God's Instructions for Building the Tabernacle

By Pearl Lewis
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"Building to code" takes on new meaning when God assumes the roles of architect and construction manager on the building project. Believers accept that God designed the tabernacle as a simple, yet luxuriously decorated, tent structure where the Israelite people, under the leadership of Moses, could worship. This sanctuary, rich in symbolism, housed the law given by God. To ensure the integrity of the symbolism, believers think that God gave Moses the architectural design for the tabernacle and provided detailed instructions on what building materials to use and how to use them.

Tent Covering

Make the first layer of the tent covering from two sets of embroidered linen curtains, joined with gold clasps, and each comprising five curtains 42 feet long and six feet wide.

Make the second layer from two sets of goat hair curtains, joined with bronze clasps. Construct one set from five individual curtains, and the other from six, each measuring 45 feet in length and six feet in width. Position the six-curtain set so that half the extra curtain hangs over the tabernacle entrance, while the other half covers the back wall.

Make the third layer from ram skins dyed red.

Make the fourth waterproof layer from dugong skins.

Tent Frame

Build the walls of the tabernacle from gold-coated acacia wood boards, measuring 15 feet in length and 2.25 feet in width. Use 20 boards for the south wall, 20 for the north and six for the west wall. Fit two boards, doubled over, at the rear corners.

Make the floor from silver bases. Use 40 bases on the south side, 40 on the north side and 16 on the west side of the tabernacle.

Make a frame of acacia wood crossbars that is stabilized in the middle, with five crossbars supporting the south wall, five supporting the north wall and five supporting the west wall.

Doorways and Furniture

Create a separation between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place using an embroidered linen curtain. Hang the curtain parallel to, and 15 feet from, the west wall using gold hooks attached to four gold-coated acacia posts, supported by four silver bases.

Furnish the tabernacle with the ark, table and candlestick.

Cover the tabernacle entrance with a plain linen curtain. Hang the curtain using gold hooks from five gold-coated acacia posts, supported by five bronze bases.

About the Author

Pearl Lewis has authored scientific papers for journals such as "Physica Status Solidi," "Materials Science and Engineering" and "Thin Solid Films" since 1994. She also writes an education blog entitled Simple Science in Everyday Life. She holds a doctorate from University of Port Elizabeth.