Here is an excellent article that I found back in 2010 on the Tabernacle of David by Ed Burley that throughout of all of the forty years of my interest on the subject I found this one sums it up like no other. Kevin J. Conner wrote a book called The Tabernacle of David goes into much more detail on the subject and his other book called the Tabernacle of Moses. They are both excellent material to read that got me started in typology forty years ago along with Graham Trusscott’s book called the Power of His Presence.
The Tabernacle of David
1 James, the bishop of Jerusalem, when asked by the apostle Paul to rule on the status of the Gentiles in the church, responded thusly:
Acts 15:15-17 15And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, 16After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: 17That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.
2 Amos the prophet spoke of this time in Amos 9:
11In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: 12That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this. 13Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt. 14And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. 15And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.
3 When James spoke of this Tabernacle of David, to what was he referring? To most today, it is the present church. To some, the rebuilding of this tabernacle actually refers to a resurgence of the Charismatic movement in these “end times”. 4 This is not the case, in my opinion. I believe that the Tabernacle of David spoken of by Amos and James was the Interim Church from AD30 to AD70.
5 In order to substantiate my opinion, I would like to take my readers to the texts which speak of this tabernacle of David. What was this tabernacle? When was it standing and what purpose did it serve? 6 By answering these questions, we can see without question that the Preterist interpretation of scripture is correct, and all others rob James’ words of their importance.
7 What was the Tabernacle of David?
2 Sam 6:17-18 17And they brought in the ark of the LORD, and set it in his place, in the midst of the tabernacle that David had pitched for it: and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD. 18And as soon as David had made an end of offering burnt offerings and peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts.
8 The Ark of the Covenant had been lost to Israel while the Tabernacle of Moses was at Shiloh. The wickedness of the sons of Eli the High Priest was abominable in the sight of the Lord, and His judgment fell upon them. 9 The Philistines took possession of the ark during a battle with the Israelites. Hophni and Phineas, Eli’s sons, were killed, and this resulted in Eli’s subsequent death upon hearing the news of his sons’ demise and the capture of the ark.
10 Not long afterward, the Philistines returned the ark due to the Lord’s destruction of their god, the idol Dagan, and the destruction of a number of their cities. 11 The ark was then housed in the house of Abinadab for twenty years (1 Sam 7:1-2). It was from this place that David attempted to first bring the ark to Jerusalem. 12 Operating in ignorance of the Law’s requirements, he transported the ark on a wooden cart. 13 The Law required that the Ark be carried on the shoulders of the Levites. 14 When the cart began to topple and the ark was in danger of falling, Uzziah attempted to save it. He was killed by the Lord for touching the ark.
15 David sought the Lord at this point to see why Israel was a recipient of God’s displeasure. 16 He found the requirement in the Law of how to lawfully transport the ark. 17 It was then that David brought the ark to Jerusalem, accompanied by singing and dancing, and the sacrificing of animals. 18 When the ark reached Jerusalem, David placed it in this tent, or tabernacle, which he had pitched for it.
19 There is no indication in scripture that there was anything in this tent. It was just a covering, much like the tent portion of the Tabernacle of Moses. 20 There was no holy place, no holy of holies, only the tent. In it sat the Ark of the Covenant. 21 Now the ark was in Jerusalem where David ruled over Israel. This meant that God’s Throne was there, symbolically showing that David was His Anointed, reigning over Israel upon God’s Throne. 22 David is seen here as Mediator, a type of Christ.
23 After the celebration, according to the parallel account in 1 Chronicles, David set worshippers in his Tabernacle, Levites, not priests, to sing and play music 24 hours a day. 24 He then sent the priests to the high place, which was called Gibeon, where Moses’ Tabernacle was standing.
1 Chr 16:37-42
37So he left there before the ark of the covenant of the LORD Asaph and his brethren, to minister before the ark continually, as every day’s work required: 38And Obededom with their brethren, threescore and eight; Obededom also the son of Jeduthun and Hosah to be porters: 39And Zadok the priest, and his brethren the priests, before the tabernacle of the LORD in the high place that was at Gibeon, 40To offer burnt offerings unto the LORD upon the altar of the burnt offering continually morning and evening, and to do according to all that is written in the law of the LORD, which he commanded Israel; 41And with them Heman and Jeduthun, and the rest that were chosen, who were expressed by name, to give thanks to the LORD, because his mercy endureth for ever; 42And with them Heman and Jeduthun with trumpets and cymbals for those that should make a sound, and with musical instruments of God.
