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The Tabernacle Chapter 8: The Inner Curtains


The covering of Tabernacle was constructed using a series of curtains. This may be why it was referred to as a tent by David and Solomon. This chapter looks at the details of the inner most curtains described in Exodus 26:1-6, and Exodus 36:8-13.

The inner curtains numbered ten. Each was twenty eight cubits long, and four cubits high, or approximately forty two feet long by six feet high, made of fine twined linen. The total length of the ten curtains is four hundred and twenty feet. Based on the information for the bases and pillars, the court was a hundred cubits long by fifty cubits wide, or one hundred and fifty long by seventy five wide. The total perimeter of the court was four hundred and fifty feet. The four hundred and twenty feet of curtains left a thirty foot opening on the east end of the court.

The curtains had a specific size and design, which must have been manufactured in the wilderness. This required at least one loom to weave the cloth. Carrying a loom more than six feet wide out of Egypt must have been a task. The women may have faced quite a task in convincing the men, they will need a loom in the promises land. They didn’t have the plans for the Tabernacle when leaving Egypt, so the equipment to manufacture the materials was essential. The only explanation to explain why Israel carried the materials, and equipment required to build the Tabernacle is Israel’s plans to quickly establish an economy in the promised land.

Man may have one intent, but some how God always has a way of turning it around, and making it work within His plan. One main ingredient, was Israel’s willingness to cooperate, to give. Once selfish motives were put away, Moses received so much material, he had to tell them to stop bringing more. If only this would have continued. If only Israel would have realized God required more than physical possessions. God wanted their loyalty, and time.

The curtains contained three colors, blue, purple, and scarlet. No details describing the pattern of the colors is provided, except for the fact, the curtains contained images of cherubims. The details do not disclose the size of the cherubims. They may have been only a few inches tall, or as tall as the curtains. Another missing detail is the color of the cherubims on the curtains.

Numbers chapter 4, verses 5-12 record specific packing instructions to move the Tabernacle. The ark was covered with the vail, badger’s skins, and a blue cloth before the staves were put in the sides. The table was covered with a blue cloth, a scarlet cloth, and badger’s skins. The candlestick and golden alter were covered with blue cloth, and badger’s skins. This may indicate the curtains were each of a single color. The Bible has no special instructions to make curtains for the express purpose of covering these items, and the badger skins indicate the tent covering performed double duty.

The Bible does not provide details telling how many curtains were blue, purple, and scarlet. So it is impossible to know for certain if they were of one color, or a specific pattern.

Can the colors on the curtains represent God’s colors, much like colors on a flag represent a countries colors? Colors on a flag usually carry a meaning. Each color will represent something the country stands for. Countries typically place their own meanings on their colors. People have a tendency to place their own definitions on the colors used in the Tabernacle. It is not unusual to hear people claim, red represents Jesus’ blood, purple represents loyalty, and blue represents heaven. So far I have not seen any of these claims supported by Biblical texts. We also need to consider the fact scarlet is consistently used to describe the color of the curtains, while red is used to describe the rams skins.

The color blue may be the easiest to explain. Moses was told to, “Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribbon of blue: And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God.” Numbers 15:38-40. Blue is the color used to remind us about God’s commandments. This is a very significant point which has ramifications beyond the Tabernacle.

Moses was also given explicate details concerning the design of the high priest’s garments. “And thou shalt make the robe of the ephod all of blue. And there shall be an hole in the top of it, in the midst thereof: it shall have a binding of woven work round about the hole of it, as it were the hole of an habergeon, that it be not rent.” Exodus 28:31-32. During His trial, Jesus stood before the high priest, wearing a blue ephod. The blue ephod represented God’s commandments, which the priests chose to ignore. The opening at the top of the ephod was specifically designed so it could not be torn, but this was not the case when they put Jesus on trial.

Mark 14:63 Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What need we any further witnesses?

Based on the fact, the ephod’s opening was designed to be tear proof, the high priest must have reached a verdict before Jesus entered the court. The high priest would have had to prepare the ephod for his dramatic display by cutting through the binding before the trial.

Each curtain was fitted with fifty blue loops near each end. The loops were designed to connect one curtain to the next. The curtains were held together by fifty gold taches designed to fit trough the loops and draw the curtains together.

This design shows the spiritual relationship between each curtain, and each color. Blue represents God’s law and commandment. Gold also represents God’s law, and His word. The curtains were joined together by God’s law, His commandments, and word.

The color purple is also mentioned during Jesus’ hours before His sacrifice. And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands. John 19:2-3. This may be the reason people associate purple with royalty. We have to consider the fact, Roman solders dressed Jesus in a purple robe not to honor, but to mock Him. Would it be proper to apply the definition of royalty to the color purple based on the fact, Roman solders used a purple robe to mock Jesus? Would purple represent royalty, or the disrespect Jesus received at the hands of his executioners?

