Four-Times Covered: Tabernacle Series Part 9

Exodus 26:1  ““Moreover you shall make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine woven linen and blue, purple, and scarlet thread; with artistic designs of cherubim you shall weave them.”

As you have seen in this series, for those who have been following along, every facet of the Tabernacle of Moses teaches us wonderful things about Jesus! The Holy Spirit is the most wonderful storyteller on the planet.  He drew these pictures for us because He knows that, the more we know about Jesus and understand spiritual truths, the more our hearts will be at peace.
This is the beauty of the Old Testament.  All of the stories, types, and shadows depict different aspects our Lord Jesus, particularly His sacrifice on the cross.  I think of it as an expanded view of the New Testament.
Structure Of The Tabernacle.
In this, the final part of our study, we’ll be looking at the construction of the Tabernacle itself, especially the coverings and curtains.  This is critical information to understand, particularly in these last days, whether you travel far and wide or stay closer to home.  When you go out your door, you need to be assured that you are blessed and protected!

Coverings And Curtains.
One of the best descriptions of how protected we are is found right here, in the coverings and curtains.  There were four in all, each made of very different materials, with individual meanings and significance.  Even the order in which they are mentioned and put in place are a message.
The outermost covering was made of animal skin.  Below is the Hebrew word which, in some Bibles, is translated as “Badger skin.”

Tachásh: [תָּ֫חַשׁ]

Badger Skin?
There seems to be a great difference of opinion among Bible scholars about the meaning of this word, “Tachásh.”  Even Jewish scholars can’t seem to agree on the correct translation.
Martin Luther translated it as “Badger skin,” and many scholars agree with him.  There are others, however, who have quite a different take.  Some believe the word means, “Porpoise.”  Now, obviously, a porpoise is not at all the same kind of animal as a badger.  Not even close!
Why did scholars think these skins could be creatures that live in the sea? After all, the Israelites constructed the Tabernacle while in the middle of the desert. Where in the world would they get porpoise or dugong?
One theory is that, when they passed through the Red Sea, there could have been many such creatures flopping around on the dry ground. They possibly could have just picked them up and brought them along.
But wait:  There’s more! 😮
Other scholars argue that the word means, “Dugong.”  That’s a type of manatee!  Still other translate it as “Antelope!”  What gives?  Why the great disparity?
Purposeful Ambiguity?
It doesn’t appear that there’s any real consensus as to the actual meaning.  Is there a reason for this?  Yes!  Whenever the language of the Bible is unclear, there is something wonderful to unveil about Jesus for our benefit that will bless and encourage.
As usual, the Holy Spirit is at it again!  He is painting pictures of Jesus in His purposeful ambiguity.  
New Testament To The Rescue!
So, we have four possible things this skin could be:  Badger, porpoise, dugong and antelope.  Is there anything, anywhere else in scripture that can shed some light here?  YES!
Remember, the New Testament is all hidden somewhere in the Old.  Turn with me now to Matthew 16 where Jesus asked His disciples the question below.
(“Who do men say that I am?”)
Who Do Men Say That I Am?
Matthew 16:13-17
“When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”
So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?
Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.”
Most people in Jesus’ day didn’t quite know what to make of Him.  Even today, people outside of Christ some are no less confused.  Some said He was John the Baptist (Badger?); some thought He might be Elijah (porpoise?); others, Jeremiah (dugong?); and still others, one of the prophets (antelope?).  None of them saw Him as God, but simply as an extraordinary man.  
The fifth answer was given by the Apostle Peter:  “But Simon Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
The confusion in translation is pointing to the difference in opinions regarding His true identity.  Yet none of them saw Him for Who He really is.  
Behind The Veil.
Only God the Father could have revealed this truth to Peter.  It did not spring from natural or human reasoning.  He drew back the “Curtain,” as it were, and allowed Peter to peer into the “Holy of Holies.”  He saw the pure gold of Jesus’ Divine nature and glimpsed, for a moment, who He really is.  Unfortunately, that picture didn’t stick with him very long as he later on betrayed Him 3 times.
Aw, but don’t be too hard on poor Peter.  What he did is so completely human, isn’t it?  Let’s face it:  We’re all afraid at times and need to be reminded of Who Jesus is.
The Roman Centurion.
Peter wasn’t the only one who saw behind the Veil.  There were others.  Remember the Roman Centurion whose servant was paralyzed?  He came to Jesus and begged for him to be healed.  Let’s follow the story.
Matthew 8:5-7
“Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.”
And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.”
Jesus offered to come and heal him.  But the Centurion refused.  Let’s continue in verses 8-11:
“The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.”
Conflicting Accounts?
You may be aware that there are two stories of this man with great faith, but they seem to be conflicting accounts.  One is in Matthew, the other here, in Luke.  There is a very good reason for that.  To learn why the stores are so different yet not conflicting, please follow the link below:
The Syro-Phonecian Woman.
We see the same thing in the case of the woman who’s daughter was severely demon-possessed.  She, too, pierced the veil of His flesh and saw Who Jesus really was.  That’s why she came begging for healing for her daughter and, though she was only a Gentile, she got it.
(For more on her story, follow the link below:
Amazing that these two Gentiles saw through the veil of His flesh and knew Who He was!  It amazed Jesus too because most of His own people didn’t know.
Man’s View vs. God View.
This outer covering is what the eye of man saw; that is, the guise of a rugged, ruddy man, son of an obscure carpenter from the seedy little backwater town of Nazareth.  In their eyes, a “Nobody from nowhere.”  None of them knew what to make of Him, including His own disciples most of the time, even though His coming was prophesied, longed for, and expected for centuries.
People today who are outside of Christ are no less perplexed.  Some call Him a great teacher, some a great philosopher, great prophet, and others, simply a good man.  They don’t see what you and I see, Church:  The Son of the Living God Who redeemed us from our sins!
Flesh and blood has not revealed this to us but the Holy Spirit Himself.

