Grace and Truth

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Jesus and the Table of Shewbread


The Table of Shewbread

hpIn the golden, glowing place of fellowship with God – the Holy Place – is a Table. The Table is laden with bread. It is a place of provision, a place of communion, a place where the priest meets with God and eats the bread in His presence. This is the Table of Shewbread.

No longer in the bright glare of the sun in the Outer Court of the Tabernacle of Moses, now we are in the room of gold. The Golden Lampstand is the only source of light here and casts the glow from its seven lamps over the Altar of Incense and the Table of Shewbread.

The Purpose of the Table

A table is a place to eat and to fellowship with others. A place to gather around to commune and to break bread together. In fact, tables hold great significance in life. The table is the place where family comes together to eat and to share in each others’ lives. Studies have been conducted demonstrating that children from families who eat together 4 or more times a week do better academically and emotionally. This is because around the table we are united, we communicate and we bond with each other. It is a place of security and stability for children and adults alike.

In the Tabernacle it is no different: the Table of Shewbread is the place where the priests were to gather together to eat the Bread of the Presence as one, in God’s presence. Remember the Table is in the Holy Place and the Holy Place is the place of Fellowship.


The Table – a Picture of Christ Jesus

table-of-showbreadThe Table of Shewbread, as with all of the other furniture in the Tabernacle, first and foremost points to Jesus Christ.

The Table was made of acacia wood, overlaid with pure gold.

Once again this reflects the dual nature of Christ, the God-Man: the incorruptible acacia wood, His sinless humanity; and the pure gold, His deity.

The table was the same height as the Brazen Altar’s grate in the Outer Court and the Mercy Seat in the Most Holy Place – 1 ½ cubits. We begin at the Judgment seat (the Brazen Altar: cross) so that we may come to the Table for fellowship with God and His Priests on the basis of the shed blood of the Mercy Seat.

The Table carries the bread – just as Jesus bears His people:

“He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom…” Isaiah 40:11

The Table had a gold moulding around the edge measuring one hand’s breadth with a gold crown on top.

The crown speaks of His Kingship. He is the King of Kings.

The gold moulding speaks of the protection of His people, a golden enclosure surrounds them. It measures one hands’ breadth: He holds His people in His hand.


The Bread – a Picture of Christ Jesus

The Shewbread, or Bread of the Presence, also points to Jesus Christ.

“Shew” means to “tell forth” or “declare”. Thus the Shewbread “tells forth” or bears witness to God’s Son, Jesus. See Jesus was never an after-thought nor Plan B, because God’s first plan didn’t work. No, Jesus was always God’s plan of redemption to a fallen world, (See Genesis 3:15). He is the only One, the Only Way and He has always been so. Thus the Old Covenant in the Old Testament tells forth of Him.

“Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come– in the scroll of the book it is written of Me– to do Your will, O God.'” Hebrews 10:7

There were two piles of six unleavened loaves on the table.unleavened-bread

12 is the number that is used consistently in the Bible for Israel. It is also the number for Apostolic fullness and Governance (think of the 12 apostles and the 24 (12×2) thrones in Revelation 4:4.

How the bread was made – a process of death and suffering

Bread was made from fine flour. The flour was made from harvested wheat. The wheat had been alive and growing, but then the wheat was harvested and died in order to be ground to fine flour to become bread. This foreshadows Jesus’ suffering and death. Jesus was alive, but He suffered and was crushed under the weight of bearing the sin of the world. He died and by His death He gives life to the world.

The bread was unleavened = Jesus’ sinless nature

The bread was baked in fire. It was an offering to the Lord by fire: this also speaks of the sufferings of Christ and His obedience unto death.

The bread was perforated = Jesus was pierced and wounded

Frankincense was placed on each row of bread

Leviticus 24:7 “ And you shall put pure frankincense on each row…”

Incense always speaks of prayer and intercession. Remember the Altar of Incense was the place of intercession. So frankincense sprinkled over the Shewbread speaks of Jesus’ life of prayer and Intercession.


The Bread of Life

Of course Jesus Himself refers to Himself as the “Bread of Life” – John 6:32-35 & John 6:48-51

“Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry…” John 6:35

Jesus is the living bread – all who eat of Him will never die because He is life. Shewbread in its physical form was a picture of Him being the true, spiritual Bread of Life. Manna was also a picture of Him. The Manna and the Shewbread were simply shadows – He is the reality. He is the divine Bread sent from Heaven to provide the answer to sin, to provide life to us, to sustain us, to keep us, to fill us.

