, in the ancient pictographic text, looks like this:
= תְּ – this is the letter ‘taw or tav’ which in the ancient script is pictured as – – which is the picture of two crossed sticks, and can represent for us ‘seal, covenant, mark or sign’; as this once again points to the complete work of Messiah in the renewal of the Covenant in His Blood that brings the two Houses of Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah together in Him, as One, for He is not only the ‘aleph’, but is also the ‘taw’ – the beginning and the end of all creation!
= ר – this is the letter ‘resh’- which in the ancient script is pictured as ‘the head of a man’ and carries the meaning of ‘top, beginning, first, chief’, as in being the top of the body or the head of a tribe and the one who rules; and also speaks of possession or inheritance that is decided by the chief.
= וּ – this is the letter ‘waw’ or ‘vav’ and the ancient pictographic form of this letter is , a peg or ‘tent peg’, which was used for securing or tying the tent or other items. The possibility of it having a Y-shape is to show that it prevents the rope from slipping off. The root meaning of this letter is ‘to add, secure or hook’.
= מָ – this is the letter ‘mem’, which in the early script is pictured as ‘water’, and also carries the meaning of ‘chaos’ (from the storms of the sea) and can also picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown. We are also able to understand this letter as representing the nations, for the nations are often likened to the seas in Scripture. This can also picture for us the function of water in terms of that which washes us, and can be understood as also representing the Word that washes us to serve as a faithful and royal priesthood
= ה – this is the Hebrew letter ‘hey’, which in the ancient script is pictured as a ‘man standing with his arms raised out’. The Hebrew word “hey” means “behold”, as when looking at a great sight. This word can also mean “breath” or “sigh” as when one sighs in amazement when looking at a great sight. The meaning of the letter is “behold, look, breath, sigh and reveal or revelation”; from the idea of revealing a great sight by pointing it out. It also carries for us the meaning of surrender, as we lift up our hands and submit to יהוה as we lift our hands in praise, declaring His authority under which we humbly submit!
When we consider these pictures, that make up the word תְּרוּמָה terumah – Strong’s H8641, giving us the meaning of ‘offering, contribution, offered by lifting’, we can further see how this word shows us unto whom it is that we are to give our lives, as a daily offering:
THE SEAL OF THE COVENANT AS GIVEN THROUGH OUR HEAD HAS BEEN SEALED IN HIS BLOOD THAT WASHES US FROM OUR SIN AND EQUIPS US TO LIFT OUR HANDS AND OFFER OUR LIVES CONTINUALLY BEFORE HIM!
Verse 2 – the heart of the matter
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘speak’ is דַּבֵּר – dabeyr – which is from the root word דָּבַר daḇar – Strong’s H1696 which means, ‘to speak, command, counsel, declare, proclaimed, converse, warn, threaten, promise’.
It is written in the ‘piel’ verb tense, which is the intensive or intentional action, highlighting for us the power of these words that were to be spoken by Mosheh, as these words were to be words that would cause hearts to be moved to obey.
Everyone whose heart moves him!
This was an invitation to build and be a part of building that which is of and for the esteem of יהוה.
We must understand that these contributions were NOT the ‘tithes’ that people were commanded to bring but were rather that which was to be given over and above the tithes and they were to be given voluntarily and generously from the heart.
When one gives willingly from the heart there is a joy and excitement of being a contributing member of that which is being built up for the whole. Giving with generosity from the heart does not seek something in return nor does it lay claim to having a say over what happens with what has been given – in fact this is how tithes are also to be given too (although they are commanded, it must be done cheerfully).
However, with the ‘terumah’, the giving is above and beyond the requirement of tithes, and what this passage clearly shows us, is that giving should not stop at tithes alone, but there is to also be a generous free will offering given, as one purposes in their heart.
The Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘moves’, or, as put in other translations, as ‘willingly’, comes from the root word, נָדַב Naḏaḇ – Strong’s H5068 which means, ‘willingness, incite, desire to do something implying eagerness and generosity, freely offer’.
This was also the name of one of Aharon’s sons meaning ‘generous’ – and sadly, he did not live up to the meaning of his name as he brought profane fire before יהוה, which revealed that his heart was not in it – as he did it to appease self rather than to please יהוה!
What is important to take note of here, is that this kind of giving elevates the giver to a greater level of worship; and what is also important to recognise is the fact that there is not one specific person who gives the whole thing – but rather each gives their portion that they are designed to bring by what they have and what they have purposed in their heart, according to their own ability!
In these instructions given here, we also take note that this giving was not just a giving of whatever one wants but was a giving that was for a specific purpose, and that was for a place for יהוה to dwell.
Before יהוה even mentioned to us what must be brought He set this state of the generous heart as a prerequisite for anyone’s gifts to be accepted!
The Hebrew word for ‘heart’ is לֵב leḇ – Strong’s H3820 which means, ‘inner man, mind, will thought’, or is often also written as לֵבָב leḇaḇ – Strong’s H3824 which means, ‘inner man, heart, mind, understanding’; and what is interesting to take note of here, is that these two letters for ‘heart’, in the ancient Hebrew pictographic Script, make it clear that the rule and authority of Elohim is to be upon our hearts!
In the ancient pictographic script, the Hebrew word לֵב leḇ – Strong’s H3820 looks like this:
Lamed – לֵ:
The ancient script has this letter as , and is pictured as a ‘shepherd’s staff’, can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority.
Bet – ב:
The ancient script has this letter as , which pictures a tent floor plan and means, ‘house’ or ‘tent’. It represents family and the importance of those who are inside the tent as opposed to the tent structure itself.
In terms of these two pictures representing the ‘heart’ or the inner man and the will and thoughts of man, we are able to see that a pure heart is one that submits to the authority of the Good Shepherd, having been grafted into His Body, that is the Tabernacle of Elohim, which in Messiah we now are.
And in recognising this we see that we, as legitimate sons and daughters of the Most-High, that have been grafted in by the Blood of Messiah, have upon our hearts His Torah, under which we submit to walking in – for His Torah are the rules of His House!
Even with the word for heart being expressed as לֵבָב leḇaḇ, we are able to see in the ancient pictographic text a second ‘bet’ – ב – , showing us the clear picture of the True authority for both Houses of Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah, that collectively make up the entire body of Messiah, or Tabernacle of Elohim, which we now are!
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:5-6 “And you shall love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your might. 6 “And these Words which I am commanding you today shall be in your heart”
To love Elohim with all your heart implies that His commands are written upon your heart, for true love for Elohim is to guard His commands; and if one does not think upon or meditate upon His Torah in order to walk in it, then it shall be very clear that the Truth is not in them!
יהוה knows what is in our hearts, while we may not; and He tests our hearts in order to see if we will obey Him or not:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 8:2 “And you shall remember that יהוה your Elohim led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you, prove you, to know what is in your heart, whether you guard His commands or not.”
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 10:12-13 “And now, Yisra’ĕl, what is יהוה your Elohim asking of you, but to fear יהוה your Elohim, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, and to serve יהוה your Elohim with all your heart and with all your being, 13 to guard the commands of יהוה and His laws which I command you today for your good?”
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 11:18 “And you shall lay up these Words of Mine in your heart and in your being, and shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.”
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 30:14 “For the Word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart – to do it.”
The reason I am quoting all these verses is to show that ‘it is a heart thing’ and the Word must be in our hearts and mouths, and not just a vain rendering of a corrupted lips service that has no heart or follow through with obedience and submission to doing the commands with joy!
Guarding the good treasure and deposit of the Truth in our hearts will keep us from sinning and being lawless!
Tehillah/Psalm 119:11 “I have treasured up Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You.”
We are called to walk humbly before Elohim, and this is seen in the joyful submission to being led forth by the commands of Elohim as we, His House, are being built up in Him; and any resistance to this, as seen through pride and a hardened heart, is a severe problem, for pride deceives:
Oḇaḏyah/Obadiah 1:3 “The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who dwell in the clefts of the rock, whose dwelling is high, who say in your heart, ‘Who shall bring me down to the ground?’”
As we let the Truth dwell in our hearts we will guard to do all to the esteem of our Master and Elohim, and anything that that does not esteem Him, whether in word or deed, we must not do:
Qolasim/Colossians 3:16-17 “Let the Word of Messiah dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing with pleasure in your hearts to the Master in psalms and songs of praise and spiritual songs. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the Name of the Master יהושע, giving thanks to Elohim the Father through Him.”
It’s a heart thing, and we who have heard the voice of our Master and Elohim, must receive His Word into our heart and go and proclaim the Reign with our words and the corresponding actions of obedience that reveal that His Word is in fact on our hearts.
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 3:10-11 “And He said to me, “Son of man, receive into your heart all My words that I speak to you, and hear with your ears. 11 “And go! Come to the exiles, to the children of your people, and speak to them and say to them, ‘Thus said the Master יהוה,’ whether they hear, or whether they refuse.”
May we also hear these words and go and proclaim as we should – for it’s a heart thing!
How is your heart? Has it been defiled through sin and the deceit of lawlessness? Wash your heart and keep it clean as you HEAR, GUARD and DO all He has commanded us to (Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:25)!
When anyone refuses to obey the commands and so easily compromises the call to be set-apart – well then quite frankly – it is a heart thing! In his cry of repentance Dawiḏ cried out:
Tehillah/Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O Elohim, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the clean in heart, because they shall see Elohim.”
It is יהוה who creates in us a clean heart and renews in us a steadfastness to walking in His Truth, as we look unto Him and walk humbly in His ways before Him, guarding to do all that He commands us to do.
Any form of compromise to the Truth, no matter how ‘small’ or ‘insignificant’ it may seem, simply corrupts the heart and begins to harden, and risks the danger of not entering into the rest of Elohim and seeing Him when comes again.
In quoting from Tehillah/Psalm 95, the writer of Iḇ’rim/Hebrews reminds us:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 3:7-11 “Therefore, as the Set-apart Spirit says, “Today, if you hear His voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of trial in the wilderness, 9 where your fathers tried Me, proved Me, and saw My works forty years. 10 “Therefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, and they have not known My ways.’ 11 “As I swore in My wrath, ‘If they shall enter into My rest…’”
The hardening of hearts happens when one does not HEAR, GUARD and DO the Word of Elohim; and a hardened heart cannot ‘know’ יהוה nor His ways – for this is how we know that we know Him – if we guard His commands!
Compromise, even in the slightest, hardens – and this we must guard against at all times, as we keep our hearts and our garments clean, by walking in and proclaiming the complete Truth! When anyone has an excuse for doing what is commanded or called for, then just know that it is a heart thing – hearts are eventually revealed for what is truly inside!
The words and actions of the righteous line up with the Truth that flows from a pure, cleansed and steadfast heart!
Tehillah/Psalm 37:30-31 “The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of right-ruling. 31 The Torah of his Elohim is in his heart; his steps do not slide.”
How are the words of your mouth and fruit of your life? Do they please יהוה?
There are many people who declare and proclaim that they ‘know’ Elohim, yet their actions deny Him and profane His Set-Apart Spirit!
Hearts that are moved to give of themselves willingly reveals a heart in which the Torah resides and is guarded with great joy and loving-commitment.
The Greek word for ‘heart’ is καρδία kardia – Strong’s G2588 and this word denotes the centre of all physical and spiritual life and is understood as the centre and seat of the soul and mind; as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavours. It refers to the innermost part of a man – that which drives and directs a man’s steps, thoughts and purpose!
What we also take note of here in Shemoth/Exodus 25:2 is that the contribution that is taken up is יהוה’s!
It was not for Mosheh or Aharon or for anyone else – it was the contribution for יהוה and it was to be brought with a glad and rejoicing heart! While we know that what was brought was used to facilitate the service of the Tabernacle and equip those priests who served in it, what we must realise is that when giving becomes about a person rather than Elohim then it is not done with the right heart and motive.
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 9:7 “Let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not of grief or of necessity, for Elohim loves a joyous giver.”
Verses 3-7 – this is what you bring
Though יהוה makes it clear that He desires spontaneous, generous giving from the heart; He also makes it clear how we are to be generous, as He instructs us on how to give Him what He wants.
The materials He wanted for His tabernacle, would not just miraculously appear – the people had to bring them! Knowing then that this Tabernacle was to be built, according to the pattern shown to Mosheh on the mountain, we must realise that great care was to be taken in order to follow the pattern exactly, and this is so true for us today as we, His Living Temple, who are being built up in Him, are to take great care in building according to His pattern, as shown to Mosheh!
In other words, we have been given the Torah as the pattern, and instructions, on how we are to be built up together. Each part must then do its work and each must bring according to the pattern and not however they wish or see fit in their own eyes!
When we begin to look at the Tabernacle, we see great shadow pictures of how each part that was built carries wonderful significance and insight that points us to יהושע Messiah!
Let us briefly look at each of these materials that were brought and the significance of each and what it represents for us:
1 – Gold:
Gold is symbolic of the purity and richness of יהושע and represents for us His supreme position and esteem as Elohim Most High. Pure Gold speaks of His Mighty-like power that cannot be reproduced by man.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘gold’ is – זָהָב zahaḇ – Strong’s H2091 which is translated as, ‘gold, golden’ and is even translated as ‘fair weather’ and figuratively it speaks of ‘brilliance and splendour’, coming from an unused root which means, ‘to shimmer/shine’!
Gold speaks of the royalty of Messiah – and it was the first of the 3 gifts brought by the Magi, when they came into the house and saw the Child with His mother – they saw the King of Kings!!!
2 – Silver:
Silver is symbolic of redemption, as silver is used in Scripture as redemption money. It clearly represents, and speaks of, the price that יהושע has paid for us.
Silver was used in service of the Tent of Meeting for the Atonement of Yisra’ĕl as a remembrance before יהוה.
The Hebrew word for ‘silver’ is כֶּסֶף keseph – Strong’s H3701 which in translated as, ‘silver, money, purchase price’ and comes from the root word כָּסַף kasaph – Strong’s H3700 which means, ‘to long for, eager, shame’.
