Hebrews 9:1-5
Heb 9:1 (KJB)
Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.
Ordinances - Requirements or commandments
Worldly - Of this world
If you notice that the verse uses the term “had” which means the first covenant is being spoken of in the past tense. The old covenant had certain ordinances which were attached to it that were given by divine command, such as the method of dress of the priests, the way a sacrifice was to be done and the way the yearly Day of Atonement was to be performed so the High Priest was not consumed. These ordinances were done inside a sanctuary which was tied to this world in contrast to the heavenly sanctuary in which Christ performs His High priestly ministry.
Heb 9:2 (KJB)
For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the showbread; which is called the sanctuary.
The writer now gives some details of worship at the tabernacle which is to show that God has now provided a better approach to Him through the Lord Jesus Christ. First, the tabernacle itself was constructed according to the plans the Lord gave. For those who think God does not deal in specifics, should read the intricate details of the tabernacle in Exodus 25-40. Then three pieces of furniture are given which were found in the sanctuary or the Holy Place. (Exo 26:35 KJV) And thou shalt set the table without the veil, and the candlestick over against the table on the side of the tabernacle toward the south: and thou shalt put the table on the north side. (Exo 25:30 KJV) And thou shalt set upon the table showbread before me alway. The candlestick represented the light of the Gospel which would never go out. The table represented the place where we commune with Christ and the show bread on it represented the fact that there will never be a lack of spiritual sustenance for the true believer as the show bread was made new every sabbath and only the priests were permitted to eat the show bread. (Psa 23:5 KJV) Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Christ prepares the table for us in the presence of our enemies which is every unsaved person because they are still in Satan’s kingdom. Christ continually nourishes His children each day without interruption.
Heb 9:3 (KJB)
And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all;
The entrances to both the inner and outer holy places were covered with veils. When one went past the second veil they were in the Holy of Holies where only the High Priest was allowed to go once a year. This is where God came to meet with the High priest and either accept the sacrifice or reject it.
Heb 9:4 (KJB)
Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;
The Golden censer or the Altar of incense was actually before the entrance to the Holy of Holies but the aroma of the incense had filled the Holy of Holies. The Ark of the Covenant was overlaid with gold both inside and outside. (Exo 25:11 KJV) And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about. Inside the Ark was three items. The first was the golden pot which was filled with Manna which reminded them of God’s provision for them in the wilderness. Next was Aaron’s rod which budded. In Numbers 17:1-11, God had given instructions to bring a rod from the head of every tribe and the one whom God would choose will bud and this was to end the murmuring against Moses and Aaron as to who should be the High Priest. (Num 17:8 KJV) And it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds. The third item which was in the Ark was the two tables of stone which contains the law of God. These were the second set of tables because Moses had broken the first set in response to the rebellion of the people. (Exo 34:1 KJV) And the LORD said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.
Heb 9:5 (KJB)
And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.
Shadowing - Covering
Mercyseat - Means of expiation or place of propitiation
Particularly - In detail normally concerning parts or portions
On top of the lid of the Ark were the “Cherubims of Glory” which had covered the mercy seat. The Cherubim was to guard the presence of the Lord. (Exo 25:19 KJV) And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof. The mercy seat was a reminder to the Israelites that once a year the High priest entered into the Holy of Holies and sprinkled sacrificial blood on the lid of the Ark which made atonement for the nation of Israel. The mercy seat represented the Lord Jesus Christ Himself as our mercy seat which was the place of propitiation.


If you are ever in the Lancaster County Pennsylvania are, visit the Hebrew Tabernacle at the Mennonite Information Center.  It is an exact replica of the Tabernacle and it will be a nice experience.  http://www.mennoniteinfoctr.com/tabncle.html