Parashah 19: T’rumah (Contribution)

Exodus 25:1-27:19

“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).

Moshe meets with Adonai and receives the instructions for making the Tabernacle. In order to make the Tabernacle and the holy objects, Adonai 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 lamp, spices for the incense; onyx stones and other precious stones to be used for the ritual vest and breastplate.

While the Complete Jewish Bible uses ‘wholeheartedly,’ the New International Version says “whose heart prompts them to give,” and the Orthodox Jewish Bible says” give it willingly with his heart.”   Sha’ul also describes 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” (2 Corinthians 9:7).

The Greek word hilaro used in Corinthians means ‘hilarious, laughing, and merry.’ It’s not that Elohim wanted Isra’el to be laughing hysterically when they gave, but He desired them to be filled with great joy. They had been blessed abundantly with huge plunder from the Egyptians that could be used to build Adonai’s dwelling among the people.

Contributions came from people with ‘willing hearts’ meaning not everyone would be giving.  There are always some whose hearts are hard and have no desire to give.  The Greek gogguzo for ‘grudgingly’ means ‘with murmuring.’ The Greek lupé for ‘compulsion’ means with ‘pain, grief or sorrow.’ An unwilling person sorrowfully parts with whatever they are giving and murmurs about it.

The Amplified Bible translates 2 Corinthians 9:7, ”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].”

Kodesh haKadashim – The Holy of Holies

“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).  

Aron HaBrit – The Ark of the Covenant

“Hear us, Shepherd of Isra’el, you who lead Joseph like a flock. You who sit enthroned between the cherubim” (Psalm 80:1, NIV).

The Ark of the Covenant was made of Acacia wood 3¾ feet long, 2¼ feet wide and 2¼ feet high.  It was covered both inside and out with pure gold.   A gold molding went around the top with four gold rings attached to each of the four sides, two rings on each side.  Two poles made of Acacia wood covered with gold were put 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 Acacia branches have been used to weave walls and fences. Acacia is a 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 it 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 made of Acacia wood and covered in gold.   It was 3¾ feet long and 2¼ feet wide.  Two k’ruvim or cherubim were made of hammered gold, one piece with the Ark cover. One k;ruvim was put at the head of the Ark cover and the other at the foot; they faced each other. The k’ruvim had their wings spread open covering the kapporeth or ‘mercy seat’ where the high priest placed the blood of atonement on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. This is a representation of the two k’ruvim who were placed at the entrance to the Garden of Eden keeping Adam and Eve out and protecting the Tree of Life. In the Holy of Holies at the Ark of the Covenant, Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh would meet with Moshe and speak to him from above the kapporeth between the two k’ruvim.

Hebrew Word Pictures
Atonement (Cover) or kapporeth – כפורת – kaf, peh, vav, resh, tav
– to open the source of the binding, the highest authority of the covenant

Cherub (Heavenly Being) or k’ruv – כרוב – kaf, resh, vav, bet
– open to the highest authority, the binding of the family

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).

Lechem HaPanim – Table of Presence
A table made of Acacia wood, 3 feet long, 18 inches wide and 18 inches high, was covered with gold.  It had a molding of gold around the top like the Ark with a rim about 6 inches wide.  It had four gold rings attached to the four corners near the legs to hold the poles that were used to carry the table.  The poles were made of Acacia wood and covered in gold. The dishes, pans, bowls, and pitchers used with the table were also made of pure gold.  The Bread of Presence would be placed on the Table.


“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 Menorah, the seven-branched oil lamp, was made of pure hammered gold –– one piece. Its base, shaft, cups, ring of outer leaves and petals were all one piece.  It had six branches; three branches extended on one side of the central shaft and three on the other.  

On each branch were three cups shaped like almond blossoms, each with a ring of outer leaves and petals.  On the central shaft were four cups shaped like almond blossoms, each with a ring of outer leaves and petals.  Where each pair of branches joined the central shaft was a ring of outer leaves with the pair of branches. All six branches were made the same way. All of the tongs and trays were made of pure gold. The seven lamps for the Menorah were mounted to light the space in front of it. The total amount of gold for the Menorah and its utensils was 60 pounds. At today’s value of gold, the cost for the Menorah would be $1,343,520.

