“The Tabernacle its construction and furnishings”, Part 18

The 48 boards constituting the Tabernacle’s framework were of shittim wood (acacia) overlaid
or plated with gold
. They stood in silver sockets made from the redemption money paid as a poll-tax
by the Israelites. While the ancient Tabernacle must to each Israelite have been a beautiful symbol of the
atonement, it was nevertheless, above and beyond this, the very dwelling place of Jehovah God amongst
the people. For this latter reason we are suggesting that it was also a type of that greater, mystical
Tabernacle, the Church of the Gospel dispensation, for is it not in her that God has been, and is now
dwelling by his Spirit!

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” “For ye
are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them; and walk in them; and I
will be their God, and they shall be my people
.” (1 Cor 3:16; 2 Cor 6:16)

As was stated in our last post, Acacia wood is from an evergreen tree—a tree that does not pass
through the cycles of life and death like most other trees do.
This we believe is quite significant, for
it seems to symbolize the Church’s
justification to life—a justification wherein she now as it
were, possesses by faith that restitution which would be hers in the Millennium
. She has thus
accounted to her a human (mortal) perfection in which while death is a possibility, it need not be a
probability.

Because she has consecrated, i.e., dedicated, this “
perfect humanity” to God, to the doing of God’s
will, she has through
sanctification received a hope—the hope of glorification and the divine
nature
, here so beautifully represented by the gold with which these boards were plated—the hope that
this mortal might someday put on immortality, when the “
perishable puts on the imperishable, and
the mortal puts on immortality
.” (1 Cor 15:54) Notes on the Tabernacle”, Page 106,107

The two tendons under each board, we believe, very beautifully represent that justification and
sanctification which are ours in Christ Jesus! “rooted and built up in him” (Col 2:7). Likewise the
two tendons which were used to bind one board to the next
beautifully picture our love for the
Lord
(the truth, John 14:6) and our love for one another (the brethren, John 13:34; 1 Pet 1:22)
the tides which bind us together
.

“The true members of the body of Christ are held together by their common hopes, built upon the
exceeding great and precious promises of the Lord's word (
i.e. the truth), AND held together by the
bonds of love. And those who have not these bonds of love are not true Israelites--"if any man have
not the spirit of Christ [the bond of love] he is none of his
." R 2325

“He that is joined to the Lord is one in spirit with Him, and whoever is in spiritual relationship with the
Lord must of necessity be in spiritual relationship with all who are the Lord’s everywhere. These have the
best of bonds,
the bonds of love, the bonds of fellowship, and the bonds of truth. These bonds the
Apostle refers to, saying, that as the various members of the human body are joined together by
ligaments and cords, so also is the Body of Christ joined by the Spirit of the Master, His precepts, His
injunctions, His love.” (
Harvest Gleanings 2, Page 947)

“The boards of the tabernacle proper were put as near together as possible (
joined and knitted
together,
Eph 4:16), and therefore were very hard to get apart. While in the Court the (tentative)
justified believer is bound to earthly things by cords, (typical of those which supported the post
around the courtyard
), when he consecrates, he cuts these cords and becomes free. The boards
were not tied to the earth in any way. They were mortised into the sockets, and moisture would swell the
joint and tighten it (
the same circumstances would apply to those tendons which connected one board
to another
). The fact that they were joined in the same way both in the Most Holy as well as in the Holy,
illustrates that the union and fellowship which we now enjoy are a counterpart and foretaste of what we
will have when united with our Lord. (
Pilgrim Echoes, Page 9)

      

























And thou shall make bars (or poles) of acacia wood: five for the boards of the one side of the
tabernacle, and five bars for the boards of the other side of the tabernacle, and five bars for
the boards of the side of the tabernacle, for the hinder part westward. And the middle bar in
the midst of the boards shall pass through from end to end. And thou shall
overlay the boards
with gold
, and make their rings of gold for places for the bars: and thou shall overlay the bars
with gold
.” (Exod 26:26-29)

“The bars, which were
15 in number, were like the boards, made of shittim (acacia) wood (Exod 26:26;
36:31
) overlaid with gold (Exod 26:29; 36:34); and thus in symbolism bespeak that condition wherein
the Church is yet identified with the flesh and in which
the hope of glorification and immortality is yet a
part of the treasure in the earthen vessel (
2 Cor 4:7). Note carefully, there was nothing to correspond
to those bars in the Temple’s structure (
both Solomon’s and Ezekiel’s), for the Temple did not represent
the temporary and transient, but rather, the permanent, eternal abode of the Most High God!

