1 And Bezaleel made the ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half was the length of it, and a cubit and a half the breadth of it, and a cubit and a half the height of it:
The Hebrew word is aron derived from the root arah, "to pluck, to gather." As such, it is appropriate as a type for the multitudinous Christ, the members of which have been "plucked" out of the nations (Acts 15:14).
The same word is translated "coffin" in Gen. 50:26 relating to the container in which was placed the body of Joseph. As Joseph represented Christ, the Israelites, in carrying his "coffin" throughout the wilderness wanderings, constantly bore with them the tokens of his death and his hope of a resurrection (illustrated by his desire to be buried in the Land of Promise). In this they typed the Israel of God (Gal. 6:16) who bear with them the tokens of the death and resurrection of their Lord.
The ark, constructed under the supervision of Moses, is also called The Ark of the Testimony (Exo. 25:22; 26:33; 40:3), the "testimony" being the Ten Commandments (Exo. 25:16, 21) which formed the basis of the covenant (Exo. 34:28). In Hebrew, "testimony" is eduth, the feminine form of ed, "witness." Those whose lives are governed by the principles of the Ten Commandments constitute the multitudinous Bride, for their lives witness and testify to the truths believed by them.
In Ezekiel 16: 8-14 and Isaiah 54:5, the Mosaic covenant is likened to a marriage contract between Yahweh and the nation. He is represented as drawing Israel out of Egypt to constitute His Bride.
The ark is also described as The Throne of Yahweh (Psa. 80:1), because it was there that He met His people (Exo. 25:22) in order to commune with, or direct its leaders as to what should be done (Num. 7:89).
The ark contained the golden pot of manna symbolising the hope of life eternal; Aaron's rod that budded, representing the principle of divine selection and resurrection; and the tables of the covenant, testifying to the need of obedience.
Thus it was covered by mercy on the basis of sacrifice, and was overshadowed by the cherubim representing the principle of God manifestation. It was linked to the Holy Place by prayer through the golden censer (Heb. 9:4), and was only personally reached by the priest walking therein by the light of the lamps, and so moving to and beyond the veil.
There are many other titles given to the ark. It is called merely the ark some fifty-three times (e.g., ch. 25:2, 22); the Ark of the Covenant of the Adon [Ruler] of the earth (Josh. 3:11); the Ark of Yahweh, the Adon of all the earth (Josh. 3:13); the Ark of the covenant of God (Jud. 20:27); the Ark of the Covenant of Yahweh of Hosts (ISam. 4:4); the Ark of the God of
Israel (ISam. 5:7); the Ark of Adonai Yahweh (IKings 2:26); the Ark of Yahweh Elohim of Israel (IChr. 13:6; 15:14); the Ark of Thy Strength (2Chr. 6:41; Psa. 132:8); the Holy Ark (2Chr. 35:3).
Like all other divine titles in scripture, these are most significant. When Israel sought for Yahweh to manifest Himself belligerently against the enemy, it is called the Ark of the Covenant of Yahweh of Hosts (1Sam. 4:4); when it was triumphantly conveyed across the Jordan, it was named the Ark of Yahweh Lord of all the Earth (Josh. 3:13). It is the Ark of Testimony because of the witness of the Law inside it; the Ark of the Covenant because the covenant was established on sacrifices associated with it; the Ark of Thy Strength,
because it represented what Yahweh was to Israel in power and blessing; the Holy Ark because of the separateness and sacredness of the worship connected with it.
In describing the ark, David declared that Yahweh's "name is called on it" (IChr. 13:6), hence the various titles used in conjunction with it, expressing as they do, divine principles exhibited by the ark. It was covered by mercy, set forth the principle of God manifestation, and is associated with prayer, through the golden censer (Heb. 9:4).
The Christadelphian Expositor - Logos
5 And he put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, to bear the ark.
The Christ ark where Yahweh dwelt amidst his people Israel (Jhn.6.51, 7.29,10.30,13.31,14.9-11,17.5,6). Made of shittim (acacia) (sin's flesh) wood, covered within and without with pure gold (tried and perfected faith), the throne of Yahweh (Ex.25.22, Pslm 80.1, PsI:90.1, Pslm.99.l, Pslm 132.1-8), borne on the shoulders of the sons of Korah (Nu. 3.31), through the wilderness; led them into the Promised Land (Josh.3), smashed Jericho (Josh.6), then placed in the tabernacle at Shiloh.
Israel's Apostasy confounded Shiloh as the throne of Yahweh in Israel, and the glory was removed (l Sam. 4, Jer. 7.12), until established by David in Zion (2 Sam.6, Pslm 68).
In the Temple of Solomon it continued until the Babylonish overthow, because of Judah's Apostasy, when the glory departed from Israel once again (Ezk.9; 1 0). Christ, the true Ark was manifest (Jhn.1.l4), for a season, until his rejection (Pslm.22, Is.53, Jhn 19), and the glory departed for 2000 yrs.
It is about to be restored in the visible manifestation of Christ, in great power and glory and vengeance upon his enemies (Rev 11.19, Rev. 16.15, Rev.14.1-8, Ezk.43).
