Exodus – Chapter 30

taking the census

Verse 10 – This once a year-Day of Atonement- the only time the high priest entered the Most Holy Place was where he asked God to forgive the people. The Day of Atonement was a reminder that their daily sacrifices were only temporary.

Verses 11-16 – This census was taken for military purpose which they would need later on. This half-shekel was to be an offering for the service of the tabernacle. This half-shekel was about 64.00 in today’s money. God said the poor and rich were to pay the same amount. No favoritism because of anyone wanting to give more. No plague would come on the people if they did this.

Verses 22-33 – The oil they were to make was very expensive, but it was to be Holy. Myrrh-a sap from a tree found in Arabia and Ethiopia. Cinnamon; this came from the bark of a tree grown in Ceylon and Malaysia. Cassia may have come from a type of tree bark; and then a liquid measure of (hin) olive oil. No one but the priest was to make this anointing oil. It was to be used to anoint the things in the tabernacle, Aaron and his sons only.

Verses 34-38 – The Israelite’s often burned incense, but not with this recipe. God told Moses that no one could make this for themselves or they would be cut off. This sweet-smelling incense was burned in shallow dishes called censers and was used to show honor and reverence to God.

Exodus – Chapter 29

Priest give sacrifices

The Consecration of the Priest

Verse 1 – God’s original intention was for His chosen people to be a “Kingdom of priest.” As a nation and individually they would be able to deal directly with God. Always remember God’s intention is to give us His best. But instead God had to appoint individual priest from the tribe of Levi to set up a system of sacrifices to help the people approach Him. He promised to forgive the people’s sin if they would offer certain sacrifices through these priests and their work. God was preparing the people for the coming of Jesus Christ, who would be able to have a relationship with them through His son Jesus. But for now, before Christ, priests were the ones representing them before God. Through this Old Testament system we can better understand the great significance of what Christ did for us (see Hebrews 10:1-14).

Verse 10 – Some may wonder why God was so detailed in giving these instructions. God’s chosen people were about to go into the promise land Canaan and God didn’t want them bringing these Canaanite pagan religious practices when they worshiped the One true God. This also showed the Hebrews how serious God was with His relationship with them. By God instructing Aaron and his sons to place their hands on the bull, it transferred the people’s sin onto the bull.

Verses 12, 13 – While the blood represented life, the fat symbolized abundance and was characteristic of an animal that had been well fed and cared for; it was considered the best part. The kidneys were associated with the inner life along with the heart.

Verse 14 – This offering was sometimes called a “purification offering,” its purpose was to atone for sin or ceremonial uncleanness in order to restore communion with God. Most of the animal had to be burned outside the camp (Hebrews 13:11, 12).

Verse 18 – The first ram was given as a burnt offering. It went up in its entirety as a tribute to God that would make a pleasing aroma signifying God’s acceptance of the offering and the worshiper (Leviticus 1).

Verse 20, 21 – No reason is given for placing blood on the right ear, thumb on right hand, and on the big toe of their right foot. But here’s what comes to mind for me when I read this. After Christ ascension, He sat down at the right hand of the Father. Honor and life everlasting are two of the promises in the Fathers right hand. Maybe by placing the blood on the right ear it would be an opening for the priest to hear better from God. Most people are right-handed, so maybe this right thumb represented that the hand would do no harm. When we walk, we are guided and keep balance by our big toes. If they (priest) heard right, did right by their hands, then maybe they would walk upright. I’m not saying this was God’s intention for sure, but this is what I received out of these verses.

Verses 22-25 – The sacrifice of the second ram is the one of the fellowship sacrifices. This included a shared meal.

Verses 26-28 – Now remember, God has been talking to Moses, God told him the breast of the ram would be his portion because he was the officiating priest. Later on it would go to Aaron and his sons (Leviticus 7:34-36).

Verse 37 – Notice the overwhelming emphasis on the holiness of God. The priest, the cloths, the tabernacle, and the sacrifice had to be clean and consecrated, prepared to meet God. This is in contrast to how some today treat a time of worship. We worship the All Mighty Creator and sustain-er of the universe. We need to remember who He is with reverence (not like a funeral though; our God is alive and so should we act like it).

Verses 38-42 – After the instructions for the seventh-day consecration of Aaron and his sons and altar in verses 1-37, instructions for regular sacrifices to be offered on normal days were given.

