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Linen was made from the flax plant. The plants were pulled up by their roots and dried before undergoing a process known as “retting,” which loosened the fibers. The fibers were then beaten and combed so that they could be spun into thread. The result was a fabric that was light, durable, and easy to […]


Every piece of furniture in the tabernacle was crafted according to God’s plan. Each item represented something about God’s character: his sovereignty, his generosity, his presence with his people. They were reminders of how God met their needs and forgave their sins.


Cubits were a basic unit of measurement in Israel. One cubit equaled the distance from the elbow to the fingertips—about 18 inches (46 cm).

Acacia wood

Acacia wood was highly valued for its beauty and durability. Around the Mediterranean, some acacias are like shrubs, while others grow up to 50 feet (15 m) tall. They are one of the few large trees hardy enough to withstand the harsh desert climate. They are also resistant to insects, which find the taste of […]

The Jewish year

The Jewish year was based on the annual rotation of the sun, moon, and stars, and on the cycle for planting and harvesting crops. The OT refers to days, months, years, and seasons, but no passages specify a complete calendar.


A veil separated the altar from the Most Holy Place of God’s presence in the tabernacle and later in the temple. Aaron the priest was to make atonement there once a year on behalf of the people and their sin (ch. 29). The tearing of the veil at Christ’s death indicated that the Mosaic institution […]

Gold bells

The gold bells along the hems of the high priest’s garment (28:33) served two purposes. They alerted people that the high priest was present, and they reminded the priest himself to be reverent and careful in carrying out his sacred duties.