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Bible Commentaries
Exodus 25

Poole's English Annotations on the Holy BiblePoole's Annotations



Moses is commanded to take a free-will offering to set up the tabernacle, and of what, Exodus 25:1-7.

God commands him to make a sanctuary, Exodus 25:8; chargeth him how and whereof to make a tabernacle, Exodus 25:9.

The form of the ark, Exodus 25:10-16.

The mercy-seat, Exodus 25:17-22.

The table for the shew-bread, with other utensils, Exodus 25:23-30.

Of the candlestick, with its employment, and other furnitures for the tabernacle, Exodus 25:31-39.

Moses is commanded to make it answerable to the pattern which he saw in the mount, Exodus 25:40.

Verse 1

Having delivered the moral and judicial laws, he now comes to the ceremonial law, wherein he sets down all things very minutely and particularly, whereas in the other laws he was content to lay down general rules, and leaveth many other things to be by analogy deduced from them. The reason of the difference seems to be this, that the light of reason implanted in all men, gives him greater help in the discovery of moral and judicial things than in ceremonial matters, or in the external way and manner of God’s worship; which is a thing depending wholly upon God’s institution, and not left to man’s invention, which is a very incompetent judge of those things, as appears from hence, because the wittiest men, destitute of God’s revelation, have been guilty of most foolery in their devices of God’s worship.

Verse 4

Blue, or sky-coloured; but here you must not understand the mere colours, which could not be offered, but some materials proper for the work, and of the colours here mentioned, to wit, wool, or threads, or some suchlike things, as appears from Hebrews 9:19, and from the testimony of the Jews. Fine linen, which was of great esteem in ancient times, and used by priests and great officers of state. See Genesis 41:42; Revelation 19:8,Revelation 19:14.

Goats’ hair; Heb. goats. But that their hair is understood, is apparent from the nature of the thing, and from the use of the word in that sense in other places.

Verse 5

A kind of wood growing in Egypt and the deserts of Arabia, very durable and precious. See Exodus 35:24; Numbers 33:49; Isaiah 41:19; Joel 3:18.

Verse 6

Oil for the light; for the lamps or candlesticks, Exodus 25:37.

Anointing oil, wherewith the priests, and the tabernacle, and the utensils thereof, were to be anointed. Sweet

incense; Heb. incense of spices, or sweet odours; so called to distinguish it from the incense of the fat of sacrifices, which was burnt upon the altar.

Verse 7

Onyx stones, or, sardonyx stones. Note, that the signification of the Hebrew names of the several stones are not agreed upon by the Jews at this day, and much more may we safely be ignorant of them, the religious use of them being now abolished.

Stones to be set in the ephod; stones of fulness, or filling, or perfecting stones; so called either because they did perfect and adorn the ephod, or because they filled up the ouches, or the hollow places, which were left vacant for this purpose. What the ephod and breastplate were, see Exodus 28:0.

Verse 8

A place of public and solemn worship,

that I may dwell among them; not by my essence, which is every where, but by my grace and glorious operations.

Verse 10

An ark, or little chest, or coffer, for the uses after mentioned.

Two cubits and a half; understand it of the common cubit, which is generally conceived to contain a foot and a half of our measure. See Genesis 6:15.

Verse 11

Or, a border, raised up above the rest of the ark, as a crown is above that which it is applied to, only a crown is round, and this was square. This was both for ornament, and for the fastening of the covering of the ark to it.

Verse 12

In the four corners; in the middle of each corner, for conveniency of carriage. See 1 Kings 7:30.

Verse 16

To wit, the two tables of stone, wherein the decalogue was written, called the

testimony here, and Exodus 30:6; Leviticus 16:13; and more fully the tables of the testimony, Exodus 31:18; Numbers 1:50; because they were witnesses of that covenant made between God and his people, whence they are called the tables of the covenant, Deuteronomy 9:9, and the ark, the ark of the covenant, Numbers 10:33. This being as a public record both of God’s mercy promised to them, and of the duty and conditions required of them. See Exodus 16:34.

Verse 17

Mercy-seat, or, propitiatory; which seems from the sameness of dimensions to be nothing else but the covering of the ark, upon which God is said to sit, whence the ark is called God’s footstool. This covering is a manifest type of Christ, who is therefore called the propitiation, or propitiatory, Romans 3:25; 1 John 2:2; 1 John 4:10, because he interposeth himself between God our Judge, and the law, by which we all stand condemned and accursed, Galatians 3:10,Galatians 3:13; that God may not deal rigorously with us according to that law, but mercifully for his sake who hath fulfilled the law, and therefore boldly presents himself to his Father on our behalf.

