PeKudei Accountings Of Shemot/Exodus 38:21-40:38
1 Melachim/Kings I Kings 8:1-66; 2 Corinthians 3:7-18
In this portion we come to the finality of the preparations for the Tabernacle. Everything prior to this in all the elaborate, detailed and costly preparations a dwelling place is being made to house the Infinite, the Creator of all. The heaven of heaven cannot contain Him, much less a house of wood and metal. 1 Kings 8:27
The Encounter with the Most High
Many non-Messianic believers think that the “Law” or what we call Torah, was given to the Israelites so they could earn their salvation. But this is not the case at all, because by honoring the Torah we learn to be obedient to our Heavenly Father, Who wants the best for His children. The Torah is to show us that when we obey Yahweh and are faithful to Him in the “smallest” things, then He will be with us and guard us by day and night. If we are not faithful to Him, then He will not be as faithful to us in responding to our prayers and needs.
When Exodus began, we have a people who seem to be unfamiliar with Yahweh’s principles - His Torah. Although they had the traditions of their fathers, they were as yet untrained in the way of righteousness. What a contrast we have with the emphasis in this portion, where 18 times it is mentioned that they obeyed the instructions that they were given.
“ As Yahweh commanded Moshe” is an emphasis giving commendation to the fact that they were obeying those commands and carrying them out in every detail. Hence this emphasis that they followed the specifications in everything which they were instructed. It appears as a notation of commendation regarding their repentance and change of heart after the golden calf incident.
Here we have a people that have been unified around the project of establishing a meeting-place with their God, working together, following instructions and showing the semblance of becoming a nation out of the mixed multitude that came out of Egypt with no real cohesion except their deliverance, devoid of an established faith and trust in Yahweh and undisciplined except for the heavy rod of the Taskmasters of Egypt which generated within them a rebellion against authority. They went from being a Torah-less ignorant enslaved group of tribes to a nation unified around the revelation of the Torah.
They also progressed from being a people who doubted Yahweh’s interest and care of them, to a people who had Him residing in their midst. There is no record of Him having spoken to them in the long silent years of their bondage in Egypt. Initially, it seems that He only spoke to Moshe, and through him to them when it came time for their deliverance. Although He had spoken through some of His ordained prophets like Mirium regarding their future deliverance, they had no personal encounter with Him, and so when they came to Sinai, it was an awesome experience to have the Most High manifest Himself to them.
He began the revelation of Himself to them in a progressive manner. Firstly His introduction of Himself by Name in Chapters 3 and 6 to Moshe who is to go and make it know to the people. Then as Moshe goes to them He reveals His intentions and His heart toward them which was then backed up by His actions, demonstrating His power on their behalf. He then reveals His character which Moshe revels in the song of deliverance in Chapter 15 and then again in Chapter 34. These characteristics have become known as the “Thirteen Attributes” of God. They reveal the character and the heart of Yahweh. The final stage in the encounter, is personal contact and personal conversation of the Almighty with His people at Sinai, with the end result of Him taking up full-time residence with them.
The temple was set in place, on the first new moon (the first day) of the first month of the second year of the Exodus. According to Rashi, the tabernacle was raised up on the eighth day of the priests’ dedication. It is estimated that this took approximately six months, comparing Exodus 19:1 to Exodus 40: 2 and taking out the time Moshe was on the mount. This is a testimony to the power of Yahweh’s Spirit motivating and facilitating the work through anointed craftsmen and the hearts of the people united in their purpose to serve Him and fulfill His purposes. The resources for all that was required to construct the Tabernacle originated from the spoils of Egypt that they collected at Yahweh’s direction before they left.
When the Mishkan was complete, the Shekinah glory of God came and took up residence in the Holy of Holies (the inner sanctuary). This continued until the time of Eli the priest when, because of sin and unfaithfulness, the glory departed and was not re-instated until Solomon built the Temple at Jerusalem, having had a temporary residence in the tabernacle that David established for it.
Although His presence was not manifest as strongly in the second temple which was constructed after their return from Babylonian captivity, it wasn’t until the time of the fulfilment of Ezekiel’s vision (Chapter 10) that the Shekinah glory actually completely departed from residing with them in the Temple, and this was fulfilled in 70 AD with the destruction of the Temple by the Roman General Titus, 40 years after the rejection of Messiah.
What a transition from being a people who found it difficult to sense anything of God’s presence amidst their suffering, to having such a profound revelation of Him given to them. They were singled out to have the privileged experience of the actual glory of Yahweh manifested in physical form in their midst.
God has promised us that the miracles of the ultimate Redemption will echo those of the Redemption from Egypt, as is written in prophecies of Micah, “As in the days of your exodus from Egypt, I will show you wonders.” Micah 7:15 This is also seen in the Book of Revelation in the plagues poured out in the vials of His wrath on the wicked of that day. He has promised that He will release us from the powers of darkness on that day, not just in one locality, but giving us a complete redemption from the enemy on this whole earth for one thousand years. This will be a second exodus mightier in the demonstration of His power in Egypt.