Shemoth/Exodus 30:16 “And you shall take the silver for the atonement from the children of Yisra’ĕl, and give it for the service of the Tent of Meeting. And it shall be to the children of Yisra’ĕl for a remembrance before יהוה, to make atonement for yourselves.”
The tabernacle stood upon sockets of silver.
Both Yosĕph and יהושע were sold for silver.
Yehuḏah was paid off in silver, as the Scriptures said.
Silver is redemption money.
Silver is symbolic of the redemption that comes through יהושע Messiah and Him alone.
It prefigures the preciousness of Messiah as the ransom for sinners.
Silver also speaks of service and giving of oneself – the prefect work of Messiah:
Marqos/Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Aḏam did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
We also see another wonderful picture of the symbolism of silver, as is also likened to the pure Word of Elohim that has been tried:
Tehillah/Psalm 12:6 “The Words of יהוה are clean Words, silver tried in a furnace of earth, refined seven times.”
Tehillah/Psalm 66:10 “For You, O Elohim, have proved us; You have refined us as silver is refined.”
In the above two verses from Tehillim, it is worth looking at a couple of words.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘tried’ comes from the root word צָרַף tsaraph – Strong’s H6884 which means, ‘to smelt, refine, test, tried’, and we see this root word being used in:
Shemuʼěl Bět/2 Samuel 22:31 “The Ěl – His way is perfect; the Word of יהוה is proven; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.”
The one thing we can be sure of, is that the Word of יהוה is proven and is trustworthy!
We are able to fully trust His Word – for it is the only ‘word’ that can be trusted. How many times have you found that the words of friends, families, colleagues and even strangers have failed to meet up with what they spoke?
The Word of יהוה never fails!!!
It is because of this fact that we are able to find complete refuge in Him!!!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘refined’ is זָקַק zaqaq – Strong’s H2212 which means, ‘to refine, purify, distil’.
Mal’aḵi/Malachi 3:3 “And He shall sit as a refiner and a cleanser of silver. And He shall cleanse the sons of Lĕwi, and refine them as gold and silver, and they shall belong to יהוה, bringing near an offering in righteousness.”
יהוה is the One who shall refine and purify us, and cause us to be a pure and set-apart royal priesthood, who is able to bring near to Him an offering of righteousness, having been cleansed in the Blood of Messiah and refined by His Word.
The purest silver does not tarnish, and most silver products that we see being used today, has an alloy mix of up to 92.5% silver and another metal to make up the rest to produce a product that is a little harder and easier to work with.
When looking at this verse above, the concept of silver – pure silver – and the words of יהוה being clean, struck me in a major way, as to what we see happening today!
His Word is pure and clean and is likened to silver tried in the furnace of earth and refined totally – there are no other metals therein and this is just what His Word is to us – it is unadulterated truth.
Sadly, we see that in the world today, that His Word has been tarnished, due to the taking away and adding to it, which is strictly forbidden. And so, as many dogmas of man and various theologies and doctrines have been formulated, they have each diminished the purity of the silver of His Word, by stripping it of its worth and adding in other words that twist the purity of the Truth and therefore, cause the silver to now become susceptible to becoming tarnished.
When this happens, more and more work is required to polish up that which is not pure, in an attempt to present it as pure, which is craftily and wickedly done through the institution of programmes and formulas of worship that are completely contrary to the design and service of the Tabernacle.
For us to be a Tabernacle for His Spirit to dwell we cannot have a tarnished Word that has manipulated the purity of it in order to control the masses, but rather we need to strip away the impurities of false traditions and lies and turn back to the pure Truth – then we will be built up according to His pattern shown!
The Hebrew word for ‘silver’ – כֶּסֶף keseph is pictured in the Early Script as:
Kaph – כֶּ:
The ancient form of this letter is pictured as – which is an open palm of a hand. The meaning behind this letter is to bend and curve from the shape of a palm as well as to tame or subdue as one has been bent to another’s will (under their hand), as an open hand symbolises submission. This also can picture for us a palm or palm branch from the curved palm shape.
Samech – סֶ:
The modern name for this letter is samech, yet it is also known in the ancient script as ‘sin’.
This letter is pictured as – which is a thorn, and has the meanings of ‘pierce and sharp’ and can also carry the meaning of ‘a shield’, as thorn bushes were used by shepherds to build a wall to enclose his flock in the night against the attack of predators. Another meaning would be ‘to grab hold of’ as a thorn is a seed that clings to hair and clothing.
Pey – ף:
This letter in the ancient script is pictured as , which is an ‘open mouth’ and carries the meaning of ‘speak and blow’, from the functions of the mouth, and can have the meaning of ‘scatter’ by blowing. It can also mean sword or beard as in things with edges, as well as a region in depicting a place with edges or boundaries. It also can represent that which has been spoken forth from the words of one’s mouth, as being established!
When we consider these 3 letters in the understanding of the word ‘silver’, when considering this as representing the redemption price, brought to us by the Blood of Messiah we are able to see from these pictures, the following:
THE OPEN HAND OF ELOHIM, AS REVEALED TO US THROUGH יהושע MESSIAH, WAS PIERCED FOR OUR TRANSGRESSION AND TOOK THE THORN (SIN) UPON HIMSELF, HAVING BEEN NAILED IN HIS HANDS AND FEET, BECOMING A SHIELD TO THOSE WHO CALL UPON HIM AND GRAB HOLD OF HIS COMMANDS, AS SPOKEN IN HIS WORD!
After His resurrection, when Messiah showed T’oma (Thomas) His hands that took the nails, T’oma acknowledged the redemptive work of יהושע Messiah and called Him His Master and Elohim.
T’oma now fully believed the Word of Elohim, and he was told that those who believe and have not seen:
Yoḥanan/John 20:27-29 “Then He said to T’oma, “Bring your finger here, and see My hands. And bring your hand and put it into My side – and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 And T’oma answered and said to Him, “My Master and my Elohim!” 29 יהושע said to him, “T’oma, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
Our True redemption is in יהושע Messiah, who is the open hand of Elohim that took our sin upon Himself, as spoken in His written Word that does not return empty!
3 – Bronze
Bronze speaks of His judgement and punishment for sin.
Bronze, in Hebrew, is the word נְחשֶׁת ‘neḥosheth’ – H5178.
Bronze was used in in those places where exceptional strength and heat resistance was important.
Bronze has a melting point of 1,985 degrees. It was important in the slaughter-place where intense heat was present.
They brought bronze not brass.
Brass comes from a mixture of copper and zinc where bronze comes from copper and usually tin as an additive.
Bronze represents judgment.
When Mosheh raised the bronze serpent it spoke of the power of the serpent being judged through the raising of the Son of Elohim:
Bemiḏbar/Numbers 21:9 “So Mosheh made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole. And it came to be, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.”
Bronze typifies the divine character of messiah who took upon Himself the fire of Elohim’s wrath, and justice by becoming a sin offering and making atonement for us.
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 5:21 “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of Elohim.”
Bronze is also symbolic of the suffering that יהושע would face for us and speaks of that which is beaten.
The tent pegs were also made of bronze and are also symbolic of His complete work for us, in that the pegs would be half in the ground and half out – showing us that He has, in fact, defeated death and the grave and has conquered sin, as He was led as a Lamb to the slaughtering.
Bronze was used to make mirrors in ancient times, as opposed to glass, and would be made of fine beaten work and then polished up – the bronze laver for washing would be like a mirror that the priests would be able to see their reflection in and see if they were clean or not, before entering in to the Set-Apart Place.
So here we again see the bronze also being figurative for us, in being the Word that we look into, like a mirror that we may see what we need to change, in order to become clean and not forget what we look like but continually look into the mirror of the Word, and allow the Word to shape us and ‘form’ us into His image.
4 – Blue Material
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘blue’ is תְּכֵלֶת ‘teḵeleth’ – Strong’s H8504.
The colour blue represents His Torah (Instructions), as it would be blue loops that were to be made on the edges of the curtains for the Dwelling Place.
This blue would also remind the children of Yisra’ěl of the heavens above where יהוה dwells and from where His Word comes!
Blue on the fringes of the curtains of the Dwelling Place shows how the instruction that we too are to have in wearing blue on the fringes of our garments, as we are the dwelling place of His Spirit and the blue on our ‘tzitzit’ would continually remind us of Him and His instructions for His Dwelling Place and how we are to be a Set-Apart people – just as His presence would dwell in the Set-Apart Place in the Tabernacle:
Bemiḏbar /Numbers 15:38-40 “Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, and you shall say to them to make tzitziyot on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a blue cord in the tzitzit of the corners. 39 “And it shall be to you for a tzitzit, and you shall see it, and shall remember all the commands of יהוה and shall do them, and not search after your own heart and your own eyes after which you went whoring, 40 so that you remember, and shall do all My commands, and be set-apart unto your Elohim.”
When the woman who had the issue of blood touched the tzitzit of the garments of יהושע, she was healed and so was fulfilled the prophecy that He would come with healing in His wings (tzitzit) and it carries a wonderful picture for us of our obedience to His commands.
When we walk in obedience to His commands, He makes His dwelling with us and we walk in the blessings, as described in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy and find healing in walking in, and holding on to, His Torah (Instructions).
The tzitzit is also a means for us to remember to not go after the evil inclinations of our own hearts but remember to be set-apart to Elohim and remember that which He has written upon our hearts – His Torah.
Now if we do not know what His Torah says then how will we remember what ought to be on our hearts, and how would we be able to live set-apart lives, so to have tzitzit but be ignorant of the Torah would be a hypocritical show – one that the Pharisees and scribes portrayed as they held fast to their traditions while forsaking the commands of Elohim – yet would wear long tzitzit to be seen by all! We have a responsibility – to wear the tzitzit – yes – however we must study the Torah and know what the tzitzit are to remind us of – and that is that we are to be doers of the Word and not just hearers only!
Scripture gives us clear instruction to wear tassels with a blue thread/cord on our garments, yet does not specifically describe how it ought to look.
The most common way of tying/making a tzitzit is by the twisting of the blue thread around the white in a 10-5-6-5 pattern which represents the numerical value of the Name יהוה according to the Hebrew Alphabet.
In addition to this five knots between these twisting’s are often used to signify the Torah – the first 5 books of the Scriptures.
5 – Purple Material
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘purple’ is אַרְגָּמָן ‘argaman’ – Strong’s H713.
This colour speaks of Royalty, as kings would wear robes of purple.
This identifies יהושע as the True King of kings and purple is a mixture of blue and scarlet, showing us that He that is from Heaven above (blue), came down and shed His blood (scarlet) and took on the flesh and paid the price and is now exalted on high seated on His Throne.
The enemy’s attempt at counterfeiting the kinship, also wears purple (think of Rome and the garments of the Pope and the bishops) while they have no blue in their apparel – the enemy has tried to assume the position with rule and law and imposes his own laws upon those who take up his mark and worship his image!
When the Romans mocked יהושע, they put a purple robe on Him and then took it back off; and this pictures how Messiah met all the requirements of the Torah, in becoming the perfect sacrifice, able to be offered up, as the purple wrapper was removed so that He could lay His life down on the Slaughter Place for our sins, and now, in Him, we are covered and we ‘carry’, in our lives, His completed work as He was sacrificed once for all and His work we are able to carry with joy, as we count the cost of becoming a daily living sacrifice, when we walk according to His commands and put to death the works of the flesh.
Marqos/Mark 15:16-20 “And the soldiers led Him away into the court, which is the palace, and they called together the entire company of soldiers, 17 and decked Him with purple. And they plaited a crown of thorns, put it on Him, 18 and they began to call out to Him, “Greetings, Sovereign of the Yehuḏim!” 19 And they kept beating Him on the head with a reed and were spitting on Him. And bending the knee, they were bowing down to Him. 20 And when they had mocked Him, they took the purple off Him, and put His own garments on Him, and led Him out to impale Him.”
6 – Scarlet Material
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘scarlet material’ comes from the two root words:
1) תּוֹלַעַת tola‘ath – Strong’s H8439 and
2) שָׁנִי ‘shani’ – Strong’s H8144
תּוֹלַעַת tola‘ath – Strong’s H8439 meaning ‘worm’ and שָׁנִי ‘shani’ – Strong’s H8144 meaning ‘scarlet/crimson’.
This scarlet (red) colour is believed by many to have come from the crushed body of an insect (worm) that attached itself to a tree, laid eggs on it, puts a sack of red juice around the eggs to protect them, then died, having emptied itself out for them!
This picture, in nature, is a wonderful picture of the work of redemption of יהושע.
The insect ‘coccus ilicis’ is related to the cochineal insect and found on the twigs and branches of evergreen oaks in Southern Europe and North Africa. They belong to the family of insects known as Coccidae or Scale-insects.
When the female of the species is ready to lay eggs, she attaches her body firmly to the tree.
The eggs are laid beneath her body and following the egg laying the insect dies. Thus, the eggs are protected by the insect’s body until the larvae are hatched. It was from the dead bodies of these insects that the scarlet dyes used in ancient times were extracted.
Scarlet material speaks of sacrifice and typifies Messiah in His sufferings and His giving of Himself to be crushed for our iniquities:
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:2 “And walk in love, as Messiah also has loved us, and gave Himself for us, a gift and an offering to Elohim for a sweet-smelling fragrance.”
And while scarlet typically refers to blood atonement and sacrifice, we also note how the harlot whore of Babylon rides on a scarlet beast and is dressed in purple and scarlet causing many to become drunk on here adulteries and twisted counterfeit teachings!!!
We are to be on guard against false messages and be able to rightly divide the Truth, as the enemy certainly tries to mimic the Truth and causes many to fall for her falsehood!
7 – Fine Linen
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘fine linen’ is שֵׁשׁ ‘shesh’ – Strong’s H8336.
Fine white linen in Scripture always speaks of righteousness!
