(Exo 25:1-7) And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering [Heb: present]: of every man that giveth it willingly [i.e., lovingly] with his heart ye shall take my offering [Heb: present]. And this is the offering [Heb: present] which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass, And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair, And rams' skins dyed red, and badgers' skins, and shittim wood, Oil for the light [of the candlestick], spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense, Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate.
1. Commentary: gold = Gold is the symbol of God. The word means “to shimmer” in Hebrew; that brings Shekinah to mind. Gold is a soft, bright yellow metal. It can be found and used in its pure state, without smelting. Gold never tarnishes. It is extremely malleable which means that it can be easily formed into thin strips, delicate objects, and coverings. Gold is too soft a metal to be used for tools or weapons.
2. Commentary: shittim wood = Shittim wood is the symbol of man. Shittim wood is derived from a tree of the Acacia species. Shittim trees thrive in dry areas, and were then abundantly found in the Sinai peninsula and the wilderness country east of the Jordan river. Shittim translates from Hebrew into “thorny; scourging thorns.” It is a very hard, densely-grained tree, large, with thorny rough gnarled bark. It was the only wood used in the construction of the Tabernacle of Moses.
(Exo 25:8,9) And let them make me a sanctuary [Heb: a consecrated thing or place, espec. a palace: holy place]; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle [given to Moses sometime on Mount Sinai], and the pattern of all the instruments [Heb: something prepared] [you are an instrument of God being prepared by God] thereof, even so shall ye make it.
1. tabernacle = Heb: mishkan; a residence (includ. a shepherd's hut, the lair of animals, fig. the grave; also the Temple); spec. the Tabernacle (prop. its wooden walls):--dwelleth, dwelling (place), habitation, tabernacle, tent.
(Exo 25:10-12) And they shall make an ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half [5 feet (arbitrarily using 24” = 1 cubit)] shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half [3 feet] the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half [3 feet] the height thereof. And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about. And thou shalt cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in the four corners thereof; and two rings shall be in the one side [Heb: a rib (as curved), lit. (of the body)] of it, and two rings in the other side [Heb: a rib (as curved), lit. (of the body)] of it.
1. ark = Heb: (in the sense of gathering); a box:--ark, [treasure] chest, coffin /// to pluck:--gather, pluck.
2. Commentary: We may herein assemble the composite figurative indications God has given us for mankind: that the tabernacle itself is your “grave” for you shall certainly die, and that the ark which lays inside the tabernacle is either “a shepherd’s hut” and thus by extension “a treasure chest,” or that ark which lays inside the tabernacle is “the lair of animals” and thus by extension “a coffin,” depending upon whether or not the finger of the consuming fire of God has come down from Heaven to enlighten the brazen altar of your heart.
3. Commentary: the cubit is an indefinite measure usually taken from the elbow to the tip of the finger. Most scholars assign a cubit to be from 15” to 27”.
(Exo 25:13-16) And thou shalt make staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold. And thou shalt put the staves into the rings by the sides [ribs] of the ark, that the ark may be borne with them. The staves shall be in the rings of the ark: they shall not be taken from it. And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony [the two tables of stone, the Law] which I shall give thee.
1. staves = Heb: bad; separation; by impl. a part of the body, branch of a tree, bar for carrying; fig. chief of a city:--alone, apart, bar, besides, branch, by self, of each alike, except, only, part, staff, strength.
2. Commentary: Staves are always rendered plural in the KJV (49 times), never singular, and staves are always used to bear the furniture of the tabernacle in twos, never singularly, which significantly points to cooperation and unity. In physical fact, it would be exceedingly difficult to bear the furniture of the tabernacle singularly. Further, wooden staves as branches are “separated” from the body. Therefore, the symbolism of the staves may most clearly be applied to the Nazarites (Heb: naziyr; separate, i.e. consecrated, devoted), who were individuals who took a vow to separate from certain worldly things and to consecrate themselves to God. We may learn from this beginning of a revelation that the Nazarites were very very special persons, as witnessed by their bearing the ark of the covenant symbolically as staves. It is through this intercessory function (position) of the staves, that the Aaronic priests were able to bear the ark without dying. Among the Hebrew people, anyone, man, woman, or slave could take the Nazarite vow usually lasting from 30, 60, or 100 days. Only Samson, Samuel, and John the Baptist were known life-long Nazarites whose vows were taken for them by their parents.
3. (Mark 6:7) And he called unto him the twelve [who were not Nazirites, but disciples], and began to send them forth by two and two [however, the same principle of twos applies to we who are disciples as well – who are not separate from the body]; and gave them power over unclean spirits;
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