And Bezaleel made the ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half was the length of it, and a cubit and a half the breadth of it, and a cubit and a half the height of it:Exodus 37:1. The house of God being thus finished, the furniture is next made for it. The several articles and ornaments of this the people were not admitted to see, but the priests only; and therefore it was requisite that they should be largely described, as they are in this chapter, particularly to them. And Moses would thus show the great care which he and his workmen took to make every thing exactly according to the pattern showed him in the mount. Thus he appeals to every reader concerning his fidelity to him that appointed him, in all his house. And thus he teacheth us to have respect to all God’s commandments, even to every jot and tittle of them. Bezaleel made the ark of shittim-wood — The ark, with its glorious appurtenances, the mercy-seat and the cherubim, was the principal part of the furniture of the tabernacle. It was placed in the most sacred apartment of the house, and was the great symbol of the divine presence and protection. “It represented,” says Henry, “the glory of a holy God, the sincerity of a holy heart, and the communion that is between them by a Mediator. It is the glory of a holy God, that he dwelleth between the cherubim, that is, he is continually attended by the blessed angels, whose swiftness was signified by the wings of the cherubim, and their unanimity in their services, by their faces being one toward another. It is the character of an upright heart, that, like the ark of the testimony, it hath the law of God hid and kept in it. By Jesus Christ, the great propitiation, there is reconciliation made, and a communion settled between us and God: he interposeth between us and God’s displeasure; and through him we become entitled to God’s favour.
And he overlaid it with pure gold within and without, and made a crown of gold to it round about.
And he cast for it four rings of gold, to be set by the four corners of it; even two rings upon the one side of it, and two rings upon the other side of it.
And he made staves of shittim wood, and overlaid them with gold.
And he put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, to bear the ark.
And he made the mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half was the length thereof, and one cubit and a half the breadth thereof.
And he made two cherubims of gold, beaten out of one piece made he them, on the two ends of the mercy seat;
One cherub on the end on this side, and another cherub on the other end on that side: out of the mercy seat made he the cherubims on the two ends thereof.
And the cherubims spread out their wings on high, and covered with their wings over the mercy seat, with their faces one to another; even to the mercy seatward were the faces of the cherubims.
And he made the table of shittim wood: two cubits was the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof:Exodus 37:10. Observe how much the dispensation of the gospel exceeds that of the law. Though here was a table furnished, it was only with show-bread, bread to be looked upon, not to be fed upon, while it was on the table, and afterward only by the priest: but to the table Christ has spread, in the new covenant, all good Christians are invited as guests, and to them it is said, Eat, O friends, come, eat of my bread. What the law gave but a sight of at a distance, the gospel gives the enjoyment of.
And he overlaid it with pure gold, and made thereunto a crown of gold round about.
Also he made thereunto a border of an handbreadth round about; and made a crown of gold for the border thereof round about.
And he cast for it four rings of gold, and put the rings upon the four corners that were in the four feet thereof.
Over against the border were the rings, the places for the staves to bear the table.
And he made the staves of shittim wood, and overlaid them with gold, to bear the table.
And he made the vessels which were upon the table, his dishes, and his spoons, and his bowls, and his covers to cover withal, of pure gold.
And he made the candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work made he the candlestick; his shaft, and his branch, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, were of the same:Exodus 37:17. This candlestick, which was not of wood overlaid with gold, but all beaten work of pure gold only, signified that light of divine revelation with which God’s church upon earth (which is his tabernacle among men) hath always been enlightened, being always supplied with fresh oil from Christ the good olive, Zechariah 4:2-3. The Bible is a golden candlestick, it is of pure gold; from it light is diffused to every part of God’s tabernacle, that by it the spiritual priests may see to do the service of his sanctuary. This candlestick has not only its bowls for necessary use, but its knops and flowers for ornament; many things which God saw fit to beautify his word with, which we can no more give a reason for than for these knops and flowers, and yet must be sure they were added for some good purpose. Let us bless God for this candlestick, have an eye to it continually, and dread the removal of it out of its place!
And six branches going out of the sides thereof; three branches of the candlestick out of the one side thereof, and three branches of the candlestick out of the other side thereof:
Three bowls made after the fashion of almonds in one branch, a knop and a flower; and three bowls made like almonds in another branch, a knop and a flower: so throughout the six branches going out of the candlestick.
And in the candlestick were four bowls made like almonds, his knops, and his flowers:
And a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, according to the six branches going out of it.
Their knops and their branches were of the same: all of it was one beaten work of pure gold.
And he made his seven lamps, and his snuffers, and his snuffdishes, of pure gold.
Of a talent of pure gold made he it, and all the vessels thereof.
And he made the incense altar of shittim wood: the length of it was a cubit, and the breadth of it a cubit; it was foursquare; and two cubits was the height of it; the horns thereof were of the same.Exodus 37:25. The incense burned on this altar daily. signified both the prayers of saints and the intercession of Christ, to which is owing the acceptableness of them.
And he overlaid it with pure gold, both the top of it, and the sides thereof round about, and the horns of it: also he made unto it a crown of gold round about.
And he made two rings of gold for it under the crown thereof, by the two corners of it, upon the two sides thereof, to be places for the staves to bear it withal.
And he made the staves of shittim wood, and overlaid them with gold.
And he made the holy anointing oil, and the pure incense of sweet spices, according to the work of the apothecary.