Exodus 25:29
And you shall make the dishes thereof, and spoons thereof, and covers thereof, and bowls thereof, to cover with: of pure gold shall you make them.
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(29) The dishes thereof . . . —The “dishes” of the shewbread table were probably large bowls in which the loaves or “cakes” were brought to the table. Such bowls are common in the Egyptian wall decorations. The so-called “spoons” were small pots in which the incense was put (Leviticus 24:7) and burnt. Two such appeared upon the table on the Arch of Titus. The “covers” and “bowls” are flagons and chalices to contain the drink offerings which were necessary accompaniments of every meat offering. To cover withal.—Rather (as in the margin), to pour out withal. Drink offerings were poured out in libation.

25:23-30 A table was to be made of wood, overlaid with gold, to stand in the outer tabernacle, to be always furnished with the shew-bread. This table, with the articles on it, and its use, seems to typify the communion which the Lord holds with his redeemed people in his ordinances, the provisions of his house, the feasts they are favoured with. Also the food for their souls, which they always find when they hunger after it; and the delight he takes in their persons and services, as presented before him in Christ.Dishes - deep vessels like "bowls," similar to the large silver vessels (or chargers) which were filled with fine flour, and formed part of the offerings of the Princes of Israel (Numbers 7:13 following).

Spoons - Rather, the small gold cups that were filled with frankincense in the offerings of the Princes Numbers 7:14, and represented on the table in the sculpture.

Covers ... bowls - Or flagons and chalices, such as were used for the rite of the drink offering, which appears to have regularly accompanied every Meat offering (Leviticus 23:18; Numbers 6:15; Numbers 28:14, etc.). The subject is important in its bearing upon the meaning of the showbread: the corrected rendering of the words tends to show that it was a true Meat offering.

To cover withal - See the margin. The first part of the verse might be better rendered: And thou shalt make its bowls and its incense-cups and its flagons and its chalices for pouring out "the drink offerings."

29. dishes—broad platters.

spoons—cups or concave vessels, used for holding incense.

covers—both for bread and incense.

bowls—cups; for though no mention is made of wine, libations were undoubtedly made to God, according to Josephus and the rabbins, once a week, when the bread was changed.

to cover withal—rather, "to pour out withal."

The dishes, in which the bread and frankincense upon it were put, Leviticus 24:7. Of this sort there were twelve, one for every loaf.

Spoons, in which incense was put, as appears from Numbers 7:14, and by which incense was either put into the dishes or taken out of them, as occasion required.

Covers; so the Hebrew word is used, Exodus 37:16 Numbers 4:7. Herewith either the bread, or incense, or both, were covered.

Bowls, to cover the same things. So this and the former were two several sorts of covers, the one deeper than the other, one to cover the bread, another the incense. Or, bowls thereof, to pour out withal, to wit, liquid things, as wine and oil, when they were offered. See Genesis 35:14. Or these last words may relate not only to the bowls, but the other things, here mentioned, and may be thus rendered, wherewith it, to wit, the table, shall be covered, as indeed it was in a manner quite covered with these vessels. And thou shall make the dishes thereof,.... On which the shewbread loaves were set. Jarchi says they were of the form of the bread, and that there were two sorts, one of gold, and one of iron; in the iron one the bread was baked, and when they took it out of the oven, they put it into the golden one until the morrow of the sabbath, when they set it in order upon the table; and that form is called "Kaarah", which we render a dish:

and the spoons thereof; or rather "cups"; these, Jarchi says, were censers, in which they put the frankincense; and there were two of them for the two handfuls of frankincense, which they put upon the two rows of shewbread, Leviticus 24:7. Josephus (x) calls them vials, and says, that on the bread were put two golden vials full of frankincense:

and the covers thereof, and the bowls thereof, to cover withal; the one to cover the bread, and the other to cover the frankincense; or all the above said vessels were to cover the table, and with them all it must be pretty well covered with vessels. The Jews give a different account of these two last, and of their use, which we render "covers" and "bowls": the first of these Jarchi says were like the half of hollow reeds divided to their length, made of gold; and three of them were laid in order on the top of every loaf, so that one loaf rested upon these reeds; and they separated between loaf and loaf, so that the air could come in between them, and they did not become mouldy; the latter, he says, were props like stakes of gold standing on the ground, and they were higher than the table, even as high as the rows of bread; and they were forked with live forks, one above another, and the tops (or ends) of the reeds, which were between each loaf, rested upon these forks, that so the weight of the upper loaves might not be too heavy for the lower ones, and break them. A like account of them Ben Melech gives, and observes, that some make the first word to signify the props, and the second the reeds; and so they are interpreted by Maimonides (y); and, according to the Misnah (z), the props were four, and the reeds twenty eight. According to the Septuagint version, these were vessels used in libations, or drink offerings; and the last clause is rendered in it, "with which thou shall pour out": wine or oil, and so in some other versions; but it will be difficult to find any use for such libations or drink offerings at this table.