The ark bore a crown of gold (Ex.37.2), as will Christ at his coronation (crowning) in Zion (Pslm.47, Pslm. 95), and indeed through his life of God manifestation in his probation, being the glory of God manifest in flesh and justified in spirit (I Tim.3.16, Jhn.1.l4).
The ark was simply a box (5x3x3) or coffin (same word Gen.50.26), implying the Christ would have to suffer and die (put to death the flesh), in order to be God's dwelling place among men.
Within the ark were the tables of testimony, the golden pot of manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, speaking of Christ The Way, The Truth, The Life (Jhn. 14.6), God's law was in his heart (Pslm.40.7,8), the fruitful vine (Jhn.15.1). In an extended sense they represent "the saints in Christ," who are living manifestations of Yahweh's Word, fruitful of the Spirit (Gal. 5), if they abide in him faithfully and are not seduced says John (Jhn.15.4,5, 1 Jhn.2.24-29). *
6 And he made the mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half was the length thereof, and one cubit and a half the breadth thereof.
7 And he made two cherubim of gold, beaten out of one piece made he them, on the two ends of the mercy seat;
8 One cherub on the end on this side, and another cherub on the other end on that side: out of the mercy seat made he the cherubim on the two ends thereof.
9 And the cherubim spread out their wings on high, and covered with their wings over the mercy seat, with their faces one to another; even to the mercy seatward were the faces of the cherubim.
The Mercy Seat and the Cherubim.
These were beaten out of one solid mass of pure gold, representing Christ (the Mercy Seat) (Rom.3.25), and the saints (Cherubim), who are extensions of himself morally and spiritually (Gal.3.28, Jhn.17.6-17, 20, Jhn. 1.12, 13). Christ and hs bride stand together as a harmonious whole (Pslm.4S, Song 1-8, Rev.4.4).
Yet this arrangement indicates a special relationship related to the blood spattered Mercy Seat. Only through Christ could there be God's mercy and grace, salvation, through his shed blood, of expiation and forgiveness, since only the Lord upheld God's absolute righteousness, and glorified his Father thereby, opening, by the rending of the veil of the flesh, the way into the Most Holy (Mtt:27 .51).
The word translated Mercy Seat is Kapporeth = covering, from root Kappar = atonement (Lev.16 etc). It was the perfect exact fitting or covering of the Ark containing the law. Without that perfect covering, only the full fury of the law could be exposed to the sinner, without mercy or a covering for sin (Ex. 19, 20, Hb.9.12) and the way of redemption and reconciliation laid open (2Cor.5.19, Hb.9.23.,24).
The cherubim (vehicles of the spirit) gazed down at the blood spattered Mercy Seat, seeing the need for blood shedding in their own lives (and not flesh gratification), except in the Temple where they stood upright (Sons of Oil), spread out their wings touching the sides of the Most Holy, signifying the glory to come (Nu. 14.21, Hbk.2:14).
The name bearing angel dwelt between the cherubim as the Shekinah glory in the midst of Israel (Pslm 80:l, Pslm.99:1 (dwelt = inhabit).
After the Shekinah glory departed (Ezk.9, 10), it was never restored on returning from the Babylonish exile, except for a season in the antitype, which is Christ. This glory departed (Acts 1.11), not to return until the end of the downtreading of Jerusalem and the overturning of the abomination that maketh desolate (Lk.21.24-36, Dan.9.27). The cherubim guarded the "way to the tree of life in Eden (Gen.3.24), and then are seen in full power and glory in Ezekiel' s glorious vision (Ezk.l), as Deity manifest in a perfected multitude.
Here they shine forth like electrum, they are wheels full of eyes, their wings are in motion, signifying their wrathful belligerent manifestation, but then at rest speaking of mission accomplished (Ezk.1.24, Zech.1.8-11). They have the likeness of a man (divine similitude) and both Daniel (Man of the One) (Dan.10), and John on the Isle of Patmos (Rev. 1. 13-16) see similar visions of the Apocalyptic Son of man, but in a sackcloth witnessing state and downtrodden by the Outer court Apostasy in Rev .11. Yet will they be vindicated (Rev.5, Pslm 79).
Thus Both Ezekiel and John see the glory (God manifest in a glorified Christ multitude), enthroned (Ezk.1:26~28, Ezk 43, Rev 4:4, Rev. 14.1, Rev. 21), and ruling the earth in righteousness (Ezk.40-48, Pslm.95, Pslm.149, Pslm.72). *
10 And he made the table of shittim wood: two cubits was the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof:
Table of Shewbread.
This along with the Lampstand and the golden Altar was placed in the Holy Place, and therefore represents primarily things pertaining to our probation. The details are given and also in Ezk. 25. Pure gold covered the shittim wood; . thus it was a pure table, not a polluted table defiled by abominations, by heresies, crotchets and apostasy, canker and the like, spots in their feasts. 1 Cor.10.21.
"Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of daimonion: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of daimonion." See also 2Cor.6.14-I8. This cannot now apply to eating with those who had partaken of meat offered to idols, therefore it must relate to tolerance of apostates within the body. Paul was insistent that such be put out anathema Maranatha (1 Cor. 5, Gal.l. 8,9). Failure to do so results in a defiled adulterated Bride, which is what Christ finds at his coming, not a pure table, but a very impure one, missing the lesson of the table of shewbread.
"And thou shalt set them (the 12 shewbread) in two rows, six in a row, upon THE PURE TABLE BEFORE YAHWEH." (Lev.24.6).
Shewbread = Bread of the faces or bread of the Presence, since it was always before the Cherubim of glory, therefore the continual bread (Nu.4.7), where the priests partook of the shewbread every Sabbath, symbolising our fellowship with Christ through the emblems every first day at the Memorial. It represented fellowship with all those who partake of the One Bread or the One Body (l Cor.10. 16,17, Jhn 6. 53).
This weekly feast should not be polluted or defiled with that which is profane (dishonesty, hypocrisy and compromise). The unleavened loaves were evidently partaken with a drink offering (Num 4.7 margin), thus a beautiful foreshadowing of the bread and wine instituted by the Lord (Lk.22.17~20, 1 Cor. 11) to remember him, and of the fellowship the faithful saints will enjoy in the Kingdom with the Lord Jesus Christ (Lk.22.l6-18, Ezk.43) through the frankincense of a spiritual mind.
He is the bruised corn, the pure flour, the fire baken bread typifying the purity and faultlessness of his life and walk, the true Presence Bread, the Bread of God, the bread of our life, our meat and drink (Jhn 6), flesh crucified with all its lusts and affections, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness. *
17 And he made the candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work made he the candlestick; his shaft, and his branch, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, were of the same:
The golden Lampstand.
Christ was the true Lampstand or Light of the world which Judah rejected (Jhn.8.12, Rev.21.23, Hb.1.9). If we walk in this light we have fellowship with him. To obtain the light the olives flesh had to be beaten! bruised (1s.53.10, Hb.5.8) i.e, we must suffer for the Truth as light bearers, hiding not our light under a bushel (Mtt.5.14- 16), but as faithful witnesses., in the world, a very dark place, black double darkness Is.60. 1,2; 1 Jhn 1.7. *
Bro Richard Lister
The Apocalyptic Messenger, Feb 2017
25 And he made the incense altar of shittim wood: the length of it was a cubit, and the breadth of it a cubit; it was foursquare; and two cubits was the height of it; the horns thereof were of the same.
The next object catching the eye was an altar, standing in front before the veil of the most holy --not an altar for offering sacrifice but an altar for offering incense. The altar for offering sacrifice--a much larger altar--was outside the tabernacle.
The interior of the holy place would not have been a fitting place for this altar when the significance of things is considered. The holy place typified the holy state arising out of the divine appointments for the purpose, chief among which is the sacrifice of the holy one. It would not have been appropriate to give a place to this sacrifice in the place signifying the state arising our of it.
It was more in harmony with the relation of things that the altar of burnt offerings should be outside the tabernacle, though in the holy court. But though there is no altar of sacrifice in the holy place, there is the altar of incense on which morning and evening it was the high priest's part to offer incense with fire taken off the altar of sacrifice.
The incense altar was of wood covered with gold, and resembled the ark in being finished on the top with a royal crown, and having gold-covered staves always in the rings ready for use. All these features would have the meanings we identified in connection with the ark in the last chapter. They represented the same community but in a different state and time--namely, now instead of then; in the mortal instead of the immortal. Incense we saw to symbolize acceptable prayer.
The altar of incense represents the sacrifice of prayer offered with Christ-fire on the gold-plate foundation of faith, without which it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6). The presence of this altar in the Mosaic Holy and the daily consumption of incense upon it is a powerful inculcation of this truth from God, which is otherwise so often declared in the Scriptures, that men are not acceptable to Him who do not "pray without ceasing", and in "everything give thanks", offering "the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name" (Heb. 13:15)-
-"a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations".
No strange incense was to be used. Only God's own promises and God's own commandments must be breathed in prayer. God's own truth is the only acceptable basis of approach.
Law of Moses Ch 14
28 And he made the staves of shittim wood, and overlaid them with gold.
The most precious things of the Tabernacle - those most significative of Christ and his work-must be carried by hand. Both the altars, the table of shewbread, the candlestick, the ark, were all borne upon the shoulders by staves. These things could not be carried in carts, though carts were available. It must be personal human labour - nothing mechanical, nothing impersonal, nothing delegated.
For the important things of life only personal care and attention and effort will do. Do we perceive the lesson? Salvation is a very personal thing, calling for very personal effort and labour. There were six carts that carried all the outer framework of the tabernacle. This is all our external ecclesial framework and organization, but the inner things must be borne for the whole long wilderness journey on loving and consecrated shoulders.
An ecclesial organization will not save us. Our salvation will depend upon how faithfully and lovingly, and above all, how joyfully and cheerfully we have put our own shoulder to the work of the Lord.
Bro Growcott - God Enthroned in the Ecclesia and in Our Lives.