Unlocking the Meaning: What Does the Veil in the Tabernacle Symbolize?

The veil in the tabernacle is a mysterious and fascinating symbol of the ancient Hebrews. This piece of cloth, hung between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place, was believed to be the barrier that separated man from God during the times of Moses and Aaron. It was a powerful reminder of the divine presence, and a symbol of the separation between heaven and earth.

But what is the meaning behind the veil in the tabernacle? Some scholars believe that it represents the separation between the material world and the spiritual world. Others see it as a symbol of the separation between sin and righteousness, or between life and death. Whatever its meaning, the veil in the tabernacle was a powerful reminder of the spiritual realm and the awesome power of God’s presence.

Overall, the veil in the tabernacle remains a fascinating historical artifact that continues to capture the imagination of believers and scholars alike. As we explore the symbolism and meaning behind this ancient Hebrew tradition, we gain deeper insights into the beauty and mystery of the divine realm – and the power of faith to connect us with something greater than ourselves. So let us delve deeper into the symbolism of the veil in the tabernacle, and discover the timeless truths that lie hidden within its folds.

The Veil in the Tabernacle

In the Old Testament, the Tabernacle was the place where God manifested His presence among His chosen people. The Tabernacle was a portable structure that the Israelites used as a sanctuary during their wanderings in the wilderness. One of the most critical elements of the Tabernacle was the veil, which divided the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. This veil was a significant symbolic element of the Tabernacle and carried several meanings, including the following:

  • Separation: The veil in the Tabernacle represented separation between a holy God and sinful humanity. No one could see the face of God and live (Exodus 33:20), so the veil served as a barrier between God and man. It was a physical reminder of the separation caused by sin, and that only the high priest could enter the Most Holy Place once a year to offer atonement for the sins of the people.
  • Access: The veil also symbolized access to God. It was only through this barrier that the high priest could enter and seek God’s face on behalf of the people. The veil demonstrated that access to God was limited and could only be gained through a mediator.
  • Redemption: The veil was a sign of redemption. In the Old Testament, the blood of animals was required to cover the sins of the people. The high priest would sprinkle the blood of an animal on the mercy seat to atone for sins. This was done once a year on the Day of Atonement. However, in the New Testament, Jesus Christ’s death on the cross made the ultimate atonement for sin, and the veil was no longer necessary.

In conclusion, the veil in the Tabernacle represented separation, access, and redemption. It was a visual reminder that God is holy and that sin has separated us from Him. However, because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we have access to God, and we are redeemed through His blood.

Old Testament Tabernacle

The Old Testament Tabernacle was a sacred tent constructed by the Israelites under the guidance of Moses, in which they could worship Yahweh, the God of Israel. It was made up of three parts: the Outer Court, the Holy Place, and the Holy of Holies. The tabernacle was filled with symbolic meaning, with each detail pointing towards a greater spiritual truth.

What Does the Veil in the Tabernacle Symbolize?

  • The Veil Separates
  • The Veil Conceals
  • The Veil Points to the Coming of Christ

One of the most significant parts of the Tabernacle was the veil that separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies. This veil was made of fine linen and was embroidered with cherubim. The veil served as a barrier between the people and the dwelling place of God. Only the high priest was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies, and that only once a year on the Day of Atonement.

The veil has several symbolic meanings:

  1. The Veil Separates: The veil represented the separation between God and Man. It was a reminder that without sacrifice and atonement, we cannot approach a holy God. The veil reminds us that we are sinners and fall short of God’s glory. But because of Christ’s sacrifice, the veil has been torn, and we have access to God through Christ (Hebrews 10:20).
  2. The Veil Conceals: The veil also concealed the glory of God from the people. The Holy of Holies was the dwelling place of God’s presence, but the people could not see it. The veil reminds us that there is much that we cannot comprehend about God. His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:9).
  3. The Veil Points to the Coming of Christ: The veil was a foreshadowing of Christ, who would come and tear down the veil that separated us from God. When Jesus died on the cross, the veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51). This tearing of the veil shows us that through Christ, we now have access to God. The veil points to the truth that Christ is the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6).

The veil in the Old Testament Tabernacle is a powerful symbol of God’s holiness and our need for redemption. It reminds us that without Christ, we are separated from God and unable to approach Him. But through Christ, we have access to God and can come boldly to the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16).

Symbolism of the Veil in the TabernacleMeaning
SeparationWithout sacrifice and atonement, we cannot approach a holy God.
ConcealmentThere is much we cannot comprehend about God.
ChristOnly through Christ do we have access to God.

