Exodus 25:9
According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.
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(9) The pattern.—It has been maintained that God shewed to Moses (1) a material structure, furnished with material objects, as the model which he was to follow in making the Tabernacle and its appurtenances; (2) a pictorial representation of the whole; (3) a series of visions in which the forms were represented to the eye of the mind. The entire analogy of the Divine dealings is in favour of the last-mentioned view.

Exodus 25:9. According to all that I show thee — God showed him an exact plan of it in little, which he must conform to in all points. And God did not only show him the model, but gave him also particular directions how to frame the tabernacle, according to that model, in all the parts of it. When Moses was to describe the creation of the world, though it be such a stately and curious fabric, yet he gave a very short and general account of it; but when he comes to describe the tabernacle, he doth it with the greatest niceness and accuracy imaginable; for God’s church and instituted religion are more precious to him than all the rest of the world. And all the Scriptures were written, not to describe to us the works of nature, (a general view of which is sufficient to lead us to a knowledge of the Creator,) but to acquaint us with the methods of grace, and those things which are purely matters of revelation.

25:1-9 God chose the people of Israel to be a peculiar people to himself, above all people, and he himself would be their King. He ordered a royal palace to be set up among them for himself, called a sanctuary, or holy place, or habitation. There he showed his presence among them. And because in the wilderness they dwelt in tents, this royal palace was ordered to be a tabernacle, that it might move with them. The people were to furnish Moses with the materials, by their own free will. The best use we can make of our worldly wealth, is to honour God with it in works of piety and charity. We should ask, not only, What must we do? but, What may we do for God? Whatever they gave, they must give it cheerfully, not grudgingly, for God loves a cheerful giver, 2Co 9:7. What is laid out in the service of God, we must reckon well bestowed; and whatsoever is done in God's service, must be done by his direction.According to all that I shew thee - The tabernacle and all that pertained to it were to be in strict accordance with the ideas revealed by the Lord to Moses (compare Exodus 25:40; Exodus 26:30; Acts 7:44; Hebrews 8:5). The word here translated "pattern" is also used to denote the plans for the temple which were given by David to Solomon 1 Chronicles 28:11-12, 1 Chronicles 28:19; it is elsewhere rendered "form, likeness, similitude," Deuteronomy 4:16-17; Ezekiel 8:3, Ezekiel 8:10.

The tabernacle - The Hebrew word signifies the "dwelling-place." It here denotes the wooden structure, containing the holy place and the most holy place, with the tent which sheltered it. See Exodus 26:1 note.

9. According to all that I show thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle—The proposed erection could be, in the circumstances of the Israelites, not of a fixed and stable but of a temporary and movable description, capable of being carried about with them in their various sojournings. It was made after "the pattern" shown to Moses, by which is now generally understood, not that it was an unheard-of novelty, or an entirely original structure, for it is ascertained to have borne resemblance in form and arrangements to the style of an Egyptian temple, but that it was so altered, modified, and purified from all idolatrous associations, as to be appropriated to right objects, and suggestive of ideas connected with the true God and His worship. No text from Poole on this verse.

According to all that I show thee,.... That is, the sanctuary was to be made in all respects exactly according to the view of it that Moses now had upon the mount from God, and which he was to communicate to the workmen for their instruction and direction:

after the pattern of the tabernacle, and of the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it: and by the "pattern" is not meant an idea of it, impressed on the mind of Moses, or a picture of it which was shown him, but a little edifice representing it in all its parts, a perfect model of it: and so Maimonides (i) says, "Tabnith", the word here used, signifies the structure and disposition of anything, i.e. the form of it in a four square, in roundness, in a triangle, or in any of the like figures, see Hebrews 8:5 and so David had, by the Spirit, a pattern of the temple, and which he gave to his son Solomon, to build according to it, 1 Chronicles 28:11.

(i) Moreh Nevochim, par. 1. c. 3.

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.
9. The sanctuary is to be constructed in accordance with a model shewn to Moses in the mount (v. 40, Exodus 26:30, Exodus 27:8; Numbers 8:4). Gudea, king of Lagash (c. 3000 b.c.), was shewn in a dream, by the goddess Nina, the complete model of a temple which he was to erect in her honour: gold, precious stones, cedar, and other materials for the purpose were collected by him from the most distant countries (Rogers, Hist. of Bab. and Ass. i. 369 f.; Maspero, i. 610 f.).

the tabernacle] the Dwelling, Heb. mishkân, cognate with the verb rendered ‘dwell’ in v. 8. In AV. the word ‘tabernacle’ (derived from the tabernaculum of the Vulg., and therefore meaning properly simply a ‘tent’), through a confusion originating with the LXX. (who in the Pent. rendered both words by σκηνή), was used indiscriminately for ’ôhel (‘tent’) and mishkân (‘dwelling’): in RV. the distinction has been preserved by rendering ’ôhel ‘tent,’ and mishkân ‘tabernacle.’ This is undoubtedly a great improvement: the retention of ‘tabernacle’ for mishkân has, however, the disadvantage of obliterating the connexion between mishkân, ‘dwelling,’ and the cognate verb shâkan, to ‘dwell.’ Dwelling would have been the better rend. for mishkân throughout.

