The Tabernacle


The Biblical Instructions For The Tabernacle

Let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them . . . Exodus 25:8


The subject of the instructions for the construction, examination, and God’s evaluation of the Tabernacle is in  several distinct sections. 

The Children of Israel had been redeemed and delivered, and with that, had received from the Egyptians that which they asked (borrowed) for.   This was not to be used to make beautiful tents and elaborate items for ornamentation of themselves or their homes.   

They were possibly given them because they had been slaves and this was their payment.  However, they were given them definitely as a test to determine their gratitude to God for that which He had given.  The same goes for us.  We have been given employment and work by God to be given wages.  By those we have responsibilities to care for our families and to give to the Lord. (See the paper “An Attempt To Listen to God On Giving”. 

This was God’s house, His Tent, they were going to build.  They had built treasure houses for Pharaoh but that knowledge was of no value here.  God was God and not Pharaoh, therefore, they had to know the instructions of God for His House.  He was the architect and designer and it could only meet with His approval IF it was all done according to His plans.  They could not substitute fir for shittim, nor silver for gold or copper when God called for gold to be used.  They could not determine the height of the building nor the order which the coverings were put over the boards, nor color schemes.  

Graciously God did leave them to use their God given abilities to determine things.  They were to make a crown around the top of the table, etc.  That was left to their discretion.  This did not mean it could be sloppy but rather it had to be with careful and prayerful consideration of that which was becoming to the dwelling place of God. 

These same truths are taught in the New Testament relative to the church.  We are told specifically that we are to meet to remember the Lord each first day of the week.  There are a series of meetings the scriptures speak about, as well as from, for personal exercise before God.  For instance, the Lord said: “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel” however, He did not say how?  That is left to our exercise before Him.  It can be in Sunday Schools; Daily Vacation Bible Schools; Gospel meetings; open air meetings; by radio; Television; internet; the printed page; etc., however, all must be built in harmony with the foundation laid. 

The flow of the passage is as follows: 
  1) First there are instructions for:


What was to be offered to God.


The construction of the various parts of the Tabernacle.


 The construction of the Tabernacle.


The examination by Moses.


The rearing up of the Tabernacle and placement of all the pieces.


God’s delight in it by His presence manifested.

In the instructions for the Tabernacle furnishings, they were not given in order but the following parentheses can be noted.   These parenthesis are for a reason, which we shall, Lord willing, in time discover. They are:



Between the vessels for the Tabernacle and the incense altar.  (Ex. 25:1 to Ex. 31:11)


Between the incense altar and the people actually bringing their offerings.  (Ex. 31:1 to Ex. 35:20)
Ex. 25:1-9

The instructions concerning that which was to be offered to God.

Ex. 25:10-16

The instructions concerning the Ark.

Ex. 25:17-22

The instructions for the Mercy Seat.

Ex. 25:23-30

The instructions for the Table.

Ex. 25:31-40

The instructions for the Candlestick.

Ex. 26:1-6

The instructions for the Linen curtain, the Tabernacle.

Ex. 26:7-13

The instructions for the covering of goats hair.

Ex. 26:14

The instructions for the covering for the tent, ram skins dyed red.

Ex. 26:14

The instructions for the covering above of badgers’ skins.

Ex. 26:15-30

The instructions for the boards of the Tabernacle.

Ex. 26:31-33

The instructions for the vail and the pillars.

Ex. 26:34

The instruction for the placement of the Ark and Mercy Seat.

Ex. 26:35

The instructions for the placement for the Table.

Ex. 26:36-37

The instructions for the construction and hanging of the door of the tent and the pillars.

Ex. 27:1-8

Instructions for the construction of the brazen altar.

Ex. 27:9-18

The instructions for the court and pillars.

Ex. 27:19

The instructions for the composition of the vessels of the tabernacle and the pins.

Ex. 27:20-21

A command to bring olive oil.

Ex. 28:1

The command to take Aaron and his sons for priestly service.

Ex. 28:2-5

The instructions relative to the Holy Garments.

Ex. 28:6-7

The  instructions for the ephod and shoulder pieces.

Ex. 28:8

Instructions for the curious girdle.

Ex. 28:9-14

The instructions for the two onyx stones for the shoulders of the ephod.

Ex. 28:15-30

The instruction for the breastplate.

Ex. 38:31-35

The instruction for the robe of the Ephod.

Ex. 28:36-38

The instructions for the mitre and the golden plate.

Ex. 38:39

The instructions concerning the material and how the mitre, robe and curious girdle were to be made.

Ex. 28:40-43

The clothing for Aaron's sons.

