New European Commentary

 

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Deeper Commentary

37:1 Shittim wood- This 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.

37:2 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.

37:6 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.