It is not sufficient that I succeed—all others must fail. — Ghengis Khan

Story of the Bible Told for Young and Old - Jesse Hurlbut

How They Worshipped God in the Tabernacle

Now we will tell about some of the services that were held at the Tabernacle, the tent where God lived among his people.

Every morning at sunrise the priests came to the great altar that was before the Tabernacle, and raked the fire, and placed fresh wood upon it, so that it would burn brightly. This fire was never allowed to go out. God had kindled it himself; and the priests watched it closely, and kept wood at hand, so that it was always burning.

Even while the altar was being carried from one place to another, the embers and live coals of the fire were kept in a covered pan, and were taken to the new place for the altar without being allowed to die out; and from the embers of the old fire a new fire was made on the altar.

From this altar outside the Tabernacle the priest took every morning and every afternoon a fire-shovel full of burning coals, and placed them in a bowl hanging on chains, so that, with the fire in it, the bowl could be carried by hand. This bowl with the chains was called "a censer." Upon these burning coals the priest placed some fragrant gum called incense, which when laid on the live coals made a bright silvery cloud and sent forth a strong, pleasant odor. The incense in the censer the priest carried into the Holy Place, and there laid it on the golden altar of incense, which stood next to the vail. This was to teach the Israelites that, like the cloud of incense, their prayers should go up to God.

About nine o'clock in the morning the priest brought a young ox or lamb, and killed it, and caught its blood in a basin. Then he laid the ox or the lamb on the wood which was burning on the altar in front of the Tabernacle, and on the fire he poured also the blood of the slain beast; and then he stood by while the blood and the animal were burned to ashes.

This was the offering, or sacrifice, for all the people of Israel together, and it was offered every morning and every afternoon. It meant that as the lamb, or the ox, gave up his life, so al the people were to give themselves to God, to be his, and only his. And it meant also, that as they gave themselves to God, God would forgive and take away their sins.

There was another meaning in all this service. It was to point to the time when, just as the lamb died as an offering for the people, Jesus, the Son of God, should give his life on the cross, the Lamb of God, dying to take away the sins of the world. But this meaning, of course, the Israelites of that time could not understand, because they lived long before Christ came.

Sometimes a man came to the priest with a lamb or an ox as an offering for himself. It must always be a perfect animal, and the best, without any defects, for God will only take from man his best. The man who wished to worship God led his lamb to the entrance of the court, by the altar; and laid his hands upon its head, as if to say, "This animal stands in my place; and when I give it to God, I give myself." Then the priest killed it, and laid it on the burning wood on the altar, and poured the animals blood upon it. And the man stood at the entrance of the court of the Tabernacle and watched it burn away, and offered with it his thanks to God and his prayer for the forgiveness of his sins. And God heard and answered the prayer of the man who worshipped him with the offering at his altar.

Every day the priest went into the Holy Place and filled the seven lamps on the Lampstand with fresh oil. These lamps were never allowed to go out; that is, some of them must always be kept burning. While the lamps on one side were put out, in order to be refilled, those on the other side were kept burning until these had been filled and lighted once more. So the lamps in the house of God never went out. Does not this make you think of One who long after this said, "I am the light of the world"?


On the gold-covered table in the Holy Place were always standing twelve loaves of unleavened bread; that is, bread made without any yeast. One loaf stood for each tribe of Israel. On every Sabbath morning the priests came in with twelve fresh loaves, which they sprinkled with incense, and laid on the table in place of the stale loaves. Then, standing around the table, they ate the twelve old loaves. Thus the bread on the table before the Lord was kept fresh at all times.

God chose Aaron and his sons to be the priests for all Israel; and their children, and the descendants who should come after them were to be priests as long as the worship of the Tabernacle, and of the Temple that followed it, should be continued. Aaron, as the high-priest, wore a splendid robe; and a breast-plate of precious stones was over his bosom; and a peculiar hat, called "a miter," was on his head. It may seem strange to us, that when Aaron and his sons were in the Tabernacle, they wore no shoes or stockings, but stood barefooted. This was because it was a holy place, and as we have seen (see Story Twenty-one), in those lands people take off their shoes, as we take off our hats, when they enter places sacred to God and his worship.


Aaron and his sons, as Moses also, belonged to the tribe of Levi, the one among the tribes which stood faithful to God, when the other tribes bowed down to the golden calf. This tribe was chosen to help the priests in the services of the Tabernacle; though only Aaron and his sons could enter the Holy Place; and only the high-priest could go into the Holy of Holies, where the Ark of the Covenant was; and he could enter on but one day in each year.


