Saturday, 22 December 2018
For a tabernacle was prepared: the first part, in which was the lampstand, the table, and the showbread, which is called the sanctuary; Hebrews 9:2
In verse 1, the author brought in the subject of an “earthly sanctuary.” He now begins this verse with, “For a tabernacle.” The tabernacle is based upon the pattern Moses had seen. It is this which is consistently described here in Hebrews, rather than the later temples which were built in Jerusalem. Those were according to the same basic shapes and layouts, but there are differences. Therefore, the original tabernacle is the basis of the discussion in Hebrews. This tabernacle “was prepared.”
The idea here is that it was made by men’s hands; it is an earthly edifice. Moses was told to collect certain items from the people as an offering. Those were detailed in Exodus 25:1-7. After that, we read in Exodus 25:8, 9 –
“And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. 9 According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it.”
After this, the actual instructions for how to fashion all these things were given, and then a near repetition of this was given in the construction of those same things. Everything was minutely prescribed and recorded to ensure that all was made according to the pattern. All of it was for the sanctuary. Within the sanctuary was the tent of meeting, and within the tent of meeting was the tabernacle itself. It is that area which the author now speaks of.
The entire layout of the sanctuary and all the materials used for it are given in great detail in Exodus, but this verse and the next few are only focusing on two specific rooms of the tabernacle – the Holy place and the Most Holy place. These may be known in various translations by other similar names. This verse details the first of these two rooms. And so the author begins by saying, “in which was the lampstand.” Actually, based on verse 9:6 where the author speaks in the present tense, the words should say, “in which is the lampstand.” The author speaks of these things based on Scripture. It is as if the priests are standing in front of him, ministering, and he is detailing what is going on before him.
The golden lampstand, or menorah, is first detailed in Exodus 25:31-40. Next, the author mentions “the table and the showbread.” The table was actually first detailed immediately before the lampstand in Exodus 25:23-30. The bread itself is actually described much later, in Leviticus 24:5-9. A detailed study of these things is available from the Superior Word in sermons which can be accessed in written, video, and audio formats.
Finally, the author says, “which is called the sanctuary.” The Greek literally reads, “the holies.” Using the term “sanctuary” does not correspond to the thought given in the Old Testament. The entire compound described to Moses is normally translated “the sanctuary.” The first room in the tabernacle is called the Holy Place. Here in the Greek, the word is given in the plural, and thus it should be translated as “the holies.” This is simply to maintain consistency.
Life application: Everything about the items being mentioned, down to the smallest detail, was given to picture the coming Person and work of Christ. Following along with the sermons mentioned above will reveal this to you. In the end, we have an absolutely sure word concerning Christ Jesus. There is no need to doubt if we are secure in our eternal destiny. If we have come to God through Christ, it is more certain than anything else. Trust in Christ and continue to pursue Him all the days of your life.
What an honor and a joy to know we have the fullness of Christ as revealed in the Bible. The ancients had implements which could only imitate the glories to come in Jesus. We thank You Lord for bestowing on us the riches of Your majesty as revealed in Him. All hail the name of Jesus! Amen.