The Tabernacle and The Ark of the Covenant

Exo 25:8-10 And let them make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.

Exo 29:44-46  And I will sanctify the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar: I will sanctify also both Aaron and his sons, to minister to me in the priest’s office. And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God. And they shall know that I am the LORD their God, that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them: I am the LORD their God. 

The first time the word “tabernacle” appears in the Bible is in these verses above.

The word “tabernacle” in the original Hebrew is mishkân H4908 and it means: The dwelling place for His presence. It’s used 139 times in the Old Testament, not to be confused with the word ‘ôhel H168 that refers to a tent, dwelling or home.

The word “ark” in the Bible has two separate Hebrew words:

têbâh H8392=Vessel of wood, like what God told Noah to build to keep him and his family safe from the coming flood upon the Earth. Used 28 times in the Old Testament. (Genesis chapters 6-9)

‘ârôn H727=Vessel of wood, like what was made to carry the bones of Joseph out of Egypt, or the vessel Moses was instructed by God to build to represent God’s presence among mankind, containing the 2 tablets of the 10 Commandments, a golden pot of manna and Aaron’s rod that budded. It’s used 202 times in the Old Testament. (Gen 50:26, Heb 9:4)

The Tabernacle or mishkân, was built by Moses to be the dwelling place for God’s Presence among His people, which was called the Ark or ‘ârôn. Very similar to Aaron, whose family would stand before the Ark in service for an everlasting covenant of priesthood.

In this article I’m going to point out the importance of the symbolism of the Tabernacle of Moses and the Ark of the Covenant (Testimony), as well as show you that there are 4 separate Arks mentioned in the Bible that have spiritual significance, that I believe are important for all of us to understand.

There is the ark of Noah: Which is têbâh, first time used in:

Gen 6:14  Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. Gen 6:17  And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die. 
Gen 6:18  But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee. 

The ark of Joseph: Which is ‘ârôn, first time used in:

Gen 50:25  And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence. 
Gen 50:26  So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a *coffin/ark in Egypt. The word used in this verse is ‘ârôn

The ark of Moses: Which is têbâh again

Exo 2:3  And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it
Exo 2:5  And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river’s side; and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it. 

The ark of the Covenant: Which is ‘ârôn again.

Exo 25:10  And they shall make an ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof. 

Exo 25:16  And thou shalt put into the ark, the testimony which I shall give thee. 

Exo 25:21  And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. 
Exo 25:22  And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel. 

*Okay, I know that was a lot of scripture, but it’s essential. I believe when you are discussing the Bible, the main focus should be the Scriptures themselves, not paragraphs and paragraphs of your own ideas. I’m trying to prepare bread without “yeast” for the readers, so that means, much less of my extrapolations and more Bible than babble (babel) if you get what I mean?

Alright now, back on topic. Notice that from Genesis through Exodus the word “ark” is used in a sequence of têbâh,‘ârôn, têbâh,‘ârôn. Noah’s ark is têbâh, Joseph’s ark is ‘ârôn. Moses’ ark is têbâh, and the ark of covenant is ‘ârôn.

Noah’s Ark, was a vessel created to protect Noah and his family from the wrath of God coming upon the Earth, and to keep safe the seeds of humanity as well as animals, for repopulation.

Joseph’s Ark was a vessel created to house and carry Joseph’s bones. (representing his presence, and him departing Egypt with the children of Israel and entering into the Promised Land, fulfilling God’s promise to Abraham and his seed.

Moses’ Ark was a vessel made to protect Moses from the wrath of Pharaoh, and his decree to have all the male Hebrew children killed in Egypt.

The Ark of the Covenant was created to house and carry the presence of God among His people, with items that brought the children of God into remembrance of all He said and did while in the desert. *Remember the Holy Spirit is given to us to bring to our remembrance ALL that HE has said.

So the use of the word “ark” goes from representing God’s protection and redemption to His presence two times in just the first two books of the Bible, Genesis and Exodus and with enormous symbolism might I add.