(x) Antiq. l. 3. c. 6. sect. 6. (y) Pirush in Misn. Menachot, c. 11. sect. 6. (z) Menachot, ib.

And thou shalt make the {h} dishes thereof, and spoons thereof, and covers thereof, and bowls thereof, to cover withal: of pure gold shalt thou make them.

(h) To set the bread upon.

29. dishes] also Exodus 37:16, Numbers 4:7; Numbers , 14 times in Numbers 7 (‘charger,’ each weighing 130 shekels=c. 67 oz., and filled with fine flour mingled with oil). The root in Arab, signifies to be deep. A deep and large gold dish, or other similar vessel, must be thought of, in which the large oblong cakes were either brought to the Table, or laid out upon it.

spoons] cups for the frankincense, which was placed upon the loaves, and burnt (Leviticus 24:7) at the end of the week on the altar of burnt-offering: LXX. θυίσκαι (‘incense-cups’), as 1Ma 1:22. Also Exodus 37:16, Numbers 4:7; Numbers 4:16 times in Numbers 7 (each 10 shekels=5 oz. in weight, and filled with incense); and of the incense-cups in the Temple, 1 Kings 7:50 al. Cf. Jos. Ant. iii. 6. 6 ‘and above the loaves were placed two golden cups (φιάλαι) full of incense’; and the cups upon the Table on the Arch of Titus.

flagons … and chalices (Speaker’s Comm.; LXX. κύαθοι)] viz. for the wine, which, though this is not stated explicitly in the OT., apparently entered into the ritual of the Presence-bread. The flagons (also Exodus 37:16, Numbers 4:7, 1 Chronicles 28:17†) would be for keeping the wine in; the ‘chalices’ (Exodus 37:16, Numbers 4:7, Jeremiah 52:19†) for making the libations with,—we may suppose that, like other libations, they were poured out at the base of the Bronze altar (cf. Exodus 29:40; Sir 50:15).Verse 29. - The dishes thereof. Literally" its dishes," or rather perhaps, "its bowls" (LXX. τρύβλια). They were probably the vessels in which the loaves were brought to the table. Loaves are often seen arranged in bowls in the Egyptian tomb decorations (Lepsius, Denkmaler, pt. 2, pls. 5, 19, 84, 129, etc.). Spoons thereof. Rather, "its incense cups" - small jars or pots in which the incense, offered with the loaves (Leviticus 24:5), was to be burnt. Two such were represented in the bas-relief of the table on the Arch of Titus. Covers thereof and bowls thereof. Rather, "its flagons and its chalices" (LXX. σπονδεῖα καὶ κύαθοι) - vessels required for the libations or "drink offerings" which accompanied every meat-offering. To cover withal Rather, as in the margin, "to pour out withal." So the Septuagint, Vulgate, Syriac, and most of the Targums. The Table of Shew-Bread (cf. Exodus 37:10-16). - The table for the shew-bread (Exodus 25:30) was to be made of acacia-wood, two cubits long, one broad, and one and a half high, and to be plated with pure gold, having a golden wreath round, and a "finish (מסגּרת) of a hand-breadth round about," i.e., a border of a hand-breadth in depth surrounding and enclosing the four sides, upon which the top of the table was laid, and into the four corners of which the feet of the table were inserted. A golden wreath was to be placed round this rim. As there is no article attached to זר־זהב in Exodus 25:25 (cf. Exodus 37:12), so as to connect it with the זר in Exodus 25:24, we must conclude that there were two such ornamental wreaths, one round the slab of the table, the other round the rim which was under the slab. At the four corners of the four feet, near the point at which they joined the rim, four rings were to be fastened for בּתּים, i.e., to hold the poles with which the table was carried, as in the case of the ark.
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