The Greek word that is used in the LXX (Septuagint) for ‘fine linen’ is the noun βύσσος bussos – Strong’s G1040 and from this word we get the adjective βύσσινος bussinos – Strong’s G1039 which is used in reference to the ‘fine linen’ that the Bride of the Lamb is given to be dressed in, in:
Ḥazon/Revelation 19:8 “And to her it was given to be dressed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteousnesses of the set-apart ones.”
Ḥazon/Revelation 19:8 “And to her it was given to be dressed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteousnesses of the set-apart ones.”
Ḥazon/Revelation 3:5 “He who overcomes shall be dressed in white robes, and I shall by no means blot out his name from the Book of Life, but I shall confess his name before My Father and before His messengers.”
Fine linen speaks of purity, righteousness and the sinless life of Messiah and as we are clothed in Him we are to walk in purity and walk in righteousness which is to do all He commands us to:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:25 “And it is righteousness for us when we guard to do all this command before יהוה our Elohim, as He has commanded us.”
The Righteous garments we are given to wear has been provided for in His Torah, through the Life, death and resurrection of the Living Torah – the Word made flesh!
8 – Goats hair
This pictures for us the sin offering and the 2 goats that were brought before יהוה and Aharon would cast lots – one for יהוה and one for Azazel. The one for יהוה would be prepared as a sin offering and the goat on which the lot for Azazel fell is caused to stand alive before יהוה, to make atonement upon it, to send it into the wilderness to Azazel. This is the removal of sin from the camp and a dual picture of the work of יהושע, who has become the sin offering and also has taken sin away into the Wilderness and speaks of a conquering of death and destroying sin.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘goat’ comes from the root word עֵז ez – Strong’s H5795 which means, ‘female goat, young goat’. This word is also used in:
Berěshith/Genesis 37:31 “So they took Yosĕph’s robe, killed a male goat, and dipped the robe in the blood”
The Hebrew word שָׂעִיר sa’yir – Strong’s H6183 which means, ‘male goat, buck, hairy, shaggy’, also has the meaning of, ‘satyr, demon’, and is used in referring to the goat as a male goat, and the Hebrew word used here for ‘goat’ is עֵז ez – Strong’s H5795 which means, ‘female goat, young goat’.
It is from this account that we are able to see a shadow picture of the atonement that Messiah would bring on Yom Kippur through His own blood.
9 – Ram’s skins dyed red –
The ram skins picture for us the message of a substitutionary sacrifice.
A ram is a grown male sheep and is head of the flock. A shepherd may have one or two rams in a flock of ewes to promote uniformity. The ram is forever in the eyes of the Hebrew as the substitute animal, faithful unto death.
This is of course because יהוה provided a ram as a substitute for Yitsḥaq on that day when Aḇraham’s faith was revealed.
Berěshith/Genesis 22:12-14 “And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy, nor touch him. For now I know that you fear Elohim, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” 13 And Aḇraham lifted his eyes and looked and saw behind him a ram caught in a bush by its horns, and Aḇraham went and took the ram and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 And Aḇraham called the name of the place, ‘יהוה Yireh,’ as it is said to this day, “On the mountain יהוה provides.”
The ram’s skins were dyed red to represent the sacrifice of a substitute.
So, יהושע, as the head of the human race, the last Aḏam sacrificed His own life as a substitute for all who would put their trust in Him. And He would be their covering!
The ram skins also represent strength, as it is the same word in Hebrew that is used for the terebinth or mighty, which is the Hebrew root word אַיִל ayil – Strong’s H352 which means, ‘terebinth, chief, pillar, door post, ram’
The word used here for ‘skin’ is the Hebrew word עוֹר oor – Strong’s H5785 meaning, ‘a skin, body, hide, leather’.
Elohim made coats of skin and dressed Aḏam and Ḥawwah.
Here we see the clear provision of Elohim in what can be seen as the first animal sacrifice done by Elohim Himself, shadow picturing for us how it is Elohim who will satisfy the necessary sacrifice that will not only cover man’s sin but also redeem man back to Himself!
10 – Fine leather
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘fine leather’ is תַּחַשׁ ‘taḥash’ – Strong’s H8476.
Some believe that it was a badger, others a porpoise or a sea elephant.
This skin of fine leather would be used as the outer covering of the Dwelling Place that everyone saw.
They were tough skins and course and very plain in their appearance.
But how does this speak of יהושע?
It speaks of what יהושע was to man. There was no outward beauty to the tabernacle that was covered with the fine leather, and so it was with יהושע when He came to earth when He pitched His tabernacle among men, as the prophet foretold:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 53:1-2 “Who has believed our report? And to whom was the arm of יהוה revealed? 2 For He grew up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or splendour that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should desire Him.”
What was יהושע to the Yehuḏim when He came – nothing but a tough badger skin? What is He to the world today? Nothing but a rough and tough badger skin! But to those of us who have opened up our hearts to Him He is so much more than that! He is our full covering and altogether lovely!
11 – Acacia Wood
Acacia is the Hebrew word – שִׁטָּה ‘shittah’ – Strong’s H7848. The ‘Shittah’ tree grew in the deserts of Sinai, and the deserts around the Dead Sea. The wood is hard, very heavy, indestructible by insects, and has a fine, beautiful grain.
It was remarkably luxuriant in dry places, sometimes attaining a height of twenty feet.
This pictures for us the indestructability of Messiah and His incorruptibility in the flesh.
The Hebrew name means “sticks” or “piercers“, because its thorny branches do indeed look like a hodgepodge of twigs. Very few of the branches are thick enough to make boards out of, so articles were made from them by connecting the sticks together to make beams that could support great weight.
This ties in wonderfully to the concept of the “two sticks” of Ephrayim and Yehuḏah being made into “one tree” (Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 37:17), and to Sha‘ul’s explanation of Berěshith/Genesis 18:18 in Romans 11 about branches from other trees being grafted into Aḇraham’s root.
This wood would not rot or be affected by any insects and speak of the purity of Messiah and grafted into Him we will never see decay or rot!
The acacia wood was used in the construction of the Bronze Slaughter Place, Bronze Laver, the Showbread Table, the Slaughter-Place of Incense and the Ark of the Covenant, as well as the boards of the Dwelling Place.
All of these were made according to the perfect pattern that was shown to Mosheh, all with the complete purpose of the fully functional Dwelling Place/Tabernacle being set up so that יהוה would dwell amongst His people!
This wood can in many ways picture for us a unity, when the pieces are in fact placed in order!
All of the various pieces of the Tabernacle would be ineffective on their own, but when put in its proper order, they formed the perfect functional design of יהוה. This teaches us that we too need to be in unity in order to be formed and shaped into being a perfectly functional Tabernacle of Elohim, which we are.
12 – Oil
Pressed Olive oil – this oil is obtained through crushing the olive berries. When יהושע went to Gethsemane He sweat blood as He wash ‘pressed’ for our sins.
The word Gethsemane is derived from two Hebrew words: גַּת gath – Strong’s H1660, which means ‘a place for pressing oil (or wine)’ and שֶׁמֶן shemen – Strong’s H8081, which means ‘oils.’
In the days of Messiah, a Gethsemane was a huge stone weight that was placed on baskets of olive pulp after they had been crushed.
A large beam was placed across the weight and additional weights were suspended on one end while the other end rested in a hole in the wall. The weight put enormous pressure on the olive pulp, and after a while precious oils was squeezed out into a trough.
The image of the Gethsemane on the slope of the Mount of Olives where יהושע went the night before He was impaled provides a vivid picture of the suffering of יהושע.
The weight of the sins of the world pressed down upon Him like a heavy slab of rock pressed down on olives in their baskets. His sweat, ‘like drops of blood falling from to the ground’, flowed from Him like olive oil as it was squeezed out and flowed into the pit of an olive press.
Luqas/Luke 22:44 “And being in agony, He was praying more earnestly. And His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”
Oil as we know represents anointing and the Spirit of יהוה. Prophets, priests and kings were anointed with oil and carries great significance of the Spirit of יהוה making His presence dwell in those who have been anointed.
The anointing oil was restricted for tabernacle use only; anyone violating the command was put to death.
The olive oil was to be pure and nothing but pure, because it represents the purity of Messiah, who is the Anointed One who offered Himself for us:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 61:1-3 “The Spirit of the Master יהוה is upon Me, because יהוה has anointed Me to bring good news to the meek. He has sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim release to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound, 2 to proclaim the acceptable year of יהוה, and the day of vengeance of our Elohim, to comfort all who mourn, 3 to appoint unto those who mourn in Tsiyon: to give them embellishment for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. And they shall be called trees of righteousness, a planting of יהוה, to be adorned.”
13 – Spices for the anointing oil and incense
Shemoth/Exodus 30: 31-38 “And speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, saying, ‘This is a set-apart anointing oil to Me throughout your generations. 32 ‘It shall not be poured on the flesh of a man, and make no other like it, according to its composition. It is set-apart, it is set-apart to you. 33 ‘Whoever compounds any like it, or whoever puts any of it on a stranger, shall be cut off from his people.’” 34 And יהוה said to Mosheh, “Take sweet spices, fragrant gum and cinnamon and galbanum, and clear frankincense with these sweet spices, all in equal amounts. 35 “Then you shall make of these an incense, a compound, work of a perfumer, salted, clean, set-apart. 36 “And you shall beat some of it very fine, and put some of it before the Witness in the Tent of Meeting where I meet with you, it is most set-apart to you. 37 “And the incense which you make, do not make any for yourselves, according to its composition, it is set-apart to you for יהוה. 38 “Whoever makes any like it, to smell it, he shall be cut off from his people.”
Each of these spices picture for us an aspect of our set-apart worship unto and all of these elements together bring us to remembrance, as we come rejoicing, having an esteemed reverence and receive His deliverance:
I – FRAGRANT GUM –
This comes from the Hebrew word נָטָף ‘nataph’ – Strong’s H5198, which, as a noun, can be translated as ‘stacte’ – which is to ooze out or drips from an aromatic gum resin of a shrub used in incense.
As a verb it can be translated or is used in the Tanak to describe drop 12 times, prophecy 4 times and prophet once. It simply means, ‘drop, drip, distil, prophesy, or even preach and cause to flow.
From this broad description I can clearly see an aspect of the believer’s life – in the sense of Messiah’s great commission to us all – to go and make disciples – teaching them about Him, preaching to others, prophesying and encouraging others in Messiah; in other words to be the secretion of His aromatic love to others – causing us to flow in the Spirit, constantly bearing witness to the favour of Elohim.
This element to me speaks of REMEMBRANCE.
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 2:11-13 “Therefore remember that you, once gentiles in the flesh, who are called ‘the uncircumcision’ by what is called ‘the circumcision’ made in the flesh by hands, 12 that at that time you were without Messiah, excluded from the citizenship of Yisra’ĕl and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no expectation and without Elohim in the world. 13 But now in Messiah יהושע you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah.” Remember where you were, and that through Messiah’s death we have been and redeemed and through His life are equipped to witness for Him.”
II – ONYCHA (Cinnamon) –
This comes from the Hebrew word שְׁחֵלֶת ‘sheḥeleth’ – Strong’s H7827, which is only used here in the Scriptures and is simply thought to be that of an aromatic shell – a shell of a mollusc (snail, clam, oyster etc.) that when burned emits a pleasant odour.
This word comes from the root word ‘shaḥal’ which means to ‘peel off’. This gives me a picture of stripping away through fire, as the shell is burned it releases a fragrance.
This element of the slaughter-place incense for me represents REJOICING! – And true discipleship – allowing Elohim to strip away or peel off the junk of sin and evil from our lives!
Discipleship without deliverance is not true discipleship – which is part of our daily prayer life taught to us by Messiah – “Master, deliver me from evil”. As we go through the fires of life or the trials of life יהוה shapes us and moulds us and builds us up. Just as when this ‘onycha’ is burned a pleasant odour is emitted – so too through the trials and fires of life we may omit a pleasing aroma as the dross is burned away.
Ya’aqoḇ/James understood this very well and could confidently teach us to rejoice when we face all kinds of trials – for it is through trials that the testing of our faith develops in us perseverance which must finish its work that we may be complete and lack nothing, aměn!
Do you rejoice in your trials, an aspect or a ‘complete part’ of a life of worship pleasing and set-apart to יהוה?
III – GALBANUM –
This comes from the Hebrew word חֶלְבְּנָה ‘ḥelbenah’ – Strong’s H2464, and is a kind of resin or gum.
It is from the root word ‘חֵלֶב ḥeleḇ – Strong’s H2459 meaning, ‘fat, or best or finest’ – in other words the choicest parts. You see יהוה desires and commands our best. He wants our all, our best not the leftovers!
This, to me, speaks of REVERANCE – a total awe of His magnificence, and a desire to give our all for who He is, what He has done and what He is doing. He never changes and neither should our worship before Him change!
If we truly know and understand who He is we will certainly give Him our best, always!
IV – PURE FRANKINCENSE –
Frankincense is a white resin, and for me it represents here purity – to be clean, white as snow – which we can only be through the Blood of יהושע Messiah, hence the word pure going with the substance.
Pure means clean, unmixed, free from foreign substances and flawless and pertains to an upright and innocent state – being free of guilt and standing in a position of justification. Something that we have received from our Saviour!
We have been justified by faith and purchased through the Blood of יהושע to be made set-apart, pure, upright and blameless before יהוה. Through our Master יהושע we are washed whiter than snow, aměn.
This spice speaks to me about what we RECEIVE at deliverance, which is a free gift, received by faith.
These spices were for the anointing oil and the sweet incense:
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘anointing’ is מָשְׁחָה moshḥah – Strong’s H4888 which means, ‘anointing, anointed, consecrated portion, anointing oil, ointment’ and comes from the root verb מָשַׁח mashaḥ – Strong’s H4886 and means, ‘smear, anoint, spread a liquid, consecrate, to be anointed’.
The first time we see this word for ‘anointing’ – מָשְׁחָה moshḥah – Strong’s H4888 – being used is in:
Shemoth/Exodus 25:6 “oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense”
This verse forms part of the instructions that were given in regards to the contributions that were to be taken up from the children of Yisra’ĕl in order to make the Set-Apart Place of Elohim.