Ram’s Skin Dyed Red.
Exodus 26:14
“You shall also make a covering of ram skins dyed red for the tent, (above the goat’s hair) and a covering of badger skins (tachash) above that.”
The next covering under the “Badger skin,” was “Ram’s skin dyed red.”  A ram is a male Lamb which depicts Jesus’ sacrifice.  Red speaks of His work on the cross.  He was literally covered in blood in the process of redeeming all of us.  What a picture!
Battering Ram.
The ram also depicts Jesus in His determination to save all of us.  You’ve heard of a battering ram?  That term was coined because rams are very determined.  A ram’s strength is in its horns.  They are a depiction of strength and authority.  They use their horns to obtain their objective, and they are quite persistent.  They don’t give up until they have what they want.
Jesus arrested
In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus, KNOWING ALL THINGS, stepped forward with heavenly dignity, strength and authority when the soldiers came to arrest Him.  He didn’t shrink from His task but was DETERMINED to go to the cross, being FULLY AWARE of what was to come.
Full of heavenly grace and the dignity of the King of Kings, as Jesus stepped forward and said, “I Am,” all 1,000 big, armed, strong, burly temple soldiers fell to the ground!
Abraham And Isaac.
Here’s another famous ram incident.  Remember when Abraham was about to kill his son and the Angel stopped him?  He turned around and saw an incredible sight:  A RAM CAUGHT BY ITS HORNS IN A THICKET.
Abraham must have thought this was a very strange sight.  Remember, he was a shepherd by trade and would have known that rams are not only unlikely to be caught by their horns in a thicket.  In fact, it’s practically impossible.  Yet here he was, “conveniently” caught by its horns, not his wool, as one would expect.
Why?  Because that would have made it unfit as an offering.  Had he been caught by his wool, the more he struggled, the more lacerated his skin would have become from the thorns, bleeding everywhere.
How careful God is to guard the “Typology” of His son.  This is a Holy Spirit picture of Jesus!  Horn is a picture of strength.  This ram was caught by his “strength,” and when he was pulled out of the bush, what remained?  A CROWN OF THORNS AROUND HIS HEAD, just like Jesus in John 19:5.  “Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe.”
Ram Of Consecrecration.
The ram brings to remembrance the “Ram of consecration,” in Exodus 29.  The priests placed their hands on its head, killed it, and put some of the blood on the right ear lobe, the right thumb, and right toe.
Have you come across that portion in your Bible reading and wondered what it meant?  These things depict believers who are washed by the blood.  You are consecrated; set apart; separated unto God as Holy.  The blood of Jesus covers everything you “HEAR (right ear lobe), what you DO (right thumb), and WHERE YOU WALK (right toe.)
As I said before, the outer covering is what the eye of man sees.  It is what all the people could see.  Only the high priest could view the innermost covering of fine linen in the Holy of Holies, and that once a year.
All of these things are typologies of Jesus, as Great High Priest, and all of us as priests under Him.  We are just like Him:  Priests forever after the order of Melchizedek!  We see the fine linen, our exalted Great High Priest in heaven.
This layer of ram’s skin dyed red could only be seen God.  You see, the full measure, appreciation, and estimation of what Jesus did at Calvary is only known fully known the Father and the Son.
Blood Outside.
Remember that very first Passover when the children of Israel put the blood ON THE OUTSIDE of the door?  It was OUTSIDE for God to see, not inside for them to see.  When the Angel of death passed by, He would see the blood and “Pass over” them.
You see, even in eternity Church, you and I will never fully know, understand, or esteem the price Jesus paid for us that day.
It is the same with you.  There is your outer covering that everyone sees.  But there are things that are known only to you and God, things you never share with anyone, both good and bad.