These bars were in three rows on the north, south, and west sides of the Tabernacle, respectively; and
were fastened to the boards by means of gold rings. (
Exod 26:29; 36:34) The middle bar was the only
one which ran from end to end on all sides (
Exod 26:28; 36:33); the others, therefore, were of
necessity, shorter—though the exact measurements for them are not given.”

There is a difference of opinion with regard to the middle bar, probably due to the way in which
some of the translators have rendered
Exod 36: 33, 34 Some have concluded that this middle bar was
not on the outside of the Tabernacle’s boards at all, but rather that it ran through (i.e., inside the
boards), remaining entirely invisible from without. If such were the case, then it surely would not have
needed to be covered with gold, nor would gold rings be needed to support it. There is, however, no
such indication in the text; in fact, the rendering in the KJV of
Exod 26:28, 29, because of its simplicity,
is
quite clear.” Note the following:

And the middle bar in the midst of the boards shall reach from end to end. And thou shall
overlay the boards with gold, and make the rings of gold for places for the bars; and thou shall
overlay the bars with gold
.” (Exod 26:28, 29)

What may these bars which performed the added function of binding and holding the boards of the
Tabernacle together, represent?

Well previously we had suggested that the two tendons which bound one board to another may have
represented the “
bodies” (or Church’s) bond of love for the Lord and love for one another.

Perhaps here it is the
love of Christ toward us, as pictured by the Holy Spirit, which does indeed bind
or hold together, as it were, in one “
body” all the “boards” of this mystical Tabernacle in which God
dwells by his Spirit. There is a verse of Scripture which seems well to suggest this: “
The love of Christ
constrains (holds us together).” (2 Cor 5:14) Notes on the Tabernacle”, Page 110,111

As was said the middle bars ran from end to end without a break, while the shorter bars went only part
way, their connection
being broken. These bars may represent: 1, One Hope; 2, One Spirit; 3, One
Lord;
4, One experience; 5, One Word. The bonds of hope, spirit, experience, and the word have
sometimes been broken in the true church, but
the headship of the Lord has never been broken in
the true church
.” (Pilgrim Echoes, Page 9, 10)

            


















Here we have an illustration of the rear or western end of the Tabernacle illustrating how the five
rear bars were inserted, it will be noted that only the four inner rear boards supported these bars due to
the fact that the two corner boards were in the way and thus prevented the bars from reaching end to
end as they did on the sides of the tabernacle.

The second illustration is merely a view taken from the side showing why it was necessary to attach the
coupling rings” spoken of in Exod 26:24, had they not been installed seeing as the position of the
two corner boards prevented the rear bars from passing all the way from end to end it is very likely that
the two corner boards might be found leaning away from the rear of the structure somewhat (as
shown) considering their height.

We can only deduce that the typical reason for the addition of these extra boards located at the rear
corners of the tabernacle were so as to add strength to the structure similar to the additional support
one might find added to a packing crate or box, but in regards to the tabernacle these might prove
extremely necessary especially seeing as this structure only had three sides. Typically a four sided box
whether square or rectangular is relatively strong as each side tends to support the others, but should
you remove one of the ends it weakens the whole integrity of the box. Understand that this is only a
summation on our part, it could be that there was a totally different reason for these extra two corner
boards, perhaps the brethren might have some suggestions?

        












Another point which may have gone unnoticed is that in the process of erecting the tabernacle it would
prove necessary first to erect the six rear boards at the rear of the tabernacle first and then slide the
five bars in place before erecting the two corner boards with their coupling rings
.


     














As we had stated earlier the design of the “coupling rings” used in support of the rear corner boards
were not specified, however we can surmise that had these rings been attached to the rear corner
boards so as to be able to pivot down and over two pins especially placed upon the tops of the two
adjoining corner boards, all three boards would then be bound tightly one to another, similar rings
likewise being employed at the bottom of the structure on both sides.


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