Front Matter

The Story of a Beautiful Garden
The First Baby in the World and His Brother
The Great Ship That Saved Eight People
The Tower That Was Never Finished
The Story of a Long Journey
How Abram's Choice Brought Blessing
The Angel by the Well
The Rain of Fire That Fell on a City
The Boy Who Became an Archer
How an Angel's Voice Saved a Boy's Life
The Story of a Journey after a Wife
How Jacob Stole His Brother's Blessing
Jacob's Wonderful Dream
A Midnight Wrestling Match
The Rich Man's Son Who Was Sold as a Slave
From the Prison to the Palace
How Joseph's Dream Came True
A Lost Brother Found
From the Land of Famine to the Land of Plenty
The Beautiful Baby Who Was Found in a River
The Voice from the Burning Bush
The River That Ran Blood
The Night When a Nation Was Born
How the Sea Became Dry Land and the Sky Rained Bre
The Mountain That Smoked and Words That Were Spoke
How Aaron Made a Golden Calf and What Became of It
The Tent Where God Lived Among His People
How They Worshipped God in the Tabernacle
What Strong Drink Brought to Aaron's Sons
The Scapegoat in the Wilderness
The Cluster of Grapes from the Land of Canaan
How the Long Journey of the Israelites Came to an
What a Wise Man Learned from an Ass
How Moses Looked upon the Promised Land
The Story of Job
The Story of a Scarlet Cord
How the River Jordan Became Dry
The Story of a Wedge of Gold
How Joshua Conquered the Land of Canaan
The Old Man Who Fought Against the Giants
The Avenger of Blook and the Cities of Refuge
The Story of an Altar Beside the River
The Presnt That Ehud Brought to King Eglon
How a Woman Won a Great Victory
Gideon and His Brave Three Hundred
Jephthah's Rash Promise and What Came from It
The Strong Man: How He Lived and How He Died
The Idol Temple at Dan and Its Priest
How Ruth Gleaned in the Field of Boaz
The Little Boy with a Linen Coat
How the Idol Fell Down Before the Ark
The Last of the Judges
The Tall Man Who Was Chosen King
How Saul Saved the Eyes of the Men of Jabesh
The Brave Young Prince
Saul's Great Sin and His Great Loss
The Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem
The Shepherd Boy's Fight with the Giant
The Little Boy Looking for the Arrows
Where David Found the Giant's Sword
How David Spared Saul's Life
The Last Days of King Saul
The Shepherd Boy Becomes a King
The Sound in the Treetops
The Cripple at the King's Table
The Prophet's Story of the Little Lamb
David's Handsome Son and How He Stole the Kingdom
Absalom in the Wood; David on the Throne
The Angel with the Drawn Sword on Mount Moriah
Solomon on This Father's Throne
The Wise Young King
The House of God on Mount Moriah
The Last Days of Solomon's Reign
The Breaking Up of a Great Kingdom
The King Who Led Israel to Sin
The Prophet Who Raised a Boy to Life
The Prayer That Was Answered in Fire
The Voice That Spoke to Elijah in the Mount
The Wounded Prophet and His Story
What Ahab Paid for His Vineyard
The Arrow That Killed a King
Elijah's Chariot of Fire
A Spring Sweetened by Salt
The Pot of Oil and the Pot of Poison
The Little Boy at Shunem
How a Little Girl Helped to Cure a Leper
The Chariots of Fire around Elisha
What the Lepers Found in the Camp
Jehu, the Furious Driver of His Chariot
Elisha and the Bow; Jonah and Nineveh
How the Ten Tribes Were Lost
The First Four Kings of Judah
The Little Boy Who Was Crowned King
Three Kings and a Great Prophet
The Good King Hezekiah
The Lost Book Found in the Temple
The Last Four Kings of Judah and the Weeping Proph
What Ezekiel Saw in the Valley
The Jewish Captives in the Court of the King
The Golden Image and the Fiery Furnace
The Tree That Was Cut Down and Grew Again
The Writing upon the Wall
Daniel in the Den of Lions
The Story of a Joyous Journey
The New Temple on Mount Moriah
The Beautiful Queen of Persia
The Scribe Who Wrote the Old Testament
The Nobleman Who Built the Wall of Jerusalem
Ezra's Great Bible Class in Jerusalem
The Angel by the Altar
The Manger of Bethlehem
The Star and the Wise Men
The Boy in his Father's House
The Prophet in the Wilderness
Jesus in the Desert, and beside the River
The Water Jars at the Wedding Feast
The Stranger at the Well
The Story of a Boy in Capernaum and a Riot
A Net Full of Fishes
The Leper and the Man Let Down through the Roof
The Cripple at the Pool and the Withered Hand
The Twelve Disciples and the Sermon on the Mount
The Captain's Servant, the Widow's Son, and a Sinn
Some Stories Jesus Told by the Sea
"Peace, Be Still"
The Little Girl Who Was Raised to Life
A Dancing Girl and What Was Given Her
The Feast beside the Sea and What Followed It
The Answer to a Mother's Prayer
The Glory of Jesus on the Mountain
The Little Child in the Arms of Jesus
At the Feast of Tabernacles
The Man with Clay on His Face
The Good Shepherd and the Good Samaritan
Lazarus Raised to Life
Some Parables in Perea
The Poor Rich Man and the Rich Poor Man
Jesus at Jericho
Palm Sunday
The Last Vistis of Jesus to the Temple
The Parables on the Mount of Olives
The Last Supper
The Olive Orchard and the High Priests Hall
The Crown of Thorns
The Darkest Day of All the World
The Brightest Day of All the World
The Stranger on the Shore
The Church of the First Days
The Man at the Beautiful Gate
The Right Way to Give, and the Wrong Way
Stephen with the Shining Face
The Man Reading in the Chariot
The Voice That Spoke to Saul
What Peter Saw by the Sea
How the Iron Gate Was Opened
The Earliest Missionaries
The Song in the Prison
Paul's Speech on the Hill
Paul at Corinth
Paul at Ephesus
Paul's Last Journey to Jerusalem
The Speech on the Stairs
Two Years in Prison
The Story That Paul Told to the King
Paul in the Storm
How Paul Came to Rome and How He Lived There
The Throne of God
The City of God