Model of the Old Testament Tabernacle
In October, 2000, a full scale replica of the Old Testament Tabernacle was completed by Dr. Randy Smith, a former roommate of mine in Jerusalem. Once erected in the Wilderness of Judah on the land of the Almog Kibbutz, this fabulous model had to unfortunately be taken down in October, 2006 because of financial reasons.
However, presented with the photos and description below, you can now learn about the Tabernacle firsthand as described in Leviticus.
The southern site of Timnah, however, still has on display a remarkable full-scale model of the Tabernacle. You will also see pictures of this below.
According to the Biblical text of Exodus 35-40, the size of the Tabernacle was 150 X 75 feet. The outer wall curtain was supported by a total of 60 acacia wood beams 7 1/2 feet high. The Tabernacle was entered by the east.
Literally thousands of rams and goats would be slaughter right inside the courtyard as people would have entered. Based on rabbinical resources, the slaughter area consisted of a raised platform.
The Altar of Burnt Offering was used by the priests to sacrifice. It was a four- horned altar made of acacia wood overlaid with bronze. Bronze utensils (ash bucket, shovel, basin, meat hooks, and firepan) were used. Acacia poles were used to carry it.
The Bronze Basin was used by the priests to cleanse themselves before performing their duties. It was cast from bronze mirrors donated by the women who served at the entrance of the Tabernacle.
The Tabernacle “Chamber” was located in the middle of the Courtyard. It was 40 feet long, 20 feet wide, and 15 feet high. The outer curtains were made of goat hair. Special skilled weavers also embroidered blue, purple, and scarlet linen cloth for the opening. This chamber consisted of two separate rooms inside: one room called “The Holy Place” to house the Table of Bread, the Altar of Incense, and the “Menorah” or Lampstand; and the other room serving as the “Holy of Holies.”
Al Mog Model:
The Table of the Bread inside the first room was made of acacia wood overlaid with bronze. The “Bread of the Presence” and various other utensils were kept on this table. The number of bread loaves totaled 12, one for each of the tribes of Israel. The bread symbolized the provision of spiritual nourishment God offered His people.
The “Menorah” or Lampstand was made of pure hammered gold. It consisted of 7 burning oil lamps which were to flamed continually. It was this Lampstand that lit the Holy Place for the priests attending to these items. Its base, center stem, lamp cups, blossoms, and buds were all of one piece. The entire Menorah weighed 75 pounds!
This Altar was placed in front of the curtain of the Holy of Holies. It was used for burning God’s special incense and was symbolic of acceptable prayer and commitment unto God.
The “Ark of the Covenant” was located in the “Holy of Holies,” a place only entered one time a year on “Yom Kippur,” the Day of Atonement. The Ark was made out of acacia wood. It was 3 3/4 feet long, 2 1/4 feet wide, and 2 1/4 feet high. It was overlaid with pure gold inside and out. Four rings were fastened to its four feet, carried by poles of acacia wood.
Also from pure gold, the Ark’s covering was 3 3/4 feet long and 2 1/4 feet wide. Two figures of cherubim were hammered out of pure gold and placed on the two ends of the Ark. The cherubim faced each other and their wings were stretched out above the covering to protect it. The contents held inside were 3: the Commandments of Moses, Aaron’s budded staff, and an ephod of manna.
Imagine the ancient Israelites using the Tabernacle for 40 years.
Imagine the experience as mentioned in Exodus 40 – “Then the cloud covered the Tabernacle, and the glorious presence of the Lord filled it. Moses was no longer able to enter the Tabernacle because of the cloud that had settled down over it, and the Tabernacle was filled with the awesome glory of the Lord. Now whenever the cloud lifted from the Tabernacle and moved, the people of Israel would set out on their journey, following it. But if the cloud stayed, they would stay until it moved again. The cloud of the Lord rested on the Tabernacle during the day, and at night there was fire in the cloud so all the people of Israel could see it. This continued throughout all their journeys.” (Ex. 40:34-38)