Among the various items that were required we see that this verse speaks of the spices for the anointing oil.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘incense’ is קְטֹרֶת qetoreth – Strong’s H7004 which means, ‘the smoke or odour of (burning) sacrifice; incense, sweet smoke of sacrifice, perfume’, which comes from the root verb קָטַר Qatar – Strong’s H6999 which means, ‘to make sacrifices smoke, burn incense’.
This verb carries the meaning of making a smoke offering, which is to burn an offering of aromatic incense that will smoke in dedication and worship of a deity, with a focus on the smoke that the material produces.
When we think of this word, we take note that the noun קְטֹרֶת qetoreth – Strong’s H7004 is used to describe the ‘incense’ that was to be burned on the slaughter place of incense every morning when Aharon would tend the lamps on the menorah!
Shemoth/Exodus 30:1 “And you shall make an slaughter-place to burn incense on, make it of acacia wood”
Shemoth/Exodus 30:7-9 “And Aharon shall burn on it sweet incense, morning by morning. As he tends the lamps, he shall burn incense on it. 8 “And when Aharon lights the lamps between the evenings, he shall burn incense on it – a continual incense before יהוה throughout your generations. 9 “Do not offer strange incense on it, or a burnt offering, or a grain offering, and do not pour a drink offering on it.”
What you will notice here in regards to the clear instructions given to burn incense daily is that no strange incense was to be burned upon it!
This slaughter-place of incense represents the intercession/prayers of the priests and no strange fire was to be put on it – in other words: we are not to pray with wrong motives:
Ya’aqoḇ/James 4:1-3 “Where do fightings and strivings come from among you? Do they not come from your pleasures that battle in your members? 2 You desire, and do not have. You murder, and are jealous, and are unable to obtain. You strive and fight, and you do not possess, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask evilly, in order to spend it on your pleasures.”
Many today are simply praying in vain, simply because they are not been washed in the Blood of the Lamb and kept clean by the continual washing of the Word and are not clothed/walking in righteousness and claim to have access to the slaughter-place of incense.
When understanding the Tabernacle and its service we learn very quickly that we cannot come to the slaughter-place with wrong motives and impure hearts. יהושע also tells us in:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:23-24 “If, then, you bring your gift to the slaughter-place, and there remember that your brother holds whatever against you, 24 leave your gift there before the slaughter-place, and go, first make peace with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”
Naḏab and Aḇihu offered strange fire and were killed!
14 – Shoham stones – שֹׁהַם ‘shoham’ – Strong’s H7718.
Shoham stones in the shoulder garment and breastplate – it is interesting to note that it is the shoham stone that represents Yosĕph in the ephod, as well as the two that would hold up the whole ephod!
Yosĕph kept all the sons of Ya’aqoḇ alive during a famine through his diminishment to slavery and is a wonderful picture of יהושע who delivered us from slavery and in whom we are kept safe all the tribes names were written on the two shoham stones on the shoulder garment – showing us that the tribes are written in the Rock of their Salvation of which Yosĕph was a shadow picture of also the shoulder garment representing that the rule and reign is upon His shoulders:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 9:6 “For a Child shall be born unto us, a Son shall be given unto us, and the rule is on His shoulder. And His Name is called Wonder, Counsellor, Strong Ěl, Father of Continuity, Prince of Peace.”
Besides the Shoham stones, there was also stones that were to be set in the shoulder garment and in the breastplate of the high priest!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘stones’ is אַבְנֵי – aḇney, which comes from the root word אֶבֶן eḇen – Strong’s H68 meaning, ‘stone, corner stone, differing weights, plumb line’.
We know from the breastplate that there were 12 stones that were set into it, with each stone representing one of the 12 tribes of Yisra’ěl.
And so, from the stones that were to be brought we are also able to recognise the clear picture of how we are built up as living stones in the Master.
This root word אֶבֶן eḇen – Strong’s H68comes from the primitive root verb בָּנָה banah – Strong’s H1129 meaning, ‘to build, besieged, construct, fortify, rebuild, establish a family, build up’.
Another word that is derived from the root verb בָּנָה banah – Strong’s H1129 is the Hebrew word is בֵּן ben – Strong’s H1121 which means, ‘son, grandson, child, member of a group, children (plural for both male and female)’.
In the ancient pictographic Hebrew alphabet, the word בֵּן ben – Strong’s H1121 looks like this:
Beyt – בֵּ:
This is the letter ‘beyt’ (בֵּ), which in the ancient script has this letter as , which pictures a tent floor plan and means, ‘house’ or ‘tent’. It represents family and the importance of those who are inside the tent as opposed to the tent structure itself and is the Dwelling Place of the Most-High, which we are, as we are as living stones being built up in Messiah.
Nun – ן:
This is the letter ‘nun’ (ן), which in the ancient text is pictured as a , which is a ‘spouting seed’, and gives the idea of ‘continuation or an offspring or an heir’, speaking of that which sprouts forth will be the heir of the promise of continuation, and represents one’s life expectancy.
The combined meaning of these two letters means:
THE CONTINUING OF THE HOUSE
When I refer to son or son-ship, in reference to our relationship toward Elohim, I am collectively speaking of both male and female children (or sons and daughters) of the Most-High, as the Hebrew word for son – בֵּן ben – Strong’s H1121, which is used over 5000 times, is not exclusively a reference to the male offspring of human parents.
It is also used idiomatically for children generally, as well as for descendants, i.e. grandsons; and for people or items belonging in a category or group e.g. sons of prophets.
And we also recognise that, in Scripture, the term בֵּן ben often specifies an intimate relationship between a father and his children.
We see the plural of this word – בָּנִים – baniym being translated as ‘children’ in:
Tehillah/Psalm 103:13 “As a father has compassion for his children, so יהוה has compassion for those who fear Him.”
Son-ship in Scripture is not always regarded to being a natural position based on physical bloodline, but rather son-ship of Elohim is that which is conferred to us by an act of Elohim.
Son-ship should not be understood as an assured son-ship based on natural descent or merit; but rather it is based on Elohim’s extended favour and mercy that is received by faith in Messiah; and He extended His great loving-commitment toward His Covenants of Promise by coming in the flesh to redeem us, and to restore to favour all unto Himself – so that we who were once estranged and enemies in the mind by wicked works could be completely restored to favour in the body of His flesh through death, and be presented set-apart and blameless before Him, having received an adoptions as sons of the Living Elohim – if indeed we continue in the belief, not being moved in our fully committed loving obedience to His commands as faithful sons!
When we consider how we are being built up as living stones in our Master, and are the Dwelling Place of Elohim, we see that we can only be built up in the One who is to be praised, and can only be built up according to His wisdom – the wisdom that He has already made clear and by which all is made, for wisdom has already ‘built Her house’.
In other words, the design and pattern and function has been given and the continuing of the House of Wisdom can only be done according to Her standards as set forth in the Word of Elohim!
This gives fuller meaning and clarity to us when we look at the word for built in the ancient text:
בָּנָה banah – Strong’s H1129 meaning, ‘to build, besieged, construct, fortify, rebuild, establish a family, build up’, therefore, in the ancient pictographic script, it looks like this:
You will notice that there is one additional letter that is added here to this word that differs from the word for ‘son’.
This additional letter is the letter:
Hey – ה:
The ancient script has this letter pictured as , which is ‘a man standing with his arms raised out’. The Hebrew word letter “hey” means “behold, breath, sigh”, as when looking at a great sight, and can also give the understanding of ‘reveal or revelation’; from the idea of revealing a great sight by pointing it out. It also carries for us the meaning of surrender, as we lift up our hands and submit to יהוה as we lift our hands in praise, declaring His authority under which we humbly submit!
Recognising the clear pictures of this word we can see that the continuing of the House of Elohim, that He has built by His wisdom, is only made possible by the One who is to be praised – that is: our Head, יהושע Messiah!!!
Galatiyim/Galatians 3:26-29 “For you are all sons of Elohim through belief in Messiah יהושע. 27 For as many of you as were immersed into Messiah have put on Messiah. 28 There is not Yehuḏite nor Greek, there is not slave nor free, there is not male and female, for you are all one in Messiah יהושע. 29 And if you are of Messiah, then you are seed of Aḇraham, and heirs according to promise.”
These shoham stones, along with the other 11 stones would be set in the shoulder garment and in the breastplate, picturing for us how we are ‘set’ in the Master, by His design, equipping us to be the true living stones that are able to praise Him!
In Hebrew, the word that is translated as ‘shoulder garment’ is אֵפוֹד ephoḏ – Strong’s H646 which means, ‘outer garment of priest’.
This was the ‘outer garment worn by the priests that was white, however the High Priests ephoḏ was more costly – woven of gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and linen threads.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘breastplate’ is חשֶׁן ḥoshen – Strong’s H2833, which means, ‘breastplate, breast-piece, pouch’ and it was made of gold, of blue and purple and scarlet material, and fine woven linen.
It held the stones bearing the names of the Yisra’ĕlites safely in place and also carried the urim and tummim.
Verse 8: – Make Me a Set-Apart Dwelling Place – and I will dwell in your midst!
The Tabernacle – it requires your best and your heart has to be in it:
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘Set-Apart Place’ is מִקְדָּשׁ miqdash – Strong’s H4720 which means, ‘a set-apart place, sanctuary’ and this comes from the primitive root verb קָדַשׁ qaḏash – Strong’s H6942 which means, ‘set-apart, consecrated, dedicated’ – and that is what we have been called to be!!!
From this root verb, we get the noun קֹדֶשׁ qoḏesh – Strong’s H6944 which means ‘apartness/ consecrated/ dedicated/ that which is dedicated and separated unto יהוה’.
The Hebrew words קָדוֹשׁ qaḏosh – Strong’s H6918 and קָדַשׁ qaḏash – Strong’s H6942 are rendered as follows in the ancient pictographic letter/symbols:
Quph – קֹ:
This is the letter ‘quph’, which is pictured as , and is a ‘horizon’ and depicts the elements of ‘time’, as it pictures the sun in its rising and setting. It therefore carries the meaning of ‘circle’ or ‘to go around’, representing for us both, appointed cycles or times as well as eternity and speaks of continual adherence to the Appointed Times.
Dalet – דֶ:
This is the letter ‘dalet’ which is pictured as , which is a ‘tent door’. It can also have the meaning of a back and forth movement, as one goes back and forth through a tent door and so speaks of an access point. It can also carry the meaning of ‘dangle’ or hanging as the tent door would hang from the roof pole of the tent. It speaks a great deal in terms of understanding the door of the tent of appointment as the only means of access. And we also know that Messiah is ‘The Door’, for we only are able to have access into the Kingdom through Him! The commands are also to be written on the doorposts teaching us to remember to guard the commands of Elohim as we go out and come in, so that our going out and coming is in peace!
Shin – שׁ:
This is the letter ‘shin’ which in the ancient script is pictured as, , which is ‘two front teeth’ and carries the meaning of ‘sharp or press, chew or devour’; which is what the teeth do, and also speaks of the sharpened word that comes forth from the mouth as the teeth ‘chew’ or ‘meditate’ on the Truth, making what comes forth pure and sharp! It also carries the understanding of consuming or destroying – as teeth do to food.
Looking at the rendering of this Hebrew word קֹדֶשׁ qoḏesh – Strong’s H6944 in the pictographic form that renders set-apartness or to be set-apart we, are able to see what this clearly implies as we take note that this word can render for us the following meaning:
CONTINUALLY COMING TO THE DOOR OF APPOINTMENT TO MEDITATE ON THE WORD!
Our ability to be properly set-apart involves our ability to properly meditate on the Word on a daily basis as well as making sure that we do not neglect the set-apart Appointed Times that are clearly commanded as ‘set-apart gatherings’, which are All the Appointed Times of יהוה, as outlined and instructed in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23, which includes the weekly Sabbath!
With the Set-Apart Place being called מִקְדָּשׁ miqdash – Strong’s H4720 we take note of the following form the ancient pictographic script, as it is rendered as follows:
You will notice that with the Hebrew word מִקְדָּשׁ miqdash the letter ‘mem’ (מִ) is at the front of the three letters that are used to describe or represent set-apartness.
Mem – ם:
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as ‘water’, and also carries the meaning of ‘chaos’ (from the storms of the sea) and can also picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown. We are also able to understand this letter as representing the nations, for the nations are often likened to the seas in Scripture. Water is also a very clear picture for us of that which washes or cleanses us, as we understand from the picture of the bronze laver in the Tabernacle that was used to clean the priests, and was made from the bronze mirrors that was used by the women who worshipped at the Door of the Tabernacle.
As we look into the mirror of the Word of Elohim, we are to allow it to cleanse us and cause us to remember how we are to look, speak and act, in complete adherence to His clear words of instructions contained therein!
As we study the clear and precise pattern of the Tabernacle and Dwelling Place we are able to get a great picture from these ancient pictographic renderings of the word מִקְדָּשׁ miqdash – Strong’s H4720, especially as we see that the bronze laver that was used for the priests to wash their hands and feet before entering into the Dwelling Place.
As we allow the Word of Elohim to wash us and set us apart, we recognise that we are cleansed through proper obedience to His Word and the proper coming to the Door of Appointment and guard to keep His Sabbaths and Feasts with joy!
It is by the Blood of Messiah that we have been grafted in to His covenants of promise and through the complete washing of the Word we are equipped through His Word to be:
CLEANSED TO CONTINUALLY COME TO THE DOOR OF APPOINTMENT
TO MEDITATE ON THE WORD!
As we diligently obey the proper keeping of the Sabbaths and Feasts of יהוה we recognise that we are, as His Bride, washed by His Word in order to be the splendid assembly that He gave Himself for:
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:25-27 “Husbands, love your wives, as Messiah also did love the assembly and gave Himself for it, 26 in order to set it apart and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, 27 in order to present it to Himself a splendid assembly, not having spot or wrinkle or any of this sort, but that it might be set-apart and blameless.”
