And you shall put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, that the ark may be borne with them.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Exodus 25:26), and that it is to them the word is here applied. The ark, when it was carried, must thus have been raised above the shoulders of the bearers.
that the ark might be borne with them; which staves overlaid with gold, and put into golden rings, figured the ministers of Christ, enriched with the gifts and graces of his Spirit, and possessed of the truths of the Gospel, more precious than gold and silver; who bear the name of Christ, and carry his Gospel into the several parts of the world.And thou shalt put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, that the ark may be borne with them.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 14. - That the ark may be borne with them. The Hebrew ark was not made, like the Egyptian arks, for processions, and was never exhibited in the way of display, as they were. The need of carrying it arose from the fact, that the Israelites had not yet obtained a permanent abode. As soon as Canaan was reached, the ark had a fixed locality assigned to it, though the locality was changed from time to time (Joshua 18:1; 1 Samuel 4:3; 1 Samuel 7:1; 2 Samuel 6:10, etc.); but in the desert it required to be moved each time that the congregation changed its camping-ground. Exodus 25:22). "According to all that I let thee see (show thee), the pattern of the dwelling and the pattern of all its furniture, so shall ye make it." The participle מראה does not refer to the past; and there is nothing to indicate that it does, either in Exodus 25:40, where "in the mount" occurs, or in the use of the preterite in Exodus 26:30; Exodus 27:8. It does not follow from the expression, "which is showed thee in the mount," that Moses had already left the mountain and returned to the camp; and the use of the preterite in the passages last named may be simply explained, either on the supposition that the sight of the pattern or model of the whole building and its component parts preceded the description of the different things required for the completion of the building, or that the instructions to make the different parts in such and such a way, pointed to a time when the sight of the model really belonged to the past. On the other hand, the model for the building could not well be shown to Moses, before he had been told that the gifts to be made by the people were to be devoted to the building of a sanctuary. תּבנית, from בּנה to build, lit., a building, then a figure of anything, a copy of representation of different things, Deuteronomy 4:17.; a drawing or sketch, 2 Kings 16:10 : it never means the original, not even in Psalm 144:12, as Delitzsch supposes (see his Com. on Hebrews 8:5). In such passages as 1 Chronicles 28:11-12, 1 Chronicles 28:19, where it may be rendered plan, it does not signify an original, but simply means a model or drawing, founded upon an idea, or taken from some existing object, according to which a building was to be constructed. Still less can the object connected with תבנית in the genitive be understood as referring to the original, from which the תבנית was taken; so that we cannot follow the Rabbins in their interpretation of this passage, as affirming that the heavenly originals of the tabernacle and its furniture had been shown to Moses in a vision upon the mountain. What was shown to him was simply a picture or model of the earthly tabernacle and its furniture, which were to be made by him. Both Acts 7:44 and Hebrews 8:5 are perfectly reconcilable with this interpretation of our verse, which is the only one that can be grammatically sustained. The words of Stephen, that Moses was to make the tabernacle κατὰ τὸν τύπον ὅν ἑωράκει, "according to the fashion that he had seen," are so indefinite, that the text of Exodus must be adduced to explain them. And when the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews cites the words, "See that thou make all things κατὰ τὸν τύπον τὸν δειχθέντα σοι ἐν τῷ ὄρει" (according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount), from Exodus 25:40 of this chapter, as a proof the Levitical priests only served the type and shadow of heavenly things (τῶν ἐπουρανίων); it is true, his words may be understood as showing that he regarded the earthly tabernacle with all its arrangements as only the counterpart and copy of a heavenly original. But this interpretation is neither necessary nor well founded. For although the author, by following the Sept., in which בּתניתם is rendered κατὰ τὸν τύπον, the suffix being dropped, leaves it just a possible thing to understand the τύπος shown to Moses as denoting a heavenly tabernacle (or temple); yet he has shown very clearly that this was not his own view, when he explains the "patterns of things in the heavens" (ὑποδείγματα τῶν ἐν οὐρανοῖς) and "the true" things (τὰ ἀληθινά) of both the tabernacle and its furniture as denoting the "heaven" (οὐρανός) into which Christ had entered, and not any temple in heaven. If the ἐπουράνια are heaven itself, the τύπος showed to Moses cannot have been a temple in heaven, but either heaven itself, or, more probably still, as there could be no necessity for this to be shown to Moses in a pictorial representation, a picture of heavenly things or divine realities, which was shown to Moses that he might copy and embody it in the earthly tabernacle.
(Note: The conclusion drawn by Delitzsch (Hebrerbrief, p. 337), that because the author does not refer to anything between the ἐπουράνια and their ἀντίτυπα (Exodus 9:24), the τύπος can only have consisted of the ἐπουράνια themselves, is a mistake. All that the premises preclude, is the intervention of any objective reality, or third material object, but not the introduction of a pictorial representation, through which Moses was shown how to copy the heavenly realities and embody them in an earthly form. The earthly tent would no more be a copy of the copy of a heavenly original in this case, than a palace built according to a model is a copy of that model. Moreover, Delitzsch himself thinks it is "not conceivable that, when Moses was favoured with a view of the heavenly world, it was left to him to embody what he saw in a material form, to bring it within the limits of space." He therefore assumes, both for the reason assigned, and because "no mortal has ever looked directly at heavenly things," that "inasmuch as what was seen could not be directly reflected in the mirror of his mind, not to mention the retina of his eye, it was set before him in a visible form, and according to the operation of God who showed it, in a manner adapted to serve as a model of the earthly sanctuary to be erected." Thus he admits that it is true that Moses did not see the heavenly world itself, but only a copy of it that was shown to him by God.)
If we understand the verse before us in this sense, it merely expresses what is already implied in the fact itself. If God showed Moses a picture or model of the tabernacle, and instructed him to make everything exactly according to this pattern, we must assume that in the tabernacle and its furniture heavenly realities were to be expressed in earthly forms; or, to put it more clearly, that the thoughts of God concerning salvation and His kingdom, which the earthly building was to embody and display, were visibly set forth in the pattern shown. The symbolical and typical significance of the whole building necessarily follows from this, though without our being obliged to imitate the Rabbins, and seek in the tabernacle the counterpart or copy of a heavenly temple. What these divine thoughts were that were embodied in the tabernacle, can only be gathered from the arrangement and purpose of the whole building and its separate parts; and upon this point the description furnishes so much information, that when read in the light of the whole of the covenant revelation, it gives to all the leading points precisely the clearness that we require.
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