Mish-kan (tabernacle) means the dwelling or settling, and denotes the dwelling or settling of the Divine Presence of God, especially in the Temple in Jerusalem. According to the Hebrew Bible, the Mish-kan was the portable dwelling place for the Divine Presence from the time of the Exodus from Egypt through the conquering of the land of Canaan. Built to specifications revealed by God to Moses at Mount Sinai, it accompanied the Israelites on their journey in the wilderness and their conquest of the Promised Land. The First Temple in Jerusalem superseded it as the dwelling-place of God. There is no mention of the Tabernacle in the Bible after the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by the Babylonians in 587 AD.
The mish-kan is also known by its other name: “Ohel Moed” (The Tent of Meeting). It was a form of tent prior to moving to the Temple in Jerusalem.
The heavenly mish-kan is mentioned in the New Testament in Revelation15:5: “After these things I looked, and the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened.”
There are several Old Testament references to the Shekinah dwelling among the people of Israel, all of which include the verb, “sha-can,” “dwell”:
“And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them”
“And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God”
“…the Lord of Hosts, who dwells in mount Zion”
In the New Testament, the mish-kan (dwelling) of the Lord is amid the believers:
“Don’t you know that you are a temple of God, and that God’s Spirit lives in you?”
and in the next verse:
“…for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are”