The Hebrew people made camp on Mt. Sinai for a whole year. At this time Moses, at Godís command,
constructed a tabernacle, or a transportable sanctuary, in the form of a tent.
The tabernacle was constructed from expensive fabric and hung from poles. It
had three sections: the courtyard, the sanctuary and the Holy
The people came into the courtyard to pray.
Here were placed the altar, on which sacrifices were made, and a copper water
The priests came into the sanctuary, which
had a table on which were twenty loaves of bread, a golden seven-branch
candlestick, or lampstand, with seven lamps, and the altar of incense, that
is, an altar on which the priests burned incense.
Into the Holy of Holies, which was
separated from the sanctuary by a curtain, only the high priest could
enter, and then only once a year. The Ark of the Covenant was placed in
the Holy of Holies. The Ark of the Covenant was the name of a chest, made of
wood and covered inside and out with gold, with a gold lid and with two golden
images of the cherubim on it. The tablets with the Ten Commandments were kept
in the Ark of the Covenant, as well as a chalice with manna, Aaronís rod, and
later, the holy books. Along the two sides of the ark were two pairs of golden
rings, into which gilded poles were inserted for carrying it.
When the tabernacle was ready, Moses consecrated
it, together with all its fittings, with holy myrrh. While this was taking
place, the glory of the Lord covered the tabernacle in the form of the cloud
which accompanied the Hebrews on their journey. From this time on, the cloud was
always over it.
For serving in the tabernacle, Moses, at Godís
command, appointed the tribe of Levi and ordained a high priest, priests, and
Levites, assistants for the tabernacle.
Aaron, the brother of Moses, was made high priest.
The priests were the four sons of Aaron; the other descendants of Levi were
Levites. The high priest corresponded to our bishop, the priests to our priests
and the Levites to our deacons and servers. God ordained that in the future the
eldest of the line of Aaron would be high priest and the others of his
The tabernacle represented the Church of Christ
and also the Mother of God, Who, having contained God within Herself,
was like the House of God.
Exodus, chaps. 25-34; Deuteronomy, chaps. 10,13,16; Leviticus, chaps. 1-7,16,
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