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Tracing the Covenant Ark II – The Making of the Ark

Back to the start at Part 1. This is part two of a talk I gave at Beit Yeshua in January 2017, or at least I got through what I could in the time limits available, and what I did get through was well received.

Let’s look at the making of the ark of the covenant.  God gave Moses fairly detailed descriptions when he commanded the ark to be built in Sinai, about a year after the Israelites had left Egypt.

Exodus 25.9-22, 40

Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you

Have them make an ark of acacia wood—two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. Overlay it with pure gold, both inside and out, and make a gold molding around it.  Cast four gold rings for it and fasten them to its four feet, with two rings on one side and two rings on the other.  Then make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold.  Insert the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark to carry it.  The poles are to remain in the rings of this ark; they are not to be removed. Then put in the ark the tablets of the covenant law, which I will give you.

Make an atonement cover of pure gold—two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. And make two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover.  Make one cherub on one end and the second cherub on the other; make the cherubim of one piece with the cover, at the two ends. The cherubim are to have their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim are to face each other, looking toward the cover. Place the cover on top of the ark and put in the ark the tablets of the covenant law that I will give you.  There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the covenant law, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites….

See that you make them according to the pattern shown you on the mountain

Exodus 26.33-4

Hang the curtain from the clasps and place the ark of the covenant law behind the curtain. The curtain will separate the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. 34 Put the atonement cover on the ark of the covenant law in the Most Holy Place.

Ex 27.31

In the tent of meeting, outside the curtain that shields the ark of the covenant law, Aaron and his sons are to keep the lamps burning before the Lord from evening till morning. This is to be a lasting ordinance among the Israelites for the generations to come.

Just one thing to note here.  This kind of creates a problem – God here commanded something as a lasting ordinance for future generations, but how can they carry it out if the priests have no ark, as appears to be the case today.

I don’t have time to cover all the rest of the contents of Exodus regarding the ark, so I will summarize them here.  Exodus 30 gives instructions as to the making of an incense altar and the incense, in relation to the ark, and the anointing oil, which was also to be used on the ark of the covenant.  Chapter 31 has God giving craftsmen the skill to make all the equipment of the Tabernacle, alongside the artistic directors.  Exodus 37 recounts the actual making of the ark, exactly as God presented it to Moses, and in Exodus 39 Moses inspects the ark and all the other Tabernacle equipment and materials, and on finding they have been made to specification, blesses them.  In chapter 40, God commands Moses to have the Tabernacle set up on the first day of the first month, with the ark being the very first thing placed in it, and then hidden by a shielding curtain.  Moses obeys.  He puts the two tablets of the law in the Ark of the Covenant, and puts the ark in the Tabernacle.  Once all was complete, the glory of the Lord filled the whole Tabernacle.

Part 3