BIBLE STUDY SERIES #158, 159 and 160

27 November, 1994

RED WHITE AND BLUE

By Douglas C. Nesbit, B.A.

Our present series of Bible Studies is leading us through the Scriptures recorded in Genesis and Exodus as part of our approach to an understanding of The Great Plan of Almighty God for the restitution of His Creation to accord with His Own ultimate purposes.

We had followed the unfolding of this plan from the call of Abram to the Exodus and the Sinai covenant. Presently we are examining various aspects of that most symbolic tent, called The Tabernacle and the furniture contained therein. Last week we began our examination of the actual Tabernacle curtains with a reading taken from the first part of Exodus 26, and as I left for today a more detailed study of the colours chosen for the curtains and some thoughts which arise as we review these colours, we ought, perhaps, to read again the first verse of that Chapter. Exodus 26:1 states:

1. Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work shalt thou make them.

The colours are, then, White, Blue, and Scarlet Red, together with Purple (and Gold); the official colours chosen for this symbolic tent of meeting between God and His Nation of Israel. These same colours are to appear in the garments of the High Priest. Nothing mentioned in this description by Our Lord is thrown together with indifference or by chance. Every colour has a particular meaning attached to it, and these specific meanings can be determined as we continue to read our Scriptures.

As I have stated before, the purple and the gold attachments which closed the curtains to one another indicated the presence of deity within, and these are even today, a mark indicating the presence of royalty. But for a few moments, I want to concentrate on the remaining colours, Red, White and Blue.

Scarlet, or Red, is found in a number of Scriptures, and if we survey these we will soon come to some appreciation of the meaning to be assigned thereto. In Genesis 38, you may remember, Tamar, Judah's daughter-in-law had obtained seed of that Patriarch, and when the resulting twins, Zarah and Pharez, were being born, Zarah thrust out his hand to which the midwife tied a scarlet thread marking and signifying the hand of the firstborn. It was withdrawn, and Pharez was born first. This may give one aspect of significance to that colour as Our Saviour was born into the Tribe of Judah and was predestined to become the firstborn among many brethren (Romans 8:29) by His Sacrificial death on Calvary.

In Leviticus 14, scarlet is listed along with a sacrifice which was associated with cedar wood and hyssop in a ritual of cleansing. This draws our minds to think of the Blood of the Passover Lambs into which blood the hyssop was dipped, and then struck upon the doorposts and lintels of Israelite homes, that the angel of death might pass over them.

In Joshua 2:18-21, we find that a scarlet cord was used to save Israelite spies by letting them down through a window, and then bound in that window to mark the house within which the family was to be saved from destruction.

Sacrifice and Salvation are the common denominator here. The Wooden Cross on Calvary, when made red by the Blood of Christ, marks the culminating Sacrifice to which all such preliminary events pointed, and it alone fulfills the requirements of Eternal Sacrifice. Red is thus a symbol of Salvation by Sacrifice.

Regarding White, Psalm 51:7 says "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." Revelation 7:14 speaks of those who, having come out of great tribulation, "have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." Thus White is a symbol for purity.

The meaning of the blue colour, can be seen in Numbers 15:38-40. Those verses read thus: "Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye used to go a whoring: That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God." Blue, then, is there associated with the keeping of God's Law. It is the colour representation of Heaven, in which that Law is kept.

The selection of these specific colours is of great importance. Fine twined linen would be white, while the colours of blue and scarlet are also required to be present in the tapestry fabric. Down through Israel's history, and even into this present day, these same colours, Red, White and Blue have held a prominent place as colour-symbols of the nation of Israel.

It is therefore not surprising that we find them so among the present-day descendants of these tribes, whom we, of the British-Israel-World Federation, hold to be present in many nations which have attachments to North-West Europe and the British Isles, including the United States of America. Wherever descendants of Israel are congregated today, we generally find these same colours prominent in their heraldry and flags. Where fewer of Israel are present, we may find that only one or two of the colours are in evidence.

These same colours, indeed, form one of the marks by which Israel can be traced down to the present time, wherever they may have migrated, and however much they seem to have lost national memory of their identity. Indeed, they may also have been traditional among the ancestors of the Adamic peoples pre-dating the time of Abraham, and thus the choice of red, white and blue for the Tabernacle colours may simply have confirmed a long held prophetic tradition among Israel's ancestors of Adamic stock, and thus they might not have been a new innovation in the Exodus instructions which we have just read.

