Lessons on the materials brought to build the Tabernacle
As we have been going through the Book of Shemoth/Exodus, and have been looking repeatedly at the design and construction of the Tabernacle and its service, I am presenting a brief overview of the materials that were commanded to be brought by those whose hearts were moved, as a contribution to the building up of the Tabernacle that Mosheh was told to make exactly according to the pattern he was shown on the mountain.
While I have expanded on each on the materials that were to be brought, in our Torah commentaries, I am presenting a stand-alone article/teaching on the lessons we can learn from the materials that were to be brought, so that we can see how we are to be built up in our Master and be properly equipped to build one another up in the Most-Set Apart belief.
In Shemoth/Exodus 25, Mosheh was told by יהוה (YAHWEH) the following:
Shemoth/Exodus 25:2-7 “Speak to the children of Yisra’ěl, that they take up a contribution for Me. From everyone whose heart moves him you shall take up My contribution. 3 “And this is the contribution which you take up from them: gold, and silver, and bronze, 4 and blue and purple and scarlet material, and fine linen, and goats’ hair, 5 and rams’ skins dyed red, and fine leather, and acacia wood, 6 oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense, 7 shoham stones, and stones to be set in the shoulder garment and in the breastplate.”
The contribution of these materials, that were to be brought by all whose hearts were moved to give, were to be used to make a Set-Apart Place for יהוה to dwell in their midst and all was to be made exactly according to the pattern that יהוה would show him.
Before looking at the materials that were to be brought, I will first give a brief summary of events that took place from Chapter 25 to 40.
In the rest of Chapter 25, along with Chapter 26 & 27, Mosheh is instructed exactly on what was to be done. In Chapter 28, he is instructed on the priestly garments that were to be made for Aharon, as high-priest, and his sons, to serve as priests in the Tabernacle.
In Chapter 29, Mosheh is instructed on how to set-apart and ordain Aharon and his sons and in Chapter 30, he is given instructions regarding the golden slaughter-place of incense and that which was to be made for its service, as well as the bronze laver for the washing of the priest’s hands and feet, before doing service in the Set-Apart Place.
In Chapter 31, יהוה tells Mosheh that he has called Betsal’ĕl and Oholiaḇ and filled them with the Spirit of Elohim in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all work, for the making of the Tabernacle, with all the materials that were taken up as a contribution.
What is made clear, in Chapter 31, is the importance of guarding the Sabbath and after having given Mosheh the clear instructions for the Tabernacle, יהוה gave Mosheh two tablets of the Witness, tablets of stone, written with the finger of Elohim.
In Chapter 32, Mosheh came down with the two tablets of the Witness and saw how Yisra’ěl had corrupted themselves with calf worship, while he was on the mountain with יהוה.
Mosheh threw the tablets of the Witness down and broken them in anger and disgust for the whoring and corrupt worship of Yisra’ěl, who were let loose by Aharon.
Mosheh stood in the entrance of the camp, and said, “Who is for יהוה? Come to me.” And all the sons of Lěwi gathered themselves to him. They were then instructed to take up tehri swords and put to death brother, friend and relative; and they did and Mosheh had commanded and about three thousand men of the people fell that day.
Lěwi was then ordained that day for יהוה and received the blessing of being put to service in the Tabernacle, for standing up for יהוה!
יהוה then plagued the people and in Chapter 33, Mosheh took his tent and pitched it outside the camp, far from the camp, and called it the Tent of Appointment.
In Chapter 34, Mosheh was told to cut two tablets of stone like the first ones and יהוה would write on them the same words that He wrote on the first two.
Clear instructions were given to guard the Feasts/Appointed Times of יהוה and then, in Chapter 35, Mosheh assembled all the congregation of the children of Yisra’ěl and emphasised the importance of the Sabbath and then instructed them to bring the contribution of the materials required to build the Tabernacle and those whose hearts were moved, responded and brought their contributions.
In Chapter 36, Mosheh called Betsal’ĕl and Oholiaḇ and all the wise hearted, in whose heart יהוה had given wisdom, everyone whose heart lifted him up, to come and do the work and so, they began to do the work as instructed, being described in Chapters 36 to 39, and at the end of Chapter 39, we are told the following:
“Mosheh looked over all the work and saw they did it as יהוה had commanded, so they had done. And Mosheh blessed them.”
Then in Chapter 40, Mosheh was instructed to raise up the Dwelling Place of the Tent of Appointment. And Mosheh completed the work, and the cloud covered the Tent of Appointment, and the esteem of יהוה filled the Dwelling Place.
That is a brief summary of Chapters 25 to 40!
What we are able to learn from this overview is that we are blessed when we do what יהוה our Elohim has commanded us to do, allowing the Torah (Mosheh) to be a blessing for us as we have the plumbline of the Torah look over all our work.
For the purpose of this message, I would like to highlight the materials that were brought and used for the building of the Tabernacle and its service, and help the reader glean some valuable insight regarding the materials that are mentioned and what they represent for us, a set-apart treasured possession and royal priesthood, that is being built up in Messiah, as His Dwelling Place.
The contributions that were taken up and used can be listed as a collection of 14 various materials:
1 – gold,
2 – silver,
3 – bronze,
4 – blue,
5 – purple,
6 – scarlet,
7 – fine linen,
8 – goats’ hair,
9 – rams’ skins dyed red,
10 – fine leather,
11 – acacia wood,
12 – oil for the light,
13 – spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense,
14 – shoham stones, and stones to be set in the shoulder garment and in the breastplate.
