Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
FURNITURE OF THE
1. 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
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.
6-10. made the mercy seat of pure gold--To construct a figure,
whether the body of a beast or a man, with two extended wings,
measuring from two to three 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.
17-22. 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 movable 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
[Ga 3:24, 25].
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 description 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 are 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.