Even where apparently divergent races of people use the colours of red, white and blue, we sometimes discover surprising evidence which might indicate that there has been, at some time in the history of that people, some Israelite influence or connection.

Archaeologists, for example, have in recent years been uncovering the graves of people who may be characterised as North-west European or Scandinavian racial types, within, or very close to, the border areas of China. In "The Mail On Sunday" for March 20, 1994, an article is presented under the headline "4,000 years old: The White Tribe of China." The article relates that "a sophisticated and advanced tribe" of people of Scandinavian racial type, having "blond hair, long noses and big eyes", had occupied a site in Xinjiang Province, "on the southern border of Xinjiang's Taklimakan Desert" within Western China before recorded history. Red and blue are the two colours used to decorate the otherwise dull browns of the clothing which was worn by a child and a "blond, well dressed man who died 3,000 years ago" as observed in coloured photographs which illustrate the article.

An article in the October, 1994 National Geographic Magazine describes another such burial site inside Russia on the Russian-Chinese border which includes some beautiful artistry of rams heads in carved cedar, linked to a horse bridle, and a felt saddle cover displaying two winged lions. I was interested to find therein another photographic illustration showing the tattoos on the skin of the lady in the grave who, from the remains, is described as "an important person". The wrist skin shows "flourishes of a deer", and the shoulder a so-called "mythical creature... in a style similar to that of the Scythians, a powerful people from the Black Sea region", which I would at once take to be a stag. The stag is the male and the hind the female deer.

Taken together, these speak to me of the symbol of the Tribe of Naphtali, namely, "a hind let loose" (Genesis 49:21), and certainly, that prophetic insignia was to characterise the descendants of Naphtali in the same manner as the Unicorn supporting the British Royal Arms wears its crown about its neck like a collar to which is attached a chain leash which has been broken. This latter is a symbol designating "A Royal People, Taken Captive And Broken Free"!

In his recent book, entitled "The Tribes", Yair Davidy, an Israeli researcher, has, as it happens, come to a parallel conclusion by a completely different approach, using various Rabbinic and historic sources including those of the National Library in Jerusalem to trace segments of the Tribe of Naphtali to the areas of those archaeological burial sites to which I have just made reference. As it happens, his independent and very detailed investigations likewise track most portions of Israel's descendants towards North-West Europe, in a manner consistent with our own thesis.

But let us ask a question. How might these burials, which have so recently been excavated, have come to be so located? Assyria deported the entire nation of Northern Israel about 721 B.C., and placed them in the far northern fringe of the area which Assyria sought to dominate, and which faced the Caucasus Mountains. Thus dispersed Israelites of the deported Northern tribes of Israel were left no option if they were to find open spaces for their increasing multitudes, but to scatter throughout the relatively less-inhabited portions of Asia lying north of the Caucasus Mountains.

Indeed, Esdras 13:39-45 indicates this migration of Israel to have taken place in a direction which must have taken them northward because they were stated to have passed through the "narrow passages of the river" (Euphrates), that is to say, the headwater streams. Those rushing Euphrates headwaters course in a direction running from east to west amidst the highlands, and they would therefore lie across the path of this Israelite migration, in a position to force such a crossing, only if those migrating Israelites were to move northwards from "Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes" as shown in II Kings 16:6, their last Biblically stated positions, and onward through the passes which cleft the Caucasus Mountain region.

This path of migration would also be consistent with the later report by Josephus, in his "Antiquities", (written in A.D. 93/4 according to The Oxford Classical Dictionary, Second Edition, item "Josephus"). Josephus states "there are but two tribes in Asia and Europe subject to the Romans, while the ten tribes are beyond Euphrates till now, and are an immense multitude, and not to be estimated by number" (Antiquities Book XI, Chapter V, Section 2). As Rome was actively spreading its dominance throughout the area of Syria and Persia this would definitely establish the movement of those Israelitish tribesmen in a direction away from that expanding perimeter and thus into the steppelands north of the Caucasus. Rome held Pontus, Cappadocia and Syria along with Judaea by the time that Josephus wrote those words and it was on its way toward conquest of Armenia and Mesopotamia within a generation. By the Third Century A.D., the Atlas of Ancient and Classical Geography marks the area of Media as a Roman area of influence, (although, admittedly, Rome's extended reach in that direction was tenuous if the maps found in the Atlas of the Classical World by Nelson be likewise consulted.)

