Exodus 25:40
And look that you make them after their pattern, which was showed you in the mount.
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(40) After their pattern.—Comp, Exodus 25:9.

25:31-40 The candlestick represents the light of God's word and Spirit, in and through Christ Jesus, afforded in this dark world to his believing people, to direct their worship and obedience, and to afford them consolations. The church is still dark, as the tabernacle was, in comparison with what it will be in heaven; but the word of God is a light shining in a dark place,A talent of pure gold - about 94 lbs. 40. look that thou make them after their pattern—This caution, which is repeated with no small frequency in other parts of the narrative, is an evidence of the deep interest taken by the Divine King in the erection of His palace or sanctuary; and it is impossible to account for the circumstance of God's condescending to such minute details, except on the assumption that this tabernacle was to be of a typical character, and eminently subservient to the religious instruction and benefit of mankind, by shadowing forth in its leading features the grand truths of the Christian Church. No text from Poole on this verse. And look that thou make them,.... Or see that they are made by workmen employed:

after their pattern, which was showed thee in the mount; from whence it appears, that as Moses was showed the model of the tabernacle, so also of the candlestick, and of all its appurtenances, and of every other vessel in it; and he is strictly charged to look carefully and diligently to it, that everything be done exactly according to the model he had a view of, in which everything was particularly described, and nothing was left to the will, humour, and fancy of men.

And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was showed thee in the mount.
40. Cf. v. 9: also Numbers 8:4; and Acts 7:44.

In Solomon’s Temple there were ten golden candlesticks, five standing on each side of the Holy place, in front of the adyton (1 Kings 7:49; cf. Jeremiah 52:19): in the post-exilic Temple there was only a single candlestick (1Ma 1:21; 1Ma 4:49). It is this which was taken from the Herodian Temple by the Romans, and is represented on the famous Arch of Titus. In the Temple at Shiloh there was only a single lamp (1 Samuel 3:3).

The Ark

It is impossible to give here a history of the Ark; but a few words may be permitted, respecting the religious ideas associated with it, and opinions as to its possible origin.

The oldest name of the ark was the ‘ark of Jehovah,’ Joshua 3:13 &c. (or ‘of God,’ 1 Samuel 3:3 &c.), or, less frequently, ‘the ark’ alone (Numbers 10:35 al.): the Deut. expression (see p. 193) is ‘the ark of the covenant’ (with or without ‘of Jehovah’ added): P’s characteristic expression is the ‘ark of the testimony’ (13 times: see on Exodus 25:16; Exodus 25:22). Both these latter terms are used with allusion to the tables inscribed with the Decalogue, which,—as in our extant sources (see however on Exodus 34:3) we first learn from Deuteronomy 10:2; Deuteronomy 10:5,—were contained in it. In itself the ‘ark’ is similar in principle to the sacred chests in which many other ancient nations, as the Egyptians, Etruscans, Greeks, kept images, or other sacred objects, and sometimes also carried them in processions. Now it is noticeable that in nearly all the pre-Deuteronomic references, the ark—which in these passages ‘must be thought of as a simple chest, very different from the gold-covered shrine of P, with its’ massive golden ‘mercy-seat, and over-arching cherubim’ (Kennedy)—appears as much more than a mere receptacle of two inscribed stones; it is, in fact, in a very special sense, a symbol and pledge of Jehovah’s presence; and it is even spoken of as if He were actually present in it, so that wherever the ark was, Jehovah was there with it. Especially in war is it thus regarded as the material vehicle or accompaniment of Jehovah’s presence. In the ancient verses preserved in Numbers 10:35 f.—originally, to judge from the terms used, the prayer with which the Ark was sent forth to battle, and the welcome with which its return was greeted,—‘Arise, O Jehovah, and let thine enemies be scattered, Let them that hate thee flee before thee,’ and ‘Return, O Jehovah, to the myriads of Israel’s clans,’ Jehovah is addressed as though He were present in the ark, and moved with it. The case is similar in 1 Samuel 4:3, where the Hebrew sheikhs say, ‘Let us fetch the ark of Jehovah … from Shiloh, that it may come … and save us,’ and when it arrives, the Philistines exclaim (v. 7), ‘God is come into the camp’; and in Exodus 6:19, where, after the ark has been brought back, and some of the men of Bethshemesh are smitten, the others exclaim, ‘Who is able to stand before Jehovah this holy God?’ So in 2 Samuel 6:5 ff. David and the Israelites, accompanying the ark with dancing and music, are described as playing ‘before Jehovah’ (vv. 5, 21); and in Joshua 7:6-9 the Israelites fall down before the ark and pray to Him. It is also evidently as the pledge of Jehovah’s presence and effectual help, that in 2 Samuel 11:11 the ark is taken with the host on a campaign, and that in 2 Samuel 15:24 f. Zadok takes it with David, when he leaves Jerusalem (though the king magnanimously sends it back): in Numbers 14:44, on the contrary, its absence from the host (which is tantamount to Jehovah’s absence, v. 42) is the cause of defeat. Other ancient nations took images of their gods into battle (2 Samuel 5:21 : Rel. Sem. 37, citing Polyb. vii. 9, Diod. xx. 65 [the Carthaginians’ ‘sacred tent’]): the Israelites had a custom which was the same in principle; but their palladium was the image-less ark.