Curtains Of Goat’s Hair.
Exodus 26:7-
“You shall also make curtains of goats’ hair, to be a tent over the tabernacle. You shall make eleven curtains. The length of each curtain shall be thirty cubits, and the width of each curtain four cubits; and the eleven curtains shall all have the same measurements. And you shall couple five curtains by themselves and six curtains by themselves, and you shall double over the sixth curtain at the forefront of the tent.”
Though we haven’t yet covered the fine linen curtains of the innermost layer, it is very similar in construction to the goat’s hair layer except that there are 10 linen curtains.  In this layer, however, there were 11, each measuring 4×30 cubits.  Why?
As you know, nothing in scripture is arbitrary.  The Holy Sprit specifically mentions numbers to give depth, richness, and meaning to any passage.  Jewish rabbis refer to this as, “Gematria: The meaning of numbers,” which is NOT numerology that is based on superstition, mind you.
(Those interested in further study on Gematria in the Bible, you may follow the links below:
“Gematria” is the Hebrew word for “The meaning of numbers,” in the Bible.  It may interest you to know that ALL the measurements of the entire Tabernacle are in multiples of 5.  5 is the number of grace!  That’s because everything about the Tabernacle, Jesus, is about Jesus Who is full of grace!
4 is the number of creation; 6 is the number of man.  One of the reasons for this is there are four Hebrew words for man In the Bible and two Greek words.  That’s a total of 6.
Holy Spirit Math.
Let’s do some Holy Spirit Math!  The numbers “11 and 30” are related in that they share the numbers “5” and “6.”
5 + 6 = 11
5 x 6 = 30.
6 is the number of man; 5 is the number of grace.  It’s a perfect Holy Spirit message”
Jesus became a man full of grace to bring grace to us. 
Amazing Properties Of Goat’s Hair.
Many Bedouins in the Middle East today use goat’s hair to weave cloth for their tents.  Why goat’s hair?
This material, in particular, has amazing abilities.  It contracts when rain hits it to keep out the weather.  It can protect from the wind.  It even expands when it’s hot to let air flow in to keep it cool on the inside the tent.
That’s the wisdom of our God!  He knows what animal to put where!
Our Sin Offering.
The curtains made of “Goat hair” also depict Jesus as our “Sin offering.”  From the time of His birth, He grew in grace and in knowledge. For 30 years…..6×5=30…..He was being prepared to be offered up as a sacrifice for us all.
This time period of His life, other than the incident at the temple when He was 12, is not recorded for us.  It is hidden.
Normal Hidden Life.
You’ll notice in the picture above that these curtains of goat’s hair cover the top part of the golden pillars.  There was a 6th curtain, that was folded over, covering part of the golden boards as well as the entire Tabernacle. Here’s why.
Jesus grew up subject to His parents.  For 30 years, He lived a normal, hidden, human life. He did nothing miraculous or out of the ordinary until, as the Holy Spirit records, the miracle at the wedding of Cana in Galilee, which He calls, “The beginning of miracles.”
The 6th curtain was folded over to hide the top third of the golden pillars in front, depicting that 30-year hidden life.
Women Artisans.
According to Exodus 35, verses 25 & 26, skilled women artisans wove the goat’s hair and the fine linen curtains.  Notice the order in which they are mentioned.
“25 All the women who were gifted artisans spun yarn with their hands, and brought what they had spun, of blue, purple, scarlet, and fine linen. 26 And all the women whose hearts stirred with wisdom spun yarn of goats’ hair.”
The linen curtains are mentioned first, then the goat’s hair, in that order.  But look what is also recorded.  Most of the time, it is only men who are mentioned in scripture.  But here, in Exodus 35, the Holy Spirit points out, in particular, that WOMEN wove these curtains.  The reason why will soon become clear.
Construction of the entire Tabernacle, from the golden boards, the implements, menorah, table of shewbread, altar of incense, Ark of the Covenant, to the curtains and coverings took nine months to complete.  What does that sound like?  Human gestation!  Mary was pregnant with Jesus for nine months.  THAT’S WHY WOMEN SPUN THE YARN.