As we look at the veil in the Tabernacle, let us remember the sacrifice of Christ and the access we now have to a holy God through Him.

The Holy of Holies

The Holy of Holies is the innermost chamber of the tabernacle where the Ark of the Covenant was housed. This area was the most sacred and holy place in the entire structure. It was separated from the rest of the tabernacle by a thick veil that acted as a barrier between the presence of God and man. The veil was a powerful symbol of the separation that exists between God and humanity due to sin.

  • The veil was made of fine linen and blue, purple, and scarlet yarns. The use of these specific colors symbolized the majesty, royalty, and purity of God.
  • The veil was hung on four pillars made of acacia wood overlaid with gold. This symbolized the permanence and divine nature of God.
  • Only the high priest was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies, and only once a year on the Day of Atonement. This was a reminder of the absolute holiness of God and the sinfulness of humanity.

The Holy of Holies also served as a foreshadowing of Jesus Christ. In Hebrews 9:11-12, it says, “But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.”

This passage tells us that Jesus Christ, as our high priest, entered the Holy of Holies once for all time through his own blood, which represents the forgiveness of our sins. The veil was torn in two from top to bottom at the moment of Jesus’ death, symbolizing that the barrier between God and man was broken. Through faith in Jesus Christ, we can now have access to the very presence of God.

Symbolism in the Holy of HoliesMeaning
The Ark of the CovenantThe presence of God
The mercy seatThe place of atonement for sin
The cherubimThe guardians of God’s glory and holiness

The Holy of Holies was a powerful symbol of the separation between God and humanity, but it was also a reminder of God’s holiness, majesty, and purity. Through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the veil has been torn, and we can now have access to the very presence of God. May we never take for granted the sacrifice that was made on our behalf, and may we always approach the throne of grace with reverence and awe.

The Ark of the Covenant

The Ark of the Covenant was a sacred container that held the tablets of the Ten Commandments, Aaron’s rod, and a pot of manna. It represented the presence of God among the Israelites and was kept in the Holy of Holies, a room in the tabernacle separated by a veil.

  • The Ark was made of acacia wood and covered in gold, symbolizing both the divinity and humanity of Christ.
  • The two cherubim on top of the Ark represented God’s throne and His presence among His people.
  • The Mercy Seat, the cover on top of the Ark, represented God’s mercy and justice, and was where the High Priest sprinkled blood for the forgiveness of sins.

The veil that separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the tabernacle was also made of fine linen and blue, purple, and scarlet yarn. Its purpose was to conceal the glory of God from the people, as no one was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies except the High Priest, and that only once a year on the Day of Atonement.

The symbolism of the veil in the tabernacle is significant in several ways. Firstly, it represents the separation between God and man due to sin. The veil reminds us of how our sin separates us from a holy God and our need for a High Priest, Jesus Christ, to intercede for us.

Symbolism of the Veil in the TabernacleReference
The separation between God and man due to sinExodus 26:33
Our need for a High Priest to intercede for usHebrews 9:11-14
The tearing of the veil at Jesus’ death, symbolizing the access we now have to God through ChristMatthew 27:50-51

Secondly, the veil represents the temporary nature of the Old Covenant, which required constant sacrifices for the forgiveness of sins. Christ’s death on the cross fulfilled the Old Covenant and brought about the New Covenant, where we are forgiven of our sins by faith in Jesus Christ alone.

The veil in the tabernacle is a powerful symbol of God’s holiness and our need for a Savior. It reminds us that we cannot approach God on our own but must rely on the intercession of Jesus Christ, our High Priest. Through Christ, we have access to God and can boldly approach His throne of grace.

High Priest’s Garments

The elaborate garments worn by the High Priest during the service in the tabernacle contained many powerful symbols. They represented not only the grandeur and exaltedness of the priestly office but also the high calling and great responsibility of those who served in the tabernacle.

