Parashah 19: T’rumah (Contribution)

Parashah 19: Exodus 25:1-27:19

Moshe stays the mountain for forty days and forty nights.  During the time he meets with Yahweh, he receives the instructions for making the Tabernacle or Tent of Meeting.

“Adonai said to Moshe,  “Tell the people of Isra’el to take up a collection for me — accept a contribution from anyone who wholeheartedly wants to give” (Exodus 25:1-2).

In order to accomplish the task of making the Tabernacle Yahweh tells Moshe to take up a free-will offering from those who ‘wholeheartedly’ desire to give.  The people contribute gold, silver and bronze; blue, purple and scarlet yarn; fine linen, goat’s hair, tanned ram skins and fine leather; acacia wood; oil for the lampstand, spices for the incense; onyx stones and others stones to be used for the ritual vest and breastplate.

While the Complete Jewish Bible uses the word ‘wholeheartedly’, the New International Version says “whose heart prompts them to give” and the Orthodox Jewish Bible says, “Give it willingly with his heart ….”  In 2 Corinthians 9:7, Sha’ul says of the free-will offering, “Each should give according to what he has decided in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 

The Greek word hilaro is used in the verse and means ‘hilarious,’ ‘laughing,’ ‘merry.’  Sha’ul is suggesting that a free-will offering is to be done with hysterical laughing.  It’s not that Elohim wanted Isra’el to be laughing out of control when they gave, but He desired them to be filled with great joy because they had been blessed with huge plunder from the Egyptians.  Now, that Egyptian plunder was going to be used to build Yahweh’s Tabernacle, His dwelling among His people.

Contributions came from people with ‘willing hearts’ meaning not everyone would be giving.   There are always those whose hearts are hard and have no desire to give.   The Greek gogguzo or “grudgingly” means ‘with murmuring’; the Greek lupé means with ‘pain, grief or sorrow.’   A unwilling person gives with sorrow at the parting of whatever they are giving and the murmurs about it.

The Amplified Bible translates 2 Corinthians 9:7 as, ”Let each one [give] as he has made up his own mind and purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or sorrowfully or under compulsion, for God loves (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, “prompt to do it”) giver [whose heart is in his giving].”

The Shadow of the Heavenly Sanctuary

The sanctuary and all of its furnishings are to be made according to everything Moshe is shown on the mountain “because what they are serving is only a copy and shadow of the heavenly original” (Hebrews 8:1-6).   

Kodesh haKadashim – The Holy of Holies

The Ark of the Covenant

Hear us, Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock. You who sit enthroned between the cherubim …” (Psalm 80:1).

The Ark that was to hold the covenant written on tablets of stone was to made of Acacia wood 3 ¾ feet long, 2 ¼ feet wide and 2 ¼  feet high.  It was to be covered both inside and out with pure gold.   A gold  molding was to go around the top.   Four gold rings were to be attached to each of the four sides, two rings on each side.  They were to make two poles of Acacia wood covered with gold to be put permanently into the rings on the sides of the Ark so it could be carried. 

Many of the objects in the Tabernacle used Acacia wood overlaid with gold.  Acacia wood is also known as wattles.  The origin of wattle may mean ‘to weave’ and its branches have been used to weave walls and fences.  Acacia is a type of shrub or small tree found in the wilderness area where the Israelites traveled.  It is a strong wood and its density makes it difficult for water or insects to penetrate keeping to safe from decay.   


Yeshua’s body never saw decay (Psalm 16:9-11).

Kapporeth – The Ark Cover

“I will live in your tent forever and find refuge in the shelter of your wings (Selah)” (Psalm 61:5).

The Ark’s cover was also to be made of Acacia wood and covered in gold.   It was to be 3 ¾ feet long and 2¼  feet wide.  Two  k’ruvim (cherubim) were to be made of hammered gold and be one piece with the ark cover.  One was to be put at the head of the Ark cover and the other at the foot and facing each other.  The k’ruvim were have their wings spread in order to cover the Ark.  It is on the Kapporeth also known as the ‘mercy seat’ between the k’ruvim that the blood was placed on Yom Kippur (Day of Covering) by the high priest.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Kapporeth (Cover) – כפורת – kaf, peh, vav, resh, tav

cover speaks binding the head to the covenant

Keruv (Cherub) – כרוב – kaf, resh, vav, bet

cover of the head binds to the house

The tablets of the Testimony given to Moshe would be placed inside the Ark of the Covenant.   In the Holy of Holies at the Ark, Yahweh would meet with Moshe and speak to him from above the Ark cover, from between the two k’ruvim.