The Entrance Of The Tabernacle.
Before we get to the linen curtains, let’s look at the Tabernacle itself.  There are some very revealing details.
As you approach the outer court, there are FOUR GOLDEN PILLARS with curtains of fine linen hanging from them.  But at the entrance to the Tabernacle itself, there are FIVE GOLDEN PILLARS.  Bet you’d like to know why. 😉
Think for a minute:  Where do you find all the stories and accounts of Jesus’ life on earth?  YES!  THE FOUR GOSPELS.  We are first introduced to our Lord Jesus through the Gospels so that we can become “Born again” when we accept Him as our Savior.  This then gains us admittance into the outer court where the Bronze Altar is located.
The Bronze Altar.
Bronze in the Bible is a picture of judgment.  The altar is in the shape of a cross.  That’s because your sins were “Judged at the cross!”  But God wants you and I to go deeper, into the Holy Of Holies.  That is the best place to be.
(For more information on the Bronze Altar, you mat follow the link below:
Five Pillars.
Now think again:  Where in the Bible do you find everything you want to know about Jesus?  In the New Testament!  But where are the teachings of the risen, exalted, glorified, seated-at-the -right-hand-of-the-Father Jesus?  In the letters and epistles of the New Testament!  The FIVE PILLARS represent the FIVE AUTHORS of those epistles:
Peter, James, John, Jude and Paul.
Five is the number of grace! 🙌🏻
No More Veil.
Under our dispensation, the Covenant of GRACE, Jesus has shed His blood.  Now that He has died, there is no more Holy Place and Holy of Holies because the Father ripped the veil in two! There is only the Holy of Holies, surrounded by 48 golden boards, routed in silver sockets, all facing the Mercy Seat.
That’s a picture of us, Church!  We are wooden boards:  Wood is a picture of humanity, covered by gold:  Gold is a picture of divinity, and rooted in silver, a picture of redemption.  That’s right, we’re golden pillars in the house of the Lord!
Those who are most intimate with Jesus have passed through “Grace:  The five pillars,” into the Holy Of Holies.  They are secure in their “Redemption: The silver sockets,” (silver depicts redemption) and continually behold the face of Jesus.  They are the ones who remain seated, resting in His presence.  It’s the place of greatest protection and peace.
Curtains Of Fine Linen.
Finally, we come to the curtains of fine linen.  You already know that they were woven by the women and why.
Look at the picture below.  If you were able to enter the Holy of Holies, you would see the curtains above your head.  You would see the colors of blue, purple, scarlet, and fine linen.  They are woven with artistic designs of Cherubim with wings unfurled.

When David wrote Psalm 91, this was what he pictured.  He was speaking of these beautiful curtains of fine linen with picture of the wings of the Cherubim woven into them.  When you walk into the Holy of Holies, you are literally “Under the shadow of His wings!”
Putting It All Together.
The badger skin is what the eye of man sees.
The ram’s skin dyed red is what only the eye of God sees.
The goat hair curtains depict what God made His Son to be on earth, and…
The fine linen represents what Jesus is in heaven.
He is the finest linen: Heavenly, regal, royalty, beloved of the Father, and seated at His right hand.
Reverse Order.
In the opening scripture, you read the only passage in the entire Bible where “Fine linen” is mentioned first…..THEN “Blue, purple, scarlet.  Everywhere else, “Blue, purple, scarlet” are recorded first and “Fine linen” Is last.   Why is the order reversed? 🤔
Once again, The Holy Spirit, our Master Storyteller, is drawing pictures for us again!  The reason the order is reversed is this:  In the Gospels, you see Jesus called or referred to as “Jesus Christ.”  Jesus is first, Christ, His title, is second.  But in the epistles, you most often see it reversed.  You and I are sanctified “in Christ Jesus.”  Why?
Jesus’ literally means, “Salvation;” Christ means, “Messiah.”  In the Gospels He was the “Promised Messiah,” but after He shed His blood, He was “the Promise FULFILLED!”  That’s why you and I are referred to as “IN Christ Jesus,” never in “Jesus Christ.” 😮
The entire structure is a beautiful picture of the Person of our Lord Jesus.  So remember: As He is, so are we in this world.  He is our true identity.
Church, that means you and I are just as covered and just as protected:  Four-times covered!  We don’t walk around in this dangerous world, vulnerable like unbelievers.  We are safe and secure under His wings.
Our Father wants us to walk through life and KNOW that we are not uncovered.  We are loved, warmed, protected, provided for, and secure.  That’s why we have these beautiful, Holy Spirit pictures from the tabernacle to paint the clearest, most wonderful pictures of Jesus.
He especially wants us to know that we are under His wings and Four Times Covered.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s