These passages, which shew that in early Israel the ark was, in a very real sense, identified with the presence of Jehovah, are not adequately explained if the only purpose of the ark was to form a receptacle for the two tables of stone. How the former conception of the ark arose, the extant narratives do not state: they describe the ark as made purely to receive the tables of stone; and in P Jehovah speaks not from the ark itself, but from between the cherubim upon it. We are therefore reduced to conjecture. When we remember that Jacob speaks of the stone at Bethel as being itself the ‘house,’ or abode, of God (Genesis 28:22), one supposition that suggests itself is that in very remote times the ark may have sheltered a sacred stone, regarded by the primitive Israelites as the abode of a deity (so Benz. Arch.1 369 [2312 a very different view]; Bä.; in greater detail, Cheyne, EB. i. 307 f.), but ‘transformed’ ultimately, ‘in reverent Hebrew thought “into a perfect written embodiment of the fundamental demands of Israel’s righteous God” ’ (McNeile, p. 163, without, however, definitely accepting this view). Such conjectures are not illegitimate: for our accounts of the beginnings of Israel’s religion, it must be borne in mind, are both imperfect in themselves, and spring from a time when higher and more spiritual ideas were current than had once been the case. Another view, which admits of being more easily accommodated to Exodus 33:1-7, is that the ark contained a stone, or stones, taken from the sacred ‘mount of God,’ Horeb, which was regarded as an assurance of the protecting presence of Jehovah (whose abode was on Sinai, Exodus 19:4) after they left it (Moore, EB. i. 2155): and there are independent reasons for thinking (see on Exodus 33:6) that the ark was originally conceived as supplying some kind of visible substitute for Jehovah’s personal presence. Or, thirdly, Kennedy may be right (Samuel, in the Century Bible, p. 324) in seeing in the ark an embodiment of that ‘Presence of Jehovah,’ which it is promised shall accompany Israel to Canaan (Exodus 33:14), as, not indeed Jehovah Himself, but His sufficient representative (cf. DB. i. 150 f.).

It is common to all these theories to regard the ark as not originally intended to receive the tables of the Decalogue: it is not probable, it is argued, that laws of fundamental importance, intended to be observed by all, should be placed where they could not be seen. The question cannot be here pursued further; and it must suffice to refer the reader, for fuller discussion, to Kennedy, DB. i. s.v., and Samuel, p. 321 ff.; Kautzsch, DB. v. 628 f., and McNeile, p. 161 ff. Jehovah’s presence, it is clear, was regarded as in some way ‘objectively attached to the ark’: but the historical origin of this idea our extant data do not enable us certainly to determine. And this is why we are driven to conjecture. It may only be worth while to add that in Jeremiah 3:16 the time is looked forward to, by the spiritually-minded prophet, when no such material symbol of Jehovah’s presence will be needed; and the ark, having served its purpose through many centuries, will be neither ‘remembered, nor missed (RVm.), nor made again.’Verse 40. - Their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount. Compare ver. 9, and the comment ad loc. It would seem from this passage that the "patterns" were shown to Moses first, and the directions as to the making given afterwards.

On each of these branches (the repetition of the same words expresses the distributive sense) there were to be "three cups in the form of an almond-flower, (with) knob and flower," and on the shaft of the candlestick, or central stem, "four cups in the form of almond-flowers, its knobs and its flowers." As both ופרח כּפתּר (Exodus 25:33) and וּפרחיה כּפתּריה (Exodus 25:34) are connected with the previous words without a copula, Knobel and Thenius regard these words as standing in explanatory apposition to the preceding ones, and suppose the meaning to be that the flower-cups were to consist of knobs with flowers issuing from them. But apart from the singular idea of calling a knob or bulb with a flower bursting from it a flower-cup, Exodus 25:31 decidedly precludes any such explanation; for cups, knobs, and flowers are mentioned there in connection with the base and stem, as three separate things which were quite as distinct the one from the other as the base and the stem. The words in question are appended in both verses to משׁקּדים גּבעים in the sense of subordination; ו is generally used in such cases, but it is omitted here before כפתר, probably to avoid ambiguity, as the two words to be subordinated are brought into closer association as one idea by the use of this copula. And if כפתר and פרח are to be distinguished from נביע, the objection made by Thenius to our rendering משׁקּד "almond-blossom-shaped," namely, that neither the almond nor the almond-blossom has at all the shape of a basin, falls entirely to the ground; and there is all the less reason to question this rendering, on account of the unanimity with which it has been adopted in the ancient versions, whereas the rendering proposed by Thenius, "wakened up, i.e., a burst or opened calix," has neither foundation nor probability.
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