Exodus 25


The Lord addresses Moses out of the Divine glory, and commands him

to speak unto the Israelites, that they may give him free-will

offerings, 1, 2.

The different kinds of offerings, gold, silver, and brass, 3.

Purple, scarlet, fine linen, and goats' hair, 4.

Rams' skins, badgers' skins, (rather violet-coloured skins,)

and shittim wood, 5.

Oil and spices, 6.

Onyx stones, and stones for the ephod and breastplate, 7.

A sanctuary is to be made after the pattern of the

tabernacle, 8, 9.

The ark and its dimensions, 10.

Its crown of gold, 11.

Its rings, 12.

Its staves, and their use, 13-15.

The testimony to be laid up in the ark, 16.

The mercy-seat and its dimensions, 17.

The cherubim, how made and placed, 18-20.

The mercy-seat to be placed on the ark, and the testimony to be put

within it, 21.

The Lord promises to commune with the people from the mercy-seat, 22.

The table of shew-bread, and its dimensions, 23.

Its crown and border of gold, 24, 25.

Its rings, 26, 27.

Staves, 28.

Dishes, spoons, and bowls, 29.

Its use, 30.

The golden candlestick; its branches, bowls, knops, and

flowers, 31-36.

Its seven lamps, 37.

Tongs and snuffers, 38.

The weight of the candlestick and its utensils, one talent of

gold, 39.

All to be made according to the pattern showed to Moses on the

mount, 40.


Verse 2. That they bring me an offering] The offering here

mentioned is the terumah, a kind of free-will offering,

consisting of any thing that was necessary for the occasion. It

signifies properly any thing that was lifted up, the

heave-offering, because in presenting it to God it was lifted up

to be laid on his altar; but See Clarke on Ex 29:27. God

requires that they should build him a tent, suited in some sort to

his dignity and eminence, because he was to act as their king, and

to dwell among them; and they were to consider themselves as his

subjects, and in this character to bring him presents, which was

considered to be the duty of every subject appearing before his

prince. See Ex 23:15.

Verse 3. This is the offering] There were three kinds of

metals: 1. GOLD, zahab, which may properly signify wrought

gold; what was bright and resplendent, as the word implies. In

Job 28:15,16,17,19, gold is mentioned

five times, and four of the words are different in the original.

1. SEGOR, from sagar, to shut up; gold in the

mine, or shut up in its ore. 2. KETHEM, from

catham, to sign, seal, or stamp; gold made current by being

coined; standard or sterling gold, exhibiting the stamp expressive

of its value. 3. ZAHAB, wrought gold, pure, highly polished

gold; probably what was used for overlaying or gilding. 4.

PAZ, denoting solidity, compactness, and strength; probably gold

formed into different kinds of plate, as it is joined in Ex 25:17

of the above chapter with keley, vessels. The zahab, or

pure gold, is here mentioned, because it was in a state that

rendered it capable of being variously manufactured for the

service of the sanctuary.

2. SILVER, keseph, from casaph, to be pale, wan,

or white; so called from its well-known colour.

3. BRASS, nechosheth, copper; unless we suppose that the

factitious metal commonly called brass is intended: this is formed

by a combination of the oxide or ore of zinc, called lapis

calaminaris, with copper. Brass seems to have been very

anciently in use, as we find it mentioned Ge 4:22; and the

preparation of copper, to transform it into this factitious metal,

seems to be very pointedly referred to Job 28:2:

Iron is taken out of the earth, and brass is molten out of the

stone; eben yatsuk nechushah, translated by the

Vulgate, Lapis, solutus calore, in aes vertitur, "The stone,

liquefied by heat, is turned into brass." Is it going too far to

say that the stone here may refer to the lapis calaminaris, which

was used to turn the copper into brass? Because brass was capable

of so fine a polish as to become exceedingly bright, and keep its

lustre a considerable time, hence it was used for all weapons of

war and defensive armour among ancient nations; and copper seems

to have been in no repute, but for its use in making brass.

Verse 4. Blue] techeleth, generally supposed to mean an

azure or sky colour; rendered by the Septuagint ςακινθον, and by

the Vulgate hyacinthum, a sky-blue or deep violet.

Purple] argaman, a very precious colour, extracted from

the purpura or murex, a species of shell-fish, from which it is

supposed the famous Tyrian purple came, so costly, and so much

celebrated in antiquity. See this largely described, and the

manner of dyeing it, in Pliny, Hist. Nat., lib. ix., c. 60-65,

edit. Bipont.

Scarlet] tolaath, signifies a worm, of which this

colouring matter was made; and, joined with shani, which

signifies to repeat or double, implies that to strike this colour

the wool or cloth was twice dipped: hence the Vulgate renders the

original coccum bis tinctum, "scarlet twice dyed;" and to this

Horace refers, Odar., lib. ii., od. 16, v. 35:-

------------Te BIS Afro


Vestiunt LANAE.-----

"Thy robes the twice dyed purple stains."