  • The ephod, a vest-like garment, was made of fine linen and embroidered with gold, blue, purple, and scarlet threads. It was held together by two onyx stones on the shoulders, each engraved with the names of six of the twelve tribes of Israel. This symbolized the High Priest’s role as a mediator between God and the people.
  • The breastplate, also made of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet fabrics, contained twelve precious stones, each representing one of the tribes of Israel. This symbolized the High Priest carrying the people on his heart when he entered the Most Holy Place.
  • The robe worn by the High Priest was made entirely of blue fabric, symbolizing the heavenly origin of his office. Its hem was decorated with alternating bells and pomegranates. The bells signified the sound of the High Priest’s approach to God while the pomegranates represented the fruitfulness of the priesthood.
  • The turban, worn on the head of the High Priest, had a golden plate attached to it, inscribed with the words “Holy to the Lord”. This symbolized the High Priest’s dedication and consecration to God.
  • The linen undergarments worn by the High Priest symbolized purity and holiness, reflecting the importance of being ceremonially clean before serving in the tabernacle.

Each element of the High Priest’s garments had a deep spiritual significance, directing the attention of both the priest and the people towards God’s holiness and their own need for purity. The garments were a reminder of the great honor that came with serving as a priest but also of the great responsibility and reverence that was required of them in their service.

Sacrifices in the Tabernacle

The Tabernacle, a sacred tent that the Israelites used as a place of worship and sacrifice in ancient times, was filled with symbolism. Different objects and rituals within its walls represented God’s holiness and the Israelites’ relationship with Him. One of these symbolic objects was the veil.

The veil was a curtain that hung in the Holy Place, separating it from the Most Holy Place, also known as the Holy of Holies. This curtain was made of finely woven linen and blue, purple, and scarlet thread, with representations of cherubim embroidered on it in gold. The veil was four layers thick and was hung by hooks of gold on four pillars of acacia wood covered in gold.

The Symbolism of the Veil

The veil of the Tabernacle had great symbolic significance. It served as a barrier between the Israelites and the Holy of Holies, where the presence of God resided in a special manner. Only the High Priest was allowed into the Holy of Holies, and then only once a year on the Day of Atonement. The veil signified the separation between God and man caused by sin.

But the veil also symbolized the way in which God would once again make a way for man to enter into His presence. The veil’s colors and materials represented the attributes of God and the way that He would restore the broken relationship between Himself and man.

  • The blue thread represented God’s heavenly nature and His law, which the Israelites had broken and which separated them from God.
  • The purple thread represented the royalty and kingdom of God, which would be restored through the sacrifice of the Messiah.
  • The scarlet thread represented the blood that would be shed for the forgiveness of sins.
  • The gold embroidery represented the perfection and holiness of God, who alone could make a way for man to be reconciled to Him.

The Veil and Sacrifice

The veil in the Tabernacle wasn’t just a symbol of separation and reconciliation. It also represented the ultimate sacrifice that was to come. The fact that the veil was torn in two when Jesus died on the cross (Matthew 27:51) signified that the sacrifice of the Messiah had opened up the way for all people to come into God’s presence.

The veil also symbolizes the sacrifice that the High Priest made on the Day of Atonement. When he entered the Holy of Holies, he brought with him the blood of a sacrificial animal and sprinkled it on the mercy seat, which represented the presence of God. This sacrifice foreshadowed the sacrifice of Jesus, who would shed His blood once and for all for the forgiveness of sins.

SymbolMeaning
Four layers of linenThe strength of God’s character and His intention to reconcile with His people.
BlueHeavenly nature and Law.
PurpleThe Kingdom of God and the royalty of Christ.
ScarletThe sacrifice of Christ for the forgiveness of sins.
Gold embroideryThe holiness and perfection of God.

The veil of the Tabernacle was a powerful symbol of separation, reconciliation, sacrifice and the coming of the Messiah. Its colors and materials spoke of God’s nature and His intention to restore the broken relationship between Himself and man. Through the sacrifice of Jesus, the veil was torn in two, signifying that we can now enter into God’s presence and enjoy the fullness of His grace and mercy.

The Tabernacle and Jesus Christ

The tabernacle is a physical representation of the relationship between God and Israel. It is also a foreshadowing of the coming of Jesus Christ, who would serve as both the ultimate sacrifice and the high priest.

The Symbolism Behind the Veil

  • The veil separates the holy place from the most holy place, representing the separation between God and man caused by sin.
  • The veil is made of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, symbolizing royalty and divinity.
  • The cherubim embroidered on the veil represent the heavenly beings who guard the presence of God and foreshadow the coming of Christ as the mediator between God and man.
  • The tearing of the veil at Jesus’ death represents the opening of the way to God and the end of the separation between God and man through the forgiveness of sin.

The Number 7

The number 7 is significant in the design and function of the tabernacle, representing completion and perfection.

There are 7 pieces of furniture in the tabernacle, including the lampstand, table of showbread, and the altar of incense.

