2 “Tell the people of Isra’el to take up a collection for me -accept a contribution from anyone who wholeheartedly wants to give.
8 “They are to make me a sanctuary, so that I may live among them.
תְּרֻמָה תְּרוּמָה terûmâh terûmâh a present (as offered up), especially in sacrifice or as tribute:
מִקְּדָשׁ מִקְדָּשׁ miqdâsh miqqedâsh consecrated thing or place, especially a palace, sanctuary
We see that the collection is a gift and the sanctuary or “Wilderness Tabernacle” is a place to offer that gift. The sanctuary that they build is from the inside out and it is filled with symbolic meaning. This was to be a symbolic dwelling place for God. This is where the Hebrews would go to meet with God.
According to the Midrash Rabbah, the Mishkan is the equivalent of the universe:
Regarding the work of the first day of creation it says, “He who stretches out the heavens like a curtain” (Psalms 104:2). Regarding the making of the Mishkan it says, “You shall make curtains of goat’s hair for a tent over the Tabernacle” (Exodus 26:7).
Regarding the work of the second day of creation it says, “Let there be a firmament . . . and let it divide between the waters and the waters” (Genesis 1:6). Regarding the making of the Mishkan it says, “The veil shall divide for you between the Holy and the Holy of Holies” (Exodus 26:33).
Regarding the work of the third day of creation it says, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together” (Genesis 1:9). Regarding the making of the Mishkan it says, “You shall make a copper basin, and the base thereof of copper, for washing” (Exodus 30:18).
Regarding the work of the fourth day of creation it says, “Let there be luminaries in the heavens” (Genesis 1:14). Regarding the making of the Mishkan it says, “You shall make a menorah of pure gold” (Exodus 25:31).
Regarding the work of the fifth day of creation it says, “Let fowl fly above the earth” (Genesis 1:20). Regarding the making of the Mishkan it says, “The cherubim shall spread out their wings upward” (Exodus 25:20).
On the sixth day, man was created [to inhabit and cultivate the earth]. Regarding the Mishkan, G d says to Moses, “Bring near Aaron your brother [to perform the service in the Sanctuary]” (Exodus 28:1).
Of the seventh day we have it written, “The heaven and the earth were completed. . . . And G d completed His work . . . G d blessed . . . and G d sanctified . . .” (Genesis 2:1–3). Regarding the making of the Mishkan it says: “Thus was completed all the work of the Tabernacle . . . and Moses blessed them. . . . And it came to pass on the day that Moses completed the Tabernacle . . . and sanctified it” (Exodus 39:32,43; Numbers 7:1).
The author of Hebrews, likely Paul points out that the “Sanctuary” is just a copy of the heavenly original and is ultimately fulfilled by Yeshua.
5 But what they are serving is only a copy and shadow of the heavenly original; for when Moshe was about to erect the Tent, God warned him, “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern you were shown on the mountain.”
6 But now the work Yeshua has been given to do is far superior to theirs, just as the covenant he mediates is better. For this covenant has been given as Torah on the basis of better promises
The Ark of the Covenant dwelt in the first item that’s detailed and God gives it’s purpose:
22 There I will meet with you. I will speak with you from above the ark-cover, from between the two k’ruvim which are on the ark for the testimony, about all the orders I am giving you for the people of Isra’el.
As the Ark has been lost, it’s likely that the location revealed and it will be presented to Yeshua when He comes back to fulfill the Covenants of David and Abraham and rule from the very Mercy Seat that was constructed 3000 years ago. Although different possibilities have been presented for it’s location, including Ethiopia and Jerusalem, it’s location hasn’t been proven with certainty.
It’s also important to note that there are no images or iconic representations of YHVH as idol worship was prohibited. Each item in the Sanctuary has symbolic meaning, but God is presenting an image-less place of worship which runs contrary to all that the Hebrews would have known coming out of Egypt and foreign to all cultures of the time where gods were represented as carvings and images.
1 “You are to make the altar of acacia-wood, seven-and-a-half feet long and seven-and-a-half feet wide – the altar is to be square and four-and-a-half feet high.
2 Make horns for it on its four corners; the horns are to be of one piece with it; and you are to overlay it with bronze.
The concept of this alter was a killing place for sacrifices. The author of Hebrews points this towards Yeshua:
10 We have an altar from which those who serve in the Tent are not permitted to eat.
11 For the cohen hagadol brings the blood of animals into the Holiest Place as a sin offering, but their bodies are burned outside the camp.p
12 So too Yeshua suffered death outside the gate, in order to make the people holy through his own blood.
The Cross is to the Messiah as the Brazen Alter is to the sacrificial animals. The animals were raised up to the alter and Christ was raised up on the cross for our atonement. Sacrifice was a bloody and violent undertaking as the selected animals do not willingly sacrifice their lives. Millions of animals would have been sacrificed on this alter. Yeshua however did go willingly to be our atoning sacrifice even though through the scourging and the crucifixion was a violent and bloody event.