Beth Elohim Messianic Synagogue
Parashah #19: T’rumah (Contributions) Sh’mot (Exodus) 25:1-27:19
Haftarah: M’lakhim Alef (1 Kings) 5:26-6:13
B’rit Chadashah: Hebrews: 8:1-6
The sanctuary is to be the place where G-d abides with Israel and issues His instructions. It is also to be the place where sacrificial worship takes place. The benefit is for Israel who will have a central place for worship and sacrifice; sacrifices that are not offered to “feed the gods” as was done in polytheistic temples. Comparing the sanctuary to Mount Sinai, we can see that there are three carefully determined areas of holiness that descend in importance and holiness. The Holy of Holies is the most restricted and holy where the Ark and Tablets of the Covenant are kept, its Holy Place which is its antechamber and both of which are inside the Tent of meeting. Next is the Tabernacle proper, then the surrounding courtyard. Those who are not priests are admitted to the courtyard. The Holy Place is accessible only to the priests and Moshe, then only on the day of Atonement. It is not known whether Moshe was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies, but scripture does not favor this as Moshe was not a High Priest. In all cases, only the ritually pure had access (Lev. 12:4; Num. 5:3; 2 Chron. 23:19). These restrictions served to protect the Ark, where G-d’s Presence is situated above, and the Tabernacle will remain fit for His Presence (Lev. 15:31;20:3). The holy things and the priestly vestments also reflect the levels of holiness. All the furniture in the Tent of Meeting is made of Gold or wood overlaid with gold. The laver and the altar outside in the courtyard are overlaid with bronze or made with bronze. The covering for the Tent of Meeting is made of finely twisted linen and blue, purple, and crimson yarns. Let us reflect for a moment on Yahshua and the colors blue, purple and crimson.
Blue spiritually signifies the healing power of G-d. It also represents the Word of G-d. The 15th chapter of Numbers (38-41) denote this biblical meaning of blue (the blue thread included in the tzitzit). Forty -nine times the Bible mentions a perfect, pure blue, so magnificent that it was all but impossible to describe. Also refer back to Exodus 24:10 that describes something likened to sapphire pavement beneath the feet of G-d. If we look at the kapporet (cover) in the throne room, we see that it doubles for the footstool of G-d’s throne and a seal for the top of the Ark.
Purple represents royalty, wisdom, high prestige ,and majesty. It was included in the colors worn by the High Priest. As Messianic believers, we know Yahshua will exemplify the culmination of these meanings associated with the color purple as our High Priest and King. The hidden prophecy found in the coverings, furniture, and other holy things associated with the Tabernacle will be made clear to the world when He returns. For now, this knowledge and wisdom is only given to those who keep seeking, asking, and knocking.
Crimson is associated with the blood of our Messiah; the kappor (covering) for our past sins and forgiveness for future sins IF we repent with a humble and sincere heart.
The layers of fabric laid over the previous combination are made of less precious fabrics although still of spiritual significance. The outer vestments of Aharon who ministers inside the Tent are made of gold thread, blue, purple, and crimson yarns and fine twisted linen, just as the cover over the Tent of Meeting. The garments of the other priests who were restricted to ministering in the courtyard were made mostly of linen. So, we can see a tight correlation between the material and the physical construction of the Tabernacle; that of G-d/Yahshua’s relationship to man, and the relationship between the High Priest and others to the Israelites who later come to include all true believers who love G-d’s Torah and follow its instructions. Remember, the Word is G-d> Yahshua is G-d therefore The Word=G-d=Yahshua. The construction of the Tabernacle, all of the associated holy things, and the priestly garments point to this fact that will be revealed to all upon Yahshua’s return.
The Tabernacle was to be built entirely of voluntary specified gifts of the people. Specific gifts from only those who had a heart for G-d; a willingness to be a part of the Tabernacle’s construction. This concept has not changed. Just as in our parashah and in 2 Cor. 9:7 we are admonished to make our offerings out of love and not with resentment or an otherwise impure heart.
