Hagar Old Covenant - The Tabernacle/Levi Dispensation
Ge 15:13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;
Ge 15:14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.
Ex 3:16 Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt:
Ex 3:17 And I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt unto the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, unto a land flowing with milk and honey.
Moses from the tribe of Levi, the third son of Leah, with the assistance of his older brother Aaron, led the budding nation of Israel out of Egypt and brought then to Mount Sinai. Like Judah leading the family of Israel to Egypt, because of the groundwork laid by Joseph, Moses was able to lead the nation of Israel out of the land of affliction because of the miraculous intervention by God.
Moses, assisted by Aaron would lead the nation for some 40 years. With Moses and Aaron from the tribe of Levi, this period is called the 'Tabernacle/Levi' Dispensation of the OT Kingdom of God. The 'Tabernacle/Levi' Dispensation is the first dispensation, of two dispensations of the Tabernacle era.
2 Chron 13:10 ...The priests who serve the LORD are sons of Aaron, and the Levites assist them.
Glory of the Lord
Ex 13:17 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them...
Ex 13:21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:
Ex 13:22 He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.
Ex 14:19 And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them.
"How God led the Israelites (v.17) is now explained. The single "pillar" (14:24), which was a cloud by day and a fire by night, ... was a visible presence of Yahweh in their midst. The pillar of the cloud and fire was but another name for "the angel of God," for Exodus 14:19 equates the two as does 23:20-23... the Christ of the NT is the Shekinah glory or Yahweh of the OT. Through this cloudy pillar the Lord would speak to Moses (33:9-11) and to the people (Ps 99:6-7). Such easy movement from the pillar of cloud and fire to the angel of the Lord himself has already been met in the same interchange between the burning bush, the angel, and the Lord in chapter 3..." (Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Exodus, EBC, Vol.2, p.385).
Ex 3:2 There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush.
"The cloud represents God's presence but also his hiddenness (see Lam 2:2)... It reveals God but also preserves the mystery that surrounds him" (Ryken, Leland, et. al., General Editors, "Cloud", Dictionary of Biblical Imagery, p.157).
In the general sense the "cloud" symbolized God's presence. In the specific sense "fire" represents God's presence, often associated with the cloud. The fire at night has to do with the general sense as opposed to the specific sense.
Ex 16:10 And it came to pass, as Aaron spake unto the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and, behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud.
In the above there is the cloud, which is a symbol for God's presence, but in that cloud is the "glory of the Lord" which is also a symbol of God's presence.
Ex 24:17 And the sight of the glory of the LORD was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel.
Ex 3:2 ... the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush.
Ex 3:4 ... God called to him from within the bush
Ex 3:6 Then he said, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob." At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.
Ex 3:10 Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.
Eze 1:26 ... upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.
Eze 1:27 ... I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about.
Eze 1:28 ... This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.
Eze 2:1 And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee.
Eze 2:3 And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel.
The "cloud" is a general symbol for God's glory/presence, while "fire", and "fire" and "cloud", are a specific and special symbol/s of God's glory/presence.
Ezekiel also performs as a second Moses.
Dt 10:22 Thy fathers went down into Egypt with threescore and ten persons; and now the LORD thy God hath made thee as the stars of heaven for multitude.
Nu 1:46 Even all they that were numbered were six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty [men of war].
Twelve tribal leaders
Nu 1:4 And with you there shall be a man of every tribe; every one head of the house of his fathers.
Nu 1:16 These were the renowned of the congregation, princes of the tribes of their fathers, heads of thousands in Israel.
Nu 1:44 These are those that were numbered, which Moses and Aaron numbered, and the princes of Israel, being twelve men: each one was for the house of his fathers.
Ex 24:9 Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel.
God was going to make a covenant with the nation of Israel, that was led by Moses, a prophet (Deut 18:15); a nation that was comprised of twelve tribes led by twelve princes and assisted by seventy elders.
Moses is also God's spokesman and covenant mediator.
Ex 19:4 'You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself.
Ex 19:5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine,
Ex 19:6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites."
"The kingdom of God is a kingdom of priests, a holy nation. It has a sacred ministry of priesthood, as well as sovereignty with reference to the nations of the world. As holy, the Israelites are the subjects of their holy King, and as priests they represent Him and mediate for Him with the nations... the essential thing became the relation which they were to assume on the one side to God their king, and on the other to the nations... a ministry of royalty and priesthood. They are a kingdom of priests, a kingdom and a priesthood combined in the unity of the conception, royal priests or priestly kings" (Charles A. Briggs, Messianic Prophecy (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1889), p.102, quoted by Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Towards an Old Testament Theology, p.108).
