Christian Churches of God
The Tables of Shewbread
(Edition 1.0 20070912-20070912)
In this activity we will review the tables of shewbread and provide activities to reinforce the concepts involved.
The Tables of Shewbread
To review the basic concepts related to the tables of Shewbread and the symbolism that is involved in the text.
1. Children will be able to understand the meaning of what the table of shewbread represented.
2. Children will be able to state how many loaves of unleavened bread were placed on the table of shewbread in the Tabernacle in the Wilderness and the Temple Solomon built.
3. Children will identify who made and consumed the shewbread.
4. Children will identify some concepts associated with the symbolism of bread.
5. Children will identify who is the bread of life.
Exodus 25:32-30; 37:10-29; 1Kings 7:48; 2Chronicles 4:8; John 6:35,48,51
Open with prayer.
Ask the children what they think the tables of shewbread represent.
Conduct the lesson on the Tables of Shewbread.
Conduct the activity associated with the Tables of Shewbread.
Close with prayer.
Q1. Was there a table and actual bread in the House of Eloah?
A. Yes, there was (Ex. 25:22-30).
Q2. How many loaves of bread were on the table? Why do think there is this number of loaves of bread?
A. There were 12 loaves on the table. These 12 loaves of bread represented a gift from the twelve tribes of Israel, by which the entire world comes into the Kingdom of God. It signified the fact that God sustains His people and we are all brought in through one of the Twelve Tribes.
Q3. Who is responsible for making the bread? It is leavened? When is the bread eaten?
A. The priests made and consumed the unleavened bread on each weekly Sabbath. The incoming priests made the unleavened bread that stayed on the table of shewbread during the entire week and they ate the bread they made when they finished their week of Tabernacle or Temple service.
Q4. Is the priesthood still based on lineage and physical?
A. The priesthood changed to the Order of Melchisedek and shows us that it is no longer based on lineage. The priests of God are still to spiritually feed and care for the people now.
Q5. Where was the table of shewbread located in the Tabernacle in the Wilderness?
A. The table of shewbread was located on the north side of the Tent of Meeting, or on the right when one walked into the Tabernacle (Ex. 25:30; 40:22).
Q6. What else can you think of being tied to the north?
A. From 2Corinthians 12:2, we see God’s Throne is located in the Third Heaven and on the sides of the north (Isa. 14:13). We know that, originally, the eagle was in the north position and at a time in the future the lion moves to the position in the north. In Ezekiel 1:4, the whirlwind from the north brings the vision of God’s four Living Creatures.
Q7. How was the bread arranged on the table?
A. The bread was stacked in two piles, with six loaves in each pile. The priests put frankincense on each pile to make it a memorial portion and to be an offering made to the Lord by fire.
Q8. Was the table made of wood or metal? What did it look like?
A. It was made of acacia wood and overlaid with gold, and was two cubits long, one cubit wide and one and a half cubits high. The table had a rim of one handbreadth all around and a ring on each corner of the table. Two poles of acacia wood overlaid with gold went through the rings to allow the table to be carried. The dishes and utensils of the table were of pure gold (Ex. 25:23-30; 37:10-16).
Q9. The Bible mentions one man that ate the showbread unlawfully. Who was it and why was it allowed to happen?
A. David ate the shewbread without permission from God (1Sam. 21:6; Mat. 12:3-4; Mk. 2:25-26; Lk. 6:3-4). David was allowed to eat it because it pointed towards something else which was to be eaten by non-Levitical people. It pointed towards the Order of Melchisedek taking over the function of the priesthood within the Church, as we see from David. The annual Lord’s Supper was the festival that enshrined this aspect.
Q10. Was there only one table of showbread in the Temple Solomon built? How many loaves of bread where there?
A. In Solomon’s Temple there were ten tables of Shewbread with twelve loaves on each table. There were five tables on the right/north and five tables on the left/south (1Kgs. 7:48; 2Chr. 4:8) with a total of 120 loaves.
Q11. What is the possible meaning of 120?
A. We see one hundred and twenty (120 or 12 x 10) is the number of extended government. This is the next number in the sequence of the Church. We know there are 120 Jubilees from the time sin entered the world until Messiah’s return. We would also see 20 golden bowls of frankincense. Bullinger, in his footnote to 2Chronicles 8:1, explains the number 20 as expectancy and waiting. So, the 10 tables of 120 loaves could be picturing the waiting for the extended government of God.
Q12. What may the shewbread represent?
A. Shewbread may represent the world being fed by the Spirit of God through the council of the Church. Initially, we saw the concept of manna being provided supernaturally for 40 years to feed Israel as they left Egypt. Later, we saw Messiah being the bread of life (Jn. 6:35,48,51).
Q13. Do we have life in us if we are not baptized?
A. No, unless we are baptized and partake of the Lord’s Supper annually, there is no life in us.
Q14. What is the work of the elect?
