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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
In the wilderness wanderings, arrangements were made that four items of the holy furniture of the portable tabernacle should be carried on the shoulders of Levites, suspended on these staves. These were the golden altar of incense, the golden table for shewbread, the brazen altar of sacrifice, and the ark of the covenant (Exodus 35:12-16 ).
In the case of the large altar of sacrifice, which was in reality a hollow wooden chest covered with brass (bronze) plates (see ALTAR ), four rings were attached to the brass grating which rose midway in the chest, and through these rings the staves passed. The staves were of acacia wood and were covered with brass plating. In the case of the three golden utensils of the sanctuary, the staves were of acacia wood, covered with gold plates.
The last mention of any of these staves is in 1 Kings 8:7-9 , where it is stated of the ark, in the holy of holies in Solomon's Temple, that the ends of its staves were seen by anyone standing in the adjoining holy place, before (i.e. east of) the oracle. Priests only might view them there, the curtain being withdrawn. The writer of 1 Ki 8 adds that the staves were thus visible when he wrote, an item of evidence worthy of note as to the date of the document.
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Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Staves'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/isb/s/staves.html. 1915.