Materials Used in Moses’ Tabernacle
We must remember that the Israelites came out of Egypt as the people of God. They were descendants of Abraham, the first Hebrew. It is important to keep in mind the oath that God swore as He was cutting the covenant with Abraham:
Gen 15:13-14 Then He said to Abram: "Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. "And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions.
And with great possessions they came out indeed, as it says:
Exod 3:20-22 "So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My wonders which I will do in its midst; and after that he will let you go. "And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be, when you go, that you shall not go empty-handed. "But every woman shall ask of her neighbor, namely, of her who dwells near her house, articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing; and you shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So you shall plunder the Egyptians."
Exod 12:35-36 Now the children of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, and they had asked from the Egyptians articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing. And the LORD had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they granted them what they requested. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.
As the Israelites came to Mount Sinai the Lord instructed them as to what they were to bring as a free-will offering (spontaneous and voluntary giving) so that they could build the tabernacle.
Notice what God spoke concerning His dwelling place the Tabernacle: (very important verses)
Ex 25:1-9 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: "Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring Me an offering. From everyone who gives it willingly with his heart you shall take My offering. "And this is the offering which you shall take from them: gold, silver, and bronze; "blue, purple, and scarlet thread, fine linen, and goats' hair; "ram skins dyed red, badger skins, and acacia wood; "oil for the light, and spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense; "onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate. "And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. "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.
These materials are listed exactly as god had specified (nothing more and nothing less) because they would each have specific symbolic meaning relating to the true Tabernacle in Heaven and Jesus Christ. Nothing could be left to chance or man's imagination because if the Lord is to dwell here and pitch His tent with man, then man is to approach Him His way and no exceptions.
The details of its construction would pattern in a temporal way, what God would one day do permanently through Jesus Christ. The Tabernacle would become a visible model of how we come to God through Jesus.
Let's look now at the materials to be used in the construction of the Tabernacle and keep in mind that we must examine the symbolism from a Hebraic backdrop. The Old Testament is filled with figurative language that can be interpreted in the light of the context of the Hebrew Bible:
Materials (ordered by God)
According to Ex 38, the Living Bible says they gave 3140 pounds of gold. Pure Gold throughout the scriptures speaks of divinity, that which cannot be reproduced by man.
Gold speaks of the deity of Jesus Christ. It typifies the divine glory of the Lord Jesus as "the Son of God" and "God the Son".
According to the Living Bible the Silver came to 9575 pounds. Throughout the Scriptures, silver figuratively speaks of redemption. It was always used as redemption money:
Ex 30:16 "And you shall take the redemption money of the children of Israel, and shall appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of meeting, that it may be a memorial for the children of Israel before the LORD, to make atonement for yourselves."
The tabernacle stood upon sockets of silver. Both Joseph in the Old Testament and Lord Jesus were sold for silver. Judas was paid off in silver as the Scriptures said. Silver is redemption money.
Silver is symbolic of the redemption that comes through Jesus Christ and Him alone. It prefigures the preciousness of Christ as the ransom for sinners. Notice also that there is no silver mentioned in heaven. The reason is that the people will already have been redeemed.
Mark 10:45 "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
The Living Bible says 7540 pounds of bronze was given for use in those places where exceptional strength and heat resistance was important.
Bronze has a melting point of 1,985 degrees. It was important in the altar where intense heat was present.
They brought bronze not brass. Brass comes from a mixture of copper and tin where bronze comes from copper and zinc.
Bronze represents judgment. When Moses raised the bronze serpent it spoke of the power of the serpent being judged through the raising of the Son of God:
Num 21:9 So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.
Bronze typifies the divine character of Christ who took upon Himself the fire of God's wrath, holiness and justice by becoming a sin offering.
2 Cor 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Matt 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"