Ex. 29:1-35

The consecration of Aaron and his sons,  by washing, clothing and sacrifices.

Ex. 29:36-46

The consecration of the Altar.

Ex. 30:1-10

The construction for construction of the Golden altar.

Ex. 30:11-16

The Atonement money of silver.

Ex. 30:17-21

The Laver of brass.

Ex. 30:22-25

The composition of the Holy anointing oil.

Ex. 30:26-33

The anointing of the vessels and the Priests.

Ex. 30:34-38

Incense for the Golden altar.

Ex. 31:1-11

The call of Bezaleel and Aholiab and the work committed to them. the work to done by them.

Ex. 31:12-18

The laws concerning the keeping of the Sabbath.

Ex. 32:1-14

The making of the golden calf, the anger of God against them, and the supplication of Moses.

Ex. 32:15-25

Moses and Joshua come down from the mount, Moses does to the stones what they had done spiritually, Aaron's excuses.

Ex. 32:26-28

Moses stands at the gate and cries: “Who is on the Lord’s side”.  The Levites come to him and the command is to slay the evil doers and 3000 died.

Ex. 32:29-34

The call to consecration.

Ex. 33:1-6

The people realise their sin and God commands them to remove their ornaments until He decides their punishment.

Ex. 33:7-23

Moses goes outside the camp to the Tabernacle of the congregation and pleads with God. He then asks God to show him His glory, and Moses is put in the cleft of the rock and Moses sees the hinder part of God.

Ex. 34:1-7

Moses goes up to the mount with the two new tables of stone.  God descends in  a cloud and stood with him, and proclaimed His Name.

Ex. 34:8-28

Moses bows in worship and prays for the Lord to go among them. God gives the covenant that he will drive out the nations  and gives them warnings and commandments.

Ex. 34:29-35

Moses comes down from the mount after 40 days and nights and his face shone.  The result of which when he spoke to the people he put a vail on his face.

Ex. 35:1-19

Moses tells the children of Israel, the commands of the Lord, and then the command which was optional, for they were only to bring for the Tabernacle if it was with a willing heart.

Ex. 35:20-24

The people depart from Moses and start to bring their offering.

Ex. 35:25-26

The work of the ladies.

Ex. 35:27-29

That which the rulers brought and summary.

Ex. 35:30-35

Moses declares that God had called Bezaleel to do  a work for him.

Ex. 36:1-7

All the men began the work and the people had to be restrained from bringing.

Ex. 36:8-13

The construction of the curtains for the Tabernacle.

Ex. 36:14-19

The construction of the goats hair curtains.

Ex. 36:20-34

The construction of the boards for the Tabernacle and their bars.

Ex. 36:35-36

The construction of the vail and its pillars.

Ex. 36:37-38

The hanging for the Tabernacle door and its pillars.

Ex. 37:1-5

The construction of the Ark and the staves.

Ex. 37:6-9

The construction of the Mercy Seat.

Ex. 37:10-16

The construction of the Table with its dishes, spoons etc.

Ex. 37:17-24

The construction of the candlestick.

Ex. 37:25-29

The construction of the Altar of incense and the holy anointing oil and pure incense.

Ex. 38:1-7

The construction of the altar of burnt offering and the instruments connected with it.

Ex. 38:8

The construction of the laver.

Ex. 38:9-17

The construction of the court, the pillars, sockets, chapters and fillets.

Ex. 38:18-20

The hanging for the gate of the court and its pillars.

Ex. 38:21

The sum of all that was brought.

Ex. 38:1-7

The construction of the altar of burnt offering and its vessels.

Ex. 38:8

The construction of the laver and where the copper came from.

Ex. 38:18-19

The construction for the gate of the court.

Ex. 38:20

The material the pins were made of.

Ex. 38:21-31

The amount of the offering for the tabernacle, both freewill and compulsory, those who verified it, and the principle workmen, and how it was used.

Ex. 39:1-31

The construction of the clothing for the High priests and priests.

Ex. 39:31

The declaration of their obedience in building the tabernacle and preparing the clothing for the priests.

Ex. 39:33-43

The presentation of the Tabernacle and its parts to Moses.

Ex. 40:1-10

The commands for the setting up of the Tabernacle, and the work finished to God’s satisfaction.

Ex. 40:11-16

The consecration of Aaron and his sons.

Ex. 40:17-33

The setting up of the Tabernacle and instruction for washing.

Ex. 40:34-38

The glory of God manifested, and how it was to be moved.



May God grant us good understanding as He, by His Holy Spirit, deigns to guide us into all truth.
John 16:13

Copyright © 2011 by Rowan Jennings, Abbotsford, British Columbia