Above and below you can see a basic outlay of the Tabernacle to help you get a better understanding of the layout. What we are able to clearly summarise from the pattern of the Tabernacle is the wonderful work of our Master and Elohim. We come to the ‘gate’, which is the Door of Appointment, and entrance can only be through the Door, which is Messiah, who gave Himself for us, His Splendid Assembly and Bride.
As we enter in, through our immersion in His Name, we are able to pass the Slaughter Place and be reminded of the clear loving sacrifice of our Master and, in turn, recognise how we are to be a daily living offering, which we can do as we allow His Word to wash our hands and feet, that is our walk and our works, which is done, in type, at the bronze laver that was used to wash the hands and feet of the priests, as they would take water from the bronze laver in jugs and wash their hands and feet before doing any service in the Tabernacle.
The bronze laver was made from the mirrors of the women who worshipped at the door of the tent of appointment and is a reminder of us how we are to look intently into the mirror of the Word, be washed by it and not forget what we look like, as His image and likeness is being restored in us, through His refining Word. Then we are able to enter into the Set-Apart Place, which represents our gatherings, as a Bride, on His Sabbaths and Appointed Times.
In this Set-Apart Place is the Menorah, which gives light to the showbread table, where 12 loaves would be prepared and set each on it each Shabbat, highlighting the importance of our gathering for Shabbat and in doing so, we have access to His Throne of favour in our time of need, having been given access by the Blood of Messiah!
While I have simply given a brief overview of the design and the basic pattern thereof, we will take a closer look at each element of the Tabernacle in more detail.
However, the point for my brief overview is to highlight that there is a pattern and it is a pattern that we must guard to keep.
Many may claim to have access to the Master’s grace while they disregard the pattern and neglect to be immersed in the True Name and refuse to live set-apart lives and do not keep the Sabbaths and Feasts of Elohim. If we do not guard the pattern then we have no access!
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 6:16-17 “And what union has the Dwelling Place of Elohim with idols? For you are a Dwelling Place of the living Elohim, as Elohim has said, “I shall dwell in them and walk among them, and I shall be their Elohim, and they shall be My people. 17 Therefore, “Come out from among them and be separate, says יהוה, and do not touch what is unclean, and I shall receive you.”
Verse 9 – do according to all that I show you!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘dwelling place’ is the root word מִשְׁכָּן mishkan – Strong’s H4908 which means, ‘dwelling place, tabernacle, tents’; and comes from the root word שָׁכַן shaḵan – Strong’s H7931 which means, ‘to settle down, abide, dwell, establish, make or cause to dwell’.
Mosheh was instructed to build the Dwelling Place exactly according to the pattern he was shown – that is the pattern of what he was shown in the heavenlies, where Elohim dwells!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘pattern’ is תַּבְנִית taḇniyth – Strong’s H8403 which means, ‘construction, pattern, figure, copy, image, likeness, model, plan’ and comes from the root verb בָּנָה banah – Strong’s H1129 meaning, ‘to build, besieged, construct, fortify, rebuild, establish a family, build up’.
Another word that is derived from this root verb, through the meaning to build, is אֶבֶן eḇen – Strong’s H68 meaning, ‘stone, corner stone, differing weights, plumb line’.
We are therefore able to see, as already discussed, how it is יהוה who builds us up as living stones; and being built up in Him, we are able to stand strong and stand firm in any circumstance, with the full assurance that the Rock upon which we stand will stand firm and not be moved or shaken!
We are built up as living stones in Messiah, as Kěpha describes in:
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:4-5 “Drawing near to Him, a living Stone – rejected indeed by men, but chosen by Elohim and precious – 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up, a spiritual house, a set-apart priesthood, to offer up spiritual slaughter offerings acceptable to Elohim through יהושע Messiah.”
Why I am emphasising this, is to highlight how it is through the clear pattern of His Word that we are equipped and enabled to be built up as the dwelling Place of Elohim, where He can come and dwell in the midst of.
The way we are built up in the Master is according to the pattern which is in the heavens and so just as Mosheh was told to do exactly according to the pattern we recognise that we can only be properly built up as living stones when we follow the clear pattern given by our Master.
When we consider these words given to Mosheh we are further enabled to understand the teaching our Master and Elohim gave us of how we are to pray:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 6:9-10 “This, then, is the way you should pray: ‘Our Father who is in the heavens, let Your Name be set-apart, 10 let Your reign come, let Your desire be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
The Greek word used here for ‘as it is’ is ὡς hōs – Strong’s G5613 which means, ‘as, like as, even as’ and through this clear teaching we recognise that our Master was teaching us to pray to the Father that His desire be done on earth as it is in the heavens and therefore echoes the same instructions being given to Mosheh, with the pattern shown to him in the heavens, for the Tabernacle was to be a clear representation on earth ‘as it is’ in the heavens.
The pattern of the dwelling place of Elohim has always been one that comes from above and therefore we recognise how important it is for us to take note of, study and meditate on the Torah of Elohim in order to know His pattern for us, His Dwelling Place!
Verse 10-22 – The Ark of the Covenant
Make an ark of acacia wood and overlay with clean gold, inside and out, was the clear command.
We know that not many people would get to see what was inside the Ark yet the inside was to be the same as the outside – if the outside tells you it is pure then so should the inside be, or else it is simply just a ‘whitewashed tomb’:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 23:25-28 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are filled with plunder and unrighteousness. 26 “Blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and dish, so that the outside of them becomes clean too. 27“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you are like whitewashed tombs which outwardly indeed look well, but inside are filled with dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 “So you too outwardly indeed appear righteous to men, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.”
This is a clear picture of how we too are to be clean on the inside and out – overlaid with the purity of His rich and precious Word. What we see with the Ark is that is gives us great insight for us who are to be the temple of His Spirit.
As clean gold is refined through fire, so are we refined through the trials of life which will result in our ability to be made complete, if we will but endure; as we carry His Commands that have been written upon our hearts.
As we consider the location of the Ark in the Tabernacle, we can see that it is in essence at the heart of the Tabernacle.
I heard a saying of old that struck me and it goes something like this:
The earth is at the heart of the Universe; Yisra’ĕl is at the heart of the earth; Yerushalayim is at the heart of Yisra’ĕl; The Temple was at the heart of Yerushalayim; The Ark is at the heart of the Temple; The Commands are in the heart of the Ark; The Sabbath is at the heart of the Commands – the heart of the matter is simply this: יהוה has provided a perfect plan for us to once again be at rest with Him as we guard His Sabbath and Commands in our hearts, that He may dwell with us continually in our midst!
Noaḥ was also commanded to cover the ark inside and out which would protect them and ‘cover’ them, and is a great shadow picture of Atonement and also reminds us that we are to guard His commands – that are to be written upon our hearts and as we guard them, by a proper hearing and doing, we will be kept safe as we work out our salvation with fear and trembling, until the day of our deliverance is made complete!
The Hebrew word used for the ‘ark’ of the covenant that would be overlaid with gold is אֲרוֹן ‘aron’ – Strong’s H727 and means ‘chest, box or ark’ and comes from the root word אָרָה ‘arah’ – Strong’s H717 which means ‘to gather or pluck’ as in gathering crops and plucking produce from plants such as clusters of grapes from a vine.
This is the Ark of the Covenant – a parallel of the Sabbath as it is the sign of the Covenant between יהוה and Yisra’ĕl.
4 Rings in its 4 corners and 2 poles – The number 4 here on the 4 corners can also be symbolic of the 4 corners of the earth from where He will gather His scattered and dispersed people:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 11:12 “And He shall raise a banner for the nations, and gather the outcasts of Yisra’ĕl, and assemble the dispersed of Yehuḏah from the four corners of the earth.”
Marqos/Mark 13:27 “And then He shall send His messengers, and assemble His chosen ones from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven.”
The 4 rings were necessary to bring balance in carrying the Ark, and we too are to be well balanced in our walk of obedience, able to carry His presence with joy and delight.
The two poles are also symbolic of the two Houses that are to carry His presence together and speaks of his redemptive plan in bringing back and restoring the Houses of Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah with whom He has made His Covenant with and with whom He has made a renewed Covenant with where the Torah is now written upon the hearts!
These poles were never to be removed from the Ark – showing us that His Covenant is always with, and always will be with Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah!!!
The poles would extend and press against the veil so as to be seen from the Speaking Place but not from outside providing evidence of its presence in the Most Set-Apart place:
Melaḵim Aleph/1 Kings 8:8 “And the poles extended so that the ends of the poles were seen from the set-apart place, in front of the Speaking Place, but they were not seen from outside. And they are there to this day.”
The poles were not only used to transport it, but also protected the priests who were carrying it from death.
They are therefore a wonderful shadow picture of יהושע who became flesh (of hard wood) yet pure (overlaid with gold) saves us from the wrath of Elohim as we abide in Him and carry His presence as prescribed.
If the ark had always been carried on poles as יהוה instructed, there then would never have been an occasion where it nearly fell off a cart after the Ark had been returned from the Philistines and Yisra’ĕl made another wagon to transport the ark in (which they should not have done) and lead to the death of Uzzah who touched the Ark when the oxen stumbled:
Shemuʼěl Bět/2 Samuel 6:6-7 “And when they came to the threshing-floor of Naḵon, Uzzah reached out toward the ark of Elohim and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. 7 And the wrath of יהוה burned against Uzzah, and Elohim smote him there for the fault. And he died there by the ark of Elohim.”
A very sobering lesson for us today – we are to carry His presence His way and not however we see fit – His Torah in our hearts must be held up and carried with reverence and obedience.
Lid of Atonement – Mercy seat
It was upon this lid that the blood of the bull and the blood of the chosen goat, on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), would be brought in by the high priest and be sprinkled upon, on the east side and in front of it 7 times.
While the commandments were inside the Ark and covered with gold as symbolic of its purity, this is a shadow picture of the need for man to be atoned for in order to have fellowship with יהוה.
And it is through the Blood on the mercy seat that we have access to His Pure Covenant as we have a High Priest who intercedes for us:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:2 “And He Himself is an atoning offering for our sins, and not for ours only but also for all the world.”
The Hebrew word for lid of atonement in Hebrew is כַּפֹּרֶת ‘kapporeth’ – Strong’s H3727 means ‘atonement cover’ and is from the root word כָּפַר ‘kaphar’ – Strong’s H3722 which means ‘to cover over, to pacify, to make propitiation, to pardon’.
As a noun, it can also carry the meaning of ‘a ransom’, ‘gift’, or ‘to secure favour’.
It literally means to ‘cover over’ or ‘smear with pitch’ as in the sealing of a ship.
Therefore, the Hebrew word כָּפַר ‘kaphar’ – Strong’s H3722, or atonement, means to cover that which is bare or naked or shamed, and also means to ‘smear the ship so that your ship will not sink and drown all those aboard’!
This is the same word used in instructing Noaḥ to ‘cover’ the ark with pitch inside and out, and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) is the Appointed Time of the fulfilment of יהוה’s redemptive plan for the nation of Yisra’ĕl, when our High Priest will come out from the Most Set-Apart place, having made atonement for by His own Blood, and be united with His Bride, after having destroyed the enemy and taking sin out of the world!
The Hebrew word כָּפַר ‘kaphar’ H3722 also means to ransom – and so we know that יהושע has paid our ransom and atoned for us. It is from this root word that we get the Hebrew word כִּפֻּר ‘kippur’ H3725, which is the Hebrew word for ‘atonement’.
Atonement means ‘to make ransom for or to cover over man’s sins’.
The English word Atonement was derived when the translator wanted best to describe what ‘kippur’ meant, as there was not a definitive English word to describe or translate the meaning of this and so, what he translated it to was – ‘At-One’ – therefore later being called ‘Atonement’.
This was the best way he could express what this day carries for us – it is when we are made to be ‘one’ with יהוה – be ‘at one with’ Him and finally be fully restored unto Him as a washed and purified body together as ‘one’!
So, this is also a day where we truly come and remember the ransom that was paid for us by the shed Blood of the Pěsaḥ Lamb – יהושע Messiah, once and for all and reflect on our lives as to how we are living out our covenant relationship with our Saviour, who is not only the Pěsaḥ Lamb, but is also the ‘ram’ that is provided for us, and the complete sin offering that covers us and cleanses us in His Own Blood!
The Hebrew word כָּפַר ‘kaphar’ H3722 also means to reconcile with someone who has the power of death over you, and to pacify the one who has the power to do you harm! We must realise that the punishment for sin is death, and no sin goes unpunished. Through the Atonement of יהושע for our sins we are reconciled to the One who has the power to put us to death!
When we look at the ancient pictographic script’s rendering of the words for כִּפֻּר ‘kippur’ H3725 (Atonement), כָּפַר ‘kaphar’ H3722 (cover) and כֹּפֶר ‘Kopher’H3724 (covering) we are able to see a powerful picture of the way which our Master Himself opened up for us to be One with Him!
In the ancient pictographic script, we see the following picture for these three words:
Kaph – כִּ:
The ancient form of this letter is – meaning ‘the open palm of a hand’. The meaning behind this letter is ‘to bend and curve’ from the shape of a palm as well as ‘to tame or subdue’ as one has been bent to another’s will (under their hand), as an open hand symbolises submission. This also can picture for us a palm or palm branch from the curved palm shape. The hand also speaks of one’s work, or under whose hand you submit and obey!
Pey – פֻּ:
This is the letter ‘pey’, which is pictured as , which is an ‘open mouth’ and carries the meaning of ‘speak and blow’, from the functions of the mouth, and can have the meaning of ‘scatter’ by blowing. It can also mean sword or beard as in things with edges, as well as a region in depicting a place with edges or boundaries. It also can represent that which has been spoken forth from the words of one’s mouth, as being established! This can also render for us a picture of that which has been opened, in terms of the way that has been opened by the Word of Elohim!
Resh – ר:
The ancient script has this letter ‘resh’ as – – and is pictured as ‘the head of a man’ and has the meaning of the head of a man as well as chief, top, begging or first. This letter can mean ‘top’ – as in the top or head of a body; and ‘chief’ – as in head of a tribe or people, as well as the one who rules the people.
