Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15

King James AV1611


The Tabernacle

by Dr. James Modlish


Lesson Eight
(Exodus 28,29)

In the days of the Tabernacle, ISRAEL was divided Into three classes: THE HIGH PRIEST, PRIESTHOOD, and the CONGREGATION (of people).


The necessity for the appointment of priests lay in the fact that the people were sinners, and as such, could not come before God.

[1]. The object of the priestly office was to minister unto God (Ex. 28:1) on behalf of the people (Heb. 5:1,2).

[2]. All believers are now priests - (I Pet. 2:5,9; Heb. 10), for Aaron was a type of Christ - when seen alone; and a type of the believer when seen with his sons).


[1]. Aaron was not chosen on the ground of any merit in himself; he certainly had no claim on God for such an honor, but God gave it to him.

(a). Note: (Ex. 28:1) - "Take...Him", we also see command;

(b). Not a question asked, but rather a command.

(c). Not "Ask Aaron if he would mind filling the High Priest's once".

(d). God has the right to speak like this, He is the Creator, Redeemer.

(e). God has paid for us, and He can dispose of His property in any way His will so pleases...we are SERVANTS!

[2]. Paul and James both describe themselves as "BONDSLAVES OF JESUS CHRIST".
(a). It is not a question of whether it is convenient to do God's service, or whether the particular service He gives us is according to our taste.
(b). We are to accept it in SUBJECTION and OBEDIENCE.

[3]. Would we have chosen LEVI'S FAMILY to occupy this place of honor.
(a). Jacob said of Levi (Gen. 34:30) - "troubled me ...stink...".
(b). If the tribe of Levi had to be perfect they would have never been chosen (nor any of the tribes).
(c). If God demanded some standard of fitness on our part to be eligible for salvation, none of us could have been saved.


While the priesthood was formed out of men of the family of Aaron only (his sons were: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar; they succeeded Aaron as High Priest); the other families of the tribe of Levi were called to take their place alongside the priestly family:

[1]. MERARI (Num. 3:36) - Had charge of the heavy boards, sockets, basic structure of the Tabernacle - representing the foundation workman of the church today, in the Evangelist (Eph. 4:1).

[2]. GERSHOM (Num. 3:25) - Had charge of the hanging which separated the various parts of the Tabernacle - the counterpart of work of Pastors (shepherds) to mark the lines between believers and the world.

[3]. BOHATHITES (Num. 3:31) - Had responsibility of carrying the holy vessels or furniture - the Teacher would answer to his work.

[4]. NO WOMEN were given service in the Tabernacle (no women were moved by the Holy Spirit to write the scriptures, or any interpretation of them; or head any church). Christianity has given women an honored place as the mother, wives, and sisters of men of God; but God only calls men to this service.


[1]. CLEANSED (Ex. 29:4) - This ceremonial bath never had to be repeated (Titus 3:5) - this is a picture of the new birth, (Jn. 13:10).

[2]. CLOTHED (Ex. 29:5-9) - Distinguished from the rest (I Pet. 2:9).

[3]. CONSECRATED (Ex. 29:10-25) - Set apart to service to God "blood-mark", (Ex. 29:20).

[4]. CARED FOR (Ex. 29:26-37) - Physical needs to be provided.


These seven holy garments are a type of the NATURE and CHARACTER of Christ, reflecting his glory and beauty.

A. THE "COAT" (Ex. 28:39) - A long garment worn next to the person, made of fine linen.

B. THE LINEN BREECHES (Ex. 28:42) - "From the loins to the thighs".

C. THE "ROBE OF THE EPHOD" (Ex. 28:31 -35) - A long seamless garment made of blue linen.

[1]. Blue - The divinity of Christ.

[2]. Linen - Spotless righteousness of Christ.

[3]. Pomegranates - symbol of fruitfulness.

[4]. Pomegranates of blue, purple, scarlet, alternating with golden bells along the hem.

[5]. Bells - symbol of testimony.

D. THE EPHOD (Ex. 28:5-12) - The most important part of his dress, distinctively the symbol of the high priest's once.

[1]. Fine Twined Linen (Christ's purity) with gold (deity): blue (heavenly, divine): purple (royalty); scarlet (sacrificial work).

[2]. Means: Son of God/Son of Man, our risen and glorified High Priest.

[3]. Consisted of two pieces (front and back) united at the shoulders with onyx stones in gold, twelve tribes engraved on the stones.

(a). Shoulders are a place of strength, of power.

(b). Stones represent the burden carried on shoulders of the High Priest.

(c). Christ so bears us up to God (Lk.15:5).

E. THE GIRDLE (Ex. 28:8) - Speaks of service (Mk. 10:45; Heb. 8: 1,2).

F. THE BREASTPLATE (Ex. 28: 15-29) - And inseparably connected with His power and His love.

G. THE MITRE (Ex. 28:36,37) - Or "turban" of fine linen to cover the head bearing upon the front a gold plate engraved "HOLINESS TO THE LORD".

[1]. This symbolizes obedience to a higher order.


[1]. Wore only the linen coats, girdles, bonnets, and breeches.

[2]. When Aaron went within the Holy of Holies on the yearly Day of Atonement for the sins of the people, he wore only the linen priestly garments; when he returned he put on the Ephod, etc., before appearing before the people.


See Graphic for Tribe name and description



[1]. Each believer is a priest today (I Pet. 2:5,9) and as such has access by Jesus Christ to the very throne of grace. There is no distinction as to the position and privilege of believers. The weakest child of faith is as fully in Christ as the oldest veteran, and just as much a priest.

-Page Navigation-

1. Introduction | 2. Outer Court | 3. Brazen Altar - Laver | 4. House of Blood | 5. Covers, Curtains | 6. The Furniture
7. Ark & Mercy Seat | 8. The Priesthood | 9. Contributions of The People | 10. The Glory of The Cloud