It has been my happy privilege to read the manuscript of Bruce Corbin's new book, "The Tabernacle In the Wilderness." This gifted writer, who has thrilled thousands with his unusual prophetic messages, has burned out another valuable contribution in the field of Christian literature. I predict that the reading of this book will bless multitudes of serious-minded Bible students.
A few years ago Bruce Corbin was stricken with illness and blindness which threatened to end his ministry. Thousands of friends, including myself, prayed that the Lord would spare him and restore his sight. GOD heard and answered and his work has continued. After reading the manuscript of this book, I am convinced that the Heavenly Father spared my friend that he might add this crowning achievement of his ministry. I know that all who read these chapters, will find them to be "Chapters of Blessing."
In these pages The Tabernacle comes to life. It lives and breathes a message of GOD's love for men. Everything connected with this ancient unfolding of GOD's plan of salvation and place of worship, every piece of furnishing and all instructions concerning it present the living CHRIST to the understanding and inspire the adoration of the reader. This book is a signal accomplishment, possibly only because of many years of diligent study of the Book of Books.
My friend has encompassed in this book a richness of material many authors have expanded into five or six volumes. I believe that thousands will feel indebted to this former foreign missionary for this simple, concise unfolding of the character and ministry of CHRIST, as revealed by GOD to Israel in their wilderness wanderings. After reading these illuminating chapters, one may understand why JESUS in astonishment exclaimed to Nicodemus, "Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?"
It is my fervent prayer that GOD will spare Brother Corbin for many years of added service and in the realization of the blessings which have come to those who have been helped by his writings. Already he has much treasure stored "where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt," and I am sure that this book will constitute another jewel in the heavenly crown.
Oklahoma City, July 12, 1951
E.F. Webber, D.D.
Years ago the author of this book prepared charts and began to teach children and young people GOD's plan of salvation, using the Tabernacle in the Wilderness as the Divinely-given object-lesson; presenting long beforehand, the essential elements in the ministry of our Lord. Soon adult members of his congregations began to urge that these messages be given to those who attended the regular services of worship. Its interest and results were gratifying.
Later, printed booklets embodying these teachings were prepared and met with an instant and continuing demand. Later still, series of messages were given in evangelistic campaigns and Bible conferences in many places. Last of all, radio messages over several stations increased the demand that these oral teachings be given permanent presentation in their present form.
We wish to express our deep appreciation to all those who graciously help to extend its use and usefulness, for the glory of our Blessed Saviour and Lord.
Enid, Oklahoma, September 1, 1951
The events described in the opening chapters of the book of Exodus occurred while the descendants of Jacob, scripturally known as the Children of Israel, were living in the land of Goshen. This was an especially fertile and fruitful section of northern Egypt, bordering on the Mediterranean Sea, lying east of the Delta of the Nile and west of what is now the Suez Canal.
It will prove interesting and also important to note that this region lay mostly to the north and west of the point where the Children of Israel crossed the Red Sea. In fact, that crossing was made over the part of the western arm of the Red Sea, which lay due east of Cairo, about one hundred miles, according to modern maps.
It should also be noted, perhaps with surprise, that after crossing the Red Sea, Moses led his followers, not to the northeast toward the Land of Promise; but to the southeastward, skirting the western arm of the Red Sea, along the eastern shore a distance of nearly one hundred and fifty miles, until they came to an extended plain, bordered by a lofty mountain chain on the East. In this ridge were three peaks, standing out above the others, Mt. Serbal, Mt. Catherine and Umm. Shomer.
Across the centuries there has been much discussion and contention as to which of these mountains is the traditional Mount Sinai. Fortunately, it is not necessary to follow the pros and cons of these historical arguments. In this treatise we represent the Tabernacle as being located in the midst of the camp of Israel as located in the plain sloping away from the foot of the traditional Mt. Sinai, with the other two mountains in the background. For our studies exact geographical and topographical data and considerations are of relative unimportance.
We should know that much of this region and of Midian, lying to the east, doubtless, was very familiar to Moses. As the adopted son of the ablest and most famous of Egyptian women, Queen Hatshepsut, Moses was reared and educated as the heir-apparent to the throne of Egypt: "And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water" (Exodus 2:10). As such, he became a high-ranking officer in the Egyptian army and, for a time, was superintendent of the royal mines, located in the territory later traversed by the Children of Israel. We shall do well to bear in mind that, after Moses was compelled to flee for his life out of Egypt, (Exodus 2:11-20) he tended the flocks of his father-in-law, Jethro for forty years, amidst surroundings very like those in which Israel journeyed and camped, for a like number of years.