The Holy Place

“A tent was set up, the outer one, which was called the Holy Place; in it were the menorah, the table and the Bread of the Presence” (Hebrews 9:2).

Table of Presence

A table made of Acacia wood 3 feet long, 18 inches wide and 18 inches high was to be covered with gold.  It was to have a molding of gold around the top like the Ark with a rim the width of a hand.  It was to have four gold rings attached to the four corners near the legs to hold the poles that would be used to carry the table.  The poles were also to be made of Acacia wood covered in gold.    The dishes, pans, bowls and pitchers used with the table were also to be made of pure gold.  On the table would be placed the Bread of Presence.


“I’ve been looking at a menorah; it’s all of gold, with a bowl at its top, seven lamps on it, and seven tubes leading to the lamps at its top. Next to it are two olive trees, one on the right side of the bowl and the other on its left” (Zechariah 4:2-3).

The seven-branched oil lamp, called the menorah, was to one piece made of pure hammered gold.   Its base, shaft, cups, ring of outer leaves and petals were all to be one piece.  It was to have six branches extending from its sides, three branches on one side of the central shaft and three on the other.  

On each branch were to be three cups shaped like almond blossoms, each with a ring of outer leaves and petals.  On the central shaft were to be four cups shaped like almond blossoms, each with its ring of outer leaves and petals.  Where each pair of branches joins the central shaft was to be a ring of outer leaves one piece with the pair of branches.  All six branches were to be made the same way.

There were seven lamps for the menorah mounted so as to light the space in front of it.  All of its tongs and trays were to be made of pure gold.  Make seven lamps for the menorah and mount them so as to give light to the space in front of it.  It’s tongs and trays are to be pure gold.  The total amount of gold for the menorah  and its utensils was to be 60 pounds.  (At todays gold standard, the cost of gold for the menorah would be $1,117,894.92.)

The Hebrew word menorah has the root or which means light.  The Hebrew word Torah also has the root or.  Both the lampstand and the instructions of God light our paths and guide our steps (Psalm 119:105).

Hebrew Word Pictures

Light – or – אור – alef, vav, resh

the first binding of the highest person

The Hebrew word or is found in the middle of menorah and Torah.

Menorah (Lampstand) – מנורה – mem, noon, vav, resh, hey

the mighty water of life is secured to the highest person, revealed (the first binding of the highest person)

Torah (Instruction) – תורה – tav, vav, resh, hey

sign of the covenant binds to the highest person, behold

The Tabernacle or Mishkan

“He [Yahweh] abandoned the Tabernacle at Shiloh, the tent he had made where he could live among people” (Psalm 78:60).

The Hebrew word mishkan means ‘Tabernacle’ and was a portable tent which became the dwelling place of Yahweh’s glory while the Israelites traveled through the wilderness.  The sides of the mishkan were made with 10 sheets of finely woven linen and with blue, purple and scarlet yarn, 42 feet long and 6 feet wide.  Two sets of five sheets were joined to one another.  Fifty loops of blue were to be on the edge of the outermost sheet in the first set and the same to the second set opposite each other. Fifty fasteners of gold were to connect the sheets to each other so that the Tabernacle formed one single unit.  A skilled artisan was to craft k’ruvim into each sheet. 

Hebrew Word Pictures

Mishkan (Tabernacle) – משכן – mem, shin, kaf, noon

mighty glory behind the life

For the actual Tabernacle or Tent of Meeting, there were four layers of coverings:  linen, goat skins, ram skins and badger skins.  The linen curtains were the first layer and the only covering seen by those who entered the Holy Place.  Tapestries made of blue, purple and scarlet yarn had k’ruvim woven in them.  Linen represents the priesthood and is what the Bride of Messiah’s garment is made of in Revelation 19:8.  

Eleven sheets of woven goats’ skin black fur covered the linen curtains as the second layer.  Each sheet was to be 45 feet long and 6 feet wide.  Five sheets were to be joined together with the sixth sheet folded double at the front of the tent.  Fifty loops were to be made on the edge of the outermost sheet with 50 fasteners of bronze put in the loops to join the tent together so that it formed a single unit.  The sheets were to hang over the back of the Tabernacle, 18 inches on each side.

On Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement),  two goats were required for the purification of the Tabernacle and the people of Isra’el.  One goat was sacrificed as the offering for the sins of Israel.  The other goat, called the scapegoat or azazel was presented alive to Yahweh. On this goat’s head, Aaron placed all of the sins of the nation of Isra’el and then it was set free in the wilderness to take the sins far away from the camp (Leviticus 16:21-22).   Though many commentaries suggest that the goat skins are representative of Messiah’s sacrifice for personal sin, it is important to note what the Scripture says: the goats were an atonement for the corporate sins of the nation of Isra’el and symbolize purification.

Ram skins were the third covering.  These skins were dyed red and were waterproof.  The Hebrew word for ‘ram’ is ayil and means ‘strong one.’  Rams were used for burn offerings and for the consecration of priests.   It was a ram that Abraham found in the thicket that became the substitute sacrifice for Isaac and the skins are a reminder of the ‘binding of Isaac,’ the substitute sacrifice.  Yeshua is the ‘strength’ of his Father, the willing substitute sacrifice for the sins of humanity. 

The fourth covering was made of badger skins.  The Hebrew word for ‘badger’ is tachach and is sometimes translated as a sea cow or dugong.  This is an aquatic animal that swam along the shores of the Red Sea.  This was the final exterior waterproof covering and had no real beauty.  This was the part of the Tabernacle that was seen by everyone in the camp.  Isaiah 53:2 says that Yeshua was not especially handsome; his appearance did not attract us so it was easy to see him and not recognize him.   


Each of the coverings as they are peeled back describe the walk of faith of the believer in Yeshua.  Being human, whether Jew or non-Jew is a common life experience.  Like the badger skin, humanity is nothing, made from the dust of the earth only to return to the dust of the earth.  Our outer shell is seen by everyone, but one day it will disappear like the withering grass.  It is only when one takes a step of faith that the their mortality turns into immortality.

The ram’s skin is the first step of faith in receiving the personal substitute sacrifice given to Adam and Eve, to Abraham and Isaac, and to each of us through Yeshua, the strength of Elohim.  These skins are dyed red as a reminder of a covenant that was secured by blood, the blood of the ‘ram’. 

The third covering is the goat skin is the next step in a sanctifying walk of faith: purification.  Once born again, it is necessary to be purified from everything that contaminates body, soul and spirit (2 Corinthians 6:17).  Once purified, we become a kingdom of priests who will minister in the Tabernacle for our High Priest, Messiah Yeshua. 

In order to complete the interior, it was necessary to have planks, crossbars and sockets.  Upright planks were to be made of Acacia wood 15 feet long and 2 ¼ feet wide.  Two projections on each plank joined them together.  On the north and south sides, there were 20 planks each with 40 silver sockets under the planks (two sockets under one plank).  On the west and east sides there were six planks; on the rear corners there were two planks.  At the back, there were eight planks with 16 silver sockets. 

Crossbars were made of Acacia wood overlaid with gold.  There were five crossbars for the planks on each side; the middle cross bar, halfway up the planks was to extend from end to end   All the planks were covered with gold with gold rings through which the crossbars would pass.

With all of the gold and silver inside the Tabernacle, there would have been an ethereal glow emanating from the menorah.  To minister within the tent walls of the Tabernacle, a priest would transported into a shadow of a coming reality of Kingdom of Heaven.   

The Dividing Curtain

“Only the cohen hagadol [high priest] enters the inner one [Holy of Holies]; and he goes in only once a year, and he must always bring blood, which he offers both for himself and for the sins committed in ignorance by the people” (Hebrews 9:7).

A curtain of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely woven linen was made with  k’ruvim worked into the tapestry.  It was hung with gold hooks on four acacia-wood posts overlaid with gold and stood in four silver sockets.  The curtain was hung below the fasteners.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Parokhet (Curtain) – פרוכת – peh, resh, vav, kaf, tav

the speaking of the highest person, the binding behind the covenant

The curtain separated the Holy of Holies from the Holy Place and was called the parokhet coming from the Hebrew word pargod which means ‘cloth’ and can also refer to a coat or cloak.  Jewish tradition says that the parokhet represented the hem of Yahweh’s garment.   At Yeshua’s death, it was torn in two with a deafening sound revealing a Father Who tore  His garment upon the death of His son.

“The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.  And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Yeshua, saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” (Mark 15:38-39).