The tabernacle was consecrated for 7 days, and the priests were consecrated for 7 days as well.

The sacrifices were offered 7 times a day, and the Sabbath was observed on the 7th day, representing the completion of the week.

The Fulfillment in Jesus Christ

Jesus has ultimate authority and supremacy over the tabernacle, fulfilling its purposes and completing its symbols through his life, death, and resurrection.

Tabernacle SymbolFulfilled in Jesus Christ
High PriestJesus is the ultimate High Priest, offering himself as the sacrifice for sin once and for all.
Mercy SeatJesus is the ultimate Mercy Seat, providing forgiveness and reconciliation for sinners through his own sacrifice.
AltarJesus is the ultimate Altar, offering himself as the sacrifice for sin and as the source of life and sustenance.

Through his sacrifice on the cross, Jesus provides access to God and removes the separation between God and man. He is the ultimate fulfillment of the tabernacle and its symbols, making a way for everyone to come into the presence of God.

Significance of Blue in the Tabernacle

Blue is one of the primary colors used in the Tabernacle and holds significant spiritual meaning throughout the Bible.

In the Tabernacle, blue represents power and authority. It is especially significant in the veil that separates the Holy of Holies from the rest of the Tabernacle.

The veil in the Tabernacle is made of material woven with four colors: blue, purple, scarlet, and fine linen. These colors represent various attributes of God, and together, they create a beautiful tapestry that symbolizes His glory.

  • Blue represents the heavens and the presence of God.
  • Purple represents royalty and the kingship of Christ.
  • Scarlet represents blood and sacrifice.
  • Fine linen represents purity and righteousness.

Together, these colors represent the nature and character of God and His desire to dwell among His people.

Furthermore, the number eight holds significant spiritual significance in the Bible and is closely tied to the signification of blue. In the Bible, the number eight represents new beginnings, a time of renewal and regeneration. This is evident in the story of Noah, where he and his family emerged from the ark on the eighth day and began a new life. Additionally, the circumcision of male babies was performed on their eighth day, symbolizing their entrance into the covenant community.

The veil in the Tabernacle was held up by four pillars made of acacia wood, overlaid with gold. These pillars represent the support and stability that God provides for His people. Additionally, the number four represents the earth and the four corners of the earth, symbolizing that the Tabernacle was representative of God dwelling among His people in the physical world.

ColorSymbolism
BlueThe heavens and the presence of God
PurpleRoyalty and the kingship of Christ
ScarletBlood and sacrifice
Fine linenPurity and righteousness

In conclusion, the veil in the Tabernacle made of blue material held significant spiritual meaning. Blue represents power and authority and signifies the presence of God. The number eight represents new beginnings and regeneration, reminding us of God’s desire to dwell among His people and renew them.

The Tabernacle in the Wilderness

The Tabernacle in the Wilderness was the portable sanctuary that God commanded Moses to build to symbolize His presence among His people during the Israelites’ journey through the desert. The Tabernacle was divided into three parts: the Outer Court, the Holy Place, and the Most Holy Place. Each part of the Tabernacle contained different elements with symbolic meanings that pointed to important spiritual truths. In this article, we will examine what the veil in the Tabernacle symbolizes.

What Does the Veil in the Tabernacle Symbolize?

  • The Veil Separated the Most Holy Place from the Holy Place
  • The Veil Signified the Inaccessibility of God’s Presence
  • The Veil Represented the Separation Between Man and God
  • The Veil Prefigured the Death of Jesus and the Access to God by His Blood
  • The Veil Foreshadowed the Future Accessible Presence of God
SymbolismMeaning
Most Holy PlaceThe dwelling place of God and the representation of heaven, where man could not enter because of sin (Exodus 40:34-35)
Holy PlaceThe representation of earth, where the priests performed their daily duties as intermediaries between God and man (Exodus 30:7-10)
VeilThe separation between God and man because of sin, and the inaccessibility of God’s direct presence (Exodus 26:31-33)
Access to GodPossible only through the shedding of blood of a spotless lamb, which prefigured the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross as the perfect Lamb of God (Leviticus 16:2-16, Hebrews 9:11-14)
Future Accessible Presence of GodThrough the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the veil has been torn, and believers have direct access to God’s presence by faith (Matthew 27:51, Hebrews 10:19-22)

The veil in the Tabernacle had a powerful symbolism that pointed to the inaccessibility of God’s presence because of man’s sin. Only once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the High Priest could enter the Most Holy Place to make atonement for the sins of the people. However, when Jesus died on the cross, the veil in the Temple was torn from top to bottom, signifying the opening of direct access to God’s presence through His blood.

