sanctuary used by the Israelites until
the Temple was built.
book of Exodus
relates that at Mount Sinai, Moses
was given instructions for a portable tent-like
sanctuary that was to be the center of Israel's
worship (Exodus 25-30). The sanctuary was
called both the "Tabernacle" ("dwelling")
and the "Tent of Meeting." The
courtyard of the Tabernacle was 150 feet long
and 75 feet wide, and it contained a large wash
basin for the priests and an altar for burnt offerings.
The Tabernacle itself was 45 feet long and 15
feet wide, and it was divided into two parts.
The forecourt contained a lampstand, incense altar,
and a table with 12 loaves of bread. The
inner court housed the Ark
of the Covenant, which contained the tablets
on which the Ten Commandments were written.
The Israelites took the Tent of Meeting with them
as they traveled through the wilderness from Mount
Sinai to Canaan. After
built the first Temple in Jerusalem,
the Tabernacle was no longer used (1 Kings