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Bible Commentaries

Wesley's Explanatory Notes
Exodus 37

 

 

Verses 1-9

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: And he overlaid it with pure gold within and without, and made a crown of gold to it round about. And he cast for it four rings of gold, to be set by the four corners of it; even two rings upon the one side of it, and two rings upon the other side of it. And he made staves of shittim wood, and overlaid them with gold. And he put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, to bear the ark. 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. And he made two cherubims of gold, beaten out of one piece made he them, on the two ends of the mercy seat; One cherub on the end on this side, and another cherub on the other end on that side: out of the mercy seat made he the cherubims on the two ends thereof. And the cherubims spread out their wings on high, and covered with their wings over the mercy seat, with their faces one to another; even to the mercy seatward were the faces of the cherubims.

These several ornaments where with the tabernacle was furnished, the people were not admitted to see, but the priests only; and therefore it was requisite they should be thus largely described, particularly to them. And Moses would thus shew the great care which he and his workmen took to make every thing exactly according to the pattern shewed him in the mount. Thus he appeals to every reader concerning his fidelity to him that appointed him, in all his house. And thus he teacheth us to have respect to all God's commandments, even to every jot and tittle of them. In these verses we have an account of the making of the ark with its glorious and significant appurtenances, the mercy-seat and the cherubim. Consider these three together, and they represent the glory of a holy God, the sincerity of a holy heart, and the communion that is between them by a Mediator. It is the glory of a holy God that he dwelleth between the cherubim, that is, is continually attended by the blessed angels, whose swiftness was signified by the wings of the cherubim, and their unanimity in their services, by their faces being one towards another. It is the character of an upright heart, that, like the ark of the testimony, it hath the law of God hid and kept in it. By Jesus Christ the great propitiation there is reconciliation made, and a communion settled, between us and God: he interposeth between us and God's displeasure; and through him we become entitled to God's favour.


Verse 10

And he made the table of shittim wood: two cubits was the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof:

Observe how much the dispensation of the gospel exceeds that of the law. Tho' here was a table furnished, it was only with shew-bread, bread to be looked upon, not to be fed upon, while it was on the table, and afterwards only by the priests: but to the table Christ has spread in the new covenant all good Christians are invited guests, and to them it is said, Eat, O friends, come eat of my bread. What the law gave but a sight of at a distance, the gospel gives the enjoyment of.


Verse 17

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:

This candlestick, which was not of wood overlaid with gold, but all beaten-work of pure gold only, signified that light of divine revelation with which God's church upon earth (which is his tabernacle among men) hath always been enlightened, being always supplied with fresh oil from Christ the good olive, Zechariah 4:2,3. The bible is a golden candlestick, it is of pure gold; from it light is diffused to every part of God's tabernacle, that by it the spiritual priests may see to do the service of his sanctuary. The candlestick has not only its bowls for necessary use, but its knops and flowers for ornament; many things which God saw fit to beautify his word with, which we can no more give a reason for than for these knops and flowers, and yet must be sure they wert added for good purpose. Let us bless God for this candlestick, have an eye to it continually, and dread the removal of it out of its place!


Verse 25

And he made the incense altar of shittim wood: the length of it was a cubit, and the breadth of it a cubit; it was foursquare; and two cubits was the height of it; the horns thereof were of the same.

The incense burnt on this altar daily, signified both the prayers of saints, and the intercession of Christ, to which is owing the acceptableness of them.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Exodus 37:4". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/exodus-37.html. 1765.

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