As our time has gone for today, let us meditate upon the wonderful fact that God's promises have unfolded nationally and racially for the many descendants of ancient Israel in spite of their lack of awareness as history unfolded. God will in continuance complete all His mighty purposes in short order when His time arrives. Let us rest our assurance in the prospects!

4 December, 1994

TABERNACLE BOARDS - PART I

By Douglas C. Nesbit, B.A.

We have been studying God's Great Plan for the reconstitution of His Creation to accord with His ultimate purposes. We began the present series with God's call to Abram, and we have followed it through the lives of Isaac, Jacob (renamed Israel), and Israel's sons and their tribes, through the experience of Egyptian bondage and, later, the Exodus from Egypt and the Wilderness journey to the foot of Mount Sinai. Here the whole nation made an agreement with The Almighty God, whereby, in a national sense, the nation became married to Him. A Tabernacle is to be constructed, as a focus of worship.

To this end, instructions have been given regarding the highly symbolic pattern to be followed in creating the Ark of The Covenant, with its covering Mercy Seat, the Table of Shewbread with the loaves representing the twelve Tribes of Israel and the Menorah or seven-branched lampstand. The curtains were described, and now we have come to the matter of The Boards which form the structural framework of the tent. Let us read the passage in which the detailed description of the acacia wood boards is given. The term used for acacia wood in the Bible is "shittim wood". We are reading the Scripture passage starting at Exodus 26:15.

15. And thou shalt make boards for the tabernacle of shittim wood standing up.
16. Ten cubits shall be the length of a board, and a cubit and a half shall be the breadth of one board.
17. Two tenons shall there be in one board, set in order one against another: thus shalt thou make for all the boards of the tabernacle.
18. And thou shalt make the boards for the tabernacle, twenty boards on the south side southward.
19. And thou shalt make forty sockets of silver under the twenty boards; two sockets under one board for his two tenons, and two sockets under another board for his two tenons.
20. And for the second side of the tabernacle on the north side there shall be twenty boards:
21. And their forty sockets of silver; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board.
22. And for the sides of the tabernacle westward thou shalt make six boards.
23. And two boards shalt thou make for the corners of the tabernacle in the two sides.

The description does not end here, but before we go further with this reading, I ought, perhaps, to interject a few comments. As we have previously pointed out, no detail contained in Holy Writ is without significance, and a careful consideration of every verse can bring to our attention some beneficial or uplifting thought or amplification to our understanding.

The Companion Bible explains, regarding the Tabernacle, that "there are seventeen Heb. words translated 'side', important in this technical description." Thus subtle shades of meaning are scattered throughout the description which may be lost in the translation. For example, that word, "side", found in verse 18 means "region", while in verse 20, "side" means "rib", and in verse 22, "sides" means "hinder side."

The boards, 10 cubits by 1 1/2 cubits, would according to the New Bible Commentary, each be 15 feet in length, and 2 1/4 feet wide. The New Bible Dictionary item "Tabernacle" mentions the view that each board was, in fact, not a solid plank, but a frame consisting of two upright members joined by cross-rails, making it something like a ladder, which would be much lighter for transport and which would also permit those inside to see the beautiful tapestry curtains which were upheld by the frame. A. Widdison estimates the thickness of the boards at half a cubit from the dimensions of the curtains. Pastor B. Maureen Gaglardi, in her "The Path Of The Just - Volume I", on the other hand, gives substantial symbolic spiritual reasons for holding to the view that solid planks, although heavier, were indeed used. The West end was formed of six full boards and two described as "corners." These might possibly have been overlapping reinforcements at the corners, as the New Bible Commentary suggests, but Pastor Gaglardi provides a solution to the problem wherein these particular boards, (being, like the other boards, of solid wood 1/4 cubit in thickness), might have been mitred like the corner of a picture frame with a portion cut out of the middle of the inner side, and thus presented two angled segments each measuring half a cubit in width on the inside of the structure and 3/4 of a cubit on the exterior. Her explanation, allowing for the thickness of the interior veil and its supports, would provide the interior area which the scriptures demand, of ten cubits square for the Holy of Holies and twenty by ten for the Holy Place. As the exact measurements hold symbolic meanings, precision in the plan of the structure is to be expected in such details. Keil and Delitzsch provided the same solution.