When we consider the significance of these pictures that render the words כִּפֻּר ‘kippur’ H3725, כָּפַר ‘kaphar’ H3722 and כֹּפֶר ‘Kopher’H3724 we are able to clearly recognise the powerful working of our Master and Elohim, who has by His own Hand opened the Way for us to be joined to Him, who is our Head and therefore we can see the following:
THE OPEN HAND THAT OPENED THE WAY TO THE HEAD!
Our Master revealed His open Hand and took the nails in His Hands for our sin, in order that we can be cleansed and able to draw near to Him and be joined to Him, opening up for us the Way to Eternal Life in Him!
When I see the rendering of these pictures, with regards to Yom Kippur, I am reminded of the encounter that T’oma had with Messiah, in:
Yoḥanan/John 20:26-29 “And after eight days His taught ones were again inside, and T’oma with them. יהושע came, the doors having been shut, and He stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” 27 Then He said to T’oma, “Bring your finger here, and see My hands. And bring your hand and put it into My side – and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 And T’oma answered and said to Him, “My Master and my Elohim!” 29 יהושע said to him, “T’oma, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
At the sight of the open hand of the Master, T’oma instantly recognised that יהושע is the only One True Master and Elohim and that by His death and resurrection His revealed hand opened the way for us to be joined to Him, our Head!
The mercy seat, upon which the Blood was sprinkled, is also a picture of His Throne for He dwells between the Keruḇim and through the Blood of Messiah we now have boldness to draw near to His Throne:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 4:16 “Therefore, let us come boldly to the throne of favour, in order to receive compassion, and find favour for timely help.”
Only as we understand the pattern, by properly guarding to keep the Sabbaths and Feasts of יהוה, can we understand the gift of the favour of our Master and how we are able to draw near to Him!
Inside the Ark:
What was inside?
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 9:3-4 “And after the second veil, the part of the Tent which is called Most Set-apart, 4 to which belonged the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that held the manna, and the rod of Aharon that budded, and the tablets of the covenant”
The witness that would be placed inside the ark were:
1 – Two Tablets of Stone with the Ten Words on – this is the Marriage Covenant – The Witness of the Torah that is to be upon our hearts. The 1st stone tablets were broken, when thrown down by Mosheh, after Aharon had led Yisra’ĕl astray in making a golden calf in worship unto יהוה, after which new tablets were made and יהוה once again wrote the 10 Words upon them.
This too was a shadow picture of His renewing the Covenant with a people who would whore after idol worship and by these new stones being placed under the mercy seat inside the Ark is a picture of our need for the Blood of Messiah to give us access to the renewed Covenant made in His Blood – that would now be written not on stone but on our hearts!
There were two tablets of stone, or rather 2 ‘copies’ of the Marriage Contract, otherwise known as the ‘Ketuḇah’, where our copy and יהוה’s copy is kept together and guarded for all time.
Any contract has copies for either party and by the two tablets being placed together in the Ark is the promise of His Everlasting Covenant with His Bride that He will redeem and never let go!
We now, as His temple/tabernacle, are to also guard His Word inside of us and keep our eyes fixed upon His Truth being cleansed by His pure Word inside and out.
2 – Aharon’s Rod – symbolic of the authority of the Word.
It was Aharon’s rod that budded first after the rebellion against the leadership of Mosheh and Aharon and as high priest this rod is a shadow picture of יהושע Messiah having come down, as the Word made flesh, to show us His Right-Ruling and to firmly establish His Authority, as He set His ‘plumb-line’ in our midst and would be a witness against all who rebel against the Authority of His Word, for He will bring forth His Judgement with right ruling:
Amos 7:7-9 “This is what He showed me, and see, יהוה stood on a wall made with a plumb-line, with a plumb-line in His hand, 8 and יהוה said to me, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A plumb-line.” And יהוה said, “See, I am setting a plumb-line in the midst of My people Yisra’ĕl, no longer do I pardon them. 9 “And the high places of Yitsḥaq shall be laid waste, and the set-apart places of Yisra’ĕl shall be destroyed. And I shall rise with the sword against the house of Yaroḇ’am.”
Aharon’s rod was the rod that blossomed and bore ripe almonds and is a picture of the true fruit of true leadership based on that which יהוה has chosen and not by man’s standards, and the almonds were symbolic of being watchful and alert – showing us that יהושע, our High Priest is constantly watching over us and never sleeps and the rod would be a witness against future grumblings.
3 – Pot of Manna – An omer of manna was placed in a pot and placed inside the Ark as a witness. Manna was the bread from heaven that יהוה provided for Yisra’ĕl for the 40 years they were in the Wilderness and this was a shadow of Messiah the True Bread of Life:
Yoḥanan/John 6:48-51 “I am the bread of life. 49 “Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness and they died. 50 “This is the bread which comes down out of the heaven, so that anyone might eat of it, and not die. 51 “I am the living bread which came down out of the heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever. And indeed, the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”
In the Wilderness each one was required to go out every day and get their daily portion of manna; and if they kept any of it for the next day it would rot and end up with worms in it, except on the 6th day when they were to gather a double portion so that for the Sabbath they would not go out and gather but would have their portion.
This is a picture for us to also eat daily our Bread (His Living Word) and the pot of manna that would be kept in the Ark was a witness of His provision through His Word, and by placing it in a pot (earthen vessel) we see the picture of the Word coming and taking on the form of flesh and by the manna in the ark as a witness shows us that His Word will never rot or fade and is established forever.
In Ḥazon in the message to the assembly in Pergamos we see the promise of this hidden manna:
Ḥazon/Revelation 2:17 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who overcomes I shall give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I shall give him a white stone, and on the stone a renewed Name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”
His Bread represents our sustenance and the sure promise of life and he who overcomes will receive eternal life and dwell with The Master forever!
The Table of showbread:
The table of showbread that was to be in the Set-Apart place with its jars and ladles and bowls for pouring, was also made of Acacia wood and overlaid with clean gold – all of which we have already discussed in understanding its meanings in regards to the materials used.
On this Table was to be fresh showbread placed every Shabbat – there was to be 12 breads in 2 rows of 6 each – representing the whole house of Yisra’ĕl as a community, which is often pictured as bread in Scripture.
This is unleavened Bread and is also symbolic of the Keruḇim meal or the Table of יהוה by which we become part of Messiah as we eat of His Bread (Body).
This is ‘one bread’ but many parts:
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 10:17 “Because there is one bread, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.”
The pattern of the 2 rows of 6 each is repeated in the two shoham stones on the shoulders of the High Priest upon which each stone would have the names of 6 tribes and is a reflection of the government on the shoulders of Messiah our High Priest as our King and Ruler!
The Menorah – the lampstand
The Menorah has a base and a shaft with 6 branches attached to the middle shaft – 3 on one side and 3 on the other and is a picture of how we are joined to Messiah and that we are the ‘branches’ and the ornamental knobs and blossoms and almond like flowers remind us that we are to bear fruit that will last:
Yoḥanan/John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who stays in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit. Because without Me you are able to do naught!”
At the top of the shaft and on each of the six branches was a bowl which held oil and a wick.
The oil came from olives and was extracted from the fruit by crushing as we have discussed. Again, we are reminded of יהושע’s suffering. Oil is symbolic of the presence and anointing of His Spirit. Here it shows you that when you are “crushed” and allow the Spirit to fill and use you, that brings out the best in you, so that you can shine the Light of His presence.
The Lampstand was the only source of light in the Set-Apart Place. יהוה had commanded Mosheh to make it so that the lamps would point toward the Table of Showbread.
Yoḥanan/John 8:12 “Therefore יהושע spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall by no means walk in darkness, but possess the light of life.”
The Menorah also pictures for us the Word as it says in:
Tehillah/Psalm 119: 105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
And so, His Word gives us direction, without which we are lost and unable to come into His presence and eat with Him!
The lampstand has 22 almond blossoms which picture for us again his complete Word as there are 22 letters in the Hebrew Alphabet!
The use of almond blossoms is a picture of us to be awake and watchful as the word used for almond is שָׁקַד shaqaḏ – Strong’s H8246/H8246 and also carries the meaning of being watchful with the intent on doing!
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 1:11-12 “And the word of יהוה came to me, saying, “What do you see, Yirmeyahu?” And I said, “I see a branch of an almond tree.” 12 And יהוה said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over My word to do it.”
The 7 lights of the Menorah also picture for us the 7 Feasts of יהוה that is critical for us as His Body to be keeping as it reveals His wonderful plan of redemption to which we walk in the light as children of light and we also know that lampstand in Ḥazon/Revelation speaks of the 7 assemblies – that is the fullness of His Body among whom He walks in the midst of.
The priests had to tend to the lampstand twice a day and keep in burning and so is a picture for us to be meditating on His Word day and night and also a reminder for us to be likened to the wise virgins who had their lamps filled with oil!
The lampstand in Hebrew is the word מְנוֹרָה menorah – Strong’s H4501 which simply means lampstand; however, what we realise and recognise that the Lampstand speaks of Messiah being the ‘branch’ with us being the branches as also pictured through the parable of the vine and the branches, and without Him we are unable to bear fruit or shine the light of His truth.
When one look at the ‘early script’ with the pictographic symbols of this word ‘menorah’ we see a wonderful illustration of the work of Messiah!
In the early script the Hebrew word מְנוֹרָה menorah – looks like this (remember that Hebrew reads from right to left):
– the letter ‘mem’ – מְ – which in the early script is pictured as ‘water’
– the letter ‘nun’ – נ – in the early script is pictures as a ‘sprouting seed’
– the letter ‘waw’ – וֹ – in the early script is pictured as a ‘tent peg’
– the letter ‘resh’ – רָ – in the early script is pictured as a ‘head of a man’
– the letter ‘hey’ – ה – in the early script is pictures as ‘arms raised’
When we look at these letters, we can see an awesome picture of how the Lampstand clearly speaks of Messiah, our High Priest and Head of the Body. In the Hebraic mind-set ‘water’ represents not only physical water but also chaos from the storms of the sea.
To the Hebrews, the sea was a feared and unknown place, and for this reason this letter ‘mem’ is used as a question word, who, what, when, where, why and how, in the sense of searching for an unknown.
The letter ‘Nun’ is a picture of a sprouting seed which gives the idea of continuation or an offspring or an heir, speaking of that which sprouts forth will be the heir of the promise of continuation.
The letter ‘waw’, in representing a ‘tent peg’ or a nail or hook, has the meaning ‘to secure or add’.
The letter ‘resh’ is a picture of a head of a man which speaks of headship or beginning or first.
The letter ‘hey’ is pictured as a man with his hands raised in the air and carries the meaning of ‘behold’ when looking at something very great and can also mean to breath or sigh when looking at a great sight and can also give the meaning of revealing or a revelation from the idea of revealing a great sight by pointing it out.
When putting the construct of these pictures together in understanding the work and ministry of יהושע Messiah, our High Priest, we can see the following being declared through the power and presence of the Lampstand in the Set-Apart Place:
OUT OF THE CHAOS, A SEED SHALL SPRING FORTH, THE SON WHO IS THE APPOINTED HEIR OF ALL, WHO BY HIS RESURRECTION HAS SECURED FOR US THE COVENANTS OF PROMISE TO WHICH WE HAVE BEEN ADDED THROUGH HIS BLOOD, AND MESSIAH, OUR HEAD, IS THE BEGINNING AND BEHOLD WE FIX OUR EYES ON HIM AS WE AWAIT THE FOR THE REVELATION OF OUR MASTER יהושע MESSIAH – THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD!
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 1:2 “has in these last days spoken to us by the Son, whom He has appointed heir of all, through whom also He made the ages”
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 1:7 “so that you are not lacking in any gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Master יהושע Messiah”
Part of the duty of Aharon was to ‘trim’ the lamps or ‘trim the wicks’, which is a part of the duty of setting them in order as a required maintenance of the lamps that were to continually burn.
This represents for us our need to continually be getting rid of those things in our lives which do not effectively support the efficient burning of the fire, which represents יהוה‘s presence, we are to shine forth!
It is Messiah, our High Priest who ‘trims’ us through His Word and equips us to shine. If we do not allow His Word to ‘trim’ us we may lose our ability to be set in order and shine as we should and risk having our lampstand removed!
Bemiḏbar/Numbers 8:1-2 “And יהוה spoke to Mosheh, saying, 2 “Speak to Aharon, and say to him, ‘When you ascend to trim the lamps, let the seven lamps give light in front of the lampstand.’”
The third piece of furniture that was in the Set-Apart Place was the slaughter-place of incense which we will look at in the next portion of Torah; however, what I want to stress regarding the Set-Apart place is the great picture is gives us for being a true Set-Apart community.
Only the priests were allowed to enter the Set-Apart Place and so we as a royal priesthood must come in to His Set-Apart Place both individually as well as corporately.
We are to daily keep the Lamp of His word burning bright in our hearts and it is on Shabbat and His Feasts that we gather, as instructed, as a Set-Apart gathering, bringing in no burdens but rather come in with garments cleansed and ready to serve and worship him as One as represented by the Lampstand, the Bread and the slaughter-place of incense.
Keeping Shabbat as a community is vital to the life of the Body for it is where He causes His Name to be remembered and where He comes to Bless His Body, and by the Blood of Messiah we have access to come boldly to the Throne of His mercy to find favour and strength.
The Tabernacle is a picture of community and corporate worship according to יהוה’s instructions and detail and not according to dogmas and traditions of men that have simply caused His Pure Word to tarnish.
7 lamps on the Menorah and all 7 lamps were to give their light.
The Hebrew word that is used here for ‘lamp’ is נֵר ner – Strong’s H5216 meaning, ‘lamp, candle, light’.
Now a lamp, in ancient times, would primarily be a vessel with a wick for burning a liquid, such as oil, in order to produce light; and as one would walk the lamp would typically be carried in one’s hand!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. It is impossible for a city to be hidden on a mountain. 15 “Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it shines to all those in the house. 16 “Let your light so shine before men, so that they see your good works and praise your Father who is in the heavens.”
