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40. Setting Up the Tabernacle

And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 2On the first day of the first month shalt thou set up the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation. 3And thou shalt put therein the ark of the testimony, and cover the ark with the vail. 4And thou shalt bring in the table, and set in order the things that are to be set in order upon it; and thou shalt bring in the candlestick, and light the lamps thereof. 5And thou shalt set the altar of gold for the incense before the ark of the testimony, and put the hanging of the door to the tabernacle. 6And thou shalt set the altar of the burnt offering before the door of the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation. 7And thou shalt set the laver between the tent of the congregation and the altar, and shalt put water therein. 8And thou shalt set up the court round about, and hang up the hanging at the court gate. 9And thou shalt take the anointing oil, and anoint the tabernacle, and all that is therein, and shalt hallow it, and all the vessels thereof: and it shall be holy. 10And thou shalt anoint the altar of the burnt offering, and all his vessels, and sanctify the altar: and it shall be an altar most holy. 11And thou shalt anoint the laver and his foot, and sanctify it. 12And thou shalt bring Aaron and his sons unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and wash them with water. 13And thou shalt put upon Aaron the holy garments, and anoint him, and sanctify him; that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office. 14And thou shalt bring his sons, and clothe them with coats: 15And thou shalt anoint them, as thou didst anoint their father, that they may minister unto me in the priest’s office: for their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations. 16Thus did Moses: according to all that the Lord commanded him, so did he.

17And it came to pass in the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month, that the tabernacle was reared up. 18And Moses reared up the tabernacle, and fastened his sockets, and set up the boards thereof, and put in the bars thereof, and reared up his pillars. 19And he spread abroad the tent over the tabernacle, and put the covering of the tent above upon it; as the Lord commanded Moses.

20And he took and put the testimony into the ark, and set the staves on the ark, and put the mercy seat above upon the ark: 21And he brought the ark into the tabernacle, and set up the vail of the covering, and covered the ark of the testimony; as the Lord commanded Moses.

22And he put the table in the tent of the congregation, upon the side of the tabernacle northward, without the vail. 23And he set the bread in order upon it before the Lord; as the Lord had commanded Moses.

24And he put the candlestick in the tent of the congregation, over against the table, on the side of the tabernacle southward. 25And he lighted the lamps before the Lord; as the Lord commanded Moses.

26And he put the golden altar in the tent of the congregation before the vail: 27And he burnt sweet incense thereon; as the Lord commanded Moses.

28And he set up the hanging at the door of the tabernacle. 29And he put the altar of burnt offering by the door of the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation, and offered upon it the burnt offering and the meat offering; as the Lord commanded Moses.

30And he set the laver between the tent of the congregation and the altar, and put water there, to wash withal. 31And Moses and Aaron and his sons washed their hands and their feet thereat: 32When they went into the tent of the congregation, and when they came near unto the altar, they washed; as the Lord commanded Moses. 33And he reared up the court round about the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the hanging of the court gate. So Moses finished the work.

34Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 36And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys: 37But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up. 38For the cloud of the Lord was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.

9. And thou shalt take the anointing oil There was by no means any virtue or efficacy for sanctification in the oil, except in so far as it was a type of the Spirit, from whom as its only source all holiness emanates. Assuredly the oil, as being a corruptible fluid, neither penetrates into the soul, nor would by itself at all avail unto spiritual service. It appears, however, from many pnssages of Scripture, that it was a symbol of all the gifts of the Holy Spirit. This figure, therefore, clearly shews that nothing pleases God, that nothing is pure or holy in His sight, except what has been purged, and duly consecrated by the influence and grace of the Holy Spirit. Moreover, God would have all the vessels of the sanctuary set apart by this sacred anointing from common use, in order that the Israelites might distinguish between things sacred and profane, and thus that God’s service might receive its due reverence, so that none should intrude the pollutions of the flesh into that place, the purity of which had been signalized by that sacred symbol. A question, however, here arises why he dignifies the altar of burnt-offering with a more exalted title; for, after having called the tabernacle itself with its vessels simply holy, He calls the altar “holy of holies,” which I have rendered sacrosanctum. I doubt not but that it acquired this name from the sacrifices, which are also so called on account of the expiation made by them, 397397     See on Leviticus 6:25, ante, vol. 2, p. 366. as we have seen elsewhere. The children of Israel, therefore, were instructed that God is truly reconciled by holocausts and burnt-offerings, since “the holiness of holinesses” resided on the altar itself.


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