Deuteronomy 10:3
And I made an ark of shittim wood, and hewed two tables of stone like unto the first, and went up into the mount, having the two tables in mine hand.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Deuteronomy 10:3. I made an ark — Some of the Jewish doctors conclude from this text that there were two arks, one made by Bezaleel, and this one by Moses, which they fancy was the ark that went before them in their marches and battles. But this notion is confuted by many other passages. All that Moses means by saying, I made an ark, is, that he ordered one to be made, just as the expression, Solomon built the temple, only means that he provided for the building of it, and caused it to be built.

10:1-11 Moses reminded the Israelites of God's great mercy to them, notwithstanding their provocations. There were four things in and by which the Lord showed himself reconciled to Israel. God gave them his law. Thus God has intrusted us with Bibles, sabbaths, and sacraments, as tokens of his presence and favour. God led them forward toward Canaan. He appointed a standing ministry among them for holy things. And now, under the gospel, when the pouring forth of the Spirit is more plentiful and powerful, the succession is kept up by the Spirit's work on men's hearts, qualifying and making some willing for that work in every age. God accepted Moses as an advocate or intercessor for them, and therefore appointed him to be their prince and leader. Moses was a type of Christ, who ever lives, pleading for us, and has all power in heaven and in earth.These verses are closely connected with the preceding chapter, and state very briefly the results of the intercession of Moses recorded in Deuteronomy 9:25-29. The people are reminded that all their blessings and privileges, forfeited by apostasy as soon as bestowed, were only now their own by a new and most unmerited act of grace on the part of God, won from Him by the self-sacrificing mediation of Moses himself Deuteronomy 10:10.

Deuteronomy 10:1-5. The order for making the ark and tabernacle was evidently given before the apostasy of the people (Exodus 25ff); but the tables were not put in the ark until the completion and dedication of the tabernacle Exodus 40. But here as elsewhere (compare the Deuteronomy 9:1 note) Moses connects transactions closely related to each other and to his purpose without regard to the order of occurrence.

3. And I made an ark of shittim wood—It appears, however, from Ex 37:1, that the ark was not framed till his return from the mount, or most probably, he gave instructions to Bezaleel, the artist employed on the work, before he ascended the mount—that, on his descent, it might be finished, and ready to receive the precious deposit. No text from Poole on this verse.

And I made an ark of shittim wood,.... That is, ordered it to be made, and it was made by Bezaleel, and that of shittim wood: so the ark that was put into the holy of holies was made of this wood; see See Gill on Exodus 25:10; see Gill on Exodus 37:1,

and hewed two tables of stone like unto the first; two marble ones, as the Targum of Jonathan; that is, he ordered them to be hewed, and took care that they should be exactly made as the former were, of which he had perfect knowledge, having received them of the Lord, and brought them with him down the mount:

and went up into the mount, having the two tables in my hand; in order to have the words of the law, the ten commands, written on them, these being only hewn stones, without anything on them: they were very probably marble, of which great quantities were near at hand.

And I made an ark of {a} shittim wood, and hewed two tables of stone like unto the first, and went up into the mount, having the two tables in mine hand.

(a) Which is a wood of long endurance.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
3. So I made an ark of acacia wood] Not now in JE, see above. P, Exodus 25:10; Exodus 37:1, Beṣal’el made the ark of acacia wood.

acacia wood] planks of shiṭṭim, the plur. of the tree shiṭṭah = shinṭah, Ar. ‘sant,’ a name given to several species of the thorny acacia; in Egypt to ‘A. (mimosa) Nilotica’ (Lane, Ar. Eng. Lex.); and by the Arabs of the Desert of the wanderings of Israel to the ‘A. tortilis’ and ‘A. laeta’ (Hart, Fauna and Flora of Sinai, Petra and W. Araba, 52). More probably the former, an upright tree, 10 or 15 feet high, with a thick trunk and occasionally very numerous (e.g. a grove of acacias, chiefly ‘tortilis,’ ten miles long in the Arabah, id. 31, cp. 8, 12, 92, and found on W. el Ithm, by which Israel probably passed to the Edomite plateau); the ‘A. laeta’ is a tropical tree found only in the Ghor, and there seldom. Both Tristram (Nat. Hist. of the Bible, 298 f.) and Post (Flora, 298 f. and art. ‘Shittah’ in Hastings’ D.B.) identify the Shittah tree with the Seyyâl acacia, but this is never called ‘Sunṭ’ by the Beduin to-day, and indeed is distinguished by them from ‘Sunṭ’ (Hart, op. cit. 52). Doughty mentions an acacia, called by the modern inhabitants of the Arabian peninsula ‘ṭolh,’ the only acacia wood which is not brittle, and is used by the Solubba, or tribe of smiths and carpenters, for saddle-trees and frames and vessels for milk, and also on the Arabian coast for ship-building (Arabia Deserta, i. 280, ii. 91, 678).

and hewed two tables of stone like unto the first] So Exodus 34:4 a, JE.

and went up into the mount, with the two tables in mine hand] So substantially Exodus 34:4 b, J.

Deuteronomy 10:3In Deuteronomy 10:1-5 Moses briefly relates the success of his earnest intercession. "At that time," of his intercession, God commanded him to hew out new tables, and prepare an ark in which to keep them (cf. Exodus 34:1.). Here again Moses links together such things as were substantially connected, without strictly confining himself to the chronological order, which was already well known from the historical account, inasmuch as this was not required by the general object of his address. God had already given directions for the preparation of the ark of the covenant, before the apostasy of the nation (Exodus 25:10.); but it was not made till after the tabernacle had been built, and the tables were only deposited in the ark when the tabernacle was consecrated (Exodus 40:20).
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