No man knew these mountainous and desert regions better, or was better equipped for his arduous duties than was Moses. Add to this his education and training at the court of Egypt when that nation was at the height of its greatness and power, and, on the human side, we may discern why, though Moses led out of Egypt what has been described as "an unorganized rabble," within a comparatively short time, the Children of Israel became a well developed and disciplined nation, protected by one of the best trained armies of ancient times, and with the wisest and greatest code of laws, related to all aspects of life and conduct, in respect to GOD and to men, known to mankind. GOD always has demonstrated His wisdom in His choice of men. On some mountain in Midian GOD revealed Himself to His servant as the ETERNAL, the "I AM." Then He commissioned Moses and led him, step by step, until the supreme manifestation of His GLORY on Mt. Sinai, together with His wonderful purposes and provisions for those who love and obey Him, even beyond the end of time, in the Glory that is to come.
When we consider the wonderful truths He was to make known, we marvel at the wisdom of the Glorified Lord, when He disclosed Himself to Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus. After beholding His glory, Saul's natural eyes never again were of much good for the uses of this world. Thus, was Paul prepared to become the instrument of the HOLY SPIRIT in unfolding the infinitely wonderful things, which became the precious heritage of the Church; but were first imparted to Moses on the mount and were symbolized in the Tabernacle in the Wilderness.
Is it too much to assume that when Paul, in the spirit, was caught up into Heaven: "I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven" (I Corinthians 12:2) that he beheld the original of those things of which Moses on the mount was shown the pattern: accompanied by the oft-repeated command and warning, "And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount." Read Hebrews 9:23, 24, and pray over and ponder these revelations.
As we proceed with our studies, let us not lose sight of the wonderful sequence of these wonderful unfoldings of the infinite wisdom, love, and mercy of our Holy GOD through His marvelous provision for our redemption, salvation, and glorification, made possible through our Lord JESUS CHRIST, first, most fully set forth and exemplified by everything we shall find pertaining to the Tabernacle in the Wilderness.
Introduction to Part One - Chapters One to Ten
To make sure that our readers grasp the profound significance of all that pertains to the revelation, which GOD has made through the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, the author deems to be of great importance to discover how large a place references to the Tabernacle itself, and its symbolic furnishings, its priests, and their offices and services, with many special types and symbols; hold in both the Old and New Testament Scriptures. These references are so many and so extended that we cannot do more than summarize them. In doing this we are indebted to a Bible scholar of the previous generation whose findings we abbreviate for our present purposes ("THE GOSPEL IN THE HEBREW TABERNACLE" by H. S. Miller, THE WORLD-BEARER PRESS, Houghton, N. Y.).
In the Hebrew, the word for "tent," or tabernacle, occurs 340 times. Most of these references are to the Tabernacle itself, or some part of it.
In the Hebrew, the word for "dwelling" relates to the Tabernacle, or some part of it, 113 times.
In the Hebrew, the word for a sacred, or separated place, is translated "sanctuary" 69 times, and is related to the Tabernacle 14 times.
The Tabernacle, or some part of it, is referred to in the Old Testament some 362 times.
In other instances, including references in the New Testament, related more or less directly to the Tabernacle, there are close to 300 other citations.
Every Bible student should be familiar with the extended commentary on, and the interpretation and application of, the symbolism of the Tabernacle and its more important types which have had fulfillment in CHRIST, as set forth in the Book of Hebrews. These will be noted and emphasized, as we come to them, as we proceed with our studies.
We urge our readers constantly to keep their Bibles in hand, opened to the passages under consideration. It would prove to be a disservice to earnest Bible students, to print on these pages full scripture passages and references, since they should be marked and their location and content should become increasingly familiar as we proceed. Scripture references will be cited, but seldom quoted. To print all passages indicated, would extend this book, and increase its costs unnecessarily.
Introduction to Part Two - Chapters Eleven to Sixteen
As stated in the introduction to PART I, we now come to the consideration of several detailed matters related to the Tabernacle in the Wilderness; its construction, its priesthood, the sacrifices and offerings, the Levites and their duties, the organization of the Children of Israel, in camp and on the march, and several other matters of great importance, whose consideration in the order of procedure of PART I, would have interrupted our studies in the Way of Salvation, from the Cross to Glory, as typified and symbolized by all pertaining to the Tabernacle, which has engaged our attention thus far.
To give detailed attention to what remains to be considered would require many pages. Therefore, these further chapters will present only the important essentials; but fully enough to indicate further subjects and courses for reading and study, and especially for the presentation of discourses to be used in teaching Bible Classes, or for presentation from the pulpit.
Though we do our utmost, the materials available are so abundant and complex that no author in one volume, however complete, could ever be satisfied that he had done more than give his readers an earnest desire to continue the study and appreciation of the truths which we have endeavored to present in these chapters. We hope that they may prove to be "Chapters of Blessing."