24v1-11 The Covenant of Israel
1: And he said unto Moses, Come up unto the LORD, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off. 2: And Moses alone shall come near the LORD: but they shall not come nigh; neither shall the people go up with him. 3: And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do. 4: And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. 5: And he sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto the LORD. 6: And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basons; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. 7: And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient. 8: And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words. 9: Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: 10: And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness. 11: And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink.
24v12-18 The tablets of stone
12: And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them. 13: And Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua: and Moses went up into the mount of God. 14: And he said unto the elders, Tarry ye here for us, until we come again unto you: and, behold, Aaron and Hur are with you: if any man have any matters to do, let him come unto them. 15: And Moses went up into the mount, and a cloud covered the mount. 16: And the glory of the LORD abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud. 17: And the sight of the glory of the LORD was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel. 18: And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.
E The Tabernacle
25v1-9 Offerings of goods
1: And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2: Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering. 3: And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass, 4: And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair, 5: And rams' skins dyed red, and badgers' skins, and shittim wood, 6: Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense, 7: Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate. 8: And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. 9: According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.
25v10-22 The Ark of the Covenant
10: And they shall make an ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof. 11: And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about. 12: And thou shalt cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in the four corners thereof; and two rings shall be in the one side of it, and two rings in the other side of it. 13: And thou shalt make staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold. 14: And thou shalt put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, that the ark may be borne with them. 15: The staves shall be in the rings of the ark: they shall not be taken from it. 16: And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee. 17: And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof. 18: And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. 19: And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof. 20: And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be. 21: And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. 22: And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.
25v23-30 The Table of the Showbread
23: Thou shalt also make a table of shittim wood: two cubits shall be the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof. 24: And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, and make thereto a crown of gold round about. 25: And thou shalt make unto it a border of an hand breadth round about, and thou shalt make a golden crown to the border thereof round about. 26: And thou shalt make for it four rings of gold, and put the rings in the four corners that are on the four feet thereof. 27: Over against the border shall the rings be for places of the staves to bear the table. 28: And thou shalt make the staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold, that the table may be borne with them. 29: And thou shalt make the dishes thereof, and spoons thereof, and covers thereof, and bowls thereof, to cover withal: of pure gold shalt thou make them. 30: And thou shalt set upon the table shewbread before me always.
25v31-40 The Lampstand
31: And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be made: his shaft, and his branches, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, shall be of the same. 32: And six branches shall come out of the sides of it; three branches of the candlestick out of the one side, and three branches of the candlestick out of the other side: 33: Three bowls made like unto almonds, with a knop and a flower in one branch; and three bowls made like almonds in the other branch, with a knop and a flower: so in the six branches that come out of the candlestick. 34: And in the candlestick shall be four bowls made like unto almonds, with their knops and their flowers. 35: And there shall be a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, according to the six branches that proceed out of the candlestick. 36: Their knops and their branches shall be of the same: all it shall be one beaten work of pure gold. 37: And thou shalt make the seven lamps thereof: and they shall light the lamps thereof, that they may give light over against it. 38: And the tongs thereof, and the snuffdishes thereof, shall be of pure gold. 39: Of a talent of pure gold shall he make it, with all these vessels. 40: And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount.
In today’s reading we have the Lord entering into covenant with Israel as a nation. We have the giving of the Mosaic law and we have the beginning of the instructions to the children of Israel regarding the construction of the Tabernacle of meeting. Starting with the furniture which was in the most holy place the ark of the covenant the table of showbread and the lampstand. First the LORD entered into Covenant with his people the children of Israel. The Lord called Moses Aaron, His sons the priests and seventy elders (The judges) of Israel and they stood afar off but Moses drew near to the Lord. When Moses recounted all the laws of the Lord and his judgments the people answered with one voice. They promised to keep the words of the Lord in doing them. Then Moses built an altar and set up twelve pillars – one for each tribe and the priests offered burnt offerings and peace offerings to the Lord. Moses took the blood and sprinkled half of it on the altar and half of it on the people. Then Moses took the book of the covenant and read it to all the people and again they promised to keep the whole law. Then all the leaders of the people drew near and saw the Lord. Then the Lord called on Moses and Joshua his servant to come up the mountain and there the Lord gave him stone tablets on which were written with the finger of god the Commandments. Moses was in the mountain for 40 days and nights. Then the Lord instructed Moses to tell the people to bring a freewill offering to the Lord. And these offerings became the basis of the materials for the constructing of the tabernacle. They brought gold, silver, brass. Cloth that was blue, purple scarlet and fine white linen. They brought goat hair cloth, rams skins dyed red, badgers skins and shittim wood. They brought oil for light spices for making the anointing oil and for incense. They brought precious stones. Then the Lord gave careful detailed instructions regarding the making of the Ark of the Covenant. Its interesting that the Lord begins with the Ark and then goes progressively outward to the people and then finally describes how Israel is able to draw near to the Lord. The ark or box was 2½ cubits long, 1 cubit deep and 1 ½ cubits high. It was made of wood and overlaid with gold. There were four rings to carry it and staves in the rings to lift it. On top of the ark was a lid called the mercy seat. It was a little longer and deeper than the ark itself. On the mercy seat there wee two models of cherubim facing each other from each end. This was the place where the LORD met with his people. The next item of furniture was a table on which was placed loaves of bread. The table was 2 cubits long, 1 cubit deep and 1½ cubits high. It had a rim going around it to prevent the bread from falling off the top. It was made of shittim wood overlaid with gold. It also had rings and staves for lifting it. There were also dishes, spoons covers and bowels made of pure gold. The third item of furniture in the holy place was the lampstand. This was made of pure gold beaten together (not cast) No height is given but it had seven branches altogether, three on either side. The whole thing was covered in significant ornament. Included in this item were instruments for tending it. All of these items speak of Christ. The mercy seat was the place where God met men. We know that Christ himself is the meeting place between God and men. It was made of that which grew on earth and contained the Law of God, yet it was covered by gold speaking of his deity and protected by angelic beings. The table spoke of Christ in that he is the one who feeds the souls of men and the lampstand speaks of Christ who brings light to all.