Verses 43-46 – Do you see now that God’s desire was to protect and provide for His chosen people? Throughout the Bible God showed that He was not absent. How sad that some people chose to exclude God from their entire life because they think they know better. But all this that God has just spoken to Moses will become jeopardized by the Israelite’s actions in chapter 32.

Exodus – Chapter 28

highpriest cloths

The Command to Make the Priest Cloths

Verses 1-3 – These tailors who made Aaron’s garments were given wisdom by God in order to complete their task. God gives each one of us special gifts and talents to be used for His Glory. Don’t let yours go to waste.

Verses 6-13 – The ephod was a kind of apron elaborately embroidered with two pieces, back and front, joined at the shoulder with a band at the waist. On each shoulder strap was a stone with 6 of the 12 tribes of Israel engraved on it. The priest symbolically carried the burden of the whole nation on his shoulders as he represented them to God.

Verse 16 – The breast piece was folded double, it seems to create a pocket or pouch for storing the Urim and Thummim (these may have been flat objects taken out of the pouch, tossed, to give replies to prayerful questions).

Verse 29 – “As a memorial,” is a reminder to Israel of their dependence, faith and prayer to God.

Verse 30 – The use of the Urim and Thummim would give direction for the priest from God to the people on certain matters.

Verses 33,34 – When the High Priest was in the tabernacle working (Holy Place) the sound of these bells could be heard, if they stopped making sound, that would mean that the priest had died, then the others would have to pull him out.

Verses 36, 37 – “Holy to the Lord” indicated ownership –“belonging to”. The priest was marked as someone devoted to the Lord’s service, representing the Israelite’s.

Verse 38 – By representing the Israelite’s, Aaron would bear the guilt or suffer the consequences associated with failure to observe the requirements of holiness.

Verse 41 – Ceremonial anointing, involved pouring oil on a person .Among those anointed were priest, kings and prophets.

Exodus – Chapter 27

view of tabernacle

 

Verse 1 – The altar would sit outside the sanctuary or tabernacle in the middle of the courtyard square in front of the Holy place. This is the first thing the Israelite’s would see when they entered the courtyard. This is where the burnt sacrifices were to take place. It constantly reminded the people that they could only come to God through sacrifice. It was the only way sins could be forgiven and taken away. In Hebrews 10: 1-18, Jesus Christ is portrayed as the ultimate sacrifice. The priest performed the daily sacrifices, maintained the tabernacle, and counseled the people on how to follow God. Jesus is now our High Priest (Hebrews 8). Sacrifices are no longer required because Christ was our perfect sacrifice for all our sin-past, present, and future. You have to understand this or you will never understand what took place when our Lord offered Himself in our place. Please, don’t skip this.

Verse 8 – This altar was hollow which made it easy to transport. (remember, they  are moving toward the Promise Land). It could be filled with earth and stones each time it was rebuilt.

The Court

Verses 9-18 – This courtyard would be enclosed by a fence-seven and a half feet high, made with linen cloth hung from posts at seven-and-a-half foot intervals. It would open to the east.

The Oil for the Lamp

Verses 20, 21 – This variety of pure oil from crushed olives would give bright light with very little smoke. The tabernacle is also called “the tent of meeting;” the intention was for the Lord to meet them their.

Exodus – Chapter 26

view of tabernacle

The Curtains of Linen

Verses 1-14 – The tabernacle proper was made with four layers; (1) finely spun linen, (2) goats hair, (3) ram skins, (4) and badger skin above that.

Verses 15-25 – The tabernacle’s opening was to the east, its short wall on the west, and its long walls on the north and south formed a cross.

Verses 31-35 – This veil divided the tabernacle proper. The outer room, the Holy Place would contain the table and lamp stand, and the table with the bread of Presence. The priest entered the Holy place each day to commune with God and to tend to the altar of incense.  The Most Holy Place, the inner room, would contain the Ark of the Testimony and its cover, the mercy-seat. This is where God Himself dwelt. Only the high priest could enter. He could only enter once a year (Day of Atonement) to make atonement for the sins of the nation as a whole. Why is this important to us? Because, when Christ died on the cross, the curtain (veil) in the temple (which had replace the tabernacle) tore from top to bottom (Mark 15:38), symbolizing our free access to God because of Jesus death. No longer did people have to approach God through a priest and sacrifice.

The Outer Veil

Verses 36, 37 – The entrance to the Holy Place, on the east side of the tabernacle, would have a woven linen screen of the same fine linen, but with no mention of the cherubim design.

