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The Comparison of the Tabernacle of Yahweh to the Tabernacle of the Human Body. By Rhea Bonsey.

1 Corinthians 6:18:20 states “Flee from fornication. Every sin that a man might do is outside of his body, but he who commits sexual immorality, sins in, his body.

19 Or do you not know that your body is the Temple of the Ruach HaKodesh that dwells

in you, which you received from Eloah, and [that] you are not of your nefesh?

20 For you are bought with a price…. Therefore, glorify Eloah in your body, and in your

spirit, which are of Eloah.” (HRV).

If we examine this closely, we note that Rav Sha'ul (Paul) uses the word “Temple” when referring to the body. A good study of the Temple or Tabernacle can be found in Exodus 25:1 – 26:30, which is this week's Triennial Torah Parsha. Let's look closely at this:

10And they shall make an ark of acacia wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length

thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height

thereof.

11 And you shall overlay it with pure gold; within and without shall you overlay it: and

shall make upon it a crown of gold round about.

12 And you shall cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in the four feet thereof: and

two rings shall be on the one side of it, and two rings on the other side of it.

13 And you shall make staves of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold.

14 And you shall put the staves into the rings on the sides of the ark, with which to bear

the ark.

15 The staves shall be in the rings of the ark; they shall not be taken from it.

16 And you shall put into the ark, the testimony which I shall give you.

17 And you shall make an ark cover of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the

length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof.

18 And you shall make two cheruvim of gold--of beaten work shall you make them--at

the two ends of the ark cover.

19 And make one cheruv at the one end, and one cheruv at the other end: of one piece

with the ark cover, shall you make the cheruvim of the two ends thereof.

20 And the cheruvim shall spread out their wings on high, screening the ark cover with

their wings: with their faces one to another toward the ark cover, shall the faces of the

cheruvim be.

21 And you shall put the ark cover above; upon the ark. And in the ark, you shall put the

testimony that I shall give you.

22 And there, I will meet with you and I will speak with you, from above the ark cover;

from between the two cheruvim, which are upon the ark of the testimony of all things

which I will give you in commandment, unto the children of Yisra’el.” (Exodus 25;10-22 HRV).

The first element of the Temple that Elohim directed Moshe to construct was the Ark. In Hebrew, the word for Ark, as “Aron – אורן " this is derived from the word “or – אור" meaning “light” .

The Ark contains the Tablets of the Torah, and is the essence, the reason for the existence of the temple, or tabernacle.

In Scripture, we read:-

The opening of Your Words give light,: it gives understanding unto the simple” (Psa 119:130 HRV)

and:-

The spirit - ruach of man is the light of Yahweh, searching all the inward parts” (Pro 20:27 HRV)

19 And I will give them--one heart--and I will put a new spirit within you. And I will

remove the--stony heart--out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh, 20 That they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances, and do them: and they

shall be My people, and I will be their Elohim.”Ezekiel 11:19-20. (HRV)

The Light of the WORD, - Torah and Messiah is carried in the HEART of man, becoming, our personal ARK.

Reading on in our Parsha – we read “ And you shall overlay it with pure gold; within and without shall you overlay it”- Ex 25:11 (HRV).

The Rabbis teach that for this overlay of gold upon the acacia wood, three boxes were made: the primary one was of acacia wood, then a second larger box of gold was made, into which the wooden box was placed. Then a third, smaller box was made of gold, and placed into the wooden box. Thus, the main box was covered with gold, inside and out – see Rashi's commentary.

In practical terms, how does this reflect our hearts? If indeed our hearts do carry the WORD of Yahweh, then our inner character must match the outer demeanour; in other words, our outer behaviour and the persona we present to the world in our daily living should match. The absolute sanctity with which the Torah is regarded as the reason for our existence. We depend heavily on it for our daily lives. Our study of Torah and obedience of Messiah Yahshua is the essential sustainer of life.

Now let's examine the Cover for the Ark:

17 And you shall make an ark cover of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the

length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof.

18 And you shall make two cheruvim of gold--of beaten work shall you make them--at

the two ends of the ark cover.

19 And make one cheruv at the one end, and one cheruv at the other end: of one piece

with the ark cover, shall you make the cheruvim of the two ends thereof.

20 And the cheruvim shall spread out their wings on high, screening the ark cover with

their wings: with their faces one to another toward the ark cover, shall the faces of the

cheruvim be.

21 And you shall put the ark cover above; upon the ark. And in the ark, you shall put the

testimony that I shall give you.

22 And there, I will meet with you and I will speak with you, from above the ark cover;

from between the two cheruvim, which are upon the ark of the testimony of all things

which I will give you in commandment, unto the children of Yisra’el.” (Exodus 25;17-22 HRV).

The Cover is representative of the human soul, or “neshama – נשמה". The Cover is separate from the Ark, as is our soul from the body. Note the Keruv described on the Cover. The wings of the Keruvim are stretched upward – to teach us to aspire to raise ourselves higher in the wisdom of Elohim, and in His service. The faces of the Keruvim are pointed downward, to symbolise our true source of wisdom is the Word contained in the Ark and the faces of the Keruvim facing each other teaches us that we use the wisdom learn in the study of the Word to interact with each other.

The next element I want to discuss is the Table.

23 And you shall make a table of acacia wood: two cubits shall be the length thereof, and

a cubit the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof.

24 And you shall overlay it with pure gold, and make thereto, a crown of gold round

about.

25 And you shall make unto it a border of a handbreadth round about, and you shall

make a golden crown to the border thereof, round about.

26 And you shall make for it four rings of gold, and put the rings in the four corners that

are on the four feet thereof.

