Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer




One of the sharp contrast between the Levitical priesthood and the Melchizedek order of priesthood is access to the Holy of Holies. This also brings into our discussion the difference between the Tabernacle of Moses and that of David. In this lesson, we will focus on Moses’ Tabernacle. In our next lesson, we will look at David’s Tabernacle and compare and contrast.
The Tabernacle of Moses was built at the instance of God. God warned him not to deviate from the pattern that was given to him on the mountain (Exodus 25:8-9).
1. We see from here that God’s desire was to live among His people. However the Tabernacle of Moses was built in such a way that true fellowship was not a reality because God was locked up in the Ark of the Covenant which was in the Holy of Holies where no man could go except the high priest, once in a year. It had to be so if the lives of fallen humanity would be preserved.
2. Also we saw that much as God was after intimacy, the people could not endure Him and opted for a second hand relationship rather than a direct one(Exodus 20:18-19).
3. These two conditions (that is the fallen nature of man and the opting of the people for a second hand relationship) reflected on the design of the tabernacle of Moses.
4. Moses’ tabernacle was a large tent which was divided into three compartments. 
5. The first compartment was called the outer court. It was an open air segment. In the outer court was a large altar made of bronze called the Brazen altar. That was where all the blood sacrifices were carried out.
6. The next item after the altar was a basin full of water called the Laver. This was where the priests washed their head, hand and feet before entering into the second compartment.
7. The second compartment was called the Holy place. There were three items them. There was the lampstand which had seven candle holders all joined to one base. Opposite to that was the Table of showbread which had twelves loaves of unleavened bread tampered with frankincense. Straight ahead just before the veil that leads to the last compartment was the altar of incense. This was the second altar in the tabernacle and it was a lot different from the first altar. This one was used to burn incense. There was no blood sacrifice on it. Secondly it was overlaid with pure gold unlike the first one which was made of bronze.
Now, from the Holy place we are about to enter the Holy of Holies but there is thick veil separating the Holy place from the Holy of Holies.
8. The last compartment is the Holy of Holies. The only item in the Holy of Holies was the Ark of the Covenant.
Let us fix our attention for a while on the Ark (READ HEBREWS 9:3-5)
9. The ark was a wooden box overlaid with pure gold. There was a lid covering the ark. On the lid were two statutes of Cherubim. Cherubim are Angels who are responsible for protecting the glory of God. The two angels have stretched their wings towards each other. In between the two angels was a plate. This plate was called the mercy seat.
1. The things that were in the Ark of the Covenant had dual significance. The pot of manna represents revelation, rhema, access to the secrets of God. The tablets of stone stands for God’s covenant. It also stands for the written Word. Aaron’s rod that budded also represents authority.
2. However on the other hand, these three things also represent the rebellion of the house of Israel. Each of the items were either rejected or came about as a result of rebellion.
3. The people rejected the manna after sometime and despised the food from heaven (Numbers 11:6). The original tablets of stone which was carved by God had been broken by Moses because the people rebelled against God (Exodus 32:16, 19). The rod of Aaron budded because God wanted to authenticate Aaron’s calling because Korah and his 250 men had risen against Moses and Aaron (Numbers 17).
All these things were things that would remind God of the rebellious nature of the children of Israel. Therefore by covering them with the mercy seat, God was covering their iniquity.
The high priest came once in a year with blood and sprinkled it on the mercy seat for seven times before their sins were covered for one year.
So the Levitical priesthood operated in the Tabernacle of Moses. The people didn’t have access to the Holy of Holies. Only the high priest, once a year.

Hebrews 4:16

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need (NKJV).

Leave a comment