The Hebrew word Menorah has the root word or which means ‘light.’ The Hebrew word Torah also has the root of or. The menorah and the instructions of Adonai light our paths and guide our steps (Psalm 119:105).

Hebrew Word Pictures
or (Light) – אור – alef, vav, resh
– first strength binding to the highest authority

Menorah (Lampstand) – מנורה – mem, nun, vav, resh, hey
– mighty life bound to the highest authority protected

Torah (Instruction) – תוה – tav, vav, resh, hey
– the covenant bound to the highest authority revealed
Mishkan – The Tabernacle
“He [Adonai] abandoned the Tabernacle at Shiloh, the tent he had made where he could live among people” (Psalm 78:60).

The Hebrew word mishkan means ‘tent’ and was the name of the portable tent that became the dwelling place of Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh’s glory while the Israelites traveled through the wilderness. The sides of the Mishkan were made with 10 sheets of finely woven linen and blue, purple, and scarlet yarn. Each sheet was 42 feet long and 6 feet wide.  Two sets of five sheets were joined together.  Fifty loops of blue were on the edge of the outermost sheets Fifty fasteners of gold connected the sheets to each other so the Mishkan formed one single unit. A skilled artisan crafted k’ruvim into each sheet.  

Hebrew Word Pictures
Mishkan (Tent) – משכן – mem, shin, kaf, nun
– the mighty consumes what is behind life

The Mishkan had four layers of coverings: linen, goat skins, ram skins, and badger skins.  The linen curtains were the first inside layer and the only covering seen by the priests who entered the Holy Place. Tapestries made of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn had k’ruvim woven in them.  Linen represents the pure and holy priesthood. The armies of Messiah and his Bride are also clothed in linen garments (Revelation 19:7-8).

Eleven sheets of woven black fur of goat’s covered the linen curtains as the second layer. Each sheet was 45 feet long and 6 feet wide.  Five sheets were joined together with the sixth sheet folded double at the front of the tent.  Fifty loops were 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 hung over the back of the Tabernacle.

On Yom Kippur, 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 Isra’el. The other goat, the scapegoat, was presented alive to Adonai. On the head of this goat, Aaron placed all of the sins of the nation of Isra’el and then it was set free in the wilderness, purifying the camp from its sin (Leviticus 16:21-22). Many commentaries suggest the goat skins represent Yeshua’s sacrifice for sin, but it was through his sacrifice that we become purified and intimate fellowship with Elohim begins (1 John 1:7).

Ram skins were the third covering. These waterproof skins were dyed red. The Hebrew word for ‘ram’ is ayil and means ‘strong one.’  Rams were used for burnt offerings and the consecration of priests.   The skins of the ram are a reminder of the ‘binding of Isaac’ and the ram Abraham found in the thicket –– a foreshadowing of the binding of Yeshua to the cross. It is Yeshua’s blood that atoned for sin; our substitute sacrifice.

The fourth covering was made of badger skins.  The Hebrew word for ‘badger’ is tachach and is translated as a sea cow or dugong, an aquatic animal that swam along the shores of the Red Sea.  This was final waterproof covering; the exterior part of the Tabernacle. This was the covering seen by everyone in the camp. Yeshua was not especially handsome; his appearance did not attract us so it was easy to see him and not recognize the fullness of the deity in him (Isaiah 53:2).

Each of the Tabernacle coverings describe the believer’s walk of faith. Being human, whether Jew or gentile, implies a common life experience. Like the exterior badger skin, our human body suit is just our outward covering. We are made from the dust of the earth only to return to the dust. Our outer shell is seen by everyone, but will disappear like the withering grass.

The ram’s skin is the first step in the salvation process when one accepts the substitute sacrifice given to Adam and Eve, Abraham and Isaac, and to each of us through Yeshua. These skins are dyed red as a reminder of a covenant that was instituted and secured by blood, the blood of the ‘ram’ that takes away the ‘sin of the world.’

