The Tabernacle Ark of the
ark of the covenant inside the tabernacle was also known as the ark
of the testimony or as the covenant box. On the top of this was the
propitiatory or mercy seat with the golden cherubim at its ends;
between whom the visible sign of the presence of God appeared as
seated upon his throne.
The tabernacle ark
of the covenant has been generally likened to the moveable shrines,
which are represented on Egyptian monuments. The Egyptian 'arks'
were carried by poles on the shoulders, and some of them had on the
cover two winged figures not unlike what we conceive the golden
cherubim to have been. Between the winged figures on the Egyptian
arks there was placed the material symbol of a deity, and the arks
themselves were carried about in religious processions, so as to
make a show in the eyes of the people.
As regards the
tabernacle ark of the covenant, the absence of any symbol of God
was one of its great characteristics. It was never carried in a
ceremonial procession: when it was moved from one place to another,
it was closely packed up, concealed from the eyes even of the
Levites who bore it. When the tabernacle was pitched, the ark was
never exhibited, but was kept in solemn darkness.
God does not need outer display.
"For the Kingdom of God is
not a matter of words but of power." (1Co 4:20)
tabernacle ark of the covenant was made of wood and covered with
"Make a Box out of acacia
wood, 45 inches long, 27 inches wide, and 27 inches high.
Cover it with pure gold inside and out and put a gold border all
word original Hebrew used for the wood was shittim. This was
derived from the word shotate, meaning 'to pierce'. The
indication was that this wood was from a thorn tree, specifically
the acacia. It is also a wonderful reference to Christ who was
pierced for our transgressions.
"But because of our sins he
was wounded, beaten because of the evil we did. We are healed by
the punishment he suffered, made whole by the blows he received."
"One of the soldiers,
however, plunged his spear into Jesus' side,
and at once blood and water poured out." (Joh 19:34)
tabernacle ark of the covenant was covered with gold,
Christ in His humanity (the wood) and His divinity (the gold).
If He wasn't perfectly man, he could not have died a
If He wasn't God, He could not have risen from the death.
These two facts remain in perfect harmony.
This tabernacle ark of the covenant is
one of three arks mentioned in the Bible.
In each case, the ark is symbolic of God's protection from
Noah's ark protected the 8
people inside from the judgment of the flood.
The ark made for baby Moses
protected him from the judgment of pharao.
Both Noah's ark and Moses'
ark were smeared with pitch to keep them water-tight.
The Hebrew word for pitch (kaphar) is the same word that is used
Inside the ark of the
covenant were the tablets of the law, broken by Israel, that placed
them under the judgment of eternal death. The ark of the covenant
was not smeared with pitch, but instead was covered by the blood of
atonement, thus protecting Israel from eternal
In the same way, the blood of
Christ protects us from God's eternal judgment.
- Pieter de
The tabernacle ark of the
covenant wore a crown.
"And you shall overlay it with pure gold.
You shall overlay it inside and out,
and shall make on it a crown of gold all around." (Exo 25:11
Crowns are symbolic
of sovereignty and power. This refers to Jesus Christ as our
They will fight against the Lamb; but the
Lamb, together with his called, chosen, and faithful followers,
will defeat them, because he is Lord of lords and King of kings."
Although the tabernacle ark of the covenant is the
of God's judgment, it must never be disrespected.
They came to the threshing
place of Nacon, the oxen stumbled, and Uzzah reached out and took
hold of the Covenant Box. At once the LORD God became angry with
Uzzah and killed him because of his irreverence. Uzzah died there
beside the Covenant Box, (2Sa 6:6-7)
Disrespect for Christ can remove us from His
Peter said to him, "Ananias,
why did you let Satan take control of you and make you lie to the
Holy Spirit by keeping part of the money you received for the
property? Before you sold the property, it belonged to you; and
after you sold it, the money was yours. Why, then, did you decide
to do such a thing? You have not lied to people---you have lied to
God!" As soon as Ananias heard this, he fell down dead; and all who
heard about it were terrified. (Act 5:3-5)
- Pieter de
The tabernacle ark
of the covenant speaks of Christ.
Even though Christ is our Protector, we must still honor