25 Matthew Henry, in his Commentary in One Volume, pg. 443 comments:
The worship of God ought to be the work of every day. David put it into order. 26 At Jerusalem, where the ark was, Asaph and his brethren were to minister before the ark continually, with songs of praise. 27 No sacrifices were offered there, nor incense burnt, because the altars were not there; but David’s prayers were directed as incense, and the lifting up of his hands as the evening sacrifice. 28 So early did spiritual worship take place of ceremonial. Yet the ceremonial worship, being of Divine institution, must by no means be omitted; therefore at Gibeon, at the altars, the priests attended; for their work was to sacrifice and burn incense; and that they did continually, morning and evening, according to the law of Moses.
29 Since the True Sacrifice for sin had not yet appeared, sacrifice was still necessary. 30 So, even though David’s Tabernacle represented the House that was to come, there needed to be a continuation of “the daily sacrifice.” 31 This is why David sent the priests to Gibeon, the High Place, to worship God according to the ways shown to Moses’ on the Mount of Sinai.
32 But, it was more than that. God had a future plan that He was revealing. There would be a point in time when He would restore this fallen tabernacle of David (which “fell” after Solomon built a permanent temple for God’s Dwelling). 33 This “tabernacle” (the Church of the Interim Period) would exist at the same time that the earthly tabernacle (the Temple) would exist. 34 In fact, it would last for virtually the same amount of time as David’s Tabernacle existed in Jerusalem: forty years.
34 David reigned in Hebron for seven of his forty years. 35 It was not long after his exaltation to king of Israel that he brought the ark into Jerusalem. He reigned for an additional 33 years. Eleven years into the reign of his son, Solomon, the Temple was completed after 7 years of building. 36 This was a total of just over 40 years. Covenantally, this would represent a biblical generation. 37 This was the same covenantal time frame from the Resurrection of Christ to the Holocaust of Jerusalem.
38 The writer of Hebrews tells us: “the way into the Holy Place has not yet been disclosed, while the outer tabernacle is still standing.” (Heb 9:8b). 39 This meant that at that time in history God was establishing a New Covenant, while the old one and its Temple still existed. 40 Jeremiah spoke of this New Covenant in Chapter 31 of his prophecy, and the writer of Hebrews reiterates in his eighth chapter:
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: 9Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. 10For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: 11And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. 12For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more (Heb 8:8b-12)
41 We know from history that this New Covenant was established at Christ’s Resurrection. Yet, the New Testament writers told their contemporaries that the fullness of this New Covenant was not realized yet, but would be within their lifetimes, once that which remained from the Old Covenant was destroyed.
The Antitype of the Tabernacle
42 It is common knowledge amongst professing Christians that the Ark of the Covenant represented the Presence of God. 43 The significance of this essential truth is that the Presence of God was coming to Jerusalem. And so it was, God, the Father via the Holy Spirit, was brought to Israel by the New David, the Lord Jesus Christ. 44 Jesus came to redeem His people, but also to introduce those people to the God that they neither knew nor worshipped. 45 All worship, up to that time, was dead and empty, in the same way that the Tabernacle of Moses stood empty on the heights of Gibeon. 46 The Temple in Jerusalem during the Interim Period stood empty as well. Biblical Judaism had long since rejected their God for “though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, nor gave thanks.” (Rom 1:21) 47 Their religion had “a form of godliness but denied the power thereof.” (2 Tim 3:5). 48 These apostates were the Antichrists who did not have the Son, and therefore did not have the Father either (1 Jn 2:23).
49 This tabernacle which David had pitched was a new thing. 50 God was in the presence of His people, and sacrifices had (figuratively) been done away with (in 2 Sam 6:18, it says, “David had made an end of offering burnt offerings and peace offerings.”) God’s people were made holy, for He was in their midst.
