Assembly of the Tabernacle

Exodus 40:1-38

Our portion — and indeed, the book of Exodus — ends with the assembly and consecration of the Tabernacle for the first time. God commands Moses to erect the Tabernacle on the first day of the first month, one year from the day He commanded Moses regarding the Exodus itself. God instructs Moses on the precise placement of all the vessels within the Tabernacle and its courtyard, and tells Moses to anoint and consecrate everything. He likewise instructs Moses to immerse Aaron and his sons in water, dress and anoint them, consecrating them and their future descendents as priests for all eternity.


When the work is completed, a cloud descends upon the Tabernacle and God’s glory fills the structure. The Torah tells us Moses could not enter the Tabernacle while God’s glory was present. We are also told that when the cloud would lift off the Tabernacle, the Children of Israel would continue their travels, resting when the cloud rested. At night, the cloud would appear as a fire. These are the same cloud and fire that accompanied Israel out of Egypt. The Israel Bible reminds us that when King Solomon builds the First Temple, in the book of Kings (I Kings 8:10-11), God’s glory also descends in the form of a cloud, while in the account in Chronicles (II Chronicles 7:1), His glory appears as fire from heaven. God’s presence is manifest.


Virtual Classroom Discussion

If this book is called Exodus, and that is its overarching theme, why do you think it includes everything from receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai to the Tabernacle, ending specifically with the manifestation of God’s glory there?

Comments ( 7 )

The comments below do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and opinions of The Israel Bible™.

  • Like Diana, I see the Book of Exodus as the story of leaving.

    The people left behind slavery, idolatry and a life where they could only cling to the past glory of their heritage as Abraham’s seed. They lived between the past where Joseph had risen to a place of stature and their future hope of a “deliverer”. It had been several generations since any of them had personally experienced the Divine Presence.

    They couldn’t move forward to truly become Hashem’s “set-apart” people until they let go of their lives in Egypt and their “slave mindsets”. As we come to the end of the Book of Exodus, we now have the Tabernacle filled with the Divine Presence and the Torah.

    Now Elohim will begin the work of teaching them how to be a “holy and set apart” nation with the hope of a new life in the Promised Land. Unfortunately, we know how the story ends with only Joshua and Caleb making it to the Land.

    It is my struggle to learn from this story all the ways that we can misdirect ourselves and lose out on HIS promises in our own lives ultimately missing out on our chance to enter into HIS Kingdom. I’ve always wondered why HIS Presence isn’t enough to keep us from falling into sin and missing the mark.

  • Kenneth Osterman

    As you point out, the name of the book is “Names”.
    But this book describes a nation born out of the loins of Jacob (chapter 1) and a large portion of the book describing a nation born out of bondage and another portion describing a labor in a wilderness leading to a future birth when the nation would enter the promised land. There is yet a future birth when the Lord does his final act and pours out his spirit in ALL Israel (dead and living) and this includes the nations as described in Jeremiah 31 and the other prophets.
    As much as the glory described at Sinai, the face of Moses, the 10 words, the the Torah and the cloud and fire of the Tabernacle, it is but a foretaste of the glory of God when his sanctuary is seen in Israel by the nations.
    Ezekiel 37
    כח וְיָדְעוּ, הַגּוֹיִם, כִּי אֲנִי יְהוָה, מְקַדֵּשׁ אֶת-יִשְׂרָאֵל–בִּהְיוֹת מִקְדָּשִׁי בְּתוֹכָם, לְעוֹלָם. {פ} 28 And the nations shall know that I am the LORD that sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for ever.’ {P}

  • Diana Brown

    Because we are to “exit” from the place we are in….false idolatry of Egypt and as Time draws to a close, the false teaching of Babylon.
    When our hearts are free of false gods, false prophets, false messiahs, ways of thinking that end in death, God’s Spirit will show us how to prepare our hearts for Him to inhabit and have for Himself and God’s Purposes just like the Tabernacle.
    We exit as a group and as an individual. We exit from the world system all our lives because we ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Now we desire to eat from the Tree of Life. We make this decision and stand against the wind….but in faith, we stand.
    I asked my mother once, with God and Moses and the Ten Commandments, and a Temple…why does Israel need a Messiah? She said the Prophet Isaiah explained that very well. We are can get side-tracked through deception. It takes Messiah to get us back off the highways and byways to the Holy Highway.

    • David

      the thoughts you put forward are so important. We left Egypt at the 47th level of depravity and as far as I understand it were not fit to go direct to the promised land. The wondering in the desert was purification revelation and preparation. Those who remembered Egypt were winnowed out and the “renewed” entered the promised land.
      The lessons we learn in Torah are used for our daily Exodus – escape from the enslavement of sin, performance of mitzvot and prayer. The culmination is in Yom Kippur where we meet God in the holiest of days the Temple of the soul for sacrifice and purification to have our names written in the Book of Life.
      Your thoughts please Diana.

  • The Hebrew name for this book is ‘Shmot’ which does not mean Exodus, but rather ‘names’. Perhaps we are mistaken in our thinking-the theme of the book is not Exodus (it is only the content of half the book), but rather it is the forming of God’s nation. The book begins with a list of names-individuals who, by the end of the Book, have become a nation of God. They form a covenant with the Lord, build Him a ‘home’ so He can ‘rest’ among them, and the Book ends with exactly that image-the culmination of the purpose of the Exodus from Egypt.

    • We are not able to enter the Holy Land of the covenant without a sanctification work taking place in us. Elohim brought us to the wilderness to build a dwelling place of holiness for Him to dwell to give us a pattern of the beauty of being holy. Yes the book of Shmot is largely about Israel truly becoming the nation of the LORD.

  • Theresa

    Maybe Exodus is not so much about the receiving of the Torah, but the receiving of the manifestation of God’s glory. The Torah is God’s way, the glory is His Presence. He desires a people set apart for Himself. The deliverance in Exodus is a manifestation of His goodness and purpose for those who love Him and seek His glory.

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