Tabernacle Prayer 

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The Tabernacle of David

"For I have not dwelt in a house since the time that I brought up Israel, even to this day, but have gone from tent to tent, and from one tabernacle to another." (1Chronicles 17:5 NKJV)

Compared to its predecessor, Moses Tabernacle, little is recorded about David’s Tabernacle. Yet, the New Testament places a n emphasis on the rebuilding of this Tabernacle in relation t the New Covenant seemingly disproportionate with its place in the Old. What is it about this typical tent that is so significant to the Ecclesia?

We find David’s Tabernacle specifically mentioned in:

2 Samuel 6:17-19               1 Chronicles 15-16

Isaiah 16:5                            Amos 9:11-12

Acts 7:45-47                       Acts 15:15-18

It appears that for a time (about 40 years), before the building of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem, two tabernacles existed in Israel. The old Tabernacle of Moses remained erect on Mount Gibeon, with its attendant priests, sacrifices and functions (1 Chron 16:37-43; 21:28-30; 2 Chron 1:1-6).

The one glaring omission was that the Holy Holies was now empty, and the Ark was in David’s Tabernacle on Mount Zion, Jerusalem.

Chapter 4 of 1 Samuel records the capture of the Ark of the Covenant by the Philistines, a judgement for the ungodliness of the priesthood of Eli and his sons. Its journey is then recorded in subsequent chapters, but it never returned to Shiloh. 

Psalm 78:60-61 describes this historical event:

"So that He forsook the tabernacle at Shiloh, the tent in which He had dwelt among men [and never returned to it again], And delivered His strength and power (the ark of the covenant) into captivity, and His glory into the hands of the foe (the Philistines)." (Ps 78:60-61 AMP)

When the ark was finally brought back it was placed in a tent created especially for it in Jerusalem (2 Chron 1:4). Religious observance continued in the tabernacle at Shiloh, but the Ark itself, representing the very presence of God was now housed in another Tabernacle – the Tabernacle of David.

Some startling differences existed between these two tabernacles, which carry typical significance for the Ecclesia. 

Some of these differences between the two tabernacles during this period are outlined here...

The Tabernacle of Moses

Tabernacle of Moses 

The Tabernacle of David

tabernacle of david 

Outer court and furnishings

No outer court or furnishings

Holy Place and furniture

No Holy Place or furniture

Empty Holy of Holies

Transferred Holy of Holies to here

A veil restricting access

No veil, open access to the Presence

Daily animal sacrifices

No more animal sacrifices following dedication, but daily spiritual sacrifices of praise and worship

Old Mosaic ministry & order

New order of ministry and worship

Very few singers or instruments

A great hosts of worshippers

Some of the most significant differences include the fact that there was no veil to prevent access to the presence of God in David’s Tabernacle, speaking of a new and living way opened to all to approach God through Christ. It’s covering was that of continual praise, worship and thanksgiving. These were the spiritual sacrifices that were offered daily, not animal sacrifices. This too is the New Testament order of sacrifice (Hebrews 13:15). 

Both the continual kingdom of David through Christ, and the new order of New Testament priesthood and worship are typified in this Tabernacle. 

It is interesting to note the historical fulfilment of this time when two tabernacles were in existence. For approximately 40 years there were two tabernacles, two orders of worship, and two companies of priests. This was typical of the time between the death and resurrection of Christ, and the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem 40 years later. During this time some rejected the new order of worship through Christ, choosing rather to maintain the old Mosaic order in the temple then standing, even though the glory had departed from the old temple and was now resting and dwelling in Christ, the new Temple of God. It seems that the rent veil must have been sown back up and the Aaronic priesthood perpetuated until AD70 when the temple was destroyed.

Isn’t it amazing how detailed the typical pictures are, and how accurate and enlightening their fulfilment!

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