This week, Lauren and I have been studying the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant as part of her Bible lessons. I wondered if it would be a bit much for a Kindergartner, but she totally got it. So much so, in fact, that she was able to explain all the pieces of the Tabernacle and the Ark, along with their significance, to her dad and grandma.
I was so proud.
I didn’t learn much about the Tabernacle until last year when my older two were studying it. I’m so glad that they are getting this stuff at a young age.
To add to our understanding, we constructed a paper model of the Tabernacle that was built pretty much to scale (our board wasn’t quite wide enough, so we fudged a little). It was a free download and we just printed the pieces on card stock for stability. I’ll tell you how to find it online at the end of the post. Big brother, Ben, helped score the lines and fold some of the smaller pieces.
The details of the Tabernacle can be found in Exodus 25-30.
The outside perimeter of the courtyard was made of linen curtains, so they could be folded and carried from place to place. The curtains were attached to pillars.
In the foreground of the courtyard was the bronze altar for burnt offerings, and behind that was the laver. The laver was made of bronze and filled with water for the priests to wash their hands and feet before entering the holy place.
Inside the tent was the Holy Place, which contained the altar, lamp stand, and table of show bread. Behind that was the curtain that separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies.
If you lift up the curtain, you can see the Holy of Holies (which only the High Priest was ever allowed to enter). The Holy of Holies contained the Ark of the Covenant. The three things we have sitting in front of the Ark would have actually been inside it.
The Ark of the Covenant contained the tablets of the Law, a jar of manna, and Aaron’s flowering staff. The story goes that the people were grumbling against Moses and Aaron, whom Moses had set up as high priest. God told Moses to have the leader of each household write his name on his staff, and bring it to the tent of meeting. The staff that budded overnight would belong to the priest that God had chosen. The next morning, Aaron’s staff budded, flowered, and produced almonds, thereby proving to the people that he was God’s choice. They included the staff in the Ark to be a sign to the rebels.
Another view of the courtyard, including the curtain at the entrance.
The tent of meeting also had four coverings: linen, goatskin, rams skin dyed red, and porpoise skin.
Lauren had such a great time putting this together, and I may have seen her acting out some scenes with a couple of Polly Pocket boys playing the parts of Aaron and Moses.
If you want to make one for yourself, go to www.gospelhall.org and search for “tabernacle” or click on “Downloads,” then “Children’s Bible Activities Crafts and Printable Games” and scroll down to lesson 219. I couldn’t put a link directly to it because it opens up as a pdf file, but I’m sure you can find it. Enjoy!