It is the same colour which the Arabs call al kermez, whence the

French cramoisi, and the English crimson. On this subject much

may be seen in Bochart, Calmet, and Scheuchzer.

Fine linen] shesh; whether this means linen, cotton,

or silk, is not agreed on among interpreters. Because shesh

signifies six, the rabbins suppose that it always signifies the

fine linen of Egypt, in which six folds constituted one thread;

and that when a single fold was meant, bad is the term used.

See Clarke on Ge 41:42.

Goats' hair] izzim, goats, but used here elliptically

for goats' hair. In different parts of Asia Minor, Syria,

Cilicia, and Phrygia, the goats have long, fine, and beautiful

hair, in some cases almost as fine as silk, which they shear at

proper times, and manufacture into garments. From Virgil, Georg.

iii., v. 305-311, we learn that goats' hair manufactured into

cloth was nearly of equal value with that formed from wool.

Hae quoque non cura nobis leviore tuendae;

Nec minor usus erit: quamvis Milesia magno

Vellera mutentur, Tyrios incocta rubores.

Nec minus interea barbas incanaque menta

Cinyphii tondent hirci, setasque comantes,

Usum in castrorum, et miseris velamina nautis.

"For hairy goats of equal profit are

With woolly sheep, and ask an equal care.

'Tis true the fleece when drunk with Tyrian juice

Is dearly sold, but not for needful use:

Meanwhile the pastor shears their hoary beards

And eases of their hair the loaden herds.

Their camelots, warm in tents, the soldier hold,

And shield the shivering mariner from the cold."


Verse 5. Rams' skins dyed red] oroth eylim

meoddamim, literally, the skins of red rams. It is a fact

attested by many respectable travellers, that in the Levant sheep

are often to be met with that have red or violet-coloured fleeces.

And almost all ancient writers speak of the same thing. Homer

describes the rams of Polyphemus as having a violet-coloured




Odyss., lib. ix., ver. 425.

"Strong were the rams, with native purple fair,

Well fed, and largest of the fleecy care."


Pliny, Aristotle, and others mention the same. And from facts of

this kind it is very probable that the fable of the golden fleece

had its origin. In the Zetland Isles I have seen sheep with

variously coloured fleeces, some white, some black, some black

and white, some of a very fine chocolate colour. Beholding those

animals brought to my recollection those words of Virgil:-

Ipse sed in pratis Aries jam suave rubenti

Murice, jam croceo mutabit vellera luto.

Eclog. iv., ver. 43.

"No wool shall in dissembled colours shine;

But the luxurious father of the fold,

With native purple or unborrow'd gold,

Beneath his pompous fleece shall proudly sweat,

And under Tyrian robes the lamb shall bleat."


Badgers' skins] oroth techashim. Few terms have

afforded greater perplexity to critics and commentators than this.

Bochart has exhausted the subject, and seems to have proved that

no kind of animal is here intended, but a colour. None of the

ancient versions acknowledge an animal of any kind except the

Chaldee, which seems to think the badger is intended, and from it

we have borrowed our translation of the word. The Septuagint and

Vulgate have skins dyed a violet colour; the Syriac, azure; the

Arabic, black; the Coptic, violet; the modern Persic, ram-skins,

&c. The colour contended for by Bochart is the hysginus, which is

a very deep blue. So Pliny, Coccoque tinctum Tyrio tingere, ut

fieret hysginum. "They dip crimson in purple to make the colour

called hysginus."-Hist. Nat., lib. ix., c. 65, edit. Bipont.

Shittim wood] By some supposed to be the finest species of the

cedar; by others, the acacia Nilotica, a species of thorn,

solid, light, and very beautiful. This acacia is known to have

been plentiful in Egypt, and it abounds in Arabia Deserta, the

very place in which Moses was when he built the tabernacle; and

hence it is reasonable to suppose that he built it of that wood,

which was every way proper for his purpose.

Verse 6. Oil for the light] This they must have brought with

them from Egypt, for they could not get any in the wilderness

where there were no olives; but it is likely that this and some

other directions refer more to what was to be done when in their

fixed and settled residence, than while wandering in the


Spices] To make a confection for sweet incense, abounded in

different parts of these countries.

Verse 7. Onyx stones] We have already met with the stone called

shoham, Ge 2:12, and acknowledged the difficulty of

ascertaining what is meant by it. Some think the onyx, some the

sardine, and some the emerald, is meant. We cannot say

precisely what it was; possibly it might have been that fine pale

pebble, called the Egyptian pebble, several specimens of which now

lie before me, which were brought from the coast of the Red Sea,

and other parts in Egypt, by a particular friend of mine, on

purpose to add to my collection of minerals.