Exodus – Chapter 25

getting ready to set up tabernacle

The Offering for the Tabernacle

Chapters 25-31 record God’s directions for building the tabernacle. Chapters 35-39 tells how these instructions were carried out.

Verses 1-7 – First God tells Moses to tell the people to bring Him an offering. Notice what He says. He was only to take the offerings that were willingly given from the heart. That’s how we are to tithe. We willingly give not only for the pastor and staff to be paid, but how else are the lights supposed to stay on? The building we meet in has to be paid for. Our leaders should not spend more time worrying about money than learning and studying from God to spread the gospel. The tithe is blessed.

Purpose of the Tabernacle

Verse 8 – God wanted them to build Him a tabernacle for His presence to be with His people. He wanted the people He chose to know Him.  By building this portable worship center, the Lord showed that He intended to live among the Israelite’s more closely than when meeting with them on Mount Sinai.

Verse 9 – God didn’t just tell Moses what He wanted concerning the tabernacle; He showed Him what it was to look like. I don’t know how He showed him, but He did. Keep in mind our God is absolutely capable of anything. Maybe He showed Moses all this in a vision; maybe He took him to heaven and showed him, I don’t know, but the Bible says He showed him.

The Ark of the Covenant

Verse 10 – Most of the furniture was made of acacia wood. Acacia trees flourished in barren regions and were fairly common in the Old Testament times. The wood was brownish-orange and very hard.  The Ark was a rectangular wood box covered inside and out with gold. It sat in the most sacred area in the tabernacle. It was to hold the stone tablets given to Moses, which were a witness, or testimony to the requirements the Israelite’s had agreed to. On the Day of Atonement, the high priest sprinkled blood on the mercy-seat.

Verses 17, 18 – The cover of the Ark of the Testimony was not only called the Mercy Seat but the Atonement Cover. This is where between the two golden cherubs (mighty angels); the presence of God would dwell in a cloud above their outstretched wings. The atonement was where the high priest would enter the Most Holy Place of the tabernacle on the Day of Atonement to atone for the sins of the people. Why is this important for us as believers to know? Because if you don’t understand what took place before Christ’s crucifixion and why He was crucified, you won’t understand what took place when He said as He hung on the cross “It is finished.”

Verse 22 – Our loving God was making a place where mercy (forgiveness) was to be given for the people’s sin. God knew they would sin but He made a place of provision for that sin.

The Table of Show-bread

Verse 30 – This Show-bread consisted of 12 loaves made with fine flour and arranged in two rows on the gold-covered table located just outside the Most Holy area of the tabernacle (Leviticus 24:5-9). This bread was to be set before the Lord at all times and eaten by the priest.

The Golden Lamp Stand

Verses 31-40 – First read Hebrews 8:5. This is very significant because all these things concerning what God was showing Moses were a replica of what exists in Heaven. It had to be exact. It existed in Heaven first. God loves details and His details have a purpose. This highly decorated lamp stand resembled the almond tree, noted for its early blossoming. The Hebrew word for “Almond” is associated with a verb that means “watch over” or “keep watch.” Aaron’s staff was made of almond wood. It is a symbol of God watching over His word to accomplish His purpose. Now go to Revelation 1:12, 13. To me, this proves what Moses saw was in Heaven. John writes of the seven lamp stands and in the midst was the Son of Man, Jesus. This is after Christ’s ascension, so where are the lamp stands? They are in Heaven where Christ is. Here these lamp stands represent the seven churches.

Exodus – Chapter 24

the elders lay before God

The Covenant Is Ratified Through Blood

Verses 1, 2 – Nadab and Abihu were two of Aaron’s son’s (6:23). To bow in worship at a distance fits ancient customs that called for bowing in full-length prostration at various points when approaching a person to whom one showed great respect (Genesis 33:3). When only Moses could approach closely, Aaron and the elders could come near enough only to participate in the ways that Exodus 24:9-11 describes.

Verse 3 – What the people said here is very significant. They told Moses all the Lord says, we will do. Keep in mind, the All Mighty knows before they even finish speaking whether they would or not.

Verse 5 – Burnt offerings were burned entirely, except for the animal hides and they showed total dedication to the Lord. The shedding of blood when making a covenant reminded every one of the covenants seriousness and the penalties for breaking it. Because this covenant was with God, the shed blood was also a provision for atonement and forgiveness, life for life (Hebrews 9:13-22).

