Awesome Hands – part 95: “Adorned with gold”

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Awesome Hands – part 95

“Adorned with gold”

January 27, 2016


In today’s study we are going to cover Exodus 26:15 and the various characteristics of shittim wood mentioned in the verses we read about concerning the tabernacle.

As with all items pertaining to the tabernacle of Israel, the boards, bars and sockets all have spiritual significance for what the Lord is telling us about Himself, the body in Jesus Christ and the relationship we all have with one another.

Shittim wood


In the last study we did a recap of the items leading up to the topic being covered today. The most immediate items recently covered were the covering layers of the tabernacle consisting of the fine linen, goats, rams and badger skins.

So, we are continuing from the covering with the support structure that those coverings will lie atop and specifically what that support structure is made of.

Exo 26:15  And thou shalt make boards for the tabernacle of shittim wood standing up.

The first thing we see mentioned here is that the boards themselves will be made out of shittim or acacia (uh-kay-sha) wood.

Up until this point, there have been other wood items mentioned which were also made out of shittim wood but I have not expounded on the characteristics and spiritual types and shadows of shittim wood in particular. I will now do that in this study.

Some of the attributes of acacia wood are quite revealing as to what possible reasons there are for the Lord choosing this wood to be the only wood used in the construction of the tabernacle. This will not be an exhaustive list but will simply be what the Lord has given me to understand and share about this wood.

Strong’s concordance lists “shittim” as:


shiṭṭâh    shiṭṭı̂ym
shit-taw’, shit-teem’
Feminine of a derivative (the second form being only in the plural, meaning the sticks of wood) from the same as H7850; the acacia (from its scourging thorns): – shittah, shittim. See also H1029.
Total KJV occurrences: 28

From the same masculine form we see H7850 is listed in Strong’s as:

shiṭṭâh  /  shiṭṭı̂ym
Total KJV Occurrences: 28
shittim, 27
Exo_25:5, Exo_25:10, Exo_25:13, Exo_25:23, Exo_25:28, Exo_26:15, Exo_26:26, Exo_26:32, Exo_26:37, Exo_27:1, Exo_27:6, Exo_30:1, Exo_30:5, Exo_35:7, Exo_35:24, Exo_36:20, Exo_36:31, Exo_36:36, Exo_37:1, Exo_37:4, Exo_37:10, Exo_37:15, Exo_37:25, Exo_37:28, Exo_38:1, Exo_38:6, Deu_10:3
shittah, 1



Active participle of an otherwise unused root meaning (properly to pierce; but only as a denominative from H7752) to flog; a goad: – scourge.
Total KJV occurrences: 1

On the surface, those definitions don’t seem to mean very much in Strong’s. We just read it as “sticks” of wood meaning to pierce and we also read that acacia wood refers to the scourging of the thorns, but that is not all there is to it.

From H7850 we see H7752.


From H7751; a lash (literally or figuratively): – scourge, whip.
Total KJV occurrences: 11

Total KJV Occurrences: 10
scourge, 4
Job_5:21, Job_9:23, Isa_10:26, Isa_28:18
whips, 4
1Ki_12:11, 1Ki_12:14, 2Ch_10:11, 2Ch_10:14
whip, 2
Pro_26:3, Nah_3:2

Digging a little deeper we see that H7752 roots in H7751 which is the root of acacia wood.


A primitive root; properly to push forth; (but used only figuratively) to lash, that is, (the sea with oars) to row; by implication to travel: – go (about, through, to and fro), mariner, rower, run to and fro.
Total KJV occurrences: 13

Total KJV Occurrences: 23
fro, 8
2Ch_16:9, Job_1:7, Job_2:2, Jer_5:1, Dan_12:3-4 (2), Amo_8:12, Zec_4:10
run, 6
2Ch_16:9, Jer_5:1, Dan_12:3-4 (2), Amo_8:12, Zec_4:10
going, 2
Job_1:7, Job_2:2
about, 1
go, 1
gone, 1
mariners, 1
Eze_27:8 (2)
rowers, 1
through, 1
went, 1

I know there are a lot of layers to what we just read so here is the basic breakdown.

We have the feminine form of the word “acacia” being a derivative (it derives from, comes from, is based upon) H7850.

H7850 means “flog, goad” but also is a denominative form (adjective like destruct from destruction) of H7752 which means whip or scourge. The root of them all is “shoot”, H7751, meaning to push forward, shoot to or from, to lash out or whip.

Acacia in the physical and spiritual


Given all of that, what can we derive as the spiritual significance of shittim wood represented by its physical attributes? As with all words in scripture, there are positive and negative meanings to these words.

What are some of the characteristics of acacia wood?

First off, acacia wood would be one of the only sources of wood available to Israel when they were given these commands to construct the tabernacle. It is the prevalent wood in the area.

The color of acacia and the flowers it produces is very interesting. Wictionary lists the color as “a light to moderate greenish yellow with a hint of red” Wikipedia lists the flowers as yellow or creamy white depending on the particular tree,

If you are familiar with colors in scripture and the study Mike did then you’ll recognize some of the following things concerning colors. Naturally, yellow and red are primary colors and green is mixture of blue and yellow.

With the last study we covered that blue is the color of heavenly things or the mindset of the new man. Yellow represents the dying condition of our flesh. Green then is the movement from yellow to blue, moving from the dying flesh and the things that feed it to the things that feed our new man.

There are over 800 varieties of acacia trees found all over the world. The wood from these trees has a very well-known attribute in that they are impenetrable to insects due to how dense they form.

Acacia trees also only live 30-40 years but grow to be very tall.

All of these attributes are intriguing when you connect them to the spiritual types they represent.