Stones to be set in the ephod] abney milluim,

stones of filling up. Stones so cut as to be proper to be set in

the gold work of the breastplate.

The ephod.-It is very difficult to tell what this was, or in

what form it was made. It was a garment of some kind peculiar to

the priests, and ever considered essential to all the parts of

Divine worship, for without it no person attempted to inquire of

God. As the word itself comes from the root aphad, he tied

or bound close, Calmet supposes that it was a kind of girdle,

which, brought from behind the neck and over the shoulders, and so

hanging down before, was put cross upon the stomach, and then

carried round the waist, and thus made a girdle to the tunic.

Where the ephod crossed on the breast there was a square ornament

called choshen, the breastplate, in which twelve precious

stones were set, each bearing one of the names of the twelve sons

of Jacob engraven on it. There were two sorts of ephods, one of

plain linen for the priests, the other very much embroidered for

the high priest. As there was nothing singular in this common

sort, no particular description is given; but that of the high

priest is described very much in detail Ex 28:6-8. It was

distinguished from the common ephod by being composed of gold,

blue, purple, scarlet, fine twisted linen, and cunning work,

i.e., superbly ornamented and embroidered. This ephod was fastened

on the shoulders with two precious stones, on which the twelve

names of the twelve tribes of Israel were engraved, six names on

each stone. These two stones, thus engraved, were different from

those on the breastplate, with which they have been confounded.

From Calmet's description the ephod seems to have been a series of

belts, fastened to a collar, which were intended to keep the

garments of the priest closely attached to his body: but there is

some reason to believe that it was a sort of garment like that

worn by our heralds; it covered the back, breast, and belly, and

was open at the sides. A piece of the same kind of stuff with

itself united it on the shoulders, where the two stones, already

mentioned, were placed, and it was probably without sleeves.

See Clarke on Ex 28:2, &c.

Verse 8. Let them make me a sanctuary] mikdash, a holy

place, such as God might dwell in; this was that part of the

tabernacle that was called the most holy place, into which the

high priest entered only once a year, on the great day of


That I may dwell among them.] "This," says Mr. Ainsworth, "was

the main end of all; and to this all the particulars are to be

referred, and by this they are to be opened. For this sanctuary,

as Solomon's temple afterwards, was the place of prayer, and of

the public service of God, Le 17:4-6; Mt 21:13; and it signified

the Church which is the habitation of God through the Spirit,

2Co 6:16; Eph 2:19-22; Re 21:2,3; and was a visible sign of

God's presence and protection,

Le 26:11,12; Eze 37:27,28; 1Ki 6:12,13; and of his leading them

to his heavenly glory. For as the high priest entered into the

tabernacle, and through the veil into the most holy place where

God dwelt; so Christ entered into the holy of holies, and we also

enter through the veil, that is to say his flesh. See the use

made of this by the apostle, Heb 9:1-28; Heb 10:1-18.

Thus the sanctuary is to be applied as a type, 1. To Christ's

person, Heb 8:2; 9:11, 12; Joh 2:19-21. 2. To every

Christian, 1Co 6:19. 3. To the

Church; both particular, Heb 3:6; 1Ti 3:15; and

universal, Heb 10:21: and it was because of the very extensive

signification of this building, that the different things

concerning this sanctuary are particularly set down by Moses, and

so variously applied by the prophets and by the apostles."-See

Ainsworth. As the dwelling in this tabernacle was the highest

proof of God's grace and mercy towards the Israelites, so it

typified Christ's dwelling by faith in the hearts of believers,

and thus giving them the highest and surest proof of their

reconciliation to God, and of his love and favour to them; see

Eph 1:22; 3:17.

Verse 9. After the pattern of the tabernacle] It has been

supposed that there had been a tabernacle before that erected by

Moses, though it probably did not now exist; but the tabernacle

which Moses is ordered to make was to be formed exactly on the

model of this ancient one, the pattern of which God showed him in

the mount, Ex 25:40. The word

mishcan signifies literally the dwelling or habitation; and this

was so called because it was the dwelling place of God; and the

only place on the earth in which he made himself manifest.

See Clarke on Ex 25:40,

and on Ex 33:7-10.

Verse 10. They shall make an ark] aron signifies an

ark, chest, coffer, or coffin. It is used particularly to

designate that chest or coffer in which the testimony or two

tables of the covenant was laid up, on the top of which was the

propitiatory or mercy-seat, (see on Ex 25:17,) and at the end of

which were the cherubim of gold, (Ex 25:18-20,) between whom the

visible sign of the presence of the supreme God appeared as seated

upon his throne. The ark was the most excellent of all the holy

things which belonged to the Mosaic economy, and for its sake the

tabernacle and the temple were built, Ex 26:33; 40:18, 21. It was

considered as conferring a sanctity wherever it was fixed,

2Ch 8:11; 2Sa 6:12.

