The ark with the mercy - seat and the cherubim, ver. 1 - 9.
The table with its vessels, ver. 10 - 16.
The candle - stick with its appurtenances, ver. 17 - 24.
The golden altar for incense, ver. 25 - 28.
The holy oil and incense, ver. 29.
1-9: These several ornaments where with the tabernacle was furnished,
the people were not admitted to see, but the priests only; and therefore it
was requisite they should be thus largely described, particularly to them.
And Moses would thus shew the great care which he and his workmen took
to make every thing exactly according to the pattern shewed him in the
mount. Thus he appeals to every reader concerning his fidelity to him that
appointed him, in all his house. And thus he teacheth us to have
respect to all God's commandments, even to every jot and tittle of them. In
these verses we have an account of the making of the ark with its glorious
and significant appurtenances, the mercy - seat and the cherubim. Consider
these three together, and they represent the glory of a holy God, the
sincerity of a holy heart, and the communion that is between them by a
Mediator. It is the glory of a holy God that he dwelleth between the
cherubim, that is, is continually attended by the blessed angels, whose
swiftness was signified by the wings of the cherubim, and their unanimity
in their services, by their faces being one towards another. It is the
character of an upright heart, that, like the ark of the testimony, it hath
the law of God hid and kept in it. By Jesus Christ the great propitiation
there is reconciliation made, and a communion settled, between us and God:
he interposeth between us and God's displeasure; and through him we become
entitled to God's favour.
See note ... "Ex 37:1"
10: Observe how much the dispensation of the gospel exceeds that of
the law. Tho' here was a table furnished, it was only with shew - bread,
bread to be looked upon, not to be fed upon, while it was on the
table, and afterwards only by the priests: but to the table Christ has
spread in the new covenant all good Christians are invited guests, and to
them it is said, Eat, O friends, come eat of my bread. What the law
gave but a sight of at a distance, the gospel gives the enjoyment of.
17: This candlestick, which was not of wood overlaid with gold,
but all beaten - work of pure gold only, signified that light of divine
revelation with which God's church upon earth (which is his tabernacle among
men) hath always been enlightened, being always supplied with fresh oil from
Christ the good olive, (Zec 4:2,3). The bible is a golden candlestick,
it is of pure gold; from it light is diffused to every part of God's
tabernacle, that by it the spiritual priests may see to do the service of
his sanctuary. The candlestick has not only its bowls for necessary
use, but its knops and flowers for ornament; many things which God saw
fit to beautify his word with, which we can no more give a reason for than
for these knops and flowers, and yet must be sure they wert added for good
purpose. Let us bless God for this candlestick, have an eye to it
continually, and dread the removal of it out of its place!
25: The incense burnt on this altar daily, signified both the
prayers of saints, and the intercession of Christ, to which is owing
the acceptableness of them.