Rabbi Derek has a rather fascinating blog post in which he looks at the building of the Tabernacle through the lens of the Creation Week:
TABERNACLE CREATION PARALLELS
……SECTIONS BEGINNING WITH . . . . . . . . . . . . CREATION DAYS IN GEN 1:1 – 2:3
“THE LORD SAID TO MOSES”
(1) Exod 25:1 The Terumah (contribution) . . . . . . Day and Night
(2) Exod 30:11 The Half-Shekel Census . . . . . . . . . Waters Above & Below
(3) Exod 30:17 The Laver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Land & Vegetation
(4) Exod 30:22 The Anointing Oil . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Lights in the Firmament
(5) Exod 30:34 The Incense . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Life in the Waters
(6) Exod 31:1 The Craftsmen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Life on Dry Land & Humanity
(7) Exod 31:12 The Sabbath . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sabbath Rest
There is probably little point in finding specific symbolisms for each day of Creation compared to each section of the Tabernacle narratives, but there is this general pattern: six days of creativity followed by a seventh about the Sabbath (Sarna, The JPS Torah Commentary: Exodus).
That fascinated me because I’ve been mulling over a midrash of my own about the Creation Week in which it may parallel the six thousand years of human history:
Day 1: “Let there be light . . .” – The beginning of human history, the separation of “light and darkness,” good and evil, through the eating of the Tree of Knowledge.
Day 2: Dividing the Waters – The Flood is the most prominent event of his millennium, but also the separation of Heaven and Earth by some manner of firmament (Heb. raqiya) which evidentally makes the level of incursion by fallen Watcher angels seen in the days of Noah far more difficult.
Day 3: The First Plants – On the third day, life first appears on the earth, and on the third millennium, new life is given to human history with the covenant with the Patriarchs, the planting of Israel in the Land, and the giving of the Torah, a new Tree of Life.
Day 4: The Sun, Moon, and Stars – During this millennium we see the rise and fall of Israel’s monarchy. In Scripture, such rising and falling is often symbolized by the brightening or darkening of the heavenly lights. We also see Israel’s exportation to Babylon, a land in which the sun, moon, and stars are worshiped, and her subsequent oppression by other nations that worship the powers of heaven.
Day 5: The Fishes and Birds – This millennium begins with the birth, ministry, and death of the Messiah Yeshua. He sends out His “fishers of men” into all the world to further the mission of Jonah, another Biblical figure associated with the fish. These Jonahs fill the seas which have always symbolized the Gentile world, with the message. In Scripture, the birds of the air are connected with both the Holy Spirit and the Adversary’s agents, and during this period we see an outpouring of both as the Good News goes forth. Unfortunately, we also see Israel expelled from the Land, which is why there is no mention of “the land” (HaEretz) on this day.
Day 6: Beasts of the Field and Man – The sixth millennium is characterized by the population of the earth–which is in Hebrew “the Land” (HaEretz) as the Jewish people return to the Land of Israel. It is also characterized by the Holy One’s blessing to Adam and Chavah (Eve) to be fruitful and fill the earth and to rule it, and not surprisingly it is in this era that we have seen Mankind truly spread over the whole earth. The marriage of the Man and the Woman at the end of the day will be paralleled by Yeshua’s marriage to His bride at the end of the Millennium.
Day 7: The Sabbath – The Holy one rests from His labors. In the Seventh Millennium, the rabbis foresaw a cosmic sabbath, as shown below:
R. Kattina said: Six thousand years shall the world exist, and one [thousand, the seventh], it shall be desolate, as it is written, And the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day (Isa. 2:11). Abaye said: it will be desolate two [thousand], as it is said, After two days will he revive us: in the third day, he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight (Hos. 6:2).
It has been taught in accordance with R. Kattina: Just as the seventh year is one year of release in seven, so is the world: one thousand years out of seven shall be fallow, as it is written, And the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day,’ and it is further said, A Psalm and song for the Sabbath day (Psa. 92:1), meaning the day that is altogether Sabbath, and it is also said, For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past (Psa. 90:4).
The Tanna debe Eliyyahu teaches: The world is to exist six thousand years. In the first two thousand there was desolation; two thousand years the Torah flourished; and the next two thousand years is the Messianic era, but through our many iniquities all these years have been lost. (b.Sanhedrin 97a-b)
At the very least, it’s an interesting model. I hope it inspires some thoughts of your own.
- Lessons From the Old Testament: The Reason For the Tabernacle (thimblefulloftheology.wordpress.com)
- The Erection of the Tabernacle Commanded. (greatriversofhope.wordpress.com)
- The Ekklesia in Prophecy – Isaiah 54-56 (returnofbenjamin.wordpress.com)