Two cubits and a half shall be the length, &c.] About four

feet five inches in length, taking the cubit as twenty-one inches,

and two feet six inches in breadth and in depth. As this ark was

chiefly intended to deposit the two tables of stone in, which had

been written by the finger of God, we may very reasonably

conjecture that the length of those tables was not less than four

feet and their breadth not less than two. As to their thickness

we can say nothing, as the depth of the ark was intended for other

matters besides the two tables, such as Aaron's rod, the pot of

manna, &c., &c., though probably these were laid up beside, not

in, the ark.

Verse 11. A crown of gold round about.] A border, or, as the

Septuagint have it, κυματιαχρυσαστεπτακυκλω, waves of gold

wreathed round about.

Verse 15. The staves-shall not be taken from it.] Because it

should ever be considered as in readiness to be removed, God not

having told them at what hour he should command them to strike

their tents. If the staves were never to be taken out, how can it

be said, as in Nu 4:6, that when the camp should set forward,

they should put in the staves thereof, which intimates that when

they encamped, they took out the staves, which appears to be

contrary to what is here said? To reconcile these two places, it

has been supposed, with great show of probability, that besides

the staves which passed through the rings of the ark, and by which

it was carried, there were two other staves or poles in the form

of a bier or handbarrow, on which the ark was laid in order to be

transported in their journeyings, when it and its own staves,

still in their rings, had been wrapped up in the covering of what

is called badgers' skins and blue cloth. The staves of the ark

itself, which might be considered as its handles simply to lift it

by, were never taken out of their rings; but the staves or poles

which served as a bier were taken from under it when they


Verse 16. The testimony] The two tables of stone which were not

yet given; these tables were called eduth, from forward,

onward, to bear witness to or of a person or thing. Not only the

tables of stone, but all the contents of the ark, Aaron's rod, the

pot of manna, the holy anointing oil, &c., bore testimony to the

Messiah in his prophetic, sacerdotal, and regal offices.

Verse 17. A mercy-seat] capporeth, from caphar,

to cover or overspread; because by an act of pardon sins are

represented as being covered, so that they no longer appear in the

eye of Divine justice to displease, irritate, and call for

punishment; and the person of the offender is covered or protected

from the stroke of the broken law. In the Greek version of the

Septuagint the word ιλαστηριον, hilasterion, is used, which

signifies a propitiatory, and is the name used by the apostle,

Heb 9:5. This

mercy-seat or propitiatory was made of pure gold; it was

properly the lid or covering of that vessel so well known by the

name of the ark and ark of the covenant. On and before this, the

high priest was to sprinkle the blood of the expiatory sacrifices

on the great day of atonement: and it was in this place that God

promised to meet the people, (see Ex 25:22;) for

there he dwelt, and there was the symbol of the Divine presence.

At each end of this propitiatory was a cherub, between whom this

glory was manifested; hence in Scripture it is so often said that

he dwelleth between the cherubim. As the word ιλαστηριον,

propitiatory or mercy-seat, is applied to Christ, Ro 3:25,

whom God hath set forth to be a PROPITIATION (ιλαστηριον)

through faith in his blood-for the remission of sins that are

past; hence we learn that Christ was the true mercy-seat, the

thing signified by the capporeth, to the ancient believers. And

we learn farther that it was by his blood that an atonement was to

be made for the sins of the world. And as God showed himself

between the cherubim over this propitiatory or mercy-seat, so it

is said, God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself;

2Co 5:19, &c. See Clarke on Le 7:38.

Verse 18. Thou shalt make two cherubims] What these were we

cannot distinctly say. It is generally supposed that a cherub was

a creature with four heads and one body: and the animals, of which

these emblematical forms consisted, were the noblest of their

kinds; the lion among the wild beasts, the bull among the

tame ones, the eagle among the birds, and man at the head of

all; so that they might be, says Dr. Priestley, the

representatives of all nature. Concerning their forms and design

there is much difference of opinion among divines. It is probable

that the term often means a figure of any kind, such as was

ordinarily sculptured on stone, engraved on metal, carved on

wood, or embroidered on cloth. See on Ex 37:8. It may be

only necessary to add, that cherub is the singular number;

cherubim, not cherubims, the plural. See what has been said on

this subject in the note on Ge 3:24.

See Clarke on Ge 3:24.