The people who contributed to the building of the Tabernacle were no longer building something for Pharaoh. The privlege of building something for G-d makes the soul rejoice in the freedom G-d’s children have in Him. But the offerings had and today in the name of G-d must be offered in such a way that the only motivation is to glorify G-d and not for any other reason.
The Sanctuary is referred to by three different names, each describing different aspects; “mikdash” (“sanctuary’),lit. “holy place,” “sanctum,” referring to its sacred dimension; “mishkan” (“Tabernacle”), lit. “abode” referring to it as G-d’s dwelling (v.9 and frequently); and “ohel mo’ed” (“Tent of Meeting”), referring to it as an oracle site, the place where G-d would communicate with Moshe ( 29:42-43:30:6; 36.). “Sanctuary” refers to the entire compound including the covered structure and the surrounding courtyard. “Tabernacle” and “Tent of meeting” sometimes refers to the entire compound but sometimes only the covered structure (26:1;27:19) that reads “ That I may dwell among them,” rather “that I may abide among them.” The same verb that is used in 24:16 and the Hebrew word for Tabernacle (mishkan)are from the same root as is “Shekhinah, “ the term used for the divine Presence according to later Jewish tradition. This is another reference to Yahshua yet to be understood by our rabbinic Jewish brethren.
Finally, The Tabernacle was not to be made according to any human architectural design. It had to conform exactly to divine specifications. One could neither then nor now approach G-d except by the ways He commands which are repeated and very clear in G-d’s Torah (instructions).
Haftarah: M’lakhim Alef (1 Kings) 5:26-6:13
This week’s haftorah describes the construction of the Holy Temple under the direction of King Solomon, echoing this week’s Torah portion which discusses the construction of the desert Tabernacle.
The haftorah discusses the manpower — both Jewish and non-Jewish — that Solomon recruited for the building of the Holy Temple. Also discussed are the hewing and transportation of the stone, the laying of the foundation, as well as the dimensions of the Holy Temple, its components and materials.
The haftorah ends with G‑d’s word to King Solomon: “This house which you are building, if you walk in My statutes, and execute My ordinances, and keep all My commandments to walk in them; then will I establish My word with you, which I spoke to David your father. And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake My people, Israel.” We cannot deny the existence and truth of G-d’s requirement to follow His ordinances and commands; this mandate is written throughout the entire Bible.
B’rit Chadashah: Hebrews 8:1-6; 9:23; 10:1
All the passages listed for this week refer to the earthly copies of the things already in heaven. That is, every detail of the Tabernacle was patterned after the heavenly Temple and associated concepts. This may explain the fastidious detail G-d demands of humans as the pattern of the heavenly Temple is copied on earth. The purification process required of Yahshua as He ascended into heaven after his death was far and above the purification process mandated and performed with earthly sacrifices. Heb. 10:1 pulls these passages together: “For the Torah has in It a shadow of the good things to come, but not the actual manifestations of the originals.” We cannot get to heaven by “toning down”, abrogating G-d’s commands and ordinances by our own authority, or re-translating G-d’s Torah into politically correct verbiage for the time. In today’s terminology Yahshua might tell those such as Nadav and Avihu who tried to worship G-d their way: “Sorry guys; the Torah is what it is; if you look at my face, you will die; I Am that I Am.” He makes this very clear in Ex. 3:14; Is. 44:6-8; and the following verses in John that I encourage you to review at your leisure. Every place where you read “I am” comes from [ego eimi]; I am that I Am:
John 4:26, John 6:20, John 8:18-19, John 8:24, John 8:28, John 8:58, John 9:9,
John 13:19, John 18:5, John 18:6, John 18:8.
I think the above references suffice to demonstrate that only One is qualified to instruct humans on construction of a heavenly likeness of that in heaven and that every detail has significance. Let us not forget this truth as we continue our spiritual walk. There are no shortcuts. Matthew 7:13-14 validates this statement: “Go in through the narrow gate; for the gate that leads to destruction is wide and the road broad, and many travel it; but it is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Let us not skip the details; the Blueprint is perfect as originally written.
Rabbi Tamah Davis-Hart