The Fulfillment of the Prophecy
51 In the Resurrection of the Lord, we are told by Peter that Jesus had been raised in order to sit upon David’s Throne, as it was promised that one of his descendants would. (Acts 2:30-36). 52 Jesus was then sitting on the throne, hastening righteousness (i.e. the coming of the New Heavens and the New Earth).
53 Isaiah speaks of this time as well in Chapter 16 of his inspired book:
5And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness. (vs. 5)
54 The Throne was established in mercy, and He was about to judge, and to do so in truth. 55 But, as the scriptures tell us, judgment must begin with the household of God (1 Pet 4:17). AD70 began the judgment, which proved that the Throne of David had been reestablished, with one of his descendants sitting upon it forever.
56 As I have already pointed out, Moses’ Tabernacle continued to stand during this forty-year period, with daily sacrifices being offered. 57 In like manner, the Temple in Jerusalem stood for an additional 40 years after the Ascension of Christ before it was destroyed by the Roman armies under Titus in AD70. 58 We can now see the significance of the destruction of the earthly tabernacle in redemptive history.
The Temple of Solomon
59 The dedication of Solomon’s Temple can be found in 2 Chronicles, Chapter 5. We are told that Solomon brought all the holy vessels that David had dedicated. 60 We see mentioned, in verse 11, that the priests came out of the Holy Place. 61 This would signify the acceptance of their sacrifice by the Lord. 62 This was a common practice on the Day of Atonement after the Holy Place is cleansed the priests come out and show themselves to the people to indicate that the Lord found their sacrifice acceptable.
63 All things had thus been transported into the Temple: the ark which was housed in David’s tabernacle, and all the other holy vessels, previously housed in Moses’ tabernacle in the High Place. 64 Now the children of Israel, the people of God, had a permanent structure. No longer would they worship God in a temporary or earthly fashion, but now, the permanent structure of the Temple represented the eternal worship in the heavenlies. 65 The tabernacle of God was now with man. He was dwelling in their midst. 66 We see this in the fact that the Glory-Cloud manifested itself at the dedication. 67 This represented the people being swept up in God’s Glory-Cloud into His Presence. 68 This is indeed what the scriptures tell us would happen when Jesus returned to destroy the Old Covenant and establish the New.
16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (1 Thess 4:16-17)
69 Ed Stevens has pointed out, in his “Response to Gentry”, that it could very well be referring to this typology of God’s presence being restored to God’s people. 70 For the first time since Adam lost access to God’s presence, redeemed man is now allowed back into the Glory-Cloud of His presence (in the heavenly temple)…..The famous rapture passage is not talking about the living being lifted off the planet, but rather spiritually gathered into the Glory-Cloud presence of God where we will always “live together with Him.”
71 The rich symbolism that is found during the description of the Temple dedication in 2 Chronicles, Chapter 5 is awe-inspiring: the trumpets, the Glory-Cloud, white robes. 72 All these things are also found in the book of Revelation. This would necessitate a preterist understanding of these “end-time” events. 73 The New Heavens and the New Earth are present now. 74 The resurrection occurred in AD70. We are now raised in our glorified spiritual bodies at death. 75 Jesus is now and forevermore judging the nations, both collectively in nationalistic judgments, and individually upon our deaths. 76 The Kingdom is fully present, and it is victorious, as all of Christ’s enemies have been put under His feet.
The Consummation of the Kingdom
77 The Presence of God arrived after the Son of David put an end to sacrifices and offerings in His own death on a tree. 78 This occurred at the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit entered the Tabernacle of David. 79 This Tabernacle of David was a temporary structure, meant to last only 40 years, but indeed it had much spiritual significance.
80 It represented the establishment of God’s Throne in mercy. 81 It meant that the judgment would begin with the household of God, and extend to the whole earth. 82 It would mean the end of Satan: the extortioner is at an end, the spoiler ceaseth, the oppressors are consumed out of the land. (Isa 16:4b). 83 All Israel was saved, that is redeemed, by the Lord and the presence of God would be forever with His people, the New Jerusalem. 84 God through Christ had indeed reconciled the whole world unto Himself, as He promised, and the dwelling-place of God was with men.
Revelation 21:1-7 1And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. 6And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 7He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.