The Door to the Tent of Meeting

The door to the Tent of Meeting was to be a screen made of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely woven linen.  To hang the screen,  five posts of acacia wood overlaid with gold and five bronze sockets were made.

The five posts covered in gold  have been symbolized as the five books of Torah that the priests would use to teach the nation of Israel.  Only the priests, the sons of Aaron, could pass beyond this ‘door’ to enter the Holy Place where the Menorah, the Table of Presence and the Altar of Incense (instructions given in Exodus 30) were located.  Here they would offer prayers and intercession with incense, walk by the light of the menorah, and eat a fellowship meal at the table of presence.

The Courtyard

“Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts” (Psalm 96:8).

The entire Tabernacle area was enclosed with a ‘fence’ measuring 150 feet by 75 feet.  Tapestries, 7 ½ feet high,  were made of finely woven linen supported by posts in bronze sockets.  All of the posts around the courtyard were to be banded in silver and stand in sockets of bronze.   The hooks on the posts and rings for attaching the tapestries were to be made of silver.

The Altar

“Adonai is God, and he gives us light. Join in the pilgrim festival with branches all the way to the horns of the altar” (Psalm 118:27).

The Altar, located in the courtyard, was to be square, 7 ½ feet long and 7 ½  feet wide, made of planks of Acacia wood and hollow on the inside, and overlaid with bronze.  It was to be 4 ½  feet high with horns on its four corners, one piece with the altar.  All utensils, pots, shovels, basins, meat-hooks and fire pans were to be made of bronze.  It was to have a grate of bronze netting and bronze rings on the four corners.   Its poles were to be put into the rings on each side for transporting.

The Gate

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name” (Psalm 100:4).

The only way to enter the courtyard was through the gate which was a screen 30 feet wide made of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely woven linen.  It was to be colorful, the work of a weaver.  It was hung on four posts in four sockets.  Everything else needed for service in the Tabernacle, as well as the tent pegs, were to be made of bronze.

Yeshua, the Reality in the Tabernacle

Holy of Holies

“But when the Messiah appeared as cohen gadol [High Priest] of the good things that are happening already, then, through the greater and more perfect Tent which is not man-made (that is, it is not of this created world),  he entered the Holiest Place once and for all” (Hebrews 9:11-12).

Ark of the Covenant

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, accompanied by all the angels, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be assembled before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates sheep from goats. The ‘sheep’ he will place at his right hand and the ‘goats’ at his left” (Matthew 24:31-33).

The Kapporeth

“As Miriam cried, she bent down, peered into the tomb, and saw two angels in white sitting where the body of Yeshua had been, one at the head and one at the feet.   “Why are you crying?” they asked her. “They took my Lord,” she said to them, “and I don’t know where they have put him” (John 20:11-12).

The Holy Place

“There he [Yeshua] serves in the Holy Place, that is, in the true Tent of Meeting, the one erected not by human beings but by Adonai” (Hebrews 8:2).

The Table of Presence

“Yeshua said to them, “Yes, indeed! I tell you it wasn’t Moshe who gave you the bread from heaven. But my Father is giving you the genuine bread from heaven; for God’s bread is the one who comes down out of heaven and gives life to the world …. “I am the bread which is life! Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever trusts in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:31-35).


Yeshua spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world; whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light which gives life” (John 8:12).

The Tabernacle

“The Word became flesh and Tabernacled among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

The Temple Curtain

“But Yeshua, again crying out in a loud voice, yielded up his spirit. At that moment the parokhet in the Temple was ripped in two from top to bottom; and there was an earthquake, with rocks splitting apart” (Matthew 27:50-51).

The Door to the Holy Place

“Here, I’m standing at the door, knocking. If someone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he will eat with me” (Revelation 3:20).

The Courtyard

“After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.  Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers” (Luke 2:46-47).

The Altar

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you,  leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:23-24).

The Gate

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:11-14).

Haftarah (Old Testament Readings)

Isaiah 37:15-16

B’rit Hadashah (New Testament Readings)

Hebrews 8:1-6

Hebrews 9:23-24

Hebrews 10:1

Midrash T’rumah:  The Wings on the Ark Cover

Find Scriptures that speak of finding shelter and refuge under ‘the wings’ and discuss how these may or may not be the ‘wings of the cherubim’ on the Ark cover.

©2014 Tent Stake Ministries

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