Verse 22. And there I will meet with thee] That is, over the

mercy-seat, between the cherubim. In this place God chose to give

the most especial manifestations of himself; here the Divine glory

was to be seen; and here Moses was to come in order to consult

Jehovah, relative to the management of the people.

Ainsworth has remarked that the rabbins say, "The heart of man

may be likened to God's sanctuary; for as, in the sanctuary, the

shechinah or Divine glory dwelt, because there were the ark, the

tables, and the cherubim; so, in the heart of man, it is meet that

a place be made for the Divine Majesty to dwell in, and that it be

the holy of holies." This is a doctrine most implicitly taught by

the apostles; and the absolute necessity of having the heart made

a habitation of God through the Spirit, is strongly and frequently

insisted on through the whole of the New Testament. See the note

on the following verse.

Verse 23. Thou shalt also make a table of shittim wood] The

same wood, the acacia, of which the arkstaves, &c., were made. On

the subject of the ark, table of shew-bread, &c., Dr. Cudworth, in

his very learned and excellent treatise on the Lord's Supper, has

the following remarks:-

"When God had brought the children of Israel out of Egypt,

resolving to manifest himself in a peculiar manner present among

them, he thought good to dwell amongst them in a visible and

external manner; and therefore, while they were in the wilderness,

and sojourned in tents, he would have a tent or tabernacle built

to sojourn with them also. This mystery of the tabernacle was

fully understood by the learned Nachmanides, who, in few words,

but pregnant, expresseth himself to this purpose: 'The mystery of

the tabernacle was this, that it was to be a place for the

shechinah, or habitation of Divinity, to be fixed in;' and this,

no doubt, as a special type of God's future dwelling in Christ's

human nature, which was the TRUE SHECHINAH: but when the Jews were

come into their land, and had there built them houses, God

intended to have a fixed dwelling-house also; and therefore his

movable tabernacle was to be turned into a standing temple. Now

the tabernacle or temple, being thus as a house for God to dwell

in visibly, to make up the notion of dwelling or habitation

complete there must be all things suitable to a house belonging to

it; hence, in the holy place, there must be a table, and a

candlestick, because this was the ordinary furniture of a room, as

the fore-commended Nachmanides observes. The table must have its

dishes, and spoons, and bowls, and covers belonging to it, though

they were never used; and always be furnished with bread upon it.

The candlestick must have its lamps continually burning. Hence

also there must be a continual fire kept in this house of God upon

the altar, as the focus of it; to which notion I conceive the

Prophet Isaiah doth allude, Isa 31:9:

Whose fire is in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem; and besides

all this, to carry the notion still farther, there must be some

constant meat and provision brought into this house; which was

done in the sacrifices that were partly consumed by fire upon

God's own altar, and partly eaten by the priests, who were God's

family, and therefore to be maintained by him. That which was

consumed upon God's altar was accounted God's mess, as appeareth

from Mal 1:12, where the altar is called

God's table, and the sacrifice upon it, God's meat: Ye say, The

table of the LORD is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even HIS

MEAT, is contemptible. And often, in the law, the sacrifice is

called God's lechem, i.e., his bread or food. Wherefore

it is farther observable, that besides the flesh of the beast

offered up in sacrifice, there was a minchah, i.e., a

meat-offering, or rather bread-offering, made of flour and oil;

and a libamen or drink-offering, which was always joined with the

daily sacrifice, as the bread and drink which was to go along with

God's meat. It was also strictly commanded that there should be

salt in every sacrifice and oblation, because all meat is

unsavoury without salt, as Nachmanides hath here also well

observed; 'because it was not honourable that God's meat should be

unsavoury, without salt.' Lastly, all these things were to be

consumed on the altar only by the holy fire which came down from

heaven, because they were God's portion, and therefore to be eaten

or consumed by himself in an extraordinary manner."

See Clarke on Ex 25:22.

Verse 29. The dishes thereof] kearothaiv, probably the

deep bowls in which they kneaded the mass out of which they made

the shew-bread.

And spoons thereof] cappothaiu, probably censers,

on which they put up the incense; as seems pretty evident from

Nu 7:14, 20, 26, 32, 38, 44, 50, 56, 62, 68, 74, 80, 86, where the

same word is used, and the instrument, whatever it was, is always

represented as being filled with incense.

Covers thereof] kesothaiv, supposed to be a large

cup or tankard, in which pure wine was kept on the table along

with the shewbread for libations, which were poured out before the

Lord every Sabbath, when the old bread was removed, and the new

bread laid on the table.

Bowls thereof] menakkiyothaiv, from nakah,

to clear away, remove, empty, &c.; supposed by Calmet to mean,

either the sieves by which the Levites cleansed the wheat they

made into bread, (for it is asserted that the grain, out of which

the shew-bread was made, was sowed, reaped, ground, sifted,

kneaded, baked, &c., by the Levites themselves,) or the ovens in

which the bread was baked. Others suppose they were vessels which

they dipped into the kesoth, to take out the wine for libations.