God has provided for us eternal bread. Those priests whom ate the Shewbread in the Tabernacle are now dead. So are those Israelites whom ate the Manna in the wilderness. But those who eat of Jesus will never die. He says

“Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” John 6:49-51

Just as the priests ate the Bread in the presence of God at the Table, so we too need to eat of Jesus regularly in God’s presence. This is not the Catholic false doctrine of the Eucharist – no – it is by eating of the Word of God in the light of the revelation of the Holy Spirit (the Golden Candlestick).

So we see that:

bible-cover-pageThe Shewbread is also a Picture of the Word of God

We are to daily eat the bread of the Word of God which reveals Jesus to us. Now we have the written Word which reveals to us the Living Word. The Shewbread was replaced regularly – we have to come to the Word of God regularly for fresh bread.  The Shewbread was covered in Frankincense, and we need to come to the Word of God in prayer.

Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”



Drink Offering

There were also bowls, cups and pitchers on the Table of Shewbread. They were made of pure gold.

With the Shewbread the priests were commanded to offer a drink offering to the Lord – wine from the gold cups, pitchers.

This is a picture of Jesus’ shed blood being poured out for us.

So we see the Priests breaking the bread and eating it and pouring out the wine in the presence of God, in unity and as a witness to Christ.

 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” Luke 22:19,20jesus-last-supper

Of course this reminds us of New Covenant communion. This is where we gather around the Lord’s Table and eat the break and drink the cup to “shew forth the Lord’s death till He comes.”

1 Corinthians 11:26 “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup you do shew forth the Lord’s death till He comes…”

Communion is the place where New Covenant believers gather together in the unity of the Holy Spirit in the presence of God and remember the Lord’s death. Once again we see those words “shew forth”. Communion is also a witness, a testimony, to what Jesus has done and that He is coming back soon. Praise the Lord!


The Table of Shewbread Also Points to You and Me

Now the Ministry of the Old Covenant priests reflect our ministry as New Covenant believers:

  • We are His priests
  • We are to have fellowship with Him
  • We are to daily eat the bread of the Word of God which reveals Jesus to us. Now we have the written Word which reveals to us the Living Word. The Shewbread was replaced regularly – we have to come to the Word of God regularly for fresh bread
  • Just as the Shewbread was covered in Frankincense, so we need to approach the Word of God prayerfully
  • Remember the Golden Lampstand illuminates the Holy Place – it sheds light on the Bread – the Word of God.  This is a picture of the Holy Spirit bringing revelation to us through the Word of God.
  • We are to come to His table in fellowship with Him and one another and have communion together to shew forth His death until He comes
  • But even more – we are now to share in His death and sufferings, we are to know Him and the fellowship of His sufferings. We are now to be broken bread and poured out wine to a dying world.
  • Paul said in 2 Timothy that his life is being poured out like a drink offering. We know that Jesus, the Table, will hold us and support us through it all.

Author: GraceandTruth

bringing the gospel to life

23 thoughts on “Jesus and the Table of Shewbread

  1. Pingback: The Last Supper | The Road

  2. Haven’t heard anything from you in a while… Hope you are well. Have a happy new year. Hope to see you back on line soon…


    • Thank youAgent X for your touching comment. 2016 was a very different year for me and my family. I am sorry that I haven’t written much lately, it is something that has constantly been in my heart. although I do check in regularly. I am praying that God will continue to lead me and help me to do what it is He wants me to do. anyprayers you can spare for me would be appreciated. Thanks again and happy new year to you too. Belinda 🙂

      • what a beautiful thing the Lord showed you so many delightful, peaceful truths in the tabernacle, Belinda when you needed them most, during the stress your family is going through. the deep down forgiveness of others back to childhood, the sweet fellowship going in the tabernacle with your sweet high priest. Please pray for my husband and eight grown children 3grand and one great grand to be healed by this tabernacle. They are all wounded in life, never ate together, except on birthdays.(all have fellowship with media alone phone or videos during meals) could be healed if they went in this tabernacle too.

      • I have prayed for your family Kaytee. I believe that God is doing a new thing now. Isaiah 43:19-20. May our Great God and Saviour Jesus Christ bless you and yours abundantly . Belinda

