Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Q&A - What was the main purpose of the Desert Tabernacle?

PLEASE SEE THIS PAGE FOR COMPLETE EXPLANATION. THANK YOU.

The main purpose, and in fact, the reason for Tabernacle construction is defined in the well known verse of Exodus 25:8-9:

8 And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.

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.

‎8 ‏וְעָ֥שׂוּ לִ֖י מִקְדָּ֑שׁ וְשָׁכַנְתִּ֖י בְּתוֹכָֽם׃

‎9 ‏כְּכֹ֗ל אֲשֶׁ֤ר אֲנִי֙ מַרְאֶ֣ה אוֹתְךָ֔ אֵ֚ת תַּבְנִ֣ית הַמִּשְׁכָּ֔ן וְאֵ֖ת תַּבְנִ֣ית כָּל־כֵּלָ֑יו וְכֵ֖ן תַּעֲשֽׂוּ׃ ס

The Tabernacle (Mishkan) was the ONLY divinely appointed sanctuary, and therefore it can be said that the Tabernacle can be considered as God's primary and beloved Temple. Because of this, it is specifically the Tabernacle's description that was immortalized in the eternal Law, and not some other abode.


In fact, this is what God said to David through prophet Nathan about David's desire to build the Temple (a.k.a. First Temple - Temple of Solomon) in 2 Samuel 7:5-7:

5 Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith the LORD, Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in?

6 Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle.

7 In all the places wherein I have walked with all the children of Israel spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, Why build ye not me an house of cedar?

‎5 ‏לֵ֤ךְ וְאָֽמַרְתָּ֙ אֶל־עַבְדִּ֣י אֶל־דָּוִ֔ד כֹּ֖ה אָמַ֣ר יְהוָ֑ה הַאַתָּ֛ה תִּבְנֶה־לִּ֥י בַ֖יִת לְשִׁבְתִּֽי׃

‎6 ‏כִּ֣י לֹ֤א יָשַׁ֙בְתִּי֙ בְּבַ֔יִת לְ֠מִיּוֹם הַעֲלֹתִ֞י אֶת־בְּנֵ֤י יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ מִמִּצְרַ֔יִם וְעַ֖ד הַיּ֣וֹם הַזֶּ֑ה וָאֶֽהְיֶה֙ מִתְהַלֵּ֔ךְ בְּאֹ֖הֶל וּבְמִשְׁכָּֽן׃

‎7 ‏בְּכֹ֥ל אֲשֶֽׁר־הִתְהַלַּכְתִּי֮ בְּכָל־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵל֒ הֲדָבָ֣ר דִּבַּ֗רְתִּי אֶת־אַחַד֙ שִׁבְטֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֲשֶׁ֣ר צִוִּ֗יתִי לִרְע֛וֹת אֶת־עַמִּ֥י אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל לֵאמֹ֑ר לָ֛מָּה לֹֽא־בְנִיתֶ֥ם לִ֖י בֵּ֥ית אֲרָזִֽים׃
God, of'course, granted David's wish, which was realized through his son Solomon. But the condition for the Temple's existence was that the Children of Israel heed and observe all that is written in the Law of Moses.

1 Kings 6:11-13

11 And the word of the LORD came to Solomon, saying,

12 Concerning this house which thou art in building, if thou wilt walk in my statutes, and execute my judgments, and keep all my commandments to walk in them; then will I perform my word with thee, which I spake unto David thy father:

13 And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake my people Israel.

‎11 ‏וַֽיְהִי֙ דְּבַר־יְהוָ֔ה אֶל־שְׁלֹמֹ֖ה לֵאמֹֽר׃

‎12 ‏הַבַּ֨יִת הַזֶּ֜ה אֲשֶׁר־אַתָּ֣ה בֹנֶ֗ה אִם־תֵּלֵ֤ךְ בְּחֻקֹּתַי֙ וְאֶת־מִשְׁפָּטַ֣י תַּֽעֲשֶׂ֔ה וְשָׁמַרְתָּ֥ אֶת־כָּל־מִצְוֹתַ֖י לָלֶ֣כֶת בָּהֶ֑ם וַהֲקִמֹתִ֤י אֶת־דְּבָרִי֙ אִתָּ֔ךְ אֲשֶׁ֥ר דִּבַּ֖רְתִּי אֶל־דָּוִ֥ד אָבִֽיךָ׃

‎13 ‏וְשָׁ֣כַנְתִּ֔י בְּת֖וֹךְ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וְלֹ֥א אֶעֱזֹ֖ב אֶת־עַמִּ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃ ס

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