Therefore, the veil in the Tabernacle symbolizes the separation between God and man because of sin, the inaccessibility of God’s direct presence, and the access to God by the shedding of blood of a spotless lamb. The tearing of the veil prefigured the death and resurrection of Jesus, which gave believers access to God’s presence through faith in Him.

Purpose of the Tabernacle’s Courtyard

The outer courtyard of the Tabernacle served a specific purpose according to the Old Testament. This was the place where the Israelites would gather to offer their sacrifices, and where the priests carried out their duties.

The courtyard was also symbolic in nature, representing the separation between the holy and the profane. It was a space where the people could approach God, but they could only go so far. The courtyard acted as a physical barrier, signifying the separation between God’s presence in the Tabernacle and the outside world.

The Symbolic Meaning of the Veil

  • The veil in the Tabernacle was made of fine linen, dyed in blue, purple, and scarlet. These colors represented royalty and holiness, reflecting the nature of God.
  • The veil was hung on four pillars made of acacia wood, overlaid with gold. These pillars represented the four corners of the earth, signifying that God’s presence was everywhere.
  • Only the high priest was allowed to enter the innermost sanctuary, known as the Holy of Holies. This was where the Ark of the Covenant was kept, representing the presence of God.
  • The veil served as a barrier between the Holy of Holies and the outer courtyard. It acted as a symbol of the separation between God and humanity, a reminder that only the chosen priest could enter God’s presence.
  • When Jesus was crucified, the veil in the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom, signifying the removal of the separation between God and humanity. Through his sacrifice, Jesus opened the way for all people to come into God’s presence.

The Ten Curtains of the Courtyard

The courtyard of the Tabernacle was enclosed by ten curtains, made of fine linen and measuring 100 cubits in length (roughly 150 feet) by 50 cubits in width (roughly 75 feet). These curtains were held in place by 60 pillars, representing the stability and strength of God’s covenant with his people.

The number ten is significant in the Bible, often representing completeness, perfection, and order. The ten curtains of the courtyard may have symbolized the ten commandments given to Moses on Mount Sinai, reminding the people of God’s law and their covenant relationship with him.

Curtain NumbersDimensionsMaterials
1-428 cubits by 5 cubits eachFine twisted linen and blue, purple, and scarlet yarns
5-1030 cubits by 5 cubits eachFine twisted linen

The combination of these elements in the Tabernacle’s courtyard created a visual representation of God’s presence among his people, reminding them of his holiness and their covenant relationship with him.

What Does the Veil in the Tabernacle Symbolize?

1. What is the veil in the tabernacle?

The veil in the tabernacle was a curtain made of fine linen that separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place.

2. Why was the veil in the tabernacle significant?

The veil in the tabernacle was significant because it symbolized the separation between God and man. Only the high priest could enter the Most Holy Place, and only once per year on the Day of Atonement.

3. What did the veil in the tabernacle represent?

The veil in the tabernacle represented the barrier that sin creates between God and man. It was a reminder that access to God’s presence was restricted because of sin.

4. What did the tearing of the veil in the temple signify?

The tearing of the veil in the temple when Jesus died on the cross signified that access to God was now available to everyone through faith in Jesus Christ. The barrier of sin was removed.

5. What is the significance of the colors of the veil in the tabernacle?

The colors of the veil in the tabernacle – blue, purple, and scarlet – represented various aspects of God and his covenant with Israel. Blue symbolized the heavenly nature of God; purple stood for royalty and his reign over his people; and scarlet symbolized his blood sacrifice for the sins of his people.

6. Why is the veil in the tabernacle important for Christians today?

The veil in the tabernacle is important for Christians today because it points to the need for access to God’s presence through faith in Jesus Christ. It also reminds us of the sacrifice that Jesus made to remove the barrier of sin between God and man.

7. How should Christians respond to the symbolism of the veil in the tabernacle?

Christians should respond to the symbolism of the veil in the tabernacle by recognizing their need for a savior and turning to Jesus Christ as their Redeemer. They should also strive to live in a way that reflects their access to God’s presence through their faith in Jesus.

A Final Word

Thank you for taking the time to learn about the symbolism of the veil in the tabernacle. We hope this article has helped you understand the significance of this important symbol in the Old Testament and its relevance for Christians today. Remember to visit us again soon for more resources on faith and spiritual growth.