"As the priest is a mediator between God and man, so Israel was called to be the vehicle of the knowledge and salvation of God to the nations of the earth. By this it unquestionably acquired an intellectual and spiritual character; but this includes, rather than excludes, the government of the world. For spiritual and intellectual supremacy must ensure the government of the world, as certainly as spirit is the power that overcomes the world... priesthood of Israel was the power which laid the foundation for its kingship..." (C.F. Keil, Pentateuch, KD, p.385).
Ex 19:7 So Moses went back and summoned the elders of the people and set before them all the words the LORD had commanded him to speak.
Ex 19:8 The people all responded together, "We will do everything the LORD has said." So Moses brought their answer back to the LORD.
Ex 24:7 And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient.
Ex 24:8 And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words.
"The blood by which the covenant was ratified and sealed was the basis for the union between Yahweh and the people" (Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Exodus, EBC, Vol.2, p.449).
"... the blood not only became a bond of union between Jehovah and His people, but as the blood of the covenant, it became a vital power, holy and divine, uniting Israel and its God; the sprinkling of the blood with this blood was an actual renewal of life, a transposition of Israel into the kingdom of God, in which was filled with the powers of God's spirit of grace, and sanctified into a kingdom of priests, a holy nation of Jehovah (ch 19:6). And this covenant was made "upon all the words" which Jehovah had spoken, and the people promised to observe. Consequently it had for its foundation the divine law and right, as the rule of life for Israel" (C.F. Keil, Exodus, KD, p.424).
Ex 24:5 And he sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto the LORD.
Ex 24:9 Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel:
Ex 24:10 And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.
Ex 24:11 And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink.
"The blood of the lamb, the blood of propitiation, was the just 'settlement' of the wrath of God. The sacrificial basis of the inauguration of the covenant: the burnt offering, symbolizing the holding of nothing back from God (cf. Gen. 22:2, 12), and the fellowship or peace offering symbolizing communion with God" (Alec Motyer, The Message of Exodus, BST, p.249).
"Through their consecration with the blood of the covenant, the Israelites were qualified to ascend the mountain, and there behold the God of Israel and celebrate the covenant meal" (C.F. Keil, Exodus, KD, p.424).
""They ate and drank" describes a covenant meal celebrating the sealing of the covenant described in vv.3-8" (Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Exodus, EBC, Vol.2, p.450).
"... they feasted on the peace offerings - on the remnants of the late sacrifices and libations. While the fat of the victim was consumed, and its blood sprinkled upon the altar as an atonement, the rest of the carcase was, in the case of peace offerings, given to the offerer to feast upon as a sacrificial meal, symbolizing of his participating in the promised blessings of the covenant ; and as, according to Oriental ideas, eating and drinking in the house , and in the presence of a host, was an introduction to near communion and inviolable friendship with him, so the elders did eat and drink in the immediate vicinity of what was then the sanctuary or dwelling-place of Jehovah, representing in their persons the nation of Israel, introduced into the full enjoyment of the Sinaitic benefits..." (Robert Jamieson, Genesis-Deuteronomy, JFB, Vol.1, Pt.1, p.380).
Lk 22:15 And he said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.
"... the Peace-offering ... in it the offerer, the priest, and God, all fed together. This was the case in no other but the peace-offering. In this they had something in common. Here each had a part. They held communion in feeding on the same offering" (Andrew Jukes, The Law of The Offerings, p.107).
Ex 25:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying
Ex 25:8 ... let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.
Ex 25:9 According to all that I show thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.
"From the start, the Lord revealed the secret of his purpose: the Israelites were to make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them (25:8)...
"The vocabulary of the tabernacle is important, there are two key words in 25:8. First, the verb 'to dwell' (sakan), giving rise to the noun miskan, a 'dwelling', widely used throughout Exodus 25-40, and secondly, the noun miqdas, 'a sanctuary' or 'place of holiness'. In addition to these words, 'ohel, the ordinary word for a 'tent, makes its appearance in 26:7 and occurs frequently thereafter. 'Tabernacle' has become the conventional name for the Lord's tent, intended presumably to express a sense of dignity and uniqueness, but we must not lose sight of the fact that it is the common word for tent used to refer to the homes in which the Israelites themselves lived. It was, in fact, as Goodings says, 'the tent God used when he went camping'. Considering simply the words, 'ohel ('tent') points to the nature of the structure, a mobile home, miskan to its purpose as 'somewhere to live', and miqdas ('holy place') to the divine character of the occupant.
"Each word contributes to the significance of what happened. The Israelites were living in tents at the time (16:16), and for the Lord to command the pitching of his tent ('ohel), therefore, symbolized his coming alongside, his identification with them and their circumstances. To call the Lord's tent his miskan indicates permanency, as though it were his 'address', the place where he was to be found living...
