Messianic Metals: Copper, Silver, & Gold
In our last article, we discussed the fact that though God required a significant offering to construct the Tabernacle, He had already planned hundreds of years previously to provide more than enough resources to be able to supply all the building materials. Three of the required resources, the Messianic Metals: Copper, Silver, and Gold, not only gave the Tabernacle an air of beauty and prestige, but held profoundly prophetic signs of Christ’s relationship with and future dwelling amongst humanity.
These metals are very special because they all share specific elemental properties due to being part of group 11 on the chemical periodic table.
One of the most interesting and important aspects of these metals is their antimicrobial properties, which helps inhibit the growth of infectious agents. This oligodynamic effect allows them to essentially self-sanitize themselves. Nano-particles of these metals are implemented in many health related applications such as doorknobs in hospitals, tooth fillings in dentistry, and coatings of implanted medical devices. The fact that these disease fighting metals were used extensively within the Holy of Holies, the Tabernacle, and its outer court heavily implies that there was a multi-tier system set up to ensure that disease and defilement was kept out of these sacred regions, starting at an atomic level.
Copper, Silver, and Gold are also the three most electrically conductive metals, and are used in applications such as electrical wiring, due to their ductility (ability to be drawn into a wire). This ability to allow energy to flow unhindered mirrors the ability of those closest to God to be able to experience His Spirit’s Presence and Energy.
Each metal’s significance is amplified by what items it covered, how it is used, and where it is located in the layout of the Tabernacle.
Copper was a symbol of judgement and was only found in the outer courts of the Tabernacle. The laver/basin of water, where the priests washed their hands and feet, before making sacrifices on the altar for burnt sin offerings, were both covered in copper (ref. Exodus 27:1-8; 30:17-21). Likewise, American judge’s gavels are typically fashioned with a copper or brass (an alloy of copper) band alluding to copper’s ancient connection with judgement.
Copper’s relationship with judgement is poignantly seen in its previously mentioned antimicrobial properties. The distinct “metallic” smell we associate with pennies and other copper items is not due to the metals being unclean, but is caused by the metals breaking down our skin oils and sweat creating strong “metallic” smelling chemicals. Similarly, human sin causes a lingering stench when confronted by God’s Judgement.
Copper for the water basin and sacrificial altar was specifically provided by donations of highly reflective copper mirrors from women who ministered outside the Tent of Meeting (ref. Exodus 38:8). God purifying and transforming mirrors, items for human based self-assessment and self-judgement, to create symbols of His Divine Judgement is both fitting and deeply ironic.
Copper’s association with judgement is later seen in Jeremiah 52:10-11, 17-23 where Copper is mentioned nine times, the Hebrew number for completeness, during the account of the Israelites’ exile and captivity by the Babylonians.
Many Bible translations incorrectly replace copper in the Tabernacle’s outer court furnishings with its alloys brass or bronze. This is due to the fact that pure copper was rarely used in manufacturing items, as mixing other more common elements, was typical throughout most of the ancient world. This intermixing of other impure elements to form a different metal alloy, is a powerful example of sin being melded within people’s lives and making them into something God did not set apart as pure and sacred.
Silver was seen as the transactional metal. It was linked with atonement and redemption and was the required form of paying off blood debts (ref. Exodus 21:32). Silver’s connotation to fulfilling obligations was so significant that it was the typical word for currency in the Bible and is also the Modern Hebrew word for money “keceph” (כֶּסֶף). When God asks Moses to take a census, every man over the age of twenty was required to provide a ransom of half a shekel of silver as a redemption price. Though silver was used extensively as a coinage metal, God required a specially issued pure silver shekel as a restoration unit (ref. Exodus 30:11-16), foreshadowing Christ’s role as the pure sacrifice which would redeem Humanity.
Silver’s parallels to Christ extend to its very elemental properties. Silver’s symbolism as the best method of transferring charges is seen perfectly in it being the most electroconductive metal. Silver is so electrically conductive that even the tarnish that forms on silver efficiently carries charges. Not only is silver best at transferring electricity, it is also the most thermally conductive element, transferring heat with ease and is also the most light reflecting element. Consequently, Christ was the only being who could carry all of our sins, suffer the heat of God’s Just Wrath, and still shine as the Light of the World. It was only fitting that silver was given during Christ’s betrayal.
Within the Tabernacle’s construction, silver served as the bases between the ground and the gold plated boards and pillars of the Tabernacle’s frame. Christ, similarly, would later serve as the intermediary between God’s Golden Purity and the Earth and its human inhabitants.
Gold’s association with purity is based on its high corrosion resistance, which makes it incredibly difficult to defile. Gold is the only metal mentioned before the Fall of Man and was heavily associated with the location of the Garden of Eden and the surrounding provinces, “where there is gold. And the gold of that land is pure” (Exodus 2:11-12). Gold coated every piece of sacred furniture, holy utensil, and the Tabernacle’s structural beams. It was the only metal found in the Holy of Holies and not only symbolized the purity of God and the coming Christ, but His Kingship.
Gold is also one of the softest metals, with pure gold being able to be easily etched. The golden chain-mail breastplate of the Levitical priest performing sacrifices in the Holy of Holies had the names of the associated Israelite tribe etched onto its accompanying precious stone as a sign of “continuing memorial before the Lord”. A golden plate with the words “Holy to the Lord” was also to be worn over the priest’s forehead when making offerings. These golden reminders to have a soft heart and moldable mind, willing to be shaped by God, stood in strong contrast to the hard-hearted and stiff necked Israelite people God is often frustrated by (ref. Exodus 28:15-29).
The metals God used in His Tabernacle were not chosen by accident but had deep symbolic value based on properties that scientists would not be able to understand till thousands of years later. These Messianic Metals are self-sanitizing and antimicrobial preventing the transmission of illnesses matching God’s insistence that His Dwelling Place be free from defilement, desecration, and disease. These metals have the greatest ability to conduct electricity signifying how the Tabernacle was the place of highest connectivity with God and His Spirit. But most importantly, they served as reminders of God’s Judgement, Christ’s Redemption, and the Golden Glory now available to us as believers. The PMT Campus will also be a place where spiritual and physical sicknesses will be removed, intensified connection is available for those who want to draw closer to His Spirit, and where malleable hearts and minds will be fashioned after His Plans.
Prepared by, Kent Simpson, Apostolic Prophet & Eric Sepulveda, PMT Administrator
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