Verse 18

Figures of human shape, in which alone the angels used to appear; but they had wings, to signify their expedition in God’s work and messages. And between these angels God is said to sit and dwell. So this place was a representation of heaven, where God sitteth and dwelleth among the cherubims and other glorious angels.

Of beaten work; not made of several parcels joined together, as images commonly are, nor yet melted and cast in a frame or mould, but beaten by the hammer out of one continued piece of gold, possibly to note the exact unity or indivisibility and the simplicity of the evangelical nature.

Verse 19

i.e. Of one and the same piece of massy gold, out of which the cherubims were made.

Verse 20

Towards God, who is supposed to sit there, whose face the angels in heaven always behold, and upon whom their eyes are fixed to observe and receive his commands; and towards Christ, the true propitiatory, which mystery they desire to look into, 1 Peter 1:12; not envying mankind their near and happy relation to him, but taking pleasure in the contemplation of it.

Verse 21

Or, after thou shalt have put in the ark; for the ark was not to be opened after the covering was put upon it. The Hebrew particle vau oft signifies after that, as Jeremiah 43:13; Jeremiah 51:60.

Verse 22

There I will meet with thee; there I will be in a special and gracious manner present with thee.

From between the cherubims, which spreading forth their wings formed a kind of seat, which the Divine Majesty was pleased to possess.

Verse 24

A square border at the top of it, as Exodus 25:11; partly for ornament, and principally to keep what was put upon it from falling off.

Verse 25

A border, which encompassed and kept together the feet of the table, and seems to have been towards the bottom of it.

A golden crown; not the same mentioned before, Exodus 25:24, but another for further ornament to the table.

Verse 27

As much below the top as the border was above the bottom of the feet. of the table, which was a convenient place for the carriage. Others, near the border, in that part of the feet which is next to it.

Verse 29

The dishes, in which the bread and frankincense upon it were put, Leviticus 24:7. Of this sort there were twelve, one for every loaf.

Spoons, in which incense was put, as appears from Numbers 7:14, and by which incense was either put into the dishes or taken out of them, as occasion required.

Covers; so the Hebrew word is used, Exodus 37:16; Numbers 4:7. Herewith either the bread, or incense, or both, were covered.

Bowls, to cover the same things. So this and the former were two several sorts of covers, the one deeper than the other, one to cover the bread, another the incense. Or, bowls thereof, to pour out withal, to wit, liquid things, as wine and oil, when they were offered. See Genesis 35:14. Or these last words may relate not only to the bowls, but the other things, here mentioned, and may be thus rendered, wherewith it, to wit, the table, shall be covered, as indeed it was in a manner quite covered with these vessels.

Verse 30

Heb. Bread of faces, or of the presence, so called, because it was constantly placed in God’s presence. This bread was divided into twelve loaves, one for every tribe; and they were in their name presented to God in the nature of an offering, as the frankincense shows, as a public acknowledgment that they received all their bread or food, both corporal and spiritual, from God’s hand, and were to use it as in God’s presence

Verse 31

Thou shalt make, either by thyself, or by some other person whom thou shalt cause to make it.

His shaft; the trunk, or main body of it.

His knops, or, apples, made in form of a pomegranate.

His flowers shall be of the same, to wit, beaten out of the same piece by the hammer. Compare Exodus 25:36.

Verse 32

In every one of which was a lamp, and there was a seventh lamp in the chief stem of it, as appears from Exodus 25:37. And all these together represent the seven Spirits of God, Revelation 1:4; Revelation 4:5; Revelation 5:6; or the Spirit of God, the great Enlightener of the church, with his sevenfold or various gifts and operations.

Verse 34

In the candlestick, i.e. in the shaft or trunk of the candlestick, which is here distinguished from its branches, shall be four bowls, whereas there were but three in each of the branches.

Verse 35

And, to complete the number of four, mentioned in the foregoing verse, we must understand that there was another knop and bowl and flower in the upper part of the shaft, above all the branches, as the rules of proportion, and common use in making such things, will easily evince.

Verse 37

They shall light the lamps, whom I shall appoint for that work. Over against it, i.e. either,

1. The table of shewbread. Or rather,

2. The candlestick, as it is expressed, Numbers 8:2, where by the candlestick you are to understand, as here, Exodus 25:33,Exodus 25:34, the stem or main body of it; and the sense is, that the lamps shall be so placed, that they and their light may look towards that stem; unless you will suppose that the seven lamps were distinct and separated from the candlestick, and fastened to the sides of the tabernacle in several places, and all giving light to or over against the great candlestick, which was in the midst, as the candlestick did over-against them, which is also, now usual among us.

Verse 39

A talent contains three thousand shekels, Exodus 38:25, or one hundred and twenty-five pounds.

Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Exodus 25". Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/mpc/exodus-25.html. 1685.
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