Verse 30. Shew-bread] lechem panim literally, bread

of faces; so called, either because they were placed before the

presence or face of God in the sanctuary, or because they were

made square, as the Jews will have it. It is probable that they

were in the form or cubes or hexaedrons, each side presenting the

same appearance; and hence the Jews might suppose they were called

the bread or loaves of faces: but the Hebrew text seems to

intimate that they were called the bread of faces, panim,

because, as the Lord says, they were set lephanai, before my

FACE. These loaves or cakes were twelve, representing, as is

generally supposed, the twelve tribes of Israel. They were in two

rows of six each. On the top of each row there was a golden dish

with frankincense, which was burned before the Lord, as a

memorial, at the end of the week, when the old loaves were removed

and replaced by new ones, the priests taking the former for their

domestic use.

It is more difficult to ascertain the use of these, or what they

represented, than almost any other emblem in the whole Jewish

economy. Many have conjectured their meaning, and I feel no

disposition to increase their number by any addition of my own.

The note on Ex 25:23, from Dr. Cudworth, appears to me more

rational than any thing else I have met with. The tabernacle was

God's house, and in it he had his table, his bread, his wine,

candlestick, &c., to show them that he had taken up his dwelling

among them. See Clarke on Ex 25:23.

Verse 31. A candlestick of pure gold] This candlestick or

chandelier is generally described as having one shaft or stock,

with six branches proceeding from it, adorned at equal distances

with six flowers like lilies, with as many bowls and knops placed

alternately. On each of the branches there was a lamp, and one on

the top of the shaft which occupied the centre; thus there were

seven lamps in all, Ex 25:37. These

seven lamps were lighted every evening and extinguished every


We are not so certain of the precise form of any instrument or

utensil of the tabernacle or temple, as we are of this, the golden

table, and the two silver trumpets.

Titus, after the overthrow of Jerusalem, A.D. 70, had the golden

candlestick and the golden table of the shew-bread, the silver

trumpets, and the book of the law, taken out of the temple and

carried in triumph to Rome; and Vespasian lodged them in the

temple which he had consecrated to the goddess of Peace. Some

plants also of the balm of Jericho are said to have been carried

in the procession. At the foot of Mount Palatine there are the

ruins of an arch, on which the triumph of Titus for his conquest

of the Jews is represented, and on which the several monuments

which were carried in the procession are sculptured, and

particularly the golden candlestick, the table of the shew-bread

and the two silver trumpets. A correct MODEL of this arch, taken

on the spot, now stands before me; and the spoils of the temple,

the candlestick, the golden table, and the two trumpets, are

represented on the panel on the left hand, in the inside of the

arch, in basso-relievo. The candlestick is not so ornamented as it

appears in many prints; at the same time it looks much better than

it does in the engraving of this arch given by Montfaucon, Antiq.

Expliq., vol. iv., pl. 32. It is likely that on the real arch

this candlestick is less in size than the original, as it scarcely

measures three feet in height. See the Diarium Italicum, p. 129.

To see these sacred articles given up by that God who ordered them

to be made according to a pattern exhibited by himself, gracing

the triumph of a heathen emperor, and at last consecrated to an

idol, affords melancholy reflections to a pious mind. But these

things had accomplished the end for which they were instituted,

and were now of no farther use. The glorious personage typified by

all this ancient apparatus, had about seventy years before this

made his appearance. The true light was come, and the Holy Spirit

poured out from on high; and therefore the golden candlestick, by

which they were typified, was given up. The ever-during bread had

been sent from heaven; and therefore the golden table, which bore

its representative, the shew-bread, was now no longer needful.

The joyful sound of the everlasting Gospel was then published in

the world; and therefore the silver trumpets that typified this

were carried into captivity, and their sound was no more to be

heard. Strange providence but unutterable mercy of God! The Jews

lost both the sign and the thing signified; and that very people,

who destroyed the holy city, carried away the spoils of the

temple, and dedicated them to the objects of their idolatry, were

the first in the universe to receive the preaching of the Gospel,

the light of salvation, and the bread of life! There is a sort of

coincidence or association here, which is worthy of the most

serious observation. The Jews had these significant emblems to

lead them to, and prepare them for, the things signified. They

trusted in the former, and rejected the latter! God therefore

deprived them of both, and gave up their temple to the spoilers,

their land to desolation, and themselves to captivity and to the

sword. The heathens then carried away the emblems of their

salvation, and God shortly gave unto those heathens that very

salvation of which these things were the emblems! Thus because of

their unbelief and rebellion, the kingdom of heaven, according to

the prediction of our blessed Lord, was taken from the Jews, and

given to a nation (the Gentiles) that brought forth the fruits

thereof; Mt 21:43. Behold the GOODNESS and SEVERITY of God!

