Exodus 25:10
And they shall make an ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK

(10) They shall make an ark.Arôn, the word here rendered “ark,” is an entirely different word from that previously so translated in Genesis 6:14; Exodus 2:3, which is tebah. Arôn is properly a chest or coffer of small dimensions, used to contain money or other valuables (2Kings 12:9-10; 2Chronicles 25:8-11, &c.). In one place it is applied to a mummy-case (Genesis 1:26). Here it designates a wooden chest three feet nine inches long, two feet three inches broad, and two feet three inches deep. The primary object of the ark was to contain the two tables of stone, written with the finger of God, which Moses was to receive before he came down from the mount. (See Exodus 24:12, and comp. Exodus 20:16.) Sacred coffers were important parts of the furniture of temples in Egypt. They usually contained the image or emblem of some deity, and were constructed so as to be readily carried in processions.

Exodus 25:10-16. The ark was a chest or coffer, in which the two tables of the law, written by the finger of God, were to be placed. If the Jewish cubit was, as some learned men compute, three inches longer than our half yard, (twenty-one inches in all,) this chest or cabinet was about fifty-two inches long, thirty-one broad, and thirty-one deep; it was overlaid within and without with thin plates of gold; it had a crown or cornice of gold round it; rings and staves to carry it with; and in it he must put the testimony. The tables of the law are called the testimony, because God did in them testify his will; his giving them that law was in token of his favour to them, and their acceptance of it was in token of their subjection to him. This law was a testimony to them to direct them in their duty, and would be a testimony against them if they transgressed. The ark is called the ark of the testimony, (Exodus 30:6,) and the tabernacle, the tabernacle of the testimony, Numbers 10:11. The tables of the law were carefully preserved in the ark, to teach us to make much of the word of God, and to hide it in our inmost thoughts, as the ark was placed in the holy of holies. It intimates likewise the care which Divine Providence ever did, and ever will take to preserve the records of divine revelation in the church, so that even in the latter days there shall be seen in his temple the ark of his testament. See Revelation 11:19.

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.(compare Exodus 37:1-5). The ark is uniformly designated in Exodus the ark of the testimony. Elsewhere it is called the testimony, the ark of the covenant (most frequently in Deuteronomy and the other books of the Old Testament), the ark of the lord, the ark of god, the ark of the strength of the lord, and the holy ark.

The ark of the covenant was the central point of the sanctuary. It was designed to contain the testimony Exodus 25:16; Exodus 40:20; Deuteronomy 31:26, that is, the tables of the divine law, the terms of the covenant between Yahweh and His people: and it was to support the mercy-seat with its cherubim, from between which He was to hold communion with them Exodus 25:22. On this account, in these directions for the construction of the sanctuary, it is named first of all the parts. But on the other hand, in the narrative of the work as it was actually carried out, we find that it was not made until after the tabernacle Exodus 37:1-9. It was suitable that the receptacle should be first provided to receive and shelter the most sacred of the contents of the sanctuary as soon as it was completed. The order in which the works were executed seems to be given in Exodus 31:7-10, and Exodus 35:11-19. The completion of the ark is recorded in Exodus 37:1-5. On its history, see the concluding note to Exodus 40.

Exodus 25:10

An ark - Taking the cubit at 18 inches (see Genesis 6:15 note), the ark of the covenant was a box 3 ft. 9 in. long, 2 ft. 3 in. wide, and 2 ft. 3 in. deep.

10. an ark—a coffer or chest, overlaid with gold, the dimensions of which, taking the cubit at eighteen inches, are computed to be three feet nine inches in length, two feet three inches in breadth. An ark, or little chest, or coffer, for the uses after mentioned.

Two cubits and a half; understand it of the common cubit, which is generally conceived to contain a foot and a half of our measure. See Genesis 6:15.

And they shall make an ark of shittim wood,.... A chest or coffer to put things into, and into this were to be put the two tables of stone on which the law was written, and it was to be made of the wood before mentioned, Exodus 25:5 this was a very eminent type of Christ, with whom the name of an ark, chest, or coffer where treasure lies, agrees; for the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, and the riches of grace, even all the fulness of it, lie in him; and all the epithets of this ark are suitable to him, as when it is called the ark of God, the ark of his strength, the glory of God, the face of God, Jehovah, and God himself, the holy ark, and ark of the covenant: and its being made of "shittim wood", which is an incorruptible wood, a wood that rots not, by which the Septuagint version here, and in Exodus 25:5 and elsewhere render it, may denote the duration of Christ in his person, and the natures united in it; in his divine nature, from everlasting to everlasting, he is God; in his human nature he saw no corruption, and though he died he lived again, and lives for evermore; in his offices, as Mediator, Redeemer, Saviour, prophet, priest, and King, he abideth for ever; and in his grace and the fulness of it, which, like himself, is the same today, yesterday, and forever:

two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof; if this cubit was a common cubit, consisting of a foot and a half or eighteen inches, then the length of this ark was forty five inches, and its breadth and height twenty seven each; according to Dr. Cumberland (k), the Egyptian and Jewish cubit was above twenty one inches, and then the ark must be fifty three inches long or more, and thirty two and three quarters broad and high, or more: and Josephus (l) says, the length of it was five spans, and the breadth and height of it three spans each.

(k) Of Scripture Weights and Measures, ch. 2. p. 34, 56. (l) Antiqu. l. 3. c. 6. sect. 5.

And they shall make an ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof.
10. an ark] The Heb. word (’ârôn: not the word used of Moses ‘ark,’ Exodus 2:3) signifies a box or chest: it is used in Genesis 50:26 of a mummy case, and in 2 Kings 12:9-10, of a coffer for the collection of money. The cubit may be reckoned approximately at 18 inches1[200].

[200] The dimensions of the restored Temple, pictured by Ezek., are given (Ezekiel 40:5; Ezekiel 43:13) in cubits measuring ‘a cubit and an handbreadth’ (=a cubit +1/6); and this fact, taken in conjunction with 2 Chronicles 3:3 [read former for first], has led to the conclusion that the cubit in use when the Temple was built was longer than the common cubit of Ez.’s day by 1/6th. The shorter cubit is estimated at 17.6–7 inches, and the longer at 20.5–6 inches (see DB. iv. 906b ff.; or EB. iv. 5292 f.). Which cubit is referred to by P is uncertain: but for the purpose of forming a general idea of the Tabernacle, as conceived by him, the difference is immaterial. It is remarkable that in Egypt also two cubits were in use, of almost exactly the same lengths, the ‘short cubit (= 17.68 in.) of 6 handbreadths, and the ‘royal’ cubit of 7 handbreadths (DB iv. 907b).

Verses 10-22. - THE PATTERN OF THE ARK. - Moses is first shown, not the pattern of the tabernacle, but the patterns of those things which it was to contain - the ark, the table of shew-bread, and the seven-branched candlestick, or lamp-stand, with its appurtenances. The ark, as the very most essential part of the entire construction, is described first. Verse 10. - Thou shalt make an ark of shittim wood. Arks were an ordinary part of the religious furniture of temples in Egypt, and were greatly venerated. They usually contained a figure or emblem, of some deity. Occasionally they were in the shape of boats; but the most ordinary form was that of a cupboard or chest. They were especially constructed for the purpose of being carried about in a procession, and had commonly rings at the side, through which poles were passed on such occasions. It must be freely admitted, that the general idea of the "Ark," as well as certain points in its ornamentation, was adopted from the Egyptian religion. Egyptian arks were commonly of sycamore wood. Two cubits and a half, etc. As there is no reason to believe that the Hebrew cubit differed seriously from the cubits of Greece and Rome, we may safely regard the Ark of the Covenant as a chest or box, three feet nine inches long, two feet three inches wide, and two feet three inches deep. Exodus 25:10The Ark of the Covenant (cf. Exodus 37:1-9). - They were to make an ark (ארון) of acacia-wood, two cubits and a half long, one and a half broad, and one and a half high, and to plate it with pure gold both within and without. Round about it they were to construct a golden זר, i.e., probably a golden rim, encircling it like an ornamental wreath. They were also to cast four golden rings and fasten them to the four feet (פּעמת walking feet, feet bent as if for walking) of the ark, two on either side; and to cut four poles of acacia-wood and plate them with gold, and put them through the rings for carrying the ark. The poles were to remain in the rings, without moving from them, i.e., without being drawn out, that the bearers might not touch the ark itself (Numbers 4:15).
Exodus 25:10 Interlinear
Exodus 25:10 Parallel Texts

Exodus 25:10 NIV
Exodus 25:10 NLT
Exodus 25:10 ESV
Exodus 25:10 NASB
Exodus 25:10 KJV

Exodus 25:10 Bible Apps
Exodus 25:10 Parallel
Exodus 25:10 Biblia Paralela
Exodus 25:10 Chinese Bible
Exodus 25:10 French Bible
Exodus 25:10 German Bible

Bible Hub

Exodus 25:9
Top of Page
Top of Page