As regards mishkân, it is to be observed that it is used in P in both in narrower and a wider sense. In its narrower, and stricter sense, it is used of the tapestry curtains with their supporting frames, which constituted the ‘Dwelling’ par excellence (see Exodus 26:1; Exodus 26:6; Exodus 26:15; and cf. Exodus 40:2; Exodus 40:6, Numbers 3:25); but in its wider sense it is extended so as to be a general term for the entire fabric of the sanctuary, including the ‘tent’ and other coverings (Exodus 26:7; Exodus 26:14) over the ‘Dwelling’ (so here, Numbers 16:9; Numbers 17:13, and elsewhere). Mishkân, in one or other of these technical senses, occurs about 100 times in P; and is used similarly a few times to Chr. (as 1 Chronicles 6:32; 1 Chronicles 16:39): otherwise the word is rare, and mostly poetical. The commonest expression (about 130 times) for the sanctuary as a whole is, however, the ‘Tent of Meeting’ (see on Exodus 27:21).

furniture] The wide term explained on Exodus 22:7, and including here all articles, vessels, utensils, &c., belonging to the sanctuary.

10–22 (cf. Exodus 37:1-9). The Ark, the most sacred and important of the articles contained in the sanctuary. The ark, as described by P, is an oblong chest of acacia wood, overlaid within and without with gold, about 3 ft. 9 in. long, 2 ft. 3 in. wide, and 2 ft. 3 in. deep; each of sides is finished with a rim, or moulding, of solid gold; and for its transport it is provided with two poles of acacia wood, overlaid with gold, which pass through four rings, attached to its four feet. Distinct from the ark, but resting upon it, is the ‘mercy-seat,’ or ‘propitiatory,’ a slab of solid gold, of the same length and breadth as the ark (its thickness is not stated): and near the ends of this, soldered securely into it, and facing each other, with their wings spread out over the mercy-seat, stand two small emblematic figures, the cherubim, made of beaten gold. Inside the ark are the two tables upon which the Decalogue is inscribed. From between the cherubim above the mercy-seat Jehovah ‘meets’ Moses, and speaks with him (Exodus 25:22, Exodus 30:6, Numbers 7:89).

Verse 9. - The patterns. Many of the old Jewish commentators supposed, that Moses was shown by God a real material structure, which actually existed in the heavens, far grander than its earthly copy, after which he was to have the tabernacle fashioned. Some recent Christian writers, without going these lengths, suggest that "an actual picture or model of the earthly tabernacle and its furniture was shown to him" (Keil). But the words of the text, as well as those of Acts 7:44, and Hebrews 8:5, are sufficiently justified, if we take a view less material than either of these - i.e., if we suppose Moses to have had impressed on his mind, in vision, the exact appearance of the tabernacle and its adjuncts, in such sort that he could both fully understand, and also, when necessary, supplement, the verbal descriptions subsequently given to him. It is unnecessary to inquire how the impression was produced. God who in vision communicated to Ezekiel the entire plan of that magnificent temple which he describes in ch. 40-42, could certainly have made known to Moses, in the same way, the far simpler structure of the primitive Tabernacle.

