Exodus 25:22
And there I will meet with you, and I will commune with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give you in commandment to the children of Israel.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(22) There will I meet with thee.—The place of the Shechinah, or visible manifestation of God’s presence, was to be between the two cherubim over the mercy seat. There God would meet His people, “to speak there unto them” (Exodus 29:42), either literally, as when He answered inquiries of the high priest by Urim and Thummim, or spiritually, as when He accepted incense, and the blood of offerings, and prayers, offered to Him by the people through their appointed representatives, the priests. It was for the purpose of thus “meeting” His people that the entire tabernacle was designed, and hence its ordinary name was “the Tent of Meeting,” unhappily rendered in the Authorised Version by the “tabernacle of the congregation.” (See Note on Exodus 27:21.)

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.The testimony - See Exodus 25:16 note. Compare Exodus 40:20. 22. there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat—The Shekinah, or symbol of the Divine Presence, rested on the mercy seat, and was indicated by a cloud, from the midst of which responses were audibly given when God was consulted on behalf of His people. Hence God is described as "dwelling" or "sitting" between the cherubim. There I will meet with thee; there I will be in a special and gracious manner present with thee.

From between the cherubims, which spreading forth their wings formed a kind of seat, which the Divine Majesty was pleased to possess. And there I will meet with thee,.... With Moses, and so with the high priest in later times, when he should enter into the holy of holies, and with the people of God as represented by him, when he should go in and inquire for them of the Lord:

and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim; converse with him and them about whatsoever they should apply unto him for, these being the symbols of the divine presence: hence the Lord is frequently described as "dwelling between the cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony"; that is, which cherubim are upon it, being on the mercy seat, which was the cover of it; or rather "which is upon" (s), which mercy seat is upon the ark of the testimony, as it properly was; and here the Lord promises to commune

of all things which I shall give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel: what they shall do, respecting those things which by Moses, or the high priest, they should inquire the mind and will of God about: this may signify that the way to communion with God lies through Christ, the mercy seat and propitiation, through his blood and righteousness, through the vail, that is to say, his flesh; and the encouragement to it is from him, our great high priest, and from his propitiatory sacrifice; and the enjoyment of it is through him; our fellowship is with the Father, and his Son Jesus Christ; God speaks to us by him, and reveals himself in him.

(s) "quod est", Vatablus.

And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
22. And there I will meet with thee] An explanation (cf. Exodus 30:6; Exodus 30:36; also, with the people as the object, Exodus 29:42-43, Numbers 17:4) of the term ‘Tent of Meeting’ (see on Exodus 27:21), as signifying the appointed place where Jehovah met Moses for the purpose of speaking with him. Not the word used in Exodus 3:18, Exodus 5:3, which means to ‘meet by chance.’

commune] an archaism for converse, occurring 28 times in AV., and 22 times in RV. (e.g. Genesis 18:33; Genesis 34:6; Genesis 34:8; Genesis 34:20). The Heb. is the ordinary word for speak.

from above, &c.] Cf. Numbers 7:89.

23–30 (cf. Exodus 37:10-16). The table of Presence-bread. This was a table of acacia wood, overlaid with gold, 2 cubits (3 ft.) long, one cubit (1½ ft.) broad, and 1½ cubits (2 ft. 3 in.) high. The top,—to judge from that of the Table represented on the Arch of Titus,—was some 6 in. thick; and the sides and ends of this were each decorated with a solid gold moulding running round it, giving them the appearance of panels sunk into the table (see the left end of the top as represented in the fig.). The legs, according to Josephus, were square in the upper, and rounded in the lower half, terminating in claws: they were connected by cross-stays, or frames, about 3 in. broad, probably about half-way down (see fragments of these frames in the fig.), which also had golden mouldings upon them. On the four legs, close by the cross-stays, were four rings, through which poles of acacia wood, overlaid with gold, were passed, when the table had to be moved. For the service of the table, various dishes and other vessels were provided, all made of gold.Verse 22. - And there I will meet with thee. The whole of the foregoing description has been subordinate to this. In all the arrange-meats for the tabernacle God was, primarily and mainly, providing a fit place where he might manifest himself to Moses and his successors. The theocracy was to be a government by God in reality, and not in name only. There was to be constant "communing" between God and the earthly ruler of the nation, and therefore a place of communing. Compare Exodus 29:42-45. The special seat of the Divine presence was to be the empty space above the mercy seat, between the two cherubim, and above the ark of the covenant.

CHAPTER 25:23-30 Into this ark Moses was to put "the testimony" (העדת; cf. Exodus 40:20). This is the name given to the two tables of stone, upon which the ten words spoken by God to the whole nation were written, and which Moses was to receive from God (Exodus 24:12). Because these ten words were the declaration of God upon the basis of which the covenant was concluded (Exodus 34:27-28; Deuteronomy 4:13; Deuteronomy 10:1-2), these tables were called the tables of testimony (ch. Exodus 31:18; Exodus 34:29), or tables of the covenant (Deuteronomy 9:9; Deuteronomy 11:15).
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