Verses 6-8 God is the sovereign judge of the universe. He also is absolutely holy. The punishment for sin is worthy of death. In the Old Testament, (all times before Christ’ death) God accepted the death of animals as a substitute for the sinner. The animals shed blood was proof that one life had been given for another. This also symbolizes the life that was spared as a result of this shed blood. This blood that was shed was only a temporary provision, looking forward to the death of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 9:9-10:24). In the ceremony described here Moses sprinkled half the blood from the animal on the altar to show that the sinner could once again approach God because something had died in his place. He then sprinkled the other half on the people to show that the penalty for their sin had been paid and they could be reunited with God.

Verses 9-11 – These verses are amazing! Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu and seventy of the elders went up and must have been lying prostrate because what they described was under God’s feet. This sight was beyond anything they knew or had ever seen before. It was like a paved sapphire stone and was as clear as the sky. God then received them with favor. Then they ate and drank. Most celebrations are done with a meal to show fellowship.

Verse 12 – Then God calls Moses further up the mountain to receive the law (instructions on building the tabernacle), (Chapters 25-31) and the commandments which God Himself had already written.

Verses 13-15 – For years, I have read these verses and never heard anyone preach on verse 13. Joshua went with Moses, up to the top of the mountain. Moses and Joshua parallel that of Abraham and Isaac (Genesis 22). In both cases the older man left instructions and the younger man required an explanation of events from the older man. Our God is so magnificent. A cloud covered the mountain (His Glory).

Verses 16-18 – Please don’t skip these verses. There is too much to learn. Picture what is taking place; God’s glory rested on the very top of Mount Sinai; Moses and Joshua wait six whole days for God to speak. This reminds me of praying and asking God for an answer and it doesn’t come the first day; so I go back to Him and ask again; this is called, “waiting on the Lord.” But on the seventh day God called to Moses out of the cloud. How long are we willing to wait on God? Don’t give up. It’s always worth the wait! What did they do while they were waiting? What do we do while we wait? I’ve learned to pray and worship the One who has all the answers. Moses went up even higher into the midst where God was and he was there 40 days and 40 nights. The children of Israel were at the base of this mountain watching. So they knew where Moses was. I say this because what happens next can be compared to what we do sometimes when God doesn’t answer us as fast as we think He should. We quit waiting; we stop worshiping; we stop watching; we stop believing; we go back to doing it our way; we go back to what is familiar. Watch and wait without complaining and you will see God answer.

Exodus – Chapter 23

The people at the base of mountain

Proper Justice

Verse – – Destructive gossip still causes problems. Even not telling the whole truth is destructive. Even if you did not initiate a lie, you become responsible if you pass it along.

Verses 2, 3 – Justice is often perverted in favor of the rich. Here the people are warned against twisting justice in favor of the poor. Justice should be impartial, treating rich and poor alike. Let the fairness God shows to each of us guide our judgment.

Verses 4, 5 – The thought of being kind to enemies were new in a world where revenge was the common form of justice. God not only introduced this idea to the Israelite’s, He made it law. Jesus clearly taught in Luke 10:30-37 to reach out to all people in need, even our enemies. When we show fairness and kindness to our enemies, we show how different we are from the world’s thinking.

Verses 10-13 – The Lord’s provision for His people from year to year would be like His provision of manna from day-to-day; there would be sufficient left over for the seventh day and the seventh year so that everyone could eat without constant labor.

The Three National Feasts

Verses 14-17 – Festival of Unleavened Bread, took place at the start of the barley harvest; the Festival of Harvest took place at the time of the wheat harvest; and the Festival of In-gathering celebrated the completion of all the harvesting, including grapes and olives. Bringing the first fruits; the first items harvested, expressed gratitude for the harvest as coming from the Lord and faith that God would supply the remainder of the harvest (Deuteronomy 26:1-11).

Verses 18, 19 – This sacrificial offering is the Passover lamb which was sacrificed, roasted, and eaten on the week of the Festival of Unleavened Bread.

Conquest Regulations

Verses 20, 21 – Most likely this angel was a manifestation of God. God was in the angel in the same way He was present in the pillars of cloud and fire (13:21, 22). “My name is in him – means the essential nature and power of God were made known in this angel. We need to know that angels encamp around us. When our steps are guided by the Lord, it means He went before us to make the path. This shows how much our loving Heavenly Father loves and cares about choosing the right ways to go in this life.

Verses 24, 25 – Sacred pillars could be set up as monuments for various purposes. God warned the Israelite’s about their neighbors whose beliefs and actions could turn them away from Him. We as believers are called to maintain a life-style that shows our faith. Our lives should show that we obey what God says before doing what is praised and accepted by society.

