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Parashah 18: T'rumah

by Michael Bugg

Torah:  Sh’mot (Exodus) 25:1-27:19

Haftarah:  M'lakhim Alef (1 Kings) 5:26(12)-6:13

B’rit Chadasha:  Messianic Jews (Hebrews) 8:1-6, 9:1-24

The Theme

Greek thought and language, which we in the West are the inheritors of, is very different from Hebrew thought and language.  The Greeks aspired to a realm of pure thought and perfect forms which they sought to express in a very precise language which was designed for philosophical discourse about ethereal concepts.  The Semetic peoples, on the other hand, are very concrete and rooted in the real world.  The Hebrew language has a vividness unlike any other, so much so that men like Martin Luther and the original Greek translator of the book of Sirach despaired of rendering it correctly--but it is a vividness rooted in the physical world.  It is no accident that God chose such a visual, tactile, practical people to be His messengers.

The end result of His Revelation is not a book of pure philosophy, but a book of people, places, and events which reflect the image of the Heavenly realm to us.  As Lancaster writes,

If I were a god about to reveal myself to my creation for the first time, I would probably compose a nice systematic theology to put into their hands so they could understand me and the universe I had created.  I might throw in some convenient math equations to explain the recipe of my godhead.  A few diagrams would be useful too.


God doesn’t do things like I would.


When God revealed Himself to us, He did not give us a systematic theology, creeds, recipes, or diagrams.  He gave us a legal code.  He gave us laws.


Yet they are more than just laws intended to tidy up human society.  They are actual pieces of godliness.  Each mitzvah (commandment) is a small revelation of God.  More than just a rule for governing human behavior, the laws of Torah are a reflection of the Lawgiver. . .


The law commanding us to assist our enemy when he is in difficulty reveals to us a piece of true godliness. . .  Such a commandment is beyond the demands of Natural Law and far beyond the scope of human mercy and compassion.  It betrays an origin other than human beings.  It is a piece of God.[1]

Perhaps most vivid and least understood among the Holy One's commandments was His command to build a Tabernacle (Heb. Mishkhan [משכן], a place to dwell in), and later His grant to David that a Temple would be built by Solomon.  But as we study the two, we see not only the pattern of the Heavenly throne room (cf. Rev. 4-5), but the pattern of Yeshua Himself in the Tabernacle and of all believers in the three Temples.


[1] Lancaster, Restoration, p. 61





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