27 Close by the border shall the rings be, for places for the staves to bear the table.

28 And you shall make the staves of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold, that the

table may be borne with them.

29 And you shall make the dishes thereof, and the pans thereof, and the jars thereof, and

the bowls thereof, with which to pour out; of pure gold shall you make them.

30 And you shall set upon the table, show-bread, before Me always.” (Exodus 25:23-30 HRV).

The Table had twelve specially baked loaves of “show-bread” on it at all times, in two columns of six. They were baked on Friday, and placed on the Table at Shabbat, when the old loaves were removed. The Table and the show-bread speak of sustenance, and prosperity. The Talmud teaches that a Kohen (High-Priest) who ate even a tiny piece of the previous week's show-bread from the Table would be fully satisfied. (Talmud, Yoma 39a). Imagine how our personal temples, our bodies and souls are nourished if we eat but a morsel of the Bread of Life!

King Messiah Yahshua declares:-

48 I am the Bread of Life.

49 Your fathers ate manna in the wilderness, and they died.

50 Now this is the Bread that has descended from heaven, that man might eat of it and,

not die.

51 I am the Bread of Life because I descended from heaven, and if anyone should eat of

this Bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give, is My body that I give for

the life of the world.” (John 6:48-51 HRV).

Acceptance of Yahshua as our Messiah, and daily feeding on the Bread He gives us, is prosperous for our bodies and our souls.

The Table of show-bread also speaks of material prosperity. Our material and temporal lives must also be guided by feeding on the Bread of Life – Torah and Messiah.

The next element of the Tabernacle I want to discuss is the Menorah.

31 And you shall make a menorah of pure gold; of beaten work shall the menorah be

made: even its base, and its shaft; its cups, its knobs, and its flowers, shall be of one piece

with it.

32 And there shall be six branches going out of the sides thereof: three branches of the

menorah out of the one side thereof, and three branches of the menorah out of the other

side thereof;

33 Three cups made like almond blossoms in one branch, a knob and a flower, and three

cups made like almond blossoms in the other branch, a knob and a flower--so for the six

branches going out of the menorah.

34 And in the menorah, four cups made like almond blossoms--the knobs thereof, and

the flowers thereof.

35 And a knob under two branches of one piece with it, and a knop under two branches

of one piece with it, and a knob under two branches of one piece with it, for the six

branches going out of the menorah.

36 Their knobs and their branches, shall be of one piece with it--the whole of it, one

beaten work of pure gold.

37 And you shall make the lamps thereof, seven. And they shall light the lamps thereof,

to give light over against it.

38 And the tongs thereof, and the snuffdishes thereof, shall be of pure gold.

39 Of a talent of pure gold shall it be made, with all these vessels.

40 And see that you make them after their pattern, which is being shown you in the mount”. Exodus (25:31-40) HRV.

The Menorah is a representation of the human intellect. The light of the Menorah was fed by the purest of olive oil – symbolising the illumination of the intellect.

5 The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit.” (Prov 12:5 HRV).

1 Now I urge you, my brothers, by the mercies of Eloah, to present your bodies a living,

and Set-Apart, and acceptable, sacrifice to Eloah; in reasonable service.

2 And do not imitate this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your minds: and

distinguish what is the good, and acceptable, and complete, will of Eloah.

3 Now I say by the favor that was given to me for all of you, You should not think

outside of what is right to think: but every man should think soberly, according to trust, in

the measure Eloah has distributed to him.” (Rom 12:3 HRV).

In order for our intellects to be illuminating and inspirational to those around us, we must feed our intellects with the pure olive oil of the WORD. We cannot stop evil thoughts entering our minds, but we can choose to ignore them.

7 For as one that has reckoned within himself, so is he.” (Prov 23:7 HRV). What we entertain in our intellects, we eventually become. So should we entertain the WORD in our intellects. As we act out the WORD, so our intellects become as brightly illuminated as the Temple Menorah.

Lastly, I'd like to touch briefly on the Tabernacle Curtains.

1 Moreover, you shall make the tabernacle with ten curtains: of fine twined linen, and

blue, and purple, and scarlet; with cheruvim: the work of the skilful workman shall you

make them.

2 The length of each curtain shall be eight and twenty cubits, and the breadth of each

curtain four cubits; all the curtains shall have one measure.” (Exodus 26:1 HRV).

The curtains covering the Tabernacle or Temple, speak of how we clothe our bodies.

How do we clothe ourselves? Do we dress to look our best on Shabbat? Do we dress modestly? Do we take pride in our apparel- making sure it is clean and neat?

We are all familiar with going to a club for a meal, and noticing that the club has “dress standards”.

I also served in the military. The terms “dress of the day” and “ceremonial dress” became very familiar to me, not to mention that charges could be faced for sloppy careless uniform attire, unpolished shoes on parade, and so forth.

Do you know that Yahweh has “dress standards”'? When we enter into His Presence, do we wear our “ceremonial” dress? Do we wear our tallitot, or prayer veils in His Presence? Are our tallitot/prayer veils clean? Tidy? Are the tzit-tzits on the corners properly tied?

How we present ourselves to Yahweh, and to those around us speak volumes. It speaks of whether or not we care how we look, it speaks of our love for Yahweh when we take pains to dress ourselves and put on our tallitot/prayer veils to come into His Presence.

The curtains of the Tabernacle also speak of modest dressing. When we clothe ourselves modestly, we will show that inner light which comes from the Menorah of our intellect and understanding, and the beauty of a clean Ark – our hearts carrying the Testimony, rather than showing the body in an inappropriate manner for those professing to love Yahweh.

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