Timna Park’s best-known attraction is called “Solomon’s Pillars”—beautiful Nubian sandstone formations that have nothing to do with King Solomon. But they’re fun to climb. The park also features relics from Egyptian idol worship as well as interpretive signs about ancient copper mining.
But the best part of Timna Park is its least-known exhibit. Or perhaps, it’s the least-mentioned.
(Photo: Tabernacle model at Timna Park. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands.)
A full-scale replica of the Tabernacle stands in the very wilderness where Moses and the children of Israel wandered for forty years.
It is like entering a doorway to history—and viewing a picture of your salvation.
Timna Park’s Tabernacle
Reading the Tabernacle’s dimensions in Exodus 35-40 is so different from seeing them with your own eyes—and in the same wilderness where the Tabernacle stood (Exodus 40:34-38).
The realistic replica echoes of Yom Kippur—the Day of Atonement—when God forgave the sins of His people.
The simple white fabric that flapped in the breeze formed the perimeter of the Tabernacle, and it served as the first of a number of barriers between the Hebrews and the Lord.
Barriers for Protection, Implements for Worship
Today we place barriers between our leaders and the people in order to protect the leader. But the Tabernacle’s barriers stood to protect the people from God. No one ever would come into the presence of a holy God without a sacrifice for sin—because holiness cannot abide sin in its presence. What stood before me reminded me of that fact.
(Photo: Tabernacle model from above. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands.)
- The large, brazen altar was the place where the majority of sacrifices occurred on a daily basis. All sacrifices began with “the burnt offering,” from the Hebrew term olah (Leviticus 1:3). The English word “holocaust” (meaning “burnt whole”) comes from this term.
- Just past the brazen altar stood the bronze laver, the washbowl where the priests would scrub up. Behind it, the tent called “the Holy Place” had dull colors on the outside, but underneath I saw beautiful embroidery of colorful cherubim.
- Entering the Holy Place was something only priests could do, but today, Timna Park visitors can enter to examine the Tabernacle’s interior. After my eyes adjusted to the dark room, I saw on the right the Table of Showbread with its twelve loaves that represented Israel’s twelve tribes.
- The menorah on the left offered meager lighting, and the lack of breeze made the room stifling. The Altar of Incense stood in the back before the small room called “The Holy of Holies.”