The Glory and the Tabernacle
A sudden shout rose up through the assembly and all eyes were fixed upon the mountain. The cloud which had covered the top of the mountain these many days seemed to be descending. Yes, it was, rolling and cascading down the mountainside like a sudden avalanche of vapor, mist and smoke. A panic spread through the people; a holy terror seized every heart. As if choreographed in advance, all Israel - every man, woman and child - fell prostrate to the ground. There was a brilliant light emanating from the cloud as it dropped from the top of Mount Sinai. The peak of the mountain was now visible, gleaming in the sun. Without the cloud covering it, it seemed to be a small, humble and insignificant mountain after all. Yahweh had left Sinai.
“Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of Yahweh filled the tabernacle. Moshe was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of Yahweh filled the tabernacle.” Exodus 40:34–35
Yahweh had taken up residence in the Tabernacle, but He was unapproachable. Even Moshe, who was accustomed to standing upon Mount Sinai and basking in the glory of the presence of Yahweh, could not enter. How is it, then, that Moshe was able to withstand God’s glory on Mount Sinai, yet was not able to enter into the Tabernacle?
When Moshe ascended Sinai, he entered into the true Tabernacle, the very courts of God. Thus the glory of God on the mountain represents the glory of God in the World to Come and the New Covenant, whereas the glory of God in the Tabernacle is His glory in this World and that covenant. That is the reason Moshe can approach on the mountain, but was unable to do so when the glory descends to the earth. The mountain symbolized the Heavenly reality. Thus even Yeshua had to veil His glory (except while on the mountain of transfiguration--a parallel to Sinai). His glory will only be fully revealed when the heavenly reality is fully realized on Earth.
In that day, God’s people will be able to approach the Glory without restriction, as John notes, “I saw no temple in it, for Yahweh God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.” (Revelation 21:22-23)
Through His death, Yeshua opened a way into the Shekinah glory through the veil that separated God from His people. Now through Him, we have access into His Presence, although it is in a measure. “Therefore brethren, having boldness to enter the the Holiest by the blood of Yeshua, by a new and living way, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh .. “ Hebrews 10:20 His flesh is typified by the veil of the temple - In the giving of His life, we have access. His death was the entrance to the Father’s Presence.
His Presence Journeyed With Them
For throughout all their journeys, the cloud of Yahweh was on the tabernacle by day, and there was fire in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel” Shemot/Exodus 40:34-38
The word “journeys” includes the places where they camped as well, because from each place they began a new journey. The cloud was not over the tabernacle during the journeys, only when they camped, see 40:36. This short excerpt above talks about the kavod of God, or His “glory” filling the Tabernacle. Imagine what an awesome sight that must have been. The “cloud” or anan covered the ohel moed or “tent of meeting”. This could be understood as a “tent of appointed assembly,” as we know that moed means “appointed time” The moedim or appointed times, also commonly called the feasts of Yahweh, are given to us in Vayikra/Leviticus 23
His Appointed Times
Though the work was finished in the month of Keslev, God wanted it to be erected on Rosh Chodesh (the 1st day) of Nissan. Yahweh had a special timing, an appointed time that was to be followed precisely, for His purposes. This points to the time of the new covenant, because of its proximity to the start of the religious calendar, and it occurred in the second year. The fact that the work took time to accomplish, is prophetic of the time that the preparation of the New Covenant would take to complete in which Yahweh tabernacles in us.
God’s presence descended upon the Israelites in the wilderness in the tent of meeting,” or tent of appointment”. In His Torah, our Father has specified the appropriate times that He wants to meet with His people. If we want to meet with Him and have the glory of God surrounding us and protecting us and ministering to us we should “meet” Him at the times that He has consecrated. These are the times that He wants to be met and has specified throughout His Torah that He wants us to set-apart and consecrated unto Him. If we meet with Him on these days and follow the simple instructions which He has given to us, He will reveal His presence to us.
The first Temple/Beit Hamikdash stood for a total of 410 years and the second one lasted 420 years. There are many numeric patterns in the scriptures. The word “Mishkan” (the Tabernacle) has the numerical value of 410 and the word “Hamishkan” (Testimony) has the numerical value of 415. If we add to the numerical value the five letters of the word, we will then have 420.
The Gemara (Yoma 21b) relates that in the second Temple/Beit Hamikdash there were five things missing which were in the first Beit Hamikdash. Therefore, the Torah’s allusion to the second Beit Hamikdash (Hamishkan) has the numerical value of only 415.
From the time the Tabernacle/Mishkan was built in the dessert till the construction of the first Beit Hamikdash by King Shlomo there elapsed a period of 479 years. The word Testimony “Ha’eidut” has the numerical equivalent of 479 in the Hebrew language. This alludes to the fact that for 479 years the Mishkan served as a testimony to Yahweh’s dwelling among the Israelite people.