By Rabbi David Markel Hall
Torah: Terumah, Ex 25:1-27:19; Haftorah: I Kings 5:26-6:13
Terumah means gift or offering. This Terumah was to be used to build the Tabernacle of G-d. A Terumah is something of value to the giver. 2 Samuel 25:24 "… neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which cost me nothing.…". G-d expects us to give the very best we have to Him. Leviticus 18:12,13 "All the best of the oil, and all the best of the wine, and of the wheat, the firstfruits of them which they shall offer unto the LORD, them have I given you (the Levites). And whatsoever is first ripe in the land, which they shall bring unto the LORD, shall be thine (the Levites); every one that is clean in thine house (the Levite's) shall eat of it." The word "best" is translated from the Hebrew word cheylev; from an unused root meaning to be fat, whether literally or figuratively; hence the richest or choice part. This word is used throughout the Bible in relation to offerings and sacrifices.
Exodus 25:3 And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass, 4) And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair, 5) And rams' skins dyed red, and badgers' skins, and shittim wood, 6) Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense, 7) Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate. 8) And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.
According to World Book Encyclopedia, Shittim (acicia) wood is similar to mimosa. It survives in "hot dry places", and in areas where it gets plenty of rain, it grows very large; how appropriate that it would be included in the making of the Tabernacle of G-d.
As we purify our bodies, we are building a house for G-d. Care should be taken that only the finest material be used in this house. Remember who lives there. The house was carefully built according to the plan that He showed Moshe. Likewise our house should be carefully built according to the plan He has shown us.
1 Cor 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13) Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is… 16) Don’t you Know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
Exodus 25:11 Not only did the ark’s core contain wood which withstood a hot dry climate, it was also overlaid with gold. Our lives reflect the nature of that rugged core but others only see the rich beauty of the finest this world has to offer. Often people think we are rich because G-d provides so well for us. They do not know the drought we have been and are going through. Only through G-d’s help can we survive.
There were two "k’ruvim" cherubim placed on the ark. I wonder if these represent the two witnesses Rev 11 and Zech 4:11-14. It says that from between the k’ruvim G-d will speak to us.
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