Scarlet is the most difficult color to find an accurate spiritual meaning for. Scarlet can represent a number of things in the Bible. Isaiah chapter 1 tells us, “though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” This is a very important verse, because it links the color scarlet to red. It seems out of place to assume, scarlet in the Tabernacle represents sin. After all, the Tabernacle was an image, or type of the Heavenly Sanctuary.

Matthew chapter 27 records the robe Roman soldiers placed on Jesus as scarlet. I don’t think this is any type of mistake, but a clue to lead us in an unexpected direction when we study the colors of the Tabernacle.

Revelation chapter 17 describes a scarlet colored beast, and a woman arrayed in purple and scarlet. Revelation chapter 18 describes a city, “clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet.” We know the beast, woman, and city have noting to do with the Tabernacle, as a matter of fact, they strive against everything the Tabernacle stands for. Notice one important detail. All three are missing the color blue, which represents God’s law.

Isaiah establishes a Biblical link between scarlet and red. Since sins are scarlet, and sins are red, we can look at this as a mathematical equation. Sins = scarlet, and sins = red, therefore, scarlet = red. This allows us to search the word red in an effort to locate additional information.

2 Kings 3:22 And they rose up early in the morning, and the sun shone upon the water, and the Moabites saw the water on the other side as red as blood:

The Bible also provides a connection between red and blood. Common sense may tell us because blood is red, it is okay to establish a relationship between the two, and make them interchangeable, but common sense does not establish a proper spiritual connection, until supporting texts are located. In this case, a simple search supplied the required supporting texts. The following verses show us the relationship between the blood of Christ and the Tabernacle.

But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 2:13-14, Hebrews 10:19, Revelation 1:5-6.

The Bible supplies adequate evidence showing the scarlet curtains also represent Christ’s blood, His sacrifice for our sins.

When combined the colors scarlet and blue make purple. Some studies indicate this has some significance. Since there are more than one possible interpretation for the colors scarlet and purple, we can substitute the spiritual definitions for the colors to test this theory.

In the Bible, scarlet is used to represent Christ’s blood, and sin. Purple may represent royalty, and mocking. Blue represents God’s law.

God’s law, and Christ’s blood combine to represent His royalty. Jesus’ royalty is shown in John chapter 18, Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” Jesus is also known as, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” Revelation 19:16, Daniel 7:14.

Christ did not die to earn a kingdom. He died to save souls from the bondage of sin. Daniel tells us, Christ’s, “kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.” Paul adds, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” Daniel 7:27, Romans 8:16-17.

It is one thing for a man to give his life to save another, but how many men would share his kingdom with those he was willing to save? God’s love did not end at the cross.

We can also consider the other things scarlet, and purple represent. God’s law when combined with sin, can only represent mockery. The beast, and whore in Revelation lack God’s law. The fact of the matter is, given the opportunity they would do away with all of God’s commandments, and replace then with their own rules. Some of their rules may appear to similar to God’s commandments, but are still changes to God’s laws. In other words, they are mocking God’s law, just as the Roman solders mocked Christ in the purple robe.

Can scarlet in the sanctuary represent sin? Leviticus chapter 16 explains the details of the yearly atonement of sin. A bull was offered as an atonement for the sins of the high priest, and his house. The ceremony included two goats, one for a sin offering, the other was known as the scape goat. The bull was sacrificed; “And he shall take of the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it with his finger upon the mercy seat eastward; and before the mercy seat shall he sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times. Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat: For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD.” Leviticus 16:14-15, 30.

Of course the ceremony performed in the earthly Tabernacle was a sign, or symbol representing Christ’s work in the Heavenly Sanctuary. But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. Hebrews 9:11-12.

How did sin enter the Heavenly Sanctuary? We have to remember, sin did not originate on earth, it originated in Heaven. Jesus tells us, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” Why was Satan cast out of Heaven? Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. Ezekiel 28:14-15.

The earthy Tabernacle illustrates the cleansing of the Heavenly Sanctuary. Sin will be cleansed first from the Heavenly Sanctuary, before the earth is cleansed.

Scarlet accurately represents two important events in the plan of salvation. The offering of Christ’s blood for the forgiveness of sins, and offering the same blood in the Heavenly Sanctuary during the cleansing.

These three colors have been carefully chosen by God to remind His followers of His plan of redemption. The spiritual meaning of each color has been carefully preserved within His word. When properly studied, every detail within the Tabernacle reveals the identity, and character of its designer.

Next Chapter:  The Tabernacle Chapter 9: The Outer Curtains

I would like to continue to leave this information on the Internet for free based on the simple fact, there is such a great number of people all over the world who cannot afford to purchase the book. If that’s the case, I can email a few copy of the entire book for free.

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© Copyright 2009 – 2013 Dennis Herman

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The entire book is available as an eBook download. Click the cover to link to the sale site.

