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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
Exodus 37

 

 

Verse 1

And Bezaleel made the ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half was the length of it, and a cubit and a half the breadth of it, and a cubit and a half the height of it:

Bezaleel made the ark. The description here given of the things within the sacred edifice is almost word for word the same as that contained in Exodus 25:1-40. It is not on that account to be regarded as a useless repetition of minute particulars; for by the enumeration of these details, it can be seen how exactly everything was fashioned according to the 'pattern shown on the mount;' and the knowledge of this exact correspondence between the prescription and the execution was essential to the purposes of the fabric.


Verses 2-5

And he overlaid it with pure gold within and without, and made a crown of gold to it round about.

No JFB commentary on these verses.


Verses 6-10

And he made the mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half was the length thereof, and one cubit and a half the breadth thereof.

Made the mercyseat of pure gold. To construct a figure, whether the body of a beast or a man, with two extended wings, measuring from 2 to 3 feet from tip to tip, with the hammer, out of a solid piece of gold, was what few, if any artisans of the present day, could accomplish. Neither the cherubims described here, nor the Edenic creatures called cherubims, were in any sense representations of actual existences, but mere symbols. This being admitted, we can account for the fact that cherubim were introduced into the most holy place-also on the walls of the temple (see the notes at Exodus 25:17-20; 1 Kings 6:23-29; 2 Chronicles 5:7-8). These were not images of actual beings; for among a people always inclined to idolatry they might thus have easily become objects of worship; but they were symbolic representations (Moses Stuart).


Verses 11-16

And he overlaid it with pure gold, and made thereunto a crown of gold round about.

No JFB commentary on these verses.


Verses 17-22

And he made the candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work made he the candlestick; his shaft, and his branch, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, were of the same:

He made the candlestick of pure gold. Practical readers will be apt to say, 'Why do such works with the hammer, when they could have been cast so much easier-a process they were well acquainted with?' The only answer that can be given is, that it was done according to order. We have no doubt but there were reasons for so distinctive an order-something significant which has not been revealed to us (Napier).

The whole of that sacred building was arranged with a view to inculcate through every part of its apparatus the great fundamental principles of revelation. Every object was symbolical of important truth-every piece of furniture was made the hieroglyphic of a doctrine or a duty-on the floor and along the sides of that moveable edifice was exhibited, by emblematic signs addressed to the eye, the whole remedial scheme of the Gospel.

How far this spiritual instruction was received by every successive generation of the Israelites it may not be easy to determine. But the tabernacle, like the law of which it was a part, was a schoolmaster to Christ; and just as the walls of schools are seen studded with pictorial figures, by which the children, in a manner level to their capacities and suited to arrest their volatile minds, are kept in constant and familiar remembrance of the lessons of piety and virtue, so the tabernacle was intended, by its furniture and all its arrangements, to serve as a 'shadow of good things to come.' In this view, the minute descriptions given in this chapter respecting the ark and mercy-seat, the table of showbread, the candlestick, the altar of incense, and the holy oil, were of the greatest utility and importance; and though there are a few things that were merely ornamental appendages, such as the knops and the flowers, yet, in introducing these into the tabernacle, God displayed the same wisdom and goodness as He has done by introducing real flowers into the kingdom of nature, to engage and gratify the eye of man.

 


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Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Exodus 37:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/exodus-37.html. 1871-8.

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