Verse 26 – This verse shows God is concerned about all aspects of our life.

Verse 29 – Not all of God’s solutions are instantaneous. Nor does delay mean His inattention. In this case success would come step by step.

Verses 32, 33 – Just as Egypt was full of idols and sorcerers, so was the land of Canaan. God knew His people needed extra strength, so He continually emphasized guarding against the influence of pagan religions.

Exodus – Chapter 22

Offerings

Verse 1 – The laws listed here don’t cover every possible situation but give practical examples that make it easier to decide what God wants.

Verses 2-4 – Verse 2 – if the thief breaks in at night and surprises the owner, and the thief can’t be identified, the owner can kill him and be found not guilty. But look what God says if the thief breaks in, in the daylight and kills them. They are guilty of bloodshed. But if the thief is caught, the thief had to make full restitution. They were to repay double. But if they had nothing, they were to be sold. What would happen in today’s society if every thief caught had to be forced to work and pay the person back double of what they had stolen? I believe people start stealing when they are young. If they were made to pay back double of what they stole, they would be less likely to continue this behavior. But our society would rather lock them up at the expense of the tax payers. So the victims of their crime looses twice. What’s the lesson we get from these verses? If you didn’t buy it, it’s not yours; then keep your hands off of it. God even included what should happen if they borrowed their neighbor’s property.

Proper Conduct

Verses 16, 17 – Payment of a bridal price to the girl’s father were a widely established ancient custom.

Verse 18 – The Israelite’s were about to go in the land of Canaan. God knew they would be tempted to follow some of their occult practices. Sorcery was punishable by death because it was a crime against God Himself. To invoke evil powers violated the first commandments to “have no other gods.” Sorcery was rebellion against God and His authority. Today people go to physics, tarot card readers and tea leave readers thinking they can tell them the future. They think nothing of it. If you do this, you are opening up yourself to familiar spirits. These spirits are not of “God.” Don’t do it. As believers, our future is written in the Word of God. The Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth. It’s not beneficial to follow the lies of the devil and his workers.

Verse 20 – The kind of sacrifices mentioned here involved fellowship between the deity and the worshiper.

Verses 22-27 – God insisted that the poor and powerless be well treated and given the chance to restore their fortunes. We should reflect God’s concern for the poor by helping those less fortunate than ourselves.

Verse 28 – This verse tells us to respect our leaders. Do you show your pastor respect; do you pray for him and his family; and do you uphold his decisions?

Verse 29 – The Israelite’s were to be prompt in giving God their offerings. Giving to God first out of what He has allowed us to have demonstrates that He has first priority in our lives.

Exodus – Chapter 21

Moses receiving law

Rights of Person

Verses 1-6 – The Bible acknowledged the existence of slavery but never encouraged it. Theses laws were given because everything we do has consequences. As we deal with others keep these principles in mind. We should act justly and responsibly with all people. The Hebrews, though freed themselves, had slaves or servants. A person could become a slave due to poverty, debt or even crime. But Hebrew slaves were treated as humans, not property and were allowed to work their way to freedom. They were to be freed, if they so chose, in the seventh year.

Verses 7-11 – These verses deal with the rights of a woman who has been sold with the expectation of becoming a kind of second-class wife, woman like Hagar, Bilhah, and Zilpah, who bore children for Abraham and Jacob.

Verse 14 – Take him from my altar, pictures the murderer as having come to the sanctuary for protection.  But even the Lord’s altar provided no asylum for a person who planned a murder.

Verse 16 – Under this statement, what Joseph’s brothers did to him (Genesis 37:27, 28) was a death-penalty offense.

Verses 22, 23 – This formula called for proportionate punishment rather than a process of escalating violence between individuals or families.

Verses 24, 25 – The “eye for eye” rule was instituted as a guide for judges, not as a rule for personal relationships or to justify revenge. This rule made the punishment fit the crime, thereby preventing the cruel and barbaric punishments that characterized many ancient countries. A punishment too harsh is unfair, and one too lenient is powerless to teach.

Verses 26, 27 – Laws protecting slaves are not found in other ancient Near Eastern law collections.

Verses 28-32 – Stoning was a form of public execution and not the ordinary way to slaughter an animal.

Verses 35, 36 – Unlike the death of a human, the death of an ox were a monetary matter. When the matter was unforeseeable, the owners of both oxen bore the loss equally.