Noah’s ark was for the protection and redemption of all mankind. To redeem the seed of Seth.

Joseph’s ark was for bringing the bones of the patriarch into the Promised Land.

This ark represented the presence of God in their midst, because it held the remains of the last heir of God’s promise to Abraham. Joseph had prophesied to the children of Israel before he died that God would surely visit them during their exodus from Egypt to the Promised Land, and that they would take his bones with them when they entered into that Promise. So carrying Joseph’s bones was like carrying a reassurance and reminder of the promise of God, through Joseph’s prophecy that God would visit them in the desert and see that they inherited and inhabited the land He promised them. So, until the tabernacle and the ark are created by Moses at the instruction of God later on in the book of Exodus; This was the closest thing the children of Israel had to the presence of God. This was the pre-Moses ark of God’s presence and covenant.

Moses’ first ark was for protection from death concerning the decree of Pharaoh to kill all the Hebrew boys in Egypt under a certain age, and to preserve the seed of Seth through the seed of Levi, the priests, that will later be chosen to serve the ark of the covenant for an everlasting covenant. Very similar to what God did with the first ark of Noah’s, in the redemption and preserving of seed. It was also similar to Noah’s in that it delivered Moses into a whole new world living as an Egyptian, and a prince of Egypt.

The Ark of the Covenant was the God instructed and Moses constructed dwelling place for God’s personal presence among the children of Israel. Once Moses created the ark in the wilderness, and it could be seen among the children of Israel, they soon learned that His Presence (the Ark) WAS their protection.

WE are the New Covenant’s Ark of the Testimony, OUR witness and Testimony for Christ IS the Ark of Our Covenant, That New Covenant sealed and paid for by Christ’s precious blood.

Your Ark can serve as just a protection from death, or it can be a vessel for the actual dwelling place of God among His people. It’s OUR choice. His Holy Spirit that seals us for the day of redemption, and ingrafts us into the very Body of Christ, is our own personal Urim and Thummim that the Priests of God would carry close to their hearts as part of the Breastplate of Judgment.

Exodus 28:30 “And place the Urim and Thummim in the breastpiece of judgment, so that they will also be over Aaron’s heart whenever he comes before the LORD. Aaron will continually carry the judgments for the sons of Israel over his heart before the LORD.”

The Sons of Aaron of the Tribe of Levi would have to consult the Urim and Thummim if a matter was too difficult to obviously discern right from wrong, good from evil or simple answers like Yes or No. The Priests had to do this because as of YET, the guidance and counsel of the Holy Spirit had not been given in full measure to mankind. It wasn’t until the curtain was rent in the Temple from top to bottom, opening up that connection to the Most Holy Place where His presence dwells among His people; that men could purely hear the council of the Lord within their hearts, without ritual assistance.

The Book of Hebrew tells us that the Tabernacle and every detail of its construction, was all symbolism and shadows of how things operate in the Heavenly realms.

Heb 8:5 “The place where they serve is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”

So each of us should look at our lives in Christ like it is Our Tabernacle, Our Tent of Meeting, and Our own Testimony of Witness for Christ as OUR Ark of the Covenant that we’ve made with HIM, and keep it in Our most Holy Place, where His Presence dwells. We are the Priests that serve at THIS tabernacle with the Holy Spirit within our hearts to execute righteous judgments on behalf of God among His people that dwell in the tent of THAT tabernacle.

The observance of Succoth or The Feast of Tabernacles is demonstrating everything I have just broken down for you in this article. It is a celebration where the Children of Israel reenact when they had to live in tents/tabernacles in the wilderness. Each person with their OWN tabernacle unto God, serving as priest of their household with only the SKY to be seen from that tent to represent the The Most High God that they are praying to and worshipping.

I pray this article has you re-evaluating what type of Ark you want to be, and what your current Tabernacle looks like before the Father?

Be Free, Set Free and Stay Free in Jesus Name!

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