Once we start connecting the way this word “shittim” has been inspired to be used in scripture, we start to see a very revealing pattern immerge about why this is the wood of choice for the tabernacle.

We briefly read through the times that “shittim” was used in scripture and then we looked at the root of this word in Hebrew.

Most of the time, it is used right here in Exodus and then once in Deuteronomy which also mentions the tabernacle. However, it is used only once outside of describing the tabernacle but it is intimately connected with the tabernacle still!

Isa 41:19  I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together:
Isa 41:20  That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it.
Isa 41:21  Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob.
Isa 41:22  Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come.
Isa 41:23  Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together.

The verses above are in context of Isaiah 41 and chapters 41 and 42 are speaking about the contrast in the people of God versus everyone else and specifically who the “God of Israel” is all about.

When we consider that acacia wood is the wood of choice for the tabernacle items and everything in the tabernacle, then we must consider that the Lord was very particular in this choice.

Trees are used throughout scripture to describe mankind, but each has positive and negative applciations. A few examples of trees as men mentioned in scripture are:

Psa 52:8  But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.

Psa 92:12  The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.

Rev 11:3  And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
Rev 11:4  These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.

Hos 14:5  I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.
Hos 14:6  His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon.

Mat 3:10  And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Mar 8:23  And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought.
Mar 8:24  And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.

There are many examples as men being likened as trees in scripture. Therefore, the Lord has chosen this particular tree to be used in His temple due to certain attributes.

Acacia trees thrive and grow in dry and desert like conditions. They live a short life but grow tall in stature. They are “naturally beautiful”. They are very DENSE and sturdy and this is both positive and negative.

I have joked with Mike and others before that a man or woman of God has to have a spine in order to be used of God. When we are carnally minded and stiff necked “having a spine” can be negative because we tend to be set in our ways and not easily persuaded outside of our own thinking.

However, when the Lord gets a hold of us and uses us for His kingdom and work, He then takes that attribute of our personality which He has given us and applies it to our unwillingness to compromise with the world on how it is we should follow the commandments of God.

God takes what He alone as caused to thrive in the desert, i.e. the WORLD, and then covers it with His gold. As we mentioned in the previous studies on the tabernacle, this overlaying of gold represents the watchmen who are appointed to watch the gates.

When we look at the root of acacia we see this concept:


A primitive root; properly to push forth; (but used only figuratively) to lash, that is, (the sea with oars) to row; by implication to travel: – go (about, through, to and fro), mariner, rower, run to and fro.

The root means “To push forth” by implication to travel. Here are a few verses where this verse is used:

2Ch 16:9  For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.

Zec 4:10  For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.

Contrast that with the SAME ROOT WORD being used here:

Job 1:6  Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.
Job 1:7  And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
Job 1:8  And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?

Do we consider that we have been JUST LIKE Job? No? Then are we Israel? If we are Israel, then are we grouped together at some point in this mindset?

Amo 8:1  Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me: and behold a basket of summer fruit.
Amo 8:2  And he said, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A basket of summer fruit. Then said the LORD unto me, The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them any more.
Amo 8:3  And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord GOD: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence.
Amo 8:4  Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail,

A few verses later talking about this same Israel:

Amo 8:10  And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day.
Amo 8:11  Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, BUT OF HEARING THE WORDS OF THE LORD:
Amo 8:12  And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, THEY shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.

See, we are the acacia tree. We are those who have been REDEEMED of the Lord. We are they who have loved Jesus Christ but who have also LEFT our first love. We are those who have been freed from Egypt as slaves only to go on and tempt the Lord 40 years in the wilderness.

However, while IN THE WILDERNESS, the Lord takes some of those acacia trees, shapes and molds them for His purposes and then covers them with His gold. This isn’t a chronological explanation of Israel’s walk in the wilderness but a spiritual one.

Now, when the world looks on the outside of the tabernacle they see badgers skins. They do not and CANNOT see the precious metals and fine linens lining the ENTIRE tabernacle.

The very construction of the temple is made from items which have very telling attributes.

Who then are you acacia tree? You are the thorny, piercing, scourging wood that is dense and impenetrable. You are the goad and whip used to punish and torture our Lord causing Him to be crucified, but you are also the redeemed and forgiven of the Lord who need to say so!

Psa 107:2  Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;

You have been delivered from YOURSELF, the enemy of the LORD. Don’t you know that ye are gods who have been delivered from sitting on the throne of God to being a part of the very temple of God itself?

Who then are you acacia tree? You are who the Lord has setup in this world to be the VERY structure the rest of the temple sets upon and you sit upon the foundation which has already been laid.

Jesus Christ was not a person whom the world looked on and desired, yet in the spirit and with the new man living in us, we are looked upon by the creator of the universe as being the very structure or frame which His temple is built.

In type, we wander from sea to sea, (ways of the world to more ways of the world) from the north (judgment) to the east, (RISING of the Sun, but not the maturity needed to survive) running to and fro seeking the Word of the Lord (LIFE, TRUTH and a WAY to LIVE) but we are unable to find it.

We go from that to being plucked up as dead by the Lord and made a mighty backbone in His temple. Praise the Lord!

The Lord does not shy away from telling us who we are in Israel. Just like Jesus Christ was the son of man and the Son of God, we too SHARE in His afflictions

Col 1:24  Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

1Pe 5:9  Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

We are Israel, the faithless people of God in the flesh, but given to be the spiritually minded called, chosen and faithful people of God situated around His thrown just like the acacia wood surrounding the mercy seat of God in His tabernacle.

In the next study, we are going to see how the boards and bars of acacia wood, covered in gold, are used in the making of the tabernacle and just how connected we all are with the temple of God. We are also going to look at a few more attributes of acacia wood.

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