Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Ark of the Covenant and the Tabernacle

 In today's lesson (Lesson 20) of our history curriculum (The Mystery of History, Volume I), we learned about "The Ark of the Covenant and the Tabernacle."
 After our reading, we read Exodus 15:20 ("Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her, with timbrels and dancing," NIV) about Miriam rejoicing and worshipping the Lord after leaving Egypt with a "timbrel" (tambourine).  We then did our own celebrating with Maggie's tambourine.
After that, we pulled a sheet over furniture to make a quick tent for worshipping in.  Here is Maggie, with her Bible, pretending to be in a tent in the wilderness.
We also collected "manna" as the Israelites did.  (I placed pieces of matzo around the room for her to collect in her basket.)  We talked about God's provision and how He didn't want the Hebrews to collect any more manna than what they needed for each day.  Why?  Because He wanted them to learn to trust Him every day to provide.  And He did.
Next, we set out to make our own mini replica of the Ark of the Covenant.  I thought this little box of ribbon would be the prefect size for our Ark.
Once I took the rolls of ribbon out, I taped down the sides.
Next, she colored a piece of cherubim clipart that I found online -- gold, of course!
 And we cut it out.
 We wanted the inside of our Ark to be accurate, too, so we cut out two small "tablets" from cardstock to represent the Ten Commandments tablets.  She labeled the first one with the numbers 1-5 and the second one with the numbers 6-10.
(Speaking of the Ten Commandments, recently, we made a great Commandments lapbook that I posted about at  It would be a great addition to this lesson!)
Along with our paper tablets, we added a piece of Matzo to represent the manna that was in the Ark, and a small twig to represent Aaron's rod, also in the Ark. 
We put all of these things in our little box.
After that, we wrapped our box in gold paper.  (We actually used baker's paper, that you would wrap a board in to go under a cake.)
Once our box was wrapped, we wrapped wooden skewers (with the sharp point cut off) in the paper and attached them to the sides.
Finally, we attached our colored clipart to the top of our box.  Cute!
 After all this talk about Moses, the Exodus, the Ten Commandments, the Tabernacle, and the Ark of the Covenant, I thought it was time for a field trip to a place we like a lot -- the Explorations in Antiquity Center in LaGrange, GA (, a living museum of life in the ancient times of the Old Testament.  It is a super cool place.  Here, Maggie is standing in front of their "Desert Oasis," a pool surrounded by papyrus and bulrushes.  We talked about how this would have been a similar setting to the one that baby Moses would have floated on in the Nile River.
This picture is small because I was using my phone, but here, Maggie is standing under a goat hair tent, like the ones the Hebrews would have packed up, moved, and slept in during their years in the wilderness.
This picture shows a replica of an Israelite altar, made of natural stones (unchiseled) so that no one would worship it as an idol.  ("If you make an altar of stones for Me, do not build it with dressed stones, for you will defile it if you use a tool on it" Exodus 20:25, NIV.) 
Here is Maggie, sitting under a post on the wall of the Ten Commandments!
 Before we left, we hit their great gift shop and picked up this neat pull-out pamphlet by Rose Publishing.
Once home, we learned even more about the Tabernacle.
Here is a picture from that pamphlet of what the high priest (the first was Aaron, Moses' brother) would have worn.
Then, we lit our little oil lamp that we also had picked up at the gift shop!  We filled it with olive oil (like they would have used in ancient Israel) ...
... let the wick soak up the oil ...
... and then lit it.  So neat.  This is the same type of oil lamp that would have lit the lampstand that burned continually before the Lord in the Tabernacle.  (Leviticus 24:1-4 (NIV) reads, "The LORD said to Moses, 'Command the Israelites to bring you clear oil of pressed olives for the light so that the lamps may be kept burning continually.  Outside the curtain that shields the ark of the covenant law in the tent of meeting, Aaron is to tend the lamps before the Lord from evening till morning, continually. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come.  The lamps on the pure gold lampstand before the Lord must be tended continually.' ")
 This is such a cool thing to have and was a great way to end this lesson!

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