The third covering is the goat skin and the next step in the salvation process. It symbolizes a walk of sanctification that purifies us from sin. It is necessary to be purified from everything that contaminates body, soul, and spirit (2 Corinthians 6:17).

The linen represents the third part of the salvation process, the hope of glory, our transformation from mortality to immortality and the resurrection of the dead. This linen cover represents the priests who will minister in the restored Tabernacle of our High Priest, Yeshua; the armies that will fight with their Commander, Yeshua; and the Bride of the Bridegroom, Yeshua.

To complete the interior of the Mishkan, it was necessary to have planks, crossbars, and sockets. Planks and crossbars were made of Acacia wood and overlaid with gold.

With the abundance of gold and silver inside the Tabernacle, an ethereal emanated from the light of the Menorah. To minister within the walls of the Mishkan, a priest would be supernaturally enveloped in essence of the heavenly Tabernacle.

The Holy 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).

The Holy Curtain that separated the Holy of Holies and the Ark of the Covenant from the Holy Place was made of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn with finely woven linen. K’ruvim were woven into the tapestry that was hung with gold hooks on posts overlaid with gold. This Holy Curtain, called the parokhet, comes from the Hebrew word pargod which means ‘cloth’ and also refers to a coat or cloak. According to Jewish tradition, the Holy Curtain was the lower part or ‘hem’ of the garment of Adonai. In ancient times, when someone tore their clothes, it was a sign of a broken heart. The word for ‘tear’ in Hebrew is keriah and means ‘cut.’ When the Holy Curtain, the hem of Adonai’s garment was torn in two at Yeshua’s death, it was evidence the Father’s heart was ‘cut’ and broken at 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)

Hebrew Word Pictures
Holy Curtain or parokhet – פרוכת – peh, resh, vav, kaf, tav
– source of the highest authority, binding and covering the covenant

The Entry Curtain to the Mishkan

The entry curtain to the Tabernacle was a screen made of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn with finely woven linen.  It hung on five posts of Acacia wood overlaid with gold. The five posts covered in gold symbolize the first five books of Torah or the ‘pillars of instruction’ the priests used to teach the nation of Isra’el. Only the priesthood could pass beyond this entry curtain and enter the Holy Place where the Menorah, the Table of Presence, and the Altar of Incense were located. In the Holy Place, they would offer prayers of 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, 7½ feet high, made of finely woven linen, stood in bronze sockets supported by banded silver posts.

The Altar of Sacrifice

“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 of Sacrifice located in the Courtyard was square –– 7 ½ feet long and 7 ½ feet wide –– and made of Acacia wood planks, hollow on the inside, and overlaid with bronze.  It stood 4½ feet high with horns on its four corners. All utensils, pots, shovels, basins, meat-hooks, and fire pans were made of bronze.  The Altar had a bronze grate and bronze rings on the four corners. Poles overlaid with bronze were put into the rings on each side for transporting the Altar.

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, a colorful screen 30-feet wide, made of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn with finely woven linen.  It hung on four posts in four sockets. Everything else needed for serving in the Miskan was made of bronze –– even the tent pegs.

Yeshua, the Mishkan

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 Ark Covering
“As Miryam 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 Curtain
“What is more, their minds were made stone like; for to this day the same veil remains over them when they read the former Covenant; it has not been unveiled, because only by the Messiah is the veil [Holy Curtain] taken away.  Yes, till today, whenever Moshe is read, a veil lies over their heart” (2 Corinthians 3:14-15).

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).

“While I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (John 9:5).

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 Holy Curtain
“But Yeshua, again crying out in a loud voice, yielded up his spirit. At that moment the parokhet [Holy Curtain] 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 Curtain to The Holy Place
“Here, I’m standing at the door [of the Holy Place], 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 Bronze Laver
“So he [Yeshua] rose from the table, removed his outer garments and wrapped a towel around his waist.  Then he poured some water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples and wipe them off with the towel wrapped around him” (John 13:4-5). 

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).

©2018 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this Torah portion, the weekly readings of the Prophets and New Testament, and springboard for midrash, please purchase Open My Eyes: Wonders of Torah.

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