Verse 39. Of a talent of pure gold shall he make it, with all

these vessels.] That is, a talent of gold in weight was used in

making the candlestick, and the different vessels and instruments

which belonged to it. According to Bishop Cumberland, a talent

was three thousand shekels. As the Israelites brought each half a

shekel, Ex 38:26, so that

one hundred talents, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five

shekels, were contributed by six hundred and three thousand five

hundred and fifty persons; by halving the number of the

Israelites, he finds they contributed three hundred and one

thousand seven hundred and seventy-five shekels in all. Now, as

we find that this number of shekels made one hundred talents, and

one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five shekels over, if we

subtract one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, the odd

shekels, from three hundred and one thousand seven hundred and

seventy-five, we shall have for a remainder three hundred

thousand, the number of shekels in one hundred talents: and if

this remainder be divided by one hundred, the number of talents,

it quotes three thousand, the number of shekels in each talent. A

silver shekel of the sanctuary, being equal, according to Dr.

Prideaux, to three shillings English, three thousand such shekels

will amount to four hundred and fifty pounds sterling; and,

reckoning gold to silver as fifteen to one, a talent of gold will

amount to six thousand seven hundred and fifty pounds sterling: to

which add two hundred and sixty-three pounds for the one thousand

seven hundred and seventy-five shekels, at three shillings each,

and it makes a total of seven thousand and thirteen pounds, which

immense sum was expended on the candlestick and its furniture. It

is no wonder, then, (if the candlestick in the second temple was

equal in value to that in the ancient tabernacle,) that Titus

should think it of sufficient consequence to be one of the

articles, with the golden table, and silver trumpets, that should

be employed to grace his triumph. Their intrinsic worth was a

matter of no consequence to Him whose are the silver and gold, the

earth and its fulness; they had accomplished their design, and

were of no farther use, either in the kingdom of providence, or

the kingdom of grace.

See Clarke on Ex 25:31, and "Ex 38:24".

Verse 40. And look that thou make, &c.] This verse should be

understood as an order to Moses after the tabernacle, &c., had

been described to him; as if he had said: "When thou comest to

make all the things that I have already described to thee, with

the other matters of which I shall afterwards treat, see that thou

make every thing according to the pattern which thou didst see in

the mount." The Septuagint have it, κατατοντυτοντον

δεδειγμενονσοι. according to the TYPE-form or fashion, which

was shown thee. It appears to me that St. Paul had this command

particularly in view when he gave that to his son Timothy which we

find in the second epistle, 2Ti 1:13: υποτυπωσινεχευγιαινοντων

λογωνωνπαρεμουηκουσας. "Hold fast the FORM of sound

words which thou hast heard of me." The tabernacle was a type of

the Church of God; that Church is built upon the foundation of the

prophets and apostles, Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone,

Eph 2:20-22: the

doctrines, therefore, delivered by the prophets, Jesus Christ,

and his apostles, are essential to the constitution of this

church. As God, therefore, gave the plan or form according to

which the tabernacle must be constructed, so he gives the

doctrines according to which the Christian Church is to be

modelled; and apostles, and subordinate builders, are to have and

hold fast that FORM of sound words, and construct this heavenly

building according to that form or pattern which has come through

the express revelation of God.

IN different parts of this work we have had occasion to remark

that the heathens borrowed their best things from Divine

revelation, both as it refers to what was pure in their doctrines,

and significant in their religious rites. Indeed, they seem in

many cases to have studied the closest imitation possible,

consistent with the adaptation of all to their preposterous and

idolatrous worship. They had their IAO or JOVE, in imitation of

the true JEHOVAH; and from different attributes of the Divine

Nature they formed an innumerable group of gods and goddesses.

They had also their temples in imitation of the temple of God; and

in these they had their holy and more holy places, in imitation of

the courts of the Lord's house. The heathen temples consisted of

several parts or divisions: 1. The area or porch; 2. The ναος or

temple, similar to the nave of our churches; 3. The adytum or

holy place, called also penetrale and sacrarium; and, 4. The

οπισθοδομος or the inner temple, the most secret recess, where

they had their mysteria, and which answered to the holy of holies

in the tabernacle. And as there is no evidence whatever that

there was any temple among the heathens prior to the tabernacle,

it is reasonable to conclude that it served as a model for all

that they afterwards built. They had even their portable temples,

to imitate the tabernacle; and the shrines for Diana, mentioned

Ac 19:24, were of this kind. They had even their

arks or sacred coffers, where they kept their most holy things,

and the mysterious emblems of their religion; together with

candlesticks or lamps, to illuminate their temples, which had

few windows, to imitate the golden candlestick in the Mosaic

tabernacle. They had even their processions, in imitation of the

carrying about of the ark in the wilderness, accompanied by such

ceremonies as sufficiently show, to an unprejudiced mind, that

they borrowed them from this sacred original. Dr. Dodd has a good

note on this subject, which I shall take the liberty to extract.