A. The ‘work’ of the elect from Luke 4:18-19 is: “to preach the gospel to the poor, proclaim release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are downtrodden, and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord:” (NASV)
Q15. How is the good news or Gospel given to the world now?
A. The Gospel message is delivered to the world via the Church that is currently feeding the world prior to the famine of the word (Amos 8:11).
Q16. Who is the bread of life?
A. Messiah is the bread of life from John 6:28-37.
Q17. How do people enter the City of God?
A. Everyone coming into the City of God goes through one of the Twelve Tribes. It appears that an Apostle is also tied or paired with each tribe and each of the Twelve Gates is solid pearl (Rev. 21:11-27).
Q18. Will there be shewbread in the City of God?
A. No, there will not. At this time, all will be spiritual beings and will have entered the City gates, and there will be no need for the shewbread to prefigure things to come, as it is already completed.
Q19. Can we exist or live on just physical bread and water?
A. No, we can not. If we try to live by physical bread alone we die. As it is written: "Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" (Mat. 4:4; Lk. 4:4).
Q20. Will Eloah always provide for us if we remain obedient to His law?
A. Yes, He will. Our bread and water are sure as long as we remain obedient to the Laws, Ways and Words of Eloah (Isa. 33:16).
1. Make unleavened bread for the Temple Solomon built
plain whole-wheat flour
7 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 ½ teaspoons salt
¾ -1 cup of water
Mix the oil into the flour.
Add water to the flour, stir well, then knead.
For normal use divide dough into pieces about the size of a golf ball and roll out thinly. Use very small amount of dough about ½- ¾ inch in diameter if using real unleavened bread for the Temple. You will need 120 loaves.
Bake in a moderate oven (3500 F) until golden brown. The small pieces of shewbread would get done very quickly, therefore, watch carefully so they do not burn.
2. Make unleavened bread using sculpey or clay to serve as representation of the shewbread
o Use a very small amount about ½- ¾ inch in diameter of sculpey to make the unleavened bread for the Temple. You will need 120 loaves.
o Again using clay, fashion 20 bowls that hold the frankincense.
o Spray gold when hardened.
o And 20 platters that hold the stacks of 6 loaves of unleavened bread.
o Spray gold when hardened.
3. Make tables for the shewbread
o Supplies needed: balsa-wood, saw, sandpaper, gold paint. You will be making 10 tables in total.
o Since the dimensions are not given for the tables of shewbread in Solomon Temple, we use the same measurements as the Tabernacle in the Wilderness. We will use a scale of 1 inch equals 1 cubit. Each table needs the following pieces: 1 piece of wood two inches/cubits long, one inch/cubit wide. The four legs are one and a half inches/cubits high. The table had a rim of one handbreadth all around and a ring on each corner of the table. The rim can be made from a small piece of wood attached to the edges of the tabletop (Ex. 25:23-30; 37:10-16). Once the pieces are assembled they can be sanded and glued into place. If needed, a small nail can be inserted from the top down to assist in keeping the legs on.
o Spray the tables gold once assembled.
4. Shewbread Puzzle Find (movement, fine-motor cognitive task)
o Supplies needed: white and tan foam, tag board etc. can be substituted, scissors, tape, sign labelled ‘table of shewbread’, permanent markers.
§ Using foam cut out 12 circles: 6 white and 6 tan.
§ Cut each circle into a puzzle; the size of puzzle pieces varies, depending on the age of the children. The age of the children will determine how simple or complex you make the puzzles.
§ Once you complete cutting the circle into puzzle pieces, we suggest you put a small colour dot on the back of each puzzle piece. That way you will be able to identify which colour pieces go with each puzzle. This will also enable you to know which side of the puzzle is up.
§ Keep track of how many white and tan pieces there are so the children will know how many puzzle pieces to find.
o Hide all the puzzle pieces before the children arrive.
o Have teams decide who are to be the white loaves, and who are to be the whole-wheat loaves.
o Encourage them to find all their pieces. Give each team the number of puzzle pieces they are to find.
o Return to separate locations to make their unleavened bread puzzles.
o Once a puzzle is completed have the children tape the pieces together on the back side of the puzzle.
o Once the children have their six puzzles completed and taped, they place the puzzles on the pan and carefully carry the unleavened bread to the space labelled ‘table of shewbread’.
o After the loaves are placed in two stacks (depending on the number of children you have) each child can write one of the following scriptures on their loaf. It is theirs to keep and use as a puzzle and to reinforce spiritual concepts with bread. Some suggestions on scriptures are as follows:
§ Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Mat. 4:4; Lk. 4:4).
§ I am the Bread of life, he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst (Jn. 6:35).
§ I am the Bread of life (Jn. 6:48).
§ My Father gives you the true bread from heaven (Jn. 6:32).
§ He shall dwell on high: his place of defence [shall be] the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters [shall be] sure (Isa. 33:16).
§ They will live in a fortress high on a rocky cliff, where thy will have food (bread) and plenty of water (Isa. 33:16, CEV).