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Bible Dictionaries

Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Mercy Seat

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kaporeth Hebrew; hilasteerion , epitheema , Septuagint. The propitiatory, the golden cover of the ark. From the piel conjugation of kaapar , "to cover up," "forgive," or "reconcile," "atone" for offenses. Having a distinct significance and designation of its own; not a mere part of the ark. Placed "above upon the ark" (Exodus 25:17-22; Exodus 26:34; Exodus 30:6; Exodus 31:7; Exodus 35:12; Exodus 37:6). Never called "the cover" (kaporeth ) merely of the ark, but made a distinct thing.

The holy of belies is called "the place of the mercy-seat" (1 Chronicles 28:11; Leviticus 16:2), marking that it was not a mere subordinate part of the ark. The kippurim , "atonements," on the day of atonement are inseparably connected with the kaporeth , which was sprinkled with the blood (Leviticus 16:13-15). The same hilasteerion occurs Hebrews 9:5 "mercy-seat," Romans 3:25 "propitiation." (See ARK.) The atonement was for the breach of the covenant. Appropriately, therefore the mercy-seat covered that covenant written on the two tables of stone inside the ark. God, thus reconciled through the blood sprinkled on the mercy-seat, could speak to His people "from off the mercy-seat that was upon the ark of the testimony" (Numbers 7:89; Psalms 80:1).


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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Mercy Seat'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/fbd/m/mercy-seat.html. 1949.

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