Bible History

Tabernacle, Priesthood and Offerings



A.       The Seven Temples (as an edifice used for worship) 

1.     The Heavenly Temple (Ex.25:8-9; Heb.8:1-2; 9:24-25; Rev.11:19; 15:5-8)

2.     The Portable Temple – Tabernacle (Ex.39:32; I Sam.1:9; 3:3)

3.     Solomon’s Temple (I Kgs.6:1,37-38; II Chr.3:1-2)

4.     Zerubbabel’s Temple (Ezra 3:8-13; 6:14-15; Zech.4:6-10; Hag.1:14-15; 2:1-4)

5.     Herod’s Temple (Matt.24:1-2; John 2:20)

6.     Tribulation Temple (Dan.9:27; 11:31; 12:11; II Thes.2:3-4)

7.     Ezekiel’s Temple (Ezek.40:1-2; 41:1; 43:1-5; chap.40-43) 

B.       The Plan of the Tabernacle 

1.     The Court of the Tabernacle 

a.       100 by 50 cubits (Ex.27:9-19)

b.       Contained the brasen altar and the laver 

2.     The Holy Place 

a.       Separated from the Holy Place by the veil (Ex.26:33; see Matt.27:50-51)

b.       Place of priestly service (Ex.35:19; 38:24; 39:1,41)

c.       Contained the candlestick, the table of shewbread and the altar of incense 

3.     The Most Holy Place (Ex.26:33-34) 

a.       Contained the ark of the covenant and the mercy seat

b.       Entered only by the high priest once a year (Lev.16:1-2,11-16,34)

c.       Sometimes just called the holy place (Ex.28:33-35)

d.       Called the Holiest of all (Heb.9:3,8) 

C.       The Structure of the Tabernacle 

1.     The Materials (Ex.25:1-7)

2.     The Framework (Ex.26:15-30)

3.     The Covering (Ex.26:1-14)

4.     The Veil (Ex.26:31-33)

5.     The Court (Ex.27:9-15)

6.     The Gate of the Court (Ex.27:16)

7.     The Colors (Ex.25:1,31; 27:16; 28:5-6)

a.       Blue – Heaven

b.       Purple – Royal

c.       Scarlet – Blood

d.       Gold – Redemption

e.       White – Purity 

D.       The Furniture of the Tabernacle 

1.     Brasen Altar (Ex.38:1-7)

a.       5 by 5 cubits

b.       Picture of judgment and sacrifice 

2.     Laver (Ex.30:17-21)

a.       Made of mirrors (Ex.38:8)

b.       Picture of cleansing 

3.     Table of Shewbread (Ex.37:10-16)

a.       On the north or right side on entering (Ex.40:22)

b.       Contained 12 loaves (Ex.40:23; Lev.24:5-8)

c.       Picture of word of God as the bread of life (Deut.8:3) 

4.     Candlestick (Ex.25:31-40)

a.       On south or left side

b.       7 lamps and 22 almond-shaped bowls

c.       To burn continually (Ex.27:20-21; Lev.24:1-4)

d.       Picture of illumination of God through the word and the Spirit  

5.     Altar of incense (Ex.30:1-8)

a.       Before the veil

b.       2 by 2 cubits

c.       Pictures prayers of the saints (Rev.8:4) 

6.     Ark of the Covenant (Ex.25:10-16; 37:1-5)

a.       In the Most Holy Place

b.       2 ½ by 1 ½ by 1 ½ cubits

c.       Contents (Heb.9:3-4)

(1)     Pot of manna

(2)     Aaron’s rod

(3)     Ten Commandments

d.       Picture of the presence of God 

7.     Mercy Seat (Ex.25:17-22; 37:6-9)

a.       Sat on top of the ark

b.       With two cherubim

c.       Picture of God’s mercy 


A.       The Qualification of a Priest 

1.     Born to Aaron’s line (Ex.28:1; I Chr.6:49-53)

2.     Blameless in person (Lev.21:16-24)

3.     Holy in life (Lev.21:1-15)

4.     Mature in years (Num.4:3,23,30,35,47)

5.     Consecrated for service (Ex.29:1-9; 40:15) 

B.       The Work of a Priest 

1.     Generally, to approach God on the behalf of man (Heb.5:1)

2.     To service the tabernacle

a.       Burn incense

b.       Trim the candlestick

c.       Change the shewbread

d.       Keep the altar fire burning (Lev.6:9,13)

e.       Remove the ashes

3.     To offer sacrifices to God (Ex.29:38-44)

4.     To deal with people concerning their cleanness:  lepers, purification of women, etc.

5.     To judge causes (Deut.17:9; 19:17-19; 21:5)

6.     To teach the law (Lev.10:8,11; II Chr.15:3; Mal.2:7)

7.     To make atonement for the people (Lev.4:20; 5:6; 16:6-7,15-19) 

C.       The Garments of the Priest (Ex.29:5-6) 

1.     Coat (Ex.28:39)

2.     Robe (Ex.28:31-35)

3.     Ephod (Ex.28:6-14)

4.     Breastplate (Ex.28:15-29)

5.     Girdle (Ex.39:29)

6.     Mitre (Ex.28:39; 39:28)

7.     Crown (Ex.28:36-38) 

D.       Christ as Our Great High Priest (Heb.4:14) 

1.     Like Aaron

a.       Taken from among men (Heb.5:1)

b.       Represents man to God (Heb.5:1)

c.       Offers sacrifices for sin (Heb.5:1)

d.       Called of God (Heb.5:4-5)

e.       Has compassion on the people (Heb.5:2,7) 

2.     Unlike Aaron

a.       No offering for Himself (Heb.5:3; 9:25)

b.       Entered the heavenly temple (Heb.9:24)

c.       One offering satisfied all (Heb.9:26; 10:10-14) 


A.       Burnt Offering (Lev.1) 

1.     General offering for sin indicating complete dedication

2.     Entire offering to be burnt (v.8-9)

3.     Must be given voluntarily (v.3)

4.     Pictures Christ’s entire sacrifice of Himself 

B.       Meat Offering (Lev.2) 

1.     A memorial offering of thanksgiving (v.2,12)

2.     A portion burnt; the remainder eaten by the priests (v.9-10)

3.     The only bloodless sacrifice

4.     Offered without leaven (v.11)

5.     Offered with salt (v.13) and oil (v.1)

6.     Pictures the living consecration of Christ (John 4:34; 5:30; 6:38; see Rom.12:1) 

C.       Peace Offering (Lev.3) 

1.     Made for special thanksgiving

2.     Fat portions burnt; remainder eaten (Lev.22:29-30)

3.     Pictures Christ’s work of reconciliation (II Cor.5:21) 

D.       Sin Offering (Lev.4) 

1.     For discovered sins of ignorance (v.1-2)

2.     Fat portions burnt; remainder eaten

3.     Pictures the redemption of Christ for our sin guilt 

E.       Trespass Offering (Lev.5) 

1.     For committed sins (v.1-6)

2.     Fat portions burnt; remainder eaten

3.     Pictures the redemption of Christ for our practice of sin