|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
25:10-22 The ark was a chest, overlaid with gold, in which the two tables of the law were to be kept. These tables are called the testimony; God in them testified his will. This law was a testimony to the Israelites, to direct them in their duty, and would be a testimony against them, if they transgressed. This ark was placed in the holy of holies; the blood of the sacrifices was sprinkled, and the incense burned, before it, by the high priest; and above it appeared the visible glory, which was the symbol of the Divine presence. This was a type of Christ in his sinless nature, which saw no corruption, in personal union with his Divine nature, atoning for our sins against it, by his death. The cherubim of gold looked one towards another, and both looked downward toward the ark. It denotes the angels' attendance on the Redeemer, their readiness to do his will, their presence in the assemblies of saints, and their desire to look into the mysteries of the gospel. It was covered with a covering of gold, called the mercy-seat. God is said to dwell, or sit between the cherubim, on the mercy-seat. There he would give his law, and hear supplicants, as a prince on his throne.
Verse 12. - Four rings of gold. These rings were to be fixed, not at the upper, but at the lower corners of the chest, which are called pa'amoth, literally "feet" or "bases." The object was, no doubt, that no part of the chest should come in contact with the persons of the priests when carrying it (see ver. 14). As Kalisch notes, "the smallness of the dimensions of the ark rendered its safe transportation, even with the rings at its feet, not impossible."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And thou shalt cast four rings of gold for it,.... For which a mould was to be made, and the gold being melted was poured into it, and so the rings were fashioned:
and put them in the corners thereof; or, "in its feet", as Aben Ezra, though Jarchi says it had no feet; but as the word used so signifies always, it is more probable it had feet; and the rather, that it might not stand upon the ground, but on feet, as chests and coffers usually do:
and two rings shall be in the one side of it, and two rings in the other side of it; Jarchi says, at the upper corners, near the mercy seat were they placed, two on one side and two on the other, at the breadth of the ark; but it is more likely they were fixed in the lower part of it, as Ramban, at the feet of it; and in the length of the ark, as Josephus writes (m).
(m) Antiqu. l. 3. c. 6. sect. 5
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
12. rings—staples for the poles, with which it was to be carried from place to place.
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