As we consider this valuable list of materials that were taken up as a contribution, we are able to learn valuable lessons on the work that our Master יהושע (Yahushua) Messiah has done for us, begun in us and will complete in us, as we are continually being built up in Him as His Dwelling Place.
Each of these materials that are listed, carry a powerful representation of what we, as the Dwelling Place of Elohim, are to reflect, as we shine as the true light we are called to be.
Let us therefore take a closer look at these materials individually, which, when are all brought together in the perfection of set-apartness, reflect the true and prefect likeness and image of Elohim and His working of a perfect deliverance for His beloved Bride.
1 – GOLD – PURITY
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!!!
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.
This material that is listed first, can represent for us PURITY
2 – SILVER – REDEMPTION
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’.
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.
3 – BRONZE – JUDGEMENT
Bronze in Hebrew is the word נְחשֶׁת neḥosheth – Strong’s H5178.
Bronze speaks of His judgement and punishment for sin.
Bronze has a melting point of 1,985 degrees. It was important in the Slaughter-Place where intense heat was present.
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 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 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, so 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 – OBEDIENCE
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.
5 – PURPLE – ROYALTY
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.
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.”
As we consider the purple material, we are able to be reminded that we are a royal priesthood and should live as such.
6 – SCARLET MATERIAL – SACRIFICE
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 being ‘worm’ and שָׁנִי ‘shani’ – Strong’s H8144 being ‘scarlet/crimson’.
This material highlights for us how our Master and Elohim came in the flesh to shed His Blood for us and now, in Him, we can be a daily living offering, declaring His praise in all we say and do.
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 Baḇelon 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 – RIGHTEOUSNESS
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 – GOAT’S HAIR – COVERING
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, on the Day of Yom Kippur – The day of Coveirngs.
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’, and also has the meaning of, ‘satyr, demon’, is used in referring to the goat as a male goat, and the Hebrew word for ‘goat’ here 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.
This pictures for us a lesson on the perfect covering protection we have in our Master’s Blood.
9 – RAM’S SKINS DYED RED – SUBSTITUTION
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 – ENDURANCE
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 He is altogether lovely!
He has called us to possess our lives with endurance, not with an outward show of hypocrisy but with the perfect endurance of being lovingly-committed.
11 – ACACIA WOOD – STRENGTH & UNITY
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 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 – ANOINTED & SEALED
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:
1) גַּת gath – Strong’s H1660, which means ‘a place for pressing oil (or wine)’ and
2) 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 oil 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 which means Anointed One:
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 – FRAGRANCE OF MESSIAH
Each of the spices, picture for us an aspect of our set-apart worship unto יהוה and all of these elements, together, bring us to remembrance, as we come rejoicing, having an esteemed reverence for our Master and Elohim and receive His deliverance.
I – FRAGRANT GUM
II – ONYCHA (Cinnamon)
III – GALBANUM
IV – PURE FRANKINCENSE
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’, which is 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!
14 – SHOHAM STONES AND STONES FOR THE BREASTPLATE – BUILT UP IN UNITY
Shoham stones were put on 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 H68 comes from the primitive root verb בָּנָה banah – Strong’s H1129 which means, ‘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 בֵּן ben – Strong’s H1121 which means, ‘son, grandson, child, member of a group, children (plural for both male and female)’.
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!
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!
For further details on each of these materials and the building process, you can take a look at our commentary notes of the Torah portions from Shemoth/Exodus 25-40, as I have simply highlighted a brief summary of each, for the clear purpose of recognising what this list of materials pictures for us and therefore, let me summarise once again:
1 – Gold – Purity
2 – Silver – Redemption
3 – Bronze – Judgement
4 – Blue – Obedience
5 – Purple – Royalty
6 – Scarlet – Sacrifice
7 – Fine Linen – Righteousness
8 – Goats’ hair – Covering
9 – Rams’ skins dyed red – Substitution
10 – Fine Leather – Endurance
11 – Acacia Wood – Strength and Unity
12 – Oil for the Light – Anointed and Sealed
13 – Spices for the Anointing Oil and for the Sweet Incense – Fragrance of Messiah
14 – Shoham Stones, and Stones to be set in the shoulder garment and in the breastplate – Built up in Unity
From these materials that were brought by everyone whose hearts were moved to do so, we are able to see who were are in Messiah, having been given the purity of our Master’s perfect redemption, who faced the judgement of our sin, equipping us to be obedient as a Royal priesthood, offering our loves as a daily living offering, in complete righteousness with the covering of His blood shed in substitution for ours, equipping us to endure in the strength and unity of being anointed and sealed, by His Spirit, so that we can be the fragrance of Messiah in every place, being built up in unity as the perfect set-apart Dwelling Place of Elohim.
May you be continually reminded of the pattern and design of the Tabernacle, in order to be reminded of who we are in Messiah, and let us ensure that we represent the perfection of His Set-Apart Dwelling Place, which we are!
Has your heart been moved to contribute, daily, in order to give your all to Him who died and rose again, so that we can have abundant life in Him?
Be wise hearted, as you continually seek to please our Master and Elohim, our Saviour and King, יהושע Messiah, and let your life reflect His perfect pattern….!
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show favour to you; יהוה lift up His face upon you and give you shalom!.