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“‘See that you make them after the pattern for them, which was shown to you on the mountain.” (Exodus 25:40 NASB)
Everything in the Tabernacle is both functional and beautiful, just as the LORD made mankind at the beginning. God made humanity to appreciate beauty, because He appreciates beauty. But He doesn’t want us to worship beauty. Worship belongs to Him alone.
None of the components of the Tabernacle are identified by their looks but by their works — what they do. Humans also are primarily defined by their works, not their looks. We know who Yeshua is the Messiah, not by His looks but by His actions and how they align with the pattern shown Moshe on Mt. Sinai.
In the Torah reading ויקהל Vayakhel (“and he assembled,” Exodus 35:1–38:20), the people were united in their desire to build the Tabernacle for the LORD, assembling so many donations for it that Moses had to turn donations away. In the Torah reading פקודי Pekudei (“accounts,” Exodus 38:21–40:38), these donations are accounted for and used to create the Tabernacle. The section culminates in the LORD’s entering His new home.
Continue reading Exodus 35–40: Enter God’s rest before building His home
Are we paying attention how we’re building a home for Yeshua and the Spirit in our lives? The care and attention to detail that went into the Tabernacle that the LORD instructed Israel to build and what that teaches about the Holy One and Heaven’s plan to transform us is central to the lessons in the Torah reading ויקהל/פקודי Vayakhel/Pekudei, covering Exodus 35:1–40:38.
Continue reading Parashat Vayakhel/Pekudei (ויקהל/פקודי): Exodus 35:1–40:38
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During the course of Israel’s settlements in the wilderness and later in the Promised Land, God’s name rested on several places, including Shiloh and later Jerusalem. The Tabernacle was never desecrated by outside forces but it’s worship was compromised from the outside in.
The Temple, in Jerusalem, on the other hand, was sacked several times by corrupt kings as well as foreign invaders. Sometimes, God blessed the dedications of His temples with a visible sign of His Divine Presence, sometimes he did not. In the Torah reading פקודי Pekudei (“countings,” Exodus 38:21–40:38), we will look at how and why God did or did not visibly show His presence when the various Tabernacles and Temples were dedicated or rededicated through Israel’s history.
Continue reading Exodus 38:21–40:38: Abomination of desolation vs. glory of habitation
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“For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. For we who have believed enter that rest….” (Hebrews 4:2–3 NASB)
We don’t want to get into the trap of making God’s rules rote and mechanical, rather than considering His counsel something that is deep in the heart and coming out in our actions.
There are three questions we should ask ourselves in the study of the Torah portion ויקהל Vayak’hel/Vayaq’hel (“and he assembled,” Exodus 35:1–38:20; 1Kings 7:40–50) that are very applicable to the believer’s life.
- What actions were involved in the making of the Tabernacle?
- Why is Shabbat (Sabbath) mentioned here?
- What’s the instruction for me today?
Continue reading Exodus 35:1–38:20: A weekly reminder from Messiah Yeshua to ‘enter His rest’
Some have asserted that the huge numbers of people listed in various places in Exodus and Numbers are impossible or unlikely for a number of real-world reasons. Those include lack of mention of such big numbers in Egyptian and other secular accounts, archaeological estimates of populations at the time, food supply and other logistics for such huge numbers during the Exodus, number of years Israel was in Egypt, smaller numbers mentioned in the Bible hundreds of years later, trepidation of Israel to invade the Land despite having huge army, etc.
Rather than exegesis, which is a critical examination of a text from the text, this is eisegesis, which means a critical examination of a text from considerations outside the text.
Continue reading Does אלף ’elef mean ‘thousand’ or ‘clan’ in Exodus and Numbers?