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The Tabernacle was a tent, which served as the first house for God where He would dwell among His people, and was the predecessor the Temple. The Tabernacle was located in the midst of Israel, first while the nation was in the wilderness and then wherever God had designated[1]. God had specifically informed Moses on how to build as well as furnish it.

The "mobile temple" was to be assembled by the priestly tribe—the Levites—in the middle of the tribes as they traveled towards Canaan at the place where the cloud of God's glory stopped. It would be disassembled and carried on the shoulders of some of these priests whenever the cloud lifted, indicating God's leading to another camp.


What Is the Tabernacle?

Dr Gary. E Schnittjer talks about the Tabernacle, video courtesy of Zondervan

When the people arrived in Canaan, the Tabernacle was set up in the town of Shiloh after the land had been secured.[2] However, during the ministry of Eli, high priest and judge, the ark was removed from the Tabernacle by Eli's sons at the bequest of the military.[3] It would never be returned to its sacred home.

The tabernacle, now without the ark, would be moved by Saul to Nob,[4] but then to Gibeon.[5] David would bring the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem to put it in a tent he had made for the purpose.[6] The tabernacle itself would remain in Gibeon until Solomon brought it with it's furnishings to Jerusalem where the new temple had been constructed.[7]




  1. Deuteronomy 12:14 (Link)
  2. Joshua 18:1 (Link)
  3. 1 Samuel 4:4-5 (Link)
  4. 1 Samuel 21—22 (Link)
  5. 1 Chronicles 16:39 (Link)
  6. 2 Samuel 6:17 (Link)
  7. 1 Kings 8:4 (Link)