'And thou hast made a table of shittim wood, two cubits its length, and a cubit its breadth, and a cubit and a half its height,
Exodus 25:23 Additional TranslationsClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Thou shalt also make a table of shittim wood - The same wood, the acacia, of which the arkstaves, etc., were made. On the subject of the ark, table of shew-bread, etc., Dr. Cudworth, in his very learned and excellent treatise on the Lord's Supper, has the following remarks: -
"When God had brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, resolving to manifest himself in a peculiar manner present among them, he thought good to dwell amongst them in a visible and external manner; and therefore, while they were in the wilderness, and sojourned in tents, he would have a tent or tabernacle built to sojourn with them also. This mystery of the tabernacle was fully understood by the learned Nachmanides, who, in few words, but pregnant, expresseth himself to this purpose: 'The mystery of the tabernacle was this, that it was to be a place for the shechinah, or habitation of Divinity, to be fixed in;' and this, no doubt, as a special type of God's future dwelling in Christ's human nature, which was the True Shechinah: but when the Jews were come into their land, and had there built them houses, God intended to have a fixed dwelling-house also; and therefore his movable tabernacle was to be turned into a standing temple. Now the tabernacle or temple, being thus as a house for God to dwell in visibly, to make up the notion of dwelling or habitation complete there must be all things suitable to a house belonging to it; hence, in the holy place, there must be a table, and a candlestick, because this was the ordinary furniture of a room, as the fore-commended Nachmanides observes. The table must have its dishes, and spoons, and bowls, and covers belonging to it, though they were never used; and always be furnished with bread upon it. The candlestick must have its lamps continually burning. Hence also there must be a continual fire kept in this house of God upon the altar, as the focus of it; to which notion I conceive the Prophet Isaiah doth allude, Isaiah 31:9 : Whose fire is in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem; and besides all this, to carry the notion still farther, there must be some constant meat and provision brought into this house; which was done in the sacrifices that were partly consumed by fire upon God's own altar, and partly eaten by the priests, who were God's family, and therefore to be maintained by him. That which was consumed upon God's altar was accounted God's mess, as appeareth from Malachi 1:12, where the altar is called God's table, and the sacrifice upon it, God's meat: Ye say, The table of the Lord is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even His Meat, is contemptible. And often, in the law, the sacrifice is called God's לחם lechem, i.e., his bread or food. Wherefore it is farther observable, that besides the flesh of the beast offered up in sacrifice, there was a minchah, i.e., a meat-offering, or rather bread-offering, made of flour and oil; and a libamen or drink-offering, which was always joined with the daily sacrifice, as the bread and drink which was to go along with God's meat. It was also strictly commanded that there should be salt in every sacrifice and oblation, because all meat is unsavoury without salt, as Nachmanides hath here also well observed; 'because it was not honorable that God's meat should be unsavoury, without salt.' Lastly, all these things were to be consumed on the altar only by the holy fire which came down from heaven, because they were God's portion, and therefore to be eaten or consumed by himself in an extraordinary manner." See Clarke on Exodus 25:22 (note).
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Exodus 37:10-16 And he made the table of shittim wood: two cubits was the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof...
Exodus 40:22,23 And he put the table in the tent of the congregation, on the side of the tabernacle northward, without the veil...
Leviticus 24:6 And you shall set them in two rows, six on a row, on the pure table before the LORD.
Numbers 3:31 And their charge shall be the ark, and the table, and the candlestick, and the altars...
1 Kings 7:48 And Solomon made all the vessels that pertained to the house of the LORD: the altar of gold, and the table of gold...
1 Chronicles 28:16 And by weight he gave gold for the tables of show bread, for every table; and likewise silver for the tables of silver:
2 Chronicles 4:8,19 He made also ten tables, and placed them in the temple, five on the right side, and five on the left...
Ezekiel 40:41,42 Four tables were on this side, and four tables on that side, by the side of the gate; eight tables...
Hebrews 9:2 For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the show bread...
shittim wood. Shittim wood is probably the acacia Nilotica. Jerome says that the shittim wood grown in the deserts of Arabia, and is like white thorn, as to its colour and leaves; but the tree is so large as to furnish very long planks. The wood is hard, tough, and extremely beautiful. It is thought he means the black acacia, because that is the most common tree in the deserts of Arabia. It is of the size of a large mulberry tree. The spreading branches and larger limbs are armed with thorns, which grow three together. The bark is rough; and the leaves are oblong, standing opposite each other. The flowers, though sometimes white, are generally of a bright yellow; and the fruit, which resembles a bean, is contained in pods like those of the lupin. The acacia being by much the largest and most common tree in the deserts, says Dr. Shaw. We have some reason to conjecture that the shittim wood was the wood of the acacia, especially as its flowers are of an excellent smell; for the shittah tree is, in Is.
41:19, joined with the myrtle and other fragrant shrubs. It may be remarked, that of the two Hebrew names, shittim is masculine, and shittah feminine. So Mr. Bruce says, 'the male is called saiel; from its proceeds the gula Arabic, on incision with an axe.'
Exodus 25:23 Parallel CommentariesAcacia Acacia-Wood Breadth Cubit Cubits Half Height High Hight Length Shittim Table Thereof Wide WoodAcacia Acacia-Wood Breadth Cubit Cubits Half Height High Hight Length Shittim Table Thereof Wide WoodTHE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica®.
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