  3. SHALOM & GRACE TO YOU and your family Dearest Belinda !
    You are truly a kindred sister to my heart of hearts!
    Praying for you now as I spent the last hour gleaning from your life & writings !
    May the GOD of HOPE continue to fill you and yours with JOY & PEACE and He will as we TRUST in HIM always…that we may abound in HOPE by the POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT!…
    (adapted from romans 15:13 my favorite & life verse and PRAYER FOR YOU!)
    God lead me to your site tonight & it was a great encouragement as I was called to rest from my labors and be blessed by YOUR MANNA …and JOY from Heaven!
    I raised a large family and now am a grateful glamma ( granma ) as well~ sharing the love of Jesus because ALL THE TRIALS ONLY PROVED GOD’S FAITHFULNESS OVER AND OVER FOR THE LAST 50 years since I trusted Jesus as my Saviour and way to the FATHER!
    Perhaps you will be encouraged by my website on GRACE & TRUTH!!! also…type in MOM
    and continue to have a listening heart~! YOU ARE BELOVED BELINDA and
    ( Lots of Esther baths :~)
    GOD IS WITH US~ Immanuel ~ John 17:3
    Grace’t ” Aunt Ruth”

    • Dear Aunt Ruth,
      Thank you – you have no idea how much your encouragement and blessing was needed! I thank my Lord Jesus Christ that He truly cares and knows what we need, when we need it. I am so pleased and blessed to know that some of my articles blessed and fed you – praise You Jesus! As you said God wants us to stay refreshed so that we can refresh others, that is exactly what I am going to pray for. How can I pray for you sister?

      God bless,
      Belinda 🙂

      • Dear Belinda~
        May the LORD bless & keep us & make His face to REFLECT ON & THROUGH US FOR HIS GLORY ! It is such a JOY to know the Lord is guiding & using us to be a benefit & blessing to others as we TRUST & OBEY. I pray that we both can continue to be used of the LORD MIGHTILY with the talents that He has gifted us with to POINT THE WAY TO THE FATHER ~led by the HOLY SPIRIT to stay in PEACE & JOY simply by ABIDING.
        ( my back is healing from an extended ‘mission’ trip to Calif)
        Aunt Ruth

      • Dear Aunt Ruth, I will pray for your back – for total healing and restoration in Jesus’ mighty Name. May He bless you abundantly dear sister,
        Love Belinda xx

  4. Incredible teaching and revelation. I adore your artwork and testimonies about street preaching. Wow girl 🙂 Powerful! I love the, ‘all or nothing’ mentality. God wants our full hearts and not just pieces of it. Praying for you and your family. Love you sister

  5. GOD IS MAKING ALL not just some…..

  6. ‘Wow, I have really been blessed! ‘read every bit and quite revealing. I am so happy that the Lord used you this wise, was reading my bible and needed more clarity on the tabernacle…thanks Sis for giving to the Lord! More grace and blessings upon your life, family and ministry.
    ‘Looking forward to more as promised! God bless you!

  7. Just a correction to the bible scripture referencing the frankincense poured out on the shewbread. It is Leviticus 24:7, not Exodus 24:7, but thank you for the diligence in explaining things here. Stay Blessed!

  8. Love your compilation of scripture highlighting the Tabernacle. I have enjoyed it immensely! I am wondering about the drink offering. I cannot find scripture where the priest partook of the drink offering in the Tabernacle. In Lev 10:9 they were told not to drink wine or strong drink. Could you shed some light on that for me? Thank you!

    • Hi Kelly, thanks for your question.
      The Drink Offering is very interesting.
      God commanded Moses saying “Speak to the children of Israel and say to them: ‘When you have come into the land you are to inhabit, which I am giving to you, and you make an offering by fire to the Lord…..then he who presents his offering to the Lord shall bring a grain offering…. and one-fourth of a hin of wine as a drink offering you shall prepare with the burnt offering or sacrifice for each lamb'” Numbers 15:1-5
      Thus it was only when they entered the land of rest which God would give them that they were to offer Him the drink offering. Whilst they wandered in the wilderness they were not to offer the drink offering to the Lord. This is because the drink offering was a picture of victory over the enemy and Sabbatical-rest.

      Then when it was offered in the promised land – you are correct – the priests were not to partake of any portion of it. It was fully poured out unto the Lord as a sign of His victory and the entering into rest in the Promised Land.
      In the New Covenant, we are in Christ, who has entered into His rest, thus we are part of a better covenant whereby as the priesthood of believers we eat the flesh of the” peace offering” and drink the wine of the “drink offering”, by Christ’s atonement.

      God bless!

  9. Wonderful, so insightful and thoughtful. Thank you

  10. Pingback: Jesus and the Ark of the Covenant – Part 2 | Grace and Truth

  11. Pingback: The Contents of the Ark & How They Reveal Christ | Grace and Truth

  12. Pingback: Psalm 23: You Prepare a Table Before Me in the Presence of My Enemies | HolyLight Ministries

  13. an amazing review of the sanctuary fact in revelation 4:5 thats where the throne of God is..on the table of showbread

    the text of revelation 4:5 places the throne in HOLY PLACE initially before the throne is then seen in Most holy place in revelation 11:19

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