Building the Tabernacle of God was one of the first major tasks the Israelites were asked to do after they left Egypt. God wanted to dwell with his people and it was also the resting place for the Ten Commandments, so whenever they stopped to camp, the Tabernacle was set up. The Tabernacle of the Old Testament is often discussed during Bible lessons and can be recreated through several craft projects. This gives children and adults a better visual idea of how things looked back when Moses led Israel through the desert.
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There are several Old Testament tabernacle models available; eBible Teacher offers a detailed plastic model. The 21 x 12 inch plastic and cloth model includes people and accessories for the tabernacle, along with a CD-ROM that has lessons and instructions for both adults and kids. This model kit is not appropriate for small children. Vision Video has a tabernacle model set that includes a 28-minute DVD that walks you through the tabernacle. It also comes with a workbook that discusses various aspects of the tabernacle.
Several bookstores sell model sets that are of hard paper or that can be copied, cut and assembled. Amazon sells a laminated Tabernacle Paper Model that comes with an explanation chart. There is also a paperback book called the "Tabernacle Model to Make" by Marian Bennett and Tom Green, but it's a little harder to find, as it is an older book. For a down loadable option check out the Gospel Hall website, which is full of free PDF files, look for the download called, "Moses Builds a Tabernacle in the Wilderness."
Using Everyday Items
Crafts don't have to be completely purchased in store; many projects can be accomplished using simple household items. Some people just open their Bibles to Exodus 25 -27 and build their own using scaled down dimensions and following the instruction given within the pages to guide them through the project. At Danielle's Place there is instruction on how to make a tabernacle using a cardboard box, various material swatches in red, purple, and blue linen, wooden dowels and fleece.
Within the Tabernacle
The tabernacle held several pieces of furniture including the Ark of the Covenant, the shewbread table, and other items. The Guild Craft website offers a simple craft so that you can create their Ark of the Covenant Boxes. Over at Danielle's Place, you can also learn to craft these items. Find instruction on creating the Ark of the Covenant, the shewbread table, a golden milk jug, the lamp stand and the fencing that surrounds the tabernacle.
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