The Tabernacle of David

5. The downfall of Israel

Exod 25 to chapter 40 tells the story from the revealing of the pattern to Moses on Mt Sinai to the completion of the Tabernacle of Meeting he was instructed to build. The glory of God came to dwell upon the Ark of the Covenant in the form of the Shekinah. This tabernacle became the place of His name. When Israel left the wilderness and entered Canaan land they pitched the Tabernacle at Shiloh. (= rest)

Josh 18:1 (NIV) The whole assembly of the Israelites gathered at Shiloh and set up the Tent of Meeting there. The country was brought under their control,

Josh 19:1 (NIV) The second lot came out for the tribe of Simeon, clan by clan. Their inheritance lay within the territory of Judah.

Josh 21:2 (NIV) at Shiloh in Canaan and said to them, “The LORD commanded through Moses that you give us towns to live in, with pasture lands for our livestock.”

Josh 22:9 (NIV) So the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh left the Israelites at Shiloh in Canaan to return to Gilead, their own land, which they had acquired in accordance with the command of the LORD through Moses.

This story of the wanderings of the children of Israel is well told in Psalm 78. It tells of the idolatry, backsliding, apostasy and lawlessness that led to the forsaking of the Tabernacle at Shiloh. God turned from this rebellion and chose Zion and David.

Psa 78:60 (NIV) He abandoned the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent he had set up among men.

1.Sam. Chaps. 1;2;& 3 also Jer. 7:8-16.begins the story. Samuel is born. At this time Eli and his house forsake the Lord and are judged. Samuel is raised up in their place.

1 Sam.4 tells of the downfall of the sinful priesthood after the defeat of Israel because they followed after corrupt ways and acted presumptuously. The Philistines took the Ark; the two priests are slain.

1 Sam 2:34 (NIV) “‘And what happens to your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, will be a sign to you—they will both die on the same day.

1 Sam 4:11 (NIV) The ark of God was captured, and Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, died.

Eli dies following the defeat at the hands of the Philistines

1 Sam 4:18 (NIV) When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell backward off his chair by the side of the gate. His neck was broken and he died, for he was an old man and heavy. He had led Israel forty years.

Phinehas’s wife dies giving birth to the sign child, Ichabod. (= the glory has departed.)

1 Sam 4:20-21 (NIV) As she was dying, the women attending her said, “Don’t despair; you have given birth to a son.” But she did not respond or pay any attention. 21 She named the boy Ichabod, saying, “The glory has departed from Israel”—because of the capture of the ark of God and the deaths of her father-in-law and her husband.


The Ark was then taken to six places: Ashod, Gath, Ekron, Bethshemesh, Kirjath-jearim, and Gibeah.

Plagues and death came for those who unlawfully moved the Ark. David was not one of these for he was able to move the Ark and set it in a different place without harm coming to him. He was in God’s will ! The Ark never returned to the Tabernacle of Moses.

2 Sam 6:17 (NIV) They brought the ark of the LORD and set it in its place inside the tent that David had pitched for it, and David sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings before the LORD.

David knew the Tabernacle and the Temple order of worship.


Both the Tabernacle of Moses and the Tabernacle of David were in existence at the same time. It is interesting to note that Solomon touched both of these orders before the Lord and then went on to build the temple. Consider the dispensational implications of this!

1 Ki 3:1-5 (NIV 4 The king went to Gibeon to offer sacrifices, for that was the most important high place, and Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. 5 At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”

1 Ki 3:15 (NIV) Then Solomon awoke—and he realised it had been a dream. He returned to Jerusalem, stood before the ark of the Lord’s covenant and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then he gave a feast for all his court.


From this time on, Mt Zion becomes important in the Scriptures. Whenever we read of Zion from this point on there is a need to remember that Zion involves the Tabernacle of David order.

Some of the Scriptures involved are .

Psa 2:6 (NIV) “I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill.”
Psa 50:2 (NIV) From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth.
Psa 84:7 (NIV) They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion
Isa 16:1-5 (NIV) Send lambs as tribute to the ruler of the land, from Sela, across the desert, to the mount of the Daughter of Zion. 2 Like fluttering birds pushed from the nest, so are the women of Moab at the fords of the Arnon. 3 “Give us counsel, render a decision. Make your shadow like night— at high noon. Hide the fugitives, do not betray the refugees. 4 Let the Moabite fugitives stay with you; be their shelter from the destroyer.” The oppressor will come to an end, and destruction will cease; the aggressor will vanish from the land. 5 In love a throne will be established; in faithfulness a man will sit on it— one from the house of David— one who in judging seeks justice and speeds the cause of righteousness.

With this new order a new way of worship was established.