The word translated "tenon", in Hebrew, is the word "yad", meaning "hands." That is to say, there were to be "hands" to each board, in order to join a board to its sockets, or just possibly to another board. The sockets which were to provide the foundation attachments beneath each board, were made of silver. As A. Widdison puts it, in his "Outlines of Lectures on the Tabernacle in the Wilderness", "The 'hands' laid hold upon the sockets which both secured them in, and separated them from, the wilderness." The New Bible Dictionary mentions the weight of each of these silver sockets, as a talent. It adds that "the silver for the sockets was obtained from the census tax (Ex. xxx. 11-16, xxxviii. 25-27)." A. Widdison gives the total as "five tons of silver."

The Tabernacle measurements, as we have previously noted, manifest units which are multiples of the number "five", the number which symbolises "Grace." The boards forming the West end are eight in number, which symbolically represent Christ, for that number is associated with Him as many have realised. Let us continue with the Scripture passage picking up where we left off, with verse 24 describing those corner boards.

24. And they shall be coupled together beneath, and they shall be coupled together above the head of it unto one ring: thus shall it be for them both; they shall be for the two corners.
25. And they shall be eight boards, and their sockets of silver, sixteen sockets; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board.
26. And thou shalt make bars of shittim wood; five for the boards of the one side of the tabernacle,
27. And five bars for the boards of the other side of the tabernacle, and five bars for the boards of the side of the tabernacle, for the two sides westward.
28. And the middle bar in the midst of the boards shall reach from end to end.
29. And thou shalt overlay the boards with gold, and make their rings of gold for places for the bars: and thou shalt overlay the bars with gold.
30. And thou shalt rear up the tabernacle according to the fashion thereof which was shewed thee in the mount.

So we may understand, as the New Bible Commentary explains, "All the boards were held together laterally by long bars running through rings in each board... The two sides and the back... each had five bars. The middle bar of the five ran the whole length of the side and had two shorter bars above and below it." Here again, we may suppose that Moses was shown a diagram or vision of what is set down in these words.

The symbolism of what is here described is woven into the New Testament Book of Hebrews and other Scriptures, as shown by a number of commentaries and we shall be taking a look at some of these on our next programme. For now, let me outline one line of thought. As the interior measure of the Holy Place is ten cubits high, ten wide from North to South, and twenty cubits in length from East to West, this makes a volume of two thousand cubic cubits, while the like measures within the Holy of Holies form a volume of one thousand additional cubic cubits. The Tabernacle may be taken as expressive of Christ's work, and indeed of His body of believers. There may be a symbol here of the time measure between the entry to the Tabernacle, that is to say, the start of the Christian dispensation, and the arrival at the veil, two thousand years later, preparatory to entry to the millennium with Christ's Second Advent.

Let me bring to your attention a somewhat parallel situation which occurs in Joshua 3 as the subsequent generation of Israel prepared to cross the Jordan River in order to enter The Promised Land. Verses 1-5 state:

1. And Joshua rose early in the morning; and they removed from Shittim, and came to Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over.
2. And it came to pass after three days, that the officers went through the host;
3. And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it.
4. Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near unto it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore.
5. And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the LORD will do wonders among you.

Here, the Ark of the Covenant, representing Christ himself, was to go before the rest of His people into Jordan, to prepare a way for them to follow, but they would follow about two thousand cubits behind. This, in years, would likewise represent the same number as the quantity of cubic cubits within the Holy Place before one reached the veil which must be passed if entering into the Holy of Holies. (This 2,000 cubits, incidentally, is also the length of "a sabbath day's journey.")

May I simply leave this thought with you until next week. We are even now, if my suggestion is correct, standing before a most momentous point in history and it would be prudent for all to consider the possibilities and in consequence, their wisest spiritual course. Israel, we of the British-Israel-World Federation believe to be chiefly represented today in the generally Anglo-Celto-Saxon and kindred nations of the world, and we would that all of Israel in particular would thus consider before it is too late to reach the highest prize which The Almighty offers. We shall continue this study on our next programme.

11 December, 1994

TABERNACLE BOARDS - PART II

By Douglas C. Nesbit, B.A.

We have been studying God's Great Plan for the reconstitution of His Creation to accord with His ultimate purposes. That Plan was originally in the mind of the Almighty God as the Creation was planned, for Jesus Christ, in Revelation 13:8, is described as "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." During this present course of Bible Studies, we have been following that Great Plan beginning with the Call of Abram. We had followed the line of his descendants as Jacob (renamed Israel), and his family, entered Egypt under the care of Joseph to escape a famine, and later as that expanding clan had fallen to a state of bondage under a new pharaoh; "a new king over Egypt which knew not Joseph", as Exodus 1:8 puts it.

