Previously we went over the basic story of how they arrived to Mount Sinai, and most people read the Torah with that background. These events happened in a specific order for people to understand this. There is a book called “The Temple: It’s Symbolism and Meaning Then and Now” by Joshua Berman, and this book will get into this and it will change how you read the Torah. The book deals with subjects like “What is Kedusha”, “The Temple and Gan Eden”, and “Sinai and Sanctuary.” These are major concepts in the Scriptures.
Exo 15 alludes to the fact that one of the reasons the people are going to Sinai was to receive the Mishkan, along with the Torah and a government. The Targum Onkelos on this chapter tells us how Exo 15.2 (KJV) was viewed in the First century. There was a Targum Yonaton Ben Uzziel also that dealt with the Prophets. The largest Jewish population was in the Parthian Empire, the old Babylonian and Persian Empire. You did not speak Hebrew there but a related language called Aramaic.
If you lived in Alexandria, Egypt, the second largest Jewish population and community, you spoke Greek. In the synagogue, this is how it worked. You could not read from the Aramaic or from the Greek. You could only read from the Hebrew. Why? Because it was the only language with a “kedusha” (holy language). It was the only language you were allowed to read from in the Torah, the Prophets (Nevi’im) or the Writings (Ketuvim), known as the Tanak (T, N, K). Following this they had an interpreter stand up and he would quote the Septuagint in a Greek speaking area. He was not allowed to read from it. That would give the wrong idea to the Greek speaking people listening to it. It would put Greek as an equal to Hebrew, and there is no kedusha that we have in the Scriptures associated with Greek, only Hebrew. It is like today. There are people who think that the KJV is inspired and that was the language “Jesus” spoke. There is only one language and version that was inspired and had a kedusha on it, and that is the Hebrew Mount Sinai version!
The same thing can be said if you were in an Aramaic speaking area. The interpreter would stand and quote from the Targum. That is why the targums are important. It gives us a glimpse into how the people interpreted the Scriptures. The Targum Onkelos was written in the First Century, and the Targum Yonaton was written during the time of Paul at least.
Exo 24.1-3 tells us that Moses tells the people what the Lord had said concerning all the ordinances and words, and the people answered, “We will do!” They say the same thing in Exo 19.8 before God has even said anything yet from Sinai. By Exo 24, they have had the experience of the Lord coming down and speaking to them personally and audibly to them, and they were afraid because of what they saw (!9.18-19). So, they say “We will do” before and after the Ten Commandments were given.
Now, why would Moses be allowed to sprinkle blood in Exo 24.4-6? Would he be allowed to do it after Exo 28, where the family of Aaron is set to apart as priests, and the only ones who will be able to approach the Altar with blood? Even though Moses is from Levi, he is not from the family of Aaron. He is a Levite but not a kohen, and in Exo 24 we have not gotten to Exo 28 yet. What we want you to see is in Exo 24.7 the people say “We will do” again.
In Exo 24.8-10 we have a “Ma’aseh Merkavah” or a “Vision/Work of the Chariot.” When people say “Chariot of God” there is another name for “chariot.” The “chariot” is seen as the “throne” of God, like the Ark of the Covenant. The “Ma’aseh Merkavah” is the throne of God where people are allowed to see it. You will also see it in Exo 19; Exo 20; here in Exo 24; Ezek 1,3,10; Zech 6; and the Book of Revelation, to name a few.
Exo 24.11-13 we read where Moses goes up to receive the commandments and the Torah. Exo 24.14-18 tells us that he was there forty days and forty nights. Now, remember the sign God gave to Moses in Exo 3.12? The sign was that he would bring the people out of Egypt and they will come to Mount Sinai to serve the Lord. The mountain was “adamat kodesh” (holy ground-Exo 3.4-5)) so the mountain had a kedusha (holy). Now, the concept of kedusha (holy) in the Scriptures will not be what most people think it is.
Exo 25.1-9 tells us that a “terumah” (contribution) will be taken for the Mishkan. Now we know why the Egyptians gave up their gold, silver and clothing to Israel when they left. These materials were used in the Mishakn. From these materials they were to make a “mikdash” so that the Lord may “dwell” (shkan’ti) within (“b’tawcham”) them. The Garden of Eden was perfect in every way. Man was placed in the garden to be a “king” over the garden, under the Lord. Man had total authority. Adam, like Yeshua, could speak and it would happen.
Many people think that Adam was in the Garden for a long time. However, Adam sinned within a week after his creation. He was created on Tishri 6 and sinned on Tishri 10, according to many opinions. The Garden of Eden was a place of kedusha and man had a kedusha, he was made in the image of God. The Lord set apart Tishri 10 as a perpetual day of “atonement” and a day he would reestablish the earth. From Tishri 6 to Tishri 10 is four days, and a day to the Lord is like a “thousand years” (Psa 90.4). After four thousand years from creation, Yeshua appeared and brought the redemption, but not in its fullest just yet. It was the start of the redemption process. Why did he need to do that?
Man was no longer in the “image of God” because he lost the kedusha that was placed upon him at creation. Adam sinnsed, and was driven from the place of kedusha, the Garden of Eden, and from God’s Shki’nah (presence) because it would have destroyed him (Exo 19.20-23). The Levites were not to touch the articles in the Mishkan, they were not even to look at them “even for a moment” because of the kedusha that was on them (Num 4.15-20).
We have seen in Josephus, Antiquities, Book 3, Chapter 5.8 that the Mishkan was made so that it could be carried with them and there would be no need to go to Mount Sinai anymore. The Lord himself would descend and pitch his Mishkan among Israel and be present at their prayers. We have Mount Sinai as “adamat kodesh (holy ground) just like Gan Eden. Individuals had direct encounters with the Lord up to this point (Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob). What happens at Mount Sinai is an entire nation encountered God.
The Mishkan will allow them to take a place of kedusha with them. They certainly couldn’t take Mount Sinai with them. They could enter the Mishkan and the Lord would manifest himself in front of them. Every commandment you have from Exo 25 to Lev 13 will relate somehow to the Mishkan. That is nearly 40 chapters! The reason that the Mishkan was given at that time is all these commandments were to be looked at through the “scope” of the Mishkan or the “scope” of kedusha.
We have the creation in Gen 1 and 2, and if you compare it with the building of the Miskan, you will find the same phrases used over and over. The Sinai experience will have a parallel with the Mishkan. We are instructed to remember the Exodus from Egypt. We do not have any commandment to remember the giving of the Torah on Sinai. When Moses goes up the mountain, a cloud comes down and it covers the mountain (Exo 24.25). When the Mishkan is built, the Lord will come down and a cloud covers the tent. The presence (Shki’nah) of God “dwelt” on Mount Sinai, and it would “dwell” in the Mishkan. When you look at the word “Mishkan” itself, you can see the word “shkan” in it, meaning to dwell.
Exo 30.36 says that the incense is put in the tent of meeting where “I shall meet with you.” Exo 40.34-35 says the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the “kivod” (glory, radiance) of God filled the Mishkan. Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and kivod (radiance) of the Lord filled the Mishkan. When the cloud was taken up from over the Mishkan, the sons of Israel would set out. If it did not lift up, they stayed where they were (Exo 40.36-37). The cloud would be on it by day, and there was fire in it by night.
In Part 26, we will pick up here.