The Greek word used in Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:15 for ‘lamp’ is λύχνος luchnos – Strong’s G3088 and is the Greek word used in the LXX (Septuagint) for the Hebrew word נֵר ner and this call to keep our lamps burning reminds us of the clear instruction for the priesthood that were to make sure that the lamp would burn continually!
There is a responsibility for all of Yisra’ĕl (that includes you and me) to be bringing clear oil and allowing the lamp of His word to continually burn in us. We must not be found to be without oil like the 5 foolish maidens who were shut out for not having oil in their lamps. We keep the lamp burning, so to speak, through obedience to His Word as we walk in His Word that leads us.
The command given in Shemoth/Exodus 27:20 is seen again in:
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 24:2 “Command the children of Yisra’ěl that they bring to you clear oil of pressed olives for the light, to make the lamps burn continually.”
In the ancient pictographic script, the word for נֵר ner – lamp, would look as follows:
– This is the letter ‘nun’ (נֵ), which in the ancient text is pictured as a ‘spouting seed’ and gives the idea of ‘continuation or an offspring or an heir’, speaking of that which sprouts forth will be the heir of the promise of continuation, and represents one’s life expectancy.
– This is the letter ‘resh’ (ר), which in the ancient text is pictured as ‘the head of a man’ and has the meaning of the head of a man as well as ‘chief, top, begging or first’. Top as in the top or head of a body and chief an is head of a tribe or people as well as the one who rules the people.
In terms of us seeing these letters being expressed as ‘lamp’, we are able to clearly identify who gives us our light and who is our lamp – יהושע Messiah, who is our Head and is The Seed!
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:8 “Remember that יהושע Messiah, of the seed of Dawiḏ, was raised from the dead according to my Good News”
Galatiyim/Galatians 3:16 “But the promises were spoken to Aḇraham, and to his Seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Messiah.”
We who are grafted in to Messiah by His blood become the seed of Aḇraham:
Galatiyim/Galatians 3:29 “And if you are of Messiah, then you are seed of Aḇraham, and heirs according to promise.”
יהושע Messiah, The Light of the world, has caused us to be equipped to shine His truth and be a light to the nations, as we walk according to His commands.
For more on the Menorah, please see the notes of a message called, PICTURES IN THE MENORAH – SHEDDING LIGHT UPON THE FEASTS OF YAHWEH! Which can be found under the sermons 2017/2018 menu of our website (https://atfotc.com) or by simply clicking on the following link:
CHAPTER 26 – THE DWELLING PLACE
As we look at the Tabernacle, we find that every detail is given with great precision and accuracy and I just want to run through some key points that stand out in this chapter that we are discussing on our Shabbat gathering:
As we have already looked at the different materials and their significance, let us briefly look at the significance of some of the measurements given in regards to the Dwelling place.
10 Fine woven linen curtains with keruḇim embroidered on them:
10 is an interesting number and, as we know, from Scripture the number 10 represents a quorum or community.
We also know that there are 10 omers in an ephah and so, this number 10 would clearly picture for us the dwelling place for the completeness of His Body.
The 10 fine linen curtains had 100 loops of blue (50 on each end of each set of 5 curtains) and 50 golden hooks: 50 is symbolic of Yoḇel/Jubilee – the year of release and also speaks of Shaḇuoth/Pentecost – the Feats of Weeks when the 10 words were given at Mount Sinai and where the Set-Apart Spirit was poured out on the 120 believers in Yerushalayim.
There were 5 curtains each side that would be attached, symbolising two hands of 5 fingers each and when brought together brings unity and hands giving reference to our work – These curtains were the ‘work’ of skilled workman:
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:15 “Do your utmost to present yourself approved to Elohim, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly handling the Word of Truth.”
If we are not doing the Torah as well as hearing it, we cannot be unified. The number five also makes us think of the five books of Torah.
Thus, there are two groups of people under Torah who are to become one, brought together before the final Trumpet of the Yoḇel/Jubilee. Thus, it must refer to Yehuḏah and Ephrayim – who speak of the set-apart ones walking in righteousness – fine linen. Without Torah, we cannot form a place worthy of יהוה‘s indwelling.
The blue thread, as mentioned earlier, is to remind us of His commands!
For the goat’s hair curtains there was to be 11 curtains and not 10!
One reason could be that it had to go further as it had to be a covering for the Dwelling Place and had to be bigger than the linen curtains, however 11 is an odd number and often carries the picture of how יהוה restores at Pentecost that which has been disrupted – we think of how there were only 11 apostles after the Pěsaḥ Meal due to Yehuḏah from Qerioth who betrayed יהושע and shows how with His dwelling place sin has been removed as the goat for Azazel has been taken away, while the other goat for יהוה provides the covering for His Bride!
Over the goat’s hair curtains would be the covering of ram’s skin and then the fine leather above that.
The Dwelling Place:
The acacia boards were to be ‘standing up’ and speak of our ability to stand and be watchmen and keep out that which does not belong in the presence of יהוה.
The two tenons that were to be in each board for binding one to another speaks of taking hands together in unity as we stand as one in Messiah. The word for tenons in the Hebrew is יָד ‘yaḏ’ – Strong’s H3027.
Every board had the same measurements and requirements showing us that as we stand firm in guarding the Torah – there is only One Standard and that is His Torah!
40 is a significant number in Scripture – Yisra’ĕl wandered for 40 years in the Wilderness – Mosheh spent 40 days in the Mount – יהושע was tested for 40 days – יהושע spent 40 days after His resurrection and first fruit offering with His taught ones, before He ascended 10 days prior to Shaḇuoth.
So, the 40 sockets of silver would be a reminder of the redemption that יהושע has bought for us and that we too are sojourners here, under the tests and trials that we face and know that we must continue to stand firm in the Word supporting and encouraging each other on.
Each side of the boards that were joined had 5 bars that would bring support and structure with a middle bar going through from one end to the next: this symbolically can represent for us that which יהושע Himself appointed to bring about the perfecting of the set-apart ones unto unity and maturity:
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 4:11-16 “And He Himself gave some as emissaries, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as shepherds and teachers 12 for the perfecting of the set-apart ones, to the work of service to a building up of the body of the Messiah, 13 until we all come to the unity of the belief and of the knowledge of the Son of Elohim, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the completeness of Messiah, 14 so that we should no longer be children, tossed and borne about by every wind of teaching, by the trickery of men, in cleverness, unto the craftiness of leading astray, 15 but, maintaining the truth in love, we grow up in all respects into Him who is the head, Messiah, 16 from whom the entire body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the working by which each part does its share, causes growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”
What holds us all together is Messiah – that bar that runs through from one end to the next!!!
In the Temple which Shelomoh built, stones were put together skilfully, just as the curtains had been in the Tabernacle, and Kěpha uses the analogy of us being “living stones” that are being built up in the Master, making up a dwelling place for יהוה.
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:5 “you also, as living stones, are being built up, a spiritual house, a set-apart priesthood, to offer up spiritual slaughter offerings acceptable to Elohim through יהושע Messiah.”
We are his fellow workers that are to be about building His house and establishing His unity through our total obedience and giving of ourselves:
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 3:9 “For we are fellow workers of Elohim, you are the field of Elohim, the building of Elohim.”
We see here the clear instructions given as regards to the materials of the Tabernacle and Sha’ul speaks of that by which we have built will be proven through fire:
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 3:11-17 “For no one is able to lay any other foundation except that which is laid, which is יהושע Messiah. 12 And if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work shall be revealed, for the day shall show it up, because it is revealed by fire. And the fire shall prove the work of each one, what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work remains, which he has built on, he shall receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he shall suffer loss, but he himself shall be saved, but so as through fire. 16 Do you not know that you are a Dwelling Place of Elohim and that the Spirit of Elohim dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys the Dwelling Place of Elohim, Elohim shall destroy him. For the Dwelling Place of Elohim is set-apart, which you are.”
Boards of the Dwelling Place:
The following illustrations are simply to give a perspective on how the boards were put together
The following illustration is a picture looking at the left rear corner of the tabernacle from an inside perspective illustrating possibly how the upright frames in the corner might have come together and how the silver sockets may have likewise been joined together.
As we consider the materials that were to be used for the Dwelling Place, we are also able to recognise the beauty of the clear pattern and design of Elohim, in that He is building us up in Him in order for us to have Him dwell in our midst!
Tehillah/Psalm 84:1-2 “How lovely are Your dwelling places, O יהוה of hosts! 2 My being has longed, and even fainted, for the courts of יהוה; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living Ěl.”
This Tehillah/Psalm 84 is a song of praise for יהוה and His Dwelling Place!
This was possibly a song that was sung by those who came to Yerushalayim for one of the Feasts, possibly even Sukkoth (Feast of Booths), and here in this beautiful melody we are able to see how the Dwelling Place of Elohim is praised for being the most desirable place in the entire world!!!
How awesome is that!
Just think about the words that are being expressed here toward the Dwelling Place of Elohim and the desire to be there being clearly expressed through this song of praise for יהוה.
If you could be anywhere in the world right now where would you want to be? I suppose that for most, if asked this question, would not be in the Dwelling Place of Elohim!
Basic outline of this Psalm 84:
This psalm opens with praise for the Dwelling Place of יהוה of Hosts and those who live there (verses 1-4).
Praise and blessing is also expressed for the faithful sojourner who comes to the Dwelling Place (verse 5-7)
Following these blessings and praise, a prayer for the sovereign is given (verse 8-9)
The desire to be anywhere else is greatly overshadowed and diminished by the awesome blessing of being in the Dwelling Place of Elohim (verse 10)
Elohim is praised as being the only true source of all joy, strength and security and the blessing upon those who trust in Elohim is greatly affirmed (verse 11-12)
In verse 1 (verse 2 in Hebrew text) we see the praise being given for the ‘Dwelling places’ of יהוה of Hosts and it is written here in the ‘plural’, which can in many ways signify the greatness of His House that has many rooms!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘Your Dwelling Places’ is written as: מִשְׁכְּנוֹתֶיךָ – mishkenotheyḵa which comes from the root word מִשְׁכָּן mishkan – Strong’s H4908 which means, ‘dwelling place, tabernacle, tents’; and comes from the root word שָׁכַן shaḵan – Strong’s H7931 which means, ‘to settle down, abide, dwell, establish, make or cause to dwell’.
The term מִשְׁכָּן mishkan is used here in the plural sense, and we take note that this is the same word used in the singular for ‘The Tabernacle’.
Bemiḏbar/Numbers 24:5 “How good are your tents, O Yaʽaqoḇ, your dwellings, O Yisra’ĕl!”
The root word used here for ‘dwellings’ is from the root word מִשְׁכָּן mishkan – Strong’s H4908 and the root word used here for ‘tents’ is the plural of the root word אֹהֶל ohel – Strong’s H168 which means, ‘tent’ and is symbolic of wilderness life, and this is also the same word used for the Tabernacle.
We take note that both these words – אֹהֶל ohel and מִשְׁכָּן mishkan are used for the Tabernacle and there is often the questioned that is raised of whether one represents the inner part of the Tabernacle while the other the outer, yet this cannot be definitively shown.
What we do recognise however is that in the uses of these two words that are collectively used for the Tabernacle, we may be able to see that the אֹהֶל ohel is often the place where man/congregation meets with Elohim; whereas the מִשְׁכָּן mishkan may be likened to the expression of Elohim dwelling amidst the nation of Yisra’ĕl.
Let me expand a little more on the dwelling place:
In Shemoth/Exodus 38:21 we see that the word מִשְׁכָּן mishkan being used and linked to ‘the witness’ – ‘ha eḏuth’:
Shemoth/Exodus 38:21 “These were the appointments of the Dwelling Place, the Dwelling Place of the Witness, which was appointed by the command of Mosheh, for the service of the Lěwites, by the hand of Ithamar, son of Aharon the priest.”
The Hebrew word here for ‘witness’ is עֵדוּת eḏuth – Strong’s H5715 which means, ‘testimony, witness, ordinance, warning’, and this is the word that is used for ‘The Ark of the Witness’.
In Wayyiqra/Leviticus 1:1 we see the word אֹהֶל ohel being used and linked to ‘Meeting’ or ‘Appointement’:
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 1:1 “And יהוה called to Mosheh, and spoke to him from the Tent of Appointment, saying”
The Hebrew word for ‘Appointment’ is מוֹעֵד moeḏ – Strong’s H4150 meaning, ‘appointed time, place, meeting, appointed feast’, from which we get the plural word for Appointed Times – מוֹעֲדִים ‘moeḏim’, and right in the beginning, during the Creation Week, Elohim announces to us that He will have ‘appointed times’; and the way we are to know when these times would be are determined by the lights in the expanse of the heavens which were given for us to not only determine the season, months and day and night but also for His all-important Appointed Times. His Appointed Times are clearly given to us in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23 (see Torah commentary notes on Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23 for more on the Appointed Times of יהוה)
The first time that we see the Hebrew word מִשְׁכָּן mishkan being used is in this Torah portion that we are looking at today:
Shemoth/Exodus 25:9 “According to all that I show you – the pattern of the Dwelling Place and the pattern of all its furnishings – make it exactly so.”
Here we see how Mosheh was instructed to build the Dwelling Place exactly according to the pattern that he was shown – that is the pattern of what he was shown in the heavenlies, where Elohim dwells!
The word for ‘tents’ – אֹהֶל ohel is used in Berěshith/Genesis 4 in describing man’s dwelling as ‘tents’.
What we can therefore be enabled to understand in the use of these two words is that the אֹהֶל ohel pictures our sojourning here, as ‘in the tents of Ya’aqoḇ’ and how we have been given the Appointed Times/Feasts of יהוה for us to come and meet with Him in the “Tent of Appointment” at the place where He chooses; whereas the מִשְׁכָּן mishkan pictures for us the fullness of the Dwelling of Elohim in our midst.