The series of Plagues upon those who held the children of Israel in that bondage, and the resulting Exodus had followed. More recently now, in the Sinai Wilderness, the children of Israel have gathered at the foot of Mount Sinai to make a national agreement with The Almighty God, Who is known to them and their subsequent generations by the name "Yahweh."

In order to provide a national focus through which to teach the deep truths of God's Great Plan of Redemption of His people, and Salvation to all who are called and who respond to that call, The Almighty is giving specific and detailed directions to Moses regarding the provision of a portable tent and its curtains and furnishings, a sanctuary and focus of national worship, called The Tabernacle wherein He would receive and meet with the representative leader of His people, who, in later generations, was to be the High Priest.

We have been studying the symbolism displayed in the Ark of the Covenant, the Table of Shewbread, the Menorah lampstand, and the Curtains of the Tabernacle. On our last programme, we had made a preliminary survey of the shittim wood (acacia wood) boards and the silver sockets, two to a board, beneath these, all of which supported the tent. Perhaps we might briefly review the chief Scripture passage involved, Exodus 26:15-30.

15. And thou shalt make boards for the tabernacle of shittim wood standing up.
16. Ten cubits shall be the length of a board, and a cubit and a half shall be the breadth of one board.
17. Two tenons shall there be in one board, set in order one against another: thus shalt thou make for all the boards of the tabernacle.
18. And thou shalt make the boards for the tabernacle, twenty boards on the south side southward.
19. And thou shalt make forty sockets of silver under the twenty boards; two sockets under one board for his two tenons, and two sockets under another board for his two tenons.
20. And for the second side of the tabernacle on the north side there shall be twenty boards:
21. And their forty sockets of silver; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board.
22. And for the sides of the tabernacle westward thou shalt make six boards.
23. And two boards shalt thou make for the corners of the tabernacle in the two sides.
24. And they shall be coupled together beneath, and they shall be coupled together above the head of it unto one ring: thus shall it be for them both; they shall be for the two corners.
25. And they shall be eight boards, and their sockets of silver, sixteen sockets; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board.
26. And thou shalt make bars of shittim wood; five for the boards of the one side of the tabernacle,
27. And five bars for the boards of the other side of the tabernacle, and five bars for the boards of the side of the tabernacle, for the two sides westward.
28. And the middle bar in the midst of the boards shall reach from end to end.
29. And thou shalt overlay the boards with gold, and make their rings of gold for places for the bars: and thou shalt overlay the bars with gold.
30. And thou shalt rear up the tabernacle according to the fashion thereof which was shewed thee in the mount.

These acacia wood boards, ten cubits high and one and a half cubits wide, were covered with gold. They stood, twenty on the North side, twenty more on the South, and six full boards on the west with, in addition, two specially formed corner boards to join these three walls together. The gold-covered boards forming the segments of each of these walls were brought into alignment and joined together by gold-covered acacia wood poles or bars which passed through gold rings attached to each of the boards. The middle bar was to run the entire length of a wall while the other four bars were to be shorter. Keil and Delitzsch say this: "As it thus expressly stated with reference to the middle bar, that it was to fasten, i.e. to reach along the walls from one end to the other, we necessarily conclude... that the other four bars on every side were not to reach the whole length of the walls, and may therefore suppose that they were only half as long as the middle one, so that there were only three rows of bars on each wall, the upper and lower being composed of two bars each." As five bars were involved in this arrangement on each of the three walls, we may again note the presence of that number five which, as elsewhere, is the symbol of Grace and this being shown three times in each of three walls, we may, in this design, find that the bars signify an association of that Grace with God, The Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

A. Widdison, in his "Outlines of Lectures on the Tabernacle in the Wilderness", says of the gold covered wood that "When wood and gold are put together in close juxtaposition they typify the humanity and deity of our Lord. Otherwise they denote divine righteousness and are applicable to the believer, as here. Concerning the amount of silver involved in the foundation sockets, of which two provided support to each board, he states: "603,550 males of twenty years and upward paid the tribute money, excluding the tribe of Levi. The redemption of the Levites was another matter. 603,550 half shekels would yield 301,775 shekels. 1,775 shekels went to make the chapiters and filleting rods of the court. Thus 300,000 shekels went to make up the sockets, a talent each, 3,000 shekels to a talent. One talent equalled 114 pounds...five tons of silver." He adds that "It should be noted that the princes of Israel gave six wagons and twelve oxen, an offering to the Lord, and these Moses gave to the Gershonites and the Merarites, for carrying the Tabernacle. But the Kohathites were to carry the vessels on their shoulders." To the Silver he assigns the symbolism of "Redemption. This we gather from the 'Atonement money.'"

