Larger font
Smaller font
Copy
Print
Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents

    PLAN OF THE SANCTUARY

    In the holy place were three objects worthy of notice: a candlestick, a table of show-bread, and an altar of incense. The candlestick was made with a standard and seven branches, beaten out of one solid piece of gold about the weight of a talent. According to the Rabbis, says Smith’s Dictionary, its height was five feet, and the breadth or distance between the exterior branches, three and one-half feet. It is estimated to have been worth 5,076 pounds sterling, or $25,380, exclusive of workmanship. The seven lamps supported by the seven branches of the candlestick were obviously for the purpose of giving light in the holy place; but whether they were kept burning by day as well as by night has been a matter of some discussion; and a difference of opinion is still entertained. As no light could penetrate through the thick coverings thrown over the sanctuary, there would be as much need of the light of the lamps by day as by night, unless the curtain which constituted the door of the tabernacle was drawn one side, which can hardly be supposed. It seems most consistent to believe that the lamps, like the fire on the altar, were to burn without cessation. The replenishing and trimming of the lamps would necessitate the removal of only one at a time from the candlestick. Thus each in turn could be trimmed while the others were burning. The position of the candlestick was on the south side of the holy place.STTHD 123.1

    On the north side of the holy place, opposite the candlestick, stood the table of show-bread. It was about three feet in length, one and a half in width, and two feet and three inches in height. Like some of the other furniture, it was made of the fine shittim wood, or acacia, of that country, and was overlaid with pure gold, with a crown of gold running around its upper outer edge. On it the show-bread was always kept before the Lord, being changed by the priests every Sabbath. There were twelve loaves, representing the twelve tribes of the children of Israel, and when the fresh loaves were placed upon the table on the Sabbath, the old were not to be removed from the sanctuary, but were to be eaten by the priests in the holy place.STTHD 124.1

    The third object in the holy place was the altar of incense, which stood in the center laterally, and nearer to the inner vail. It was a foot and a half square, and three feet in height, made like the table of shittim wood, or acacia, and overlaid with gold. It was for the purpose of burning incense before the Lord at morning and evening when the high priest dressed and trimmed the lamps of the sanctuary. Exodus 30:1-8.STTHD 124.2

    In the most holy place there were likewise three things worthy of notice: the golden censer, the ark, and the mercy-seat.STTHD 125.1

    First, the censer. This was an instrument held in the hand of the priest, and used for burning incense from place to place. According to various authors there were different kinds, sometimes suspended by chains, or borne by a handle, some of silver, some of gold, but particularly one of fine gold which was used only on the day of atonement, and was probably always kept, when not in use, in the most holy place, and hence is spoken of as pertaining to that apartment.STTHD 125.2

    Second, the ark. This was a coffer or chest of precious wood overlaid within and without with the purest gold, two cubits and a half, or three feet nine inches, in length, and a cubit and a half, or two feet and three inches, in width and height. In this ark were sacredly deposited the two tables of stone containing God’s ten commandments. It was made expressly for this purpose, and hence was called the ark of the covenant, and the ark of the testament, the ten commandments being God’s covenant, and the basis of the mutual covenant called in the New Testament the first or old covenant, which was made between God and Israel. The ark, with the mercy-seat, was the most sacred object connected with that system of worship.STTHD 125.3

    Third, the mercy-seat. This was simply the cover or lid of the ark; but it was a magnificent and costly piece of workmanship. It was beaten out of one solid piece of gold of the same length and width as the ark, and two cherubim were made, one standing on each end, beaten out of the same piece of gold. These cherubim were made looking reverently down upon the mercy-seat, and covering it with their wings, which were spread aloft and touched each other midway, above it.STTHD 126.1

    A correct view of the mercy-seat would correct what seems to be a very common misapprehension in relation to the position and work of the high priest. We often hear the expression that Christ is still upon the mercy-seat. There is no mercy-seat but the cover of the ark; and Christ is our great High Priest; but the high priest never took his seat upon the ark. The mercy-seat was not the seat of the high priest. It would have been entirely out of place for the high priest to sit down upon the ark. But the cover of that ark was called the mercy-seat because there mercy had its seat. Beneath it was the law, and upon it was sprinkled the blood of sacrifice which satisfied the claims of the law, and let the sinner free. Hence, here was the focal point where mercy appeared. As the psalmist expresses it, here “mercy and truth met together, and righteousness and peace kissed each other.” Psalm 85:10.STTHD 126.2

    It was in this consecrated spot, between the cherubim over the mercy-seat, that the holy shekinah of God’s presence was manifested, and from whence he usually communicated with his people.STTHD 127.1

    For the construction of all this wonderful work God called certain ones, and qualified them by putting his Spirit upon them. The sanctuary was not therefore merely the work of men; it was the inspiration of Heaven manifested in works of art.STTHD 127.2

    How impressive must have been the scene presented by the interior of this building. There were its walls, having all the appearance of massive and solid gold, and reflecting in a thousand directions the light of the seven lamps of the golden candlestick; there were the table of show-bread and the altar of incense, glittering in its light like burnished gold; and there was the curtain that formed the gorgeous ceiling, with its mystic figures of cherubim in blue, and purple, and scarlet, adding its beauty to the brilliant scene. While in, beyond the second vail, was the glorious shekinah, or visible manifestation of God’s glory, into the awful presence of which, except the high priest’s entrance once every year, no man could venture and live.STTHD 127.3

    In the second year after Israel had departed from Egypt, in the first month, on the first day of the month, the tabernacle was reared up. And Moses spread abroad the tent over the tabernacle, and he put the testimony (the tables of the ten commandments) into the ark, and the mercy-seat upon it, and brought it into the tabernacle, and set up the vail; he placed the table of show-bread and the golden candlestick in the first apartment, and lighted the lamps before the Lord; he put the golden altar of incense before the vail, and burnt sweet incense thereon; and on the altar, before the door of the tabernacle, he offered the burnt-offering and the meat-offering as the Lord commanded. Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Exodus 40. God had now taken possession of his dwelling-place, in the midst of his people.STTHD 128.1

    We have now before us the sanctuary as Moses erected it in the wilderness of Sinai 1490 years before Christ. With its ark of the covenant, its mercy-seat, and its glorious shekinah, it constituted the heart and center of Israel’s religious worship under that typical system.STTHD 129.1

    The children of Israel being at this time in the period of their wanderings, the sanctuary as first given to them was adapted to their condition. It was, as we have seen, so constructed that it could be easily taken down and borne with them in their journeys, and immediately erected wherever the divine presence, which accompanied them in a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, should direct them to pitch their camp. Numbers 9:15-23.STTHD 129.2

    The Levites were consecrated to the service of the sanctuary, and were commanded to bear it, and all its sacred vessels, when the camp set forward. Thus it was with them during the forty years in which they journeyed in the wilderness. During this time, this building which God claimed as his dwelling-place, and where his service was performed, is fifty-six times called the sanctuary, in the following instances: Exodus 25:8; 30:13, 24; 36:1, 3, 4, 6; 38:24-27; Leviticus 4:6; 5:15; 10:4; 12:4; 16:33; 19:30; 20:3; 21:12 (twice), 23 (plural); 26:2; 27:3, 25; Numbers 3:28, 31, 32, 38, 47, 50; 4:12, 15 (twice), 16; 7:9, 13, 19, 25, 31, 37, 43, 49, 55, 61, 67, 73, 79, 85, 86; 8:19; 10:21; 18:1, 3, 5, 16; 19:20.STTHD 129.3

    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents