The Face in the Tabernacle

Do you see it?  Right there in the middle?

Admittedly, a rough sketch – more along the lines of a stick-figure drawing than a noteworthy piece of art, but so simple and obvious that one of my young “olive shoots” was the first to point it out: “Hey, Mom – that looks like a face!”  We thought it was a diverting coincidence at first, but then we inspected it more closely . . .

Hmm. . . Those things that are placed as the “eyes” are the Menorah/Lamp Stand, and the Table of “Showbread” (a name that had always confused me).  Both of those pertain to the eyes.

And sure enough, the “nose” is the Altar of Incense, that sent up a sweet aroma before the throne!

The mouth is represented by the Ark of the Covenant, wherein were the Tablets of Stone – the Word of G-d, spoken by His mouth, written with His finger.  The Ark also contained a measured Omer of Manna – the Bread from Heaven, that fed the mouths of the Children of Israel in the wilderness.  (For the record, Aaron’s rod was in there, too, but we haven’t come up with an obvious connection to a mouth for that.  Any ideas?)

It is definitely a masculine face, given that the veil of the Holy of Holies forms a mustache for our picture.

It’s looking less and less coincidental to me.

Later, we noticed that the items in the courtyard were the Laver (water), and the Altar of Burnt Offering (fire).  Water and fire were the two things Yeshua said we need to be baptized with in Matthew 3:11 and Luke 3:16.

Of course, when the tabernacle was set up, no-one could see this whole layout, given that there was a “veil” of curtains and skins covering the “face.”  No man can see his face and live, you know.  But the pillar of cloud and pillar of fire hovered over the Mercy Seat on the Ark, so it must have looked something like this pic:

quirky tabernacle diorama

Quirky Tabernacle Diorama

If you picture the face inside, you can see the power coming out of G-d’s mouth, can’t you? Given that He spoke the universe into existence, I think that’s rather appropriate.

So now, when someone googles “tabernacle” and “face,” I hope they come up with this post!


One thought on “The Face in the Tabernacle

  1. Just have to add a note of confirmation: my hubby was reading aloud last night, something that mentioned the Hebrew name for the “showbread.” I don’t know why I didn’t look that up before! In Hebrew, the word is “Lechem HaPanim,” or “the Bread of the Face”!! Cool, huh?

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