"Even though miqdas ('sanctuary') is found only once in the chapters dealing with the tabernacle, its importance is immense. In common English usage a sanctuary is a place to run to for safety. This is not what the word means in the Old Testament. Rooted in the verb qades ('to be holy'), the noun means 'a place where holiness is', and it specifies the tabernacle as the place where the Lord in his holiness, in the full reality of the glory of his holy name, would come to settle among his people.
"When we speak, popularly, of our church building as 'the Lord's house', we mean a place where we go to be with him; in the Bible, the tabernacle - and, later, the temple or 'house' - is where the Lord comes to be with us.
"All this is summed up in Exodus 29:42b-46. The Tent of Meeting is where the Lord keeps his appointments with Israel (42b, 43), where he speaks with them (42b). It will be a sanctified place because his glory is in it (43-44), and there the Lord will dwell (sakan) (lit.) 'in the middle of the sons of Israel' (45) in fulfilment of the covenant promise to be their God (Gen 17:7; Exod. 6:7). More than all this, however, the tabernacle sums up the whole divine purpose in redemption: he brought Israel out of Egypt 'so that I might dwell (sakan) among them' (29:46)" (Alec Motyer, The Message of Exodus, BST, pp.251-2).
Ex 40:17 And it came to pass in the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month, that the tabernacle was reared up.
Ex 40:34 Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
Ex 40:35 And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
The account records simply that the "cloud" the symbol of "the glory of the Lord" and God's presence covered/filled the tabernacle. No mention of fire. The dwelling of God was in a 'general' sense. Moses is the only person mentioned.
The implication then is that this was a non-public dwelling - the type. The house warming comes later - the 'antitype'.
Lev 8:31 And Moses said unto Aaron and to his sons...
Lev 8:33 And ye shall not go out of the door of the tabernacle of the congregation in seven days, until the days of your consecration be at an end: for seven days shall he consecrate you.
Lev 9:1 And it came to pass on the eighth day, that Moses called Aaron and his sons, and the elders of Israel;
"The eight day (9:1) is the first day of a new week. It signals a new beginning. The consecration of Aaron and his sons, which had occupied the whole of the previous week, is now complete and Aaron is ready to begin his ministry. But the inauguration of his priesthood heralds a change not only for him but also for the entire company of Israel" (Derek Tidball, The Message of Leviticus, BST, p.122).
Lev 9:22 And Aaron ...came down from offering of the sin offering, and the burnt offering, and peace offerings.
Lev 9:23 And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the people.
Lev 9:24 And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.
"God, who had revealed his glory before with a variety of climatic signs, chose on this occasion to reveal himself through fire... It was an unmistakable mark of God's acceptance of these offering, and of his acceptance of the people who had brought them..." (Derek Tidbal, The Message of Leviticus, BST, p.128).
"The highest goal of worship, entrance into the presence of God himself, has been achieved... Similarly in the NT the new approach to God through faith in his son Jesus was inaugurated by a marvelous manifestation of God (Acts 2:1-4). On that day great tongues of fire rested on each person in the assembly. In both instances fire was closely associated with a mighty manifestation of God's presence...
"The goal of worship then in both testaments is to enter into God's presence..." (John E. Hartley, Leviticus, WBC, pp.125-26).
Nu 11:11 He asked the LORD, "Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me?
Nu 11:16 The LORD said to Moses: "Bring me seventy of Israel's elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the Tent of Meeting, that they may stand there with you.
Nu 11:17 I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit that is on you and put the Spirit on them. They will help you carry the burden of the people so that you will not have to carry it alone.
Nu 11:25 Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke with him, and he took of the Spirit that was on him and put the Spirit on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but they did not do so again. (NIV) but see (AV).
"... "to prophesy," is to be understood generally, and especially here, not as the foretelling of future things, but as speaking in an ecstatic and elevated state of mine, under the impulse and inspiration of the Spirit of God, just like the "speaking with tongues," which frequently followed the gift of the Holy Ghost in the days of the apostles... This miraculous manifestation of the Spirit was intended simply to give to the whole nation the visible proof that God had endowed them with His Spirit, as helpers of Moses, and had given them the authority of the exercise of their calling" (C.F. Kiel, The Pentateuch, KD, p.698).
'Inspire speaking' was a confirming sign at the beginning of the 'Tabernacle' Old Covenant and 'Tabernacle' New Covenant (Acts 2).
New Beginning Warning
Lev 10:1 And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not.
Lev 10:2 And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.
"The incident of Nadab and Abihu has some parallel to the death of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11). Both parties instantly died in the presence of God. Both accounts are recounted at the inception of a covenant between God and his people. These accounts serve as a warning that all who are members of the covenant community serve the Holy God" (John E. Hartley, Leviticus, WBC, pp.137-38).
