Understanding The Bible
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W. W. Rugh,
Bible Institute of Philadelphia
40 Page Printed Devotional Guide
1st Edition 1912
The Ark was made of shittim wood, two cubits and a half long, a cubit and a half
wide, and a cubit and a half high.
Pure gold overlaid it within and without, and a crown of gold adorned the top and held the Mercy-seat in place.
The Ark was the only piece of furniture in the Most Holy Place, unless it was the golden Censer. Hebrews 9:3, 4.
It was used as a chest in which to keep the second tables of the law. The first two tables of the law were broken by Moses when he came down from the mount with them. Exodus 32:19. Then the Lord gave him a special command to make an Ark in which to keep the second tables. Deuteronomy 10:1-5.
Staves of shittim wood overlaid with gold were placed In the four rings of gold, on the sides of the Ark, for the Levites or priests to bear it. While the Ark was in the Tabernacle, the staves were not to be taken from it, but when it was placed In the Temple, a permanent dwelling place for Jehovah, they were removed. 1 Kings 8:8.
To cover the Ark was the first duty of the high priest, when the Cloud was taken up from above the Tabernacle. He first covered it with the Veil, then with a covering of badgers' skins, and over it all a cloth of blue. Numbers 4:5, 6.
For us, the use of the Ark suggests its typical significance.
As the vessel in which the law was kept, it Is a type of Christ in whose heart the law of God was written and who kept it perfectly In letter and in spirit. Psalms 40:8; Matthew 5:17.
Jesus, as the Son of Man under the law, fulfilled perfectly the claims of the law toward God and toward man, for He loved God with all His heart, soul, strength, and mind and His neighbor as Himself. Luke 10:27; Romans 13:8-10.
Of every man under the law, except Christ, it may truthfully be said that they "received the law, and kept it not." Acts 7:53; Romans 3:10-20.
Made of the shittim wood and overlaid within and without with gold, the Ark foreshadows the humanity and the divinity of our Lord, the One who was and is "God manifest in the flesh." 1 Timothy 3:16.
The law was written in His heart, because the word of God dwelt in Him richly, and the Father and the Holy Spirit dwelt in Him in all their fullness. Colossians 2:9; 3:16.
To keep the law, meant for Jesus to do just what His heart prompted Him to do, and so for us, in whose hearts the law of God is written. Hebrews 10:16. Filled with His Spirit, and His word dwelling in us richly, we desire to do only those things that please Him. John 8:29.
The crown of gold refers to Christ now crowned with glory, and the coverings tell us of the historical Christ in His walk here on earth. As the Heavenly, Royal, Righteous, and Suffering One, typified by the Veil, He was protected from earthly defilement by His humility, the badgers' skins. But He always said and did those things which proved that He was the Lord from heaven, typified by the cloth of blue. 1 Corinthians 15:47.
By W. W. RUGH, Associate
Dean, Bible Institute of Pennsylvania
1418 N. 16th Street, Philadelphia, Pa.
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