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The Boards of the Tabernacle

Ex. 26:15-29; 35:11; 36:20-34; 38:7; 39:33; 40:18

Ex .26:15—And thou shalt make **boards **for the tabernacle of shittim wood standing up.

The Boards of the Tabernacle represent Baptized Believer’s

B. The framing system for the tabernacle.

  1. (15-25) Boards for the sides of the tent.

"And for the tabernacle you shall make the boards of acacia wood, standing upright. Ten cubits _shall be _the length of a board, and a cubit and a half _shall be _the width of each board. Two tenons _shall be _in each board for binding one to another. Thus you shall make for all the boards of the tabernacle. And you shall make the boards for the tabernacle, twenty boards for the south side. You shall make forty sockets of silver under the twenty boards: two sockets under each of the boards for its two tenons. And for the second side of the tabernacle, the north side, _there shall be _twenty boards and their forty sockets of silver: two sockets under each of the boards. For the far side of the tabernacle, westward, you shall make six boards. And you shall also make two boards for the two back corners of the tabernacle. They shall be coupled together at the bottom and they shall be coupled together at the top by one ring. Thus it shall be for both of them. They shall be for the two corners. So there shall be eight boards with their sockets of silver; sixteen sockets; two sockets under each board.

a. For the tabernacle you shall make the boards of acacia wood: Each board was made of acacia wood and overlaid with gold. Each board was 15 feet (5 meters) high and 2 feet 3 inches (about .75 meter) wide.

b. Twenty boards for the south side: The north and south sides of the tabernacle had 20 boards each. The back (westward) side was six boards wide with two corner boards, for a total of eight boards across the back.

c. Coupled together at the top by one ring: Each board was joined together by a system of tenons (tabs) with rings, through which ran bars. Each board had four rings through which the bars ran, and the corner boards had eight rings, four on two sides to accommodate the corners.

d. So there shall be eight boards with their sockets of silver; sixteen sockets: Each board rested on two sockets of silver, each socket made with one talent of silver. Therefore each board rested on a base of 264 pounds (120 kilos) of silver.

i. Silver is the metal associated with redemption and payment for sin (Exodus 21:32, Leviticus 5:15, 27:3, 27:6, Numbers 18:16, and Deuteronomy 22:19). Jesus was betrayed for silver (Matthew 26:15). The tabernacle's foundation was silver - pointing to the redeeming work of Jesus Christ.

ii. Perhaps the dual nature of the foundation had to do with the two sources of revelation - the Old and New Testaments.

iii. The silver of redemption also separated the tabernacle from the dirt of the desert floor. Jesus' redeeming work separates us from the world.

The frame held up the tabernacle suggesting "unity". The boards stood "side by side". How did they get the boards to all stand up straight? How do you get unity in Christ = one body? This is what the tabernacle is to teach us. The sockets of silver insured that each plank was positioned properly. Each time they were to be carefully set up after the pattern given from heaven. The silver represented the ransom price for the redemption of the individual from the civil government in the book of Exodus.

How will we stand in God’s presence? The N.T.  fulfillment is seen in:

1 Pet 1:18-19 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

 Each board of the tabernacle had to stand in the silver socket for the frame to be upright. Each believer must be personally standing in the redemption of the Lord Jesus.  The church is not association of believers and unbelievers. The unconverted can not stand alone before God. Those unsure of their salvation, having one foot on the blood of Christ and one foot on performance/self, are not saved. Redemption ground demands both feet standing on the silver of salvation.

How was the tabernacle kept at the proper form and angles? Special "corner" clips or sockets maintained right angles. The temple was built using this same architecture  means by working from the first stone being set properly and the rest of the building being established from that point. The nt uses this analogy of the temple reerring to the cornerstone. If the chief cornerstone was misplaced or in error, the whole building as out square and unstable. What a contrast to the cornerstone and foundation of our faith:

Eph 2:20-22 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. 

1 Pet 2:4-8 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

Peter uses the picture of the cornerstone to illustrate how God builds His spiritual house where there are to be to sacrifices offered unto God. What is acceptable unto God (what does God like)? God likes the chief corner stone and wants us to be fitted unto it as living stones.

Man rejected God’s corner stone. Peter remembers rebuking Jesus over the same thing,

Matt 16:22  Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.

Why must Jesus be rejected? God thoughts are not our thoughts, His ways not ours. The Pharisees took Jesus and killed Him and went back to worshipping their god. Are we prepared to let our ideas go and be completely conformed to Him?   We are to come constantly to Him in His word and through His spirit to be shaped, conformed, and changed to His image. 

Has God made provision for there to be practical unity in Christ? What is the key? Notice the word "one" in the following passage:

Eph 4:3-6 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Note: Keep the unity, not create it. One body, not Jew and gentile church, not Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran , etc.  ONE hope, baptism, faith, Lord NOT TWO!  Labels advertise disunity, not harmony. Beware!   Why do we work for unity? How are we to do it?

Eph 4:11-16 And has given some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. 

We have not yet arrived at the state of full grown spiritual beings. Yet our assurance has already been fulfilled:

Eph 4:7-10 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) The frames all covered in gold and standing in silver looked like one perfect structure. So it is in the spiritual tabernacle:

John 17:22-24 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one; I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.