Speaking of the ark, he says, "We meet with imitations of this

Divinely instituted emblem among several heathen nations. Thus

Tacitus, De Moribus Germanorum, cap. 40, informs us that the

inhabitants of the north of Germany, our Saxon ancestors, in

general worshipped Herthum or Hertham, i.e., the mother earth:

Hertham being plainly derived from arets, earth, and

am, mother: and they believed her to interpose in the affairs

of men, and to visit nations: that to her, in a sacred grove in a

certain island of the ocean, a vehicle covered with a vestment was

consecrated, and allowed to be touched by the priests only,

(compare 2Sa 6:6, 7; 1Ch 13:9, 10,) who perceived when the goddess

entered into her secret place, penetrale, and with profound

veneration attended her vehicle, which was drawn by cows; see

1Sa 6:7-10. While the goddess was on her progress, days of

rejoicing were kept in every place which she vouchsafed to visit;

they engaged in no war, they handled no weapons; peace and

quietness were then only known, only relished, till the same

priest reconducted the goddess to her temple. Then the vehicle

and vestment, and, if you can believe it, the goddess herself,

were washed in a sacred lake."

Apuleius, De Aur. Asin., lib. ii., describing a solemn

idolatrous procession, after the Egyptian mode, says, "A chest, or

ark, was carried by another, containing their secret things,

entirely concealing the mysteries of religion."

And Plutarch, in his treatise De Iside, &c., describing the

rites of Osiris, says, "On the tenth day of the month, at night,

they go down to the sea; and the stolists, together with the

priest, carry forth the sacred chest, in which is a small boat or

vessel of gold."

Pausanius likewise testifies, lib. vii., c. 19, that the ancient

Trojans had a sacred ark, wherein was the image of BACCHUS, made

by Vulcan, which had been given to Dardanus by Jupiter. As the

ark was deposited in the holy of holies, so the heathens had in

the inmost part of their temples an adytum or penetrale, to which

none had access but the priests. And it is remarkable that,

among the Mexicans, Vitzliputzli, their supreme god, was

represented under a human shape, sitting on a throne, supported by

an azure globe which they called heaven; four poles or sticks came

out from two sides of this globe, at the end of which serpents'

heads were carved, the whole making a litter which the priests

carried on their shoulders whenever the idol was shown in

public.-Religious Ceremonies, vol. iii., p. 146.

Calmet remarks that the ancients used to dedicate candlesticks

in the temples of their gods, bearing a great number of lamps.

Pliny, Hist. Nat., lib. xxxiv., c. 3, mentions one made in the

form of a tree, with lamps in the likeness of apples, which

Alexander the Great consecrated in the temple of Apollo.

And Athenaeus, lib. xv., c. 19, 20, mentions one that supported

three hundred and sixty-five lamps, which Dionysius the younger,

king of Syracuse, dedicated in the Prytaneum at Athens. As the

Egyptians, according to the testimony of Clemens Alexandrinus,

Strom., lib. i., were the first who used lamps in their temples,

they probably borrowed the use from the golden candlestick in the

tabernacle and temple.

From the solemn and very particular charge, Look that thou make

them after their pattern, which was showed thee in the mount, it

appears plainly that God showed Moses a model of the tabernacle

and all its furniture; and to receive instructions relative to

this was one part of his employment while on the mount forty days

with God. As God designed that this building, and all that

belonged to it, should be patterns or representations of good

things to come, it was indispensably necessary that Moses should

receive a model and specification of the whole, according to which

he might direct the different artificers in their constructing the

work. 1. We may observe that the whole tabernacle and its

furniture resembled a dwelling-house and its furniture. 2. That

this tabernacle was the house of God, not merely for the

performance of his worship, but for his residence. 3. That God

had promised to dwell among this people, and this was the

habitation which he appointed for his glory. 4. That the

tabernacle, as well as the temple, was a type of the incarnation

of Jesus Christ. See Joh 1:14, and Joh 2:19, 21. 5. That as the

glory of God was manifested between the cherubim, above the

mercy-seat, in this tabernacle, so God was in Christ, and in him

dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 6. As in the

tabernacle were found bread, light, &c., probably all these were

emblematical of the ample provision made in Christ for the

direction, support, and salvation of the soul of man. Of these,

and many other things in the law and the prophets, we shall know

more when mortality is swallowed up of life.

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