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Bible Commentaries
Exodus 25

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-40

Exodus 25:2. That they bring me an offering. We now enter on the tabernacle, a hallowed work, a figure of the church, and emblem of the heavenly glory. This mystical temple was not new: it had existed in paradise; it had no doubt been preserved by Noah in the ark, for we find it in the Egyptian and Indian temples, as well as among the ancient Greeks. Yet God by special revelation was pleased to renew it in a figure of perfection.

Exodus 25:4. Blue and purple. Some materials proper for the work, and of the colours here mentioned; wool or threads, or some such like things, as appears from Hebrews 9:19.

Exodus 25:7. The ephod, or superhumeral, a species of long shawl which covered the shoulders and breast of the high priest; and to which the pectoral or breastplate was appendent. See Exodus 28:15.

Exodus 25:8. A sanctuary. A sort of ambulatory temple; and in all antiquity we find nothing more ancient than such portable temples.

Exodus 25:10. Ark of shittim-wood, or the acacia wood, as Dr. Shaw, our learned traveller, suggests. All the more distinguished temples of the heathen seem to have had an ark or chest, in which to preserve their sacred utensils. The predictions of the Sybils, written in verse, were preserved in a chest. For an account of those prophetesses, see Lanctantius’s Institutes, book 1.; Augustine’s City of God, book 18. chap. 23. If those poems were forged, yet the traditions were true, for the Voluspa, a poem beforementioned, foretels the same things. As the law was deposited in the ark, it is promiscuously called the ark of the testimony, the ark of the testament, and the ark of the covenant.

Exodus 25:11. Crown of gold, a border raised up above the rest of the ark.

Exodus 25:16. The testimony, the two tables of stone, on which the decalogue was written. Exodus 30:6. Leviticus 16:13.

Exodus 25:17. A mercy-seat, or propitiatory, which covered the ark, and upon which the God of Israel is represented as having been seated; and hence the ark was called his footstool. See Leviticus 16:0. This ιλαστηριον is several times alluded to in the new testament. Hebrews 9:5. Romans 3:24. 1 John 2:1.

Exodus 25:18. Two cherubim of gold. Moses has not told us what was the form of these cherubim; but they were designed to represent the angelic nature. Josephus admits that they were of a configuration unknown to men, and represented celestial beings. In Ezekiel, the number is four. The sphynxes of the Egyptians had some resemblance to these figures. See Ezekiel 32:4. Beaten work. Not made of several parcels joined together, but beaten by the hammer out of one continued piece of gold.

Exodus 25:23. Table of shittim-wood. The LXX read, a golden table. King Solomon made this table of gold, 1 Kings 7:48; and the LXX follow that reading. Thus the Hebrew copy and the Greek version are both correct.

Exodus 25:25. I will commune with thee, as in Exodus 28:15.

Exodus 25:30. Shew bread: twelve loaves in two heaps. God is not unmindful to provide bread for those who wait at the altar.

Exodus 25:39. Talent of gold, containing three thousand shekels, value about three hundred and fifty pounds. Exodus 38:25.

Exodus 25:40. Pattern shewed thee in the mount. This being often repeated, marks its importance: no fancy work was allowed there.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Exodus 25". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/exodus-25.html. 1835.
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