CHAPTER 25:10-22 Exodus 25:9With these freewill-offerings they were to make the Lord a sanctuary, that He might dwell in the midst of them (see at Exodus 25:22). "According to all that I let thee see (show thee), the pattern of the dwelling and the pattern of all its furniture, so shall ye make it." The participle מראה does not refer to the past; and there is nothing to indicate that it does, either in Exodus 25:40, where "in the mount" occurs, or in the use of the preterite in Exodus 26:30; Exodus 27:8. It does not follow from the expression, "which is showed thee in the mount," that Moses had already left the mountain and returned to the camp; and the use of the preterite in the passages last named may be simply explained, either on the supposition that the sight of the pattern or model of the whole building and its component parts preceded the description of the different things required for the completion of the building, or that the instructions to make the different parts in such and such a way, pointed to a time when the sight of the model really belonged to the past. On the other hand, the model for the building could not well be shown to Moses, before he had been told that the gifts to be made by the people were to be devoted to the building of a sanctuary. תּבנית, from בּנה to build, lit., a building, then a figure of anything, a copy of representation of different things, Deuteronomy 4:17.; a drawing or sketch, 2 Kings 16:10 : it never means the original, not even in Psalm 144:12, as Delitzsch supposes (see his Com. on Hebrews 8:5). In such passages as 1 Chronicles 28:11-12, 1 Chronicles 28:19, where it may be rendered plan, it does not signify an original, but simply means a model or drawing, founded upon an idea, or taken from some existing object, according to which a building was to be constructed. Still less can the object connected with תבנית in the genitive be understood as referring to the original, from which the תבנית was taken; so that we cannot follow the Rabbins in their interpretation of this passage, as affirming that the heavenly originals of the tabernacle and its furniture had been shown to Moses in a vision upon the mountain. What was shown to him was simply a picture or model of the earthly tabernacle and its furniture, which were to be made by him. Both Acts 7:44 and Hebrews 8:5 are perfectly reconcilable with this interpretation of our verse, which is the only one that can be grammatically sustained. The words of Stephen, that Moses was to make the tabernacle κατὰ τὸν τύπον ὅν ἑωράκει, "according to the fashion that he had seen," are so indefinite, that the text of Exodus must be adduced to explain them. And when the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews cites the words, "See that thou make all things κατὰ τὸν τύπον τὸν δειχθέντα σοι ἐν τῷ ὄρει" (according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount), from Exodus 25:40 of this chapter, as a proof the Levitical priests only served the type and shadow of heavenly things (τῶν ἐπουρανίων); it is true, his words may be understood as showing that he regarded the earthly tabernacle with all its arrangements as only the counterpart and copy of a heavenly original. But this interpretation is neither necessary nor well founded. For although the author, by following the Sept., in which בּתניתם is rendered κατὰ τὸν τύπον, the suffix being dropped, leaves it just a possible thing to understand the τύπος shown to Moses as denoting a heavenly tabernacle (or temple); yet he has shown very clearly that this was not his own view, when he explains the "patterns of things in the heavens" (ὑποδείγματα τῶν ἐν οὐρανοῖς) and "the true" things (τὰ ἀληθινά) of both the tabernacle and its furniture as denoting the "heaven" (οὐρανός) into which Christ had entered, and not any temple in heaven. If the ἐπουράνια are heaven itself, the τύπος showed to Moses cannot have been a temple in heaven, but either heaven itself, or, more probably still, as there could be no necessity for this to be shown to Moses in a pictorial representation, a picture of heavenly things or divine realities, which was shown to Moses that he might copy and embody it in the earthly tabernacle.

(Note: The conclusion drawn by Delitzsch (Hebrerbrief, p. 337), that because the author does not refer to anything between the ἐπουράνια and their ἀντίτυπα (Exodus 9:24), the τύπος can only have consisted of the ἐπουράνια themselves, is a mistake. All that the premises preclude, is the intervention of any objective reality, or third material object, but not the introduction of a pictorial representation, through which Moses was shown how to copy the heavenly realities and embody them in an earthly form. The earthly tent would no more be a copy of the copy of a heavenly original in this case, than a palace built according to a model is a copy of that model. Moreover, Delitzsch himself thinks it is "not conceivable that, when Moses was favoured with a view of the heavenly world, it was left to him to embody what he saw in a material form, to bring it within the limits of space." He therefore assumes, both for the reason assigned, and because "no mortal has ever looked directly at heavenly things," that "inasmuch as what was seen could not be directly reflected in the mirror of his mind, not to mention the retina of his eye, it was set before him in a visible form, and according to the operation of God who showed it, in a manner adapted to serve as a model of the earthly sanctuary to be erected." Thus he admits that it is true that Moses did not see the heavenly world itself, but only a copy of it that was shown to him by God.)

If we understand the verse before us in this sense, it merely expresses what is already implied in the fact itself. If God showed Moses a picture or model of the tabernacle, and instructed him to make everything exactly according to this pattern, we must assume that in the tabernacle and its furniture heavenly realities were to be expressed in earthly forms; or, to put it more clearly, that the thoughts of God concerning salvation and His kingdom, which the earthly building was to embody and display, were visibly set forth in the pattern shown. The symbolical and typical significance of the whole building necessarily follows from this, though without our being obliged to imitate the Rabbins, and seek in the tabernacle the counterpart or copy of a heavenly temple. What these divine thoughts were that were embodied in the tabernacle, can only be gathered from the arrangement and purpose of the whole building and its separate parts; and upon this point the description furnishes so much information, that when read in the light of the whole of the covenant revelation, it gives to all the leading points precisely the clearness that we require.

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