Bible Study on the Tabernacle
A detailed study into the fulfillment of the types and symbols in the Tabernacle built by Moses.

Supporting texts:

Revelation 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Revelation 20:14-15 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. (15) And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Ezekiel 28:14-15 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. (15) Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

Isaiah 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

Luke 10:18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

Leviticus 16:14-15 And he shall take of the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it with his finger upon the mercy seat eastward; and before the mercy seat shall he sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times. (15) Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat:

Leviticus 16:30 For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD.

Hebrews 9:11-12 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; (12) Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

Psalms 8:5-6 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. (6) Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:

John 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

Numbers 4:8 And they shall spread upon them a cloth of scarlet, and cover the same with a covering of badgers’ skins, and shall put in the staves thereof.

Matthew 27:28-29 And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. (29) And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!

Revelation 17:3-4 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. (4) And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:

Revelation 18:16 And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!

Exodus 26:1-6 Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work shalt thou make them. (2) The length of one curtain shall be eight and twenty cubits, and the breadth of one curtain four cubits: and every one of the curtains shall have one measure. (3) The five curtains shall be coupled together one to another; and other five curtains shall be coupled one to another. (4) And thou shalt make loops of blue upon the edge of the one curtain from the selvedge in the coupling; and likewise shalt thou make in the uttermost edge of another curtain, in the coupling of the second. (5) Fifty loops shalt thou make in the one curtain, and fifty loops shalt thou make in the edge of the curtain that is in the coupling of the second; that the loops may take hold one of another. (6) And thou shalt make fifty taches of gold, and couple the curtains together with the taches: and it shall be one tabernacle.

Exodus 36:8-13 And every wise hearted man among them that wrought the work of the tabernacle made ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work made he them. (9) The length of one curtain was twenty and eight cubits, and the breadth of one curtain four cubits: the curtains were all of one size. (10) And he coupled the five curtains one unto another: and the other five curtains he coupled one unto another. (11) And he made loops of

blue on the edge of one curtain from the selvedge in the coupling: likewise he made in the uttermost side of another curtain, in the coupling of the second. (12) Fifty loops made he in one curtain, and fifty loops made he in the edge of the curtain which was in the coupling of the second: the loops held one curtain to another. (13) And he made fifty taches of gold, and coupled the curtains one unto another with the taches: so it became one tabernacle.

Exodus 26:30-34 And thou shalt rear up the tabernacle according to the fashion thereof which was shewed thee in the mount. (31) And thou shalt make a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubims shall it be made: (32) And thou shalt hang it upon four pillars of shittim wood overlaid with gold: their hooks shall be of gold, upon the four sockets of silver. (33) And thou shalt hang up the vail under the taches, that thou mayest bring in thither within the vail the ark of the testimony: and the vail shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy. (34) And thou shalt put the mercy seat upon the ark of the testimony in the most holy place.

Exodus 27:16 And for the gate of the court shall be an hanging of twenty cubits, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, wrought with needlework: and their pillars shall be four, and their sockets four.

Exodus 28:4-6 And these are the garments which they shall make; a breastplate, and an ephod, and a robe, and a broidered coat, a mitre, and a girdle: and they shall make holy garments for Aaron thy brother, and his sons, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office. (5) And they shall take gold, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen. (6) And they shall make the ephod of gold, of blue, and of purple, of scarlet, and fine twined linen, with cunning work.

Exodus 28:15 And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work; after the work of the ephod thou shalt make it; of gold, of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen, shalt thou make it.

2 Kings 3:22 And they rose up early in the morning, and the sun shone upon the water, and the Moabites saw the water on the other side as red as blood:

Revelation 17:4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:

Revelation 18:16 And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!

And when the camp setteth forward, Aaron shall come, and his sons, and they shall take down the covering vail, and cover the ark of testimony with it: And shall put thereon the covering of badgers’ skins, and shall spread over it a cloth wholly of blue, and shall put in the staves thereof. And upon the table of shewbread they shall spread a cloth of blue, and put thereon the dishes, and the spoons, and the bowls, and covers to cover withal: and the continual bread shall be thereon: And they shall spread upon them a cloth of scarlet, and cover the same with a covering of badgers’ skins, and shall put in the staves thereof. And they shall take a cloth of blue, and cover the candlestick of the light, and his lamps, and his tongs, and his snuffdishes, and all the oil vessels thereof, wherewith they minister unto it: And they shall put it and all the vessels thereof within a covering of badgers’ skins, and shall put it upon a bar. And upon the golden altar they shall spread a cloth of blue, and cover it with a covering of badgers’ skins, and shall put to the staves thereof: And they shall take all the instruments of ministry, wherewith they minister in the sanctuary, and put them in a cloth of blue, and cover them with a covering of badgers’ skins, and shall put them on a bar:

(Numbers 4:5-12)

Psalms 23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

One Response to “The Tabernacle Chapter 8: The Inner Curtains”

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