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The Tabernacle

Bible overview
Clip art of the tabernacle and its furnishings.
Contributed by Ian & Sue Coate
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The Tabernacle. – Slide 1
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The first item in the tabernacle courtyard was the altar. It was wood covered with brass (or copper at that time). It was a perfect square with horns on each of the 4 corners. It was where the blood sacrifices of clean lambs and goats would be offered in the heat of fire to God for atonement (the covering and forgiveness of sins) (Exodus 27:1-8, Leviticus 17:11). – Slide 2
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The second piece of furniture was a washing basin for the priests called the laver – place of washing. It came after the altar of sacrifice and before the entrance to the sanctuary. It was made of polished copper. The priests had to daily wash their hands and feet from dirt and contamination before they worshipped God at the altar or entered the sanctuary to serve. One had to be clean to serve. (Exodus 30:18-21). – Slide 3
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In the Holy Place, on the north side, directly opposite the lampstand, stood the table of showbread. Twelve loaves of bread were set on it once a week. During the week the bread was to be displayed before God. On the Sabbath the priests were to eat it. Thus God and man shared the same table together in fellowship of the same bread. – Slide 4
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The third and last piece of furniture in the Holy Place was the altar of incense with its four horns. This stood by the veil, which separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies. This altar was for one purpose only: to burn incense, not sacrifice. The incense was a special God-prescribed formula, which sent out a rich fragrant smoke when the priest lit it at morning and evening. – Slide 5
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On the south side of the holy place stood the pure golden lampstand. The gold was formed into the shape of an almond tree in the full bloom of life by beating or hammering. It had six  branches with a central shaft or trunk. They were designed to hold seven bowls filled with olive oil to provide light. The light was continual and was never to go out. – Slide 6
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The Ark was a chest made out of wood covered with gold and sporting a crown border like the table and incense altar. It rested in the holiest place where the presence of God dwelt.  <br/>The chest contained the two tablets of the Ten Commandments, a golden pot of manna and Aarons rod that budded. – Slide 7
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The Mercy Seat was the cover of the ark. It was solid gold beaten into winged cherubim; one at each end looking down where God’s presence was. – Slide 8
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Once a year, the High Priest went in to the Holy of Holies with sacrificial blood from the brazen altar to sprinkle it on the mercy seat to obtain forgiveness of sins of the people. (Psalm 40:6-10, John 6:51, Hebrews 4:14). – Slide 9
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Slide 10