Compare also the 'new beginning' death of Uzzah, when David sought to bring the ark in to the City of David, a step towards initiating the Old Covenant Temple Dispensation.
Two-room Dwelling Place
Ex 25:9 Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you. (NIV).
"The tabernacle structure itself, made up of curtains resting on a framework, was divided by a veil into two compartments. The outer compartment, called "the holy place" (haqqodes), contained the table for the bread of the Presence, the lampstand, and the altar of incense... The inner compartment, called "the holy place" (qodes haggdasim), contained the ark of the covenant. Surrounding the tabernacle was a courtyard where the altar of burnt offering and the laver were located" (S. Westerholm, "Tabernacle", ISBE, Vol.4, p.699).
In the general sense the "tabernacle" refers to the "two compartment" structure and "courtyard" and in the specific sense the "tabernacle" refers to the "two compartment" structure.
The Ark and the Lampstand
Two symbols of God's presence - Ark for Tabernacle Old Covenant; Lampstand for Tabernacle New Covenant.
Ex 25:10 "Have them make a chest of acacia wood - two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high...
Ex 25:11 Overlay it with pure gold, both inside and out, and make a gold molding around it...
Ex 25:16 Then put in the ark the Testimony, which I will give you.
Ex 25:17 "Make an atonement cover of pure gold - two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide.
Ex 25:18 And make two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover.
Ex 25:21 Place the cover on top of the ark and put in the ark the Testimony, which I will give you.
Ex 25:22 There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the Testimony, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites. (NIV).
1Sa 4:4 ... the ark of the covenant of the LORD Almighty, who is enthroned ("dwelleth" (AV) between the cherubim. (NIV).
Nu 10:35 And it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Moses said, Rise up, LORD, and let thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate thee flee before thee.
Nu 10:36 And when it rested, he said, Return, O LORD, unto the many thousands of Israel.
"Nothing was more intimately connected with the presence and power of Yahweh than the ark of the covenant... the "Song of the Ark" equates its presence with Yahweh's presence" (Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Towards and Old Testament Theology, p.157).
The parallel with the lampstand will be drawn in the "Tabernacle" Dispensation of the Sarah New Covenant, which is the first dispensation for the Church.
Lev 26:3 If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them (AV).
Lev 26:11 I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you.
Lev 26:12 I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. (NIV).
"God promised to dwell among his people (v.11) in the tabernacle spiritually, not materially. From the word for "dwelling" (miskan) and its root, the later Israelites developed a name for the presence of God in the Most Holy Place - the Shekinah. The expression "I will walk among them" (v.12) is not to be literalized. It is like the NT word translated in the KJV "have your conversation." It refers to life, fellowship, and behaviour. Enoch, Abraham, and many others were said to "walk with God"... God would continually fellowship with his people if they obeyed his word; he would live among them. The thought repeats that of his promised dwelling at v.11" (R. Laird Harris, Leviticus, EBC, Vol.2, pp.643-45).
To the Edge of the Promised Land
Nu 10:11 And it came to pass on the twentieth day of the second month, in the second year, that the cloud was taken up from off the tabernacle of the testimony.
Nu 10:12 And the children of Israel took their journeys out of the wilderness of Sinai;
Dt 1:19 And when we departed from Horeb, we went through all that great and terrible wilderness ... and we came to Kadesh-barnea.
"The straight and shortest way from Sinai to Kabesh, on the southern border of Canaan, was only a journey of eleven days (Deut. 1:2). By this road God led His people, whom He had received into the covenant of His grace at Sinai, and placed under the discipline of the law, to the ultimate object of their journey through the desert; so that, a few months after leaving Horeb or Sinai, the Israelites had arrived at Kadesh, in the desert of Zin, on the southern border of the promised land, and were able to send out spies, to survey the inheritance of which they were to take possession" (C.F. Keil, The Pentateuch, KD, p.688).
Nu 32:9 For when they went up unto the valley of Eshcol, and saw the land, they discouraged the heart of the children of Israel, that they should not go into the land which the LORD had given them.
Nu 32:10 And the LORD'S anger was kindled the same time, and he sware, saying,
Nu 32:11 Surely none of the men that came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob; because they have not wholly followed me:
Nu 32:12 Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite, and Joshua the son of Nun: for they have wholly followed the LORD.
Nu 32:13 And the LORD'S anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation, that had done evil in the sight of the LORD, was consumed.
The Old Covenant Tabernacle/Levi Dispensation lasted "forty" years. With the death of Moses, who was from the tribe of Levi, the leadership of the 'Tabernacle' Dispensation was transferred to another tribe. The Old Covenant Tabernacle/Levi Dispensation ended in the "wilderness" and the Old Covenant Tabernacle/Joseph Dispensation began "in the land".