Keil and Delitzsch note of the silver involved that the talent used in each socket would, in their estimation, be about 93 pounds. Whatever the amount, it was certainly a substantial quantity. Pastor B. Maureen Gaglardi, in Volume I of "The Path Of The Just" suggests 125 pounds, and explains that these silver sockets "kept the boards from sinking into the sand, and caused them to remain close together." She draws a number of spiritual parallels from the symbolic design thus presented.

A noteworthy New Testament parallel reference to the silver redemption half-shekels used in creating the Tabernacle foundation sockets is found in The First Epistle of St. Peter, 1:18-20: "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you..." The price paid to Judas, you will remember, to betray Jesus, was 30 pieces of silver (Matthew 26:15).

Pastor Gaglardi notes that there were four silver sockets to hold the four pillars upholding the veil, thus bringing the total to 100 sockets, and that as 300,000 shekels were thus used, 1775 were left over, the amount "used to make the hooks for the pillars, overlay the chapiters, and fillet them." Let us read the remaining verses concerning that vail, Exodus 26:31-33:

31. And thou shalt make a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubims shall it be made:
32. And thou shalt hang it upon four pillars of shittim wood overlaid with gold: their hooks shall be of gold, upon the four sockets of silver.
33. And thou shalt hang up the vail under the taches, that thou mayest bring in thither within the vail the ark of the testimony: and the vail shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy.

The New Bible Commentary says of The Vail: "The inner sanctuary, the most holy place (34), in which was placed only the ark, was separated from the outer sanctuary by a curtain woven in one piece, similar to the inner covering of the tabernacle... It was supported on four pillars..."

It was the veil occupying the equivalent position in the temple at the time of Christ's Crucifixion which "was rent in twain from the top to the bottom..." (Matthew 27:51), thus by His death, He opened the inner sanctuary, equivalent to the Most Holy Place in the Tabernacle, to entrance by everyone who desired to approach the Mercy of God.

This being henceforth open to us, we would be foolish to ignore the great gift and marvellous privilege granted us by Christ's death on the Cross. May our thoughts dwell upon this as we approach the Christmas season and hear the music of the choirs lifted in praise to Him.

A. Widdison, in his "Outlines of Lectures on the Tabernacle in the Wilderness", says of the gold covered wood that "When wood and gold are put together in close juxtaposition they typify the humanity and deity of our Lord. Otherwise they denote divine righteousness and are applicable to the believer, as here. Concerning the amount of silver involved in the foundation sockets, of which two provided support to each board, he states: "603,550 males of twenty years and upward paid the tribute money, excluding the tribe of Levi. The redemption of the Levites was another matter. 603,550 half shekels would yeild 301,775 shekels. 1,775 shekels went to make the chapiters and filleting rods of the court. Thus 300,000 shekels went to make up the sockets, a talent each, 3,000 shekels to a talent. One talent equalled 114 pounds...five tons of silver." He adds that "It should be noted that the princes of Israel gave six wagons and twelve oxen, an offering to the Lord, and these Moses gave to the Gershonites and the Merarites, for carrying the Tabernacle. But the Kohathites were to carry the vessels on their shoulders." To the Silver he assigns the symbolism of "Redemption. This we gather from the 'Atonement money.'"

The symbolism of what is here described is woven into the New Testament Book of Hebrews and other Scriptures, as shown by a number of commentaries and we shall be taking a look at some of these on our next programme. For now, let me outline one line of thought. As the interior measure of the Holy Place is ten cubits high, ten wide from North to South, and twenty cubits in length from East to West, this makes a volume of two thousand cubic cubits, while the like measures within the Holy of Holies form a volume of one thousand additional cubic cubits. The Tabernacle may be taken as expressive of Christ's work, and indeed of His body of believers. There may be a symbol here of the time measure between the entry to the Tabernacle, that is to say, the start of the Christian dispensation, and the arrival at the veil, two thousand years later, preparatory to entry to the millennium with Christ's Second Advent.

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