When Moses was on Mount Sinai, Jehovah told him to build a special tent, called a tabernacle, where the Israelites could worship Him. They would be able to carry the tabernacle with them as they moved around.
Jehovah said: ‘Tell the people to give what they can to help build the tabernacle.’ The Israelites gave gold, silver, copper, precious stones, and jewelry. They also gave wool, linen, animal skins, and many other things. They were so generous that Moses had to tell them: ‘We have enough! Do not bring any more.’
Many skilled men and women helped to build the tabernacle. Jehovah made them wise for the work. Some spun thread, wove fabric, or embroidered it. Others set stones, worked with gold, or carved wood.
The people built the tabernacle just as Jehovah had told them. They made a beautiful curtain to separate the tabernacle into two sections, the Holy and the Most Holy. In the Most Holy was the ark of the covenant, made of acacia wood and gold. In the Holy was a golden lampstand, a table, and an altar for burning incense. In the courtyard was a copper basin and a large altar. The ark of the covenant reminded the Israelites of their promise to obey Jehovah. Do you know what a covenant is? It’s a special kind of promise.
Jehovah chose Aaron and his sons to work at the tabernacle as priests. They had to take care of it and make offerings there to Jehovah. Only Aaron, the high priest, was allowed to enter the Most Holy. He did this once a year to present a sacrifice for his sins, the sins of his family, and the sins of the whole nation of Israel.
The Israelites finished the tabernacle one year after they left Egypt. Now they had a place to worship Jehovah.
Jehovah filled the tabernacle with his glory and had a cloud appear above it. As long as the cloud was above the tabernacle, the Israelites remained where they were. But when the cloud lifted, they knew that it was time to move. They would take the tabernacle apart and follow the cloud.
“With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: ‘Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them.’”—Revelation 21:3