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Exodus 39-40, Leviticus 1

Supplemental notes for the Daily Bible Study Bible Reading Plan

by Wayne Blank

Exodus Chapter 39

With the Tabernacle (see also What Happened To The Tabernacle?) and all implements ready, the priestly garments for Aaron, his sons (see The Lines Of Eleazar and Ithamar), and other rankings of Levites, were then completed from the same materials.


"And of the blue and Purple and Scarlet stuff they made finely wrought garments, for ministering in the holy place; they made the holy garments for Aaron; as The Lord had commanded Moses.

And he made the ephod of gold, blue and purple and scarlet stuff, and fine twined Linen. And gold leaf was hammered out and cut into threads to work into the blue and purple and the scarlet stuff, and into the fine twined linen, in skilled design." (Exodus 39:1-3 RSV)

"He made the breastpiece, in skilled work, like the work of the ephod, of gold, blue and purple and scarlet stuff, and fine twined linen. It was square; the breastpiece was made double, a span its length and a span its breadth when doubled. And they set in it four rows of stones. A row of sardius, topaz, and Carbuncle was the first row; and the second row, an emerald, a Sapphire, and a diamond; and the third row, a jacinth, an agate, and an Amethyst; and the fourth row, a beryl, an onyx, and a Jasper; they were enclosed in settings of gold filigree. There were twelve stones with their names according to the names of the sons of Israel [see Children of Jacob]; they were like Signets, each engraved with its name, for the twelve tribes." (Exodus 39:8-14 RSV)

"They also made the coats, woven of fine linen, for Aaron and his sons, and the turban [see Aaron's Turban] of fine linen, and the caps of fine linen, and the linen breeches of fine twined linen, and the girdle of fine twined linen and of blue and purple and scarlet stuff, embroidered with needlework; as The Lord had commanded Moses. And they made the plate of the holy crown of pure gold, and wrote upon it an inscription, like the engraving of a signet, "Holy to The Lord." And they tied to it a lace of blue, to fasten it on the turban above; as The Lord had commanded Moses." (Exodus 39:27-31 RSV)

The Lord (see YHVH, Adonai, Jehovah, LORD) had given the design to Moses (see also The Education Of Moses) who had then supervised the work.

"According to all that The Lord had commanded Moses, so the people of Israel had done all the work. And Moses saw all the work, and behold, they had done it; as The Lord had commanded, so had they done it. And Moses blessed them." (Exodus 39:42-43 RSV)

Exodus Chapter 40

And so, with all of the preparations completed, the The Tabernacle In The Wilderness became operational.

The Tabernacle

"The Lord said to Moses, "On the first day of the first month you shall erect the tabernacle of the tent of meeting. And you shall put in it the ark of the testimony, and you shall screen the ark with the veil. And you shall bring in the table, and set its arrangements in order; and you shall bring in the lampstand, and set up its lamps. And you shall put the golden altar for incense before the ark of the testimony, and set up the screen for the door of the tabernacle. You shall set the altar of burnt offering before the door of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting, and place the laver between the tent of meeting and the altar, and put water in it. And you shall set up the court round about, and hang up the screen for the gate of the court. Then you shall take the anointing oil, and anoint the tabernacle and all that is in it, and consecrate it and all its furniture; and it shall become holy. You shall also anoint the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and consecrate the altar; and the altar shall be most holy. You shall also anoint the laver and its base, and consecrate it.

Then you shall bring Aaron and his sons to the door of the tent of meeting, and shall wash them with water, and put upon Aaron the holy garments, and you shall anoint him and consecrate him, that he may serve me as priest. You shall bring his sons also and put coats on them, and anoint them, as you anointed their father, that they may serve me as priests: and their anointing shall admit them to a perpetual priesthood throughout their generations." Thus did Moses; according to all that The Lord commanded him, so he did." (Exodus 40:1-16 RSV)

It had been 1 year since the Exodus; the Tabernacle and the priesthood were then ready for the first of The Lord's annual Holy Days that would come on the 14th - Passover (see Christ's Passover and Christ's Feast of Unleavened Bread).

"And in the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month, the tabernacle was erected." (Exodus 40:17 RSV)

"Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of The Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting, because the cloud abode upon it, and the glory of The Lord filled the tabernacle. Throughout all their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the people of Israel would go onward; but if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not go onward till the day that it was taken up. For throughout all their journeys the cloud of The Lord was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel." (Exodus 40:34-38 RSV)

Leviticus Chapter 1

The Levitical priesthood, including the office of the high priest himself, was symbolic of Christianity (see What Is Jesus Christ Doing Right Now?). All of the Levitical rituals and ceremonies were actually Christian because they were all about things that looked forward to, and would be fulfilled by, Jesus Christ.


"The Lord called Moses, and spoke to him from the tent of meeting, saying, "Speak to the people of Israel, and say to them, When any man of you brings an offering to The Lord, you shall bring your offering of cattle from the herd or from the flock.

"If his offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he shall offer a male without blemish; he shall offer it at the door of the tent of meeting, that he may be accepted before The Lord; he shall lay his hand upon the head of the burnt offering, and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him. Then he shall kill the bull before The Lord; and Aaron's sons the priests shall present the blood, and throw the blood round about against the altar that is at the door of the tent of meeting. And he shall flay the burnt offering and cut it into pieces; and the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire on the altar, and lay wood in order upon the fire; and Aaron's sons the priests shall lay the pieces, the head, and the fat, in order upon the wood that is on the fire upon the altar; but its entrails and its legs he shall wash with water. And the priest shall burn the whole on the altar, as a burnt offering, an offering by fire, a pleasing odor to The Lord." (Leviticus 1:1-9 RSV)

Fact Finder: What did burnt offerings symbolize? Before the Levites were given to offer burnt offerings, did Noah and Abraham offer them? What is the Christian perspective of burnt offerings?
See Burnt Offerings

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