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Exo 37:1 Bezalel made the ark of acacia wood. Its length was two and a half cubits, and its breadth a cubit and a half, and a cubit and a half its height-
The acacia bush was all they had in the wilderness. It was hardly suitable for making furniture, being brittle and the sticks very thin and hard to weld together. The root translated "shittim" really means a stick or rod, and is translated "thorns" in Josh. 23:13. We shouldn't be surprosed at the brittle nature of the folk with whom God works, their difficulty in binding together and resistance to being worked with- this is as it were all God has to work with.



Exo 37:2 He overlaid it with pure gold inside and outside, and made a moulding of gold for it around it.
 Crown
- As if it represented a person, a King- the Lord Jesus
:8 The mercy seat [representing Christ] and the cherubim [Angels] were of one piece and of the same material- but Heb. 1 is clear that Christ was not an Angel. In this we see the danger of over-interpretting types.


Exo 37:3 He cast four rings of gold for it, in its four feet; even two rings on its one side, and two rings on its other side.
Exo 37:4 He made poles of acacia wood, and overlaid them with gold-

Acacia was plentiful in the wilderness, but it is little more than brushwood; a surprising choice of material to be used in God’s dwelling place. But His choice of us with all our weakness and dysfunction, the common, weak stuff of the wilderness, is no less surprising. The choice of acacia wood for constructing the tabernacle is one of several points in the whole enterprise where it seems a less than ideal material was chosen, from a construction point of view. This aspect emphasizes that God prefers to work with the soft, weak and broken in order to do His work (as also in Ez. 15:2-5).

Exo 37:5 He put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark, to bear the ark.
Exo 37:6 He made a mercy seat of pure gold. Its length was two and a half cubits, and a cubit and a half its breadth-
 The mercy seat
- This is clearly stated in Rom. 3:25 to represent Christ, in whom has been set forth for all to see the salvation of God in Christ. But note that only the High Priest once / year was able to view the mercy seat covered in the blood of atonement. It's as if we are each now the High Priest, if we are in Christ. We can now with boldness, not as the fearful High Priest, enter the Most Holy place (Heb. 10:29). The veil has been opened. We can enter, in order to gain atonement for others. The "seat" implies someone sat upon it- there God was enthroned in all the glory of His forgiveness of men through the blood of Christ. He "dwelt between the cherubim" (Ps. 80:1; 99:1). There was the impression held by Hezekiah (2 Kings 19:15) and David (2 Sam. 6:2) that God dwelt between the cherubim, over the mercy seat. "Justice and judgment" are where God was enthroned (Ps. 89:14), and this refers to the blood sprinkled mercy seat where God was especially enthroned in glory on the day of Atonement. His forgiveness and salvation has integrity, it's not a turning of a blind eye, a waiving of principle. In this is the wonder of our salvation. Note that the cherubim peered down upon the blood- alluded to in 1 Pet. 1:11,12, which says that the Angels earnestly look into the things of the blood of Christ. The cherubim were of gold, of one piece with the mercy seat, but Jesus was not an Angel by nature (see Heb. 1)- which warns us not to over-interpret tabernacle types.


Exo 37:7 He made two cherubim of gold. He made them of beaten work, at the two ends of the mercy seat;
Exo 37:8 one cherub at the one end, and one cherub at the other end. He made the cherubim of one piece with the mercy seat at its two ends.
Exo 37:9 The cherubim spread out their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, with their faces toward one another. The faces of the cherubim were toward the mercy seat.

Exo 37:10 He made the table of acacia wood. Its length was two cubits, and its breadth was a cubit, and its height was a cubit and a half.
Exo 37:11 He overlaid it with pure gold, and made a gold moulding around it.
Exo 37:12 He made a border of a handbreadth around it, and made a golden moulding on its border around it.
Exo 37:13 He cast four rings of gold for it, and put the rings in the four corners that were on its four feet.
Exo 37:14 The rings were close by the border, the places for the poles to carry the table.
Exo 37:15 He made the poles of acacia wood, and overlaid them with gold, to carry the table.
Exo 37:16 He made the vessels which were on the table, its dishes, its spoons, its bowls, and its pitchers with which to pour out, of pure gold.

Exo 37:17 He made the lampstand of pure gold. He made the lampstand of beaten work. Its base, its shaft, its cups, its buds, and its flowers were of one piece with it.
Exo 37:18 There were six branches going out of its sides: three branches of the lampstand out of its one side, and three branches of the lampstand out of its other side;
Exo 37:19 three cups made like almond blossoms in one branch, a bud and a flower, and three cups made like almond blossoms in the other branch, a bud and a flower: so for the six branches going out of the lampstand-

Israel was one nation under God; they were represented by one seven-branched candlestick. But in the New Testament vision of Rev. 1:20, each church is represented by an individual candlestick, and the body of Christ as a whole is represented by seven candlesticks, seven being the number of completion. This suggests that each local congregation is seen as autonomous by Christ; no other candlestick can dictate to another what they should do. If they fail to give light as they should, then this is dealt with by Christ Himself, the One who walks amongst the seven candlesticks and is in their midst (Rev. 1:13); He alone can remove a candlestick (Rev. 2:5).

 


Exo 37:20 In the lampstand were four cups made like almond blossoms, its buds and its flowers;
Exo 37:21 and a bud under two branches of one piece with it, and a bud under two branches of one piece with it, and a bud under two branches of one piece with it, for the six branches going out of it-

The language of buds, flowers and branches invites us to see the candlestick as a tree of life giving light in the darkness of the tabernacle, which had no natural light. The candlestick represents the local church in our times (Rev. 1:20); we as communities of believers are to be as the tree of life, offering eternity to a dark world; hence Prov. 11:30 likens the fruit of the righteous to the tree of life, which results in winning people for eternity.


Exo 37:22 Their buds and their branches were of one piece with it. The whole thing was one beaten work of pure gold-

The fact the candlestick was made from one piece of gold is emphasized; it speaks of the unity of the local church, achieved through much patient beating out of the material which comprises it.


Exo 37:23 He made its seven lamps, and its snuffers, and its snuff dishes, of pure gold.
Exo 37:24 He made it of a talent of pure gold, with all its vessels.

Exo 37:25 He made the altar of incense of acacia wood. It was square: its length was a cubit, and its breadth a cubit. Its height was two cubits. Its horns were of one piece with it.
Exo 37:26 He overlaid it with pure gold, its top, its sides around it, and its horns. He made a gold moulding around it.
Exo 37:27 He made two golden rings for it under its moulding crown, on its two ribs, on its two sides, for places for poles with which to carry it.
Exo 37:28 He made the poles of acacia wood, and overlaid them with gold.
Exo 37:29 He made the holy anointing oil and the pure incense of sweet spices, after the art of the perfumer.