The word used for ‘Dwelling Place’ in Shemoth/Exodus 38:21, as discussed, is מִשְׁכָּן mishkan, and in the LXX (Septuagint) the Greek word that is used for ‘dwelling place’ is σκηνή skēnē – Strong’s G4633 which means, ‘tent, dwelling, tabernacle’; and this word is used to describe the Dwelling Place of Elohim that will be with men, in:
Ḥazon/Revelation 21:3 “And I heard a loud voice from the heaven saying, “See, the Booth of Elohim is with men, and He shall dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and Elohim Himself shall be with them and be their Elohim.”
This is the Tabernacle that Yoḥanan saw in:
Ḥazon/Revelation 15:5 “And after this I looked and saw the Dwelling Place of the Tent of Witness in the heaven was opened.”
Notice how this ‘Dwelling Place’ is referring to the Tent of Witness.
The Greek word used here for ‘Dwelling Place’ is ναός naos – Strong’s G3485 which means, ‘to inhabit, a temple, sanctuary’.
While these words are interchangeably used for Tabernacle or Dwelling Place, we do take note that while we sojourn here, we must guard to keep the Appointed Times of our Master and Elohim, and gather as we should, for where two or three are gathered together, there our Master is in our midst, and Sha’ul reminds us in:
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 3:16-17 “Do you not know that you are a Dwelling Place of Elohim and that the Spirit of Elohim dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys the Dwelling Place of Elohim, Elohim shall destroy him. For the Dwelling Place of Elohim is set-apart, which you are.”
The Greek word used here for ‘Dwelling Place’ is ναός naos, and we take note here in the Greek that the term ‘you’ is in the plural, while the Dwelling Place is written in the singular, which emphasises our need to be gathered together on His Appointed Times that we may be one in Him and dwell in safety!
We are, collectively, the Dwelling Place of Elohim and His Dwelling Place is set-apart, which calls for us to acknowledge how important it is for us to be perfect and serve in perfection and walk blamelessly.
When we grasp the understanding of how we are to be faithful sojourners that carry the very light and presence of our Master and Elohim by the deposit of His Spirit that He has given us and His implanted Word, then we are greatly equipped with the longing we are to have for His permanent dwelling to be with us, giving us the necessary courage to endure and serve in perfection and in truth!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘lovely’, as in ‘how lovely are Your Dwelling Places…’ is יְדִידֹת – ‘yeḏiḏoth’ – which is the plural of the word יָדִיד yaḏiḏ – Strong’s H3039 which means, ‘beloved, lovely, well-beloved’ and the basic meaning of this noun is ‘one greatly loved’ by Elohim or by man! This song expresses the intense and deep love that the psalmist has for the dwelling place of Elohim.
As we consider this deep expression of love for the dwelling place of Elohim let me ask you how strong your love is for the Dwelling Place of Elohim. In understanding how we long for His permanent dwelling to be in our midst, we also recognise how we are able to experience the joy of His presence as we gather together in His Sabbaths and Feasts!
I therefore ask you, ‘How much do you love the Sabbaths and Appointed Times of Elohim?’
If your heart loves His dwelling places, as this psalmist declares, then missing an Appointed Time with Elohim would be out of the question, as the love for His presence will cause you to make sure that His Appointments are never missed! So many often find excuses to not be gathered where they should and this just simply highlights that their love for Elohim is not as fervent as they may claim it to be.
Verse 1-8 – The Slaughter Place
The brazen altar, bronze altar, or altar of sacrifice or better described as ‘slaughter place’, was situated right inside the courtyard upon entering the gate to the tabernacle.
The Hebrew root for ‘altar’ means “to slay” or “slaughter, hence the preference we have for using the term ‘slaughter-place’”
The bronze slaughter-place was made of wood from the acacia tree and overlaid with bronze (usually symbolic of judgment on sin in the Scriptures), measuring 7.5 feet on all four sides and 4.5 feet deep.
Four horns projected from the top four corners and a bronze grating was inside to hold the animal.
The bronze slaughter-place was the place for burning animal sacrifices.
It showed the Yisra’ĕlites that the first step for sinful man to approach a Set-Apart Elohim was to be cleansed by the blood of an innocent creature. For a sin offering, a person had to bring an animal — a male one without blemish or defect from the flock or herd — to the priest at the tabernacle gate. By laying his hand upon the head of the offering, the person was identifying with the sacrifice. His sin and guilt were being moved from himself to the animal.
The priest would then slaughter the animal, sprinkle its blood in front of the veil of the Set-Apart Place, burn the sacrifice, and pour the rest of it at the bottom of the bronze slaughter-place.
Blood is a significant agent of atonement (covering for sin) and cleansing in the Tanak.
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 17:11 “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the slaughter-place to make atonement for your lives, for it is the blood that makes atonement for the life.”
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 9:22 “And, according to the Torah, almost all is cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”
Although this was done each year, as a covering for their sins, Yisra’ĕl had to perform these duties every year as the blood of bulls and goats could not remove the sin – they were simply a covering until that which could remove sin would come and lay down His own life as an offering for all time!
This bronze slaughter-place represents that upon which יהושע offered up His own life, when Yeshayahu/Isaiah prophesied:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 53:7 “He was oppressed and He was afflicted, but He did not open His mouth. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, but He did not open His mouth.”
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 9:13-14 “For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the defiled, sets apart for the cleansing of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of the Messiah, who through the everlasting Spirit offered Himself unblemished to Elohim, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living Elohim?”
Horns were a symbol power and strength in biblical times. When the sacrifice was made, blood was dabbed on the horns of the slaughter-place, signifying the power of the blood to atone for sins.
In the same way, there is mighty power in the blood of יהושע. יהושע is the “horn of our deliverance”:
Tehillim/Psalm 18:2 “יהוה is my rock and my stronghold and my deliverer; My Ěl is my rock, I take refuge in Him; My shield and the horn of my deliverance, my high tower.”
Luqas/Luke 1:68-69 “Blessed be יהוה Elohim of Yisra’ĕl, for He did look upon and worked redemption for His people, 69 and has raised up a horn of deliverance for us in the house of His servant Dawiḏ.”
Verse 4-5 – the grating/meshwork would be like a sieve and would stop the bones or whatever was not burnt up from falling to the ground!!!
This is a powerful picture as one reads in:
Amos 9:9 “For look, I am commanding, and I shall sift the house of Yisra’ĕl among all the gentiles, as one sifts with a sieve, yet not a grain falls to the ground.”
Verse 7 – The poles that were made to carry the slaughter place can represent for us the need to carry each other’s burdens and so fulfil the Torah of Messiah!
Galatiyim/Galatians 6:2 “Bear one another’s burdens, and so complete the Torah of Messiah.”
Verse 9-19 – The Fence and the Gate
The Gate of the Outer Court served as the single entrance leading into the Tabernacle. It was essentially a large multi-coloured curtain, composed of finely twined linen, measuring 35 feet in length, and 8.75 feet in height.
The Gate is best known for its notable colour scheme consisting of blue, purple, scarlet and white.
The gate was the only entrance to the Tabernacle and whoever would want to enter would be met by a priest and would bring their offering and present it before the priest, after which the individual would have to slay the animal and then the priest would take it and offer it upon the slaughter-place on their behalf.
יהושע said that He is the Door:
Yoḥanan/John 10:7 “יהושע therefore said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.”
Yoḥanan/John 10:9 “I am the door. Whoever enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and shall go out and find pasture.”
The Covering for the gate would be made of fine linen, with blue, purple and scarlet material woven in and all picture יהושע – see reference in regards to the materials mentioned at the beginning of this commentary portion.
If you had suddenly come across the children of Yisra’ĕl in the desert-like wilderness of Sinai, you would have witnessed a sprawling camp of over two million people, probably not unlike a refugee camp, although perhaps a little more orderly in appearance. The tents belonging to the common man were probably a dreary black and brownish colour, set in contrast with the sandy / rocky desert-like wilderness around them. In the centre of the camp, you would have seen the Fence of the Tabernacle’s Outer Court, measuring 200 feet long, 100 feet wide, and 10 feet high; it was truly an awesome spectacle!
The hot desert sun, shining ever so brightly against the white linen fence, would have been so incredibly noticeable against the drab black and brownish colour scheme of the main camp, and surrounding wilderness. Of course, it would have been absolutely impossible for the common man to see inside the Tabernacle’s Outer Court from the outside camp. Why is that? The white linen fence surrounding the Tabernacle created a separation (or ‘barrier’) between the outside world and the Set-Apart objects inside the Tabernacle.
The fence was specifically designed with one purpose in mind, which was to keep out anything offensive to יהוה and was also a way to protect sinful man from inadvertently coming in to His presence in an inappropriate manner.
The fence was made up of white linen, which is a picture of righteousness and we cannot come into His presence in an unrighteous manner and so, the only way to enter is through Messiah, who is the Door/Gate.
יהוה is a righteous and perfect Elohim and He calls us to be perfect:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:48 “Therefore, be perfect, as your Father in the heavens is perfect.”
His priests were instructed to wear white linen in their service in the tabernacle and so too do we have to put on righteousness as we live as a royal priesthood offering daily living sacrifices up to Him and render to Him the bull of our lips in praise – and righteousness is to do all He commands and has prescribed according to His Torah and the white linen is the righteousnesses of the set-apart ones!
In our sinful state we see that our own righteousness is filthy to Him:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 64:6 “And all of us have become as one unclean, and all our righteousnesses are as soiled rags. And all of us fade like a leaf, and our crookednesses, like the wind, have taken us away.”
And so here what the Tabernacle represents for us is simply this – being outside of the Tabernacle as representative of being outside of Messiah we have no righteousness to offer and therefore יהושע is our only source and entrance into righteousness and as we enter through Him, who is the Door and are washed clean through His Blood must now remain in His righteousness – and that is to do all He commands us to!
And so, we surrender and submit to the hearing of His Word that teaches us righteousness:
Timotiyos Bet/2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is breathed by Elohim and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for setting straight, for instruction in righteousness,”
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:29 “If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone doing righteousness has been born of Him.”
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 3: 7 “Little children, let no one lead you astray. The one doing righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous.”
The other aspect we see of this fence is the picture of how walking in His Torah keeps us safe from the outside, as His Word says that He has set our boundaries in pleasant places – His Word is our boundary in which we walk and serve Him daily!
As bronze is a picture of judgement it makes sense that the sockets of bronze that held up the columns for the linen fence reveal His punishments upon those who rebel against Him and walk in unrighteousness/lawlessness:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 3:4 “Everyone doing sin also does lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.”
The height of the curtains that formed the “fence” shows us that the enclosure is set apart from the outside world by white linen, the same thing the priests wore. It would not make them sweat, thereby symbolizing the inactivation of the flesh’s defilement. White linen garments also symbolize the righteousness of those set apart and having fled from the lusts of the flesh.
It is all about the heart! All whose heart moves them let them “Terumah” – Give your contribution from the heart!
When your heart is moved, then to walk according to His instructions is a pure joy and a delight and is in no way heavy! After all, when we study the Tabernacle like this we can clearly see that there is certainly no other way to live but by His Torah, as we continue to remain in and walk in the Living Torah – יהושע Messiah – and are being wonderfully built up as living stones!
As you look into the mirror of the Word and consider this very powerful portion called תְּרוּמָה Terumah – Strong’s H8641, how is your life reflected against this very clear pattern of hearts that are moved to submit, serve, build and contribute?
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 8:12 “For if the readiness is present, it is well received according to what one has, not according to what he does not have”
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 4:10 “As each one has received a gift, serve one another, as good trustees of the manifold favour of Elohim.”
Diḇre haYamim Aleph/1 Chronicles 29:3 “And also, because I delighted in the House of my Elohim, I have treasure of gold and silver; I give for the House of my Elohim even more than all that I have prepared for the Set-apart House:”
The Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘delighted’ comes from the root verb רָצָה ratsah – Strong’s H7521 which means, ‘to be pleased with, accept favourably, delight, approved’.
These are some of the words that Dawiḏ spoke to all the assembly when speaking about the great work that lay ahead for Shelomoh in building the House of יהוה and how it delighted him greatly to give in great abundance toward the work.
With Dawiḏ having delighted in the House of Elohim we take note that he could do so as He delighted in the wisdom of Elohim through the proper meditating upon His Torah day and night, learning how to walk in Elohim and please Him as a wise servant, equipping him to be joyfully generous in preparing for the work of the House!
When the Torah is a person’s delight then doing what the Word commands is a pleasure to follow.
The Greek word used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak) for ‘delighted’ in Diḇre haYamim Aleph/1 Chronicles 29:3 is συνήδομαι sunēdomai – Strong’s G4913 which means, ‘delight, to rejoice together, to rejoice in or feel satisfaction concerning’, and we see this word being used in:
Romiyim/Romans 7:22 “For I delight in the Torah of Elohim according to the inward man”
Our ability to truly delight in the Torah according to the inward man equips us to walk according to the Spirit and take great joy and satisfaction in guarding to do all that our Master has commanded us. When we delight in His Torah then doing His Torah is a delight and not a heavy burden or something that is too hard, for His yoke is easy and His burden is light!
The Torah is only hard to those who do not delight in it. Those who find no satisfaction in studying, meditating and learning the Word in order to joyfully do it, find it hard and boring, and in doing so render themselves as being fools who lack the necessary oil in their jars and will be shut out from entering into the Reign of our King!
When we delight in the Truth it is a pleasure to do it, be it the delight in guarding the Sabbaths and Feasts of Elohim or by simply guarding to do all that He commands, including in our cheerful giving of tithes and offerings, gifts and contributions!
When these things become a burden to do, and are not a delight, then clearly the Torah is not a delight and the fear of Elohim is not present!
As we consider this Torah portion that is called ‘Terumah’, may we be inspired and encouraged to do our utmost in bringing before our Master, a worthy contribution of our lives, being a daily living offering unto Him, for this is our reasonable worship, done so with much joy and gladness of heart!!!