|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 20. - The cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high. Compare Exodus 37:9. It would seem that the two wings of both cherubs were advanced in front of them, and elevated, so as to overshadow the mercy seat. This was a departure from the patterns furnished by the figures of Ma (see the comment on ver. 18), since in them one wing only was elevated, and the other depressed. It is clear that in no case was any part of the Hebrew sacred furniture a mere reproduction of Egyptian models. Whatever was made use of was so transformed or modified as to acquire a new and independent character. Their faces, etc. The words are not without difficulty; but the generally received meaning appears to be correct that the faces were bent one towards the other, but that both looked downwards, towards the mercy seat. Thus the figures, whether they were standing or kneeling, which is uncertain, presented the appearance of guardian angels, who watched over the precious deposit below - to wit, the two tables.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the cherubim shall stretch forth their wings on high,.... From whence it appears they were in the form of winged creatures, as the seraphim in Isaiah's vision, and the living creatures in those of Ezekiel and John; and their wings did not hang down by them, or on the side of them, but were stretched out upwards towards the heaven above their heads; denoting the readiness, agility, and swiftness of the ministers of the word to do the work and will of Christ, as well as their expectation of all the supplies of gifts and grace from him to enable them to do it:
covering the mercy seat with their wings; which reached each other; though, as Jarchi (q) says, between them and the mercy seat there was a hollow of ten hands' breadth; so high were they stretched upwards, though they met each other:
and their faces shall look one to another; and which is expressive of the harmony, concord, and agreement of the true and faithful ministers of Christ one with another; who all agree in preaching Christ, and him crucified, and in the several momentous and important doctrines of the Gospel:
towards the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubim be; as before observed, it may denote their directing souls to Christ as the only way of salvation, keeping always in all their ministrations this great truth in view, atonement and satisfaction by the blood and sacrifice of Christ, and salvation alone by him; which they make the rule of their ministry, and from which they never swerve, taking care not to deliver anything contrary to it, or which may serve to cast a veil over it.
(q) T. Bab. Succah, fol. 5. 2. Vid. Gloss. in ib.
Exodus 25:20 Parallel Commentaries
Exodus 25:20 NIV
Exodus 25:20 NLT
Exodus 25:20 ESV
Exodus 25:20 NASB
Exodus 25:20 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible